GHRD Presenting at the Parallel Event of the Baloch Human Rights Council
Author: Geneva Delegate
On the occasion of the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council (‘HRC’), the Baloch Human Rights Council (Herein after ‘BHRC)’ organised a seminar at John Knox International Reformed Center to discuss the ongoing human rights violations occurring in Balochistan and other Pakistani-occupied territories. The discussion welcomed representatives from several Civil Society organisations, including Global Human Rights Defence (‘GHRD’).
Panelists stressed the necessity for ongoing awareness and activism for the Baloch people living under occupation. Many panelists called for more action from the United Nations (‘UN’), asking the UN to “remember its meaning, remember its promises” and to defend the right to life of Baloch people.
The discussion highlighted several cases of enforced disappearances in Balochistan, particularly affecting activists and human rights defenders. BHRC shared updated statistics, stating that in 2022, 367 persons went missing in Balochistan, whereas 79 extrajudicially killed bodies were identified in the same year. The lack of international media coverage and attention from NGOs has made the situation even worse, almost erasing it from the global agenda.
Discussions shifted to equally highlight other Pakistani-occupied regions, including Jamul-Kashmir, Sindh, as well as the Iranian-occupied Western Balochistan. Each representative detailed tragic stories of young lives stolen and families broken apart by Pakistani authorities’ genocidal tendencies, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings. Jamil Maaqsood, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the United Kashmir Peoples, highlighted the continued need for unity across all peoples and regions suffering under occupation, stating that “only united can our grievances truly be heard.”
GHRD was then given the floor, in which board member Kavita Pajan presented GHRD’s mission, four pillars, and the specific work related to Pakistan and victims of human rights violations in the region. Pajan spoke about the parallel event GHRD hosted at the 52nd HRC session addressing ongoing human rights issues in Balochistan, Sindh, and Kashmir, where panelists addressed topics such as potential genocide, women’s rights, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings. GHRD also presented its statement, delivered to the 52nd session of the HRC, regarding blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Pajan stressed the importance of continued education and awareness surrounding all human rights issues, especially those occurring under Pakistani occupation.