திங்கள், 20 ஜூன், 2016

Independent mobilisation key to emancipation of stateless nations: Baloch editor

Independent mobilisation key to emancipation of stateless nations: Baloch editor

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 June 2016, 20:46 GMT]
“The root cause is the colonial system that they imposed on us. The shift of establishment is merely a substitution of one strand of colonial rulers with another,” says Faiz M Baluch, the editor-in-chief of Balochwarna and a member of the International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (IVBMP). “The question is do we have the same basic democratic rights like other free nation or not. Moreover, do we have the rights to sovereignty and self-preservation or not,” Mr Faiz further asked when interviewed by TamilNet. He urged oppressed nations to rely on their own national bases as well as to build organic solidarity between other stateless nations to achieve their national emancipation.

“Balochistan was first attacked and invaded by British imperial army in 1839. Up to that time Balochistan was an independent sovereign state. British divided Balochistan into three parts,” the editor of Balochwarna says.

The Baloch resisted all occupiers and conquistadors, from the British colonial oppression, to the neo-colonial oppressors manifested in the shape of the chauvinistic Pakistani and Iranian states. Both Islamabad and Tehran have perpetuated decades of structural genocide against the Baloch, aiming at eradicating the pillars of their national existence. Into such a dynamic of oppression has been the support of world hegemons, from the western powers to China.

“Unless Balochistan is independent the Baloch people cannot benefit from [their natural] resources because the occupiers and their international backers need the Baloch land and its resources. The occupiers explicitly have indicated that they do not need the Baloch people. China is directly involved in looting and plundering of Balochistan’s natural resources. In the past there has been some attacks against Chinese workers in Balochistan because the Baloch freedom fighters have warned all foreign states and companies to refrain from exploiting Baloch natural resources - as Baloch are at war with the occupying states of Pakistan and Iran,” he adds.

TamilNet: Colonial injustices have been transformed into international injustices for the oppressed nations of South Asia and elsewhere, what are your views on this regarding the Baloch experience?
Faiz M Baluch
Faiz M Baluch, the chief editor of Balochwarna.com is also a member of International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons
Faiz M Baluch: The situation of Baloch people is not any different from the situation of other occupied and oppressed nations.

The international injustice against oppressed nations is happening because those colonizing and occupying states are member states of the United Nations. In other words what Pakistan and Iran are doing in Balochistan, is the same as Sri Lanka's actions against the Tamils Eelam and the Turkish, Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi regimes' conduct against Kurds.

These are not only extreme violation of human rights but crimes against humanity, taking place right under the nose of international powers including the United Nations.

Pakistan is not only a regional belligerent state but it is also blackmailing the international powers for her misdeeds.

On one hand they organize and foster Islamic Jihadist groups and on the other hand they get financial and military support for their so-called fight against international terrorism.

As long as these colonial states are accepted as representative of stateless nations, the rights of colonized nations would not be protected in the community of free nations.

Baloch people would not get their democratic rights under present theocratic colonial structures of Pakistan and Iran.

We believe such Frankenstein states would not last forever and sooner or later the oppressed nations including the Baloch nation would break free from the yoke of Panjabi and Persian colonialism.


TamilNet: Can you explain the geo-political dimension behind the oppression of the Baloch. And do you think that various international powers are complicit in abetting Pakistan’s genocide in Balochistan?

Faiz: Balochistan is situated in Central Asia and it is positioned at a very important strategic location in the region. That is why Balochistan has always attracted the attention of international powers. It is rich in natural resources and it has a huge coastal belt.

The Gawadar and Chahbahar ports situated in Balochistan have the potential of becoming future international ports.

Unless Balochistan becomes independent the Baloch people cannot benefit from these resources because the occupiers and their international complicit need the Baloch land and its resources.

The occupiers explicitly have indicated that they do not need the Baloch people.

China is one of the complicit powers abetting Pakistan. It is directly involved in looting and plundering of Balochistan’s natural resources. In the past there has been some attacks against Chinese workers in Balochistan because the Baloch freedom fighters have warned all foreign states and companies to refrain from exploiting Baloch natural resources - as Baloch are at war with the occupying states of Pakistan and Iran. China did not heed to the warnings of Baloch hence its nationals were attacked by Sarmachars (Baloch freedom fighters).

Several foreign investors have postponed their work in Balochistan because of continuous and resilient resistance of the Baloch people against Pakistan and her international complicit.


TamilNet: How do you view the U.N’s stand on Self-Determination and its utility for the Baloch?

Faiz: UN has not even openly spoken against the state atrocities against the Baloch people. It has not even recognized Balochistan as an occupied territory, let alone taking any stand on Balochistan’s independence.

As I explained earlier these rogue states are members of the UN. It is powerless when it comes to atrocities committed by its member states against the stateless nations such as the Baloch, Eelam Tamils, Kurds, Ahwazi Arabs, Azerbaijanis and other oppressed nation.

The UN recognition will be possible if we, the oppressed nations, join hands together and form solidarity groups to help each other in every possible way we can.

The Diaspora of these stateless nations must unite and start lobbying and linking up with other likeminded nations and activists across the world.

Our voice may have some tangible impact on the UN position about our natural democratic rights.


TamilNet: Can you comment on the measures taken by the Baloch national movement in elaborating its stand on the Right to Self-Determination and Baloch Nationhood?
Faiz M Baluch
Faiz M Baluch
Faiz: Balochistan was first attack and invaded by British Imperial Army in 1839. Up to that time Balochistan was an independent sovereign State.

The British divided Balochistan into three parts. The first line they drew was the Goldsmitd Line, which was done in 1870’s.

British colonizers gave the western part of Balochistan to Persia.

In 1890’s they draw another line called Durand Line, as a result of which a segment of northern part of Balochistan was handed over to Afghanistan.

The Baloch have started their resistance against the occupation of their country by the British and eventually the British forces could no longer sustain their occupation so they conceded their defeat and decided to leave the region. At the time of British departure, the Baloch opted for their independence.

The British and Pakistan recognized Balochistan’s sovereign status in a tripartite agreement between the Baloch, British and the upcoming Pakistani administration.

Balochistan declared its independence on 11 August 1947 three days before Pakistan was carved out of India. After this declaration of independence, Balochistan formed its parliament and constituted its Mazanen Diwaan and Kasanen Diwaan (House of Lords and House of Commons).

The news of Balochistan’s independence was announced in New Delhi and reported in The New York Times on 12 August 1947.

However, the independence of Balochistan was short lived.

In early 1948 Mr Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, suggested to the ruler of Balochistan to merge with Pakistan on the basis of shared religion.

Both houses of Balochistan unanimously rejected his offer.

Then, Pakistan attacked Balochistan and occupied it at gun-point on 23rd March 1948.

From that very day of illegal occupation of Balochistan by Pakistan, the Baloch resistance movement against Pakistan started.

Pakistan carried out five major military operations to crush the Baloch resistance killing thousands of people in each of these operations.

According to Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, at least 18,000 Baloch have been abducted by Pakistani forces since 2001.

More than 2,000 activists have been killed. Most of the victims were tortured to death in secret prisons of Pakistani armed forces.

Thousands of Baloch civilians have been killed through bombardments on Baloch villages and the death squads have carried out targeted killings.

Pakistan’s Islamic fundamentalist proxy groups have closed down English Language Centers and private schools, in particular girls’ schools in Balochistan. They have attacked and splashed acids on the faces of several Baloch female teachers and students in their drive to stop them from attending schools.


TamilNet: Can you comment on the Diaspora dimension of the Baloch liberation movement?

Faiz: The Baloch Diaspora has played an important role in terms of spreading awareness abroad and trying to link up with other oppressed nations.

When I came to United Kingdom in 2002, I noticed that people were not aware of Balochistan and state repression against Baloch people.

The Baloch Diaspora has tried to explain the situation of Balochistan at all forums accessible to them. The Diaspora has also worked on Balochi language, culture and traditions.

The biggest Baloch center is in Bahrain where volunteer teachers teach Balochi language and computer skills to Baloch children.

In Europe, the Baloch along with cultural activities are also involved in promoting the Baloch freedom struggle and in exposing the Pakistani and Iranian State atrocities against Baloch people.

One of the Baloch national leaders, Hyrbyair Marri and his friends, has drafted the Balochistan Liberation Charter.

The charter is a very comprehensive document and it is the first time in Baloch history that such a clear road map has been presented to all the Baloch in Balochistan and abroad.

It is also a practical step toward uniting all Baloch parties and organization to form a joint strategy to achieve their independence.


TamilNet: Affected by geo-political injustice coming from the changing Establishments from colonial times till now, how do think the oppressed nations should direct their national struggle at a global level?
Faiz M Baluch
Faiz M Baluch
Faiz: We have to look at the root cause of the problem. The root cause is the colonial system that they imposed on us.

The shift of Establishment is merely a substitution of one strand of colonial rulers with another.

The question is do we have the same basic democratic rights like other free nations or not?

Moreover, do we have the rights to sovereignty and self-preservation or not?

To live free of colonialism and illegal occupation is fundamental for being accepted as equal human beings.

The right of determining our future is not something to be decided by the shifting trends among the Establishments.

The problem is the whole Establishment that need to be changed fundamentally i.e. the removal of colonial system so that nations can coexist peacefully.

Otherwise, it would account to not telling the truth to our people. It will only contribute to postpone the day of our liberation.

I believe oppressed nations have no other option but one. They should never give up their peaceful and democratic struggle for freedom.

Provided that they take their movement sensibly and rationally they will eventually be free - especially in this age of media and communication.

We live in a period in human history when the democratic trend is predominant. In the democratic world there are hundreds of human rights organizations or individuals that can support us in our struggle for our freedom.

There are numerous democratic political parties, trade unions and associations who can support us if they know the root cause of our problem.

The biggest hurdle for us is that the citizens of the free world do not know about us. They are more acquainted with the narratives of the occupying states than with our true story.

Another major problem is the lack of a secular and democratic roadmap to be presented to our people as well as to the free world.

At a global level, we can be more effective if most of oppressed nations form a united front.

We can raise our voice louder if we get together and approach international institutions such as the UN and the States that can make a difference to our situation.

But, in the end, each nation must realize that their ultimate emancipators are no one else but the people of that nation itself. Ultimately, they should rely on themselves, their men, women and children.

Subjugation is not something that is eternal. It is only a transitory period but it will last longer if we do not resist it or expect others to remove it for us.


TamilNet: How do you commemorate the sacrifices made in the Baloch struggle?

Faiz: Each year, the Baloch people in Balochistan and abroad gather on 13 November to pay their tributes to those who fought sacrificing their lives and those who were made forcibly disappeared or continue to languish in the custodies of the occupying States for the cause of our freedom.

It was on 13 November 1839, the British imperial forces attacked Balochistan.

The Baloch ruler Mir Mehrab Khan, instead of surrendering before the British army, chose to defend his homeland.

He and many of his companions were killed in this battle.

The miseries of Balochistan and the slow motion (cultural, political, geographical, economical and physical) genocide of Baloch people started.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and disappeared during these years in their attempt for regaining their freedom.

13 November is known among Baloch people as “Shahmeeren Balochani Roch – Baloch Remembrance Day.”

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