Skip to main content

Economic exploitation and state oppression in Balochistan echoes in Geneva

ANI | Geneva [Switzerland] Sep 18, 2017 10:22 PM IST

Baloch activists and human rights defenders raised their voice against the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and termed it as a project of looting and plundering of natural wealth of Balochistan.

The event titled "Scaling the Abyss: CPEC, Economic Exploitation and State Oppression in Balochistan" was organised by World Baloch Organization (WBO) and Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization (UNPO) on the sidelines of 36thSession of Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Opposing the CPEC project, the speakers said despite living in resource-rich region, the people face extreme poverty, conflict, hunger and instability due to the systematic looting of natural wealth of the province.

Balochistan, a region that spans across parts of Iran, Afghanistan and is currently Pakistan's largest and most resource rich yet least developed region.

For centuries, Pakistan's Punjabi and Chinese businessmen have been exploiting Balochistan's plentiful minerals such as copper, uranium, gold, coal, silver and platinum.

The projects have systematically excluded the Baloch indigenous people, not only depriving them of the employment and development prospects but also forcefully clearing them to make way for the construction sites.

The 1995 multi-billion dollar copper gold Saindak project, the 2002 Gwadar Port project and many other projects, which the Pakistani administration have been pushing through, with substantial financial aid from Chinese businessmen, have been displacing and marginalising Baloch people.

Balochistan is responsible for about 23 per cent of Pakistan's total gas production and astonishingly, only 6 per cent of the gas produced is actually consumed in the region itself, which the rest is consumed in other parts of Pakistan.

The speakers said alongside this wide ranging economic exploitation of the region, the Baloch suffer at the hands of the Pakistani authorities, incessantly subjected to enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and extra judicial killings.

Shah Jahan Baloch of World Baloch Organization (WBO) said, "The so called Chinese development is destroying not just the population but economy, livelihood, ecology of Balochistan."

He said that there has not been Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the CPEC that is mandatory as per the United Nations rules.

He demanded Pakistan to carry out the EIA of the CPEC and Gwadar Port.

He said that Pakistan has killed more than 8000 Balochs without any trial.

By killing innocent people how development project can be successful, he questioned.

Fernando Burges, Representative, UNPO, said that there could not be CPEC without Balochistan.

"Balochistan is the main geo-political area and the Gwadar Port is the key. When you think and look at CPEC, it goes through disputed territory so it is against the international law," Burges said.

Burges further added that, "as the CPEC ends in Gwadar, what you have there is Chinese military and Pak security agencies protecting the workers who are not Baloch. The question is that who will pay the cost. Until now, it has been Balochistan".

Gwadar Port is a deep-sea port situated on the Arabian Sea at Gwadar in Balochistan province of Pakistan. The port features prominently in the CPEC plan, and is considered to be a link between the ambitious One Belt, One Road and Maritime Silk Road projects.

Talking about the human rights violations by Pakistan in Balochistan, Burges said human rights violations are taking place indiscriminately.

China is not a champion of human rights, so it is a worst combination of States when it comes to human rights


Popular posts from this blog

Balochistan to establish first medical university

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentOctober 25, 2017QUETTA: The provincial cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft for establishing a medical university in Balochistan.Health minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch made the announcement while speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.“The cabinet has approved the draft of the medical university which would be presented in the current session of the Balochistan Assembly,” he said, adding with the assembly’s approval the Bolan Medical College would be converted into a medical university.Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2017

5 Shia Hazara community members gunned down in Pakistan

Five members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.This is not the first time that members of the Hazara community have been targeted in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.(Reuters File Photo)Updated: Sep 11, 2017 00:20 ISTBy Press Trust of India, Press Trust of India, KarachiFive members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.The gunmen targeted a car in Kuchluck area of Quetta while it was coming from the Chaman border crossing area, police said.The firing took place when the travellers had stopped at a filling station to refuel their vehicle. Five people of the Shia Hazara community, including two women, died in …

China’s 'Digital Silk Road': Pitfalls Among High Hopes

Will information and communication technologies help China realize its Digital Silk Road?By Wenyuan WuNovember 03, 2017In his speech at the opening ceremony of China’s 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping depicted China as a model of scientific and harmonious development for developing nations. Xi’s China wants to engage the world through commerce but also through environmental protection and technological advancement. This includes Beijing’s efforts to fight climate change with information and communication technologies (ICTs) that it plans to export along its “One Belt One Road” initiative (OBOR). Xi may have ambitious plans, but could China be throwing up obstacles in its own way?In his speech, the Chinese president emphasized the need to modernize the country’s environmental protections. The Chinese state is taking an “ecological civilization” approach to development and diplomacy, with a natio…