Pak must stop atrocities in Baluchistan: Asma Jehangir

Pak must stop atrocities in Baluchistan: Asma Jehangir

Prominent Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jehangir wants Pakistan to put its act together for a time-bound mechanism to address the unrest in Baluchistan while appealing for stopping "hair-raising" atrocities in the troubled province.

Jehangir, who is in India as part of a delegation of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan (SCBAP) attending a seminar organised by Supreme Court Bar Association, said her country was going through a "very difficult" phase which was not comprehended here properly.

"I think that the government (of Pakistan) has to put its act together. First of all, the atrocities which are very tragic, which are hair-raising have to stop," Jehangir told PTI on the sidelines of dinner hosted in her honour by South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) and South Asian Women in Media (SAWM) here.

She said Pakistan government has to have "time-bound... political talks so that they can convince the nationalists of a sincere agenda which should be placed into their hands so that the nationalists can execute it themselves".

The whole attitude of giving Baluchistan something should now disappear, she said, adding "the Balochs have to be in-charge as a province for themselves."

Talking about 26/11 Mumbai attacks and Pakistan's inability to bring the perpetrators to book, she said they have denounced it but at the same time India must remember that they go through terrorist attacks every single day.

"We are going through very difficult times and those difficult times are not understood here. We are in a transition and it is a very difficult transition. People are losing hope. We are going through a poverty cycle which is difficult to beat, so I think we need time," Jehangir said.

"No doubt there have been mistakes on our part, but after all people have aspirations, just like Indian people have aspirations," she said.

She said a commission from Pakistan visited India and we should wait for their findings too.

Calling for more people to people contact, she said that events like these help a great deal in connecting to each other and bridging the gap between the two neighbouring nations.

The dinner was attended by media personalities and jurists. Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik was also present.