• Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Pakistan Accused Of Army Massacre In Balochistan

Since Christmas Eve, Pakistan has launched a savage new military crackdown in annexed and occupied Balochistan.

Pakistan has been conducting a violent campaign against one of its indigenous ethnic populations, says human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell

Since Christmas Eve, Pakistan has launched a savage new military crackdown in annexed and occupied Balochistan.

Jet aircraft and helicopter gunships have bombarded pro-nationalist villages, resulting in the reported destruction of nearly 200 houses and the deaths of 50 civilians, including women and children.

The main military sweep took place in the Awaran, Panjur and Makran districts of Balochistan. It included a 70-truck convoy of army soldiers and Frontier Corps. Hundreds of villagers were rounded up and interrogated. Many have since disappeared. Some were later found dead, with their mutilated bodies showing signs of torture.

Throughout the operational area, the military have laid siege to villages and imposed a 24/7 curfew, which prevents families leaving their homes to collect food and water and to tend their crops and livestock.

Full details cannot yet be verified because the Pakistani security forces are refusing to allow anyone to leave or enter the area. In particular, human rights investigators, aid workers and journalists are barred. Doctors who attempted to treat the injured were turned away by Pakistani soldiers.

Information about the massacre comes from the Asian Human Rights Commission and the Baloch Human Rights Council (UK).

Freedom or insurgency?

Zaffar Baloch, President of the Baloch Human Rights Council in Canada, condemned the army’s operation, saying it is “part of a broader plan of action to curtail the freedom struggle of the Baloch nation… and inflict a slow-motion genocide on the Baloch people.”

Pakistan’s military justifies the attacks by claiming they were hunting for the Baloch liberation guerrilla leader, Dr Allah Nazar, who they allege was hiding in local villages. They say the dead are insurgents from the Balochistan Liberation Front. This is disputed by human rights defenders, who point to children aged one, two and four who were among those killed.

International humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate, disproportionate military attacks that are likely to endanger innocent civilians; making the army’s action a war crime under the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

‘Dirty secret war’

Balochistan has been torn apart by a six-decades-long insurgency, which rejects forcible incorporation into Pakistan in 1948 and demands self-rule.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *