Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Khan of Kalat' seeks Bangladesh support for Balochistan’s independence from Pakistan


Nurul Islam Hasib, bdnews24.com 
Published: 2016-12-14 19:11:06 BdST

Self-exiled Baloch leader Mir Suleman Dawood Jan Ahmedzai, known as ‘Khan of Kalat’, has sought Bangladesh government’s support in their effort to liberate Balochistan from what he termed "Pakistan’s occupation".

“They (Pakistan) are committing the same atrocities that they had committed with you,” he told bdnews24.com in Dhaka on Wednesday, referring to Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan in which 3 million Bengalis were killed.

Ahmedzai has been staying in Britain since 2007 to gather international support for their cause of an independent Balochistan.

He was in Dhaka to take part in a seminar organised by the Centre for Genocide Studies at the Dhaka University.

A popular leader across Balochistan, he is sometimes referred to as a ‘king without his kingdom' by the locals.

He said 'Pakistan occupied his country' in March 1948 and since then has been carrying out atrocities to suppress public uprisings.

The Balochistan issue returned to the spotlight in the region after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech in August pointed at human rights violations in the province.

His comment was welcomed by Baloch leaders amid Islamabad’s protest.

Ahmedzai said they were expecting “cooperation and diplomatic understanding of the situation they are going through” from Bangladesh so that Dhaka can take it up to the UN.

“The family of the present prime minister went through the same crisis and even worse,” he said, referring to Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who led the independence movement. 

Ahmedzai said he saw Bangabandhu in 1969 and again in 1970 when he was around six years old.

“We, Balochistan, cannot speak in the UN as we are not a member. We want members to speak for us,” he said, adding that in 2012, during a human rights review session, the UN council rebuked Pakistan’s foreign minister over Balochistan.

He bitterly criticised Pakistan, accusing it of "spreading terrorism from Manila to California with its army intelligence".

“Only difference between normal terrorists and Pakistani army is that they are wearing uniforms while the others are not. Both are terrorists. One has a shield of the government and the other one is a non-state actor,” he said.

“Going to the background as to who they back or finance, you will trace them in every terrorist link from Manila to California”.

In Balochistan, they are committing atrocities on a daily basis, he said, adding that Pakistan has adopted ‘kill and dump’ policy in Balochistan. 

“More than 25,000 people are missing and over a million displaced. First, people go missing and then they are found in the wilderness....tortured, bullet-ridden bodies."

“Our only plan is to regain independence for Balochistan. We are optimistic,” he said.

“The sort of problems we are facing is like what you have faced before. You are lucky because of your fathers who made sacrifices and you got a country of yours. We are still sacrificing and we will also get our country.”

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