Compelling Conversations on “The Human Rights Crisis in Balochistan”

Compelling Conversations on The Human Rights Crisis in Balochistan

For years, human rights groups and independent media, both within Pakistan and internationally, have been sounding alarm bells about the rapid deterioration of rights protections and basic security in Balochistan. These pleas were ignored at best or greeted with positive hostility and counter-accusations of bias and malicious intent.

However, events suggest that finally all the principal stakeholders are acknowledging that the province stands on the political precipice. A combination of domestic political consensus, judicial activism, international pressure and a realisation of the gravity of the crisis has forced the military to at least appear to reconsider its approach to Balochistan.

But is this too little, too late?

Even as the state expresses its resolve to effect a new, viable political compact in the province, enforced disappearances, targeted killings, torture and political persecution, both by the state and those opposing or allied with it, have steadily increased and show no sign of abating. The crisis in the province is not just about state abuses against Baloch nationalists but also about nationalist abuses against non-Baloch “settlers”, the murderous free for all by Sunni extremists against the Hazara, and a broader campaign to target the Shia across the country.

While Balochistan’s crises are inherently political, a process of resolution can only begin by seeking to end the widespread human rights abuses that fuel the conflict. Ali Dayan Hasan will discuss all this and more in light of Human Rights Watch’s extensive research on Balochistan.

About Ali Dayan Hasan

Ali Dayan HasanBefore taking over as Pakistan Director of Human Rights Watch, Ali Dayan Hasan served as the organization’s South Asia researcher since 2003 and has specialized expertise in Pakistan. Hasan is responsible for researching, authenticating and writing reports, briefing papers and news releases produced by Human Rights Watch on Pakistan. He advocates South Asian human rights concerns globally with regional bodies, national governments, international financial institutions and is a regular contributor on Pakistan in the international media. In addition to appearing frequently as a commentator on television, his opinion pieces have appeared in major international media.

Before joining Human Rights Watch, Hasan was a senior editor at Pakistan’s premier independent, political news monthly magazine, Herald. During 2006 and 2007, Hasan was also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Leverhulme Changing Character of War Programme at the University of Oxford. He has a B.A. from the London School of Economics and a master’s degree from St. Antony’s College, Oxford.

Date: Friday, 12th October, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm
Suggested Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
Venue: The Second Floor (T2F),10-C, Sunset Lane 5, Phase 2 Extension, DHA, Karachi-75500.

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