Geneva (Switzerland): At the time when Pakistan is celebrating the 70th Independence Day, people in Balochistan province, in southwestern region of Pakistan, are demanding freedom from atrocities by the Pakistani army, which is going on unabated for years, but has been intensified since Nawaz Sharif’s government came to power.
Representative of Balochistan at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and European Union (EU) Mehran Marri told ANI: “The army operation has been going on unabated for many years, but its intensity varies from time to time. However, I have realised that since Nawaz Sharif’s government has come into power, the military has increased its activities in Balochistan. Moreover, since the creation of military courts, although it has been claimed that it is only for certain Taliban and terrorists, it is mainly formed to persecute Baloch nationals.”
Mehran, the youngest son of noted politician the late Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, said, “The situation in Balochistan is as grave as ever. Pakistan’s military operations have been continuing unabated. The Army Chief, the Prime Minister and the stooge ministers, who are sitting in the Baloch Cabinet had a meeting and they agreed on a National Action Plan to further isolate Baloch activists, freedom-loving nationals and the population from the rest of Pakistan, and certain other elimination process of genocide through a plan called the National Action Plan.”
Talking about atrocities committed by the military in on the people of the province, he said, “The Baloch youth are getting abducted on a routine basis and people such as Mama Qadir and Fazana Majeed are raising their voice on this issue. Even as they had valid travel documents and valid visa for the U.S., they were stopped at the Karachi airport when they were going to attend a conference there. They were not allowed to leave. This is a good example of harassment meted out to activists as even their freedom of travel is being curtailed by the establishment.”
Stating that Pakistan has always been scared of people like him coming for the U.N. and informing the world about the Human Rights violations, abductions, genocides, etc, he said: “On the face of things, they have these diplomats, who work on the behest of the Pakistani agencies and the establishment, and they say all is good. So, they are very scared of Balcoh coming out and informing the international community.”
Talking about the way forward for the Balochistan problem, Marri said, “You can have negotiation talks or dialogues with political figures in Pakistan. What Baloch are dealing with is the military generals and military leaders. Dialogue with the military establishment is very difficult and impossible. Pakistan has its plans to exploit Balochistan and its resources from the day of its occupation since 1948. Baloch nationals have been a hurdle in areas, where they have not been able to exploit. But, now that their wish is to get certain elements in our tribe, who are stooges in our establishment to give them access. My father worked very hard for 65 years against the exploitation of Balochistan resources.”
“Most interesting and the saddest part is the whole world was shocked and we were shocked more than anybody else after Bin Laden’s capture and killing in Abbottabad. If it was any other country… like Iraq was conquered and occupied because there was fears of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction). Pakistan was harbouring world’s number one terrorist who was thought to be behind 9/11 and 7/7 and behind a lot of terrorist activities in the international world. But, it has got a secret with their blackmailing the international community. They have some weakness and they are not responding. But I am sure sooner or later they will,” he said.
Dubbing China as “great threat” to Baloch people, Balochistan and Baloch resources like Punjab or Pakistan, Marri said: “China really-really is spreading its tentacles in Balochistan very rapidly, and therefore, we are appealing to the international community. The Gwadar project is for the Chinese military. This would be detrimental to international powers to the people’s interest, where 60 percent of world’s oil flows. So, the world has to really take rapid action in curbing China’s influence in Balochistan in particular and in Pakistan in general.”
Talking about the political situation in Pakistan, he said, “Balochistan, unfortunately, is neither sovereign nor independent. It doesn’t have the right to self-determination. Balochistan is functioning into the hands of Pakistan. Pakistan is a rogue state. Pakistan is unfortunately taking us to its direction. Pakistan believes in Talibanisation, Jehadism and extremism. It is spreading all these on us as well. We are harming ourselves in this dirty game of Pakistan.”
Accusing Pakistan of using Balochistan in order to keep its viability in the international community, Marri said: “We are being damaged here. Pakistan won’t be able to hide itself in this. I think 95 percent of the world population knows Pakistan’s reality. They know what Pakistan is. Pakistan is not a sovereign and dignified nation. It’s a rogue element in this region, which has destablised the entire region and even plans to further destablise it. It has to be curtailed and curbed. It has to be stopped.” (ANI)