"On this Human Rights Day, we want to draw the attention of the UNO and the world community to these state atrocities in Pakistan. We urge UN intervention for the prevention of Baloch genocide by Pakistan," said Khalil Ahmed Baloch, Chairman Baloch National Movement, in a letter written to the UN Secretary General, High Commissioner and ICC Prosecutor.
He noted that human rights violations, excessive use of military forces against civilians, harassment, humiliation, intimidation, illegal detentions, torture and enforced disappearances of the Baloch people from all walks of life, especially of political leaders, activists, students, youth, women, teenagers and children, have become common practice of the Pakistan army and its intelligence agencies.
"On August 4, 1947, a conference held in Delhi, chaired by Britain's viceroy of India was attended by the Baloch ruler Khan of Kalat and the founding fathers of proposed Pakistan. The conference recognised Balochistan as an independent state and the founding fathers of Pakistan agreed to negotiate the return of Quetta, Bolan pass and other Baloch districts which had been obtained on lease by British India's authorities from Khan of Kalat and annexed into the British Balochistan province of British India," he added.
Khalil mentioned that consequently, Khan of Kalat declared the independence of Balochistan on August 11, 1947.
"When Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, visited Khan of Kalat at Dhadar early February 1948, he failed to get the signatures of Khan on the instrument of accession with Pakistan. Being frustrated with their efforts for getting accession of Balochistan, the rulers of Pakistan with the backing of Britain managed to invade the fragile state of Balochistan and violating all international laws occupied the Baloch land in March 1948," Khalil wrote.
He said the Baloch people resisted Pakistan's aggression and illegal occupation of their country under the leadership of Prince Abdul Kareem Baloch, but they failed to sustain the resistance.
Khalil emphasised that the Baloch freedom movement has managed to survive for the last 17 years despite Pakistan's excessive use of military force, unlawful and inhuman policy of extrajudicial killings, kill-and-dump operations, forcible mass displacements, indiscriminate bombardment on civilian populations, unabated massive ground and aerial operations against civilian populations and enforced disappearances.
He said that the Pakistan authorities have become frustrated with the sustained struggle of the Baloch people and are executing a furious operation against them, especially targeting the freedom loving leaders, activists, students, human rights defenders, journalists, women and children.
Khalil accused the Pakistan army and intelligence agencies of assassinating prominent Baloch leaders like Muhammad Akbar Bugti, Ghulam Muhammad Baloch and Mir Baalach Marri.
"On October 28, 2017, the Sind Rangers and ISI raided numerous houses of Baloch families in different areas of Karachi and abducted Nawaz Atta who is a human rights defender and information secretary of the Baloch Human Rights Organization, nine-year-old Aftab along with his cousins Muhammad Arif and Babu Rawat -- both of them students. From another raid on the same day, they abducted 12 years old Ulfat along with Abid, Sajjad, Farhad and Ilyas who are teenagers and students," he said.
"On October 30, the security forces abducted the wife of prominent Baloch leader Dr Allah Nazar, Fazeela Bibi, along with three other women and their six children from Saryab Road, Quetta," he further said.
For decades in Balochistan, economic exploitation through the plundering of natural resources, and the systematic economic, social and political exclusion of indigenous Baloch people, has become a norm.
In addition to this, enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and an escalating crackdown on freedom of expression are used as covert tools to brutally repress the peaceful struggle for justice, rights and equality of the Baloch.
Reports say at least 8,000 Baloch are still victims of enforced disappearances in Balochistan, while 1,500 such victims were killed and dumped, according to human rights organisations. (ANI)