Baloch are a separate nation they are not Pakistani minority: Faiz Baluch
London: The British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) launched its seminal report ‘The Targeting of ‘Minority Others’ in Pakistan’ at the House of Commons, on Tuesday, in an event hosted by Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson, Chairman of the ‘All Parties Parliamentary Group on Pakistan’.
Speaking on behalf of International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons Faiz M Baluch said that, “Baloch are not a minority group in Pakistan. They are a different nation with their own distinct identity, language and culture – their country Balochistan, an independent sovereign state, was occupied and forcefully annexed into Pakistan at gun point in 1948 against the Baloch people’s will and mandate. The Baloch have been struggling to regain their independence ever since.”
He said Pakistan was committing crimes in Balochistan that were tantamount to war crimes and genocide – meaning economic, linguistic, political and physical genocide of Baloch people.
“Pakistani security forced abducted over 14000 Baloch activists – among them nearly 700 have been killed under-custody. A further over 600 Baloch highly educated people including teachers, University professors, lawyers, doctors and poets have been target killed by the army and their hired criminal gangs who work as proxy death squads for the army. This trend – the enforced-disappearances and target killing of Baloch activists continues unabated to this day. More than 85 Baloch activists have been killed in past two – since the beginning of 2013,” Said Faiz M Baluch.
He said due to the silence of International Community, media and Human Rights Organisations Pakistan was committing heinous crimes in Balochistan.
Talking about minority groups in Balochistan, Faiz M Baluch said, these groups have been living in Balochistan from past several decades and they have never faced any problem from the Baloch people.
“The state of Pakistan and its army with the help of religious extremist groups first targets the minority groups in Balochistan and then in the name of action against attackers of these groups; the military indiscriminately bomb Baloch civilian populated areas and kills innocent people including women and children,” Faiz M Baluch said.
Mr Baluch on behalf of International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons appeal the government of United Kingdom, America and other international democratic countries to notice take of the genocide of Baloch people by Pakistan, and support the Baloch struggle for freedom.
Representative of other groups also spoke of the plight of minorities in Pakistan. Among other speakers were Desmond Fernandes, genocide expert and one of the main authors of the report, who spoke about the ongoing genocide by the state and Muslim extremists of a number of minorities, and the Baloch people.
Solicitor Jas Uppal spoke on the situation of Indian citizens arrested as alleged spies for crossing the border to Pakistan. She said many them were held incommunicado, or for years or decades beyond their original unjust sentences. She appealed to the international human rights organisations to put pressure on Pakistan to free all innocent Indian citizens who have completed their sentences so that they can reunite with their loved one.
Lynn Julius spoke on the elimination of Jews in Pakistan, and the on-going anti-Semitism in Pakistani society. She said once their used to be a Jewish community in Pakistan but since the era of General Zia-ul-Haq they became extinct and if there were still any Jews left in Pakistan they were too scared to expose their identity.
The other main author, Nathanael Lewis, spoke on the targeting of Christians in Pakistan, giving several examples of persecution that on occasion drew gasps of horror from audience members. These included the story of the rape of a two year old girl after her father refused to convert to Islam, burning alive of blasphemy victims and three brothers fatally poisoned by their employer for insisting on the full wages that had been denied them for years.
Representatives of Kurdish community, International Committee against Disappearances and South Asia Democratic Forum also participated in the meeting.