Baloch Protest against UK
By Malik Siraj Akbar
QUETTA: Fourteen Baloch organizations carried out a massive protest
rally in Quetta on Saturday to condemn the government of United
Kingdom (UK) for conducting the trail of two Baloch nationalist
leaders in London on terrorism charges leveled by the military regime
of General Pervez Musharraf.
The protestors belonged to Balochistan National Party (BNP), National
Party (NP), Baloch Republican Party (BRP), Balochistan National
Congress (BNC), Balochistan National Movement (BNM), Baloch Women’s
Panel (BWP) and several other political, legal, social and women’s
rights organizations. They carried the flag of ‘independent
Balochistan’, chanted slogans against the governments of Pakistan and
the United Kingdom and displayed the photos of slain Baloch leaders,
Nawab Akbar Bugti and Balaach Marri. They were demanding the
withdrawal of terrorism charges against a former Balochistan Minister
Nawabzada Harbiyar Marri, the son of leading Baloch nationalist leader
Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, and his friend Faiz Baloch.
Disillusioned protestors also burnt the flags of Pakistan and United
Kingdom in front of Quetta Press Club. They insisted that both the
Baloch leaders under trail in UK were not terrorists but victims of
post 9/11 geopolitics. London should, therefore, provide them
protection on the line of political asylum seekers from all over the
world in order to ensure their protection from the undemocratic
government policies in their home countries.
The Baloch leaders presented a fifteen point letter which they said
would also be sent to the the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in
connection to the ongoing trail.
Talking to the media central secretary general of the Balochistan
National Party (BNP) Habib Jalib Baloch said Harbiyar Marri and Faiz
Baloch had been active in highlighting the plight of the Baloch people
and advocating the Baloch struggle for just rights. They had been
victim of au autocratic regime which launched a military operation in
Balochistan, killed innocent people and caused the enforced
disappearance of thousands of civilians. While some people were forced
to pick up guns to defend themselves, the others like Harbiyar Marri
and Faiz Baloch, were compelled to take refuge abroad and raise the
voice of their oppressed people in the international community through
peaceful means of mass communication.
They reminded that Harbiyar Marri was a purely democratic leader of
the Baloch who had formerly served as a provincial minister in the
provincial government of 1997 to 1999. The world should take notice of
the injustices of the government of Pervez Musharraf towards the
democratic Baloch leaders who posed a threat to the ‘despotic rule’ of
the military dictator. During his regime, former governor and the
chief minister of Balochistan, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, 79, was killed
and even his dead body was not handed over to his family members.
Similarly, another former chief minister Sardar Akhtar Mengal, whose
father Sardar Attaullah Mengal served as Balochistan’s first elected
chief minister in 1970s, was put under solitary confinement for 18
months. Another Baloch parliamentarian Nawabzada Balaach Marri, the
son of another leading Baloch leader Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, was
killed in an operation.
BNP secretary general Habib Jalib said: “Since the forcible
incorporation of Balochistan into Pakistan in 1948, the Baloch people
have been resisting the political, economic and cultural domination of
Pakistani state through political mobilization and other peaceful
means.” He informed that during this period they had to face four
major deadly operations, abduction, humiliation, torture and extra
judicial killings of Baloch political activists and prominent social
and tribal figures.
“We request Prime Minister Brown to withdraw the cases against the
Baloch leaders if his country supports democracy and opposes
dictatorship. Our Baloch leaders are a victim of dictatorial polices
of the previous government. If our leaders are tried, this will
promote hatred against the British government in the minds of the
Baloch living world over,” he remarked adding that the Baloch would
continue their protest across the world in front of the UK high
The Baloch leader said while addressing the British Prime Minister in
his letter that was signed by the representatives of fourteen
organizations: “The Baloch people have been shockingly observing the
collaboration of the security agencies of the Great Britain with that
of Pakistani military regime for the last many years despite the fact
that Pakistani intelligence agencies are only responsible for the
inhuman treatment and genocide of the Baloch masses.”
Former cricketer and the chief of Teheek-e-Insaf Imran Khan last week
gave evidence to the trail at Woolwich Crown Court saying he supported
the right for people to take up arms against their government if there
was no longer any other democratic alternative for them to pursue.
Both Harbiyar Marri and Faiz Baloch are currently under trail at
Colwich Crown Court in the United Kingdom on the charges of inciting
violence in Pakistan and their case is being very closely observed by
the Baloch population in the province.