The same defunct vision on Baluchistan was echoed by Balochistan People’s Party(OSTOMAN) at the event on 9th Oct 2013 in a room at the EU Parliament.
Baluchistan at European Parliament: Two events with opposing perspectives
October 24, 2013
baloch-signThe difficulty with such parties stems from their misrepresentation of the Baluch struggle and the sense of Baluch people’s belonging at open and democratic forums. Their approach to the Baluch issue is a treacherous act at a time where pro-independent Baluch leaders and activists are actively engaging international politicians in search of a broad international recognition and support to the liberation of Baluchistan. It is irony that the politicians from the USA to EU are for the liberation of Baluchistan, but these pro-Pakistan and pro-Iran Baluch leaders and parties see liberation or as they depict it, separation of Baluchistan as no solution.
In the first half of the October 2013, two events were held at the European Parliament to discuss the issue of Baluch and Baluchistan.
The first event albeit with little importance was organised by a non-governmental organisation the “Un-represented Nations & Peoples Organisation” to promote a forged working plan for Baluch, Kurds, Arabs and others in a supposedly representative Iran on 9th Oct 2013. It was attended by Baluch, Kurdish, Arab political parties.
The second event was organised by “European Conservatives & Reformists” on 15th October 2013. At this event several leading international politicians took part namely Republican Congressman from Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, who is member of the House Judiciary Committee and member of the Crime, Terror and Homeland Security Sub-Committee by conveying a message. Other speakers were MEP from Poland Ryszard Czarnecki, Canadian MP Russ Hiebert, Mr Paulo Casaca the Executive Director of South Asia Democratic Forum, Mehran Marri the Baluchistan representative at the UNHRC and the EU, and Tarek Fatah the executive director of the newly formed think tank, ‘Balochistan House’. The event was entitled as “Baluchistan: Destiny Denied”.
At the event as its title reveals the focus was on liberty and future of Baluchistan. The influential Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner in his message to the event openly called on the Pakistan government to “cease its authoritarian operations” in Baluchistan. He said, “Americans empathize with Baluchistan’s call for self-determination.”
Baluchistan, the congressman from Wisconsin added, “The Baluch people have passed for nearly seven decades to throw the yoke of Pakistani rule … Baluch activism had been met by Pakistani armour, artillery and air strikes.”
Rep Sensenbrenner said in his statement, “I support … freedom and liberty for the Baluch people. It is their right to determine their future and how best to protect the rights of Baluchistan’s citizens.”
It is reported that all speakers supported Baluch’s right to be liberated from the occupation.
The Chairman of oversight subcommittee on foreign affairs of the USA, the Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has been a strong supporter of Baluch people and he tabled a bill in the congress in relation to legitimate rights of Baluch people for freedom. There are several other US congressmen who have been expressing their support to the Baluch rights for freedom.
The Baluch struggle for an independent and sovereign Baluchistan has taken root in all walks of life in Pakistani occupied Baluchistan. The aim of the Baluch struggle has been expressed clearly by our leading leaders of liberation. Sadly there are some elements in Baluchistan, gathered under some self-proclaimed nationalist parties who are strenuously advocating a Pakistani strategy of “adjustment with the Baluch”. They oppose an independent Baluchistan. They depict the Baluch struggle as of parity between the Pakistan’s federal government and as they prescribe, the “province of Baluchistan”. In their view the issues are of fair redistribution of resources and “Sahil & Vasahil” meaning authority over ports and other natural resources. They have been making these trivial issues as the pillar of their demands.
The same defunct vision on Baluchistan was echoed by Balochistan People’s Party(OSTOMAN) at the event on 9th Oct 2013 in a room at the EU Parliament. The proponents of what I call “adjustment” proudly claim to be promoting the strategy of co-existence with the illegal occupiers of Iran and Pakistan. In every opportunity they attempt whole-heartedly to bind themselves with either Pakistan or Iran. They depict the liberation of Baluchistan as a “separation” issue. They oppose separation of Baluchistan. The Middle class Chief Minister of Baluchistan Dr Maalik said “separation is no solution” on 18th Oct 2013. Dr Maalik in an interview attempted to deny existence of a Baluch struggle for liberation of Baluchistan. He said “India is behind the insurgency in Baluchistan”.
By echoing Pakistani Army’s allegations on Baluch struggle for the liberation of Baluchistan it is becoming more and more evident that Dr Maalik is at the mercy of his masters, the Pakistani Army. Only Pakistan and proponents of Pakistan can deny the ongoing patriotic Baluch struggle for liberation of Baluchistan. Dr Maalik and his like-minded people need to learn from earth-quake stricken people of AWAARAAN. They despite being in a dire need of help, refuse to be considered as Pakistani. The BBC carried out an interview only few days after the earth-quake disaster in which a brave Baluch lady told the reporter that she is a Baluch, not a Pakistani.
Not long ago Baluch people were led to pacifism by such leaders and parties. They were in forefront of advocating Pakistani or Iranian sense of belonging. The sad fact is that even now at the height of Baluch struggle, they in repeated interviews with the media proudly express themselves as Pakistani or Iranian. One may be referred to the recent interviews of the spokespersons of the BPP in which both of them stress and express themselves as Iranian Baluch. The BPP is conducting to a large extent an exact approach as of NP and BNP to the issue of Baluchistan. The spokesperson of BPP at the event on 9th Oct 2013 at EU Parliament was vocal and proud to present the issue of Baluchistan in an Iranian context. He was calling for a degree of representation in a federal Iran.
The miserably failed experience of a federal system in Pakistan is before us to realize how ineffective a federal Iran might as well be. However, here no attempt is being made to analyse the inefficacy or otherwise of a federation in relation to the Baluch issue.
The difficulty with such parties stems from their misrepresentation of the Baluch struggle and the sense of Baluch people’s belonging at open and democratic forums. Their approach to the Baluch issue is a treacherous act at a time where pro-independent Baluch leaders and activists are actively engaging international politicians in search of a broad international recognition and support to the liberation of Baluchistan. It is irony that the politicians from the USA to EU are for the liberation of Baluchistan, but these pro-Pakistan and pro-Iran Baluch leaders and parties see liberation or as they depict it, separation of Baluchistan as no solution.
Clearly the two events at European Parliament presented the participants and to the wider international policy analysts with two fundamentally opposing perspectives of Baluchistan issue. The proponents of an independent and sovereign Baluchistan call upon these parties or their like-minded so called intellectuals to stop impeding the path of progress of Baluchistan’s liberation.
Baluch people as a nation has a clear vision, the vision for the liberation of Baluchistan from the occupying countries. The Baluch liberation struggle has proven that it does not rest upon representation or appropriation of resources either with Pakistan or Iran. Finally, the Baluch advocates of Iran and Pakistan need to know if these countries are or to become democratic, then the first step they need to take is to voluntarily end the illegal occupation of Baluchistan and recognise Baluchistan as a sovereign and independent state. Hence at best the approaches of pro-Pakistan and pro-Iran Baluch advocates to the Baluch issue are futile.
The writer is a pro-independent activist.
21 Oct 2013
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