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FO summoned Switzerland envoy over Free Baluchistan propaganda campaign

19 September, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Monday summoned Switzerland’s envoy designate Thomas Kolly over a ‘Free Baluchistan’ propaganda campaign reportedly being run in Geneva by the defunct Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

The Foreign Office registered a strong protest over the smear campaign and conveyed to the envoy that the use of Switzerland’s soil for the subversive activities was a violation of the international laws.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Farukh Amil has already wrote to Swiss Permanent Representative Valentin Zellweger, drawing his attention to the ‘Free Baluchistan’ posters placed along Rue de Ferney in the Grand Sacconex area.

In a letter written on September 6 — a copy of which is available with Daily Times, Amil said that the posters that appeared in the area around Rue de Ferney of Grand Saconnex ‘mentioned the name of Balochistan House (BH) as a sponsor’.

Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva “has counted eight posters and one digital poster on display since this Monday [September 3],” the letter reads.

According to the ambassador, a car “remained parked near [the digital poster] and seemed to be guarding [it].” “It is quite conceivable that local city authorities received certain revenue fee for display of these posters,” Amil said in the letter, stressing that “any notion of ‘Free Baluchistan’ is a flagrant attack on [the] sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan.”

According to the letter, the BH — the apparent sponsor of these posters — is an affiliate of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), which is a “listed terrorist organisation under the laws of Pakistan and other countries, including the United Kingdom.”

“The fact that terrorists or elements linked with terrorists operate openly for their propaganda campaigns in the peaceful and serene city of Geneva, capital of the United Nations, is a matter of grave concern,” the letter reads.

“The use of Swiss soil by terrorists and violent secessionists for nefarious designs against Pakistan and its 200 million people is totally unacceptable,” said the ambassador, demanding that “the incident is fully investigated with a view to blocking its recurrence in the future.”

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