Washington: Baloch groups have launched an awareness campaign in Washington DC in a bid to highlight the alarming human rights situation in Pakistan. This comes as Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives in city on his 3-day US visit during which he is said to meet with President Trump.
Mobile billboards outside the White House urged President Trump to help ensure an end to Pakistan’s human rights abuses particularly enforced disappearances in Balochistan. The billboards were also seen outside the US congress and the Capital Arena where Pakistan’s Premier was attending the largest ever gathering of Pakistani’s overseas.
The campaign aims to bring to the attention of the US administration and the American taxpayers the blatant misuse of billions of dollars worth of US Aid in which economic and military aid provided to strengthen the fight against terrorism was instead used in the persecution of secular and progressive people in Balochistan who have been struggling for their basic human rights for decades.
The campaign urges the US administration to ensure US taxpayers money is not being diverted to crush peaceful, political voices of ethnic and religious minorities in Pakistan.
The Baloch Republican Party and the World Baloch Organization, the groups behind the campaign, have recently carried out a full-fledged campaign in the United Kingdom, during the Cricket World Cup.
According to official Pakistani figures, 5000 people have gone missing within the last ten years after being abducted by the state forces. Unofficial figures put the number much higher, up to 20,000 from Balochistan alone where Pakistani forces have been involved in a continuous military operation to counter the Baloch people’s struggle for rights, justice and equality.
Ethnic groups and religious minorities like the Baloch, Sindhi, Mohajir, Pashtun, Ahmadi, Shia and others are the primary victims of illegal abductions & enforced disappearances in Pakistan.
International human rights groups such as the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have published extensive reports on cases of enforced disappearances & other massive human rights abuses in Balochistan. The reports term the enforced disappearances & extrajudicial murders the “Kill and Dump” policy by the Pakistani forces.