Allah name used to chain people, test nukes on their land
At the time the worst president in US history Mr. Bush was in power and alluding to the racist war in Iraq, I told the Feds who visited me, “The president has no regard for human life.”
Just over two months ago I got a visit from Feds who wanted to know more about my activism work for Baluchistan's independence -- yes, nothing less than the right to self determination -- here in Washington DC.
I told the Feds I am myself a Buddhist with reverence for life and would under no circumstances condone any killing as no killing could ever be justified -- not even of coup leader General Pervez Musharraf, son of a dancer from Lucknow known for its brothels, who as Pakistan army chief inflicted the worst harm on the Baluch in recent years. Incredibly, Musharraf still commands VVIP status in Pakistan after the so-called return of democracy under “Mr Ten Percent”, aka President Asif Ali Zardari.
But then I asked a simple question: what will you do if armed thugs come from the outside and hold your entire household hostage?
And one officer said he will defend his family and I responded this is what my Baluch people are trying to do: defend their honor, their land, their resources from foreign invaders for six decades now. “They have never gone outside their lands to harm anyone,” I said.
For lack of a better analogy, I asked what will the people of New Orleans do if northerners from New York go and occupy everything down south and leave the people of New Orleans completely disenfranchised, politically and economically.
The Feds visit came just days after I was at a meeting of the American Friends of Baluchistan at the Busboys & Poets where glowing tributes were paid to Nawabzada Bala'ach Marri, who was allegedly martyred by Pakistan army in November 2007. After that I wrote an article “Imperial justice might jail martyr's brother” I had also spoken with the martyr's brother Hairbyair Marri, 40, who along with a young secular hero Faiz Baluch, 29, were undergoing a terror trial in London -- they were found not guilty on February 11.
They also asked If I was sending money to Pakistan and I smiled and responded, “I wish I could.” In fact, I am dying for support and am now surviving by waiting tables as the Baluch who want independence are mostly poor, though their land is one of the richest.
Its an article of faith that if the Baluch say they do not want to be called Pakistanis, even Allah can not make them into good Pakistanis. In any case Allah, Islam and Pakistan are the terms I hate the most, as these have been used alongside bombs and bullets to justify the enslavement of the Baluch nation and to make them into good Pakistanis for more than six decades now. In fact, the partition of India was one of the biggest frauds committed by the white man in the last century, though Baluchistan would still have been a separate county had India remained one. Or would have fared far better in a united India.
Historians believe that upwards of half a million people were killed, tens of thousands of women were raped or abducted and more than 10 million people became refugees in a catastrophe which still haunts South Asian politics and diplomacy.
Many analysts in Baluchistan are nonplussed Pakistan signs agreements with the Taliban to blackmail the world, especially the US, to get more funds, while it ruthlessly crushes Baluch dissent.
Islamabad’s recent move to grant religious self-rule to the Taliban in Swat and the denial of political autonomy to the people of Balochistan are obviously beyond comprehension.
Just like Muntazer al-Zaidi the Iraqi showthrower who hurled his shoes at Bush and became an instant celebrity in the Arab world, the nearly 20 million Baluch people worldwide are eager to throw their shoes at Pakistan army chief General Pervez Kiyani. Not that we are angry with Kiyani as a person, but his office symbolizes an organ responsible for the worst crimes against humanity on the Baluch people.
In the current fighting, which started in January 2005, the independent Pakistan Human Rights Commission has reported that “indiscriminate bombing and strafing” by F-16s and Cobra gunships are again being used to draw the guerrillas into the open. Six Pakistani army brigades, plus paramilitary forces totalling some 25,000 men, are deployed in the Kohlu mountains and surrounding areas where the fighting is most intense.
Worst crimes were committed against the Baluch, but there was not even a whimper internationally – other than an occasional and half-hearted condemnation from India. Pakistan army used the most brutal tactics to crush the Baluch movement for the last six decades, without success.
Last week the AHRC received confirmation that Pakistani soldiers arrested four people on April 5 2008, in the Dera Bugti district of Balochistan, and subjected them to torture. They were asked to identify local supporters of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). After failing to get any names from them, the victims were immersed in scolding hot coal tar. Three of the men were literally boiled and burned to death. A fourth died later from his injuries.
The two main nationalist leaders, former member of the national assembly Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri and former chief minister Sardar Ataullah Mengal, lost their beloved sons Bala'ach Marri and Asadullah Mengal to Pakistan army and intelligence services.
Another top leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti lost his most capable and beloved son Salal Bugti before himself falling victim to Pakistan's brutal army 13 years later.
The international community has closed its eyes to what happened in Baluchistan. One of the first freedom fighters, Agha Abdul Karim, the late father-in-law of Baluchistan governor Nawab Zulfikar Magsi, spent two decades behind bars. He was brother of the Ruler of Baluchistan Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmedyar Khan, who was forced to sign an instrument of accession on March 27, 1948. The big lie about this accession can be judged by the fact that Pakistan founder and MI6 agent, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, and the Khan of Kalat signed the document on two different dates.
The Khan of Kalat's grandson, the present de jure ruler of Baluchistan, Suleman Daud Ahmedzai, had to flee Pakistan after calling a historic jirga or assembly in September 2006 that was attended by almost all sections of Baluch society. The jirga decided to knock at the doors of the International Court of Justice.
The army generals are furious and may never forgive him for this sin and he is now seeking UK asylum.
At the appeal hearing in Newport yesterday, the 45-year-old father-of-three said despite sometimes having up to 100 armed bodyguards with him in Balochistan, his safety could not be guaranteed there.
“If the government wants to get rid of you, it will get rid of you,” he said.
Another top Baluch leader, who led the movement against accession with Pakistan, Father of Baluchistan, Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo – close friend of the family elders of this scribe--, also spent many years in jail and was allegedly sodomized inside prison by Pakistan soldiers.
Pakistan army's use of rape and sodomy against its opponents has been widely chronicled. Most of the times the victims have remained silent.
F16 fighter jets, Cobra helicopters and phosphorous bombs were used against the Baluch people, human rights activists have deplored
After the illegal occupation of March 1948 --Baluchistan was not meant to be part of Pakistan, and the Baluch call it Pokistan or land of 'asshole-ness'-- economic deprivation followed.
As much as $7 million of natural gas has been produced daily from Baluchistan but has been taken outside Baluchistan with as much a 95 percent of the population being denied access to natural gas. Only ten days worth of that gas is actually given to Baluchistan and the rest is pocketed by Punjab army generals and civil bureaucracy.
One of the world's largest gold and copper deposits is at Reko Dig, but the Baluch are not getting anything from it as corporations, including Barrick Gold Corporation of Canada, have joined hands with the ruling Punjabi generals and civil bureaucracy to do business without local Baluch participation --throwing the concept of Corporate Social Responsibilty out of the window.
Since 1947, successive governments at the centre have pursued a policy of intimidation and coercion towards the Baloch. Most provincial governments have played the disgraceful role of legitimising and lending respectability to army operations, forced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, incarcerations and the acquisition of land. The goal has been to coerce the population into acquiescence so that exploitation can be conducted in a threat-free environment. Of late, much-publicised mega projects are actually depriving the Baloch of their resources and said to be adversely changing the demographic balance in the province.
There are two other multi-billion projects that are run by the Chinese, but those have not brought any change in the lives of the local Baluch -- both projects are run by non-Baluch officers.
Currently, the company operates 2 projects in Pakistan, namely, the Saindak Copper-Gold Mine Project and the Duddar Zinc-Lead Mine Project.
To their horror, local people in Saindak were disgusted to find the puppies began vanishing from the area and it turned out the Chinese were eating them. Authorities in Pakistan then requested the Chinese to keep the dog-eating under wraps in deference for local sensibilites.
In China, dog meat is considered a delicacy that purportedly increases one’s sexual prowess and “warms their blood.” Another two million dogs and cats are murdered each year to supplement the international fur trade. Yes, felines are also eaten in China, as well as monkey brains and bird eyes.
The port of Gwadar on the strategic Straits of Hormuz, remote controlled by China, is ready but the locals are not deemed qualified for even the most menial jobs and outsiders are being brought in on a grand scale."Do you need a degree from Oxford to work as a day laborer," asks Engineer Hameed Baloch, a local leader of the National Party.
In the backdrop of the kidnapping of John Soelcki, head of the UN High Commission for Refugees in Quetta on February 2, the premier Human Rights Commission of Pakistan is demanding an independent commission to probe the issue of forced disappearances or state abductions in Baluchistan, including that of 141 women.
Whatever one may think of the authenticity of these lists it is obvious that the situation created by the claim of disappearance of so many women is far more serious than it had so far been assumed. It is the first time the people, at least outside Balochistan, have learnt of the enforced disappearance of Baloch women. Even if the list is partly correct it should make all politicians and civil society defenders of the oppressed hang their heads in shame.
There can be no bigger crime than committing nuclear tests on occupied lands and Pakstan did that with impunity and got away with it May 28, 1998 exactly 50 years and two months after annexing Baluchistan illegally on March 27, 1948.
Whereas all nuclear weapons are equally condemnable, but Pakistan's weapons of mass destruction is even more dangerous as it is religion-specific. As part of its state ideology, Pakistan considers people from other religions as its enemies and has made clear it will not desist from being the first to use nuclear weapons.
[Please also visit www.mustikhan1.blogspot.com and help this writer survive]