The pang of Pakistani military oppression of the people of Baluchistan, pain of leaving the homeland in forced circumstances and left with no option to take legal recourse to dislodge China from their land on his own- all the varied emotions come at fore when he starts talking about the ordeal of Baluchistan. He is Brahamdagh Bugti, the leader of Baloch Republican Party and grandson of strong and popular tribal chieftain Akbar khan Bugti who was killed by the Pakistan army in a ruthless manner. India has of late come as great source of hope for Bugti Junior. He says that the whole world has recognized the trauma of Baluchistan and if India does not feel this, who else will? He expects positive response on his asylum application. At the same time, he regrets for Baluchistan not becoming part of India in the year of 1947 for, it would have otherwise changed the fate of Baluch people and had not been invaded and annexed by the Pakistani army. Excerpts from the exclusive telephonic conversation with the Baloch leader living in exile in Switzerland:
Who are you, a rebel, an agitator or a political activist? What is the main issue of resistance/fight?
I am fighting for the freedom of Baluchistan. Naturally there are reasons for that. Our land has been illegitimately occupied, Baloch populace witnessed the worst kind of atrocities and the same is continued even today. The way Pakistan is treating people of Baluchistan, is unimaginable for even animals. Does any army resort to airstrike on its civilians? Does any army crushes its own people under tanks? We have no clue how many persons have been killed. We don’t have any idea about the number of missing persons either. We need freedom from all these. That’s why we dreamed of independent Baluchistan and we are living for that cause. So, we are political activists.
What do you think about BNP (Baluchistan Nationalist Party) and likes? Are fight and cause of both are the same?
Our primary goal is to get independence for our homeland. But that is not the case with BNP and other smaller groups. Their outlook is different. They are not fighting for an independent state. We are working closely with so many political parties and individuals who are of the opinion that independence is the only solution for all the problems and pains of Baloch people and have associated them with Baloch Republican Party. We have been also communicating to the world about the atrocities meted out to the Balochs by Pakistan and why demand for separate Baluchistan is pivotal to our strategy. Baloch communities residing in London, Germany, France, Norway, Switzerland, and many more such places, are working for that cause.
Are you contemplating to legally put forward the case of Baluchistan on international forums?
Definitely! We have already decided in this regard during our discourse in last month’s Central Committee meeting. It was decided to file cases before International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. First of all, we will approach the International Criminal Court. Our team has already moved ahead to hire professionals for the purpose and we will proceed accordingly. We will file cases against army Generals of Pakistan army, and also the then President Mr. Parvez Musharraf and the ISI Chief Mr. Parvez Kiyani who killed my grandfather Akbar Khan Bugti, in a most horrendous manner.
You talk about independence of Baluchistan. The pain of Baluchistan is quite evident from your views… What do you think about India?
Look, our relationship with India has been cordial and friendly since time immemorial. We remained part of the Indian subcontinent before partition. I do feel unfortunate for Baluchistan not becoming part of this great nation at that time. It would have been altogether a different story if we could become part of the country where democracy is so vibrant and rights of every person, including that of a woman have been ensured. But that could not happen and I feel it unfortunate for Baluchistan. But, that is past and practically it does not seem possible now. So for now, my first priority is to get my country liberated from the clutches of Pakistan. After that, the future course will be decided by the people of Baluchistan..
Often there has been talk of Greater Baluchistan. What do you think on this?
I wish to make this point quite clear that we are just talking about Pakistan’s illegitimate occupation of Baluchistan. We are fighting for the populace of Baluchistan only. Well, Baloch population is in Afghanistan and Iran as well. But, there position and situation are different from that of ours. Of course, there are some minor issues but, generally they are satisfied lot of people in their respective countries. It is the greater design of Pakistan and its intelligence agency ISI to coin the term Greater Baluchistan. In fact, it is a plot to turn Afghanistan and Iran against Baloch.
What is your stand on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor?
The project is utterly illegal. Our territory is being used for their vested interests. In fact, Baluchistan has faced illegitimate occupation twice. Once, when Pakistan's army invaded and annexed Baluchistan after crushing the local opposition and then Pakistan handed over the territory to China for Economic Corridor (CPEC). It is simply a case of illegal occupation, and nothing else. They are violating our territory, our resources, our maritime boundaries, our ports…everything. This is blatant infringement of rights of Baloch. Their objective was just to exploit all this for their interest and the same is continuing till date. They have nothing to do with the rights and aspirations of Baloch. We wish to end all this. But, in our exercise to explore the way out, it has been noticed that no political party can challenge the legitimacy of China Pakistan Economic Corridor project. Only States can go for it and on this account we would like to request Afghanistan and India to help us.
Had you earlier sought asylum in India? What are your expectations with the present Narendra Modi’s government?
I have not sought for asylum earlier. Yes, we have great expectations from the present government. Historically also, people of Baluchistan and India have been in good friendly terms. Both have been well wishers for each-other. For this reason, I have requested for asylum. I hope for the best. I think, what India decides, will be in the interest of both. I wish, India should not do anything which is merely of my interest. We, the people of India and Baluchistan are in brotherly terms, we are bhai-bhai so it must be as per wishes of the both.
Why India should give you
Look, I have not made any problematic request. Our thinking is clear, our vision is clear. Our community is living in various parts of the world and we never created problem for them. Baloch are living in London, Germany, Norway and most of them have been granted asylum. There was never any negative response from any western country. We have five or six people in the US also and they were granted asylum within a month. Why it is so? Because, they feel that our request is reasonable, we are going through difficult times, and we are in real need of it. The whole world is giving understanding to our pain. If India doesn’t feel it, who else will? She is our neighbor, we both relish historically friendly ties and thus her responsibility is greater than anyone else. India must open its doors for us. We are neither dangerous nor terrorists. Our request for asylum is being accepted since years. World recognizes our need for asylum and take it as its international obligation. I have talked to people of Indian Embassy and narrated them the situation. Let's hope for the best.
(Courtesy : Hindusthan Samachar News Agency)