A visual from the protest held outside the UN office in Geneva. Photo/ANI
A visual from the protest held outside the UN office in Geneva. Photo/ANI

Pakistan using religious extremism to counter Baloch nationalism, say activists

ANI | Updated: Mar 13, 2020 08:35 IST

Geneva [Switzerland], Mar 12 (ANI): Baloch and other human rights activists from Pakistan held a protest outside the United Nations office here to draw the attention towards growing human rights violations and the spread of religious extremism in Balochistan.
Organised by the Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC), the protesters were carrying banners like "Recover all victims of Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan", Stop the genocide in Balochistan", and "China: The new imperialist power in Balochistan."
Samad Baloch, Secretary-General of BHRC, said: "Pakistan has created a havoc in Balochistan. People's lives in the province have become difficult as they don't have rights. The civil society members have been picked up by the Pakistani military."
"They are tortured, killed and their mutilated bodies are found on the roadside. The province of Balochistan has been converted into a military garrison. Pakistan is not only a curse for its minorities, but also for its entire neighbourhood," he added.
The BHRC also organised a conference at a tent in Broken Chair titled "State-Sponsored religious extremism in Balochistan".
Speakers said that the people in Balochistan as facing threat from state-sponsored extremists.
Qambar Baloch, Information Secretary, BHRC, said: "Pakistan has been sponsoring religious terrorism by promoting Lashkar-e-Taiba, Laskar-e-Jhangvi, the ISIS - the splinter group of Taliban."
"Pakistan has been mushrooming these terrorist groups in Balochistan to counter the Baloch nationalism. But, we believe that this short-sided policy adopted by the state will not only destroy the foundations of secular democratic Baloch society but it will also have some far-reaching consequences on regional and international peace and security," Qambar said.
Qambar said that Pakistan is carrying out a systematic genocide in Balochistan. "The silence and the inaction of the United Nations has incentivised the ruling state to continue its repressive policies in Balochistan without the fear of legal repercussion."
The Baloch have been fighting for freedom from Pakistan and are facing genocide in the hands of the Pakistani Army. A large number of people are disappeared, many of whom are found dead in isolated places. (ANI)