May 27, 2011
Ambassador David Jacobson
The Embassy of the United States of America
490 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8
Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Hon. Kevin M. Johnson
U.S. Consul General Toronto
360 University Avenue
Toronto, ON M5G 1S4
Subject: Letter of concern on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, its safety, and the threat of its falling into the hands of Islamic extremists and Al-Qaida linked terrorist outfits.
Today, we have gathered here to protest the 13th anniversary of Pakistan’s nuclear tests in Balochistan. A series of nuclear tests were conducted on May 28 and May 30, 1998 in the Chaghai hills of Balochistan, resulting in the displacement of thousands of Baloch nomadic tribesmen and environmental pollution of the virgin lands. The inhabitants were never compensated for their loss of land, livestock, and livelihood. Reported cases of radiation sickness, skin and blood cancer, birth defects, and respiratory problems are completely blacked out in the Pakistani media and treatment was denied for the ailments caused by the nuclear tests. Baloch nation considers the testing of the nuclear bombs as a violation of their heritage and a black day in their collective history.
Pakistan’s policy of nuclear deterrence is part of the Islamic state’s defence strategy to threaten and blackmail its neighbours and the West, and to promote its nefarious designs of regional domination through non-state terror outfits. In furthering its expansionist agenda, Pakistan’s military has also become an enemy of the peoples controlled by the state, committing gross human rights violations against civilian population.
The sovereign nation of Balochistan was occupied and divided into three areas – now controlled by Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Iran, in 1928 and Pakistan, in 1948 illegally occupied the independent nation and forcibly annexed it into their state boundaries. Since its occupation, Balochistan has been struggling for independence from the yolk of colonial control and exploitation of Islamabad and Tehran.
The human rights situation in the Iranian and Pakistani occupied Balochistan is appalling with day-to-day occurrences of enforced disappearances of civilian populace that have now surpassed 13,000 souls. In addition, torture; extra-judicial killings; summary executions; public hanging; targeted killings of political leaders; and in-custody deaths at the hands of state security forces have become rampant. The ongoing military operation across Balochistan and the adopted ‘Kill and Dump’ policy of the Pakistani military death squads have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of disappeared Baloch activists, students, journalists, doctors, teachers, and lawyers.
U.S. has helped Pakistan with $20 billion dollars of economic and military aid to fight the Global War on Terrorism and yet the top Al-Qaida leader was found and killed by U.S. Navy SEALs, living luxuriously, a stone’s throw away from the prestigious military academy in Abbotabad. Moreover, while Taliban leader, Mulla Omar and his Quetta Shura are apparently being provided a safe house by Pakistan’s intelligences services, the U.S. aid is mostly being spent on the military operation against civilians in Balochistan, to develop nuclear weapons, train militants to interfere in Afghanistan, threaten India and blackmail the West.
Based on the reports of co-ordinated terrorist attacks on Pakistan’s military headquarter, nuclear facilities, and the recent one at a naval base in Karachi, we have serious concerns regarding the safety of the country’s nuclear weapons program. Experts on the subject have predicted a serious possibility of the nuclear weapons falling into the hands of Al-Qaida linked Islamist jihadists for terror operations against India and the West. Reports also reveal that Pakistan has from 70 – 100 nuclear bombs and has been actively engaged in sharing or selling nuclear weapons technology to North Korea, Iran, and Libya.
Pakistan has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and does not abide by a no-first-use doctrine, as evidenced by former President Pervez Musharraf’s statements in May 2002. Consequently, not all of Pakistan’s nuclear facilities are under IAEA safeguards.
Pressler Amendment [section 620E(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act] requires a total cut-off of U.S. aid to Islamabad unless the President can certify that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear weapon, and that continued US aid will significantly decrease the probability of its developing one in the future.
The U.S. State Department’s report on human rights in Pakistan, issued in March, said that during 2009 “politically motivated disappearances continued, and police and security forces held prisoners incommunicado and refused to disclose their location.” In addition, the 2010 Human Rights Report on Pakistan states, “The major human rights problems included extrajudicial killings, disappearances, and torture.”
As the voice of our people, we call upon the U.S. Administration:
Stop military aid to Pakistan immediately.
- Ban the nuclear weapons program of Pakistan
- Assert diplomatic means to end the gross human rights violations against the Baloch civilians in Iran and Pakistan.
- Review US-Pakistan relationship and actively engage in building bridges with the Baloch nation.
- Support the rights and freedoms of Baloch nation and actively pursue the cases of enforced disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial killing of civilians in Balochistan
- Support human rights in the Iranian occupied Balochistan.
- Accelerate the process of stopping Iran becoming a nuclear weapon state.
Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada)
International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (Canada)
International Centre for Peace and Democracy