Thursday January 18, 2018
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Was Jadhav’s meeting a mere mockery of human rights?

There were many cases of infringement been brought to the notice of Indian delegation that accompanied Kulbhushan’s kin.

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Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav is an Indian national arrested in Balochistan, Pakistan, over charges of espionage. IANS
Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav is an Indian national arrested in Balochistan, Pakistan, over charges of espionage. IANS
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NEW DELHI: The recent meet of Kulbhushan Jadhav with his wife and mother has called for some controversial debate by security experts. Pakistani officials made sure that the visit remained humiliating enough for both the women. There were many cases of infringement been brought to the notice of the Indian delegation that accompanied Kulbhushan’s kin. Kulbhushan’s wife Chetankul and mother Avanti, met foreign minister Sushma Swaraj after their meeting in Islamabad on late Monday.

The death sentence was granted to Kulbhushan Jadhav by the Pakistan army court and in no time, India approached the International Court of Justice to intervene in this case and got stay on his execution. After twenty agonizing months of his captivity, Kulbhushan was allowed to meet his family members under very scrutiny. It was only after Kulbhushan mother’s plea that Pakistan had let his family members meet, that too after diplomatic pressure been put up by the Indian government.

The meeting took place in the highly guarded building of Pakistan’s external ministry and was done under heavy surveillance of the security agencies. Later Indian government condemned the way meeting was conducted by Pakistani authority as it violated the spirit of understanding between the two countries. As per the prior negotiations, media wasn’t the part of this meeting but later the involvement of media led to the harassment of two women, as they were hurled by unnecessary questions by the media people. Media directed many questions at them and were made to hear some derogatory remarks against Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Then to add more agony, Kulbhushan’s wife and mother were forced to get away with the Hindu symbols such as bindi, mangalsutra, bangles and not only this, even to get rid of their clothes.

Kulbhushan’s mother, who belonged to a Marathi family, was restrained from speaking her own language, by the Pakistan officials who were recording the whole conversation.

JP Singh, the deputy high commissioner was initially set apart from the family members and the family was taken to the meeting without informing Singh. But after a strong protest by Singh, he informed the Pakistan officials regarding the violation of the mutual understanding that he was allowed inside.

However, none of them paid heed to Singh, and he was kept behind an additional partition. Even after strong demur, they did not allow him any access to the meeting, as discussed before.

Also, before letting her wife enter the meeting room, her shoes were taken away by the Pakistani officials and wasn’t even returned after the culmination of meeting and made his wife go back barefooted. After going through such an ordeal, the women narrated their traumatic and abusive story to Sushma Swaraj.

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American Friends of Balochistan welcomes Trump’s Tough stand on Pak

The American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) issued a statement Monday welcoming Donald Trump's stand on US-Pakistan relations, calling it a vindication of its own stand.

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Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons
Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons

Washington, D.C.– The American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) Executive Committee issued a statement Monday welcoming the President’s stand on US-Pakistan relations, calling it a vindication of its own stand.

The AFB said President Donald J. Trump has called out Pakistan’s constant bluffs with the US and pointed out a big chunk of American assistance was used against people of Balochistan in a secret, dirty war instead of the Taliban.

Khwaja Wali Kirani in Balochistan. Wikimedia Commons

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” President Trump first tweet of 2018 reads.

The tweet was loved by nearly quarter-million Americans and retweeted 83,000 times in less than 24 hours.

The AFB executive committee said the US remains Pakistan’s top foreign aid donor, in addition to the money paid in expectation of cooperation in the Global War on Terror. Yet, for many years now, serving officers in the US Armed Forces have repeatedly spoken out about Pakistan’s perfidy in Afghanistan, which has cost the US lives, money and strategic credibility in the world’s eyes. Pakistan also remains a training ground for terrorism and a prime proliferator of nuclear weapons technology.

No country’s development and democracy have suffered more from Pakistan’s interference via state-sponsored terrorism than Afghanistan. US efforts to help the Afghans rebuild their nation are constantly sabotaged by reeling instability. India is another well-known target.

The AFB said Balochistan is a region rich in natural gas. It that has seen several bloody cycles of insurgency ever since Pakistan forcibly annexed the autonomous Baloch state of Kalat in 1948 in violation of a Standstill Agreement. A portion of historical Balochistan also sits on the other side of Pakistan’s border with Iran. Further, it borders Afghanistan to the north-west. Pakistan’s brutal record in this strategically located province that forms the northern lip of the key Straits of Hormuz has spiked in recent years.

“People of Balochistan tried their very best to work with Pakistan’s false promises of integration after forceful accession, but instead gave genocide to Balochs,” said the statement.

The AFB monitors the situation in Balochistan closely and is in touch with freedom and democracy activists on the ground. The AFB reiterated their call to the Pakistani government to cease violating the physical security of Baloch people, their freedom of expression, and end the policy of economic exploitation and genocidal violence.

A slow-motion genocide in Balochistan has claimed the lives of 35,000 Baloch people, 6,000 of whom were buried in mass graves while 21,000 are Victims of Enforced Disappearances, according to the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons. “The enforced disappearances situation in Balochistan is no different than what it used to be in Chile and Argentine in the 1970s and 1980s,” the AFB executive committee noted.

The AFB executive committee chimed in with similar sentiments expressed by policy experts in academe, veteran politicians, diplomats, intelligence chiefs, and human rights activists. Among them were former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, leading South Asia expert and former Pakistani ambassador Hussain Haqqani, several Baloch freedom and human rights activists cutting across party lines, former head of Afghanistan’s Directorate of Security Amrullah Saleh, and even normally fierce critics of President Trump’s administration such as Prof. Christine Fair, Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

The AFB executive committee consists of Jane Eastwood Weisner, Najeeb Khan, Krishna Gudipati, Soumya Chowdhury and Habiba Ashna. The organization was founded by veteran Baloch journalist Ahmar Mustikhan, who is the president.

Hope and doubt have been expressed on whether the US president’s tweet and words will translate into actionable legislation. Mustikhan published a survey of some of these thoughts in an article titled “Wave of joy sweeps across Afghanistan, Balochistan & India over Trump’s first tweet of 2018”.