PAKISTAN: A road map for peace & self-determination for Balochistan

Six steps to halt the conflict, protect human rights & secure self-rule

“The national democratic movement of Balochistan is weakened by the lack of unity and coordination and by the lack of a peace plan to secure a negotiated political settlement to the six-decades-long conflict,” said London-based international human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

He is today reiterating the “road map for self-determination” that he outlined at the conference on the future of Balochistan, held earlier this year at the Royal Society in London and organised by UNPO, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation.

His UNPO speech can be viewed here:

Mr Tatchell reemphasised that the major challenge for the Baloch people is “the absence of a programme to deescalate the conflict, end human rights abuses and secure a negotiated political settlement leading to self-determination for the people of Balochistan.”

“There are many laudable aims from many different sectors of the Baloch national democratic movement. But there is no agreed plan on how to get from where the Baloch people are now to where they want to be in the future.

“A plan and unity are vital for success.

“Without a concrete plan for peace and self-determination it will be much more difficult to secure the support of the international community. They want to see a consensus on how the nationalist movement proposes to solve the conflict. 
“The Baloch people can put Pakistan on the spot by offering a negotiated political settlement and setting out the means to achieve it.

“I speak as a friend of Balochistan who is very mindful that the future of Balochistan is a matter for the people and national democratic movement of Balochistan. It’s not up to me or any other outsider to make any such decisions. I offer advice, experience and knowledge but the future of Balochistan must be decided by the Baloch people.

“What I’m doing is offering a few ideas for consideration. These ideas are not mine alone. They are the result of discussions I had with a group of Baloch national activists in Geneva in 2010, when we went there to lobby at the United Nations.

“This is our draft road map for peace and self-determination:

First, there should be a ceasefire and the cessation of military operations by all sides; with Pakistan agreeing to withdraw troops and paramilitaries to barracks, halt the construction of new military outposts and permit independent monitoring and supervision by UN observers and peacekeepers.
Second, all political prisoners should be released and the fate of all disappeared persons accounted for.

Third, there should be unfettered access to Balochistan by news media, aid agencies and human rights organisations.

Fourth, displaced refugees should be allowed to return, have their properties restored and receive compensation for losses caused by the conflict.

Fifth, the population transfer of non-Baloch settlers into Balochistan should end.

Sixth, there should be a UN supervised referendum on self-determination, offering the people of Balochistan the options to remain part of Pakistan, greater regional autonomy and full independence.

“These six ideas are only tentative, draft proposals. They are open for further discussion, refinement and amendment. But they are a starting point for a united front for Baloch emancipation. Surely all Baloch nationalists, whatever their other differences, can agree with them?

“My advice is: concentrate on the issues around which you can unite and then the Baloch movement will be stronger, more effective, and you’ll be taking the first step on the road to a long-delayed, much-deserved freedom,” said Mr Tatchell.

The full text of Peter Tatchell’s speech follows below.

Further information:

Peter Tatchell
Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation
London UK – 0207 403 1790 [From outside the UK –   +44 207 403 1790 ]

Document Type : Forwarded Press Release
Document ID : AHRC-FPR-021-2013
Countries : Pakistan,
Issues : Democracy, Human rights defenders, Military,