Noordin Mengal and Nasser Boladai (Balochistan Peoples Party), representatives of the Baloch people in Pakistan and Iran respectively, made a three-day visit to Brussels in order to raise awareness of the continued human rights violations against Baloch people in both countries, and to urge the European Union to speak out against the continued systematic suppression exerted upon them by the Pakistani and Iranian governments.
In a series of meetings, organised by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization [UNPO], the Baloch representatives engaged in constructive dialogues with Members of the European Parliament, political advisers and human rights organisations. Mr. Boladai and Mr. Mengal explained in detail the severity of the human rights abuses by the military that include, among others, arbitrary arrests, disappearances, torture, targeted killings, mass graves, military operation and bombardment of civilian populations, causing mass displacements. The Baloch representatives explained that the lives for the Baloch people continued to be characterized by severely limited access to education and basic services, restrictions on their freedom of association and expression and little space for political organizations. The discussions also focused on the issue of missing persons and summary executions, and the suffering faced by the families of the victims.
The Baloch representatives spoke about Iran and Pakistan’s efforts to forcibly impose their culture, language and religious ideologies on the secular Baloch people and highlighted the exploitation of the Baloch natural resources. They raised the issue of problems and threats faced by women and religious minorities. The two representatives also highlighted the threat of religious extremism and the role of the army and intelligence agencies in sponsoring and promoting it in the region, deliberately jeopardizing regional and global peace, stability and security.
The general reception of the MEPs and NGO representatives was very responsive to the call for the case of the Baloch peoples. The visit has thus made it possible for the UNPO to continue to stay in close touch with the representatives, keeping them informed of the situation and preparing practical measures to be undertaken. Several MEPs have agreed to cooperate in new initiatives to bring the situation in Pakistan and Iran under the attention of their fellow politicians and specifically of the Subcommittee on Human Rights.
The official press release in pdf format can be found here.