Friday, November 04, 2005

Interview: President, Baloch Society of North America

nov 4

interesting interview.

when about 50 hindus were killed in baluchistan when a hindu temple was shelled by pakistani troops (as referred to below), nobody made any noise about it.

why? of course, it is the duty of hindus to be killed by mohammedans. as in maraad, in jammu, etc.

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http://www.ivarta.com/columns/OL_051031.htm

 

Introduction:  Dr.Wahid Baloch is the president of newly formed BSO-NA ( Baloch Society of North America) formed to "educate the American people and the world community about Pakistani and Iranian occupation of our land and exploitation of our resources, and to bring their human right violations in Balochistan into the world notice." He hails from Dasht Makran, Balochistan, graduated from Bolan Medical College-Quetta, in 1990 and Immigrated to the USA in 1992. He is a US citizen, working at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. Following is the Summary of the Interview by the author - Nagesh Bhushan is referred to as "NB"

 

 

NB:       Please Tell me about BSO-NA, and what it aims to achieve?

Baloch Society of
North America (BSO-NA) was founded on Mar 27th, 2005, as a reaction to the latest military operation in Dera Bugti Balochistan which occurred on March 17th, 2005, in which scores of Baloch people, mostly our Hindu Baloch brothers, were killed and many were injured, including innocent children and women, by the Pakistani army. I was in Pakistan at that time, when the operation was going on. It was a very tense situation in Balochistan. And then BSO's whole leadership, including Dr. Imdad Baloch, was kidnapped from Karachi, on March 25th, by Pakistani Security forces. When I came back to US, I felt obligated to do some thing about it. I decided to make an organization and expose the Pakistani and Iranian crime against our people to the world. The Very Next day I founded the BSO-NA.

NB:       What are your short-term plans and long term goals?

We are a lobbying group. The main goal is educate the American people and the world community about Balochistan, to expose the occupation of our land and exploitations of our resources by Pakistani and Iranian regimes and to bring the human right violations in Balochistan into the world notice. We will work with US and any other like minded government or nation, who will pledge support to our struggle. 

NB:       What do you mean by Pakistani and Iranian Occupation of Balochistan?

We are all aware that Balochistan was forcefully annexed into
Pakistan and Iran without the will and consent of our people. Baloch is an occupied Nation. Our status as a free Nation should be restored according to the international laws. Pakistan and Iran have to withdraw their armies from our land and they must stop looting our resources. They must compensate our people for looting and exploiting our resources for 58 years and for torturing and killing our people. Despite being bestowed with a large land abundant in rich natural resources Baloch people are still suffering immensely. Our main goal is to tell the world that Balochistan is an illegally occupied land and that the illegal occupation of our land must end. We have nothing in common with Pakistan or Iran. Our culture, language, traditions and all other facets of life and living are different from both these countries, excepting religion. Let me tell you this, not all the Baloch in Balochistan are Muslims. Most of them are Atheists, Hindus, Christians, Zikiris or very liberal Muslims but none of them are extremists or fanatics. 

If
Pakistan and Iran think that we should be a part of them just because we Baloch also follow Islam, then they should ask the very same question to Afghanistan, Turkey and all these other Gulf States to join them too. And if they don't then why should we?  They say in Balochi," Mana kochakka Wartaa?? (Have I been bitten by a crazy dog to make such a wrong judgment and give up my freedom?)  Baloch had never joined Pakistan or Iran. We have a huge land, rich in all the resources and we are far less in number, we can live like kings, only if we are the masters of our own land and resources. But, Pakistan and Iran are using our resources to develop themselves and their military but not us, the common Baloch folk. Ask Pakistan and Iran how many Baloch people are in their policy-making bodies? (Zero), how many Baloch are in their military (none), how many Baloch are in the federal Government services and in other key positions? (None), How many Baloch are Ambassadors in all the Pakistani and Iranian Embassies around the world (None, Zero!), and who are the Governors in Both Eastern and Western Balochistan? (Both are Non-Baloch, outsiders, appointed by Islamabad and Tehran). Who is the Police chief in Balochistan? (A Punjabi). So what does all this imply? Aren't these are the hallmarks of an occupying force.

For the past 58 years Pakistan and Iran have been criminally engaged in genocide of our Nation and ensuring we are kept backward, while looting our resources and leaving nothing for us but executions, assassinations, jails and tortures. Since the occupation, the security forces of both regimes have killed thousands of Baloch people. Many Baloch are missing and many are being tortured in secret jails. Our website http://www.bso-na.org and other Baloch website will tell you the stories and a glimpse of these crimes against our people. The Baloch people are asking the world community, how long will the occupation of their land last? When will their cry be heard and when will the Baloch sons & daughters have a chance to live in peace and have an education or a good life, instead of spending their lives in Pakistani and Iranian Jails, being executed and tortured by electric shock and other inhuman methods?

NB:       Can you summarize the present situation in Balochistan and what actions BSO-NA is taking?

Balochistan is an occupied land. Arrests, kidnappings and illegal detention of Baloch students, political workers and leaders by Pakistani and Iranian police and intelligence agencies are a matter of daily routine in Balochistan. Since the occupation, thousands of Baloch political activists and students have been killed and many have been arrested and are being tortured in secret jails including Military, paramilitary and security forces are given tasks to arrest, kidnap or kill any Baloch who talks or think about freedom.

In Eastern Pakistani (occupied) Balochistan , more than 600 military check posts have been established to control the lives, activities and movements of Baloch people. There are 60 thousand troops stationed allover Balochistan and more troops are on the way. Balochistan has been turned into a military occupied war zone. The Gwadar port is being built with the help of China to bring millions of non-Baloch Punjabi to change the Baloch demography and convert Baloch people in to minority in their own land. There are no jobs and educational institutions for Baloch people.

In Western Iranian (Occupied) Balochistan, Balochs are treated as third class citizens, and are deprived of their cultural, social and economic rights. They are rapidly losing their identity. The previously Baloch-dominated regions of Bandar Abbas, part of
Kerman, Seistan and Zabol are the most affected areas of the assimilation efforts by the Persian state. Now in all these areas the Baloch are a minority, even the capital city of Zahidan does not look or feel like a Baloch
city. The Baloch in Iran are completely excluded from the structures of political, social and economic powers of the country. The dissemination of Balochi culture and language is declared as an act of treason against the state and is dealt with through brutal measures. Many army garrisons are permanently stationed in Baloch areas. Politically and economically the Baloch are kept weak, disunited, and backward as much as Possible. 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 school. The Iranian government does not allow any kind of freedom of press in Balochistan. Successive Iranian governments have been engaged in demographic manipulations to systematically reduce the Baloch people to a minority in their own homeland. Government policy has been based on giving easy access to non-Baloch to purchase land at a cheap price. The policy of keeping the Baloch backward has resulted in the lack of job opportunities and impoverishment of the entire population. The policy of Iranian governments in dealing with different sectors of Baloch society is based on "divide and rule". The politics of the Iranian Government in Balochistan is characterized by human rights violations and abuse. It has distorted political, economical and cultural development of Balochistan and insulted the basic human dignity of Baloch people. Religion is manifestly being used as a mean to assimilate Baloch nationality into Persian national identity. These basic realities have reinforced the Baloch's general feeling of frustration and determination of having their own independent State.
 

NB:       Do you believe that BSO-NA made any impact on Pakistani establishment by your activities in US?

I'm sure we have and we will have an impact on both Pakistan and Iran by organizing ourselves more effectively and exposing their occupation and human right violations in Balochistan against our people.

NB:       Why are Baloch people inactive and unorganized in the USA when compared, for example, with the Sindhi Community, but they seem to be noticeably active in European countries?

This is principally because there are not that many Baloch in North America to make a strong presence felt. Allow me to explain this further; Most of the Baloch who came here are the ones who are pre-dominantly refugees and political asylum Seekers, seeking sanctuary to escape persecution from both Pakistani and Iran's regimes. Some of them arrived as family members of immigrants and most of them are working odd labor jobs trying to pay their bills and support their families. In this situation, most of them found little or no time to be involved in lobbying politically. Economy plays a very important role and Baloch being an occupied Nation, have practically no economy at all. Financially, we are not doing as well as our Sindhi brothers and sisters are, but we are working hard to get there. We are actively working in this direction and started getting organized. BSO-NA is very young organization and it will take some time to mature and be a force, before we make our presence felt strongly. We are definitely moving forward. We have made very good progress in introducing and promoting our cause in America in a very short time. We are confident and Hopeful that things will get better as we move forward.

NB:       Some Analysts say Sindhi intellectuals are acting as political advisors for your Baloch movement, do you agree with them?

They may be doing so, which we do appreciate. We Baloch and Sindhis are all victims of Pakistani state terrorism and Tyranny and we are all fighting for our rights and for justice and freedom. As an oppressed Nation, Our cause and struggle is the same and we are brothers and partners in this cause.

NB:       There are rumors that you have been contacted by the Hindu and the Jewish groups for forming an alliance against Pakistani terror groups and Pakistan in general for its support of Jihadi terror groups, what is your comment?

We have not been contacted by any Hindu or Jewish group yet, but we extend our hand of friendship to anyone, including our Hindu and Jewish brothers, who want to support us morally in our struggle. We are not religious extremists or fanatics. We, Baloch, are very liberal and secular people and we are against all acts of terrorism. We strongly condemn Terrorism in its all forms, as we, ourselves are the victims of Pakistani and Iranian state terrorism for more than 58 years. We believe in peaceful struggle and we support those who stand for justice, democracy, freedom and human rights.

NB:       Do you expect any assistance from Hindu and Jewish Community in US and India?

We are an occupied Nation. We expect the world community, including our Indian and Jewish brothers and all other Nations to come forward and rescue us from the ongoing military operations and tyranny of Pakistani and Iranian Governments. Baloch people have suffered a lot and they are still suffering each and everyday. There are human right violations going on in Balochistan and Baloch sons and daughters are behind bars and are being tortured everyday just for joining peaceful protests. This has to come to an end now. The world community must hear the cry of the Baloch Nation.

NB:       Do you agree that Balochs are been manipulated by Pakistani Government, by exploiting the differences among their own tribes?

Yes it is true. Pakistan have always been engaged actively in projecting, promoting and inciting tribal feuds and differences among Baloch tribes to create disputes among us by using their "divide and rule" policy, so they can indulge us into ourselves in tribal disputes and prevent us from being united as a Nation, to stand up against their tyranny and occupation. They have been successful to some extent, but time has changed now. Baloch people are more educated and more aware of their enemy's tricks and I don't think these tricks will go far anymore.

NB:       Pakistan is busy in developing Gawadar port and other mega projects in Balochistan, but people and leaders are opposing them, what is your take on that?

Well, since the occupation of our lands, Pakistan and Iran have used all means to eliminate our "Baloch Nation" from the face of earth and they are still actively engaged in doing so using all their resources. Developing Gwadar port is just another example of Baloch Genocide. They call it a Mega project of development, but we call it a "Mega project of death" for Baloch people. Despite the strong opposition from all over Balochistan to this project, Pakistan continues aggressively working on this project with the help of China to bring millions of non-Baloch Punjabis from Punjab into Gwadar so they can change the Baloch demography for forever and turn us into a minority in our own homeland, just as they did this to our Sindhi and Baloch brothers in Karachi, making them strangers amidst their own homeland. We strongly condemn these anti-Baloch mega death projects and we demand that these must stop immediately. We also ask the international community to intervene and help to stop these projects from being completed. We ask the Chinese Government to stay away from our coasts, as these coasts belongs to Baloch people not to Pakistan and only Baloch people have the right to decide what should be done to our coasts, lands and resources. Pakistani Punjabis and the Chinese have no right to decide about our lands, coasts or resources.

NB:       What is the response from Baloch Diaspora about your organization?

It has been overwhelmingly positive. Baloch from Balochistan and all over the world are very excited about BSO-NA and they are fully supporting us in our mission.

NB:       The Hi ndu community, particularly a few pro-active groups took serious note about the recent killings of 34 Hindus in Hindu mohalah by Pakistani Army, while firing at Mr. Akbar Khan Bugti House. Do you think this is appropriate?

I think Hindus reactions to those deadly killings were natural and appropriate.  I think everybody should have reacted to those killing of innocent Baloch, mostly of Hindu Baloch. I also believe Hindus in India should have reacted more to these killings towards their brothers and should have taken this matter to the international court and United Nations for the genocide and gross human rights violations in Balochistan and for killing innocent, non-combatant citizens, including women and children by the Pakistani army.

NB:       Recent reports also indicate that the Pakistani establishment view Hindus in Balochistan as 'spies' and is evicting them from their places, is this true?

Pakistan considers all Baloch people, Sindhis and Pashtun as spies and agents of
India and of Afghanistan. I wish it was true, but it is not. They think only Punjabis are the "good guys" and every one else, including Hindus and Christians, are spies and bad guys, which is not true. Actually it is the other way around.

NB:       Is it correct to say there are around 10,000 Balochi living in India, and are you in touch with any of them?

I know when
Pakistan invaded and occupied our land in 1947; many Baloch took refuge in neighboring countries including Afghanistan, India and Kazakhstan. I do not know exactly how many Baloch lives in India, but I know they are many. We are not in touch with them, but
we will contact them very soon.

NB:       We heard that Hindus in Balochistan live under protection of Balochi tribes (Viz Marri, Bugti). Can you throw some light on how they get on with their lives and what is their population in Balochistan?

Hindus in Balochistan are our brother and sisters. They are a part of our Baloch families and the Baloch Nation. There are more than 20 thousand Hindus in Balochistan. They are all Baloch too, and their lives and properties are as important as any other Baloch in Balochistan. It is our duty to protect and safeguard every Baloch, be he/she a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Zikris or Jew. For us every Baloch in Balochistan is equal and respectful.

NB:       Finally Is there a message to The Indian community, Thank You for the Time!

My Indian friends have a great responsibility towards the Nations oppressed  by Pakistan. Baloch people are disappointed by the ongoing Pakistan-Indian peace talks, as we all know, Pakistan cannot be trusted as a peace partner as long as they have more than 20 thousand Madrassas and thousands of Jihadi camps allover Pakistan, producing thousands of extremists, Jihadi terrorists and suicide bombers. As long as these Jihadi camps exists and as long as there is military dictatorship and no respect for true democracy, democratic institutions, human rights and no respect for the rights of smaller nations of Pakistan. 

Pakistan has not learned to be a civilized for 58 years, to embrace democratic institutions and show respect for democratic principles, human rights, the rights of women and children and most importantly the rights of smaller Nations, the Baloch, Sindhi, Pashtun and Seraiki Nations of Pakistan. Pakistan is in constant denial of Baloch, Sindhi, Pashtun and Seraiki Nation's rights. From the day one until today, this country has been run by Military dictators, one after the other. There is no democracy or Law in Pakistan. The only law that exists is the law of Military men and the law of jungle, where Pakistani Military, Thugs and Terrorists, Rapists and Murderers all have joined hands together, making their own laws, terrorizing, killing and torturing thousand of citizens every day in Pakistan. We ask our Indian friends, is this country you want to have peace with, that has no democratic values or institutions at all and no respect for them either?

Nagesh Bhushan


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1 comments:

san said...

Check out some photographs of Chinese executions of Tibetans who opposed the state:

http://www.friendsoftibet.org/main/execution.html

A picture speaks a thousand words. In this modern electronic age, more pictures need to be spread around.

I bet Baluchis have many such tales to tell, and pictures should be obtained. It's the least we can do. I heard that back in 1970s, Pak army used to napalm the villages to crush dissent.