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NewsGram Exclusive: Activist Mazdak Dilshad Baloch says his struggle for free Balochistan started in his childhood

Rendezvous with Mazdak Dilshad Baloch in New Delhi


New Delhi, Sept 21, 2016: ‘No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.’ Mazdak Dilshad Baloch, a Baloch activist left his home soil many years ago to go seek asylum in Canada. Today after touring different nations for support, he turned his face towards India to talk about his fight.

In an exclusive Interview with Reporter Aakash Mandyal of NewsGram, Dilshad Baloch who has become the voice of Baloch people- speaks about his childhood journey and the need of Balochistan Freedom Movement.


People come forward against atrocities by Pakistan in Balochistan. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
People come forward against atrocities by Pakistan in Balochistan. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Aakash: You had a place in Balochistan you could call a home. Soon, things turned ugly and the word Home lost its meaning while you looked for an asylum like a refugee. Today, you wear the refuge tag as a badge of strength courage and victory. Would you like to share your story with us ?

Mazdak: My struggle for a free Balochistan started during my childhood. My grandfather and maternal grandfather were also a part of this struggle. However, one final day we had to leave Balochistan secretly as a result of the intolerable five years that I and my family had to overcome suffering. In 2006, my father was kidnapped, he was tortured for 2 years before we found him. Soon after that, my mother was arrested. We eventually had to live a life in hiding.

Having said that, I would still call us lucky because we could escape from the noose. After our escape from Pakistan, we headed to Kabul, Afghanistan where we stayed for about four and half years. We befriended few Balochis living there and then left for Canada where the Canadian government gave us residency.

location of balochistan in a map
location of Balochistan in a map

Aakash: There have been reports of Balochi’s being tortured in Pakistan. How true do they stand ?

Mazdak: Torture, it’s a tool adopted by Pakistan to suppress the people of Balochistan. It’s nothing short of a concentration camp today. More than 25,000 Baloch people including women and children are missing. 3000 mutilated bodies of people who were kidnapped, arrested and killed have been recovered. Unsurprisingly, faces of these bodies were destroyed with acid so they are left unidentified.

Adding to that, there exist mass graves where 140 to 150 bodies are buried alive. These bodies found were missing organs like eyes, kidney, heart and liver. Signalling towards organ trading activities being carried out in the region. Pakistan campaigns genocide and it has made Balochistan its colony.

Aakash: Are you affiliated with any political party working towards Balochistan freedom?

Mazdak: No, I don’t belong to any party but they have my complete support. I consider myself a common Balochi who simply wants an end to the killings, who simply wants to see their country independent. All organisations and groups are united because they all are working towards the same cause.

Aakash: The U.S. government in their latest statement said: “We do not support independence for Balochistan and respect the unity and territorial integrity of Pakistan”. Do you have anything to add here?

Mazdak: America undoubtedly is the biggest power in this world but Pakistan is like that clever fox which can betray even a giant elephant. Terrorism has always had it’s origin in Pakistan. New York, Paris and many more cities are at the point of a knife due to terrorist activities conducted by men setting their bases in Pakistan. Pakistan, on one hand, asserts that it’s fighting against terrorism and on another hand, it perpetuates terrorists. They are spreading a virus and attempting to be an antidote to the virus too.

Aakash: Balochistan covers 40% of Pakistan’s land. It is also a land rich in resources such as copper, iron ore and many others. Additionally, there is Gwadar Port which is expected to generate billions for Pakistan as revenue by supplying barrels of oil to China. How likely do you think it’s freedom is today ?

Mazdak: Actually Balochistan covers 55% of Pakistan. It’s a common misunderstanding, you see they look at just the Baloch province. Balochistan and Baloch province are different. Balochistan fulfils 46% of Pakistan’s demand for energy resources and hence for Pakistan Balochistan is like a golden bird. That’s why they conquered us. That’s why we are being murdered. And that’s why we will never be freed voluntarily.

However, if international forces like the UN intervenes then the tables will turn. Many powerful countries have bowed down under pressure, so why won’t Pakistan.

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Aakash: What is your appeal to the United Nations?

Mazdak: Firstly, UN should break its silence. Their silence is boosting the genocide of Balochis. Their silence is adding fuel to a fire that is burning all of us. People of Syria, Iraq, Balochistan and Afghanistan are all part of humanity and we can’t be left behind.

Secondly, UN should put sanctions on Pakistan because of it’s brazen genocide acts. People forced into slavery must be freed and Pakistan’s forces should be taken out of Balochistan. The manufacturing, storage and use of chemical weapons should be completely banned in Balochistan.

Lastly, there should be war trials on Pakistan’s army and it’s generals. No aid or military support should be given to them on grounds of their activities. Cancer like Pakistan cannot grow without aid or any external support.

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Aakash: What do Balochis of India have to say about the issue ?

Mazdak: The response is pleasantly overwhelming. Baloch people from all over the world are supporting our cause. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a great initiative towards the Baloch issue. His independence day speech is one of the turning points in the Baloch movement and will be remembered in the books of history. Modi and the Indian diaspora has made a special place in the hearts of all Balochis.

Not only Balochis of India but everyone from human right activists to young students are all supporting our plea for independence. With their promise to help us at every step, we are moving with complete self-determination and confidence.

 Reported by Aakash Mandyal and edited by Karishma Vanjani of NewsGram


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PM Narendra Modi: Government bringing Stringent Consumer Protection Law

Prime Minister Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a speech. IANS

New Delhi, October 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the government was in the process of enacting stringent legislation aimed at protecting consumers along with setting up a Consumer Protection Authority (CPA).

“Consumers’ protection is this government’s priority. We are in the process to bring a new law on consumer protection keeping in mind the need of the country and business practices here,” Modi said at an International Conference on Consumer Protection for East, South and South-East Asian Countries.

“We are in the process of forming a Consumer Protection Authority, which will have executive powers, for immediate redressal.”

The rules were being streamlined to solve consumer problems in less time and at less cost, he added.

“The stress is being given on consumer empowerment. Strict provisions are being contemplated against misleading advertisements,” Modi said.

He said India was among the few countries which had enacted a law a year after the UN adopted guidelines on consumer protection in 1986.

The Prime Minister also said the prices of commodities were set to go down and consumer protection for their interest effects due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Due to the GST, the competition among companies was going to increase. So prices will go down. It will help consumers from lower middle class and poor sections,” Modi said.

“Earlier, transportation by trucks would take five days but it has come down to just three three days now as checkposts on borders have vanished after the GST. It means transportation cost has gone down. This is going to be transferred to consumers,”

Taking a dig at those opposed to the GST, he said: “Some people may be taking advantage of the lack of awareness. However, the benefits will be transferred (to consumers) in days to come.”

Talking about the conference, Modi said: “It shows how seriously we take the needs of our citizens and how we strive hard to solve their problems”.

“It is the first conference in the region, where everyone is trying in their own ways to save the interest of consumers. However, we have to keep in mind that the world is going towards a single market,” Modi said.(IANS)

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Tillerson’s Visit to India Highlights Strong Emerging Alliance

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting at the Prime Minister's residence in New Delhi. VOA

The United States pledged its commitment to deepening strategic ties with India as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders in New Delhi during a visit that highlighted their strong emerging alliance.

Combating terrorism and expanding India’s role in helping Afghanistan’s development were key issues discussed by Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Tillerson, who arrived in the capital city after stops in Kabul and Islamabad.

At a news conference after the talks, Tillerson extended an assurance that “in the fight against terrorism, the United States will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with India. Terrorist safe havens will not be tolerated.”

The top U.S. diplomat visited the region after the Trump administration unveiled a new South Asia strategy calling on India to play a larger role in Afghanistan’s economic stabilization and on Pakistan to take more action against militant groups based in the country.

Indian foreign minister Swaraj said President Donald Trump’s new strategy for the region “can only be successful if Pakistan acts decisively against all terror groups without any discrimination.” New Delhi has long blamed Islamabad for supporting insurgent groups that carry out terror acts in India.

Tillerson, who last week said that he sees India as a key partner in the face of what he considers negative Chinese influence in Asia, reiterated that India could play a wider role in the region. Analysts say Washington’s overtures for closer ties with India are prompted by the need to counter China’s rise.

Tillerson told reporters “the United States supports India’s emergence as a leading power and will continue to contribute to Indian capabilities to provide security throughout the region.” He said Washington was willing to provide New Delhi with advanced technologies for its military modernization.

“We also look forward to further cooperation in the broader Indo Pacific region as we both promote a rules-based approach to commerce and a transparent and sustainable approach to economic development,” he said.(VOA)

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BJP to Celebrate November 8 as ‘Anti-Black Money Day’

Anti black money day, Demontisation
Demontisation ousted one thousand rupee notes in India last november. Pixabay free

New Delhi, October 25: In a bid to counter the opposition campaign, the BJP will celebrate November 8, the day high-value currencies were demonetized last year, as “Anti-Black Money Day” across the country.

Announcing the party’s decision to counter the opposition plans for observing the day as “Black Day”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said all prominent leaders, union ministers, state ministers and office bearers will participate in programmes across the country.

On November 8, the party will organize programmes highlighting all the steps the government has taken against black money. He said since the government was formed in 2014, from day one it had taken steps against black money.

“There was a parallel black money economy in the country. When the NDA government came to power (May 2014), Prime Minister Narendra Modi took steps to minimise and end it. On November 8, the BJP will celebrate ‘Anti-Black Money Day’ and mobilize people in favor of the steps taken against black money,” Jaitley told reporters here.

The special investigation team (SIT) to go into black money, which was directed by the Supreme Court in 2011 and was not acted upon by the previous UPA government, was formed by the NDA, the Finance Minister said.

Jaitley also hit out at the Congress over its plans to observe the day because the demonetization decision was “ill-conceived”.

Apparently referring to the opposition criticism, Jaitley said it was normal for political parties which had a number of opportunities to be in power earlier not recognize that the squeeze on black money and the other steps cannot be achieved through baby steps.

The Finance Minister said the BJP would carry forward the debate by the opposition to polarize people against black money through its own campaign.(IANS)