Long live free and united Balochistan

Long live free and united Balochistan

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U.S. must condemn Pakistan for Balochistan atrocities, Deamer urges Sen. Casey Continue reading on Examiner.com U.S. must condemn Pakistan for Balochistan atrocities,...Ahmar Mustikhan

A four-member team led by Laurie Deamer, presiding council member of the American Friends of Balochistan, has sought the help of Senator Robert Casey to get justice for the Baloch people in Occupied Balochistan.

The team met with Casey's staffers at the U.S. Capitol. Casey who is chairman of the Senate's Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee was represented by Damian Murphy and Michelle Warren.

The team met Casey's staff as part of A.F.B.'s observance of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2011:

In her missive to Casey, Deamer brought up the following points:

“Since 2005, the 5th military operation started against the Baloch people in Balochistan. There are 1, 300 documented missing Baloch persons and more than 8, 000 Baloch had gone missing throughout Balochistan at one point or another but Pakistan judiciary is blindly ignoring these enforced disappearances and neither is the international community holding such human rights abusers regimes accountable.“1

“Balochistan has a long history of civil and armed unrest since the creation of Pakistan in 1947 and Balochistan's invasion and forced annexation in May 1948, with ethnic Baloch groups advocating greater autonomy within the state or complete separation.”2

“Balochistan holds the largest single source of domestic energy reserves in Pakistan, but Baloch groups argue these resources disproportionately benefit other provinces and ethnic communities.”3

“[T]here is a strong movement for autonomy by its people, who want their share of the province's natural resources. They also want a say in local governance, which is being blocked by Pakistan’s government.”4

“The Baloch people remain one of the poorest communities within Pakistan with some of the lowest literacy and employment rates and life expectancies.5”

Generally, security forces of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan – in particular the Frontier Corps, Military Intelligence and Inter-Services Intelligence -- have been engaging in the torture, enforced disappearance and killing of people from Balochistan, with journalists, teachers, political activists, students and human rights defenders, being targeted in particular.6

Since July, 2010, nearly 200 extra-judicial killings have been documented. “Most of the victims belong to the Baloch National Front, a coalition of eight different pro-independence organizations. More than a dozen belong to the Balochistan National Party, which advocates the right of self-determination and autonomy.”7

The victims' relatives primarily blame the Pakistani Frontier Corps and intelligence services. Security forces deny the allegations and blame fighting between conflicting Baloch militant groups.8

Family members of opposition fighters are being targeted for disappearances and killings by Pakistani security forces.9 This has created a climate of fear for the families of the disappeared.10

Several lawyers have been the victims of extrajudicial killings and disappearances for acting as defence counsel for Baloch political and human rights activists. Evidence of the use of torture is also reported.11

Baloch political leaders have also been targeted by Pakistani security forces.12

Police have been unwilling to investigate cases of disappearances and killings. They are reported to have been present during abductions and to be colluding with Pakistani security forces.13

Deamer asked Casey to urgently act on behalf of the Baloch people and consider introducing a resolution condemning Islamabad’s treatment of its Baloch citizens, in the same way that you cosponsored the May 2011 resolution holding Syrian president Bashar Al Assad accountable for escalation of the conflict within his borders and human rights violations of his people. You urged Congress and President Obama to "…stand in solidarity with the Syrian people during this dark period in the country's history and support their efforts to bring about democratic change." The Baloch people also seek to govern themselves democratically, and they need your help in holding Islamabad accountable to the political values it claims to champion.

Deamer also brought to the notice of Casey one of the most recent victims of state-sponsored terror, beloved activist and poet Professor Saba Dashtiyari. The Baloch continue to suffer untold human losses, and most alarming (from the point of view of someone in your position, dedicated to pursuing stability in the region), is the rapid disintegration of their leadership base.

"Professor Dashtiyari was one such leader, and we implore you to use all the resources at your disposal to prevent the further depletion of valuable human capital, thereby achieving goals mutually desirable to the Baloch people and to the United States.

Dashtiyari was gunned down by unidentified persons on June 1 while on his way home. Baloch nationalists blamed the death squads of the country’s military for target killing the top scholar.

On June 25, the A.F.B. joined a local Washington D.C. group named Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition in a daylong vigil in support of the victims of torture in front of the White House.

Meanwhile, the A.F.B. has once again urged the United Nations special rapporteurs on torture, extra judicial killings, arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances to help the people of Balochistan, who want to see their country free.


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