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Outswinger: Will Indian Muslims stand up to the cause of a Free Balochistan?

In Western Uttar Pradesh, there is even a village called Balochpura

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With Indian Prime Minister Modi raising the issue of Balochistan in his Inependence Day speech last month, the issue since has been in sharp focus in Indian media. Modi’s voice has bolstered the resolve and enthusiasm of Baloch separatists. As we all know, Baloch nationalists and separatists have been demanding separation of Baloch province from Pakistan for an independent country. They say that Balochistan was never a part of Pakistan and was acceded by force by Pakistani military.

History reveals that Baloch people have a distinct culture and identity spanning in areas that fall in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Today, Balochistan makes almost 45 % of the total geographical area of Pakistan, but Baloch people feel marginalized and many consider Pakistan as an occupier of their land. Persecution of Baloch people by Pakistani army and authorities is a routine affair.

Before 1947, Balochistan was part of India, as a princely state. Though due to partition, a part of India became a separate nation, called Pakistan, yet the connection between Balochistan and India remains. People of Baloch origin live in Delhi and some areas of Western Uttar Pradesh, namely Meerut, Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar. A report published in Times of India informs that there are approximately half a dozen villages in these areas with a significant Muslim population of Baloch ethnicity. There is even a village called Balochpura in Baghpat district.

Baloch freedom activist Mazdak Dilshad Baloch has traveled to India and has been meeting people in these areas to garner support for a free Balochistan.

In my opinion, this ethnic connection will make the struggle easy for Baloch people. India was instrumental in getting East Bengal their due in form of a separate homeland (Bangladseh). Now, it is the turn for Baloch brethren to get their Azaadi.

Flag used by Sindhudesh Liberation Army (SLA). Pic taken from their website.
Flag used by Sindhudesh Liberation Army (SLA). Pic taken from their website.

Well, there are other fronts in Pakistan too that have been simmering with discontentment. Take for example, Sindh province of Pakistan. Yesterday, I spoke to Shafi Muhammad Burfat who lives in exile in Europe and is the Chairman of Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM), an organization declared as terrorist by Pakistan. They have been fighting for the cause of an independent Sindhu Desh. Shafi told me how Pakistan, particularly Punjabi Pakistan has been suppressing the people of Sindh and Baloch. He said that Pakistan came into existence overnight without a blood shed and is now using the weapon of Islam to keep intact a country which was never in place in first place! He says Sindh has a history of 12000 years, Shiva is the shakti of Sindh and sufism is the faith.

Indians and Indian Muslim diaspora can play a significant role in giving a voice to Baloch and Sindhi people.

 

 

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  • Mihir

    balochi want balochsitan
    pashtuns want pashtunsitan
    sindhis want sindhudesh
    serakis want serkaistan
    and mohajirs want jinnahpur

  • Saeed Klasra

    First stop killing of innocent kashmiri Muslims then free them with 200million Muslims in India. If Israel can get Palestine after 1500 years diaspora and then Pakistan has strong claim to ruling india for 1000 years Insha Allah the time is not so away.

  • Mihir

    balochi want balochsitan
    pashtuns want pashtunsitan
    sindhis want sindhudesh
    serakis want serkaistan
    and mohajirs want jinnahpur

  • Saeed Klasra

    First stop killing of innocent kashmiri Muslims then free them with 200million Muslims in India. If Israel can get Palestine after 1500 years diaspora and then Pakistan has strong claim to ruling india for 1000 years Insha Allah the time is not so away.

Next Story

American Friends of Balochistan welcomes Trump’s Tough stand on Pak

The American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) issued a statement Monday welcoming Donald Trump's stand on US-Pakistan relations, calling it a vindication of its own stand.

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Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons
Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons

Washington, D.C.– The American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) Executive Committee issued a statement Monday welcoming the President’s stand on US-Pakistan relations, calling it a vindication of its own stand.

The AFB said President Donald J. Trump has called out Pakistan’s constant bluffs with the US and pointed out a big chunk of American assistance was used against people of Balochistan in a secret, dirty war instead of the Taliban.

Khwaja Wali Kirani in Balochistan. Wikimedia Commons

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” President Trump first tweet of 2018 reads.

The tweet was loved by nearly quarter-million Americans and retweeted 83,000 times in less than 24 hours.

The AFB executive committee said the US remains Pakistan’s top foreign aid donor, in addition to the money paid in expectation of cooperation in the Global War on Terror. Yet, for many years now, serving officers in the US Armed Forces have repeatedly spoken out about Pakistan’s perfidy in Afghanistan, which has cost the US lives, money and strategic credibility in the world’s eyes. Pakistan also remains a training ground for terrorism and a prime proliferator of nuclear weapons technology.

No country’s development and democracy have suffered more from Pakistan’s interference via state-sponsored terrorism than Afghanistan. US efforts to help the Afghans rebuild their nation are constantly sabotaged by reeling instability. India is another well-known target.

The AFB said Balochistan is a region rich in natural gas. It that has seen several bloody cycles of insurgency ever since Pakistan forcibly annexed the autonomous Baloch state of Kalat in 1948 in violation of a Standstill Agreement. A portion of historical Balochistan also sits on the other side of Pakistan’s border with Iran. Further, it borders Afghanistan to the north-west. Pakistan’s brutal record in this strategically located province that forms the northern lip of the key Straits of Hormuz has spiked in recent years.

“People of Balochistan tried their very best to work with Pakistan’s false promises of integration after forceful accession, but instead gave genocide to Balochs,” said the statement.

The AFB monitors the situation in Balochistan closely and is in touch with freedom and democracy activists on the ground. The AFB reiterated their call to the Pakistani government to cease violating the physical security of Baloch people, their freedom of expression, and end the policy of economic exploitation and genocidal violence.

A slow-motion genocide in Balochistan has claimed the lives of 35,000 Baloch people, 6,000 of whom were buried in mass graves while 21,000 are Victims of Enforced Disappearances, according to the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons. “The enforced disappearances situation in Balochistan is no different than what it used to be in Chile and Argentine in the 1970s and 1980s,” the AFB executive committee noted.

The AFB executive committee chimed in with similar sentiments expressed by policy experts in academe, veteran politicians, diplomats, intelligence chiefs, and human rights activists. Among them were former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, leading South Asia expert and former Pakistani ambassador Hussain Haqqani, several Baloch freedom and human rights activists cutting across party lines, former head of Afghanistan’s Directorate of Security Amrullah Saleh, and even normally fierce critics of President Trump’s administration such as Prof. Christine Fair, Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

The AFB executive committee consists of Jane Eastwood Weisner, Najeeb Khan, Krishna Gudipati, Soumya Chowdhury and Habiba Ashna. The organization was founded by veteran Baloch journalist Ahmar Mustikhan, who is the president.

Hope and doubt have been expressed on whether the US president’s tweet and words will translate into actionable legislation. Mustikhan published a survey of some of these thoughts in an article titled “Wave of joy sweeps across Afghanistan, Balochistan & India over Trump’s first tweet of 2018”.