Stories of torture perpetuated by the Pakistan Army and its ‘kill and dump’ policy are now tumbling out. In an exclusive interview with Organiser.org, Baluch Freedom activist Mazdak Dilshad Baloch spoke to Nishant Kr Azad about the atrocities Baluch people are facing, how Pakistan has brutally suppressed the Baluchistan freedom movement, their expectations from India & International community and their opposition to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Excerpts:
India has launched a diplomatic offensive against Pakistan. What are the expectations of the Baluch people from India?
It’s a great step that India has taken a diplomatic offensive against Pakistan and the Baluch people around the world are very happy about this. This should have been done much before. This is the need of an hour to isolate Pakistan worldwide. The war crime, genocide, human rights violations and the looting of our resources which we are facing at the hands of Pakistan, should be known to the world. Our request is, India should withdraw the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status for Pakistan. All the countries should stop the military and financial aids that are being given to Pakistan as it is being used for terrorist activities and for the genocide of the Baluch people. Pakistani generals should be taken to the international criminal court for the genocide of the Baluch people. Pakistan has also tried nuclear tests without the consent of the Baluch people. There is a lot India and the international community can do.
What is the impact of India raising human rights violations in Baluchistan?
First of all, Pakistan has increased human rights violations and also increased the level of genocide after India raised this issue. At the same time, the human rights violations issue in Baluchistan has come on the global stage. Soon after Shri Narendra Modi and Smt Sushma Swaraj raised the issue, Baluch’s concerns are getting international attention. Due to this, human rights organisations may be able to work properly in Baluchistan and Pakistan will be compelled to mend its ways.
What do you seek from the international community?
The need of Baluchistan from the international community is to support our freedom. We were free and want to be free. This is the right of the Baluch as a nation to have our own country. We just want what we were. We just want to be back to the way we were. We just want to be out of the occupation of Pakistan.
There has been discussion about terrorist attacks in J&K and now the ‘Surgical Strikes’ executed by India. What is your take?
India has taken the right decision by doing the ‘Surgical Strikes’. Kashmir is an integral part of India and there is no reason for Pakistan to interfere in PoJK and Gilgit-Baltistan. Pakistan is using the resources of Gilgit-Baltistan and selling it to China. We stand with India. Steps should be further taken to defend unarmed and helpless people.
Pakistan equates Baluch nationalists with terrorists. What is your stand on this?
Baluch people are being called terrorists by the ‘Terrorists in Uniform (read Pakistani Army)’, the biggest terrorist in the world. They own the terror capital and run a terror factory. They supply terrorists all over the world. Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh fought for their motherland. In the eye of the occupier and coloniser, he might be a terrorist. The Baluch are fighting for the rights of their people and we are proud of our struggle.
How is Baluchistan’s freedom struggle different from the other separatist movements?
Baluchistan freedom struggle is totally different from the struggle of separatists’ movement of Kashmir. The first thing that is Baluchistan was a free country, it was not a princely state and never part of India. It was a free country since 1410, which was forcefully occupied by Pakistan in 1948. Our struggle is different. Some people try to use other movements like that of Kashmir against the issue of Baluchistan to undermine it. In simple terms, Baluchistan is an international issue and Kashmir is an internal issue of India. One thing, people who buy the Pakistani argument at face value can learn from the fact what they did with Bangladesh, and Afghanistan since 1958 and to Baluch people and the rest of the world.
Baluch people also opposed CPEC. What are the reasons behind this?
It is actually China-Pakistan Terrorist Corridor (CPTC) and not Economic Corridor. They are terrorising and murdering our people, burning our villages, displacing our population and looting our resources. They dug out around 16 kg of gold per day, trucks loads of copper, iron coal and many more. Pakistan is carrying out a big genocide in Baluchistan and China is a direct partner in it. They are building the CPEC not for the benefit of the Baluch people but for the benefit of the Punjabis, Chinese and the occupiers. Baluch land and its resources are the property of Baluch. Only they can use it and it’s their right whoever they want to sell it, not to sell it. One should not dare to touch it until and unless Baluchistan is free and totally under the control of its own people of its own democratic government.
What took Baluch so long to come and speak in India?
It’s an interesting question. We need to go through the history to get the answer. Before 1947, Baluchistan was a free country. During the time period of 47 and 48 Mir Ghaus Baksh Bizenjo, the then governor of free Baluchistan with some of his representatives came to India and asked for help from Jawahar Lal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, as Jinnah was pressurising and threatening us. For some reason, Nehru ji and the Indian political leadership refused to help us. Just after a couple of months Pakistan attacked us and took our King and Queen and at gunpoint asked them to sign the paper of annexation. This is a legally null document with no legal standing. For 70 years we tried to get on our feet and fight for freedom but every time we were crushed. A couple of months back, a visionary leader from Baluchistan, she (read Naila Quadri Baloch) got up and said I am going to India to ask for help, though some people desisted her. She decided to go forward with the hope that this time it’s not the same India it used to be; she talked openly and called for help to Shri Modi, political parties and the general public. She interacted with many think tanks and presented a Baluch point of view. After that, I came here. I was in Delhi on August 15 when Shri Narendra Modi mentioned about the human rights violations in Baluchistan. That changed everything.
Most of the Baluch leaders are either dead or in exile. In this situation how would you pace the Baluchistan Freedom movement?
You are right that most of our leadership is either dead, underground or living outside Baluchistan but there are people inside Baluchistan who are running this movement. This movement is not led by a couple of personalities. This movement is a mass movement. There is a huge mass level of support to carry this movement for freedom. The people living in Baluchistan are giving momentum to this movement and waiting for the support of the international community. The day Baluch people get support, proper support, Baluch people will show the world how strong the Baluchis are and how firmly they can stand for their freedom and their motherland.
What are your future strategies to deal with Pakistan?
The strategy should be decided together with our International friends. Strategies are executed and not said. All strategies will be adopted to achieve these objectives.