Published :11 Jul 2020 , 09:38 pm IST
Updated :11 Jul 2020 , 10:00 pm ISTN
Naela Quadri Baloch, the voice of Balochistan's struggle for independence believes that India made a compromise with Pakistan, Iran over Baloch cause and mention the movement only to counter Pakistan's Kashmir comments.
New Delhi: Naela Quadri Baloch, activist and Chairperson of Baloch People's Congress spoke exclusively to ETV Bharat on Baloch struggle, Pakistan Stock Exchange attack and their political struggle to gain freedom.
The Balochistan Liberation Army had recently claimed responsibility for the attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange that killed 10 people. The group has been waging an insurgency for years, demanding independence for Pakistan's gas-rich southwestern Balochistan province, which borders the southern Sindh province, near Karachi.
Responding to the question of achieving freedom using the means of terrorism, Naela Quadri said that Baloch are freedom fighters and not terrorists and there is a difference between fighting for freedom and being involved in terrorist activities.
"The Baloch struggle for freedom is being quelled. The voices of Baloch people remain unheard. Young Baloch people, who are well-educated and capable, are taking their lives just so that the world hears their voice," Naela said.
"The world is a hypocrite. Pakistan army is the real terrorist who destroys our homes, abducts our children and women," she alleged.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
Q. Can you achieve freedom through political means or through the political struggle?
A: We knocked on the doors of other nations to gain support for our political struggle. Without political means, we cannot achieve anything. The political parties which represent the Baloch people are older than Pakistan's party- the Muslim League.
Our political movements are doing their job. There are many ways to go about to achieve freedom, but we believe in the path of peaceful politics.
Q. Why the world turns a blind eye to your struggles?
A: The countries work towards their interests. The United Nations (UN) receives a major chunk of its fundings from China. Now, it seems it is difficult for the UN to understand our struggles. Some countries want the support for Pakistan in Afghanistan, and some do not want any noise across the Wagah border or along the LoC.
We do not want to sideline any nation, we want every nation to enjoy sovereignty over its land. Balochistan is much more than minerals. It is our motherland.
Q. Pakistan has always alleged that India is fueling Baloch freedom struggle. What do you have to say about this allegation?
A: For Pakistan, it is a reason to attack Baloch struggle. India lacks the political will to support Baloch movement. Indians want their government to support our movement but they could not convince its government even with their votes. Be it Congress or BJP, the Indian government has made a compromise with Pakistan over Baloch freedom.
The least India could do is to support Baloch cause in the UN. But it is reluctant to do even that. And, when the Pakistan army commits atrocities they say to call your Modi, ask him to come to save you! They call us 'Hindus' before launching their attack against Baloch people.
Moreover, India just wants to use Baloch movement as a 'card' when Pakistan rack up Kashmir issue.
Q. Who calls you 'Hindus'?
A: The Pakistan Army calls the Baloch people 'Hindus' before committing atrocities. They feel that our Quran is Gita. Our Quran E Pak is the same as theirs, but since it is in the hands of Baloch people they feel it is different. It was we who taught them how to read 'Kalma'.
Q. How do you see Pakistan's involvement in Kashmir's 'freedom'?
A: Kashmir has no relation with Pakistan. It was not part of Pakistan in the past and it should not be a part of Pakistan in future. Pakistan is an artificial country !!
The British wanted to keep a proxy in South Asia, and then the US helped then and now China is lending a helping hand. Without external support, Pakistan cannot even survive on its own.
For Pakistan, terrorism is an asset. They are committing atrocities against native Kashmiris in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). They have militarised the entire region violating UN conventions by sending its troops and by arming militants.
Q. Does the split among various groups hampering the cause in Baloch camp?
A: It is a good thing that diversity exists in Baloch camp. India's freedom struggle was aided by the diversity of thoughts, ideology: from Gandhi's peaceful struggle to Bhagat Singh's militant struggle. Every freedom movement has multiple camps.
All the groups came together under Baloch National Front (BNF) and served as an alliance between all such groups. Because of the fact that many people had to live the country to save their lives, to lobby in the UN, we split under several banners. We are united under one cause: freedom of Balochistan.
Q. Has India betrayed Baloch cause?
A: Other than speaking about Baloch freedom, there is little action on the ground. Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2016 speech from Red Fort, our expectations were high. But nothing happened after that.
Even Jawaharlal Nehru met with Baloch representative in 1948 when Baloch was fearing Pakistan occupation. But Nehru did not support our cause because both Indian and Pakistan armies were under the control of the British at that moment in time.
Q. What will be the blueprint if Baloch gets independence?
A: Balochistan was never a part of India, Iran nor Afghanistan. It will become a sovereign country. Balochistan is the grandmother of civilisation. Our civilisation has spread to Kerala, Sri Lanka and even Afghanistan.
One possibility exists, that is to make United states of all South Asian countries in the region. The states will have a common currency, common defence and huge capital. Balochistan will be a part of this set-up. But it will never give away or sacrifice its land, culture nor its identity.