A London-based international human and gay rights campaigner Wednesday blasted Pakistan mililtary for committing war crimes in Balochistan.
“On Christmas Eve, Pakistan launched a new military crackdown in annexed and occupied Balochistan. Helicopter gunships bombarded pro-nationalist villages, resulting in the reported destruction of nearly 200 houses and the deaths of 50 civilians, including women and children," said Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
The latest information about the massacre comes from reports received by the Asian Human Rights Commission:
“The main military sweep took place in the Awaran, Panjur and Makran districts of Balochistan. Hundreds of villagers were rounded up and interrogated. Many have since disappeared. Some were later found dead, with their mutilated bodies showing signs of torture,” added Mr Tatchell.
“Throughout the operational area, the military have imposed a 24/7 curfew, which prevents families leaving their homes to collect food and water and to tend their crops and livestock.
“Full details cannot yet be verified because the Pakistani security forces are refusing to allow anyone to leave or enter the area. In particular, human rights investigators, aid workers and journalists are barred. Doctors who attempted to treat the injured were turned away by Pakistani soldiers.
“Pakistan’s military officials justify the attacks by claiming they were hunting for the Baloch liberation guerrilla leader, Dr Allah Nazar. However, the laws of war prohibit indiscriminate, disproportionate military attacks that are likely to endanger innocent civilians; making the military operation a war crime under the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
“This is merely the latest of many indiscriminate attacks and violent human right abuses against the Baloch people by the security forces of Pakistan. They have taken place with the de facto collusion of the government in Islamabad.
“No amount of repression will succeed in halting the Baloch people’s yearning to be free. Six decades of military occupation has strengthened the desire for self-rule. As eventually happened in East Timor and Eritrea, one day the subjugation of the people of Balochistan will end and they will chart their own destiny. Freedom has been long delayed but it cannot be denied.
“My appreciation to the journalist Tarek Fatah, the Asian Human Rights Commission and the Baloch Human Rights Council (UK) for supplying information about the massacre,” Mr Tatchell said.
Though Tatchell's statement was silent on killing of unarmed civilians by Dr. Baloch's Baloch Liberation Front and Baloch Liberation Army, led by London-based Hyrbyair Marri -- proscribed by the U.K. --, these actions have isolated the the two militant outfits among the Baloch masses. The militants have killed upwards of 2,000 innocent unarmed civilians, including Baloch political activists.