Washington: Hundreds of people took to streets outside the White House here on Sunday to protest against decades of atrocities inflicted by Pakistan on various religious minority groups.
Expressing anger over exploitation, several oppressed ethnic groups from the current geographical boundaries of Pakistan demanded absolute freedom from the clutches of the country.
The Mohajirs, Balochs, Gilgit-Baltistanis, Pashtuns and other religious minorities collectively demanded a separate land by exercising their Right to Self Determination.
Rehan Ibadat, the central organiser of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) USA told ANI, “The Pakistani military establishment has meted out a lot of injustice to its minorities. Every day there are reports of indefinite number of cases related to killings and disappearances of our people. So, we are here to raise our voice in front of the White House and other human rights organisations. We want them to help the minorities and others oppressed in Pakistan. We are asking for the right of self-determination. We need freedom from all such injustices in Pakistan.”
The party leader accused that Pakistan is hell-bent on destroying their identity and has been propagating a narrative that suits its oppressive agenda in the region.
When asked whether the military establishment in Pakistan ever took any action against the jihadi groups, especially keeping in mind the recent conflict between India and Pakistan, Rehan said, “No, they won’t take any action ever because jihadi groups are being created by them. They are the greatest assets of the Pakistani military. They have supported and enfolded them under their protection.”
Rehan further noted that Pakistan and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has a long history of nurturing terrorist organisations, providing safe havens and training militants and banned religious outfits in the northern mountainous region, creating a situation of terror and unrest inside and outside of Pakistan, mainly in neighbouring countries like India, Afghanistan, and Iran.
The minorities of Pakistan believe that the establishment in Pakistan would never take any action against jihadi groups and will continue to mislead the international community.
“Pakistani establishment has been misleading the international community because of the money they receive. The aid provided to Pakistan from various international bodies and the United States is not being channelised for the right purpose. It is used solely for one purpose and that is terrorism. Therefore, it is necessary to stop the aid,” the MQM leader said.
Nabibash Baloch, who is associated with the Baloch National Movement (BNM), told ANI: “Injustice is the reason behind the rally. People have been compelled to protest against injustice; we have been tired of it. We were not a part of Pakistan. We were a separate country. After Pakistan was created they forcefully occupied Balochistan.”
Talking about the primacy of the army’s role in Pakistan, Baloch said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s talk of bringing peace to the region is only an eye-wash to the international community: “Pakistani army has been controlling the country since the day it was born. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is another puppet. He has no power. He can’t say anything. He can’t do anything. The Pakistani army has written a script for them and Khan is only carrying out their instructions.”
Baloch further asserted that the minorities in Pakistan have been deprived of basic human rights as well as constitutional rights by the government of Pakistan.
The protestors said that the minority groups in Pakistan continue to suffer the worst form of genocide. The voices of those demanding their rights are muzzled using brute force.