Khalil Baloch writes an Open Letter to UN’s António Guterres

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UN Secretary General António Guterres.
UN Secretary General António Guterres.

H.E. Mr. António Guterres
Secretary-General
United Nations

Subject: Your Pakistan visit amidst the grave humanitarian crisis in Balochistan

Dear Mr. António Guterres,

After the Second World War, the formation of United Nations brought new hopes for solving world’s problems through this institution. It was at this juncture of history that many colonial powers were weakened and could not maintain control over their colonies. Consequently, many new states came into existence. India was declared free from British colonialism and Balochistan also gained its independence as a free country. But Balochistan’s freedom was short-lived and our new born neighbour Pakistan that had inherited British military power invaded and occupied Balochistan and forced the indigenous people into slavery.

This happened only two years after the establishment of United Nations. The people of Balochistan were not only robbed of their freedom but Pakistan also began the exploitation of marine and land resources of Balochistan, which continues even today. Pakistan also started a systematic genocide of the Baloch people that has increased in the past 20 years as silence of the United Nations on this matter has only encouraged Pakistan.

Today, Pakistan the murderer of oppressed nations and perpetrator of global terrorism, has time and again demonstrated zero regards for being a member state of the UN. It neither meets the historical and cultural requirements of a state nor does it have the legitimacy of a confederation formed with a mutual accord among nations. It is established on the basis of religious fundamentalism and anti-humanitarianism.

Sir, on the occasion of your visit to Pakistan, we the people of Balochistan want to remind you that as an occupied nation we have strong hopes that you will address the ongoing genocide, the war crimes and the horrific crimes against humanity across Balochistan. But so far, it seems your visit was limited to knowing only Islamabad’s narrative and the lies of Pakistani rulers to cover up their crimes. Your Highness, this amounts to a historic injustice to the people of Balochistan.

Your visit is at a time when Pakistani forces and intelligence agencies are committing genocide with impunity and the ground for Baloch political voices has almost been eliminated.

The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has confirmed requests for thousands of forced disappearances of people from different walks of life in Balochistan. These are cases where families have risked serious danger in filing their cases with the group. The number of disappeared over the years has exceeded 40,000.

Top government officials in the past including Federal Home Minister Aftab Sherpao, former Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti and Secretary Interior Akbar Hussain Durrani have openly acknowledged to the media about the arrest of more than 20,000 people during their tenures. No missing person has been brought out or presented to the court. Similarly, a devastating high number of extrajudicial killings have crossed 5,000 dead, and tortured bodies. According to a BBC report, more than 1,000 Baloch were killed by Pakistani state forces between 2011 to 2016 alone.

In 2014, 169 bodies were discovered from three mass graves in Khuzdar. Only three of the dead were identified as “missing”, among those who were abducted from different areas by the Pakistani Army. The rest of the bodies were neither identified nor sent to have their DNA tests done.

Pashtuns and Sindhis are also suffering from nothing less but a genocide. Like the Baloch, thousands of Pashtuns and hundreds of Sindhis have been killed or imprisoned in Pakistan Army prisons.

Your Excellency, in Mastung, people have setup a cemetery that has been named as the graveyard of “Unknown People”. The fact is that these are the missing persons who were brutally killed by the Pakistan Army. To this day, the state of Pakistan has denied DNA tests of these bodies, because doing so will prove their disappearance and in many cases further validate the witnesses accounts of their abduction by the Pakistan Army and its intelligence agencies.

Things got even worse when China stepped in and became a partner with Pakistan for exploiting Balochistan’s resources and its strategic location. After the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was announced, Pakistan Army shifted its Jihadi proxies to Balochistan to crush the Baloch national movement. The idea was to contaminate Balochistan’s secular society and its religious tolerance. Many Islamic extremist organizations, including ISIS, have regular training camps and launchpads in Balochistan under the direct supervision of the Pakistan Army.

Recently, Pakistan’s current Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he will sell Balochistan’s resources and pay for Pakistan’s debts.

These so-called development projects are depriving the local Baloch of their rights and are destroying the environment of Balochistan. Pakistan’s apathetic approach could be understood from its nuclear tests conducted in 1998 where the state did not even bother to evacuate locals from the surrounding areas. Balochistan has the highest cancer rate in the world and until today, the state does not allow any research and documentation with regards to cancer caused by these nuclear tests.

Dear Sir, the burning issue at this moment is the danger of turning Baloch population of Gwadar into a minority in their own land. Under CPEC, millions of people from China and Pakistan are planned to be settled in Gwadar. This is to ensure a demographic change to further their drastic plans. In the first phase, the local population on the sides of the CPEC project route have been forcibly displaced. Pakistan has transformed Balochistan into a “No Go” area. Human rights organizations, social workers and the international media have been banned from entering Balochistan for the past twenty years.

We request you to visit Balochistan on the issues of missing persons, extra-judicial killings, exploitation of our national resources and the environmental disaster underway due to the state’s destructive policies.

Sincerely,

Khalil Baloch
Chairman, Baloch National Movement (BNM)

1 COMMENT

  1. […] As in the 75th session it was stated in the debate, “We strongly urge member states to consistently and meaningfully uphold the commitment enshrined in paragraphs 138-139 of the World Summit Outcome Document”, Pakistan being a member of the United Nations is bound to respect R2P and the World Summit Document to ensure the inclusion of R2P as a standing item. And yet, Pakistan is not implementing it and is not being seriously questioned regarding its implementation of the prevention of all the aforesaid atrocities the Sindhis have been subjected to. The NGOs, UNO and its sister institutions are not playing their roles in highlighting this situation…. […]

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