Free Balochistan Movement (FBM) held simultaneous protests, rallies, and awareness campaigns in different cities of the world on Monday, against testing of Pakistan's nuclear weapons in Balochistan in 1998.
The protests were held on the 20th anniversary of the nuclear tests, codenamed Chagai-1. In the UK, the USA, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Canada, Norway and Sweden, the FBM activists highlighted the dangers of Pakistani nuclear weapons to Balochistan and to world peace. Protesters carried large banners and placards inscribed with slogans and pictures of affected people after the nuclear explosions.
The FBM activists also distributed leaflets and explained the Balochistan situation to those who stood by and asked about the protest. Many passersby expressed their support and sympathy for the people of Balochistan and condemned Pakistani state atrocities against Baloch people.
In Germany, members of Afghan, Ahwazi Arab and Sindhi communities also participated in the FBM rally and demonstration while in Netherlands the activists of Baloch National Movement and Baloch Republican Party also joined and supported the FBM protest.
The leader of the FBM, Hyrbyair Marri, in a statement said, "20 years ago, Pakistan tested its nuclear weapons in the heart of Balochistan's Chaghai district without the will and consent of the Baloch nation."
"The residual radiation impact resulting from the blasts in Raskoh mountain range have caused diseases like lung, liver, and blood cancer, skin diseases, typhoid, and infectious hepatitis, as well as serious effects on the nervous system, blood pressure, eyes, and throats, and on newborn babies."
He said on May 17, 1998, he warned that "weapons being tested in the name of the country's defence will prove to be a message of death for the people of Baluchistan. The droughts, increasing illness and continued suffering of the residents of Chaghai and surrounding districts are a reflection of our concerns in 1998."
"The civilised world remained silent on Pakistan's crime against the Baloch nation and Balochistan. They stood by with their lips sealed as Balochistan was burning before their eyes. Today, we as a nation continue to suffer the aftermath of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. Iran is also planning to make nuclear weapons and we have concerns that they will follow Pakistan's path and conduct its nuclear tests in occupied Balochistan," he added.
His statement further read, "We urge the world community, IAEA, and other international bodies to take notice of the effects of Pakistan's nuclear weapons in Balochistan. Nuclear experts should visit the region where nuclear bombs were detonated to investigate the causes of diseases that local people are suffering and remove all nuclear materials from Balochistan to save human lives and protect our precious environment."
"We also remind the world that Pakistan is an irresponsible state and its corrupt military institutions and politicians can do anything for money. That is why it is a possibility that the wealthy religious extremist will acquire nuclear weapons from Pakistan and use them against Western democracies. Hence, the world must make every effort to denuclearise Pakistan and strip it of its nuclear weapons before it is too late," the statement read.
"Many people died due to mysterious diseases and majority of the livestock the inhabitants also died. Many Baloch in the region began to suffer from unusual illnesses. Still even to this day Baloch children from that region are often born with illnesses and shocking physical deformations," the activist said.
He also criticised the international community for "completely turning a blind eye" to Pakistan's horrific crimes against humanity in Balochistan.
The FBM activists in other countries also expressed similar concerns and urged the respective countries of their residence to stop supporting Pakistan because the international support that Pakistan gets under different pretexts is being used against Baloch people and Western forces in Afghanistan.
Sami Baloch, an activist of FBM from Washington DC, urged the US government and people to stop supporting Pakistan as Pakistan supports ISIS, Taliban and other terrorist groups that are threat to world peace. He said Pakistan's nuclear weapons should be monitored because of the presence of religious groups in that country.
The FBM, headed by Hyrbyair Marri, has been protesting against human rights violations in Balochistan and against testing of Pakistan's nuclear weapons in Balochistan for past many years.
The FBM will continue to be the voice of Baloch nation and advocate of Baloch freedom struggle on international level and inform the world community on behalf of Baloch nation that Pakistan is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity that are against all international conventions and norm, according to the statement.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)