Mehran says entire families being decimated in Balochistan
Two international representatives of Balochistan put Pakistan on the mat at the Oxford University on Thursday evening.
Mehran Baluch and Noordin Mengal, along with Pakistan director of Human Rights Watch, Ali Dayan Hasan, were speaking at the Oxford University Pakistan Society meeting.
Mehran Baluch regretted that Pakistan army is not willing to accept the meaning and definition of Balochistan, which is the land of the Baloch.
He said after the forced merger of 1948, one would have at least expected what he called "velet glove" but said Pakistan army was continuing its genocidal policies with an iron fist in Balochistan.
Following is the complete speech of Mehran Baluch, who is the youngest and most loved son of Balochistan freedom icon Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri and is Balochistan's unofficial representative at the U.N. Human Rights Council:
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak. Oxford University is the intellectual capital of the world. Nothing, neither King nor Country, have been sacred cows here at this most prestigious university on earth.
What is the issue of Balochistan and what is the problem of Pakistan? These are the two questions I like to address today.
You guys might be aware a French team discovered the fossil remains of the largest mammal that ever walked on the face of earth in Dera Bugti in Balochistan. The mammal is called Baluchitherium. That mammal weighed 20,000 kilos was, six meters tall and had existed 30 million years ago.
Today, under Pakistan military excesses, the Baloch are engaged in a David-and-Goliath struggle for survival so that the story of Baluchitherium is not repeated.
Balochistan’s grievance with Pakistan began on day one. That day one was not August 14, the birth date of Pakistan. Some of you know that Balochistan was granted independence on August 11, 1947, separately from Pakistan and India.
Balochistan’s day one with Pakistan was March 27, 1948.
Things that get etched in the collective memory of a people are hard to erase. March 27, 1948 is one such date for the Baloch people. I regret to note even open-minded Pakistani intellectuals, writers and authors are in a state of denial on this dark chapter of Balochistan’s history.
The first uprising against the 1948 forcible merger was launched by Prince Aga Abdul Karim. There have been four uprisings since then that shows Baloch have not forgotten March 27 1948. “A rape committed 60 years back does not turn into marriage,” according to former governor and chief minister of Balochistan, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti.
'Iron Fist' policy continues
After such a painful merger one would have expected extreme care and caution in dealings with Balochistan, not the dumping of bodies. One would have expected at least the velvet glove, but what we faced and are still facing is the iron fist. The fact is the Pakistani rulers of Balochistan sitting at the military general headquarters in Rawalpindi have treated the Baloch much more brutally than England ever did. In nearly 110 years of indirect rule the British rulers did not kill as many Baloch as Pakistan has killed since March 1948.
Balochistan is in the grips of a tsunami of human rights violations by Pakistan. Balochistan has the highest number of enforced disappearances in the world today. Balochistan is where Pakistan has been conducting a ruthless secret dirty war, which the Amnesty International calls kill-and-dump policy.
Balochistan is where the highly respected civilian leaders like Nawab Akbar Bugti are called pygmies by a military coup leader of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, who could not even pronounce the word Baloch correctly.
Too much blood has flowed down the Bolan River since then, so to speak. A sea of blood of the best Baloch sons from Nawab Nauroz Khan and his seven sons, Lawang Khan, Safar Khan, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, Balach Marri, Ghulam Mohammed Baloch, Lala Munir and thousands of unknown soldiers now divides the Baloch people and the Pakistani rulers in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
We shall never forget
Entire families are being wiped out as I speak before you. There are scores of families in Balochistan who lost two or more male members to barbaric operations of the Frontier Corps, Military Intelligence, Inter-Services Intelligence and Pakistani death squads. The Langov brothers, the Dagarani brothers, the Karim brothers all paid a price simply for being Baloch. There are many cases where father and sons have all been target killed.
Many teenagers are among the victims.
Even women are not spared. My sister-in-law Zamur Dombki and her 11-yeard-old daughter Janan Domki were ruthlessly killed on the streets of Karachi by the Pakistan intelligence services to break the will of her brother Brahumdagh Bugti.
I must assure you we shall never forget.
Peaceful professors who hold books in hands are being targeted by Pakistani death squads. Professor Saba Dashtiyari widely respected and loved was killed on June 1 last year. He was known as the Noam Chomsky of Balochistan.
More than 400 writers, intellectuals, journalists, lawyers, doctors and students have been killed since July 2010 when te military changed gear and began targeting the towns and villages of Balochistan. Such brutality is unprecedented.
The irony is when the Pakistan military was conducting a brutal operation to kill Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, 79, at the very same time top Pakistan generals were making arrangements for the safe stay of Osama bin Laden next door to the Pakistan Military Academy.
Musharraf was inaugurating supply of gas from Sui when he was told about Bugti’s killing. He was infamously quoted on saying “Well done boys.”
Pakistan generals don't get it
I am sure Pakistan generals will pay for their actions, eventually. I do not think they can hoodwink the international community. The life imprisonment to Shakeel Afridi, who helped trace bin Laden, will most certainly carry a price tag.
The problem is Pakistan military generals still don’t get it.
They don’t get it that Balochistan means land of the Baloch. Pakistan is not willing to accept the very meaning and definition of the word Balochistan as the land of the Baloch.
In quite a few Middle and Near Eastern languages “stan” means land of. There are six countries that are named after their people. These countries are Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. Like Balochistan and Kurdistan, the two stateless countries, these countries have hundreds and even thousands of years of history.
But what does Pakistan mean? It means the land of the pure in Urdu and Persian. And where did this word come from? It was coined by Chaudhry Rehmat Ali on January 28, 1933 about 85 miles northeast of here at 3 Humberstone Road in Cambridge. The letter “i” was added later for ease of pronunciation.
The name Pakistan was meant to portray Muslims as pure and the overwhelming majority, the non-Muslims of India, as impure.
One of the greatest thinkers of the time, all India Congress president Maulana Abul Azad in an interview with Shorish Kashmiri forewarned, ”We must remember that an entity conceived in hatred will last only as long as that hatred lasts.”
We Baloch highly respect Maulana Azad. I think every Pakistani should read his prophetic book India Wins Freedom.