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Mehran Baluch and Ms. Nina Petek speak at United Nations HR council 14-03-2012

Mehran Baluch and Nina Petek addresses UN

Watch entire video for the point of order called by Pakistan over Ms. Nina Petek's statement and the United States request that accredited NGOs, of which Ms. Nina Petek is a member, be allowed to speak.

Intervention by Mr. Mehran Baluch (for United Towns Agency for North-South Cooperation), Baloch Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council, and Ms. Nina Petek of World Environment and Resources Council (WERC) 19th session of HRC 14/03/2012. General Debate Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council's attention


Vice President: The floor to the United Towns Agency for North-South Cooperation.

Mehran Baluch: Thank you Mr. Vice President. As we gather to discuss the issues that require Council's urgent attention, one burning issue is the dirty war in Baluchistan that has continued unabated for two years now. Since July 2010, Baluchistan is in the throes of what Amnesty International calls a "kill and dump policy."

Just like Argentina in the mid-1970s and Chile under Pinochet 1973-90. The Baluchistan situation could even be worse as former Federal Minister of Pakistan Aftab Sherpao said on public record that there were 4,000 forcibly disappeared political activists. Two chilling new words have entered the lexicon of political repression in Baluchistan. These words are "missing persons," whose badly mutilated bodies have been dumped in Baluchistan by Pakistani intelligence services on a daily basis.

In the first week of March, in less than 36 hours, bodies of eight missing persons or victims of enforced disappearances were found. Bullet-riddled bodies of Mohammad Hassan, Fateh Mohammad Marri and Abdul Rehman were found on March 2. The body of Abdul Ghaffar Bangulzai (sp?) was found on March 3rd. That very day March 3rd the bodies of four members of the Baluchistan Republican Party were found in Dera Bugti. The victims were identified as Zahro, Lanbo, Mangal and Rahim Bux. The four men were abducted on the 1st of March during a military offensive in Dera Bugti. The dirty war in Baluchistan is like what Hitler practiced in the occupied territories of Europe under his so-called "night and fog" policy.

However, Pakistan continues to deny the reports of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and Reporters Without Borders. According to RSF, for two years in a row, in 2010, 2011, Pakistan was the single deadliest country with a total of ten journalists murdered in cold blood. As you can see, Mr. Vice President, Baluchistan is the human rights free zone of Pakistan. I urge the Council to send a fact-finding mission to Baluchistan. I thank you Mr. Vice President.

Ms. Nina Petek: Thank you Mr. Vice President. It is a matter of great concern that in this year of international community's concerned for human rights for everyone everywhere, nation-states are not only violating the human rights of individuals, but are also discriminatory against whole regions because of a sense of racial or ethnic superiority.

People of those regions who are already deprived of their right to self-determination are left with no choice but to rise against the occupying regimes. The reasons for the surge of sentiment for independence in Baluchistan is a consequence of Baloch rights having been systematically violated. Statistics suggest that the province of Punjab has benefited from the resources of Baluchistan--

Vice President: Point of order called by Pakistan:

Excuse me, excuse me, the distinguished delegate of Pakistan is on a point of order

Pakistan Representative: Thank you Mr. President, it was not the intention of my delegation to take the floor at this stage. We value the work of the civil society organizations and the promotion and protection of human rights, however, we can't allow this forum, this United Nations forum, for such statements that impinge on the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states as enshrined in the U.N. charter, so therefore, we would request that such remarks should be expunged from the proceedings and we would also request that you ask the speaker to not indulge in such remarks. I thank you.

I thank you and let me call upon all speakers to respect U.N. language when making their statements and uphold U.N. standards when referring to countries or territories.

Vice President: Yes, the United States:

U.S. Representative: Thank you, Mr. President, the United States believes that accredited NGOs, and this is one, should be permitted to speak. Member states may disagree with the content of their statements, but the intervention just heard was addressed to the subject matter at hand. So we would ask that the speaker be allowed to proceed and end his or her presentation. Thank you.

Vice President: Thank you, that was my intention. You may continue your statement.

Ms. Nina Petek: Statistics suggest that while the province of Punjab has benefited from the resource rich Baluchistan, the lives of the people of Baluchistan have gained little from the riches that their land holds. For instance, Baloch unhappiness is fueled by the knowledge that while the province supplies gas to the whole country, the consumers of gas in Balochistan are far fewer than in Punjab and the revenues that the province earns are not commensurate with the benefits that others derived from its resources.

While many other projects like the Gwadar port have been initiated in Baluchistan, the people are alarmed that the resulting employment is going to benefit outsiders rather than the local people. The influx of outsiders have then made them targets [unclear] federal government's intentions. Even projects that could benefit Baluchistan are looked upon as exercises in neo-colonialism. Particularly because of the overwhelming presence of Pakistan's armed forces who engage even in the economics field in the province. There is similar sentiment in Gilgat and Baltistan where also nationalists elements have long complained about the resources of the region being exploited by Islamabad. Gilgat and Baltistan are part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. The region was seized by Pakistan after the partition of the Hindu Subcontinent. Despite the passage of decades, the region continues to be denied any participatory democracy with political activity [unclear] their leadership either denied or exiled. Thank you, Mr. Vice President.