RAISING ALARM ABOUT GROWING PUBLIC FRUSTRATION OVER ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES IN BALUCHISTAN, PAKISTAN’S RIGHTS PANEL

World News

Islamabad: According to Geo News, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has raised concerns about rising public resentment over forced disappearances, economic exclusion, restrictions on press freedom, poor administration, and claims of political manipulation by the state in Baluchistan.

According to a press report, a fact-finding expedition organised by HRCP in October 2022 noted a palpable sense of indignation among regular inhabitants, several of whom even referred to Baluchistan as a “colony” of the state during talks with the organisation.

According to the Geo News report, the mission sparked outrage over the state’s pervasive use of forced disappearances to quell dissent. This complaint was voiced in a number of talks. The widespread deployment of paramilitary checkpoints, which residents claim has created a climate of dread, especially in Makran, has compounded the unhappiness.

The mission also found that the absence of a strong legal trading ecosystem between Baluchistan and Pakistan’s neighbouring countries has increased poverty levels in the province, according to Geo News. This is despite the serious economic downturn, which prevents Baluchistan from receiving its fair share of revenues from large development projects.

According to the news report, the mission demanded that the establishment and accountability for those responsible for enforced disappearances put an immediate stop to unlawful meddling in Baluchistan’s political affairs. It also increased calls for the Baluchistan Assembly to introduce legislation to safeguard the safety and impartiality of media workers in the region.

According to the Geo News article, the mission stated that any ongoing or proposed project under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) should not have an impact on the source of livelihood for the Gwadar fisherfolk community. The Haq Do Tehreek’s requests for basic facilities must be met. It believes that all political actors need to be aware of the valid complaints of the Pashtun community, especially those involving disproportionate representation in the province assembly.

An NGO with a Paris address, the Baloch Voice Association, requested that the UN launch a thorough investigation into the cases of enforced disappearances in Balochistan and prosecute those responsible earlier in March.

The president of the Baloch Voice Association, Munir Mengal, stated during the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that people have routinely experienced discrimination and marginalisation in Pakistan’s Balochistan.

They have experienced hate speech, violence, extrajudicial killings, and Human Rights Watch has even claimed that Pakistan is committing a slow-motion genocide against the Baloch. This council needs to recognise how awful this is and act to resolve the problems, he continued.

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