Action, not hype


Doing something would be the best response

The resolution moved in the US House of Representatives underlining the atrocities in Balochistan and seeking the right of self determination for the people of the province has evoked a strong response from the FO which has described it as irresponsible and in violation of the international laws. There was little need for the hype after the Obama administration dissociated itself from the move which implies that there is little likelihood of the resolution being passed.

Various interest groups have joined hands in planning the move. Republican Dana Rohrabacher, one of the three Congressmen who presented the resolution, had earlier held the first-public hearing on human rights violations in Balochistan. Rights groups too are associated with the move. Some had been already reporting on forced disappearances, target killing of Baloch leaders, and the appearance of dead bodies of political activists taken away by the agencies. While submitting its remarks, Human Rights Watch however maintained a cautious attitude. While endorsing that Pakistan’s security forces and intelligence agencies were involved in the forced disappearance, HRW took no position on the issue of the independence of Balochistan. The rights body criticised both the US and UK for making forced disappearances possible by allowing them during the war on terror which, according to HRW, had led to the military doing the same. Baloch militants abroad and elements supporting bigger Balochistan have also been lobbying hard in Washington. No FO resolution can put an end to their activities.

What is needed on the part of Islamabad is to stop the gross violation of human rights in the province. In fact, both the government and the opposition have miserably failed to carry out their responsibilities. After more than four years in power, PM Gilani is now mulling about an APC on the issue while Mian Nawaz Sharif talks about taking up the matter to the parliament. The government has to realise that problems do not disappear by putting them on the back burner. The political administration needs to display firmness to stop the cruelties that are weakening the federation and tarnishing the country’s image abroad.