Amnesty kills vote on helping Balochistan victims
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania: Balochistan has once again been rejected as an agenda for action by the Amnesty International, reports from a conference in this steel town revealed.
A resolution that called for more action to end enforced disappearances in Balochistan was shot down 22 against 14 as key position holders within Amnesty International spoke out against it at the Mid Atlantic Regional Conference here at a local hotel.
A lone Baloch member of the Amnesty International in the USA protested why the sequence of when the resolution was to be taken was changed at the last moment, conveying to the particpants as if it was not important.
Key office-bearers of the Amnesty International, including Larry Cox, exectutve director AIUSA, Ellen Dorsey, executive director of the Wallace Global Fund, and Gouri Sadhwani, deputy executive director were among those present at the conference.
Families of victims of enforced disappearances in Balochistan have for long been calling upon Amnesty International and other international human rights related organizations to come to their rescue amidst Pakistani state terrorism.
Govind Acharya, Pakistan specialist was conspicuous by his absence, while an Eygptian country specialist Mandana Afshar, who is of Persian descent, played a key role in defeating the resolution.
An internal report said the resolution had minimal financial implications because it simply called upon the board to request from the Internartional Secretariat for more actions on enforced disappearances in Pakistan. Only some volunteer and staff time would have been necessary to develop the request and to lobby the International Secrtariat, an internal memorandum said.
The resolution was necessitated as there are more than 1,100 victims of Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances in restive Balochistan in southwest Pakistan, where as many as 8,000 people have fallen victims to such disappearances since 2005 as the Baloch have risen up against Islamabad and desire to run their political and state affairs without Pakistani military control.
According to its own statement, the Amnesty International on october 26 said Pakistan has adopted a policy of kill and dump in Balochistan.
The resolution asked Amnesty International board of directors in the U.S. to write to the International Secretariat in London, U.K., asking for the development of more reserch and actions such as action alerts, letters, petitions and postcards relating to saving lives of victims of enforced and involuntary disappearances in Pakistan, specifically in Balochistan.
This resolution called on Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) to request from the Amnesty International (AI) International Secretariat (IS) more actions, specifically relating to enforced disappearances in Pakistan and especially in the Pakistani province of Balochistan.
Article 2 of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, adopted December 20, 2006, defines “enforced disappearance” as …the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law (Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights).
This resolution called for more actions from AI specifically focused on Balochistan, Pakistan’s geographically largest and least densely populated province located in the Southwestern region of Pakistan (bordering Iran to the West and Afghanistan to the North).
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