By Murtaza Ali ShahPosted on: 1 day ago
LONDON: Chief of Balochistan’s powerful Marri tribe Mehran Marri has alleged that his elder brother Nawabzada Jangeez Marri is playing a dangerous game by trying to take over control of the natural resources belonging to Marri areas in the resource rich province of Balochistan.
Mehran Marri, who represents Balochistan unofficially at the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC), said that Jangeez Marri, who is leader of Pakistan Muslim League in Balochistan and provincial minister, has used a group around him to anoint himself as chief of the Marri tribe against wishes of late Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, renowned nationalist leader and Marri tribal chief who passed away over two years ago in Karachi - to sell natural resources from areas of the Marri tribe.
Last week, Changeez Marri claimed that he had been given the “power of attorney and legal powers” by at least 25 elders of the Marri tribe to utilise the natural resources (coal, oil, gas, minerals) in the Marri areas for the “welfare and progress of the Marri tribe on behalf of the Marri tribe”.
"I am thankful to the trust posed in me by the elders of the Marri tribe for giving me all powers. Our natural resources belong to our people and I will endeavour to utilise these on education, welfare and health of the local people.”
But Mehran Marri has strongly opposed the plans by Jangeez Marri. He told The News that it was a lie that the Marri tribe had unanimously given Jangeez powers to utilise resources in the Marri area. “This is an attempt by Jangeez on behalf of those who have always been interested in our resources and not the human resource or the welfare of Baloch people.”
“Jangeez Marri wants to be part of the loot and plunder of resources which belong to hundreds of thousands of Marris and rest of the Balochs but he is now trying to gain legitimacy to fatten his own bank balance without doing anything for the Marris. What he is trying to do is illegal, immoral and it violates the teaching of my great father who had devoted himself to a sincere cause. Our father never cared about government ministers and procurement of resources or he would have been amongst the richest people in Asia but he chose principles and moralities over the worldly pleasures.”
Mehran Marri said that Nawabzada Changeez Marri would not be able to deliver anything because he had lost trust of the tribe and disowning the legacy of Nawaz Khair Baksh Marri would not take him anywhere.
“Marri resources don’t belong to just one tribe or an individual but to the whole nation. It’s not for the first time that attempts have been made to usurp the resources of Balochistan by the outsiders through conspiracies. During the lifetime of our father, such attempt was made but my father steadfastly said he would not allow any exploitation of the shared wealth of our people.”
Shortly before his death in June 2014, Nawab Khair Baksh Marri had appointed his youngest of five sons Mehran Marri as Nawab (chief) of the Marri tribe.
After Nawab Marri passed away, a row broke out when Jangeez Marri announced in Quetta on June 20, 2014 that he was chief of the Marri tribe and not Mehran Marri, who is also known as Mehran Baloch, but the Marri tribal elders held that it was the wish and command of Nawab Khair Baksh Marri that Mehran would head the Marri tribe as his successor. The Marri tribal elders relied on the will by Nawab Khair Baksh Marri that was in favour of Mehran Marri without any doubt.
It was alleged by the elders loyal to late Nawab Marri that Jangeez Marri had been “appointed” the tribe’s chief by pro-government elders at the behest of the ruling party in Islamabad. The elders had reposed complete confidence in the leadership of Mehran Marri and urged all the tribes struggling for the rights of the Balochs to extend support to the newly-elected chief.
The Marri elders had said in a joint statement that the government of Pakistan took advantage of the vacuum created by the death of Nawab Khair Baksh Marri and, without consent or consultation with the family or the tribal elders, arbitrarily appointed Mehran Marri’s eldest brother Changeez Marri as the new chief.
Nawabzada Gazeen Marri, the elder brother of Mehran Marri, also endorsed the decision and said that Mehran Marri enjoyed complete support of the followers of his late father and mother.
Mehran also won support of his brother-in-law Brahmdagh Bugti, the chief of the banned Baloch Republican Party and grandson of late Nawab Akbar Bugti, who currently resides in Switzerland.
Mehran has been living in exile for over three decades now after he left Balochisan with his father as a minor. Late Nawab Marri had advised Mehran Marri to work at the international level for the nationalist cause and return only when things are cordial.