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Baloch group plans meet on CPEC in EU House
By Tariq Butt January 04, 2018
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ISLAMABAD: A group called Baloch Voice Association (BVA) has hired an influential lobbying firm to arrange a conference on Balochistan in the European Parliament against the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The lobbying firm has not disclosed the amount paid to it in the European Union’s Transparency Register, said a report.

The BVA, whose president is France-based Munir Ahmed Mengal, made payments to Kreab, which specialised in strategic communications consultancy and has offices in over three dozen countries, to arrange conference in the European Parliament which is scheduled to take place this month featuring Khan of Khalat, Mir Suleman Dawood Jan, as the main guest.

The firm didn’t declare details of the payments it received in the Transparency Register, the source of funding and nature of the contract.

However, the report said firm has been paid in cash to arrange the conference and “to look after the European Parliament members.”

Emails sent by the BVA’s President Munir Mengal to the lobbying firm to organise the conference inside the European Parliament stated that the conference will be titled “Why Balochistan matters: Implications of China’s One Belt One Road policy on the Baloch community” and its impacts on “the future of the regional and international communities; concerns etc. against CPEC”.

“BVA needs your kind support to organise this conference” and “BVA and Baloch European Diaspora will bear the expanses of this conference,” the email said.

It made the financial offer for those who will attend the conference and will give supporting views: “The Baloch Diaspora in Europe will be able to give donation for your party.”

The lobbying firm then sent dozens of email invitations to influential EU parliamentarians stating that it was acting on behalf of the “BVA, a non-governmental organisation which aims to defend and pursue respect of human rights for the citizens of Balochistan.”

The firm explained in its correspondence that object of the conference is about the CPEC.

“As you are already aware, the territory, a province of Pakistan, has become an important economic and strategic hub for the country.

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