Baluch speaker to lead rally at White House
Former speaker of Baluchistan assembly Waheed Baloch, who is also founder of Baloch International League, has called upon the Baloch and their allies in the United States to attend a rally being organized against the visit of Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari.
Zardari will be meeting U.S. president Barack Obama at the White House on May 6. His entourage includes chief of Pakistan's dreaded Inter Services Intelligence Ahmed Shuja Pasha.
The rally organized under the auspices of the Baloch International League and its allies will also hand over a memorandum calling upon Pakistan to end its state terrorism in Baluchistan and to stop the genocide of the Baluch people.
"The rally has been organized specially to bring to world attention the continued killings of Baluch people in Baluchistan," Waheed Baloch said Wednesday evening. "The original plan was to hold a rally in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York, but with the arrival of Zardari in Washington DC we decided to shift the venue to Washington DC."
The former speaker of the Baluchistan assembly, who is a close confidante of Baluch Nelson Mandela, former chief minister Sardar Akhtar Mengal, strongly disagreed with the notion of the existence of the so-called Baluch, Sindhi or Pashtun diaspora.
"Baluch are a people with their own homeland and still very much fighting for it and the term diaspora is used mostly in generic terms for people who have been driven out of their ancestral lands by foreign invaders," he said.
He said the League is of the considered opinion Baluchistan question is quite unique from other issues bedeviling Pakistan as the bleeding wounds of Baluchistan have been festering for more than six decades and needs focused attention. He added putting the Baluch issue in the same basket with a whole gamut of other issues may bring some benefit to select individuals, but would not do any good to the Baluch struggle.
He said whatever the U.S. secretary of state Madam Hillary Rodham Clinton says is not correct and she was definitely wrong on the use of the term Pakistani Diaspora.
In the past, President Barack Obama had used the term "Pakistani people," but American intellectual and activist Walt Landry expressed concerns as he said this term was a misnomer because Pakistan is multi-ethnic and has several nationalities, including the Baluch.
Noted Sindhi intellectual Professor Jawaid Bhutto agreed with Speaker Baloch's views.
"The need of the hour is to bring Baluch issues into focussed attention," said Bhutto. "If there are too many demands, the burning questioning of state killings in Baluchistan seem to become secondary in importance," he said, adding, "That will form an all together different agenda."
Bhutto said he would attend the rally on the condition it specifically addresses the ongoing human rights violations and state terrorism in Baluchistan.
Mohammed Ali Baloch and Rasheed Baloch, presiding council members of the American Friends of Balochistan, an organization that advocates right of self determination for the Baloch people and considers Balochistan an occupied territory, have endorsed Speaker Baloch's call.
The two A.F.B. leaders said the state of Pakistan has reached the point of no return and the Baluch have no interest in its survival or integrity, but will be much better off once it falls apart.
"At this point the West and U.S. will have to talk directly with the Baluch if they need a comprehensive solution to terrorism in South Asia," the two leaders said, adding they will condemn those in North America who try to use the Baluchistan question for personal gain.
Nabi Baloch, presiding council member of the A.F.B. said his organization would continue to contact U.S. lawmakers for appropriate action in Baluchistan.
Earlier, former World Sindhi Institute leaders Munawwar Laghari and Maqbool Aliani met Speaker Baloch, who clearly told them about the aims, objectives, format and memorandum of the upcoming rally.
A former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan concurred that it was significant I.S.I. chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha was in Zardari's delegation, but said the decision to stop Taliban actions against the International Security Assistance in Afghanistan or against the civil administration within Pakistan will have be made by his bosses is the Pakistan army.
"The I.S.I. chief answers to a higher command which is Pakistan army. I hope President Obama will be able to convince President Zardari, who in turn will be able to convince Pakistan army that this game that they are playing runs counter to the interests of Pakistan," William B. Milam, the former ambassador who now works for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars said.
Regardless of the I.S.I., or for that matter its chief nemesis R.A.W. games, the Baluch in North America insist more needs to be done to create awareness about the Nazi-style killings in Baluchistan, including the recent slaying of Balochistan National Movement leaders Ghulam Mohammed Baloch, Lala Munir Baloch and Balochistan Republican Party leader Sher Mohammed Baloch.
The three were abducted from their lawyers office on April 3, shot in the head and dropped from helicopters, their family and friends said. Their badly mutilated bodies were found in the outskirts of Turbat.
Speaker Baloch had worked with all the three martyrs.
The rally, led by Speaker Baloch, will begin on Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 8:00 a.m. at the White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC. The closest Metro Station is McPherson.
The rallyists will march to the State Department.
Former Baluchistan government minister Dr. Tara Chand will also address the rally.
Baluchistan is a Texas-sized stateless region divided among Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.
On May 06, 2009 Baloch International League (for peace & freedom) will hold a public meeting in front of white house to record their protest and handover a memorandum against the genocide of Baloch people in Balochistan, disappearances of Baloch youth, women, intellectuals, political activists by notorious ISI and cold blooded killings of Baloch leadership, and gross violation of human rights in general. The demonstrators will also condemn and protest and record their voice against the plundering of natural resources of Sindh and human rights violation at large by the Pakistani brutal forces and agencies.
The protest will coincide with President Barack Obama meeting with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.
When: Wednesday, May o6, 2009
Time: 1:00 p.m
Where: White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC
For further info, contact 703-677-1267