Baloch groups in the United States on Saturday began a mobile billboard campaign in Washington DC to seek President Donald Trump’s help in ending “enforced disappearances” in Pakistan, PTI reported.
Pick-up vans with massive billboards started running on the streets of Washington DC a day before Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in the city for his first visit to the US for talks with Trump to “refresh” bilateral relations.
The Baloch Republican Party and the World Baloch Organization, which are dedicated to defending the political, social and cultural rights of the Baloch people, are jointly running the campaign. “The campaign aims to draw attention of the US and request President Donald Trump to help stop human rights abuses in Balochistan, including enforced disappearances by state forces,” the Baloch Republican Party said.
Earlier this week, blasphemy law critic Shaan Taseer urged Trump to raise the issue of Christian persecution when he meets Khan. “I would be very grateful if you would raise with him the issue of persecuted Christians in Pakistan, the blasphemy law and people who are suffering under this law,” Taseer from Pakistan told Trump during a meeting at the Oval Office.
Taseer is the son of Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province who was assassinated in 2011 for his opposition to the country’s blasphemy law. Taseer spoke to the US president during the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom held in Washington from July 16 to July 18. Among the participants was Yazidi activist Nadia Murad, whose exchange with Trump went viral after he asked her why she had been given a Nobel Prize.
Trump promised to raise the matter when he meets Khan.
In March, Trump had indicated he was ready to meet Pakistan’s new prime minister amid the ongoing peace talks between the US and the Taliban facilitated by Islamabad to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan.