UK Advertising Authority rules against Pakistan’s attempt to shut down the #Freebalochistan Campaign

The World Baloch Organisation has recently received an e-mail from the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), regarding the complaint made by The High Commission of Pakistan about the #FreeBalochisan human rights awareness campaign in London. The High Commission of Pakistan, according to the e-mail, claimed that the campaign was offensive to the Pakistani diaspora and an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.


The ASA Council, however, stood by freedom of expression and affirmed that the #FreeBalochistan campaign is in no breach of the UK Advertising Code. The Council acknowledged that the campaign’s slogans are “an invitation to find out more about a particular political cause”, representing no threat to the sovereignty or the territorial integrity of Pakistan and no offence to the public.


The ASA has informed that, therefore, they will not pursue the matter. This decision, made by the highest authority on advertising in the United Kingdom, only confirms that the earlier ban of WBO’s adverts by Transport for London (TfL) was made on a discriminatory basis as a result of pressure from the Pakistani authorities.


WBO’s spokesman, Mr Bhawal Mengal, has released a statement (video below) in which he thanks the campaign’s supporters and the positive feedback that #FreeBalochistan received throughout its implementation. Mr Mengal reaffirmed the right of all peoples to advocate for their freedom and their identity and, furthermore, invited the public to learn more about Balochistan.