Vancouver: World Baloch Women’s Forum (WBWF) president and prominent Baloch activist Professor Naela Quadri Baloch has said that the people of Balochistan are victims of all forms of Pakistani war crimes.
In a statement to the Consulate General of Pakistan here on Tuesday, Naela said that the Baloch people observed March 27 as ‘Black Day’ every year.
“Balochistan refers March 27 as ‘Black Day’ when Pakistan attacked the province in 1948 and illegally occupied it with internationally recognised borders and a legal system of governance,” she said.
“From that day till today, Baloch people are in a struggle to restore independence and unification of our country (Balochistan).”
Naela asserted that the Baloch people were facing genocide, displacements and living in poverty and fear.
She also added that the Pakistan army was abducting and torturing its people and was conducting mass killings, followed by poisoning water resources and grabbing properties and lands in Balochistan.
Calling the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a ‘military project rather than economic’, the Baloch activist noted that the Pakistan army generals have sold ‘Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan to China’.
“We condemn and reject CPEC that is making our lives a hell, it will vanish us (Baloch) from the face of the earth by a mega demographic change when millions of Chinese and Punjabis will settle in Balochistan. The day CPEC started, human rights violations climbed to the level of genocide,” she further said.
Naela claimed that the CPEC project was leading to the continuous and forceful displacement of Baloch people, adding that their houses and livelihoods were destroyed by the Pakistan army.
Expressing concerns about poor sanitation facilities in Balochistan, she said, “Food insecurity is increasing and malnourishment is resulting in diseases like tuberculosis, stillbirths, physical and mental health issues. According to a report by the Balochistan provincial government, around 27,000 new cases of tuberculosis emerge in Balochistan every year, where only few can access healthcare facilities.”
Accusing China of plundering Balochistan, Naela added, “For many decades China is stealing trillions of dollars’ worth gold from Balochistan, giving a share to Pakistan army establishment. Pakistan has robbed Pak Rs. 7.69 trillion gas from Balochistan, which is according to a Pakistani economist’s research report.”
Underlining the fragile environment in the province, Naela said that the Pakistan army was involved in selling and cutting of a large number of trees in Balochistan for decades and was now facing a drought-like situation, leading to the destruction of natural habitat and wildlife.
She also said that the nuclear tests by China and Pakistan in 1998 had led to environmental destruction, which was further aggravated by the army timber mafia in Balochistan.
Expressing concerns on the sudden drop of ocean water level due to the ongoing CPEC project, Naela added, “Another dangerous situation is across the Baloch coastline and deep sea, there is a sudden drop of 2000 ft water level. This is alarming and needs investigation.”
“A huge number of whales died on the beaches of Australia last year and the same happened on the coast of New Zeeland. It is a tragedy and a loud alarm of some mysterious anti-life activity in our oceans, it requires immediate investigations,” she continued.
Naela went on to say that Balochistan was combating on the forefront against anti-life forces and called on the international community for support.
“It is the responsibility of the international community to come up and stand with us. Today what Balochistan is facing will reach Canada, US and Europe. This is the time to intervene and support the Baloch,” she added.
Pressing for a nuclear-free, peaceful and an independent Balochistan, Naela urged the UN to send fact-find and monitoring missions in regards to the atrocities in Balochistan and to its people.