After the Indian Armed forces carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan territory, All India Baloch Unity Forum on Thursday held a protest against Pakistan outside Pak High Commission in Delhi. The protest highlighted human right violations, sexual attacks by Pakistan armed forces against women of the region, illegal occupation and demand for sovereignty.
Baloch leader Mazdak Dilshad Baloch said: “We support such strikes and want Indian Army to conduct surgical strikes in Balochistan as well.”
Last month he was quoted as saying : “Call me a dog, but not a Pakistani.” He arrived in India a few months ago with his wife to raise awareness in India about Balochistan’s struggle for independence. He is a Canadian passport holder. Mazdak explained how Pakistan engages in an ethnic cleansing of the Baloch people from the south-western part. He also claimed that similar oppression takes place with the people of Sindh, Gilgit, Pashton and PoK areas. He claims that the Pakistani army abducts, kills and sells the organs of freedom fighters.
“Pakistan has become cancer and it is a haven for terrorists,” he stated during the protest in Delhi. He exclaimed that the surgical strike gives his people hope and such a move should have been made a long time ago on part of Indian forces.
In the recent past, Switzerland-based leader of Baloch Republic Party, Brahamdagh Bugti applied for asylum in India. Apart from him, another Baloch leader in exile, Hyrbyair Marri also expressed his desire to seek asylum in India. A prominent Baloch leader Mehran Marri who is a permanent representative of Balochistan to United Nations Human Rights Commission, had this past week accused Pakistan of illegally allowing China to work on CPEC project and start mining activities. Simultaneous diplomatic pressure by Baloch leaders and India has escalated the matter cornering Pakistan. China fears for the safety of its workers in the CPEC corridor.
Baloch leaders are seeking asylum or support in their struggle for freedom because of the brutality of Pakistan force which regularly abducts and kills freedom fighters. For instance, noted Baloch leader Zafar Bugti was killed after being picked up from his home in front of his family by the Pakistan forces and then his bullet-ridden body has been dumped away from his area of residence. It was later revealed that he was tortured for close to 30 hours before being killed. False charges were made against Bugti by the local police to justify the killing.
Balochistan was raided and annexed by Pakistan after the partition of 1947. The mineral and the natural resource rich area is inhabited by numerous tribes that refuse to adopt the constitution of Pakistan and instead govern themselves through their own traditional Riwaj and Jigra laws.
Baloch nationals have been holding protests outside the embassies of Pakistan and China around the world protesting against the atrocities by Pakistan forces and plundering of its natural resources by China under CPEC.
The issue came to limelight and gained international attention after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently highlighted the alleged distress of the people in the region and accused Pakistan of human rights violations during his Independence day speech.