Skip to main content

Top Baloch leader Marri wants Modi to 'prove' he is serious about Balochistan

By NJ Thakuria*
Baloch leaders are known to be fighting for the last seven decades to free Balochistan from what they consider as Pakistan's “illegal occupation”, even as seeking active support from India as a “trusted” ally. One of them, a Baloch nationalist leader and President of the Free Balochistan Movement (FBM), Hyrbyair Marri, had a freewheeling interaction through video conferencing with journalists at the Guwahati Press Club in northeast India on September 25, 2019 as part of its Meet the Press programme.
Laying bare what he called “double standards” of Islamabad over Kashmir, Marri stressed that it is Pakistan that is responsible for the killing of the highest number of innocent Muslims. “India, on the other hand, lost its territory in Punjab following Partition, while a part of Kashmir was grabbed by Pakistan. India has legitimate claims to Pak-occupied Kashmir as well as Gilgit-Baltistan,” Marri asserted.
Tracing the course of the Baluch freedom struggle, Marri pointed out that Balochistan became an independent nation on August 11, 1947, but after nine months on, on March 27, 1948, it was “treacherously” occupied by Pakistan. This was done by securing the instrument of accession of Kalat State to Pakistan signed under duress by Mir Ahmed Yar Khan, the Khan of Kalat, which was later endorsed on March 31,1948 by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, then Governor-General of Pakistan.
“But Kalat was one of the districts and was also part of Balochistan. Khan had simply no authority to decide on behalf of the entire Balochistan to accede to Pakistan. Since then, a myth has been systematically created by Islamabad that Baloch wanted to join Pakistan, which is a blatant falsehood. Noori Naseer Khan drew Balochistan’s political boundaries in the mid-18th century and even before that it was a free country, and we have plenty of historical records, documents and maps to prove our case to the international community,” Marri said.
The upshot of this “betrayal” was that the territory of Balochistan was “parcelled out” primarily between Pakistan and Iran, Marri claimed. “Both the Islamic countries, never mind their differences, have been on the same page when it comes to oppression of Baloch people. But Pakistan has been especially perfidious, lecturing India about Kashmir, while over twenty thousand Baloch have disappeared in the last decade. Even women, children and the elderly are not spared by the Pakistani army. The entire population there is deprived of education, health and other facilities,” Marri lamented.
Speaking about the rampant exploitation of Balochistan's resources like natural gas, coal, gold, copper and various minerals, Marri said: "Now Modi has got a chance to prove that he is serious about Balochistan because we all know he talked about Balochistan from Red Fort in 2016. We need India’s friendship, support and help.”
Baloch people are generous and tolerant, and Hindus, Christians and adherents of other faiths live peacefully with them
He added, “Rather than using Balochistan independence struggle as a means to checkmate and counter Islamabad, New Delhi should look at Balochistan as an all-weather ally and India should see post-independence secular and stable Balochistan which will be one of the factors in bringing tranquillity in the region. Our people are generous and tolerant, and the Hindus, Christians and adherents of other faiths who live peacefully among us have always contributed to our cause”.
He referred to the Hinglaj Mata Mandir, a Shakti Peeth in Balochistan and a place of pilgrimage for Hindus. Situated near the river Hingol, the Temple has an idol of Goddess Shakti (Sati), accompanied by Bhairava (a form of Lord Shiva); it is believed that Sati’s head with hingul (vermillion/sindoor) had fallen here after Lord Vishnu cut up her up with his sudarshan chakra to protect the Universe from Lord Shiva's terrible wrath.
Born in Quetta, capital of Balochistan to the family of veteran Baloch national leader Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, Hyrbyair completed his early education in Quetta and Kabul and then moved to Russia to study journalism. He was elected to the Balochistan provincial assembly in 1997; the youngest Baloch minister who declined to pledge loyalty to Islamabad.
In 1999, Pakistani state brought trumped-up charges against Hyrbyair Marri, his father and brothers. In 1999, he traveled to Europe and sought exile in the UK, “I am committed utterly to the struggle of my people for freedom. As part of it, we wish to come closer to like-minded people everywhere. I have visited India twice and hope to do so again when I was a student. As of now, we are planning to set up Indo-Baloch friendship platforms in different countries," said Marri, signing off on a hopeful note.
---
*Guwahati-based journalist-activist

Comments

Shibusadasivan said…
We all are with Balochistan.it's diversity is attractive.culture custom all are beautiful .people are nice and friendly

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.