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Major Boost in Balochistan Freedom Fight at International Level due to PM Narendra Modi’s Support

The Balochistan freedom cause recalls major boost after Narendra Modi supported it in his independence speech and also raised his voice against the atrocities of Pakistan

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October 13, 2016: Baloch Nationalist leader Naela Qadri Baloch has arrived in India on Tuesday and is seen to believe that things are swiftly changing for them at the international level after the support from Indian prime minister Narendra Modi for the freedom of Balochistan.

According to PTI, She was supposed to campaign in India about the same, earlier this month but failed due to usability to secure the visa on time. Although her son, Mazdak Dilshad Baloch is already campaigning in India.

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“Things are changing rapidly at the international level. You have seen in the United Nations … other countries are coming forward to support the Balochistan issue,” Prof. Baloch, who lives in self-exile in Canada, told reporters after arriving at the IGI airport, mentioned PTI.

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The Balochistan freedom cause recalls major boost after Narendra Modi supported it in his independence speech and also raised his voice against the atrocities of Pakistan.

Another Balochistan leader approached the Indian embassy in Geneva for an asylum.

– prepared by Ayushi Gaur of NewsGram.

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69 Years a Slave? Balochistan’s Struggle for Freedom : A Detailed Report

Baloch nationalists assert that theirs is a freedom struggle; they were occupied by Pakistan in 1948 and have been fighting since to free themselves.

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Balochistan
Baloch people address their protests as a freedom struggle to liberate and unify their people and land from control of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. Wikimedia
  • Even after 70 years of Pakistan’s creation, Balochistan refuses to associate itself as a part of the country
  • Pakistan’s military occupation of Balochistan began in 1948 before which the province had existed as an independent state
  • The insurgency in Balochistan traces its roots in ethnic nationalism along with feelings of political and economic exclusion

Balochistan, August 31, 2017 : Located in the South West of Pakistan, the Balochistan province of Pakistan constitutes nearly 45 per cent of the country’s territory. However, even after 70 years of Pakistan’s creation, the people of the province refuse to associate themselves with Pakistan or its framework of a nation state. They believe they have been Balochis for over three thousand years, who have now been invaded.

“It is freedom struggle,” believes activist Naela Quadri Baloch like many other Baloch nationalists. According to her, Balochistan had been occupied by Pakistan in 1948 and “ever since we have been fighting against Pakistan to free ourselves”, she believes.

In 2016 during an interview with The Times of India, the women’s leader and activist Naela Quadri Baloch had asserted that Pakistan is not interested in Kashmiris but specifically in the territory of Jammu and Kashmir for its desire to control the Indus river system. Similarly, it is also not interested in the Balochis, but the land of the state for its strategic location and mineral reserves.

Baloch nationalists assert that Pakistan’s economy is dependent on loans from the IMF, World Bank and the Western countries that are allegedly taken on the pretext of Balochistan’s rich mineral resources. They further claim that Pakistan’s strategic importance is also due to Balochistan coast. Pakistan would not be able to survive, which is why it does not want Balochistan to emerge as an independent state.

Balochistan
Balochistan comprises of about 45 per cent of Pakistan’s territory. Wikimedia

While the world views it as an insurgency movement, Balochis address their protests as a freedom struggle to liberate and unify their people and land from control of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.

They maintain that Balochistan was never a part of India or Pakistan and it had always been an independent country.

Balochistan At The Time Of Partition

Balochistan comprises of four erstwhile princely states – Kalat, Kharan, Lasbela and Makran, that had been unified by Naseer Khan, the Khan of Kalat.

During the British rule, the province was divided into British Balochistan (25 per cent) and Native Balochistan, occupying 75 per cent of the total territory with people pledging adherence to Naseer Khan.

Immediately following partition and the creation of Pakistan, Khan’s descendant, Mir Ahmed Yaar Khan was faced with three options – independence, or accession to either India or Pakistan. He decided upon independence, following which a communiqué was released on August 11, 1947 giving independent sovereign status to Kalat.

However, by October 1947, Mohammad Ali Jinnah mooted Kalat to formally join the state of Pakistan. The Khan of Kalat did not agree to the accession which was followed by a standstill between the two leaders upon the status of present-day Balochistan.

Becoming A Part Of Pakistan

By April 1948, the Pakistan army moved into the province and captured Kalat. The Khans’ attempts of an armed campaign against the Pakistan army went futile and the province was merged with Pakistan by June 1948.

At the center of Balochistan’s forced accession was Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who had previously been hired by the Khans for his legal services to negotiate Kalat’s independent status with the Britishers.

Before partition, Jinnah had successfully mooted an ‘Independent Status’ of Kalat for which he was graciously awarded with gold. But, Balochistan breathed as a free country only from August 1947 to March 1948, after which Jinnah breached trust and betrayed the Khan, forcing the Pakistani invasion and eventual accession of Kalat.

ALSO READ Violence surges yet again in Balochistan

Surprisingly, during the struggle and annexation of present-day Balochistan, the Indian Congressmen, Mahatma Gandhi or the then-Governor General Lord Mountbatten made no attempts to hinder in the remonstration. This indifference can be attributed to the Indian leaders’ failure to realize the strategic implication of a sovereign Balochistan at the time.

A Growing Ethnic Nationalism

Following the formation of Pakistan, distorted power relations existed among different Muslim ethnicities. Additionally, unchallenged power was exercised by Punjabis who comprised of about 56 per cent population of the state.

In 1954, the One Unit scheme was launched by the federal government of Pakistan to merge the four existing provinces of West Pakistan (Khyber-Pakhtunkawa, Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab) to form a homogeneous, united political entity in an attempt to,

  • Forge national unity on basis of Islam and geography
  • Reduce gross expenditure
  • Help eliminate ethnic prejudices.

The move triggered violence throughout the country and especially in Balochistan, wherein this was interpreted as a strategy to establish Punjabi domination.

Balochistan rose against the move, which came to an end in 1970 with the overthrow of the One Unit scheme.

However, following the rebellion, a strong sense of nationalism, propounding larger political autonomy and a separate state for Balochistan broke a full-fledged insurgency from 1973 to 1977; over 80,000 personnel were deployed to quell the rebellion.    

Armed struggle to achieve separation from Pakistan lasted throughout the 1970s, in which 3,300 army personnel and 5,300 Balochis were killed. However, the Pakistani government successfully compressed the movement.

Economic Alienation

Baloch nationalists have repeatedly argued that they are yet to receive any benefit from the development projects that have been initiated by the government in Balochistan.

  1. Reportedly, the Sui Gas Field in Balochistan caters to most urban households in the country. Despite producing about 45 per cent of gas for Pakistan, the province gets to consume a mere 17 per cent. Additionally, the Balochis get a nominal amount of Pakistani Rupees 6 for a 24-hour supply.
  2. The Pakistani government, in collaboration with China, initiated the development of the Gwadar port in the province, with an aim to better trade ties with Asia, Europe, and US. However, a large number of Punjabis and non-Baloch people were hired for the project, leaving an increasing population of Baloch engineers and technicians unemployed.
  3. Balochistan has one of the world’s richest reserves of copper and gold. However, as much as 16 kgs of gold is seized everyday by the Chinese under an arrangement with the government, which robs the Balochis of major economic benefits.
  4. Despite being one of the country’s key providing areas,
    • 80 per cent population of Balochistan continue to live in the absence of safe drinking water
    • 80 per cent people do not have access to electricity
    • 70 per cent children have never been to school
    • 63 per cent of Balochis live below the poverty line

While ethnic nationalist interests continue to worry Balochistan, a primary demand has also been about better control over the economic resources of the region.

However, the Pakistani government blames the nationalist struggle in the region for impeding the developmental process.

Political Subjugation By Islamabad

Balochistan makes up nearly 45 per cent of Pakistan’s territory but the Balochs comprise only 5 per cent of the total population, making them a minority in Pakistan.

Their representation in the National Assembly of Pakistan is also negligible (17 out of 342) which reveals that the Balochis have lost their say in policy formulations and are forced to adhere to laws that have been put in place for them by power honchos sitting in Islamabad.

Additionally, the Pakistan government centered in Islamabad has eradicated most of the Baloch activists and nationalists, calling them ‘foreign agents against the state’. This can be supplemented with the murder of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti who was an ex chief minister of Balochistan.

ALSO READ Akbar Bugti: Remembering the Balochistan Hero on his 11th Martyrdom Anniversary

Pakistan And Its inherent Demand of Balochistan

Ever since the creation of Pakistan, it has been evident that the Pakistan government is more concerned with occupying the physical territory of Balochistan, with meager interest in its indigenous population.

The Pakistan army, on command of the government has employed every possible armory against its own people of Balochistan, in an attempt to contain the province within its seizure. Furthermore, army cantonments have been established at Dera, Gwadar, Bugti and Kohlu to gauge activity and movement of the Baloch people.

Additionally, despite occupying 45 per cent of Pakistan’s territory, the budget allocated to Balochistan is minuscule in comparison to its vast landmass.

In 2002, General Pervez Musharraf had striked a deal with China over the Gwadar port development as part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Baloch people condemned the allocation of land to the rich businessmen of Punjab and Karachi and further lamented the unemployment stemming from the project. The move also instigated further violence in the region.

Balochistan
Gwadar port in Balochistan. Wikimedia

As of now, according to report, all 22 districts of Balochistan continue to suffer at the hands of the enduring insurgency with the tally of displaced people now crossing over 2 lacs.

In more recent times, the Pakistan army took aid of suicide bombers to tackle the ongoing insurgency. On August 8, 2017, as many as 54 lawyers became victims of a suicide attack, which is being touted as a State-funded action as the group included several Baloch activists who had been vocal about Pakistan army’s interference in state affairs.

ALSO READ Balochistan Suicide Bombing: Provincial Government Falsely blames India for the Attack

According to a report published in Dawn,prince of the now redundant Kalat state, Prince Mohyuddin Baloch who is now the  Baloch Rabita Ittefaq Tehreek chief,  had said that Balochis are not looking to wage wars. Until now, Balochis have not once attacked Pakistan, but only defended themselves.

He said the objective of their protests has been to draw the government’s attention. However, regretfully, no one is paying any heed to their cries.

Dr. Aasim Sajjad Akhtar had rightly quoted in an article in the Economic and Political Weekly that the “ethnic difference remains the single biggest fault line in Pakistani politics.”

The Balochistan insurgency thus, traces its roots in a ripe ethnic nationalism along with feelings of political and economic exclusion. This animosity among the country will continue unless Pakistan accepts its non-Muslim history.


 

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Pakistani Forces Advance Military Attacks in Dera Bugti (Balochistan), Kidnaps and Murder 2 in Chathar

Many huts of innocent Baloch nomads have been set on fire by Pakistani forces

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Freedom from Pakistan, balochistan the largest province of Pakistan
Freedom struggle of Balochistan. Wikimedia

Quetta, Pakistan, August 29, 2017: Pakistani forces are on a continual strike, from past few weeks they have intensified attacks and their offensives towards innocent people of Baloch in Sui Dera Bugti and many other districts of Balochistan.

According to Balochwarna report, “the Pakistan forces have conducted fresh military aggressions in Sui, a sub-district of Dera Bugti and surrounding areas including Laghari Wadh, Mazar Deen Otagh, Hapt wali and other regions.”

Many huts of innocent Baloch nomads have been set on fire by Pakistani forces and they have shamelessly looted hundreds of livestock owned by them. Pakistani forces had the backing of gunship helicopters, they bombarded the area with gunship helicopter for the whole day.

However, 2 dead bodies of victims have been found, these 2 victims were kidnapped and (later murdered) during the ‘Chathar military operation’.

The military had abducted many Baloch men,  Baloch women, and children 2 days ago but later the dead bodies of  Brohi Bugti and his nephew Thapa Bugti. were thrown away by Pakistani forces. There are some other abducted Baloch people who are still in the custody of Pakistani forces, no one except them knows where are they and if they are dead or alive.

Separately, the forces are still continuing their attacks targeting the innocent Baloch civilians in several districts of Balochistan such as Khuzdar, Kech, Kohlu, and Awaran.


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Akbar Bugti: Remembering the Balochistan Hero on his 11th Martyrdom Anniversary

With age being no factor, the Nawab fought for Balochistan till his dying breath

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Martyrdom Anniversary
Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti died fighting for Baloch freedom. Facebook
  • Akbar Bugti was the governor and CM of Balochistan
  • The Martyr bravely died in his fight to liberate Balochistan from oppressive Pakistani forces
  • He was martyred on 26 August 2006 in a battle against Pakistani military

August 26, 2017: Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti is a name that can never be erased from Balochistan history. The Baloch hero sacrificed a prosperous and luxurious life for the people of Balochistan.

When the people of Balochistan were in dire need of help, Nawab Akbar Bugti stood up for them. With age being no factor, the Nawab fought for Balochistan till his dying breath.

Here are 15 things you need to know about the Baloch hero, Akbar Bugti:

1. Born in Barkhan, Balochistan on 12th July 1927, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti went on to attend the Oxford University in London. At just 13 years of age, Akbar Bugti was declared the chief of his tribe after his father’s death in 1939.

2. Bugti favored the separation of Pakistan from India, but while he was a Pakistani nationalist, he was a stronger Baloch nationalist. In 1947, he also advocated the accession of Balochistan from Pakistan.

3. He was appointed as Interior Minister of the State in 1958, thus starting his political career.

4. From the beginning till mid-1960’s, Akbar Bugti was imprisoned for supporting a National Awami Candidate and helping him defeat Field Marshal Ayub Khan. This had left Ayub Khan embarrassed who ordered for Bugti’s imprisonment. He was finally let go after a long hunger strike.

Also Read: Seminar in Washington to Pay Tributes to Former Balochistan Governor and Chief Minister Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti

5. He was appointed the governor of Balochistan by the Federal Government in the early 1970s but resigned after Pakistan Military began massive oppression of Baloch people.

6. Akbar Bugti became the Chief Minister of Balochistan National Alliance in 1988 but resigned when Gen. Muhammad Musa Khan dissolved the provincial assembly.

Martyrdom Anniversary
Akbar Bugti in Dera Bugti. Twitter

7. Bugti, several years later, formed his political party called Jamhoori Watan Party. The party became rapidly popular among the people of Balochistan. In 1997, he was re-elected to National Assembly.

8. After the 2005 rape incident involving a young Sindhi girl and a Pakistani officer, Bugti demanded justice, but it yielded no results. Parvez Musharraf refused to speed up the trial of accused officer.

9. As heated remarks came from both sides, Musharraf launched a military attack on Bugti and his forces. The fighting continued for months with troops dying from both sides.

10. Pakistani forces on 26th August 2006 carried out the encounter of Bugti and 23 of his troops. Musharraf was quoted in December 2005 saying, “There are two or three tribal chiefs and feudal lords behind whats going on in Balochistan. My government is determined to establish its writ. It will be a fight to the finish.”

11. During the battle between Bugti’s forces and Pakistan Military, Bugti’s base of operations Dera Bugti was heavily bombarded. As a result of this offense, 1,60,000 people were displaced from the region.

12. While Musharraf hoped that Bugti’s death would suppress demands for a separate Baloch, more fuel was added to the fire that was once ignited by Akbar Bugti. Separatist movements sparked higher.

13. Musharraf always maintained that the goal was to capture Bugti alive. Some stories also say that Bugti killed himself when the Pakistani military cornered him.

14. Gen. Parvez Musharraf was acquitted of the charges against him for the murder of Akbar Bugti in January 2016.

15. One of Bugti’s quotes that define his life came in a telephonic interview with TIME in the year 2016, “It is better to die-as the Americans say-with your spurs on. Instead of a slow death in bed, I’d rather death come to me while I am fighting for a purpose.” Bugti died at 79 years of age.

Baloch people will never forget the contributions and acts of bravery exhibited by Akbar Bugti. His courage continues to inspire the very youth that seeks the same purpose: Separation from Oppressive Pakistan. 


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