In two separate memoranda, the Baloch Human rights council (BHRC) apprised the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk about the gravity and scale of human rights violations and abuses committed by Pakistan in Balochistan.
Memoranda were submitted by BHRC president Samad Baloch on the occasion of the 52nd UNHRC session in Geneva on March 15, highlighting the roles of various security forces in Balochistan. The memoranda identified the perpetrators in committing widespread and systematic atrocities and heinous crimes against humanity, including Pakistan’s military, police, secret agencies, auxiliary militias, and local collaborators (commonly known as death squads). Their crimes include enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of Baloch socio-political activists and human rights defenders. The memoranda also drew the attention of the UN dignitaries to the security forces’ harassment of the family members of victims of enforced disappearances, who are trying to seek justice and knowledge of the whereabouts of their loved ones.
According to the memoranda, data obtained from different sources and verified by the BHRC from the victims’ relatives, from January 2022 to December 2022, 367 persons went missing, and 79 bodies of extrajudicially killed missing persons were identified. Moreover, the recovered bodies of another 58 were unrecognizable, believed to be the victims of enforced disappearances. In addition, memoranda noted that Pakistan is waging war in Balochistan without witnesses as Balochistan has been an undeclared no-go area for international media and human rights organizations. Even the diplomats of donor countries, on whose donations Pakistan has sustained itself, cannot go to the interior of Balochistan. As a result, there has been a total blackout of what is happening in Balochistan.
BHRC, in its memoranda, emphasized that many of the security force’s actions in Balochistan were tantamount to crimes against humanity. It requested an urgent and robust response from the UN to ensure peace in Balochistan and to hold Pakistan accountable by initiating cases against the perpetrators of crimes against humanity in the international court of justice in The Hague.