The Baloch American Congress (BAC) has termed the recent statement of Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan that he is contemplating talks with Baloch freedom leaders as a hoax to hoodwink the international community.
“If Pakistan was serious about peace in Balochistan, it would have freed thousands of Baloch victims of enforced disappearances. These victims are languishing for years in the dungeons of the ISI and military intelligence,” Dr. Tara Chand, president of BAC, said in a statement Friday.
He said Baloch people have been struggling for more than 70 years for their right to self-determination, to become the master of their own destiny in their homeland, and it’s time for Islamabad to stop the drama of saying they will win back the angry Baloch through talks.
“Tens of thousands of Baloch laid down their lives in five military operations. Pakistan army is conducting crimes against humanity, war crimes in Balochistan with the full support of China. This must stop,” he said.
He recalled that before becoming the prime minister, Imran Khan on record spoke about the Pakistan military’s war crimes in Balochistan but is silent about it now.
“The truth is Balochistan remains the guarded domain of Pakistan military and the prime minister has no say in the matter,” he added.
He said tens of thousands of Pakistani soldiers are ruling over the people of Balochistan at the point of a gun, with a military checkpoint every few miles. “Not a day goes by without army raids on the homes of civilians and state abductions,” he lamented.
He said the Pakistan army, Frontier Corps, ISI, and Military Intelligence, were ruling over Balochistan like a classical colony while the corrupt, puppet civilian government in Quetta neither has any real power nor enjoys the mandate of the people.
“The withdrawal of Pakistani soldiers from Balochistan is a legitimate demand of the people of Balochistan,” he said.
Dr. Tara Chand, who is a former government minister, said the key to peace in Balochistan lies in the Pakistan army’s unconditional pullout from Balochistan. “Pakistan must recognize the sovereign rights of the Baloch people over their land, natural resources, and seaports,” he concluded.