Foreign-backed Human Rights Violations in Balochistan
By Sajjad Shaukat
While some foreign elements have already been assisting their affiliated militant groups and agents in conducting subversive acts such as suicide attacks, abductions, targeting killings, ethnic and sectarian violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Karachi including other cities of Pakistan, the situation in the province of Balochistan has deteriorated.
As part of psychological warfare, a deliberate propaganda has been accelerated by the foreign-based NGOs, human rights groups and media, with the secret support of US, India and Israel which want to separate Balochistan from the federation of Pakistan to obtain their secret strategic designs. In this regard, with the help of Baloch separatist leaders who have taken refuge in western countries, these external entities are perennial launching false campaign about the human rights violations in Balochistan so as to distort the image of Islamabad and its security agencies.
In this respect, recently, a demonstration was held outside the United Nations in Genva on the occasion of the 19th session of UN Human Rights Council to condemn the human rights violations in Balochistan and to end military operation there. The demonstrators who stood outside the UN building for two hours, displaying placards, called for the accountability of the Pakistan’s security and intelligence agencies for the missing persons. Apperently, the demonstration was organised and led by Mehran Baloch, Balochistan’s representative at the United Nations and Noordin Mengal, but in fact, it was arranged by anti-Pakistan NGOs, human rights groups and Indo-Israeli lobbies with the cladestine assistance of America.
Addressing the rally, Mehran Baloch said that the Pakistan is acting criminally by the military operation in Balochistan. He called on the international community to take notice of the extrajudicial killings in the province by the military and country’s intelligence agencies, especially ISI. He also requested for international support and that of the UN for independence of Balochistan. The other Baloch separtists’ leaders and speakers of human rights groups also repeated similar accusations. Like other Baloch leaders, Mehran Baloch remarked that the support, shown by the US Senators to the Baloch cause was a step in the right direction and called on the European countries to follow the suit.
Meanwhile, Baloch activists staged a demonstration in London in front of US Embassy on March 4 this year to express their gratitude to three American Congressmen, Dana Rohrabacher, Louie Gohmert and Steve King who tabled a bill before the US Congress in February, calling for the right of self-determination for Balochistan, while blaming Pakistan’s security institutes for extrajudicial killings and missing persons.
It is mentionable that the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council started on 26th February and will end on 23rd March 2012. Before the session, with the backing of anti-Pakistan foreign elements, exiled Balochs had already planned to intensify their movement at the international level. The session of the UN started soon after the US Congressional hearing about Balochistan. American government has distanced itself from the steps taken by these Congressmen, but the move had covert support of some US officials. The resolution has encouraged Baloch separatist groups who are now actively lobbying the lawmakers of the European Parliament for a similar move.
Notably, at a briefing in Palais des Nations hosted by Mehran Baloch and attended by international observes, parliamentarians including Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) delegation, a European Parliament member Richard Czarnecki who announced that he would table a similar resolution at the EU parliament soon calling for support to the Baloch nationalists. Bharmadagh Bugti, who has sought asylum in Switzerland and lives near the UN Human Rights Council building, is regularly holding secret meetings with delegates from different countries, lobbying against Pakistan.
During the session on Balochistan at the UN forum, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue “arrest warrants against Pakistani military and political leaders” who are involved in “crimes” in Balochistan.
There is no doubt that due to their strong media and influential lobbies in world, US-led some western countries have succeeded in internationalisation of the human rights violations in Balochistan, accusing Pak Army and ISI, but ground realties are quite different. The facts behind extrajudicial killings and the missing persons of the province cannot be changed through a false propaganda. In this context, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of Balochistan gets arms and ammunition from CIA and RAW. Their militants kidnapped and massacred many innocent people who include teachers, professors, lawyers, Shias and the security personnel in the province. Many persons in Balochistan have also been killed in suicide attacks and bomb blasts. On a number of occasions, BLA, Jundollah and other separatist groups claimed responsibility for these criminal activities. In the past few years, Jundollah’s insurgents, with the cooperation of foreign agents, kidnapped and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan. They also arranged subversive acts in the Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan. In this respect, Tehran had directly named CIA for funding of terrorist attacks.
A majority of the disappeared individuals are also in the detention centres (Farrari Camps) which are being run by Baloch feudal lords (Sardars). With the assistance of US-led India and Israel, these Sardars are fighting for their so-called prestige status and influence, and want to continue old system of feudalism in the province.
It is mentionable that Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Army Spokesman Maj-Gen. Athar Abbas have repeatedly disclosed that militants are being sent to Balochistan from Afghanistan as part of a conspiracy against Pakistan. During Swat and Malakand military operations, huge cache of arms made of America and India were captured from these insurgents who are responsible for inhuman torture, forced kidnappings and other human rights violations in Balochistan. In the recent past, Rehman Malik pointed out that during his trip to Afghanistan, he emphasised upon President Hamid Karzai to close Baloch training camps. In that background, Brahmdagh Bugti and some other Baloch so-called nationalists left Afghanistan and went to western countries.
Particularly, on July 23, 2008, Brahmdagh Bugti told the BBC that they had the right to accept foreign aid and arms from anywhere including India. Recently, during the related session of the UN in Geneva, Baloch so-called leaders Mehran Baloch, Dr Allah Nazar Baloch and Hyrbyair Marri, while interacting with foreign media and addressing meetings stated that for the independence of Balochistan, they would also welcome help from India. They also opposed Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, saying that even America had not objected to it. Notably, recently Islamabad rejected US pressure to abandon this pipeline project.
We cannot see the foreign-backed human rights violations in Balochistan in isolation as it is part of the strategic game in the region. Although the province is replete with mineral resources, yet its ideal geo-strategic location with Gwadar seaport, connecting the world with Central Asia, irks the eyes of US and India. It is due to multiple strategic benefits that the US which signed a nuclear deal with India, intends to control Balochistan as an independent state—merging it with Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan so as to counterbalance China and contain Iran. Therefore, America and India are creating instability in Pakistan by backing Baloch separatists to complete their hidden agenda.
Media reports suggest that the leaders of separatist Baloch groups, who are living in self-exile in London, have been found to be holding secret meetings with the Indian diplomats there. They have been living in highly expensive flat which has become a centre of their covert activities. These Baloch leaders have very costly vehicles and regularly visit US and other western counties. They get anti-Pakistan propaganda material printed in London and using different channels to distribute it in various parts of Balochistan. They obtain tickets for their frequent foreign visits from an Indian travel agent in London, who reportedly receives payments from the Indian High Commission. Indirectly, Indian RAW sends money for all their financial expenses. Now CIA also gives them money.
Nonetheless, during the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Baloch separatist leaders, NGO representatives and other anti-Pakistan elements decided to stay in Geneva to organise and participate in various demonstrations, seminars and meetings, while interacting with human rights activists of various western countries so as to distort the image of Pakistan, its army and superior agency in relation to human rights violations which are, in fact, backed by the same foreign elements to dismember Pakistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations