Border closure yet another proof of Pakistan’s anti-Baloch mindset, says Dr Tara Chand

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WASHINGTON, DC: The Baloch American Congress (BAC) has said closing the border with Iran is yet another proof of the anti-Baloch mindset of the state of Pakistan.

“In the backdrop of extreme economic deprivation in Balochistan, Pakistan’s action has shut the door of livelihood on thousands of impoverished Baloch people in the bordering districts of Gwadar, Panjgur, Kech and Washuk,” BAC president Dr Tara Chand said Sunday.

He said Islamabad’s arbitrary action has left hundreds of mini-trucks that bring in essential commodities and oil stranded at the borders.

“At least four deaths have been reported on the borders due to lack of water and food for the drivers,” he said.

He said prices of essential commodities and oil have shot up because of the border lockdown.

“More than two-thirds of the population in Balochistan is already living below the poverty line. The army-installed government is pushing the people of Balochistan further to the brink of famine,” he lamented.

He said Pakistan’s borders with Iran was in fact an arbitrary, artificial line drawn by the British, called the Goldsmith Line, in 1871.

“The nearly 600-mile Goldsmith Line divided Baloch families living on the two sides. It is height of cruelty for Pakistan to block small scale local trade at the point of gun across this line.”

As if Pakistan’s tyranny isn’t enough, he said seven weeks back Iranian border security forces had shot dead 12 Baloch youths on the same line near Panjgur.

The BAC president also informed the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Professor Olivier De Schutter, about the disastrous situation.

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