Sons of the late Godfather of Baloch militancy Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, they seem to be the smartest among the Baloch elite: two brothers in the freedom camp, two in the Pakistan camp and one neutral. Four of them multimillionaires, fond of high life, but most of them are fighting with one another like fighter cocks–their late father used to love the blood sport.
The late Baloch feudal lord presided over a fiefdom spread over 3,268 square miles, almost the size of Puerto Rico and bigger than 34 other nations, including Brunei. Like Brunei, the Marri country in France-sized Balochistan is believed to be rich in fossil fuel but overwhelming of the tribesmen is around half million live in abject poverty, suffering from malnutrition.
There are five surviving Marri brothers: Balochistan irrigition and energy minister Nawabzada Jangez Marri, former Balochistan home minister Nawabzada Gazzain Marri, apolitical Nawabzada Hamza Marri, former Balochistan education minister Hyrbyair Marri, and Baluchistan House president Nawab Mehran Marri.
Former Balochistan education minister Hyrbyair Marri with Canadian intellectual and Balochistan freedom supporter Tarek Fatah in London February 28, 2013.
A sixth son, Balach Marri, who was elected member of the provincial assembly but did not take any ministerial position, was considered to be the simplest and bravest among all six. He was killed November 20, 2007 in the mountains of Balochistan.
In the latest row, the Marri House of Nawabzada Jangyz Marri castigated the statement of his younger brother Hybyair Marri, who was education minister in Balochistan cabinet 20 years ago, accusing him of colluding with former interior minister Rehman Malik, and promoting factionalism among Baloch nationalists.
Two days back, according to a web site run by Hyrbyair Marri’s lieutenant Faiz M. Baluch, the former Balochistan education minister had said, “I made it clear in a statement on June 17, 2010, and afterwards in an interview that Gazzain and Jangez Marri preferred their self-interests instead of joining the national movement, and have been working with Pakistani intelligence agencies.” He also accused Gazzain Marri of going back to Balochistan under evil designs and conspiracies of the enemy state [Pakistan] and of trying to divide and mislead the Baloch nation. Hyrbyair Marri said that selfish and self-profiteering people have always been used for states’ interests in history.
Former Balochistan home minister Nawabzada Gazzain Marri (right) at the grave of his father Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri last month.
Nawabzada Gazzain Marri, who returned to Pakistan in September last year now plans to join the Pakistan People’s Party of his bosom buddy and former president Asif Ali Zardari. Upon arrival in Pakistan he disavowed the militant politic of his younger brothers Hybyair Marri and Mehran Marri, while well informed sources say his late father did entrust the Rolex-loving former home minister some key duties in the militant movement. Though the late Nawab Marri was said to be grooming Hyrbyair Marri as his political successor, he had a fall out with his late father over alleged misappropriation of muddee, including arms and money, by his younger brother Mehran Marri. In his final days, Nawab Marri was seen in a video accusing Hyrbyair Marri of being a “war lord.”
Hybyair Marri, who allegedly heads the Baluch Army Liberation and Mehran Marri, who allegedly heads the United Baluch Army, have not talked to one another for more than eight years. Hybyair Marri said the misappropriation by Mehran Marri allegedly took place when he was arrested in London and calls his younger brother “a thief.” The fratricidal tussle between the two brothers have left at least four dozen best Marri freedom fighters or Sarmachars dead. This is a high number as according to Baloch sources though Pakistan army has killed upwards of 35,000 Baloch since a low-level insurgency began in Balochistan in 2005, just around 300 of them were actual Sarmachars. The rest were common nomadic people, whose deaths were never reported in Islamabad’s secret, dirty war.
A spokesperson for the Marri House said issued a statement against Baloch nationalist leader Hyrbyair Marri “nonsensical speech” Mr. Hyrbyair Marri made two days ago in London against Nawab Jangyz Marri. The spokesperson said that while Hyrbyair was busy trying to make himself the sole champion of the Baloch nationalist movement in vain by opening a new front against someone or the other every day, we have been forced to speak out in order that the true face of some claimants to the philosophical and ideological bandwagon of the nationalist movement is revealed to the kinsmen of the Marri clan and the Baloch people, in particular the youth.
Spokesperson for the Marri House said that after his arrest in London and during his meeting with Interior Minister Rehman Malik in order to have the terrorism case against him closed, he made a sinister pact to attack all his close friends and associates, a pattern that is still ongoing. “In truth, his pact with Rehman Malik was to continue to raise slogans for Baloch freedom in full force, while never letting any other Baloch parties gain any foothold, and to create doubt and suspicion about their activities in the eyes of the common Baloch people.”
According to media reports, Hyrbyair Marri and his right hand man Faiz M. Baluch exonerated after a letter from former home minister Rehman Malik, a lowly police official who rose to the top in the Pakistan security services. Pakistan cricketer-turned-politician, who is considered to be favorite of the Inter Services intelligence, also testified in Hybyair Marri’s favor and told the court he would done the same thing had he been in Mr Marri’s shoes .
The Marri House spokesperson claimed that they have hard evidence that Hyrbyair Marri gave material support to terrorists responsible for the massacre of Hazaras in Balochistan and specifically in Quetta, and in the coming days they would place this proof before the Baloch people.
Twice premier Benazir Bhutto condloing the death of Balaach Marri with Balochistan nationalist leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri in Karachi on November 22 at the residence of Mir Javed Mengal. Ms Bhutto was allegedly assassinated by Gen Pervez Musharraf 35 days later.
Oddly enough, Hyrbyair Marri did issue a statement two months ago in which he defended the “moderate Islam” of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is called Mohammed bin Kushner in Arab streets. He also calls the Balochistan Liberation Front a proxy of Iran as the BLF has routinely targeted the Jaishul Adal, a Baloch wahabi group that is believed to be used by the Pakistani Deep State. It may be Hyrbyair Marri’s soft stance against the whabi militants that his eldest brother is accusing him of supporting wahabi killers of the persecuted Hazaras.
The Marri House spokesman said that they consider being included in Hyrbyair Marri’s clique a disrespect to the spirit of the late Nawab Marri and pointed out to the things that the late Nawab Marri said during his last days about Hyrbyair Marri. “Subsequently he began heaping indignities on the white-bearded elders of the Marri tribe after the Nawab passed away, causing Marri folks to leave his ideological caravan in disgust.”
Lastly, the Marri House spokesman said that they chose to remain silent all this while hoping that he (Hyrbyair) would cease to use the blood of Marri folks as a bargain chip, claiming “the Marri tribe is united under the leadership of Nawab Changez Marri, and the few people who remain under Hyrbyair’s delusional sway will join us in the near future.”
Though the Marri House was casting aspersions on Hyrbyair Marri, it is true that the late Nawab Marri was highly unhappy with his politics and had disowned his eldest son. Jangez Marri also used to call his father a failed politician for his politics of resistance. In an interview with this writer in 1993, Jangez Marri said that the Marri resistance during the 1973-77 insurgency was a huge blunder.
Nawab Mehran Marri (right) and his brother-in-law Nawab Brahumdagh Bugti in Geneva. The Swiss government in November clamped a lifetime ban on Marri’s entry and denied asylum to Bugti on a charge they head militant outfits. The two are believed to be quarantined and closely watched by western intelligence services.
In May last year, Jangez Marri had during an visit sponsored by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence to the European parliament in Brussels accused his youngest brother Mehran Marri of being a foreign agent. In November, The Swiss arrested and deported Mehran Marri from Zurich on a charge that he heads the militant United Baluch Army (UBA) and also clamped a lifetime ban on him, though he is a Briton. The Swiss also denied asylum to his brother-in-law Nawab Brahumdagh Bugti and the charge of being the head of the Baloch Republican Army (BRA).
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Intriguingly, though Gazzain Marri returned to Pakistan to join mainstream politics he will be jockeying for power from the platform of the Pakistan Peoples Party, while Jangez Marri is in the Pakistan Muslim League of ousted premier Nawaz Sharif