Groups representing various ethnic and religious minorities of Pakistan staged a peaceful demonstration in front of the White House in Washington, protesting against what they called the “worst kind of genocide” faced in Pakistan. The Pakistan minority groups urged the international community to help them exercise the right to self-determination.
Among the participants were scores of representatives from Mohajir, Baloch, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pashtun, and other religious minorities who took out a rally to the White House from Dupont Circle, carrying posters and banners highlighting atrocities meted out to ethnic and religious minorities in Pakistan.
The Pakistan minority groups alleged that the ruling establishment was driving ethnic identities towards eradication.
“It is now incumbent that International Community must understand our plight, and help us achieve the Right of Self Determination, ” said Rehan Ibadat, central organiser of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) USA.
A joint statement issued by the participants read: “As a collective effort we have gathered today to represent all the oppressed ethnic groups residing in the current geographical boundaries of Pakistan. We Mohajir, Baloch, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pashtun, and other religious minorities demands separate land by exercising our right to self determination.”
It added: “We, ethnic minorities are facing worst form of genocide against the mankind. The ongoing enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, and denial of basic human rights by this ferocious law enforcement agencies of Pakistan, particularly Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are the primary factors.”
Nabi Bakhsh Baloch, who represents the Baloch National Movement in the US, said Pakistan was a state sponsor of terrorism and epicentre of global jihadist movements and militant groups involved in cross border terror attacks against its neighbours India and Afghanistan; “creating an environment of political instability and zones of conflict that could lead to large scale war and nuclear catastrophe”.
Representing the people of Gilgit and Baltistan, Senge H Sering said Pakistan had received billions in dollars from the US for fight against terrorism, but had only caused more harm to the US.