H.E. Mr. Antonio Gueterres
Subject: Pakistan Visit and Humanitarian Crisis in Balochistan
Dear Mr. Antonio,
After the Second World War, the formation of the United Nations brought new hopes for solving world problems through this institution. It was at this junction of history, that many colonial powers were weakened and could not maintain control over their colonies. Consequently, many new states came into existence. India was declared free from British colonialism and Balochistan gained its independence as a free state. But the freedom was shortlived and new-born neighbour Pakistan with its inherited British military power invaded and occupied Balochistan and forced the people into slavery eversince.
This happened only two years after the foundation of the United Nations. The people of Balochistan were not only robbed of their freedom but also exploited of marine and land resources for the next many decades. It started a systematic genocide of the Baloch people that has increased in the past 20 years following encouragement it has drawn from the silence of United Nations on the blazing matter.
Today, Pakistan, the murderer of oppressed nations and perpetrator of global terrorism, has time and again demonstrated zero regards for being a member state of the UN. It neither meets the historical and cultural requirements of a state nor does it have the legitimacy of a confederation formed with a mutual accord among nations. It is established on the basis of religious fundamentalism and anti-humanitarianism.
Your Excellency, on the occasion of your visit to Pakistan, we the people of Balochistan want to remind you that as an occupied nation, we have strong hopes that you will address the ongoing genocide, the war crimes and the horrific crimes against humanity in Balochistan.
But so far, it seems your visit was limited to knowing only Islamabad’s narrative and the lies of Pakistani rulers to cover up their crimes. Your Highness, this amounts to a historic injustice to the people of Balochistan.
Your visit is at a time when Pakistani forces and intelligence agencies are committing genocide with impunity and the ground for Baloch political voices has almost been eliminated.
The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has confirmed requests for thousands of forced disappearances of people from different walks of life in Balochistan. These are cases where families have risked serious danger in filing their cases with the group. The number of disappeared over the years has exceeded 40,000.
Top government officials in the past including Federal Home Minister Aftab Sherpao, former Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti and Secretary Interior Akbar Hussain Durrani have openly acknowledged to the media about the arrest of more than 20,000 people during their tenures. No missing has been brought forward or to the court. Similarly, a devastating high number of extrajudicial killings has surpassed 5,000 dead, tortured bodies. According to a BBC report, more than 1,000 Baloch were killed by state forces from 2011 to 2016 alone.
In 2014, 169 bodies were discovered from three mass graves in Khuzdar. Only three of the dead were identified as “missing”, those who were abducted from different areas by the Pakistani Army. The rest of the bodies were neither identified nor sent to have their DNA tests done.
Pashtuns and Sindhis are also suffering from nothing less but genocide. Like the Baloch, thousands of Pashtuns and hundreds of Sindhis have been killed or imprisoned in Pakistan’s army prisons.
Your Excellency, in Mastung, people have setup a cemetery that has been named as the graveyard of “Unknown People”. The fact is that these are the missing persons who were brutally killed by the Pakistan Army. To this day, the state of Pakistan has denied DNA tests of these bodies, because doing so will prove their disappearance and in many cases further validate the witnesses accounts of their abduction by the army and state’s intelligence agencies.
Things got even worse when China stepped in and became a partner with Pakistan for exploiting Balochistan’s resources and its strategic position. After China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC) was announced, Pakistan army shifted its Jihadi proxies to Balochistan to crush the Baloch national movement. The idea was to contaminate Balochistan’s secular society and its religious tolerance. Many extremist organizations, including ISIS, have regular training camps and launchpads in Balochistan under the direct supervision of the Pakistan Army.
Recently, Pakistan’s current Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he will sell Balochistan’s resources and pay for Pakistan’s debts.
These so-called development projects depriving the locals of their rights and are greatly destroying the environment. Pakistan’s apathetic approach could be drawn from its nuclear tests conducted in 1998 where the state did not even bother to evacuate locals from the surrounding areas. Balochistan has the highest cancer rate in the world and until today, the state does not allow any research and documentation with regards to cancer caused by these nuclear tests.
Your Excellency, the burning issue at the moment is the danger of turning the Baloch population of Gwadar into a minority in their own land. Under CPEC millions of people from China and Pakistan are planned to be settled in Gwadar. This is to ensure a demographic change further to their drastic plans. In the first phase, the populations on the sides of the CPEC project route have been forcibly displaced. Pakistan has transformed Balochistan into a “No Go” area. Human rights organizations, social workers and the international media have been banned from entering Balochistan for the past twenty years.
We request you to visit Balochistan on the issues of missing persons, extrajudicial killings, exploitation of our national resources and the environmental disaster underway due to the state’s destructive policies.
Baloch National Movement (BNM)