Voice of Baloch Missing Persons Long March Participant Farzana Majeed response to Pakistani Journalists in Islamabad - with English Subtitles translated by Rashid Baloch.
A former government minister from Balochistan whose son was abducted last year on August 30—the International day of the Disappeared – has in a moving letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appealed to him to step in into Balochistan to safeguard the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) clause of the U.N. law.
“Prime facie Pakistan has been committing crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing of Baloch nation without considering the emerging norms of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ according to world summit outcome document of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty,” Kachkol Ali, former fisheries minister, who was thrice elected to the provincial legislature said in his comprehensive letter to the U.N. secretary general.Ali’s son Nabeel Ahmad, 21, was forcibly disappeared by Pakistan’s dreaded Inter-Services Intelligence after he addressed meetings at the Palace of Nations in Geneva. The security forces earlier illegally occupied his two houses that were serving as girls hostels in Turbat. However, Balochistan chief minister Abdul Malik, who had worked with him in the past and had known him for more than a quarter century, looked the other way.
Ali, who is a leader of the commoners party called Baloch National Movement, said in 2005 the General Assembly adopted the 2005 Outcome Document of the World Summit. “The adoption of paragraphs 138–139 represents a commitment on the part of the General Assembly to the basic principle of the Responsibility to Protect, though this was limited in scope to genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.” He said the Security Council recently passed two resolutions confirming a commitment to the principles of the Responsibility to Protect. “The UN Security Council Resolution 1674, concerning the protection of civilian populations in armed conflict, reaffirmed paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 Outcome Document regarding the Responsibility to Protect civilians from genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.” He said another document Security Council Resolution 1706, concerning the situation in Sudan and the establishment of an international peacekeeping mission also applies to what is happening in Balochistan.
“There has been a regular, planned and systemic campaign against Baloch people in terms of summary executions, liquidation, persecution, sexual violence, sodomy, torture, maiming and enforced disappearances, custodial killing, displacement and kill and dump. These (actions) amount to crimes against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute, which set up the International Criminal Court,” Ali, who is a lawyer a book enthusiast said. Ali said, “Regrettably, the state`s failure to hold even a single perpetrator of enforced disappearance to account perpetuates the culture of impunity in Pakistan. Even, in this spirit, the Inspector General of Police of Balochistan candidly stated before Balochistan High Court that security forces especially FC (Frontier Corps) is involved in enforced disappearance in Balochistan.” He said a concrete evidence to this large scale of killing of innocent Baloch people is the incident of the discovery of mass graves, further exposing the unimaginable atrocities of Pakistani security forces in terms of Baloch genocide. “Around 169 mutilated bodies were discovered from the mass graves site in Tootak area of Khuzdar which shocked the conscience of world community,” he said. “Concrete evidence proves that these mass grave victims were among 20,000 innocent political activists, who were subjected to enforced disappearance and remained illegally detained in the custody of the Pakistan security forces,” Ali said. “Another 3,000 have been summarily executed,” he added.
He said to draw attention of world community relatives of victims of enforced disappearances had launched a historical long march of a distance of 3000 kilometers, from Quetta on October 27th 2013 and ended in Islamabad on 28 February – passing through Karachi-- under the leadership of Mama Qadir Baloch and Farzana Majid, leaders of the Voice of Baloch Missing Persons. He said the marchers met with the officials of United Nations and Ambassadors of European Union, who showed sympathy for the long marchers. “But the Foreign Office disliked that meeting and in protest summoned EU Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark (to the foreign office to demand an explanation). Meanwhile, Mr. Wigemark, who is now EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Head of the European Union's Delegation in Sarajevo, in a statement at that time asked Pakistan to fulfill its pledge of fully implementing 27 international human rights conventions, and humanitarian laws Islamabad had signed and ratified and made as part of its GSP commitments.
“Pakistan is seriously and flagrantly violating the provisions of 10 core covenants, conventions and instruments which have been incorporated in the adopted resolution by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 2005, in respect of the Basic Principles and Guidance on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for victims of gross violations of international Human Rights Law and serious violation of international humanitarian law,” the former minister said.Ali said all the States that are members of United Nations, they are bound to observe international laws in letter and spirit. He said the rule of law requires compliance by the state with its obligations in international law as its national law. Unfortunately, Pakistan neither respects international human rights law nor does she follow her own law of the land.
He alluded to the brutal murder of a noted human rights defender, activist and feminist Sabeen Mahmud in Karachi, commercial capital of Pakistan. She had invited Mama Qadeer, Farzana Majeed and Mir Mohammed Ali Talpur. He said Mahmud, 40, director of The Second Floor or T2F, a venue for discussing burning political issues, was assassinated on 24 April, minutes after she organized an event called “Unsilencing Balochistan” in defiance of Pakistan’s infamous Inter-Services Intelligence order not to do so. Her mother was injured in the gun attack.He told the UN secretary general the same event was convened at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) on April 9, 2015 but the security forces threatened the administration to university not to hold the event, due to which the event was canceled.He said the University of Karachi arranged a program on May 7, 2015 and invited the Baloch speakers, but again in display of the same mannerism the ISI ordered te university not to convene any program in connection with Baloch victims of enforced disappearances. He said the university didn't let them enter the auditorium but the professors and students held the talk outside the entrance of university.He said it was pertinent to mention that the ISI did not allow Mama Qadeer and Farzana Majeed to travel to USA for the precise reason they were invited to talk at a program in New York. Ali said the security forces were afraid of that if they travel to USA the Baloch speaker will raise the issue of enforced disappearances there. “Therefore they were embargoed to travel aboard on March 6, 2015.”
Baloch leaders extradition
Ali said on the one hand actually Pakistan has been committing international terrorism in terms of Baloch genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crime against humanity in terms of Baloch people, on the other hand, with nefarious design and cunning is approaching the world community specially the UK and Switzerland governments to expel the Baloch leaders from their lands. Ali hoped the civilized world has familiarity with what is going on in Balochistan. “Unfortunately, their (Western) miserable behavior and role are questionable. The world community is negating the word ‘civilized’ because civilized means the nations who respect the basic human rights. But what we are observing in the so-called civilized world is that they are not performing their (Right to Protect) responsibility. Instead of questioning Pakistan why she has been committing international substantive crimes, she is approaching UK and Switzerland about Baloch leaders and demanding from them to hand over the Baloch leaders to Pakistan.
He said the Baloch leaders are Refugee,according to Article1(a) (2) of the Convention of Refugees, the term refugee shall apply to any person who, owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country. Article 33 of Convention of Refugees says no contracting state shall expel or return (refouler) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. Ali asked the UN secretary general whether the world has not been observing what is happening with low profile political activists and workers in Balochistan and said even the security forces do not spare a progressive human rights defender like Sabeen Mahmud, who arranged debate and discussion on Balochistan. “To expel high profile Baloch leaders as such as Nawab Brahumdag Bugti and Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri and hand them over them to Pakistan its tantamount to providing the security forces a field for their elimination.”
In conclusion, Ali said keeping in view the prevailing circumstances his party the Baloch National Movement appeals to Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to refer the matter of atrocities of Pakistan security forces to the Advisers of Responsibility to Protection (R2P) for investigation and inquiry in terms of Baloch genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crime, crime against humanity. He further prayed that the demand of Pakistan in connection of with deportation of Nawab Brahandag Bugti and Hyrbyair Marri may kindly be condemned and discouraged .The copies of the paper were sent to the ambassadors of western countries and international NGOs for information and cognizance .