Conference on human rights in Sindh, Balochistan held in UN

ANI | Updated: Mar 20, 2018 20:18 IST

Geneva [Switzerland], Mar 20 (ANI): A conference on the human rights situation in Sindh and Balochistan was held on Tuesday in the United Nations on the sidelines of the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The aim of the conference was to apprise the international community about the grave human rights situation faced by the people of Sindh and Balochistan in Pakistan.

Executive Director for South Asia Democratic Forum Paulo Casaca, setting the tone for the conference, informed that the human rights defenders and political activists in Sindh and Balochistan were regularly grappling with the threats of extra-judicial killing and enforced disappearances.

He added that Pakistan was blatantly ignoring the compliance of the fundamental clauses in the UN conventions. In this connection, he referred to enforced disappearances and the blasphemy laws.

He called on the European Union (EU) to rethink its relationship with Pakistan and to hold it accountable for its poor record vis-a-vis human rights.

Former vice president of the European Parliament Ryszard Czarnecki clarified that protection of human rights was one of the EU's overarching objectives, in line with the Treaty on European Union.

Therefore, he argued that it was important that the EU take cognizance of the massive human rights violations that have been perpetrated in the regions of Sindh and Balochistan by the government of Pakistan.

Enumerating the various human rights violations taking place in both the provinces, including Pakistan's policy of brutal suppression in Balochistan, he stated that the EU must press on the government of Pakistan to investigate the crimes being carried out against the Sindhis and the Baloch.

World Sindhi Congress Chairperson Rubina Greenwood in her speech elaborated on the long history of mistreatment being faced by the Sindhis.

She accused the Pakistan government of persecuting different ethnicities and minority religions in the pretext of combating terrorism.

Informing the audience that 75 percent people in Sindh are below the poverty line, she added that many also don't have access to fresh water, health facilities and education.

She also raised the issue of the growing list of missing persons in Sindh, disappeared by the Pakistani establishment with impunity.

She further explained that there has been an exodus of Sindhi people due to religious intolerance and incidents of forced conversion and marriage of Sindhi girls by the Muslim community.

She concluded by hoping that the message of the Sindhis seeking liberty from Pakistani atrocities could be spread across the world.

The conference was moderated by Tarek Fatah, author of The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State.

Speaking on Sindh, Fatah stated that the Sindhis had been betrayed by Pakistan. He also stated that Baluchistan was an independent country that existed even before the formation of Pakistan.

Referring to Pakistan as a country that threatened world peace, he hoped the international community would work towards imposing sanctions on the country. (ANI)