Balochistan Conference Report
Balochistan is a region that makes up 44% of Pakistan’s territory but also straddles Iran and Afghanistan. The region is exceptionally rich in natural resources which have encouraged exploitative domestic and external intervention. Speakers at the event included Mr. Noordin Mengal, a Balochistan National Party politician, Mr Munir Mengal, a media personality who was forcibly disappeared by the Pakistan state for 16 months in 2006, Mr Nasser Boladai from Iranian Balochistan, and Ms. Suriya Makhdoom a representative from Sindh region adjacent to Balochistan. A statement from the Khan of Khalat was read.
The session, entitled Self-Determination in Balochistan - Its Relation to Regional and Global Security discussed the repeated human rights violations of the Baloch, a minority community who have been politically and economically marginalized by the Pakistan Government. Mr. Noordin Mengal gave a detailed presentation outlining the violations that have taken place, including indiscriminate use of force against civilians, targeted killings and the disappearance of political activists and journalists. Many thousands of civilians are said to have been displaced across province boundaries into Sindh and Punjab and state boundaries into Afghanistan, underlining the regional and international nature of the problem.
Up to 50 representatives from Permanent Missions, NGOs and UN institutions attended the event.
The report, published on August 14 details in full the various contributions made by the speakers.