GENEVA, September 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Baluchistan House, an independent Think Tank hosted an event titled "Baluchistan bleeding through a thousand cuts", on September 15 at the UN in Geneva. The conference was moderated by Paulo Casaca, Executive Director of the Brussels based South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF), and other panelists included Jacek Wlocowicz, Member of the Senate, Poland, Mehran Marri, Baluch Representative to the UN and EU, Brahamdagh Bugti, President, Baluchistan Republican Party and Siegfried Wolf, expert on South Asia at SADF.
While opening the event, Paulo Casaca informed the audience that the objective of the event was to hear the perspectives of each of the viewers on the situation in Baluchistan. In his remarks, the first speaker, Jacek Wlocowicz while enumerating the importance paid to by Poland to the protection of human rights, expressed his concern on the gross rights violations taking place in Balochistan. He also lamented that despite a plethora of evidence on such violations, the issue had failed to attract the attention of the international community and the European Union. He charged the Pakistani government, military and intelligence agencies for the ignoring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in this connection gave the example of the data collected by the Voice of the Missing Baloch Persons which recorded that in 2016 itself at least one thousand and twenty cases of Baloch people being killed and their bodies dumped.
Mehran Marri, in his speech highlighted the issue of the dwindling Baloch population. Citing the results of the recently published census in Pakistan, he informed that the Baloch population had shrunk from 61 to 55 percent in the 21 districts where the Baloch were in majority. He stated that this was a clear example of how Pakistan was gradually reducing the Baloch into a minority in their own land. Despite this trend, which Marri called a genocide 'in slow motion', he was confident that the Baloch were resilient and would not give up their fight for independence.
Seigfried Wolf, while placing his views focused on the impact of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on Baluchistan. Questioning the very legality of the CPEC, due to the corridor passing through disputed territory, Dr Wolf opined that the CPEC was a tool in the hands of a few to exploit the local resources of the regions it passed through and as a result was being opposed by the local population who were witnessing the confiscation of their land, displacement of homes and damaging their businesses.
Brahamdagh Bugti spoke on the human rights situation in Pakistan, stating that the situation was worsening day by day with the Pakistani establishment using brutal force to deny people their basic rights. He informed that many areas in Baluchistan continued to face attack by troops and helicopters forcing the locals to migrate, thereby giving the government the ease to exploit the region's natural resources with the help of foreign and local companies. He called upon the UN to force Pakistan to stop committing crimes against humanity in Baluchistan.
Concluding the session, Paulo Casaca reminded the participants that one of the key principles of the Atlantic Charter, that led to the establishment of the United Nations, clearly stated that all people had the right to self determination. This right, he opined, had been ignored in the case of Baluchistan.
SOURCE Baluchistan House