*Sindh, Baloch leaders urge Modi to raise Pakistan’s human rights record in UNGA meeting.
*Modi had referred to it in his Independence Day speech of 2016.
New Delhi: Pakistan’s human rights activist Munawar “Sufi” Laghari has urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raise the issue of the human rights violations in Sindh and the other provinces of the neighbouring country during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Annual Session later this month.
Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan are scheduled to address the UNGA meeting on September 27.
Speaking at the Conference on Minorities and Democratic Process in Pakistan, during the 42nd Session of Human Rights Council, held in Geneva recently, Laghari raised the issue at a time when Pakistan is unsuccessfully trying to internationalize the Jammu and Kashmir matter on similar grounds.
Laghari, who is Executive Director of the Sindhi Foundation, cited the atmosphere of fear in Sindh and other Pakistani provinces. “The most difficult challenge is to overcome that fear. This cannot be overcome inside Sindh. So the only hope is from outside and my emphasis is that the UN and other countries like the US should support it”.
Urging Modi to raise the Sindh issue, he said India got one of its names from Sindh and a lot of Sindhis are living in India and outside.
‘At least he (Modi) can talk about human rights, he can talk about religious freedom as this is what America talks about. Recently, a conference on religious freedom was held in Washington DC in which activists and experts from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Balochistan and Afghanistan also participated.
As Pakistan continues to cry foul over alleged human rights violation in J&K, Baloch leader Mehran Marri exposed its hypocrisy, saying Islamabad is committing “genocide and human rights violation” in Balochistan, ignoring its own record in the country.
Marri remarks come in the response to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s invitation to the world media and international community to PoK to see how ‘happy’ the people living there are.
The Baloch leader also accused Pakistan of ignoring human rights abuses committed by its ‘partner-in-crime’ China in Xinjiang provinces against Uighur Muslims. “Is it too blind to see what’s happening to the Muslims in China which is a partner in crime in Balochistan? They can’t see millions of Muslims living in China as destitutes,” he added.
At the UNHRC Session, Qureshi had presented a fabricated narrative on J&K after India’s historic move to revoke the “special status” of J&K. Interestingly, while he was addressing the session, protesters were agitating outside the UN Headquarters against Pakistan’s record on human rights.
In a significant shift India’s Pakistan policy, Modi had, in his Independence Day speech of 2016, referred to the Balochs’ freedom struggle, saying the people of Balochistan, as also in Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) had reached out to him. Pakistan responded by saying that it “confirmed” India’s role in Balochistan’s disturbances.
“Today from the ramparts of Red Fort, I want to greet and express my thanks to some people. In the last few days, people of Balochistan, Gilgit, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have thanked me, expressed gratitude, and sent good wishes to me. The people who are living far away, whom I have never seen, never met — such people have expressed appreciation for the Prime Minister of India, for 125 crore countrymen,” Modi had said.