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April 28, 2010

WASHINGTON DC: Baloch facing Pakistani atrocities, killings and forced disappearances as they struggle for independence of their homeland have found some natural allies: American nationals who say they were kidnapped by the infamous Inter Services Intelligence. 

A group of Americans who were in Pakistan at different periods will join international activists to pay tributes to more than a 1,000 Baloch missing persons or Prisoners of Conscience, who have been abducted since 2005.

Those who have been invited to come and speak at the event include Wegger Chr. Strommen, ambassador of Norway; T. Kumar, Asia director of Amnesty International; Andrew Eiva, former executive director of Federation for American Afghan Action; Ann Wright, former deputy ambassador to Afghanistan and co-author of DISSENT -- Voices of Conscience; Dr. Nazir Bhatti, founder of the Pakistan Christian Congress and publisher of Pakistan Christian Post; Tommaso N. Boggia, of Campus Progress, a project of the Center for American Progress; and Mohamad Ali Baloch, a senior Baloch activist.

The Norwegian ambassador has been invited as a Norwegian of Baloch origin, Ehsan Arjemandi, who was involuntarily disappeared by the Pakistani Military Intelligence on August 7, 2009 has not been recovered so far. Arjemandi, a Baloch human rights activist and former general secretary o the Greater Balochistan Liberation Organization in Oslo, Norway, was allegedly abudcted by a Military Intelligence team led by Major Mohammad Shahid on the Mekran Coastal highway while traveling from Mand to Karachi in Occupied Baluchistan.

The title of Friday's talk is:

Spring returns, but over 1,000 in Occupied Balochistan have not

Despite return to civilian rule, Pakistan military is still running the affairs in Occupied Balochistan in an iron-fist manner.   Earklier this month, Mahboob Wadela was abducted by the intelligence sleuths. Likewise, the fate of a prominent leader of the Baloch Students Organization [Azad] Zakir Majeed who was forcefully disappeared from Mastung on June 8, 2009 is unknown.  Dr. Deen Mohammed Baloch, a member of the central committee of the Baloch National Movement was involuntarily disappeared from Ornach on June 28, 2009. Earlier on February 13, 2009 Jalil Reki a central leader of the Baloch Republican Party was forcefully disappeared from Quetta and his whereabouts are unknown.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, "Violations of human rights in Balochistan are widespread and harrowing. Regrettably, the state has not addressed these complaints and themedia, either under pressure or on account of its own failings, has been unable to probe and report the dreadful reality on the ground. The most hair-raising are the continuing incidents of enforced disappearances. In addition to a large number of cases already taken up by HRCP, the Commission documented several new cases during this mission to Balochistan. This appears to be only the tip of the iceberg as a large number of families do not have access to any forum of protest or redress." The HRCP report clearly stated Pakistan military is still calling the shots in Balochistan. Islamabad has itself admitted nearly one thousand Baloch are still missing.

The American Friends of Balochistan, U.S.A., is of the considered view that if any Baloch freedom activist in Occupied Balochistan have violated Pakistani laws they must be produced and tried before a Pakistani court.   Texas-sized Balochistan was occupied at gunpoint on March 27, 1948 against the wishes of the Baloch people. Pakistan, now nearing failure, is an Islamic republic where only a Muslim can become the head of government and head of state, while the fiercely Baloch people do not want to mix religion with politics.

The event will be held on Friday April 30, from 12 noon to 2 pm at the DC Cafe on P and 21st Street Northwest Washington DC.
The exact address is 2035 P Street, Northwest Washington DC, Northwest

Filafil and shawarma will be served. Drinks self pay.

Public welcome to attend, but RSVP  ahmar_scribe@yahoo.com