Bharat has raised Baluch Human Rights issue again in the United Nations but Baluch activists expect more to free Baluchistan
Dilip Chaware in US
“People of Baluchistan feel that Bharat and its Prime Minister Narendra Modi should now act to free the region from the stranglehold of Pakistan,” Baluch National Movement (BNM) activist Ahmar Musti Khan says.
Khan told ‘Organiser’ in an interview in New York, “Baluch people have
welcomed and are grateful for the support extended by Modi at such a critical juncture when our nation is struggling to be free from the illegal military
occupation by Pakistan since 1948.”
Khan said Baluch people were never against Hindus and regard Kashmiri Pandits as their brothers. They were against the massacre of Bengalis in 1971 and are against Pakistan’s brutal, inhuman activities.
Asked about the future of Pakistan, Khan firmly predicts a doomsday that will come very soon. “We Baluch
people do not wish to share that dark future,” he exclaims. Khan described in detail how the request of Baluch leaders for staying out of Pakistan was ignored by then Congress leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Abul Kalam Azad, the AICC president at the time. “India could have treated us on par with Nepal or Tibet,” he observes.
People of Baluchistan origin, now settled in many countries around the world, have been trying to attract the world’s attention to their genuine demand for freedom from Pakistan. They are united under the Baluch National Movement (BNM) banner and have been active for a long time. Ahmar had displayed placards and shouted anti-Pakistan slogans at a function addressed by Nawaz Sharif last year. Always active to further the cause of a free Baluchistan, he was leading a demonstration in front of the United Nations headquarters on September 21, 2016 to highlight the demands for a free Baluchistan as the United Nations General Assembly was in session.
Khan distributed a BNM statement regarding the joint protest of Baluch and Sindhi activists held outside the UN to condemn the Pakistani atrocities and the ‘ongoing military operations’ in Sindh and Baluchistan. The BNM said, “We condemn the barbaric terror attack on the Uri camp in J&K in which 18 soldiers of the 12th Brigade of the Indian Army lost their lives. The recent attack and the earlier one at the Pathankot Indian Air Force Base in January 2016 are part of Pakistan’s policy of aggression, employing terrorist methods and outfits to escalate war in the region.”
About the China-Pakistan co-operation, it said China was
partnering with Pakistan in the
economic plundering and mass murder of Baluch civilians, particularly in the coastal belt of the Makran region of Baluchistan. The deep sea port of Gwadar has been sold to China for
military buildup and expansion in the Arabian sea. The 47-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a death trap for the Baluch people in the name of development. An estimated 3,00,000 Baluch tribal and coastal people have been forced out of their ancestral lands and fishing villages to make room for the Chinese and their security establishment.
Since 2003, more than 20,000 Baluch political activists have gone missing, illegally abducted by the Pakistani state security forces. The victims of enforced disappearances are being tortured and executed in custody in thousands and their lifeless, mutilated, bullet-riddle bodies are then dumped. The Pakistan Army and helicopter gunships attack civilian settlements and villages on
regular basis across Baluchistan and entire population is forced to migrate leaving behind a trail of burned down houses and bodies of executed youth, the statement alleged.
“We, Baluch and Sindhi people appeal to the freedom loving citizens of America and the world to support our demands for freedom, peace and justice. We, the victims of Pakistani state aggression and crimes against humanity, want to tell the world that ‘Pakistan is a nuclear-armed terrorist state’ and must be stopped before it destroys the world,” the statement warned.
The Legal-Historical Case
As it is talking point world over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech of August 15, 2016 brings hope in the hearts of more than 25 million Baluch people in Baluchistan and the Diaspora—residing mostly in the Gulf nations and also some who have found refuge in Europe and North America, to escape imminent death in Pakistan and that seven decades of blood and tears of Baluchistan may soon be replaced by the dawn of independence. Almost all Baluch leaders and activists have welcomed Modi’s historic statement but what they are claiming is not new as it has strong legal-historical roots.
There are no two views among the Baluch that their free country was annexed by Pakistan at gunpoint. American historian Professor Chris Mason agrees with this view and writes about the Partition holocaust, “Amid all this chaos and bloodshed, it is often forgotten that another new independent country was born in Partition, not just Pakistan and India. On August 12, 1947, the Khan of Kalat (another name of Baluchistan) declared the independence of Kalat, or Baluchistan. The front page of The New York Times of 15 August 1947, clearly shows both Tibet and Baluchistan, then better known as Kalat, as independent countries. For seven-and-a-half months, Kalat-Baluchistan remained a free and independent country. But on March 27, 1948, Pakistan invaded and occupied Kalat.” According to Mason, there is evidence in historical records suggesting that the aging Khan of Kalat, Mir Ahmadyar Khan, was negotiating at that time with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to seek Bharat’s protection from any Pakistani territorial aggression. But Kalat-Baluchistan may have been betrayed by both Nehru as well as the British, as Nehru took no action.
Mason further says that regardless of the political machinations taking place, it is a matter of historical fact that the
nascent Pakistani Army invaded, occupied and annexed Kalat-Baluchistan. “It is also not in dispute that there was never a referendum, and to this day the people of Baluchistan have never been polled on whether they wish to be incorporated into the territory of Pakistan,” he says.
As Ahmar Musti Khan argues, “The false logic of Pakistan to invade Baluchistan was that the Baluch were Muslims, just like it lays claims on Kashmir, the cradle of Hindu and Buddhist civilisation. One of the most powerful voices for an independent Baluchistan at the time of the 1947 Partition holocaust was Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo, a former governor of Baluchistan and our (Ahmar Musti Khan’s) family friend”. He further narrated the words by prominent Baluch leader Ghous Baksh Bizenjo who had declared in his famous speech against accession with Pakistan: “We are Muslims but it did not mean (it is) necessary to lose our independence and merge with other nations because of the Muslim faith. If our accession into Pakistan, being Muslim, is necessary then Muslim states of Afghanistan and Iran, should also merge with Pakistan.”
Curious Case of Brahumdagh Bugti
The Pakistani Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)’s hand-picked chief minister of Baluchistan Sanaullah Zehri, who reportedly killed his elder brother Sardar Rasool Bakhsh Zehri and also allegedly killed scores of his tribesmen with his own hands, addressed public meetings and press conferences with
pictures of Modi and Brahumdagh Bugti marked with a big “X”. Effigies of Modi were burnt at a rally staged by ISI stooges in Khuzdar, the same district where mass graves were discovered in early 2014.
Undeterred by Islamabad’s attacks, Brahumdagh Bugti addressed the 10th anniversary to commemorate the August 26, 2006 assassination of his grandfather Nawab Bugti. The event entitled ‘Americans Remember Shaheed Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti’ was organised by the ‘American Friends of Baluchistan’ at the National Press Club in Washington DC. At this memorial meeting, Bugti said that winds of change were blowing across South Asia and Southwest Asia and that he was “thoroughly indebted” to Modi for openly condemning Pakistan for atrocities in Baluchistan and for acting “to fulfil his international role of responsibility to protect, commonly called R2P, under the new norms of international law.” Last week, Baluchistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti revealed that Islamabad was seeking an Interpol red warrant for Brahumdagh Bugti’s arrest. The minister, who is a member of the Bugti tribe but has no political following or tribal standing among the Bugtis, has been posted by the ISI and the Pakistan Army's southern command, to help crush the Baluch movement for freedom and justice. In this context, Brahumdagh Bugti is knocking India’s doors for political assylum. What irks most the Baluch people is the dubious role played by the international human rights organisations who never pay heed to their woes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has categorically condemned the inhuman atrocities committed against the people of Baluchistan by Pakistani armed forces which has rekindled the hope that the UN, US, UK, Germany and the European Union will raise their voice to save Baluch people from being massacred. n