In the face of grave human rights challenges facing the people of Balochistan at the hands of the security establishment of Pakistan, and considering the vulnerable situation facing the Baloch as a national entity, the Baloch Human Rights Council – UK organised a major three days awareness campaign during the 40th session of the UNHRC directed at highlighting the plight of the Baloch people demanding international intervention into the ‘unchecked and concentrated brutalities’ being perpetrated against them by the state security forces of Pakistan for the last many decades.
The three days campaign commenced on 10thMarch 2019 by setting up of a Tent at the Broken Chair in Geneva with a noticeable sized note reading, “Save The Baloch” and “#Baloch Genocide” erected on roadside. The campaign concluded on 13thMarch 2019, comprising of various activities as listed below:
- Exhibition on Human Rights situation of Balochistan:
A series of documentaries portraying a detailed account of various human rights violations and their repercussions being perpetrated by the state authorities of Pakistan against the Baloch people were played at intervals on 10thand 11thMarch 2019. The documentaries explained in a chronological order the historical context of the human rights situation in Balochistan making it into the present.
- Human Rights Conference:
On the second day of the awareness campaign, the BHRC convened a major conference entitled, “Balochistan of Pakistan: the Human Cost” at the Broken Chair in Geneva to bring forward a more informed opinion regarding the generally underestimated and largely overlooked human rights situation of Balochistan. The conference moderated by Qambar Malik had invited a distinguished panel of speakers from diverse backgrounds and with extensive experience in the area who shared their insights on the subject matter. The conference was presided by the General Secretary of the BHRC Samad Baloch while the prominent among the speakers were Paulo Casaca of South Asia Democratic Forum, Member of the European Parliament Ryszard Czarnecki, Executive Director of IHRC Baseer Naweed, Human Rights Defender Dr. Zafar Baloch, HRCB’s Chairperson Taj Baloch, Lucia Parrucci of UNPO, Dr. Hidayat Bhutto of WSC and Human Rights Defender Karima Baloch.
At the end of the conference proceedings a Resolutionwas adopted affirming and asserting the following:
- Expresses extreme concern on the continuing state supervised human rights violations in Balochistan and noted that the kill and dump policy adopted by the state security agencies in Balochistan for the last two decades, has costs hundreds of precious lives.
- Draws the attention of international community towards the extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances of the Baloch political and social activists by the army and its proxy death squads. Expresses deep concern at the silent complicity of the international community at the grave violations of human rights in Balochistan and demands that international human rights organizations should step up their efforts against the brutalities of the Pakistani military establishment in Balochistan.
- Urges the Secretary General of UN to exert pressure on Pakistani authorities to end the brutal treatment and enforced disappearances of the Baloch social, political and literary figures and to abandon itsinhuman “kill and dump” policy in Balochistan.
- Emphasizes further that the Baloch people are facing a situation where not only the personal security is at stakes but also their socio-cultural values, languages, traditional knowledge system, and way of life are suppressed violently in order to dilute their demand for the right of self-determination.
- Expresses concern over the fact that being one of the richest land in the world, the people are Balochistan are among the poorest of the poor. This is because of the systematic disenfranchisement of Baloch and ruthless exploitation of their resources by Pakistani state in the benefit of Punjab under the pretext of various controversial mega-projects including the most recent and much hyped China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
- The Baloch as a nation has the inherent and universal right of self-determination as enshrined in international law, including in the Charter of the United Nations, the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The implementation of the right of self-determination is fundamental for the survival of the Baloch, including their cultural values, languages, religions, economy, and ways of life, land and resources.
- The international community must come forward and urge the government of Pakistan to refrain from the use of oppressive measures leading to human rights violations against the Baloch. It must take immediate measures to ensure that the perpetrators of human rights violations within the Military, paramilitary and proxy organizations of these States to face justice.
- Protest Demonstration:
Following the conference on 11 March 2019, BHRC held a protest demonstration at the Broken Chair lashing out at the discriminative and anti-Baloch policies of the Pakistani authorities. The protest was joined in by the representatives from World Sindhi Congress, and people representing Pashtuns and Kashmiris who accused the Pakistan state authorities of dehumanizing the Baloch and demanded an intervention of the International community into the matter to refrain Pakistan from further suppression of ethnic minorities in Pakistan. The participants also demanded fair trial and safe release of forced disappeared Baloch socio-political activists and human rights defenders in Pakistan.
- Intervention on Item 3 and Item 4:
Taj Baloch of Human Rights Council of Balochistan (HRCB) delivered a speech on Item 3 on the Human rights situation in Balochistan at the 40thsession of the UNHRC on 10thMarch 2019 whereas Karima Baloch a prominent Human rights defender read her observations on Item 4 at the UNHRC 40thsession to draw the council’s attention on the Human rights crisis in Balochistan on 13thMarch 2019.
- Memorandum to UN General Secretary:
A memorandum intended to draw the attention of the concerned offices to the humanitarian crisis developed in Balochistan because of the actions of Pakistani security forces, Samad Baloch the General Secretary of BHRC submitted memorandums to the offices of UN General Secretary and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 12thMarch 2019.