Geneva: Exiled Baloch leader and President of Baloch Republican Party (BRP) Brahamdagh Bugti has urged international human rights groups not to ignore the worsening situation in Balochistan, the Pakistan‘s largest province.
He said incidents of enforced disappearances, torture and killings in Balochistan are on the rise, as security forces have adopted a “pick, kill and dump” policy against educated youth and political activists in the region.
Speaking exclusively to ANI, Bugti said the Balochistan crisis is as significant as what was happening in Syria, Ukraine or what took place during the Arab Spring of the last two years.
There are many international issues like Syria, Ukraine and the Arab Spring, but it does not mean that the Balochistan issue should be ignored,” said Bugti.
He added: “Earlier, I raised the issue that from 2005 till date, more than 100,000-120,000 people have been killed, and twenty thousand people are missing. That’s the reason why we request all international organizations who work for humanity and the international media, to visit these places to find out and check the truth”.
The grandson of Nawab Akbar Bugti, Brahamdagh left Balochistan in August 2006, as he was allegedly facing a life threat after the death of his grandfather from Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI.
He arrived in Switzerland in October 2010 after staying for sometime in Afghanistan and sought political asylum.
Now, fighting for the freedom of Balochistan, Brahamdagh Bugti blames Pakistan for forcefully occupying their territory in 1948.
Balochistan, which shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran, is today Pakistan’s biggest yet least populated province.
Bugti claims the United States, which has been fighting a war against terror in Afghanistan, must talk with the Baloch for peace in the region.
“As when the U.S. and NATO troops are withdrawing in this region and Balochistan plays a significant role for Afghanistan and other South-Asian countries, if you do not take the consent of Baloch people, and only speak to Pakistan and Afghanistan for long-term peace by ignoring the Baloch, I believe it will not only have a negative impact on Balochistan, but also on western countries and other people of the region”, he said.
Bugti blames the Pakistan Government for discriminating against the Baloch and exploiting the provinces’ natural resources.
He also blames Pakistani forces for compelling the Baloch to retaliate. He said, “Earlier, they (Pakistan Army) used to arrest political activists, threaten them, torture them and keep them in jail for 2-3 years. Now, they kidnap them, kill them and throw away their mutilated bodies. So, the situation has intensified, and in turn, their reactions are also increasing”.
The recent finding of unmarked graves in the Tutak area of Balochistan’s Khuzdar District reveals a tragic reality in Balochistan.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) says that 169 bodies have been recovered from the graves. Pakistani officials, however, deny these claims, arguing that the total number of bodies is only 19.