London: London-based Baloch Nationalist leader Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri on Friday said he was looking forward to the day when India would have a clear policy on Balochistan, and insisted that New Delhi needs to diplomatically and morally support the Baloch freedom struggle.
In a statement given a day after the Indian Ministry of External Affairs had confirmed a report published in The Hindu of the presence of a Baloch representative in India, Marri said, “We wish that India have a clear policy about Balochistan because Pakistan’s policies about Kashmir are clear and their interference in Kashmir is not a secret or hidden from anyone.”
Marri further said, “If Pakistani officials can openly meet the Kashmiri leadership, then why shouldn’t India do the same? If Pakistan can speak at the UN about Kashmir issue, why shouldn’t India raise the issue of human rights violations in occupied Balochistan?
Ruling out the possibility of there being a vacuum on the representation of the Baloch cause in India, Marri clarified that Mr. Balaach Purdili Baloch is a Baloch political activist from Northern Balochistan (Afghanistan controlled Balochistan).
Faiz M. Baloch, Marri’s representative in London, told ANI, “We welcome all democratic and free nations, including India, to support the Baloch freedom movement and we will attend such meetings to expose Pakistan’s crimes against humanity in any country of world, including India in future, if we’re invited. Appointing Balaach Purdili Baloch is also part of this worldwide political campaign to raise awareness about Balochistan issue on international level.”
Marri revealed that while he doesn’t have a political party as such, he heads the worldwide Free Balochistan Movement, which is a democratic political campaign to raise awareness and lobby about the Balochistan issue globally.
Maintaining that Pakistan has systematically kept Balochistan economically backward to keep the Baloch people below the poverty line, Marri rubbished all claims made by Islamabad of having started mega development projects in Balochistan.
“These projects have proven to be nothing but a mega exploitation of Balochistan’s natural resources and a means of demographic changes which will benefit occupiers – the Pakistani Punjabis. At present, Pakistan, in nexus with China, has initiated the so called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), but again, this is only to serve the interests of Pakistan and China.”
Marri said the Baloch people have been, and will be left with nothing but misery and expulsion from their native villages and towns in the name of development work.
“If the Baloch are being forced to vacate hundreds of thousands acres of their lands in Gwadar and Turbat to facilitate Chinese and Punjabis, then, how can Pakistan claim that this corridor will benefit the Baloch? The so called CPEC will lead to more death and destruction in Balochistan. That is why for the Baloch, it is a corridor of death not development,” he said.
To back his claim, Marri said, “Only in the past 10 years, the Pakistani Army has facilitated the enforced disappearance of more than 19,000 Baloch men, women and children from different areas across Balochistan.”
“The families of enforced disappeared Baloch have knocked on all the doors in Pakistan to seek justice for their loved ones, but to no avail. They even organised a foot march from Quetta to Islamabad to register their protest with United Nations. The UN, too, has ignored their peaceful march and plea for help,” he added.
“The Baloch nation continues their struggle for liberation and the current freedom movement is continuation of the liberation struggle that Baloch people had started in 1948,” he said.
Marri questioned as to what right did Pakistan had to be a UN member state and a signatory of UN human rights charters, when it still violates the human rights of the Baloch people.
“That is why we wish that the Indian people and Indian media play a leading role in informing the world about ground realities in Balochistan and be the voice of the oppressed nations under Pakistan’s occupation, including Pakistani occupied Kashmir, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, Sindh and Pakhtunistan,” he concluded.