Thursday, September 29, 2011

Balochistan: Pakistan's response to crisis failing

29 September 2011

Two separate attacks on civilians in Balochistan highlight the failure of Pakistan to tackle escalating insecurity in the region, said Amnesty International.

Yesterday, Baloch politician Abdul Salam was assassinated in the city of Khuzdar by unknown assailants. Abdul Salam was a human rights defender who worked on behalf of hundreds of victims of enforced disappearance in Balochistan.

“A brazen assassination like this in a city as heavily militarised as Khuzdar raises serious questions about the will or ability of Pakistan’s security forces to protect the people of Balochistan,” said Mustafa Qadri, Amnesty International’s Pakistan researcher.

Three employees of the BGP Oil and Gas company were killed and 4 injured in an attack in eastern Balochistan yesterday. The Baloch Liberation Army, an armed group that demands a separate homeland for ethnic Baloch, claimed responsibility for the attack.

“The Pakistan government's military response to the crisis in Balochistan has failed to protect the rights of Pakistani citizens living there. It's crucial for the government, including the civilian and military authorities, to commit to the rule of law and establish accountability for all perpetrators,” said Mustafa Qadri.

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