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#ChappalChorPakistan in front of Pakistan embassy in Washington DC Sunday
American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) volunteers participate in #ChappalChorPakistan protests at Pakistan embassy in Washington DC:
Washington, D.C. – A group of Americans of Indian, Afghan and Baloch descent organized a protest at the Pakistan Embassy this freezing Sunday afternoon. Tagged “Chappal Chor Pakistan” (“slipper-thief Pakistan”), the protest was against the humiliation and intimidation of Chetankul Jadhav, wife of Indian ex-navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, at the Pakistan foreign office in Islamabad. Both Jadhav’s wife and mother were asked to remove their sandals, mangalsutras and bindis before they were allowed to meet him, and the sandals were subsequently stolen.
The American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) participated in this protest, and its president Ahmar Mustikhan authored a blogpost with interesting historical anecdotes.
Supporters of Baloch freedom living in the US used the occasion to highlight the petty vindictiveness that ordinary residents of Balochistan are often the victim of, in the ongoing freedom struggle that is being brutally suppressed by the Pakistan Army. One such Baloch-American, Najeeb Khan, mailed in women’s footwear to Pakistan Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhary as a token of disgust. Najeeb was shot at and almost killed in Quetta, capital of Balochistan, by the ISI four years ago.
The Jadhav ladies’ experience wouldn’t be the first instance of thievery and petty humiliation by Pakistan’s foreign ministry. At its founding, Mr. Jinnah personally appropriated the lavish properties of a Hindu merchant in Karachi, and made it the new country’s first foreign ministry. The Mohatta Palace, as it was called, had a temple to Lord Shiva on its roof, and its Hindu owner had once been a personal acquaintance of Mr. Jinnah, but that did not stop the takeover. The owner had to leave Karachi.
Later, the Mohatta palace was taken over by Mr. Jinnah’s sister Fatima, who renamed it Qasr-e-Fatima. She was eventually found dead, with close friends alleging she was murdered, while the military Ayub regime hastily performed the funeral after turning down requests for an autopsy.
Jadhav was abducted by Pakistani agencies and held captive on unproven charges of spying and sabotage, and sentenced to death. The International Court of Justice intervened to stay the sentence.
Meanwhile, India reportedly abducted Pakistan army officer of the ISI, Lt Col Mohammad Habib in a tit for tat gesture.
Comments from Protestors
Below are comments from some protest organizers:
Ahmar Mustikhan, who is a senior Balochistan journalist and founder of American Friends of Balochistan in Washington DC, said: “The trial of Kulbushan Jadhav violated all norms of international law as it was conducted by a military court. He said Pakistan is playing a holi of blood in his ancestral Balochistan, targeting Afghanistan on a daily basis and used its jihadi proxies to force more than half million Kashmir Pandits, who he called the most cultured, civilized and educated community in South Asia, out of their homes.”
Mustikhan, while saying that some of the tweets of the US president were rather colorful, said his statement on stopping aid to Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists was statesmanlike.
He thanked Senator Rand Paul and House of Representatives members Dana Rohrabacher, Louie Gohmert, Steve King, Brad Sherman and Tulsi Gabbard and other lawmakers How understand the rogue nature of Pakistan state.
He said Pakistan is a political cancer for the world and especially South Asia.
He compared the treatment India meted out to 93,000 prisoners of war after Pakistan’s defeat in Bangladesh and the treatment Pakistan meted out to Chetankul Jadhav and Avanti Jadhav, wife and mother of Kulbushan Jadhav that clearly showed the uncivil nature of the rogue, terrorist state of Pakistan. He said Pakistan’s shabby treatment of the Jadhav ladies is rooted in the history of the country erected by the British at the time of the British holocaust. He said Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah himself occupied the palatial mansion of Seth Shrivatan Chandraratan Mohatta even though Mohatta personally knew Jinnah. Jinnah converted the illegally Mohatta Palace into Pakistan’s first foreign ministry building. Mr Mohatta has built the mansion for his beloved but sick wife and heart broken he left Karachi not to return ever to Pakistan. “The Mohatta Palace was occupied by Jinnah’s sister Fatima Jinnah in 1964. It was here that she was allegedly murdered on the orders of Gen Ayub Khan.”
Krishna Gudipati, local Hindu Community Leader in USA and director of Org affairs, American Friends of Balochistan, said: “The recent episode of Pakistan makes a mockery of humanity. By not returning the slippers of Smt. Kulbhushan Yadav and asking them to remove even Bindi and Mangal Sutras and changing their dresses as well, it is just another sleazy activity Pakistan has done to a Bharata Soubhagya Nari (married Indian woman).
“Pakistan’s fantasizing that every Indian is out there to trap them with anything shows their deep insecurity about their leadership Governing a State. This may be the reason they use gunship helicopters to kill civilians in Balochistan and other areas. Also, this insecurity shows up in Pakistan using proxies since the time of Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India, until now. But unfortunately, this strategy of using proxies is now turning out to be very costly and deadly to the very definition of Pakistan. Pak Army and ISI seems to be riding this tiger called Proxies, but that tiger itself is taking a bite out of Pakistan. Pakistan being Pakistan and will never want to discard its proxies and focus on development like Shri Modi ji challenged Pakistan to do, during a speech in Kerala, after surgical strikes.”
Carl Clemens, volunteer with several local community organizations, said: “The treatment meted out to the Jadhav ladies by Pakistan foreign office typifies the petty vindictiveness and humiliation that is the prevalent culture there historically - not only among the religious sectarian militants, but at the highest echelons of the army and administration.
“The sooner policy makers, media and the public of respectable nations understand the narrow-mindedness and violent self-interest that is at the root of Pakistan's ideology, the better it will be in tackling the cancer of state-sponsored terrorism in the region and beyond.”
Soumya Sundar Chowdhury, who is from West Bengal, regretted that it was not only Pakistan army and ISI but also the civil society in that country that behaves in roguish fashion. “The journalists were heckling Jadhav’s mother and wife when they went to meet him and that speaks volumes about the Pakistan’s popular mindset.”
Dhananjay Shevlikar, Secretary of the local chapter of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad-America said: “Pakistan has not treated visitors with dignity. They have humiliated the religious and faith symbols of Hindu womanhood. Because of this sort of behavior Pakistan has found itself on a watch list. This behavior will lead to Pakistan's own destruction.”