Wednesday, 2 June 2010

U.S. urged to intervene: Pakistan military operation in Mekran

By Ahmar Mustikhan

WASHINGTON DC: The American Friends of Balochistan has condemned the Pakistan military offensive against the hapless people of Mekran and urged the U.S. authorities to intervene in the matter.

In a letter sent to U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Her Excellency Anne W. Patterson, the A.F.B. regretted that U.S. gunship helicopters were being used against the people of Balochistan.

"The Pakistan military is killing two birds with one stone. On the one hand it is clandestinely supporting the Taliban and al Qaeda and on the other hand it is crushing the secular movement in Balochistan to attain its long-term objective of defeat of the U.S. and N.A.T.O. troops in Afghanistan," the A.F.B. told Ambassador Patterson.

The pro-independence Baloch organization urged the U.S. government now is the time for assessing the end use of U.S. supplied weapons to Pakistan as these weapons were being used against secular forces rather than the religious extremists.

Copies of the letter to Patterson were also sent to Senator Robert P. Casey, chairman of the Senate subcommittee on South Asia; U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl W. Eikenberry and commander of the International Security and Assistance Force, General Stanley McChrystal.

In a separate Press statement the A.F.B. regretted that the offensive came on the heels of Pakistan premier Yusuf Raza Gillani's meetings with some high Baloch officials.

"All Baloch patriots must unite to repulse the invaders. Those who are fence-sitting shall not be forgiven by the Baloch masses," the A.F.B. said. The organization said it was well aware of those elements who are secretly "on the best of terms" with the enemy or its lackeys and their faces would be duly exposed.

"Lip service to the freedom movement, while doing business secretly with Pakistan's lackeys in the senate and assemblies is no longer acceptable to the Baloch masses. The politically conscious Baloch are not such simpletons not to understand the double-faced policy of such elements," the A.F.B. said.

The A.F.B. said it would in particular like to question the role of two Balochistan-based political parties, the National Party and the Balochistan National Party, in the ongoing military operation in Mekran. "Now is the time for them to prove they are with the sarmachars, rather than be shoved into the dustbin of history as traitors."

Meanwhile, the Baloch Human Rights Council, Canada, expressed its deepest concerns over the new wave of gross human rights violations committed by the Pakistani army soldiers in the Mekran region of Balochistan.

The B.H.R.C. said has learnt through local sources and press statements of Baloch National Movement (BNM) central leadership that within the last couple of days there has been a significant movement of Pakistani troops in the area of district Gwadar and Dasht.

A heavy contingent of military including 80 trucks carrying soldiers, 40 armoured vehicles, artillery, 8 gunship helicopters, and 20 water supplying tankers are reportedly part of the first wave of troop deployment in the region. There is news of more troops on the way to join the military operation, the BHRC said.

Sources have confirmed that the Dasht townships of Zaren Bog, Mollai Negwar, Palani Bazaar, Ziarati, Hasadeg, Hor, Chateg, Doro Kandag, and the surrounding villages and tent settlements are under siege by the army. Reports coming in from the area stated that the soldiers have complete control of the meager water resources and have blocked all access to the local population. The livestock has been confiscated in the service of the soldiers and a large number was slaughtered to starve the inhabitants.

Sources mentioned that people are not allowed to leave their homes even in case of a medical emergency.

There have been reported incidents of artillery fire directed at the civilian residential areas while gunship helicopters hovered over the towns.

According to witnesses, incidents of aerial bombardment of villages have taken place and the fear of casualties is growing, complicated by the military blockade and denial of access to media and medical personnel. An unconfirmed number of youth has been taken away by the soldiers and their whereabouts are yet unknown. So far, names of two abducted persons have been confirmed, which are Mr. Sadiq Ismail, resident of Bal Negwar near Turbat and Mr. Shehak, resident of Gwarag.

B.H.R.C. urgently appeals to all international human rights bodies, the U.N., the European Parliament, the international media, and the world community to take urgent notice of the atrocities committed by the Pakistani army against innocent civilians in Dasht, Mekran and elsewhere in Balochistan. The slow motion genocide of the Baloch nation has to be stopped immediately by forceful intervention of world bodies.

The B.H.R.C. statement was released by its president, Dr. Zaffar Baloch.

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