Aug 17, 2006

Balochistan: Statement on the Question of Baloch in Iran and Political Solution

Spokesman of the Balochistan Peoples Party (BPP) Nasser Boladai visited the United States Congress in Washington on 30 May 2006 to raise the issue of the Baloch people in Iran.
Spokesman of the Balochistan Peoples Party (BPP) Nasser Boladai visited the United States Congress in Washington on 30 May 2006 to raise the issue of the Baloch people in Iran.

Below is Mr. Boladais statement, as well as an annex introducing Balochistan history.

Ladies and gentlemen, first of all I would like to thank and express my deepest gratitude to the organiser of this conference, the Kurdish National Congress of North America.

I am glad to be here in the Congress of a nation whose founding fathers fought for the sovereignty and freedom of their nation and are an inspiration to oppressed peoples all over the world to fight for freedom and justice. Today, the Senate of the United State is symbol of American federalism.

I am speaking here as the representative of Balochistan Peoples Party (BPP), which is a Republican and Democratic Party struggling to achieve sovereignty for the Baloch people within a secular federal and democratic Republic in Iran. More than three million Baloch living in Iran are being treated as third-class citizens because of ethnic and religious differences with Persian and Shia sect of Islam. Under the previous monarchist and the current Islamic regimes of Iran, the Baloch people have been deprived of cultural, social, economic, and other fundamental human rights.

Balochistan, the country of the Baloch is presently subjugated by three countries of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. The country is strategically situated at the eastern flank of the Middle East, linking the Central Asian states with the Indian subcontinent and the Indian Ocean. It posses the Northern part of Gulf and Arab Sea from the strait of the Hormose to Karachi.

The Indian government and Pakistan and Iran are trying to build a pipeline to take Iranian gas, which in large part belongs to Baloch, to Pakistan and to India. At same time China is building a deep seaport in Gwadar in the Eastern Balochistan, and India has started the construction of a road to link Afghanistan to Chabhar, a port City in Western Balochistan. Balochistan will become a cross road for pipeline serving the energy need of the region and world. All these activities are being carried out without consulting the Baloch people. In all these projects, the Baloch people have been sidelined in jobs and other benefits. Only India has expressed that Baloch should be consulted before development starts, but there are no signs that the parties are contacting Baloch popular representatives.

Since 1928 that Western Part of Balochistan was annexed by Iranian forces. The politics of the Iranian regimes in Balochistan are characterised by human rights abuses.

Some significant consequences of the Iranian regimes policies are:

The use of the Balochi language is forbidden in public places, and Baloch children are deprived of using their mother tongue as the medium of instruction at schools. The Iranian government does not allow any kind of press freedom in Balochistan

Ethnicity and religion are systematically and practically used as barriers to Baloch students entering into higher education systems.

The policy of keeping the Baloch backward has resulted in the lack of job opportunities and in the impoverishment of the entire population. The high-ranking authorities in Balochistan are Shi'a and non-Baloch, including the majority of ordinary governmental officers and clerks employed from the other parts of Iran and brought into Balochistan.

Successive Iranian governments have been engaged in demographic manipulations to systematically reduce the Baloch people to a minority in their own homeland. Furthermore, among the many repressive policies is the destruction of the homes of poor Baloch people and their displacement. This is done in order to provide the best located land to the non-Baloch, specifically to Security Forces, which are brought in from other parts of Iran to carry out the regimes chauvinistic policies. Government policy has been based on facilitating easy access to non-Baloch people to purchase land at a cheap price and set up businesses.

The current situation: the regimes atrocities in Balochistan

The policies of the Iranian Government in Balochistan are characterised by human rights abuse. They have distorted the political, economical, and cultural development of Balochistan and insulted the human dignity of Baloch people. Some specific cases of human right violation and repressive policies of the Iranian regimes are:

1 In the first week of January 2006 two young students driving a car in the city of Raask in Balochistan were ordered to stop by so-called security forces and failed to observe the security forces stop sign. The security forces then chased them while shooting at them in crowded area. During this shooting the two young men in the car and another bypassing person were killed, and, in addition, another bystander was injured.

After seeing this crime Baloch people attacked the main police station, and the security forces ran away. When the situation got out of the hand, the city Mayor and elders of the city intervened and the situation returned to normal. However, up until now, none of the perpetrators have been prosecuted.

2 On the 22 of January 2006, in Provincial Capital Dozaap (Zahedan) three youngsters (Abdullah Nutizhai age 15 years, Ruhala Nutizhi age 16 years, and Masoud Shabaksh age 18 years) were riding on a motorbike to visit a sick cousin in hospital. The regimes security forces approached them from behind, deliberately riding towards the motorbike. When these youngsters fell to the ground the security forces began to shoot them while grabbing their half dead bodies and beating them with the stock of gun. As a result, two of them (Abdullah Nutizhai and Masoud Shabaksh) were killed, and Ruhala Nutizhi sustained severe injuries and was admitted to hospital. Again, no one has been prosecuted.

3 On Monday, the 10th of April 2006, three Baloch clerics, Molavi Nea'matulla Mirbalochzahi, Molavi Abdul Hakim Gamshadzahi, Molavi Abdullah Narooi, and their two associates were killed in a mysterious car accident.

The suppposed accident happened in a way that the target car travelling from Zahedan (provincial capital) was hit by an empty, unmarked bus, which was occupied only by its driver and his assistant travelling from Kerman, 500 kilometres from Zahedan.

Having previously experienced this way of killing opponents by the Iranian regime countless times over the past decade, the Baloch people are questioning this accident and are holding the Iranian Intelligence services responsible for the suspicious killing.

4 One of most despicable crimes by Iranian regime was the killing of two young Baloch men who were working as gasoline sellers on the road between Zahedan and Bam, and who were involved in an car accident. A group called Marsad meaning Ambuscade or Ambush were first to arrive at the scene. After they checked the injured identities and saw that they were ethnically Baloch and Sunni, instead of helping them, the Marsad group shot the men on the spot. Marsad is paramilitary group that work under direct order of Iranian supreme leader Mr Khamenaie.

Since the Iranian occupation of Balochistan in 1928, the Baloch people have resisted the Persian domination in many ways including a low-intensity armed resistance.

The increase in human right violations, collective punishment of Baloch civilians, and increased militarization of Baloch areas has lead to intensification of the armed resistance against the Iranian regime, especially in the past three months.

The armed resistance movement in Western Balochistan is a native phenomenon with a history of over 70 years against successive Iranian government and the current religious government.

The Iranian regime, due to its oppressive character, is accusing the Baloch people of cooperation with United State and Great Britain, instead of employing negotiations and other peaceful means to end the resistance.

On the 15th of May in 2006, the regime used this accusation to launch a military operation in a large area in Northern and Southern parts of Zahedan, Balochistans provincial capital. During these operations no encounters between Baloch resistance forces and Iranian army have taken place.

The regimes forces using Helicopter gunship have bombed civilian areas resulting in the deaths of innocent Baloch people in both villages and the mountains. More than 20 civilians have been killed with many more injured, and the people have also suffered enormous damages to their property.

In the cities, many young men have been arrested, accused of supporting the Baloch Armed Resistance Forces. The Iranian regime treats Baloch people as third class citizens, discriminating against them based on religion and ethnic group, yet the same regimes president, Mr Ahmedinezhad, spoke in Zahedan earlier this year defending Palestines national right and irresponsibly called for Israel to be wiped out of the world map. So, while speaks for one peoples right to their homeland, he oppresses the Baloch people who want to keep their own ancestral lands and culture.

The Iranian regime is also a strong backer of international terrorism and extremist groups. Currently, it is trying to arm itself with nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. By arming itself, this theocratic, ideological regime hopes to dominate Middle East and to globally spread its brand of fanatical Islam.

So, this regime not only threatens the well-being and welfare of Iranian people but it presents a great danger to the region and the entire world as well.

Change of this regime that is armed with a fanatic ideology and financed by oil money requires a strong opposition that enjoys popular support inside the country and international backing.

The Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran, which presently consists of political parties belonging to oppressed nationalities in Iran and which enjoys popular support inside Iran, is a strong part of the opposition. The Congress of Nationalities is trying to strengthen itself by including other organisations and parties that struggle for federal structure based on parity of constituent parts in Iran.

The Balochistan Peoples Party is working with other parties and organisations in the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran to build a stronger opposition to the current regime and to establish a democratic, secular, federal government in Iran. And it is ready to work and cooperate with other organisations and parties to achieve this aim before it is too late and before this fanatic regime arms itself with nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. Under nuclear protection this regime will spread and support international terrorism and extremism and will suppresses its own people.

Contact information:

Balochistan Peoples Party

P.O. Box 13022
103 01 Stockholm


An Introduction to Balochistan history

Balochistan, the country of the Baloch, is presently subjugated by three countries of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. The country, strategically situated at the eastern flank of the Middle East, links the Central Asian states with the Indian subcontinent and the Indian Ocean.

Balochistan has existed as a geographical area inhabited by a closely related people for thousands of years. It has even existed in recent times as a modern national state. Historically, Baloch had independent principalities within a Baloch national framework. For example, the independent state of Kalat from 1947 to 1948 was the last one. Kalat was occupied and annexed by Pakistan in 1948. However, Kalat governed over eastern Balochistan directly or indirectly until 1948. But, by the mid-1900s, the structure of independent nationalities ceased to exist.

In 1849, an Iranian army defeated Baloch forces in Kerman and captured Bumpur. The Baloch political status changed radically in later decades, when, in the 19th century, the British and Persian Empires divided Balochistan into spheres of influences between the British Empire in India and the Persian Kingdom.

The Baloch people in Western Balochistan have been in constant revolt against the domination by and the chauvinistic policy of Iranian governments. The revolt of Jask (1873), of Sarhad (1888), and the general uprising in 1889 resulted in a scorched-earth policy by Iranian forces in 1889 aimed at suppressing Baloch rebellion. A major uprising under Baloch chieftain Sardar Hussein Narui in 1896 prompted a joint Anglo-Persian expeditionary force to crush the resistance. The resistance was crushed after two years and Chief Narui was arrested.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Bahram Khan gained control of nearly the entire central and southern region of Western Balochistan, ending the occupation by Iranian forces. In 1916, the British recognized him as the effective ruler of Western Balochistan. His nephew, Mir Dost Mohamed succeeded Mir Bahram Khan. In 1928, the Iranian forces began an operation against Mir Dost Mohamed. Skirmishes continued for seven months and ended in the victory of Iranian forces over the Baloch. Dost Mohammad Khan went to Tehran for negotiations but was arrested and executed in Tehran. Thus, Western Balochistan was finally annexed by the Persian Empire. The politics of the Iranian Government in Balochistan are characterised by human rights abuses.