Canada’s Differential Response to Tragedies Sparks Controversy: Baloch Human Rights Council Criticizes Trudeau

by Antariksh Singh

In a strongly worded letter addressed to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Baloch Human Rights Council of Canada (BHRC-Canada) has raised questions about the government’s uneven approach to two distinct cases. The organization expressed its concern regarding the apparent double standards in dealing with the deaths of Karima Baloch and Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Dr. Zaffar Jawaid, President of BHRC-Canada, underscored this contrast in his letter, stating, “Prime Minister Mr. Justin Trudeau’s conspicuous silence regarding the high-profile, unexplained death of Ms. Karima Baloch – a prominent Balochistan human rights defender – stands in stark contrast to his impassioned speeches in the House of Commons and extensive international media coverage concerning the shooting death of Mr. Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.”

BHRC-Canada has called into question the Canadian government’s consistency and fairness, especially in addressing human rights violations perpetrated by the Pakistan Army in Balochistan.

Moreover, BHRC-Canada suggested that the Trudeau administration might be motivated by political considerations. The organization stated, “BHRC-Canada believes that the Canadian Government’s apparent reluctance to address Ms. Baloch’s death impartially may be linked to electoral considerations. The Baloch community in Canada is relatively small and lacks the electoral influence to significantly impact the selection of representatives in Parliament.”

BHRC-Canada urged the Canadian government to treat all individuals equally, regardless of their race, creed, or political affiliations, emphasizing that their previous appeals had seemingly gone unnoticed, possibly due to electoral motivations.

Karima Baloch, a prominent Baloch activist, was discovered deceased by Toronto Police near Lake Ontario on Toronto Island on December 21, 2020, under mysterious circumstances. BHRC-Canada has expressed deep concerns about the Canadian government’s perceived inconsistencies in its response to her death.

Remarkably, Canadian authorities labeled Karima’s death as “non-criminal” within 48 hours of its discovery, despite being aware of grave death threats she had received from the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence). BHRC-Canada asserted that this swift conclusion was made without a proper investigation.

Karima Baloch had been an outspoken advocate for Balochistan’s independence from Pakistan. Her family and friends believed her murder was orchestrated by Pakistan, a suspicion shared by many. However, Canada did not pursue this line of inquiry.

In a cryptic statement issued by Toronto Police shortly after the discovery of Karima’s body, they announced, “It is currently being investigated as a non-criminal death, and there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances.”

Baloch had been a vocal critic of the Pakistani Army’s actions and had raised the issue of Pakistan’s atrocities against Baloch citizens at the United Nations. She also accused the Canadian government of providing refuge to Pakistani army officials involved in these crimes.

Despite eventually being granted refugee status, the Canadian authorities initially rejected Karima Baloch’s asylum request, which she had made in 2016 after escaping from Pakistan due to threats from the Pakistan army and intelligence agencies.

Three years have passed since Karima Baloch’s tragic death, yet Canada remains eerily silent on the matter. This silence starkly contrasts with the Canadian government’s proactive stance in investigating the death of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, even accusing India without concrete evidence.

These two cases have brought to light Canada’s perceived hypocrisy, maintaining silence on the Baloch activist’s murder while harboring ISI personnel, while in the Nijjar case, it has strained diplomatic relations with India to defend a Khalistani terrorist.

Antariksh Singh

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