Balochis have repeatedly accused Pakistani establishment of imposing economic sanctions, committing genocide and neglecting the socio-economic needs of Baloch people and region.
Keeping the pressure up on Pakistan for committing atrocities against locals in Balochistan, the Baloch Republican Party on Wednesday took their protest right up to the doors of the United Nations office in Geneva.
Armed with Baloch flags and demanding freedom for Balochistan, the activists marched from Rive to the UN office in a protest held on the sidelines of the ongoing 37th UN Human Rights Council. It is reported that Baloch men, women and children from all walks of life joined to demand freedom from state-sponsored atrocities being committed back home. Interestingly, this is not the first time Balochi activists have made their presence felt in Switzerland. It is hardly the first time they have made international headlines either.
Posters splashed across buses and trams in Geneva in September last year showed the brutality of Pakistani establishment vis a vis Balochis. Slamming the country for allegedly committing genocide, the posters both embarrassed and infuriated Pakistan. A possible diplomatic row was eventually averted despite Islamabad summoning Switzerland's ambassador to register its strong protest. There has however been no let up in shame for Pakistan as more recently, 'Plight of Christians in Pakistan' posters appeared in Geneva in what was yet another attempt to showcase how the country treats minorities.
The strong protests have not just been restricted to scenic Switzerland as London and New York have seen an advertisement blitzkrieg from organisations like Baloch Republic Party and more so from World Baloch Organisation (WBO). WBO, in particular, has been responsible for putting up posters and hoardings across the streets of London and New York - even booking an ad space at the iconic Times Square.
The efforts of Baloch activists have repeatedly angered Pakistan but foreign countries have maintained they are helpless in doing anything about legitimately bought ad spaces. For instance, UK envoy in Islamabad had snubbed Pakistan last November and had said his government cannot control advertising. "I understand the strength of feeling about adverts in London. The British Government does not and cannot control advertising in the UK. But our own position is clear about the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan, of which Balochistan is and will continue to be an integral part," British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew had said.
Other diplomats and envoys too have maintained similar position even as Baloch activists continue to raise the tempo of their protests.