In another case of human rights abuse, the Pakistani Army has been accused of kidnapping two students from Balochistan. According to the local Baloochi media, two students were kidnapped from the Kech district in Balochistan.
Another local media report said that one of the students, identified as Jahanzeb, was a student at the University of Lasbela, Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences (LUAWMS) while the other, Nasir Pollan, was a missing Bahauddin Zakaria University student in Multan. . According to local media, the two students were abducted on May 10 (Sunday) and since then they have not been able to be tracked.
Thousands of students and professionals have been lost and subjected to forced disappearances by the Pakistani Army in response to the legitimate request of the Baloch people to exercise their right to self-determination.
A journalist from Baloch from Pakistan, Sajid Hussain, who lives in Sweden in exile was found dead in Uppsala about 60 kilometers from Stockholm in Sweden recently. His body was found on April 23 in the Fyris river outside the city of Uppsala. Originally from Balochi, Hussain worked as a part time professor at Uppsala when he disappeared since the first week of March.
His sudden disappearance has raised many questions because many believe that at a time when the world needs attention to deal with the COVID-19 corona virus, the Pakistani Army and the Pakistan Inter-Intelligence Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) are busy silencing Pakistani critics.
Hussain fled to Sweden in 2012 when Pakistani agents began searching for his residence and questioned his family members after his report highlighted human rights violations in Balochistan by the Pakistani Army. Hussain first moved to the Gulf countries then after some time he finally settled in Sweden.
“When a new wave of” killing and discarding policies “emerged, and the problem of enforced disappearance once again struck Pakistan’s turbulent province, Balochistan, Hussain had to leave the country in 2012. For years after that, he lived like a wanderer, a refugee, spend time in one country and then move to another. “It was not an easy decision to leave friends and family at home – his wife, 9-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son, whom he loved very much,” Shah Meer Balooch said in an article written in The Diplomat.
Sajid Hussain is not alone. There have been a series of attacks from Pakistani journalists and activists who are known for criticizing Pakistan. Pakistani blogger Ahmad Waqas was attacked by two men outside his home in Rotterdam in Europe in February.
Criticism of the Pakistani Army and ISI is not permitted in Pakistan and an unprecedented crackdown on the press has forced many people to look for refugees abroad.
The latest report by the Pakistan Human Rights Commission (HRCP) observes that Pakistan’s human rights record in 2019 is “very worrying and the ongoing global pandemic is likely to provide a long shadow on the prospects for human rights. The HRCP in its report also notes police extortion, rejection to register the first information report (FIR), and torture of detainees appeared in all provinces.
A report from the USA Freedom Network about press freedom revealed that since 2000, a total of 133 Pakistani journalists have been killed. The legal process in all 33 journalist murder incidents that occurred from 2013 to 2019 has been documented and the findings are 100 percent impunity for the murderers, zero justice for the 33 journalists killed.
A Pakistani-British journalist, Gul Bukhari who is known for criticizing the Pakistani Army was kidnapped in June 2018 from Lahore and detained for several hours by the Pakistani Army. Then they denied their involvement in the Bukhari abduction. He was asked to appear before the authorities for questioning. He left Pakistan and has now settled in England.
Pakistan has become one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. In recent years, dozens of prominent journalists have been forced to leave their organizations or they were not permitted to write articles against the Pakistani Army.
In an effort to create greater international awareness about the destruction of almost the people of Balochistan, a campaign was launched by activists under the banner of the Baloch Human Rights Council in Geneva. A pavilion was set up outside the UN Office in Geneva, next to an iconic broken chair named “Save the Baloch”.
Council activists demand that the United Nations must conduct an immediate and comprehensive investigation into the actions of the Pakistani government in Balochistan, and must hold Pakistan accountable for the horrific human rights violations of the people of Balochistan.
Today, Baloch faces endless stories of humiliation, destruction and sadness. Mass graves have been found throughout Balochistan; the death squad kidnaps social and political activists and human rights defenders, who are then killed and thrown into this mass grave. Military repression is the main tactic used by Pakistan to maintain its unjust government of Baloch.
Balochistan people have never been asked if they want to be part of Pakistan. Also, they never gave their consent to have their territory annexed into a fundamentalist hotbed, Pakistan. The Pakistani government has denied their right to self-determination.
Pakistan encourages the narrative that the people of Balochistan are happy – that they want to be part of Pakistan. This narrative is baseless and undermines Baloch’s true life experience
Defending the rights of the people of Balochistan is not an option – it is an obligation. In the words of one of the protesters, “Freedom for Balochistan has long been delayed, but cannot and will not be denied.”
Because of these violations and the lack of a UN response, the UN has failed its own mandate to protect and fight for human rights throughout the world. The silence of the United Nations on this issue is basically the support of this cultural eradication of genocidal proportions.