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WBWF President Naela Quadri Baloch seeks India’s help for Balochistan’s Independence from Pakistan

The Canadian-based leader in self-exile, cited the alleged atrocities on Baloch women, genocide of Balochis and severe violations of human rights of the Baloch people

People of Balochistan. Flickr

Mumbai, November 01, 2016: World Baloch Women’s Forum (WBWF) President Naela Quadri Baloch on Tuesday sought India’s help for the cause of an independent Balochistan, but urged that the issue should not be mixed up with Kashmir.

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The Canadian-based leader in self-exile, currently travelling around the world to drum up support for Balochistan’s independence from Pakistan, cited the alleged atrocities on Baloch women, genocide of Balochis and severe violations of human rights of the Baloch people.

 “Pakistanis do not accept Balochis as their citizens, nor are we interested in becoming their citizens. We have been ‘independent’ since centuries, how can Pakistan claim its their internal issue?” she asked at a meet-the-press programme organised by the Press Club of Mumbai, presided over by India-Pakistan friendship activist Jatin Desai.
World Baloch Women’s Forum (WBWF) President Naela Quadri Baloch. Youtube

Claiming that atrocities against Balochis have increased after China entered the scene, she also held it (China) equally responsible as the Pakistan Army for the “genocide” of the Baloch people.

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In this context, Quadri also voiced concerns over China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean.

She attacked the Pakistan Army and charged it with using chemical warfare, allegedly kidnapping and killing Balochi women and children, and trading in their organs like eyes, kidneys, liver, etc.

Quadri welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative on the Balochi struggle during his Independence Day address this year followed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s speech in United Nations.

Though expressing disappointment over the lack of support from previous Indian governments, she said it was probably because they were in a coalition which has its own limitations.

“But, Modi has a clear mandate and he should support us. But the issue of Balochistan’s independence should not be linked with Kashmir,” Quadri urged.

She noted that an independent Balochistan, which has a long coastline, will help India open up its trade with Central Asian countries besides curbing Pakistan-sponsored terror.

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Quadri said the Balochis were lobbying hard for a “government-in-exile” as a step towards an independent Balochistan.

In Mumbai for four days now, she said she was overwhelmed by the warmth of the people of ‘Bombay’, and from the 500 Baloch-origin families settled here, besides another 800,000 scattered across India. (IANS)

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India’s Diwali Promise, Medical Visas to All Deserving

Shushma Swaraj
External Affairs Minister Shushma Swaraj. IANS

New Delhi, October 19: Marking the auspicious occasion of Diwali, India on Thursday made a Diwali promise medical visas all those people abroad, including in Pakistan, seeking treatment.

“On the auspicious occasion of Deepawali, India will grant a medical visa in all deserving cases pending today,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

Keeping to a promise made on Independence Day, India on Wednesday issued six more medical visas to Pakistani nationals, including three children.

“We will issue visa to facilitate treatment of your eight-year-old child in India,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Wednesday night in response to a request from Nazir Ahmed who said that his son Mohammad Ahmed was awaiting a medical visa from India for one year.

In a separate tweet, she also promised a visa to Muhammad Asif Malik’s son, who is currently in an intensive care unit (ICU) in children’s hospital in Lahore, and to Kasif Chacha’s child who is running out of medicine.

Visas were also issued to Irfan Ahmed Shaikh, Nasir Mahmood and the mother of Rafique Menon for liver surgeries.

This month, Sushma Swaraj has announced the issuance of 19 medical visas to Pakistanis for treatment in India as Diwali promise.

Last month, India issued a medical visa to a Pakistani child seeking open heart surgery.

On Independence Day, the External Affairs Ministry made a Diwali promise that India would provide medical visas to all bonafide Pakistani patients.

As ties between the two countries soured over various issues, the ministry had announced in May that only a letter of recommendation by then Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz would enable a Pakistani national to get a medical visa for India.

The action was termed “highly regrettable” by Islamabad, which said that asking for such a letter violated diplomatic norms and such a requirement had not been prescribed for any other country.

However, on July 18, a patient from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, seeking treatment in New Delhi for a liver tumor, got a visa.

Sushma Swaraj then said that he needed no recommendation from the Pakistani government for a medical visa because the territory “is an integral part of India”.

Since August 15, however, Pakistani nationals seeking medical treatment have not been denied visas.(IANS)