A prominent Baloch activist and a permanent representative of Balochistan at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has urged the international community to help prevent the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which the two countries are building at the cost of Balochistan and its people.
Objecting to the already-troubled CPEC project, a cornerstone of the China-Pakistan relationship Mehran Marri, Blochistan's permanent representative at the UNHRC said Pakistan and China have no right for constructing the project that harms both environment and people's livelihood.
"China and Pakistan have no legal right to construct any project on Baloch soil. Any construction there is illegal," ANI quoted Marri as saying, after he raised the issue at the ongoing 33rd Session of the UNHRC in Geneva.
"The international community should object to the construction of this illegal project," he added.
The CPEC that cuts through the entire north-south length of Pakistan is aimed at giving China access to the Gwadar Port that it has helped construct on the Balochistan coast. Pakistan considers the project that is estimated to cost around $45 billion as key to kick-start its sagging economy.
However, both Pakistan and China are increasingly concerned over the "increasing cost of security" and "potential setbacks" the project has brought about.
The project has also brought immense misery to Baloch people who have been subject to atrocities by Pakistani army and police. The decades of sufferings of the Baloch people are now increasingly been exposed by activists and effectively escalated by pressure on Pakistan by Baloch activists and India.
The raising of the CPEC at an international forum is bound to create discomfort in both Beijing and Islamabad, especially for the Chinese. CPEC is part of China's ambitious idea of 'One Belt One Road' and 'Marine Silk Route'.
The renewed push by Baloch activists at various international forums comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised human rights violations in Balochistan during his Independence Day speech.
India is also opposed to the CPEC passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which belongs to India and has been illegally occupied by Pakistan.