HRW annual report and Human Rights violations in Balochistan
The HRW is a New York based international non-governmental organization which investigates the reports of Human Rights violations around the world and compiles its annual report. The HRW’s objective to compile reports of Human Rights violations is to bring them to the attention of media in its efforts to build pressure on those groups and governments that are involved in crimes and Human Rights violations. The reports of HRW have international significance and authenticity.
Human Rights Watch was established in 1978 under the name of a non-governmental organization ‘Helsinki Watch’. The aim of Helsinki Watch was to investigate and publically report abusive policies of governments of former Soviet Union but later it made further braches such as American Watch, Asia Watch, African Watch and Middle East Watch. However, in 1988 it dissolved and amalgamated all these committees to form Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The Human Rights Watch report released in 2015 is its 25th annual report which reviewed the state of Human Rights in around 90 countries of world and presented a summary of Human Rights violations. The report top priority to the activities of the ‘Islamic State (IS)’ or ISIS, China’s attacks on Uyghur population in Xinjiang region and the crimes of drug mafia groups in Mexico. This report also contains a short but comprehensive mention of ongoing Human Rights violation in Balochistan which reads a following:
“The human rights situation in Balochistan remained abysmal. Despite the May 2013 election of a civilian government, the military has retained all key decision making functions in the south-western province and blocked efforts by civil society organizations and media to cover ongoing violence there.
Enforced disappearances linked to the security forces continued with impunity. On March 18, plainclothes gunmen later identified as belonging to Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps allegedly abducted Zahid Baloch, chairperson of the Baloch Student Organization-Azad in the provincial capital, Quetta. Baloch’s whereabouts and safety remained unknown at time of writing. Despite rulings from the Pakistan Supreme Court in 2013 demanding justice for victims of enforced disappearances, as well as recommendations from the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances in 2012, Pakistan’s government has failed to meet its obligations under the constitution and international law prohibiting enforced disappearances.”
The HRW report also condemned the ‘Protection of Pakistan Ordinance’ and attacks against Shia Hazara community in Balochistan. The report have linked the attacks against Hazaras to Pakistanis security forces in these words; “The militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) continued attacks on Shia Hazaras in Balochistan. The government failed to successfully prosecute and imprison suspects, in part due to sympathy for the group within the security forces.”
The separatist organizations in Balochistan have welcomed the HRW report but at the same time they demanded from the Human Rights Watch to investigate the issue of discovery of mass graves in Tootak area of Khuzdar Balochistan and continuous shelling on civilian populations by state forces. Baloch secessionist parties and leaders said even though the HRW’s annual report and inclusion of Balochistan is praiseworthy but the situation of Human Rights in Balochistan is far worse than what has been briefly mentioned in the report.