Balochistan: 70th Anniversary of Pakistani Occupation of Balochistan Commemorated in Canada
As 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of Pakistan’s occupation of Balochistan, a group of Baloch political and student activists gathered in Toronto to commemorate the sorrowful date. The event was organized by the Baloch National Movement, supported by Sindhi, Pashtun, Kashmiri and Kurds, as well as other human rights activists. The event allowed to shed light on the demands for their right to self-determination and for the overall respect of human rights of the Baloch people.
This article was originally published by DNA India:
A group of Baloch political and student activists in Canada gathered at Fairview Library in Toronto to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Pakistan’s occupation of the land of the Baloch people.
The event organized by Baloch National Movement (BNM) was supported by Sindhi, Pashtun, Kashmiri, Kurd and other human rights activists.
Speaking at the event, Zaffar Baloch, President, Baloch National Movement ‘ North America said, ‘The seven decades of Baloch struggle has witnessed worst forms of military operations under military and civilian rulers; General Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization of society to counter secular politics; rise of Taliban and the jihadist terror outfits; and of course the Chinese military and economic expansion in the coastal Balochistan and the Arabian Sea’.
He added, ‘Balochistan’s invasion on March 27, 1948 by Pakistan wasn’t simply territorial; it was this newly founded jihadist state’s first assault on democracy and the democratic will of a people. The bicameral legislative assembly of Kalat State had unanimously decided for Balochistan to be an independent country as of August 11, 1947’.
‘The military invasion of Balochistan in 1948 and that of Kashmir a year earlier marked the beginning of successive military dictatorships and Talibanization phenomenon in South Asia, said Zaffar while addressing a gathering.
The Baloch activists demanded a peaceful end to the Pakistani military occupation of Balochistan that took place on March 27, 1948. They also demand an end to the genocidal military operation in Balochistan that has claimed thousands of innocent lives.
Women chairperson of the Baloch Students Organisation ‘ Azad (BSO-A), Karima Baloch said, ‘We did not just loose our self rule and a piece of land to Pakistan on March 27, we lost our cultural identity and our language. We lost our right to a peaceful and self life’.
Canadian writer of Pakistani origin, Tarek Fatah also attended the event as a special guest and spoke about the history of Baloch struggle.
Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest and resource rich province, but the people are living in intense poverty where unemployment and illiteracy is rampant.
The political activists and intellectuals are being targeted by the army and intelligence agencies as the province witnesses’ frequent incidents of enforced disappearances, killings and tortures.
The Baloch also demand an end to all China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects in Balochistan that are basically designed by the Pakistani military to plunder natural wealth and build settlers colonies to further marginalize indigenous population through demographic changes.
They demand complete halt to Chinese control of Gwadar port and withdrawal of all the Chinese personnel from the area.