Geneva [Switzerland] Sept. 23 (ANI): Condemning the atrocities of Pakistan on the people of Balochistan, former Ambassador of Pakistan to United States Husain Haqqani on Friday said that instead of using force on the indigenous group, Islamabad should recognise their sentiments and aspirations.
"Instead of using force against the Balochis, it would be best to recognize the sentiments and aspirations of the Baloch people," he said.
Haqqani said that he believes that human rights are universal and their violation should not be ignored out of misplaced patriotism and that is the only reason why he is supporting the Balochistan movement even after being a Pakistani.
He added that world would be a better place if "Indians spoke out when human rights are violated in Kashmir, Myanmar's leaders speak up when their army deprives the Rohingya of their life and dignity, and Pakistanis recognise that injustices against the Baloch, Sindhis, Mohajirs, and religious minorities must end."
Haqqani further said that being a Pakistani, he wants to see a Pakistan which is politically and economically stable and a country that guarantees rights to all its component ethnicities and nationalities.
He said that the people, who advocate talks about Taliban and speak out for the Muslims of Kashmir and Myanmar, have an intransigent position when it comes to engagement with the leaders and people of Balochistan.
Highlighting the sufferings and the crimes committed on the people of Balochistan, the former envoy said that since 1970s, Balochistan has been fighting for more autonomy within Pakistan and in spite of being the largest province of Pakistan, it is the least developed.
"Pakistan is urbanising quickly with 40% urbanisation but 75% of Balochistan's population still remains rural," he said.
"Pakistan's overall literacy rate is 58%, but Balochistan is 41%. Literacy figures for ethnic Baloch are even worse. Urban unemployment stands at 12.5% in Balochistan compared to countrywide average of 5.9 percent in 2015," he added.
Further stressing on the issue, Haqqani added that Balochistan should not be left aside to become a battleground for rival external powers.
"The people of Balochistan deserve better than being oppressed by Rawalpindi and Islamabad or being used as pawns in international great games," he said.
He added that instead of attacking and destroying the Baloch, Sindhis, Pashtun, or Muhajirs, the Pakistani military establishment should focus on eliminating safe havens for international terrorists like Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban. (ANI)