BALOCH HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
8 September, 2008
President Asif Ali Zardari
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
On behalf of the Baloch Human Rights Council, we extend our warmest congratulations to you on your election to the highest office in the country which we believe has ushered in a new era of democratisation, peace and reconciliation. There is no doubt that your election has dealt a severe blow at the dark forces of terror and dictatorship and has inspired a new hope in the oppressed peoples in the country, especially, the utterly brutalized people of Balochistan who have lost all hope in the state institutions of Pakistan. Islamabad's tyrannical policies have totally alienated Balochistan which has been deliberately turned into a huge laboratory of the worst kinds of human rights violations. Consequently the people of Balochistan rightly feel that their province has been turned into an occupied territory where state terror has become the norm.
We in the Baloch Human Rights Council appreciate your stand on Balochistan and welcome your efforts to address the historical grievances of the Baloch people. We firmly believe that the only way forward is:
a) To restore the 1973 constitution albeit with necessary amendments duly approved by the Parliament; for example the highly controversial concurrent list should be abolished and the smaller national constituents, i.e., Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP given more rights and powers including the right to own and exploit their own resources reserving a small but reasonable percentage of the income for the Centre. Furthermore, the national constituents should also be invested with the ultimate right to secede from the Federation in the event of any arbitrary military action.
b) To order the army to return to the barracks and dismantle the cantonments in Balochistan which have become synonymous with slaughter houses.
c) To bring to book all the violators of the present or past constitutions for usurping power through unconstitutional means.
d) To unconditionally release tens of hundreds of Baloch activists and ordinary people who have been "disappeared" and tortured by the authorities; and to take severe action against those responsible for these disappearances.
e) To bring to justice all those officials, whether civilian or military, who have been responsible for human rights violations in Balochistan.
f) To bring back hundreds of thousands of ordinary people (men, women and children) who have taken refuge in the neighboring provinces as a result of
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the brutal army operations. They live in the most appalling conditions and in complete squalor. The Federal government must take urgent measures to rehabilitate them in their ancestral homes and lands and compensate them in the most proper manner.
We do recognize the fact that you face enormous challenges; however, we fervently
hope that you will afford Balochistan your utmost priority.
With best wishes and kindest regards,
Akbar Barakzai A.Samad Baloch
Honorary President. General Secretary.