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Pakistan Observer

Published Date: Dec 27, 2011


Speakers at a seminar, here on Monday, called for concerted efforts by government and media to restore peace in Pakistan’s largest yet neglected province, Balochistan.
Major demands of the participants included immediate ending of operation in the province, recovery of missing persons, end to target killings and judicial investigation into violence as well as abuse of human rights. The seminar on ‘Human rights situation in Balochistan’, jointly organised by Sungi Development Foundation (SDF) and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) was a follow up event of a national conference on Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package.
Speaking at the conference, Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo (NP) said that “even today, Balochistan presents a picture eighteenth century when there was no concept of human rights at all.” The resentment of Baloch people has genuine reasons because, two years later the much-hyped Balochistan package was announced, the province continues to count its missing persons and bullet-riddled bodies are found in Balochistan, which only adds to the life of fear in the province, he observed. “History of deception and broken promises, exploitation and deprivation of Baloch people started soon after the partition when Pakistan deviated from Quaid’s principles, maintained Sheikh Asad Rahman of SDF while highlighting resistance movement in Balochistan.
Nasreen Azhar, member of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) urged government to take serious notice of issues of missing persons and demanded that law and order situation must be handled by police instead of Frontier Constabulary.
Professor Asim Sajjad Akhtar of Workers Party Pakistan said that “Pakistan should end its colonial attitude and policy towards Balochistan to end unprecedented unrest and violence.” He also shared a documentary on Balochistan titled ‘negotiation at gun point’ with the participants, which highlighted gross human rights violations in the province and interviews of violence victims.
Faisal Nadeem Gorchani, Advocacy Officer of SDPI said that “Balochistan requires open and sincere debate in the mainstream public domain so that the decades old grievances of this internal challenge can be peacefully addressed.”
Highlighting vast unexploited natural and energy resources, and importance of location of Balochistan, Gorchani said there is an urgent need for sincere and meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders for the resolution of the worsening internal conflict so that Pakistan as whole and Balochistan in particular could benefit and prosper. The participants also demanded protection for the lives of journalists and urged media to focus on Balochistan.