File Photo: Activists of Free Balochistan Movement protesting against Chinese involvement in Balochistan.
The message of Hyrbyair Marri, leader of the Free Balochistan Movement, was read by his representative in the British Parliament on 23 February 2017. His message addressed regional concerns, geopolitics, national question of Balochistan, Pakistani terrorism, Iranian terrorism and Chinese role in Balochistan.
Free Balochistan Movement is a political movement against the colonisation of Balochistan by Pakistan and Iran.
London, United Kingdom – The message of Hyrbyair Marri, leader of the Free Balochistan Movement, was read in a seminar by his representative on 23 February 2017. The seminar titled ‘History of Balochistan revisited’ was held in the British Parliament and was organised by the Democracy Forum.
Hyrbyair Marri’s message read that ‘the Baloch struggle against British Empire to regain their independence is well-known because in 1838 when the British Imperial Army wanted to attack Afghanistan via Balochistan. We, Baloch, refused to allow them to use our land to attack our neighbouring brotherly nation. In retaliation, the British army attacked Balochistan on 13 November 1839 and killed the sovereign of Balochistan, Mir Mehrab Khan along with his Hindu Finance Minister Dewan Bucha Mull and hundreds of others.’
He further said in his message that ‘Before the British withdrawal in 1947, Pakistan recognised Balochistan as an independent state in the Standstill agreement signed by Baloch ruler and Pakistan’s representative Mr Jinnah in presence of the Crown representative. Furthermore, on 11th August 1947, we declared our freedom. The news of our independence was well known. Balochistan relationship with Britain rested on several treaties that were signed between Britain and the rulers of Balochistan. One of these agreements was the 1854 treaty, which was ratified in 1876. Under this treaty, the British could station their forces in Balochistan and in return, they would defend Balochistan from any foreign aggression’. He described Britain covert help to Pakistan against Balochistan during 1947-48 as ‘betrayal’ and ‘violation of the Treaty of 1876’.
Mr Marri also raised the question of the validity of the accession treaty which merged Balochistan into Pakistan. He said that ‘the so-called ‘Accession Treaty’ created in 1948, that Pakistani media and pseudo-intellectuals refer to in their statements and rhetoric are signed on two different dates. Jinnah signed it on one date and Balochistan’s sovereign on another date. There is no evidence when this agreement was signed, where it was signed, who signed it and in the presence of whom, it was signed. There were no witnesses whatsoever! This is supposed to be an agreement between two states! How more absurd can it be? The fact is, even if you rent a house you’ll need witnesses and need to sign a tenancy agreement in presence of those witnesses.’
His message also highlighted Pakistan’s human rights violation which were committed against several nations. He said that in 1970-71 Pakistan army killed, displaced and raped millions of Muslim Bengali people. They have destroyed the Pashtun secular democratic movement completely and used their jihadist suicide squad against Afghanistan, the Baloch and many different religious minorities. They launched three major wars against India. In short, the list of their criminal activities is endless’. Mr Marri emphasised that ‘a free democratic Balochistan would have been different from what is now under the occupation of the fanatic states of Pakistan and Iran’.
He also criticised Chinese presence in Balochistan and said that ‘the outcome of China-Pakistan nexus is not much different from their collaboration with other powers and fundamentalist groups. They use anyone and anything if they can stay in power’. Communist China wants to build a naval base in Balochistan’s coastal city ‘Gwadar’ which would allow Chinese navy to have full access to the strategic Strait of Hurmuz. Hyrbyair Marri’s message also highlighted the potential use of Balochistan’s port against American and Indian interests. He said that ‘it [Gwadar port] will enable the Chinese to build a naval base there to counter Indian and American influence in the region.’
Mr Marri also said that Balochistan would be a prosperous nation once it is free from the colonisation. He said that trillions of dollar worth of natural resources have been discovered in Balochistan including gold, copper, titanium, coal, chromite and natural gas. In the end, his message read that ‘a free democratic Balochistan will end Punjabi religious hegemony in the region, which in turn liberate the Sindhi and Pashtuns from the yoke of Muslim Punjabi army. It is then we will have an Afghanistan that is free of Pakistani suicide bombers and religious fanatics’.
The seminar was attended by several academics, students, diplomats and media representatives. British parliamentarian Nigel Huddleston MP and Chairman of the Democracy Forum also attended the meeting.