South Asia
UK Minister says his government is aware of mass graves in Balochistan

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 15 Mar 2020

London: Minister of State Affairs at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development Nigel Adams has said his government is aware of the presence of mass graves in Pakistan's Balochistan region.

"We are aware of reports of mass graves in Khuzdar, Turbat and Dera Bugti in Balochistan. These would be of deep concern to the British government," he said in a reply.

He said all states have the responsibility to meet human rights obligations for all.

"The British government regularly raises its concerns about human rights at the highest levels of the Government of Pakistan," the Minister said.

"The British Government regularly raises concerns with the Pakistan Government at a senior level on the vital need to respect human rights and the rule of law," he said.

He said in February this year Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth, had raised concerns over the issue of grave concern with Pakistan's Human Rights Minister.

The Minister gave the reply to a written question asked by member of British Parliament-Labour Party MP for Portsmouth (South) Stephen Morgan.

Meanwhile, Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) recently held a protest demonstration near the Broken Chair in Geneva, Switzerland to highlight the human rights abuses facing the people of Balochistan in Pakistan, and to request the United Nations to act against Pakistan which is violating all the human rights instruments it is a signatory of while quelling the Baloch dissent.

The Secretary-General of the BHRC, Samad Baloch, at the protest and slammed Pakistan for its inhuman conduct in Balochistan and the region. The protest was joined by human rights defenders from Sindh, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan who like Baloch are also being made subject to extreme suppression by the military establishment of Pakistan in the wake of their struggle for national salvation.

Those who spoke at the protest were Jamshaid Amiri, Senge H Sering, Sajjad Raja, Hatim Baloch, Razzak Baloch, Nasir Aziz Khan and Dr Lakhu Luhana, BHRC said in a statement. 

All the participant extended their support to the Baloch struggle for the right to self-determination and demanded that Pakistan military must be held accountable for its crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and genocide in Balochistan.

Following the protest, a delegation led by Samad Baloch submitted a memorandum entitled – “Balochistan status update on current Human Rights situation” – to the office of the UN High commissioner for Human Rights.

The memorandum as an urgent humanitarian appeal, requested the High Commissioner’s good office to use its mandate to compel Pakistan to end the violations of human rights in Balochistan, and in the light of the prevailing human rights situation in Balochistan, the memorandum further requested her good office;

To establish a fact-finding mission to monitor and the human rights situation in Balochistan and to investigate the cases of enforced disappearances, extra-judicial murders and forcible displacements.

The perpetrators of the heinous crimes against humanity in Balochistan should be brought to justice by initiating cases against them in the international court of justice in The Hague, it said.

Pakistan must be questioned for the violations of the UN conventions and treaties it is a signatory to and for denying the Baloch people their socio-cultural, economic and political rights, it said.

Those who are responsible for grave violation of human rights in Balochistan constituting crimes against humanity and genocide must be held accountable, the memorandum read.

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