Leader of Free Balochistan Movement, Hyrbyair Marri has asked India to ‘walk the talk’ on Balochistan, Pakistan’s most restive but most resourceful province, where rebel attacks have left nearly 40 security personnel including army soldiers dead.
‘ Free Balochistan Movement’ is a separatist Baloch political platform active inside and outside Pakistan , espousing ‘liberation of Baloch people from Pakistani repression and Chinese extractive neo-colonialism’.
Marri told Easternlink says India has ‘not really come out to help the Baloch cause since Indian Prime Minister Modi’s 2016 Independence-Day speech .
” That has created more problems for the Baloch people as Pakistani Army increased its atrocities.
“Pakistan may have thought after that speech that India may now give total support to Balochistan’s independence struggle, so they intensified their atrocities in Balochistan.
But, believe me, nothing happened after the speech in terms of getting Indian support , so it was not helpful for Balochistan’s liberation struggle. Rather it benefited Pakistan army.”
Marri said Modi government was “limited to rhetoric in the first term on Balochistan and we are yet to see any concrete policy change on Balochistan in his second term.”
Marri says that Pakistan will cease to exist once Balochistan attains independence from it.
He says United Nations has ignored the issue of Balochistan which is a truly international issue.
EL : Pakistan has raised India’s human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir in UN. Is thwir a case for raising similar cases of human rights violations in Balochistan ?
Marri : United Nations is not an impartial institution, but an exclusive club for nation-states that is highly influenced by the engagement of its member states. These nation-states make policies, run UN’s institutions and chair committees. Pakistan since 1947 has been using the United Nations as a political tool and utilizing every institution and committee for her benefit. China also influences the United Nations and therefore other states rarely criticise China because of the military and economic relations they have with her.
Balochistan is an occupied country and in a rule-based world, Pakistan should have been stripped of UN membership because it clearly violated the UN’s Charter when it forcibly and illegally invaded Balochistan.
I have time and again said that that UN Charter’s Article 2, sub-article 4, refrain member states from using force against political independence of any state. Pakistan occupied Balochistan with military force and we have evidence that Jinnah ordered Pakistani Army to invade Balochistan.
Balochistan is a genuine international issue that has been ignored by the United Nations whereas Kashmir has been discussed several times.
Some Indians argue that it is because of Nehru who approached the United Nations when Pakistan invaded Kashmir.
However, it could be one of the several reasons, but I strongly believe that Kashmir issue is still alive at the international level because Pakistan has spent a huge amount of energy and money to make it an international issue .
Each member state has power and influence in the United Nations and Pakistan has been using that influence systematically against India since 1947. On the other hand, Indian governments have failed to make an effective long-term strategy against Pakistan.
EL : Pakistan’s brutalities in Balochistan are known to the whole world. Considering its record in the south-western region, can Pakistan claim to be a country concerned about human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir?
Marri : Pakistan was created in name of Islam by Indian Muslims but it has nothing to do with Islam.The Pakistani Muslim Punjabi establishment always used Islam for their political ends. Pakistan occupied Kashmir is called Azad Kashmir (independent Kashmir). There are almost 200 countries in the world, but none of them put ‘independent’ with their official country name.
Calling Pakistani occupied Kashmir, Azad Kashmir, makes it more doubtful — whether it’s Azad? Why would anyone put Azad (independent) with their country’s name? Do they call Afghanistan, Azad Afghanistan or Tajikistan, Azad Tajikistan? Pakistan shedding crocodile tears over Kashmir is nothing but skimble-scamble.
And the very emergence of Bangladesh shattered the raison d’etre of Pakistan and exposed its complete hollowness as a nation-state. It proved that Bengali Muslims did not get justice , political power or economic growth and so decided to be independent. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s decision was perfect. See where is Bangladesh today and where is Pakistan . Do you think this would be possible if Bangladesh was not an independent country.
EL : So Pakistan , you say, is no Dar-ul-Islam, the ultimate homelabd of South Asian Muslims ?
Marri : No Pakistan is a state created on a false promise that was never meant to materialise.If Pakistan’s rulers had any regards for human rights or even any respect or sympathy for fellow Muslims, they would have never occupied Balochistan and started genocide. They would have never raped and killed millions of Muslim Bengalis. They would have never helped Jordan to kill Palestinians. They would have never waged a war against Afghan people and killed millions of them in a so-called Jihad. They would have never called China their ‘Iron brother’ who put millions of Uighur Muslims in concentration camps.
Pakistan is a by-product of British colonial shenanigans, the ultimate contradiction. Pakistan cannot be called a normal state and it never acted as one. It has a colonial mentality that’s why its words are a world apart from its deeds.
EL – So are you suggesting Kashmiris , many of whom talk of a future in Pakistan , are being misled by slogans of ‘Kashmir Banega Pakistan’ ?
Marri : The very slogan of Pakistan that ‘Kashmir Banega Pakistan’ exposes Pakistan’s real intention . It wants to occupy entire Kashmir like it occupied Balochistan in 1948. Pakistan will never cease its attempts to occupy the remaining Kashmir because Kashmir is a very strategic location and has huge water resources.
One of the effective tools Pakistan has been using for its evil intentions has always been religion. It will exploit Kashmir’s resources like it exploited those of erstwhile East Pakistan or as they are ruthlessly exploiting the huge resources of Balochistan.
It is obvious that Pakistan’s survival depends on Baloch resources, on what we have in occupied Balochistan . Our province is 50 percent of Pakistan .
Colonial and occupying states never give freedom to their colonies, the occupied and colonised nations have to unite and resist against their oppressor and break the shackles of slavery to regain their freedom. That is what Baloch are doing and soon we will have our country back. Like Bangladesh, Balochistan will be free and once it is free, we will grow fast.
And once Balochistan is liberated that will be the end of Pakistan. The Baloch, the Pashtun and the Sindhis are fed up of Pakistan and all these occupied nations want freedom.
Punjab and Sindh are breakaway part of India, Pashtun areas were part of Afghanistan and Balochistan was an independent state. When Balochistan gets freedom, Pakistan automatically will cease to exist because Afghanistan will reclaim its territory and remaining Pakistan would include only pre-partition Indian territories i.e. Sindh and landlocked western Punjab, as their historical territories India can reclaim its pre-partitioned parts.
EL : In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to the Baloch freedom struggle while addressing the nation on Independence Day. Have you got any Indian support after that ?
Marri : Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned Balochistan in his speech in 2016 and I understand that there were some contacts among Baloch organisations and some Indian institutions long before Modi’s Balochistan speech.
However, after Narendra Modi’s speech, line of communications between Baloch organisations and Indian institutions were strangely cut off. We expected a change in the Indian policy in favour of Balochistan which would have also secured Indian national interests in the region.
But nothing positive happened and Modi’s speech created more problems for the Baloch people. After the speech, more atrocities were committed, and more people suffered enforced disappearences. Several military operations were conducted by the Pakistani army in Balochistan soon after his speech. Pakistan might have thought at that time that India now might completely support Balochistan’s struggle, so they intensified their atrocities in Balochistan but as I have already said nothing happened after the speech from the Indian side, so it was not helpful for Balochistan’s liberation struggle and it benefited Pakistan army.
Modi government has limited itself to rhetoric in the first term regarding Balochistan and still, we haven’t seen any concrete policy on Balochistan in his second term.We don’t expect Chinese help because it is Pakistan’s partner in loot of our resources. But why would the US , a strategic ally, declare our freedom fighters as terrorist?
Who is Hyrbyair Marri?
Hyrbyair Marri, founder of the Free Balochistan Movement, was the youngest and first Baloch minister to decline to pledge loyalty to Pakistan. Instead of the words “I shall remain loyal to Pakistan”, he vowed “I shall remain loyal to my Nation”. In 1997, he had taken part in the Balochistan provincial elections, winning an overwhelming majority of votes to become the minister of road and communications in the Balochistan state government. Marri was also the first Baloch minister to protest against conducting nuclear tests in his state in May 1998.
Born on August 4, 1968 in Balochistan, Marri is the fifth son of veteran Baloch national leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri. After completing his primary education in Quetta Grammar School and higher education in Kabul in Afghanistan and in Russia, where he studied journalism, he moved to Kabul along with his father and other family members. During this period, he paid several visits to Helmand where Baloch refugees fleeing Pakistan’s repression had sought shelter. Marri returned to Balochistan in the early 90s where he served as a minister. But a turning point came in his life in 1999 when Musharraf came to power through a military coup and dismissed the government of Nawaz Sharif and all other provincial governments. Marri travelled to Europe and sought exile in the UK.
In early 2000, Balochistan High Court Judge Mir Nawaz Marri was killed by unknown assailants, but the Musharraf government arrested Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, along with hundreds of other Marri tribesmen. Hyrbyair Marri and his brothers were also implicated in the murder case. During his stay overseas, Marri continued to play a key role in the cause for Balochistan’s independence. On December 4, 2007, he was arrested at the behest of the military government of Musharraf and put in Britain’s high-security Belmarsh prison. He is the first Baloch leader, along with Faiz Baluch, to be imprisoned abroad for the Baloch cause. (TheWeek)