Balochistan: An undeclared war zone-I

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Balochistan: An undeclared war zone-I

Monday, 04 December 2023 | Mir Khan Baloch

Balochistan: An undeclared war zone-I

The war between Balochistan-Pakistan raging for years now but it is not visible in the media because there is no media in Balochistan, writes Mir Khan Baloch

The schools have been turned into carrions, villages into concentration camps. Houses-to-house search operations have become a daily routine. University and college students are harassed and intimidated on campuses. Women being raped, and female students are sexually molested. Journalists are picked up by the Pakistan army and forces, and later their mutilated dead bodies are thrown on roadsides and barren land across Balochistan. This is what Balochistan looks like today.

Baloch youth are facing dire consequences not over charges of drugs or weapons but for having books which are  punishable sins in occupied Balochistan. We watch the Hamas-Israel war on TV and media but the war between Balochistan and Pakistan is not visible in the media because there is hardly a single Baloch media outlet in Balochistan. Balochistan is a black hole for information. Smuggling of narcotics and weapons are easy because Pakistan supports it but writing on human rights violations and the ongoing Balochistan war is not easy, Baloch are smuggling the news and publishing them on social media. If any Baloch is found writing on Pakistan’s war crimes, he/she is taken away and killed after some time.

On 16 November, Pakistan’s military and police opened fire on Baloch students of Lasbela Uthal Agricultural University for Water and Marine Science. Dozens of students were injured and the remaining were arrested and taken to undisclosed locations. Video footage of the incident sparked fear, and anger among the people of the area who came to protest on the streets of Lasbela.  

On 19 November 2023, Pakistan ISI took three Baloch hostages namely Adil, Shahjahan and Nabi Dad, tied their hands with rope, put them inside an explosive-loaded vehicle and detonated the car killing all of them in the Hoshab area of Turbat. Two of them were brothers. Three of them belong to the same family who were abducted on 22 August 2023 from Turbat at 3:00 pm city by the Pakistan military during a raid on their homes.

This seems a new tactic of the Pakistan army but in the past, there were numerous instances of Baloch hostages thrown out of low altitude flying helicopters.

Balochistan needs world attention

It is the need of the hour that a debate on national and international levels must be resumed. The academic think tanks and institutions of friends of occupied Balochistan should involve Baloch leadership and people to participate and chalk policies towards getting closer to each other and work on unified goals.

Let’s break the rhetoric of Pakistan’s deep state and the army about Balochistan that can’t be discussed globally. After the partition of the subcontinent, we have seen India facing border infiltration from Pakistan and China. Beijing’s growing aggressive policies towards India indicate that the PLA is not willing to abandon its policy of bleeding India, for the last many decades. China is leaving no stone unturned to encircle India from all fronts. Delhi is not only facing threats from the border but also is being deliberately engaged in internal conflicts where China is providing all sorts of support to militants who are fighting against Indian national interests. The non-state actors funded by China often get diplomatic backing from Beijing even at the forums of the UN Security Council.

Balochistan deserves India’s attention. Many people are working tirelessly to this end. The efforts by the overseas diplomatic leadership of occupied Balochistan are bearing fruits and now there are indicators that in coming years Balochistan is heading towards taking a centre point for global powers. India should take advantage of the Balochistan uprising on global forums and lend her full diplomatic, political and other support to help the Baloch for their liberation.

To chalk a long-term 100-year policy to secure India’s energy needs, and stability and disperse threats to its economy, it is needed that Delhi should open an official channel with Balochistan to pave the way for future cooperation. If India supports Balochistan, it will no longer rely on oil imports from Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela because Balochistan has more oil than the gulf and Venezuela.

India's 42% of liquefied natural gas (LNG) requirements were fulfilled from Qatar till 2021 but with Doha’s recent court decision to sentence to 8 former Naval personnel, the import of the energy may get disrupted. At this point, India has the option to buy LNG from Balochistan as it has huge reserves of natural gas. Balochistan is highly rich in minerals and once it is liberated, that would give a boost to India’s economy, national security, defence, and global position.

The issue of Balochistan is not a political issue. It is the issue of the invasion of Pakistan. We can’t accept the false narrative of Pakistan that Balochistan willingly joined Pakistan. No substantial or legal evidence proves Pakistan’s claim on Balochistan.

I have researched and come to know that Balochistan before the withdrawal of the British from the subcontinent was ruled under the British in a similar way to India was under British occupation. When the British decided to withdraw from the subcontinent, the King of Balochistan’s Kalat State announced its independence on 11 August 1947.

It is a well-documented fact that Balochistan remained independent for about 7- 8 months. In this period the founder of Pakistan, Mr. M.A Jinnah kept pressurizing the Khan of Kalat Mir Amed Yar Khan that Balochistan should join Pakistan but he refused to join his country into Pakistan. Both the houses (House of Lords and House of Common) of Balochistan unanimously rejected the proposal of Jinnah to join Pakistan.

(The writer is a Baloch human rights activist covering Balochistan, Central Asia and the Middle East. Views are personal)

This is the first part of a two-part series on Balochistan.

To be continued…

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