Pot calling the kettle black: Baloch leaders on Pakistan

ANI | Updated: Sep 20, 2017 17:47 IST

London [U.K.], September 20 (ANI): The Baloch leadership has attacked Pakistan's attempts to paint the Baloch liberation movement as act of terrorism as "the pot calling the kettle black."

In a sharply-worded statement issued by the Baloch National Movement in London today, Hammal Hyder, the spokesperson for the movement, said that Pakistan has made another attempt to suppress the voice of all Baloch nationalists, this time on foreign soil.

"In the last few days, the Pakistan Foreign Office has put diplomatic pressure on the Swiss government to take an action against the display of posters titled 'Free Baluchistan', during the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in Geneva," Hyder added.

He mentioned that a protest letter, written by Farukh Amil, Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, charged the Swiss government of allowing 'terrorists and violent secessionists' to use Swiss soil for their 'nefarious designs', even alluding that the Geneva local authorities had probably received a 'fee' for the display of these posters.

Further, the Swiss Ambassador in Islamabad was summoned to the Foreign Office, and a protest lodged, ostensibly for allowing a terrorist organisation, proscribed in Pakistan, to display 'anti-Pakistan' posters in Geneva.

Hyder asserted that "after the brutal suppression of the Baloch voice in Pakistan, I look at this Pakistan government action as an attempt to muzzle the Baloch also internationally, so as to prevent them from raising their voice against the ongoing genocide being committed by the Pakistan army, in Balochistan."

"The Pakistani security forces and intelligence agencies continue to abduct and kill thousands of Baloch activists, journalists and innocent civilians with impunity. Very little news on this systematic persecution of the Baloch, finds mention in the world press, or is brought to the attention of world leaders and U.N. bodies," he further said.

Hyder said that the Baloch people, who have escaped persecution in Pakistan, now consider their responsibility to throw light on Pakistan's ongoing conduct of human rights violation in Balochistan.

"We, the Baloch people, who have escaped Pakistani persecution and are now living in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, the U.A.E., or elsewhere, consider it our responsibility to inform the international community of the ongoing human rights violations in Balochistan, and demand our right to self determination," he said.

"We have been using various platforms like the U.N. to draw attention to the plight of our Baloch brothers and sisters in their own land. However, it now appears that Pakistan wants to rob us of even this basic right to freedom of expression, internationally," Hyder added.

Terming Pakistan's accusation on Switzerland of supporting terrorism ironic, he said, "What is ironic is that the Pakistan government, and specifically its army and intelligence services, which are well-known worldwide as sponsors of terror groups, are now accusing Switzerland, a well-known champion and protector of human rights, of allowing its territory to be used by terrorist groups."

He further exposed Pakistan military's stand of using radical Islamic terror groups as proxies against its adversaries, whether Afghan, Baloch, or even the U.S.

"In his recent policy announcement, U.S. President Donald Trump has categorically called Pakistan a safe haven for terrorists. Even China, Pakistan's closest ally, has not shied away from signing off on a BRICS declaration that mentions terror groups being harboured in Pakistan," Hyder said.

He further asserted that, "This reaction by the Pakistani government, targetting the Baloch campaign for freedom, should be seen as a response of a state that has for years gotten away with gross human rights violations against minorities and other ethnic groups."

"It is a country that has denied these communities even basic social, economic and political rights. The people of Balochistan repose immense faith on the principles of justice and rights that embodies the United Nations. We trust that Pakistan, a country that has committed serious crimes against humanity, will not be able to pressurise the Swiss government to silence the Baloch voice," he added. (ANI)