Balochistan: London Celebrations for Independence Day
Below is an article published by IBN Live:
In an act of defiance, Balochistan celebrated its Independence Day in London three days before Pakistan’s official Independence Day.
The mention of Balochistan in the Indo-Pak joint statement may have caused a political storm in India but for the Baloch community it has been a blessing in disguise.
They say it helped in internationalising the issue.
“International community is taking interest now. For last 60 years it was ignored, now they can see that Baloch can play a key role in the area,” says a Baloch leader, Hyrbyair Marri.
On Tuesday [11th August 2009], leaders of the Baloch community gathered in London to mark their Independence Day.
They say Balochistan became an independent, sovereign state on August 11, 1947 but was later forcibly annexed by Pakistan.
They have now formed a Council for Independent Balochistan to unite various separatist groups.
“All the independent parties can become members,” says The Khan of Kalat, Suleman Dawood Khan.
The Baloch say that the Punjabi dominated government of Pakistan and the army have exploited the region and its people without sharing any of the benefits.
The unrest in Balochistan has been a thorny issue for Pakistan, which has accused India of inciting the insurgency, a claim which denied by the Baloch themselves.
“If we would have got funds from India, I think the army would have cried. We haven't received anything. They are accusing India because they themselves are involved,” says The Khan of Kalat, Suleman Dawood Khan.
The Baloch say they are willing to negotiate with Pakistan only if the United Nations and European Union intervene.