Brussels: Human rights campaigner Noordin Mengal and Baloch Peoples Party representative Nasser Boladai, representatives of the Baloch people in Pakistan and Iran respectively, made a visit to Brussels to raise awareness of the ongoing human rights violations against Baloch people in the two countries, and to urge the European Union to take measures against the unrelenting systematic suppression exercised by the Pakistani and Iranian authorities.
The meetings allowed the Baloch representatives to engage in constructive dialogue with Members of the European Parliament, the European Parliament’s Presidential Cabinet, representatives of the EU’s diplomatic service – the European External Action Service [EEAS], political advisors, and human rights organisations.
Mr Mengal and Mr Boladai explained that the situation for the Baloch people had changed little in past years due to the fact that Pakistan and Iran continue to violate international laws and still refuse to uphold or defend human rights and thereby do not work to guarantee the security and freedom of speech and religion for their citizens. Areas of focus ranged from enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, summary executions, discovery of mass graves, severe threats to journalists and human rights workers, and acid attacks on women – a brutal method used to prevent women from becoming an active part of society, to internally displaced persons, systematic persecution of religious minorities, women rights, forced closure of secular schools and deprivation of education, freedom of the press, economic exploitation and marginalization, land-grabbing, and digital rights-issues, such as censorship.
Another important issue raised during the meetings, was that of Pakistan and Iran’s policy of forced assimilation, which includes the imposition of a foreign culture, language, and religious ideology on the people of Balochistan by having made all kinds of secular education of Baloch language and culture illegal and destroying any literature in the Baloch language. In addition, Mr Mengal and Mr Boladai highlighted the issue of the intelligence agencies and armies of Pakistan and Iran being major sponsors of religious extremism in the region, threatening regional and global stability and security due to Balochistan’s geopolitical importance.
The representatives stressed on the need for the international community to intervene to prevent the region’s volatile situation from exacerbating.
The reception of MEPs, diplomats, and NGO representatives was encouraging regarding the plight of the Baloch people. The constructive dialogues in the meetings has set a strong foundation for continued communication and cooperation with the European Institutions.