A Free And Secular Balochistan Will End Extremism And Fundamentalism In Region – OpEd
By Sobdar Baluch*
The inhabitants of Occupied Balochistan overwhelmingly welcomed the major policy shift of India towards subcontinent by raising the issue of Balochistan globally. Diplomats, historians and intellectuals believe that UN must have intervened in Balochistan in 1948 when Pakistan invaded the sovereign state of Balochistan by violating the UN charter.
CHAPTER 1, ARTICLE 2, and CLAUSE 4 clearly say “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
The Baloch nation, time and again, has said that Balochistan is not an internal matter of Pakistan because no single document is available which proves Balochistan willingly joined Pakistan. To support their claims, Baloch have piles of historic documents which show that Pakistan forcibly invaded Balochistan on March 27, 1948 and illegally annexed it.
Regional experts say supporting Balochistan’s independence movement is the right decision of the century. The dream of term peace in Afghanistan, regional stability and economic prosperity can only be achieved when Baloch nation is able to regain their independence from Pakistan.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clear stance on Balochistan definitely is a ray of hope for stability in the region. The Taliban, Haqani Network and other international terrorist organizations, it is known, are using the territory of Balochistan freely under the nose of Pakistan military and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and other friendly countries of Balochistan need to work closely and devise solid foreign policies for the sake of regional peace.
Modi has won the hearts and minds of 20 million Baloch and Pashtun people living in Balochistan and abroad. Modi is a practical man and being the Prime Minister of India – the world’s largest democracy and globally respected country – he has a huge responsibility to implement his policies on ground regarding Balochistan. It is not a secret that Pakistan has been committing war crimes in Balochistan since March 27, 1948. The time has come to bring the perpetrators to the International Criminal Court.
Recent and fifth phase of Balochistan Liberation struggle is continuing which started in 1998. The state brutalities in occupied Balochistan have reached its peak. Baloch nation is defending their population from Pakistani fighter jets, gunship helicopters and heavy ground artillery shelling.
Pakistan army adopted “kill and dump” policy which resulted in abductions of more than 20,000 Baloch since 2005. Recently, the Home Department of Balochistan chaired by the puppet Home Minister of Balochistan Sarfaraz Bugti issued figures stating that 13,575 people were arrested while 337 killed in around 2,825 operations in the various part of Balochistan in 2015-16.
The state confession of naked human rights violations in Balochistan describes the deteriorating situation in this illegally annexed province of Pakistan. Baloch Human Rights groups and political parties have data which suggest that over 20,000 Baloch from of all spheres of life have been abducted and 5000 have been killed in custody. Daily abductions of Baloch activists, Pakistani air force bombing on civilian populations and ground military offensives overlooked by Pakistani media. The deliberate silence of Pakistani media and international community over Baloch genocide has resulted in a human catastrophe in occupied Balochistan.
Dr. Ghulam Rasul a prominent psychiatrist and senior professor of Bolan Medical College, while talking to a media outlet, said psychological disorders have shown a marked increase in the wake of conflict since 2001. While millions of people have been psychologically affected by the conflict, very few can get treatment,” he says. “Only eight to ten percent of the patients are treated locally because of lack of facilities and trained human resource.” Mr. Rasul added.
The recent economic indicators are suggesting that taking up the issue of Balochistan worldwide has motivated the world and regional powers to invest in upcoming Balochistan. Experts believe that world community is now well aware about the future role of free Balochistan which will definitely play a leading role in world’s economic stability. After study of its geography and wealth, one can undoubtedly say that Balochistan is becoming the hub for international import and export corridor.
The days of loot and plunder of Balochistan resources by Pakistan are counted. Being rich in minerals, untapped oil reserves and long coastal belt with a deep sea connecting central Asia and Europe, Balochistan has changed the regional dynamics; now Balochis have turned the table in their favor by receiving international support and, especially, the support of neighboring countries like India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan is a huge success for Balochistan Liberation Movement and a green signal for forming a Baloch state.
Modi had introduced a slogan during his election campaign: “Achey din aany waly hain”, meaning better days are coming. Here the people of Balochistan congratulate Indian nation that Modi is heading in the right direction. Now this is high duty of Indian public, civil society, film industry, politicians and government to expedite and extend the support to the people of Balochistan.
The future of Balochistan is bright only when Baloch succeeds in driving occupying Pakistani army out from their country. Experts say it will take hardly a decade for Balochistan to have its own high standard education and health facilities in free Balochistan.
Strategic experts believe that supporting the ‘Free Balochistan Movement’ is not an invitation for war against Pakistan, but it is to win the ongoing war which has been imposed on Balochistan, Afghanistan and India for decades. India fought four major wars against Pakistan. Bangladesh had suffered hugely and sacrificed around 3 million of its citizens during the liberation war in 1971, eventually got rid of Pakistani brutalities. Afghanistan and Balochistan had also been the victim of Pakistani extremis and religious terrorism for seven decades.
The world leaders must understand the reality that the recognition of a secular, liberal and democratic Baloch state is equivalent to defeating extremism and fundamentalism school of thought which Pakistan not only has been promoting for decades but has been exporting it into the other parts of the world.
The current circumstances are highly in favor of Balochistan where Baloch are gaining world’s attention and exposing Pakistan at all fronts.
After the open moral support to Baloch plight by India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, Pakistan army and ISI gathered its paid agents – the extremist and religious groups – to protest against India and burnt the Indian flag in Quetta just to fool the world that Baloch nation does not want Indian intervention in Balochistan. Historians will recall that Pakistan’s army used religious extremist groups such as Al Shams and Al Badar against Bangladesh’s war of liberation in 1970’s. In Balochistan, these people are considered as the collaborators and facilitators of ISI and Pakistan army and have not public mandate and ground roots.
Whenever you intend to support Free Balochistan Movement, don’t think that you are supporting only the people Balochistan but think broadly that your support is uprooting Pakistani extremism and terrorism which after eliminating the Baloch nation, one day will not spare your generation too.
Establishing of an immediate hot line channel between neighboring countries of Balochistan, especially India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, is need of the hour. The respective countries must officially ask UN member states to invite the top pro-freedom leadership of Balochistan to discuss and the security situation of the region at broader level.
Balochistan is being used by the Pakistan army and ISI as a porous zone to infiltrate into Afghanistan to destabilize and demoralize the NATO and region. The Taliban fighters, Haqani Networks, Al Qaida and now the ISIS is given free hand to smuggle weapons and other military hardware through Balochistan territory.
India being the leading power in the region must invite all its neighboring heads and representatives of the states and host a global conference on Balochistan before the UN general assembly meeting due in September 2016.
It is must take the Balochistan case on the floor of UN where Pakistan must be held accountable for war crimes against humanity in occupied Balochistan. It is worth mentioning that Pakistan army has been using chemical weapons, lethal and biological weapons against civilians in Balochistan for the last many decades.
The UN must be urged to send a fact-finding mission immediately to probe the mass graves unearthed in various parts of Balochistan. The UN must request the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to send a special delegation to visit Chaghai area of Balochistan to study radioactive emissions and its negative impacts on people’s lives. Pakistan conducted five nuclear tests on May 28, 1998 without the knowledge and permission of Baloch people.
India being a responsible country must take practical steps by inviting the leader of Free Balochistan Movement Hyrbyair Marri and other freedom seeking parties’ leaders for a mutual understanding and work on common agendas to pave the towards peace avenues.
*Sobdar Baluch is a human rights activists, and journalist based in Balochistan writing on issues related to the region. Comments and suggestions on this article can be sent on: [email protected]