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“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Balochistan: UN Speech By Peter Tatchell

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Peter Tatchell is a tireless campaigner for human rights.

He has put himself on the line for his beliefs many times and suffered accordingly, but that doesn’t stop him from campaigning and here he is discussing the problems faced by the Baloch people.

The other YouTube video is here.

An extract of what he said:

“Mr President, thank you for giving me an opportunity to address this session.

I am a London-based human rights campaigner who has been campaigning for human rights for 43 years. For 20 of those years, I have monitored and supported the Pakistani people’s struggle for democracy, human rights and social justice, including more recently in Balochistan.

I am neither a Pakistani nor a Baloch. I have no personal or vested interest in the conflict. I address the situation in Balochistan solely as an independent, objective investigator who is committed to the defense of human rights.

I would like to begin by endorsing the recommendations of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), which urge the complete demilitarisation of occupied Balochistan, as a precondition for a negotiated political settlement to end six decades of economic neglect, ethnic persecution and military repression by successive governments in Islamabad.

Echoing the criticisms of Baloch national leaders, the HRCP says the Pakistan government’s recent peace and reconciliation package is undermined by on-going military operations and human rights abuses.

It points out that 4,000 Baloch people have been arrested and then disappeared. Only a handful have been released since the western-backed military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, was replaced by a democratically-elected civilian government in 2008.

The torture of Baloch rights campaigners also remains routine. Promises of military de-escalation are contradicted by continued army incursions and air strikes, which have resulted in many civilian casualties, and by the shooting dead of peaceful Baloch protesters, most recently in January this year.

Successive Pakistani attacks on Balochistan are estimated to have in resulted in 3,000 people killed and up to 200,000 displaced.”

Written by modernityblog

16/03/2010 at 12:51

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