Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Baloch Voice Association Urges Questioning of Pakistan Army Chief on Human Rights Abuses

by Antariksh Singh

The President of the Baloch Voice Association, Munir Mengal, has called for the questioning of Pakistani Army Chief General Asim Munir on allegations of enforced disappearances, military operations, extrajudicial killings, and systematic abuse of rights in Balochistan. Mengal asserts that General Munir should face scrutiny during his ongoing visit to the United States.

This call for accountability comes amid General Munir’s visit to the United States. On Wednesday, the Pakistan Army Chief met with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon. A brief statement from the Pentagon mentioned that the two officials discussed recent regional security developments and potential areas for bilateral defense cooperation.

General Munir’s visit to the US follows his brief stopover in Britain, the details of which have not been disclosed, indicating it was a private visit. The visit has raised questions and concerns, with journalists during a Pentagon briefing probing about the nature of discussions between the US and Pakistani military leaders.

The press secretary, Major General Patrick Ryder, faced questions about the topics likely to be addressed in the meeting, with one journalist inquiring about issues such as the deportation of Afghans from Pakistan or potential arms deals related to Ukraine. Ryder responded that there were no specific meetings to disclose but emphasized the ongoing importance of Pakistan as a regional partner in counter-terrorism efforts.

“Pakistan continues to be an important partner in the region. And so obviously, through Centcom, we continue to stay in close contact with them, particularly when it comes to issues like counter-terrorism,” stated General Ryder.

As per reports from Dawn, General Munir is expected to meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan during his visit. Additionally, he may engage with senior members of the US House and the Senate.

The Baloch Voice Association’s plea for questioning General Munir reflects the growing international scrutiny on human rights issues in Balochistan. As the visit unfolds, observers await further details on the engagements between the US and Pakistani officials and whether concerns about human rights abuses will be raised in these discussions.

Antariksh Singh

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