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Genocide in Balochistan and the role of the International Community

Hassan Hamdam

During the fall of the British Empire in the 1950s, various nation-states emerged on the map of the contemporary world where the decolonization brought hope and freedom for various nations. It also brought destruction and long-running disputes in various corners of the newly emerging world. The most disastrous event took place in South Asia, where an artificial state was designed. A country was created without having a land, language, culture, and historical background in the Indian subcontinent. 

Present-day Pakistan was carved out of India merely in the name of religion, and this new country for a so-called Muslim nation was generously bestowed with the homeland of various nations by the sinking British Empire. The lands of those historical nations were simply gifted away to the new-born state of Pakistan because they were located in the region where Pakistan was being planned by Great Britain.  

Alongside with the other nations, the Baloch woke up one morning finding themselves living in someplace called Pakistan. After 3000 years of their history and existence in their homeland, Pakistan invaded Balochistan on 27 March 1948. Since the invasion of Balochistan, Pakistani rulers have been completely ignoring the history, tradition, culture and the languages of the Baloch and the other nations in Pakistan. The people of Pakistan have been forced to accept a bizarre and peculiar theory of a Muslim Nation for more than seven decades. 

As one of the oldest nations in the region, the Baloch refused to submit into the odd theory and to forget its history, land, language and thousands of years of existence, therefore, the Baloch and Balochistan became the prime target of the military establishment of Pakistan. People of Balochistan have been suffering for so long at the hands of the Pakistani armed forces, and its proxy religious groups. The military has unleashed its notorious death squads to eliminate political and human rights activists in Balochistan. These death squads are also being used to slaughter religious minorities and to convert them into Islam by force.

The ghastly forced disappearances, the “kill and dump” policy of the Pakistan security forces are exacerbating the situation. Thousands of people are missing, and their fate is unknown. The heinous crimes are being committed against the Baloch people by Pakistan authorities, and there is a systematic genocide taking place in the region with impunity.

No state or country should be allowed to commit such crimes against its citizens. When a state fails to meet its internationally recognized responsibilities then the United Nations has to take immediate action against that state. 

Human rights cannot and should not differ from place to place, and the UN has a huge responsibility to make it true. The UN and the international community have a significant role to play in the world to maintain peace and security. There have to be some special arrangements to indicate an ‘‘early warning mechanism’’ before losing millions of lives. The United Nations should be focused on conflict prevention rather than a post-conflict slow reaction mechanism. The delayed response to conflicts is causing complications and huge sufferings around the globe. As it is said, justice delayed is justice denied.

In the light of the human rights and humanitarian challenges inflicted on the Baloch, the UN should step up to protect a people facing grave human rights violations, and make Pakistan accountable for the crimes it is committing. 

The writer is a law graduate and a human rights campaigner based in London.

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