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Baloch groups hold joint rallies on World HR Day

After years of separation, a number of Baloch nationalist groups jointly held protest rallies on the World Human Rights Day to highlight human rights abuses in Balochistan.

The Baloch National Movement (BNM), the Baloch Republican Party (BRP), the Baloch Republican Students Organization (BRSO) and the Baloch Students Organization (BSO) held joint demonstrations in different countries of the world to protest what they called “war crimes” by the Pakistan military in Balochistan.

Rallies were held in Australia, Canada, Germany, South Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Nationalist activism, especially of the groups seeking separation from Pakistan, is not allowed in Balochistan, and the participants might face immediate threat to their lives.

Sher Muhammad Bugti and Mansoor Baloch from the BRP, Hammal Haider and Naseem Baloch from the BNM, Latif Johar and Niaz Baloch from the BSO led protests in different cities of the world.

Most of the participants were political refugees or those in the process of seeking political asylum.

After Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps, in coordination with the country’s mighty intelligence agencies, initiated the so-called kill-and-dump operations, as called by human rights groups, to curb a separatist insurgency in Balochistan, hundreds of Baloch political activists have fled to the Gulf or European countries to save their lives.

Participants of the rallies were carrying placards and banners appealing to the United Nations and the international community to intervene and help put an end to “Pakistani war crimes against the Baloch people”.

Those leading the rallies demanded “Pakistan being held accountable for the crimes against humanity and for the withdrawal of Pakistan’s membership from the UN for its failure to abide by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the Geneva Convention or any of the UN’s agreements on human rights”.

Such jointly-held rallies have not been witnessed since last many years, after the major Baloch nationalist groups developed differences among themselves.

However, in October this year, BRP chief Brahumdagh Bugti and BNM chief Khalil Baloch issued a joint statement after a telephonic conversation that they were approaching towards some sort of cooperation.

A source told the BT it was their first one-to-one talk in the last one-and-a-half years.

Earlier this month, leaders of the two parties met in Geneva and expressed their commitment to mutual cooperation in the future.

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