Open Letter to U.N. Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres by Chairman Dr. Naseem Baloch
Date: 26 July 2022
H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres Secretary-General
New York, NY 10017
RE: Appeal to Intervene in the Deteriorating Human Rights Crisis in Balochistan
Dear Mr. Secretary-General,
• Sovereign Balochistan had treaty agreements with the British Crown dating back to the 19th century leading to the nation's independence on August 11, 1947, and the complete withdrawal of the British Indian Army from the lands under Kalat. However, sadly, Balochistan’s right to exist as a free nation was snatched away by the Pakistani military invasion on March 27, 1948.
• The decolonization of Balochistan and its peaceful development as an independent democratic nation were breached through violation of the UN Charter of Rights.
• Balochistan’s loss of sovereignty and more than seven decades of Pakistani military occupation has turned this region into a war zone where an undeclared war is being waged against civilians resulting in the worst human rights abuses and genocide. In the last twenty years alone, thousands of civilians, students, rights activists, journalists, and women fell victim to enforced disappearance by the dreaded Inter-Services Intelligence personnel, Counter Terrorism Department, Frontier Corps soldiers, and military-sponsored death squads. International human rights bodies such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have reported extensively on the gross violations in Balochistan.
• On July 15, 2022, Pakistani state security forces dumped nine bodies near the mountainous region of Ziarat, Balochistan. The bodies showed marks of torture and bullet wounds. Pakistani military authorities claimed the deceased were terrorists killed in an encounter with the Pakistan Army Special Service (SSG Commandos). However, six of the nine dead bodies have been identified by their relatives as victims of enforced disappearances, missing for years and months. Families of the victims are in a state of shock and are demanding a judicial inquiry into this horrific matter. The victims were murdered in cold blood in state custody.
• The human cost of Balochistan’s dismal human rights situation is spiraling out of hand, and the Baloch civilians feel helpless in the face of unabated Pakistani military aggression in the last two decades. However, the rights violation of the Baloch people is a systematic state mechanism of cultural genocide, social and economic marginalization, and rapacious plunder of indigenous natural resources. Our lands and coasts are being sold to Chinese state corporations to construct military bases, forcing the traditional fishing community to migrate inland, losing their homes and livelihood.
• Balochistan has become a testing site for weapons of mass destruction. On May 28, 1998, Pakistan conducted five nuclear tests in the Ras Koh hills of Chaghai, Balochistan. As a result, the local population was forced to dislocate to remote regions of Balochistan without providing them with the necessities of life. In addition, the effects of radioactive pollution on humans, animals, plants, and water resources have created many health and environmental problems for the indigenous population of farmers and herders.
• Moreover, Balochistan’s natural wealth of minerals, including copper and gold reserves and natural gas, has been explored, mined, and plundered by the Pakistani occupation army for the last seven decades. During the military rule of General Pervaiz Musharraf, Pakistan made secret deals and agreements with foreign mining companies, including the Canadian Barrick Gold, for the exploration and exploitation of the world’s sixth largest copper and gold reserve in Riko Diq, Chaghai, Balochistan.
• The ongoing conflict in Balochistan and the Pakistani military aggression against Baloch civilians, brutal massacres, war crimes, and crimes against humanity are conditions that universally prohibit foreign companies and multinational corporations from conducting business in the regions under military occupation. In addition, plundering our natural resources through secret deals with the occupation army is fueling the war and human rights violations in Balochistan. This brutal and senseless exploitation and violation of a people’s right to ownership of their land and wealth should stop.
• On behalf of the Baloch people, I appeal for an international intervention in Balochistan to immediately halt Pakistani military aggression and gross human rights abuses. Unfortunately, the Baloch advocacy campaigns have exhausted every resource available for a legal resolution of the human rights abuses and extrajudicial targeted murders in state custody. As a result, Baloch families feel helpless and hopeless, knocking at the closed doors of justice for the last twenty years.
The time to act is now and save a nation from total annihilation.
Dr. Naseem Baloch
Chairman, Baloch National Movement