Campaign highlighting HR abuses in Balochistan during Pakistan PM’s US visit

July 22, 2019

Baloch groups have launched an awareness campaign in Washington DC in a bid to highlight the alarming human rights situation in Pakistan. This comes as Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives in city on his 3-day US visit during which he is said to meet with President Trump.

As part of the campaign mobile billboards outside the White House and Capitol Hill are urging President Trump to help ensure an end to Pakistan’s human rights abuses particularly enforced disappearances in Balochistan. Earlier similar billboards were  seen outside and the Capital One Arena where Pakistan’s Premier was attending the largest ever gathering of Pakistani’s overseas. The billboards are said to stay running during Imran Khan’s 3-day official visit.

The campaign aims to bring to the attention of the US administration and the American taxpayers the blatant misuse of billions of dollars worth of US Aid in which economic and military aid provided to strengthen the fight against terrorism was instead used in the persecution of secular and progressive people in Balochistan who have been struggling for their basic human rights for decades.

The campaign urges the US administration to ensure US taxpayers money is not being diverted to crush peaceful, political voices of ethnic and religious minorities in Pakistan.

The World Baloch Organization and Baloch Republican Party, the groups behind the campaign, have recently carried out a full-fledged campaign in the United Kingdom, during the Cricket World Cup.

According to official Pakistani figures, 5000 people have gone missing within the last ten years after being abducted by the state forces. Unofficial figures put the number much higher, up to 20,000 from Balochistan alone where Pakistani forces have been involved in a continuous military operation to counter the Baloch people’s struggle for rights, justice and equality.

Ethnic groups and religious minorities like the Baloch, Sindhi, Mohajir, Pashtun, Ahmadi, Shia and others are the primary victims of illegal abductions & enforced disappearances in Pakistan.

International human rights groups such as the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have published extensive reports on cases of enforced disappearances & other massive human rights abuses in Balochistan. The reports term the enforced disappearances & extrajudicial murders the “Kill and Dump” policy by the Pakistani forces.

The organizers of the campaign have long been engaged in efforts to highlight the worsening human rights situation in Balochistan at international platforms, organising events around Europe and in the United States and focusing on advocacy activities in the European Parliament, the US parliamentary houses, and the United Nations.

The WBO and the BRP are non-violent and democratic organisations led by Baloch individuals, dedicated to raising awareness of the dire situation of human rights in Balochistan.