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

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”