(Part II of a two part series)
There are quite a few reports on China building a naval base at Jiwani in Balochistan. Is Pakistan, who always has an emotional take on Kashmir’s sovereignty, selling Balochistan’s sovereignty to China?
Balochistan already lost its sovereignty in 1948. Pakistan inviting China in Balochistan is like a thief inviting a dacoit to loot Balochistan together. I have heard the Turkish and Arabs are secretly coming too. Pakistan’s grip on the Balochs is loosening, so they are inviting more thieves and dacoits to join them.
The naval bases at Jiwani are not being built for Balochistan. If, tomorrow, they bring their [Chinese] forces here, they will control us. But this isn’t just about Baloch sovereignty, it is a plan to control the entire region for the next 50, 100, 200 years, to checkmate the US and India and extend control over the Middle East. Once the CPEC opens, Balochs will definitely suffer, but India too will suffer long term losses.
They [China and Pakistan] have a century-long plan to counter every move of yours, but you don’t. Indians need to pressurize their leaders into thinking and working on this.
India mustn’t assume that being a US ally will solve their problems. You need to stand on your own feet. We are small in comparison, but we are openly protesting China and Pakistan’s moves. If you call yourself a regional superpower, you must behave like one and take bold decisions.
Bold moves can get you some friends like Balochistan, Pashtunistan, Sindh and Afghanistan. Based on Iran’s recent statements on Kashmir, it seems they can’t be reliable friends of yours, so you must gather other reliable allies and build good relations with them.
Whenever India and Balochistan talk, we must talk as equals. The Punjabis have played the ‘big brother-small brother’ game with us, and Britain, Russia and America tried it with the Afghans. It is a mistake. Talking to a community with respect, as equals, will increase friendship and trust. An imperialistic attitude borne out of economic strength will not work, especially in our subcontinent.
Pakistan always cries fowl over threats to its own sovereignty, but if it can forfeit Balochistan’s sovereignty to sustain Punjab, could it do so to Sindh as well?
Forget Sindh, Pakistani Punjab is ready to forfeit itself too. And they are not sovereign, Pakistani Punjab is your renegade territory. They tried to erase our already independent, separate identity. But why is India handing them a separate identity as Pakistanis, an identity which they don’t have, on a platter? What is a Pakistani?
The term has no meaning, it was simply cooked up by the British to divide India in order to weaken it and you accepted it. The British are long gone, but their decisions are still being implemented in India through Indians themselves.
Democracy is for your own people, not for outsiders. As an emerging superpower you mustn’t accept this injustice. You have been independent for more than 70 years, why do you consider Pakistan a separate entity? Be it Sindh or Punjab, these are an integral part of India. How can you let them go?
For thousands of years ‘Bharat’ was one, how can Pakistan become a separate country? Sure, they are Muslims, but it doesn’t give them any right to be a separate country, even today there are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan.
We Balochs might be slaves, but we are at least saying we will be one united Balochistan, like we were in 1839, when Noori Naseer Khan created the current map of Balochistan. I uphold this map. Despite being slaves, we don’t accept the Goldsmith and Durand lines drawn by the British, but India is free and independent, yet it accepts the divisions. So, you need to change your mindset.
Four years have passed since the PM last mentioned Balochistan. How serious do you think PM Modi is about the Baloch cause?
It is possible that your PM is serious about what he said, but from what we saw on ground, it did not seem so. Instead, it turned out to be more harmful. If you had checked social media 10 days after the statement, you would have seen that Pakistanis killed 60-70 Balochs each day in Kalat, Mastungand Bolan. They had screamed at us, “let us see now how your Indian friends come and save you.”
It might be undiplomatic to say this, but we are victims of circumstances and the actions of our naïve friends might have intensified our enemy’s actions against us. Your PM’s statement only led Pakistan to prepare itself better and commit more atrocities on Balochs. Between then and now, thousands of Balochs have been killed, thousands more have disappeared.
You must first decide as a nation whether you will support us or not. If not, please don’t mention us. If you tell a bluff – it might be inappropriate to use this term – to Pakistan, they will neither be afraid nor take your words seriously. Speak only if you intend to help, as only then will Pakistan, Balochs, and your own people value your words.
Previously you used to say you don’t want India’s help but now you have changed your stance. How do you expect India to support Baloch struggle for independence?
It must be from an old BBC interview which I had protested even then. I refer to BBC Urdu as the BBC Kashmir service as it talks only about India’s actions in Kashmir. It speaks about Balochs rarely, takes our statements about twice a year, and gives no meaningful news about Balochistan.
I have faced problems with them previously. They have interviewed me, and then distorted the interviews before publishing them. When I was asked if I would take help from India I had said ‘not India, all the countries of the world and India’. My intention was to highlight that I would take support from all the countries in the world and India is one of them.
We Balochs want good relations with all countries and we want them, including India, to raise the issue of Balochistan on every forum. I expect India and other countries to help us with all tools and means, everything that helps a country achieve independence. Some Indians think supporting us would anger Pakistan. If your plan is to please Pakistan, then it’s neither been happy with you in the past 70 years, nor is it going to be in the coming future.
Pakistanis accuse us of taking help from India, the ‘enemy country’, however India is not my enemy. India is my neighbour. My enemy is the Pakistani Punjabi occupying my land. Pakistanis portray us as traitors, but, in fact, they are traitors of India because they divided their country. I do not have a problem with the Republic of India and its people, but I have a problem with those Indians who divided India and presently call themselves Muslim Punjabi Pakistanis.
Read Part I of the two-part series here.
(This post first appeared here in The Tilak Chronicle.)
Mark Kinra is a corporate lawyer by profession and geopolitical analyst at heart. He primarily works on South Asia, specializing in Pakistan.
The views and opinions expressed in the above article belong to the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official opinion, policy or position of Lokmaanya.