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China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) vs Defender of Balochistan, the Baloch Liberation Army!

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Human Rights Violations, Azghar Baloch
World Baloch Organisation Activist Azghar Baloch brings Human Rights Violations to the notice of International Community, Wikimedia
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– by Meeran Baloch

May 15, 2017: China in collaboration with Pakistan is building Gwadar port for her military and economic interests without the consent of the Baloch nation. After constructing Gwadar port, China will be able to encircle USA and India in the Arabian Sea, and to some extent, it will be able to exert control over the Strait of Hurmuz choke as well.

China in partnership with Pakistan has also been robbing the gold and copper of Balochistan from Saindak project since 1995. Metallurgical Company of China (MCC) has obtained the Saindak project contract in 2003. From 2003 till 2013, in a decade, it has probably extracted 177,036 million tons of copper from this project; while the people of Balochistan are living a miserable life below the abject poverty line.

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Baloch natural resources are being used for the welfare of people of both countries, Punjabi Pakistan and China, while Baloch themselves are deprived of their own resources due to Punjabi colonial rule. Without the consent of the Baloch nation, both the new colonial powers are ransacking and looting Baloch national resources.

After pocketing of Saindak Gold and Copper money, both Pakistan and China have started another exploitive scheme of building Gwadar Port in the name of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Baloch armed organizations are fighting tooth and nail to stop this China-Pakistan Nexus on their soil, Balochistan.

In order to see the so-called CPEC through, Pakistan is killing and displacing the native Baloch living on the adjacent areas of the route of this China-Pakistan Nexus in Balochistan. Since 1999، a whopping number of Baloch men and women have been killed, disappeared, evacuated and terrorized by Pakistan army and ISI. Collective punishment of general public is their prime objective to prevent Baloch young from participating in the resistance.

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When the construction of Gwadar port started, Pakistan also accelerated the on-going spree of killing, disappearing, displacing and terrorizing of Baloch people in Balochistan, where almost 25000 Baloch men, including women, have gone missing, more than 5000 men have brutally been killed in extra Judicial practice. More than 500000 have forcefully been displaced from their own fatherland.

Baloch has been defending their fatherland from Pakistani colonial rule since 1948. Baloch made many attempts since that time to regain their independence from Pakistan, but all that efforts failed due to lack of discipline and international moral support.

The scope of 1948, 1958, 1968 and 1974 resistance movement was limited to only Kohistan Marri, Wadh and Kalat areas.

Nevertheless, the new movement which emerged in 1999 under the umbrella of Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), is entirely different from all previous movements; it is clandestine, disciplined, widespread and popular among the masses.

It is the first time in the history of Balochistan that all the areas of Balochistan are witnessing the same level of resistance against Pakistan from Kohistan Marri to Gwadar. BLA became a nightmare for Pakistani army, it practically endeavoured to safeguard the interests of Baloch and the same way Baloch trusted the leadership of BLA and consider it their defender.

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Today, the BLA targeted and killed personnel of Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) in Gwadar who were working on Chinese funded projects. FWO is a construction company own and directly control by the Pakistan Army. It has also built several military, naval, air force bases in Balochistan.

People of Balochistan are confident that as long as the Baloch Liberation Army is strong under the committed leadership, the dream of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would not be realised by any mean.

Meeran Baloch is a native of Gwadar, student of politics and he supports establishment of an independent Balochistan

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.