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June 14, 2009

The Baluch will resist until Baluchistan is liberated

Interfaith International in partnership with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, Baloch Human Rights Council (UK), World Sindhi Congress, Sindhi Baloch Forum and Baloch representative Noordin Mengal held a conference on Balochistan entitled “Self – Determination in Balochistan – Its Relation to Regional and Global Security” on 8th June 2009 during the 11th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The conference was presided over by Dr. Charles Graves of Interfaith International. UNPO representative Ms. Maggie Murphy introduced the Balochistan issue.

The Baloch representative to the United Nations, Noordin Mengal in his presentation gave a graphic detail of atrocities committed by Pakistani state in Balochistan since the occupation of Balochistan by Pakistani forces. He spoke on Gross Human Rights Violation in Balochistan, enforced disappearances, political assassination and target killings, mass arrests, mass killings and torture of the Baloch by Pakistani State agencies. He also shed light on Balochistan IDPs, freedom of expression and social and economical discrimination towards the Baloch by the Pakistani state. Pakistan's fifth army operation in Balochistan is continuing. During the recent military operation 2004-2009 in Balochistan, serious human rights violations have been recorded by various human rights organizations. The Pakistani state is continuously suppressing, violating and subduing the Baloch right of freedom and sovereignty. The ISI and Military Intelligence (MI) agencies are largely responsible for the arrest and disappearances of over 4000 Baloch people. Pakistan's persistent policy to physically eliminate the Baloch political leaders is alarming.

Elaborating on the Pakistani atrocities, he said that the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force by the military resulted in killing of hundreds of Baloch civilians national leaders including Baloch national heroes Nawab Akbar Bugti and Nawabzada Balach Marri. He said that Balochistan National Party (BNP) chief Akhtar Mengal was illegally detained in solitary confinement for one and half years. A renowned Baloch intellectual, political analyst and writer Mr. Jan Mohammad Dashti was critically injured in an attempt on his life in February 2009. He said that hundreds of women have been reported missing and arbitrarily detained including Zarina Marri a 23 year old schoolteacher from Kahan. Due to indiscriminate and continuous air and ground offensive by the Pakistani air force and military more than two hundred thousands of people have been displaced from Dera Bugti and Kohlu. He also shed light on the murder of Balochistan National Movement (BNM) Chairman Mr. Ghulam Muhammad, BNM Vice-Chairman Baloch Lala Munir Ahmad Baloch and Baloch Republicn Party (BRP) Joint Secretary Sher Mohammad, who were abducted by the Pakistani intelligence agencies from their lawyer's office after a court hearing on 3rd April 2009. They were blind folded, whisked away and killed by Pakistani forces. Their mutilated and decomposed bodies were found in Peedark near Turbat after six days. He also reffered to the statements by the Human Rights Commission Pakistan, Amnesty International, the United Nations and the United States in regards to the incident.

He said that Pakistan has repeatedly attempted to subdue the Baloch movement for independence by persecuting, criminalizing and assasinating Baloch political leaders and human rights campaigners, but what it has failed to understand in over 60 years is that it cannot defy the will of the people by physically eliminating leaders, suppressing their voice, or using brute state force.

He said that the Baloch have never accepted the illegal occupation of their land from day one and that the Baloch would resist it till the liberation of the Baloch nation. He said that it is imperative that the Baloch should exercise the universal right of self-determination as envisaged by the UN Charter. He appealed to the United Nations and the international community to support the Baloch nation in its just struggle for freedom, dignity and sovereignty as an independent, secular and democratic Balochistan can play a pivotal role in the regional and global security.

He said that Pakistan's eagerness to establish Gwadar port and unjustifiably construct military garrisons all over Balochistan is part of a conspiracy against the Baloch nation in which Pakistan plans to penetrate into and weaken the Baloch political, social and cultural system, further loot and plunder the Baloch nation's natural resources, encourage the immigration and settlement of a Punjabi and Muhajir population from the excessively populated Punjab and Karachi and consequently marginalize the Baloch in their own homeland. He said that military garrisons give Pakistan and its army the potential to further promote and facilitate religious fundamentalism and encourage the construction of madrassahs in sensitive and secular Baloch areas, providing a a harbor and breeding ground to radical religious elements through the state's notorious and malicious intelligence agencies, with the intention to undermine Baloch struggle and reap the rewards of the instability from foreign concerned parties, therefore endangering regional and global peace and security.

Mengal stressed that Pakistan is a strong impediment to peace, security, stabilty and genuine development in the region.

Noordin Mengal said that the recent martyrdom of legendary Baloch national heroes including Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and Nawabzada Balach Marri at the hands of the Pakistan army has taken the situation to a point of no return and has only strengthened the Baloch nation's resolve to protect its rights, defend its looted and plundered soil, uphold its national and cultural identity, ensure the security and welfare of its future generations and win its sovereignity and total independence from the the illegal occupiers (Pakistan and Iran) of Balochistan.

Ms. Surraiya Makhdoom of World Sindhi Congress expressed her solidarity with the Baloch nation and said Sindhis are also oppressed by Pakistani establishment. She highlighted the suffering and injustices of Sindhi nation by the Pakistani establishment

Mr Samad Baloch Secretary General Of Baloch Human rights Council (UK) spoke on Baloch right of self-determination and its impact on Regional & Global security. He said that the Baloch struggle for the right of self determination by implication has impacts on regional and global peace. The right of self-determination of peoples is a fundamental principle in international law and emergence of democratic and secular sovereign states in the region as a result of granting the right of self determination to the Baloch and other oppressed nations will be a counter check for the religious fundamentalist states of Pakistan and Iran and will contribute to regional and world security. He added that the Baloch consider the occupation of their land by Pakistan and Iran as illegal. The Baloch have never accepted the annexation of their newly independent state into Pakistan and adopted various forms of resistance to illegal occupation. Since the collapse of the organized resistance against the Iranian occupation in 1928, the Baloch in Iranian held territory have been resisting the occupation through political mobilization and low intensity armed movements. He emphasized that allowing the Baloch to exercise their right of self determination will lead to the achievement of this right by the other subjugated nationalities like Sindhis, Kurds, Azeris, Seraikis and other in Iran and Pakistan. He urged the international community to get involved in the conflict between the Baloch and the occupying states as it is imperative for securing a long lasting peace and security situation in the region that the unjust state boundaries should be readjusted and the divided Baloch should be united.

Mr. Nasser Boledai of Balochistan Peoples Party (Iran), Mr. Abdullah Baloch of Balochistan National Movement (Iran) Jamshed Amiri of BUFFR spoke on the brutalities of Iranian Shia state in Balochistan. They gave a detailed account of the recent mass arrests, harassment of Baloch people and the execution of innocent Baloch civilians in Zahidan. They said high level of intimidation, harassment arrests, and torture is ongoing in Balochistan by Iranian state. Peaceful protests have been suppressed, political and religious leaders have been detained unlawfully, freedom of expression and assembly is totally restricted. They exposed the crude brutalities and heinous crimes committed against humanity in Balochistan by shia state of Iran and requested the UN to take notice the naked fascism and brutalities of Tehran against the Baloch civilians and asked the UN and the international community to support the Baloch struggle for sovereignty. Munir Mengal, and a Kashmiri representative also spoke on the occasion. Tariq Sabro read a statement on behalf of Suleman Daud, the Khan Of Kalat to the conference.