Balochistan which has been long bleeding in the hands of Pakistan has risen to demand justice. A video has emerged in which activists of the Baloch National Movement (BNM) were seen holding protests outside 10 Downing Street, the residence of the British Prime Minister, to raise the issue of the enforced disappearance of Baloch women and children from the southwestern province of Pakistan.
The protestors who were seen holding placards captioned: ‘UK stop Baloch genocide’, ‘restore Human Rights in Balochistan’, ‘Pakistan is a terrorist state’, ‘+25000 Baloch are missing’ etc, were also sloganeering against Pakistan.
The protestors alleged that the Pakistan Army was behind the abduction of hundreds of Baloch women and children from the province.
The Baloch activists have further initiated a social media campaign with hashtag #SaveBalochWomen to raise the issue on the global platform.
On May 14, Hani Gul Baloch, a student of medicine in Karachi, was abducted along with her fiance, Naseem Baloch. She was kept in military torture cells where she was tormented for three months. Upon her release, she was expelled by the Hamdard Medical University.
“Pakistan’s intelligence agencies recently adopted a new policy of abducting Baloch women and children to pressurise the Baloch political activists, who are fighting against the injustices committed by the Pakistani military establishment in Balochistan. The situation is becoming worse. Now, we have information that there are more than 100 Baloch women who have been abducted by the Pakistani security forces,” Hammal Haider Baloch, Foreign spokesperson of BNM said during the protest.
The people from Balochistan holding the protests said that they wanted to apprise the British authorities of their worsening conditions in Balochistan.
Hakkim Baloch, president of BNM (UK) said: “We wish to make the world aware that the Pakistan Army is abducting Baloch women. Recently they abducted women from Awaran, Dera Bugti, Bolan and various other parts of Makran. They are also abducting women from Karachi. We want to let the world now that they must take action against such inhuman acts of Pakistan”.
The insurgency in Balochistan is a guerrilla war waged by Baloch nationalists against the governments of Pakistan. Balochistan Nationalists have been demanding complete independence from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
On September 15, Balochistan rights activists had organised a poster campaign and protests in Geneva to highlight Pakistan’s “egregious infractions” in Balochistan where “enforced disappearances and killings” have assumed “epidemic proportions”.
Significantly, this ‘Stop Baloch Genocide’ poster campaign and protests, organised by the Balochistan Human Rights Council (BHRC) at the Broken Chair monument area had coincided with the 42nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
On August 15, when India was celebrating its 73rd Independence Day, Balochistan activists reached out to India to help in their struggle for their freedom from Pakistan.
In fact, on July 22, speaking exclusively to OpIndia, one such freedom fighter, Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, founder and chief of Balochistan Liberation Front, who has been fighting in the trenches for the better part of his life, said that the step-motherly treatment that Balochistan has got is evident from the social indicators and the extreme lack of basic development that the thin population of Balochistan has to deal with.
Speaking about the atrocities heaped on the people of Balochistan by the Pakistani establishment, Allah Nazar Baloch said that “Pakistan is plundering Balochistan and we appeal PM Modi to support the freedom struggle”.
From 2000 to 2016 itself, the dead bodies of over a 1000 political activists of Balochistan were found. The relatives of most of these victims said that they were picked up by the Pakistani establishment, only to turn up dead.
After the partition, Muhammad Ali Jinnah had negotiated the independence of Balochistan with the Britishers. Before the partition of India, Balochistan consisted of 4 Princely states, Kalat, Lasbela, Kharan and Makran. The three other princely states were beholden to Kalat in one manner or the other. The Government of Pakistan recognizes Kalat as an independent sovereign state in treaty relations with the British Government with a status different from that of Indian States.
Jinnah then had a ‘change of heart’ and decided to annex Balochistan. The Balochistan Assembly had categorically rejected even the suggestion to join the Pakistan state. However, Jinnah had other plans. It bodes well to remember that essentially, Balochistan was an independent and sovereign state that was forcefully annexed by Pakistan by the barrel of the gun. You can read OpIndia’s exclusive interview with Dr Allah Nazar Baloch of Balochistan Liberation Front here.