Free Balochistan Movement: The Long March of Baloch from Düsseldorf to Berlin

Monday, August 29th, 2016 11:51 am


By Claudia Waedlich

 From 16th of July until 5th of August, activists of the Free Balochistan Movement went on traverse half of the Republic of Germany from Düsseldorf to Berlin by foot, equipped with flags of Balochistan and Germany, a megaphone and information leaflets to the German population about the atrocities in their homeland where an unknown genocide is taking place. The Pakistani army and the dirty Intelligence Service ISI – classified as a terror organization by the United States Congress – commit atrocities at will against Baloch people. For this purpose, they make use of several jihadist groups.

Pakistan wants to change the Baloch people into a minority in their own homeland by settling outsiders in Balochistan. Pakistan army also wants to exploit Balochistan’s enormous natural resources that’s why they have started a crackdown against Baloch people who resist the exploitation of their resources. Historically, Balochistan was an independent country under the rule of Khan of Kalat and the Baloch as nation have their own distinct language, culture and traditions. They are very different from Pakistanis.

Since 11 August, 1947 till 27 March, 1948 Balochistan was an independent state but the freedom was shot-lived because in 1948 Pakistan attacked, occupied and annexed the Baloch to its new-born artificial state structure.  Pakistan is dominantly ruled by the Punjabis who are hostile toward the Pashtuns, Baloch and Sindhis. The Baloch, however, did not accept the suppression of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and started resisting against the illegal occupation of their county by Pakistan.

The total land of Balochistan is stretched between fundamentalist state of Iran and a small northern part of Balochistan is under Afghanistan’s control. The division of Balochistan is a legacy of colonial structure of British Empire who drew two artificial lines known as the Durand line and the Goldsmith. The Baloch and Pashtun people regard these lines as arbitrarily and these drawn against the will of Baloch leadership of the time.

Using the infamous divide and rule policy which Pakistan inherited from British, they divided the Pashtuns as well, probably, to keep them better under the control of ruling Punjabi regime. Pakistan – Punjab – is trying to use its full might to erase the language and the culture of the Pashtuns and the Baloch people by imposing Urdu on them as the national official language of Pakistan.

Pakistan has not invested in Balochistan for the benefit of Baloch people, neither into infrastructure such as schools, homes or hospitals. Even in 21st century the Baloch women are forced to cook on wood fires, although the province has largest gas reserves. Pakistan is trying to build what it calls an ‘economic corridor’ Balochistan’s Gawadar port to coast to China. The Baloch were not consulted hence the so called corridor is not being built with the agreement of Baloch people.  In fact, Balochistan is a huge militarized zone with thousands of checkpoints and garrisons of the Pakistani Army.

The Pakistani regime receives financial aid and weapons system from the US and also by Germany for their fight against terrorism but F-16 aircraft and Cobra attack helicopters are, however, used against the Baloch people. The Pakistan army is double faced, it supports terrorist organizations like Taliban, al Qaida and more recently the ISIL and they also support religious extremist groups from Punjab which include Lakkar-e-Tayyiba, TTP, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Lashkar-e-Islam and Sepah-e-Sahaba. They train the terror groups in their own military camps and use them in Balochistan to abduct the most educated section of Baloch society and other ordinary Baloch who peacefully campaign for their independence. Pakistan forced brutally torture, murder and then dump the dead bodies of abducted Baloch or bury them in mass graves. Amnesty International calls this a “Kill and Dump Policy” and other Human Rights Organizations such as Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, confirm the atrocities.

Western politicians are ignoring the problem, following the Brzezinski policy of the American Security adviser to President Carter till Obama. The envisages to set on all extremist religious regimes in a belt around Russia to reproach this superpower outside. Here human rights violations are negligently accepted. About 20,000 Baloch have been abducted and disappeared and many of the abducted Baloch were found dead. Over 100,000 forced to live like refugees in their own country because their villages were bombed and burned by Pakistani army.

The Long March is also reminiscent of the same March by the families of enforced-disappeared Baloch from Quetta to Islamabad with an objective to get an answer about the fate of their missing loved ones. The activists in the Baloch March Germany included academics, like professors, students and the 9-year-old Mahgonag Baluch, who has lived in Germany only for 11 months and already masters our language perfectly.

I spoke with Abdul Wajid Baloch, who had problems with one leg because back in Balochistan he was hung upside down by Pakistan forces when he was arrested and detained. He was subjected to torture and his legs were severely beaten regularly. His captors beat him with stroke of a cane. Now he wanted to see a doctor in order to survive the rigors of the Long March.

Claudia_Azum_WajidAbdul Wajid Baloch previously, in Balochistan, was a student of marine science and a columnist for the Daily Tawar, Assap and Intekhab – Urdu Newspapers in Balochistan. He was kidnapped on his way to Uthal University from his hometown of Mand, his vehicle was intercepted and stopped by the Pakistani Army in Pasni and he was forcibly abducted and taken to an unknown location.

He is the cousin of Sher Mohammad Baloch of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) who was abducted with the leaders of Baloch National Movement Ghulam Mohammad Baloch and Sher Mohammad Baloch, the troika were later tortured and killed within one week of their abduction.

Almost of all the activists mourns victims in their family, living in forced exile is the only way to escape and survive this hell alive.

Mohammad Azam aka Azum Noor, a poet, took part in the March. He showed me a photo of his past life, when he was not so thin as today. He is also a victim of torture.

On road the passers stopped, could inform themselves, listened surprised to the atrocities happening in Balochistan, because our “German quality media” is silent about the gruesome events there. For journalists and Human Rights Organizations, entering of Balochistan is forbidden anyway. The regime cannot use witnesses to their deeds.

Then on the Republic Square in front of our Bundestag, Rohail Balach Marri, nephew of the initiator and organizer of the Long March, Hyrbyair Marri, exiled in London, held an enlightening evidence – speech. Mahgonag presented her motif for her mission to join the Long March, and after the speeches of other high rank activists I was able to enlighten my compatriots in German language.

We spoke in front of a mixed international audience who listened carefully and did not hesitated to take some information leafs home. We were unable to contribute our resolution/Petition to the Group offices at the Parties at Baundestag, because of the sitting break of Parliament in August. This I will do after by correspondence to each German parliamentarian. Our media I will write to them individually too.

I participated in the Long March and in part, because I established in February this year an NGO called “Friends of Balochistan”, through initiative and together with Dr. Richard Benkin, USA, and Reza Hosseinborr, London, an Iranian Baloch.  Our organization is set up and supports awareness campaign of the various Independence Movements. We strive for a big Lobby to take as think-tanks professionals to influence Western Governments. We strive for a peaceful political solution is to Balochistan conflict, therefore, the German Foreign Office, remains in contact with us.

The Baloch have already drafted a charter ‘The Balochistan Liberation Charter’ for the case of their independence. It provides for a parliamentary system along Western lines. Also, the secular Baloch would like to support the West in their fight against religious extremism and terror. They are secular Muslims and tolerate other religions and strive for equal rights for women. The Pakistani regime persecutes Christians and Hindus. The West is well advised to focus on the minorities in Pakistan, because only they are unreservedly in fight against terror on our western side.

Further support to the Punjabi regime, means Pakistani Army and The ISI, will bring the loss of influence of the US in the whole region, which will be filled up by China. Because the Punjabi dominated Pakistani Army fights against the US with their religious terror elements.

The West must finally stand to his words. We cannot and must no longer let down the Baloch.

On Monday, 8th of August, there was a bomb explosion in front of a hospital in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan. The attack, mainly targeted the Pashtun and Baloch lawyers. More than 40 lawyers were among the 80 people killed in that gruesome attack. Most the lawyers were opposed to the Pakistani state atrocities in Balochistan. Now all extremist groups from Punjab are gathering there, as I was told today by a Baloch. He sent me photos for evidence. I was also told that in a distance of 15 minutes, there are checkpoints in Quetta. Without the knowledge of the Intelligence Service and the Pakistani Army, no one attains unto the hospital.

Claudia Waedlich is columnist and correspondent of the Pashtun Times, and a writer and Human rights activist.

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