UNPO expresses its deepest regret, sympathy and condemnation at the news of the murder of more than 100 civilians in Awaran district, Balochistan, on the day of Eid this week (18 July 2015). Continuing its campaign of violence and injustice against the Baloch people, Pakistani security forces have acted with a brutality which must not go unpunished. We join the Baloch National Movement in calling for the attention and support of the international community to protect Balochistan from further aggression.
Below is a statement from the Baloch National Movement:
I would like to call the attention of the irresponsible world community, the UN, human rights groups, the European Union and the USA to the atrocities carried out in Awaran, Balochistan on 18 July 2015. On the day of Eid celebrations, Pakistan security forces secretly launched a major bombardment, resulting in the deaths of more than 100 innocent civilians, including women and children. They were indiscriminately and ruthlessly killed. It would not be out of place to mention here that the ruthless and faceless army of Pakistan also abducted women and girls, and we fear that their fate may the same as that of those who were raped and abducted in Bangladesh during the 1971 genocide.
But regrettably, the abovementioned organizations, institutions and media do not recognize the fact that massacres of Baloch people are frequent; prior to this tragedy and disaster, the security forces assaulted a funeral ceremony in the same district, killing more than ten innocent civilians. Indeed, Pakistan, with a systematic policy, escalated their operations in every district of Balochistan, and worked to exterminate and slaughter the Baloch people. Despite Balochistan’s repeated requests to the world community to end the impunity of the Pakistani security forces, world powers continue to fail to pay proper attention. That in itself reveals the miserable behaviour of world community, which is, further, questionable in terms of the new norms of international humanitarian and human rights law.
The eminent international lawyer, Hugo Grotius, said that if tyranny becomes so unbearable as to cause the nation to rise, any foreign power is entitled to help an oppressed people that has requested its assistance. I observe that in this age of globalization and information technology, the so-called ‘civilized world’ seems not to consider Baloch people human beings. In the Western world, even animals have rights. Thus to my mind, their perverse behaviour demonstrates the opinion that Baloch people are without human rights, otherwise the atrocities of the Pakistani security forces would strongly ignite the conscience of the global community. They would feel indignant pity in response to this situation in Balochistan, where willful and arbitrary killing, enforced disappearances, custodial killing, liquidation, the maiming of non combatants including children and women have all been documented. The recent bombardment of civilians even took place on the sacred day of Eid.
In addition, during a funeral ceremony, more than a dozen innocent people were killed ruthlessly, and their mud built houses and cottages were set alight and dismantled, without any necessity or justification. Still now the Awaran district is besieged by paramilitary forces; the supply of food and essential consumer goods has been embargoed, causing hardship for the inhabitants of this area. It has also been reported that the security forces are not allowing people to go to the three villages which were bombed to ashes, or to the surrounding area, as more than one hundred innocents were killed, and their relatives now fear that the security forces will bury them in a mass grave.
In fact, Pakistan’s security forces have frequently committed atrocities and seriously breached international legal instruments and customary laws of war, such as common article 3 of IV Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, Additional Protocol 11 of the 1977 Rome Statute, and the General Rules of the international committee of Red Cross (ICRC). However, regrettably, the so-called civilized nations and states continue deliberately neglecting and ignoring our anger towards the conduct of Pakistan’s security forces. In view of new norms of humanitarian international action created by intervention in Kosovo and East Timor, the global community must ask itself some big questions. In Balochistan the requisite preconditions for the right to humanitarian intervention exist: precisely that Pakistan has and is committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and a genocide of the Baloch nation. Today, all Baloch people are potential victims, and Baloch has been calling for the world community to end the impunity of Pakistan security forces in its slaughter of Baloch people, and to prevent further humanitarian catastrophe.
The Security Council is ignoring this catastrophe in Balochistan: hence the responsibility is entrusted to the civilized community to apply the principle of the responsibility to protect (or R2P) human beings from further atrocity. R2P was devised by a high-level committee led by former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans, and approved to some extent by the General Assembly in 2005. R2P was also mentioned in Security Council Resolution 1970, in reference to the situation in Libya, and again in 1973, to empower NATO to enforce a no-fly zone and use all necessary means to protect civilians.
So why not rescue the oppressed Baloch people? The tyranny of Pakistan’s security forces has become so unbearable as to cause the Baloch people to rise, therefore, under these terrible circumstances, the Baloch again request that foreign powers help and assist us as an oppressed nation.
Advocate & Senior leader of the Baloch National Movement, European chapter.