Human Rights Concerns Intensify in Balochistan: PAANK August Report

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The Baloch National Movement’s human rights department,PAANK, has released a detailed report scrutinizing the escalating human rights situation in Balochistan as of August 2023. The report investigates several incidents that occurred throughout the month, underlining an increase in enforced disappearances and alleging a deteriorating human rights situation in the region.

According to data compiled by PAANK, August witnessed 64 individuals being forcibly disappeared, a noticeable increase from the 57 reported cases in July. This surge denotes the most severe month of the year for such incidents, signaling a worsening scenario with no apparent efforts from the Pakistani authorities to address the issue. This data indicates a troubling trend, prompting PAANK to call upon the international community to exert pressure on Pakistan to halt these alleged enforced disappearances.

The report also states that due to economic strain and the vested interests of foreign investors, particularly from China, Pakistan is aligning with new allies to exploit the resources of Balochistan. It expresses heightened concerns about increased economic and political pressure from China to suppress Baloch political and resistance movements, hinting at a potential further deterioration of the human rights situation in the coming period.

The Makran Division, a critical area for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, has been identified as a major focal point of the alleged military operations by the Pakistani army, with 22 cases of enforced disappearances reported in August 2023 alone.

The report outlines several specific incidents of human rights violations, including the murder of Abdul Rauf Barkat in Turbat under alleged false blasphemy charges, and the killings of migrants Sameer and Hani Gul in Western Balochistan, among others. It also highlights the arrest of human rights activist Imaan Mazari as a significant concern, indicative of an attempt to silence Baloch rights advocates.

Furthermore, the report details the alleged enforced disappearance of Noor Khatoon and her children, and the custodial death of Ghulam Farooq Zehri, who was reportedly held in custody since October 27, 2022. His body was found on August 31, 2023. PAANK argues that this case, among others, illustrates a form of genocide, targeting individuals striving to preserve their national identity.

In conclusion, PAANK urges the international community to apply pressure to prevent what it categorizes as “genocide.” It also suggests considering the initiation of a case against the Pakistani army in the International Court of Justice for alleged crimes against humanity.

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