Aug 26, 2016

Balochistan: How Indian PM Modi’s Statement Gives a Political Impetus to the Baloch Movement

Photo Courtesy of: News One 2016

Mr Brahumdagh Bugti, founder of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP), welcomed Indian Prime Minister Modi’s recent statement on Balochistan, deeming Indian support an encouraging step for the Baloch national movement. In an interview with The Indian Express, Mr Bugti reiterated the larger movement’s strict adherence to peaceful means in order to alleviate the suffering of the people of Balochistan – even though it faces an opponent, i.e. the military government of Pakistan, who scrupulously uses terrorist attacks against its own people and seeks to alter Baloch secular politics by using political Islam as a tool.


Below is an article published by The Indian Express: 

How important to you is the statement on Balochistan by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

We are very thankful to Mr Narendra Modi and the people of India for supporting the Baloch national movement in these difficult times. My party has been struggling in Balochistan, and abroad through the party’s international chapters, to bring the plight of the oppressed Baloch nation before the world, so we are grateful that India is highlighting the issue at the international level.

Do you agree with the allegation about Pakistan using terrorism and trying to destabilise Jammu and Kashmir?

It is a well-exposed reality that Pakistan is directly or indirectly involved in many terrorist attacks around the world, including in India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Pakistan has been accusing R&AW of fomenting unrest in Balochistan

It’s just propaganda of the Pakistani state to defame the Baloch people and India before the world. I would like to ask them whether it is R&AW that is involved in committing systematic genocide of Baloch people and burying them in mass graves. Can they answer this simple question?

How has Pakistan been suppressing the Baloch people?

Pakistan has been brutally subjugating the Baloch people since the first day, when it forcibly occupied British Balochistan immediately after its creation and invaded independent Balochistan after nine months. Pakistan has exploited the Baloch land and natural resources and denied the people their basic human rights… The Baloch people tried to adjust within the Pakistani boundaries but the state always used oppressive measures; now the one and only demand is freedom.

What kind of support do you seek from India, and the global community?

We expect India to play a role as a responsible neighbour and the world’s largest democracy to intervene in Balochistan and stop genocide. We view the role of India in former East Pakistan with respect and expect it to play the same role for Balochistan. We seek help from all countries but a greater responsibility lies on the shoulders of India to become the Baloch people’s voice in the international community.

If your objective of a free Balochistan is realised, how would it sustain?

Balochistan is a resources-rich land with vast reserves of natural gas, oil, a 2,000 km port and all kinds of mineral wealth. Our geographically strategic position multiples the opportunities for not only Balochistan but also neighbouring states. Balochistan would be a self-sufficient and peace-loving country in comparison to Pakistan, which runs on foreign aid and exports terrorism in return.

How would you expect it to effect the geopolitics of the region, given the fact that neighbouring Afghanistan and Iran have some Baloch-populated areas?

It is true that Iran and Afghanistan have Baloch-populated areas as a result of the division of the Baloch land by the British. Whether the independence of Pakistani-occupied Balochistan will have some sort of consequences on Baloch areas in Afghanistan and Iran will depend on how these countries treat their Baloch populations. For example, you have a large Bengali population in India. Did they demand independence after the freedom of Bangladesh?

How are Baloch Republican Party’s relations with Baloch Republican Army?

Baloch Republican Party is a political party and struggles through peaceful means. We do not believe in an armed struggle and are not associated with any armed group in Balochistan. Although there are many armed groups in Balochistan struggling for independence, we share their goal but we do not share their means of struggle.

After Switzerland turned down your application for asylum, will you seek asylum from India or another country?

My application for asylum is under process in Switzerland, it has not been turned down.

Do you have any message for the people of India?

We hope not only the Indian government but every Indian citizen will support our struggle. The Indian media and film industry can play an important role by highlighting the struggle. The Baloch are the only people who are natural allies of India and the civilised world because of their secular identity and tolerance for all nationalities and religions. If the world fails to support them, it loses its only friend in the region ridden with religious extremism and terrorism.