Aziz Baloch asked:
When a western reporter Declan Walsh from â€œGuardian News Servicesâ€ asked a native Baloch at Dera Bugti Foj Ali about the Pakistani rulers. His answer was clear, â€œit is a great injustice. They (Pakistani rulers) are making billions of rupees pumping gas from our land to the rest of the country, and we are still using fire wood.â€
Indeed there are today thousands Foj Ali from all over Balochistan asking the same questions to the international community. Such historic root causes of Balochistan must not be ignored and should certainly be considered prior to signing the gas pipelines or any other mega project within the occupiers of Balochistan. The anger is increasingly mounting among Baloch leaders and the people of Balochistan. By the same token they should not ignore the human rights impartial reports of International Â organizations such as International Crisis Group of Brusselsâ€™ Europe , alarming statistics and about bloody conflicts of Balochistan which has been published from â€œCarnegie Endowment for International Peaceâ€ by United States Think Tank Frederic Grare Carnegie and South Asians expert Selig Harrison the author of the book Â â€˜In Afghanistan â€˜s Shadow: Baluch Nationalism and Soviet temptationsâ€ regarding Â Balochistan conflicts within both states of Pakistan and Iran, and the well documented reports of atrocities, and human rights violations in Balochistan presented by the world Human Rights Organizations.
An 89 years old, Baloch spiritual leader Nawab Khair Baksh Marri made it crystal clear to Pakistan, Iran and the international community by saying â€œwe (Baloch) are the masters of our landâ€ Ultimately, excluding the owners of the land from in all major issues concerning their own destiny poses for a difficult process and similarly does not make much sense.
Since Canada is well known for its strong reputation of good human rights and support of seculars and democratic forces around the world. Today, most secular and democratic people of Balochistan are concerned about Canadian companies interacting with the Pakistani government through trade without consultation with native leaders of Balochistan. Baloch leaders believe the western world should not overlook the injustices and decades of oppression in Balochistan. Similarly, India, Pakistan and IranÂ IPI projects which have 2,600 KM of gas pipelines are going to be finalized by IPI and possibly China. The gas pipelines go directly through the heart of Balochistan, unfortunately all parties are ignoring the indigenious people of Balochistan which is a grave concerns for the Baloch leaders. Â At this point the Baloch people have screamed out their last cry with their last breath and are begging the international community to not turn their back on the injustices and atrocities in which they have been suffering for the past several decades. Â Leaders cannot and must not exclude a legitimate party from negotiations when the discussions, decisions, and results will have significant affect on the particular absent representative, it is against international law.
Â Balochistanâ€™s provincial assembly seems to be running on the remote of Islamabad, any bills or resolutions that are passed by the provincial assembly in Balochistan, are all subject to vetoâ€™s by the central government which is heavily dominated by Punjab. Many claims of advancements or assistance for the Baloch are no more then hollow disillusions that do no more then depict a false picture of Balochistan. For instance, Presidents Musharrraf has been claiming that he will build a technical institution since 2005 in regions where mega projects are, but he has yet to fulfill any promises. Natives still do not get skill training and lacks fair opportunities for jobs in such so called mega projects. Musharrafâ€™s anti-Baloch intentions became clear, when the media first exposed him, a ship with wheat arrived from Canada at Gwader Deep-Sea-port in Balochstan where he sent 400 un-skilled laborers from Punjab and Karachi (Muhajirs) to unload the wheat. He charted four buses and three trucks, for the laborers. Yet they could not find un-skilled native from their own city of Gwader, Balochistan. During his rule Islamabad has further planed to invest Rs 9 billion on constructions of cantonments in Balochistan, the main reason is to control the free movements of Baloch people in their own land. This is serious concern for the people of Balochistan.
Pakistani media is projecting around the world about the mega projects of Balochistan and claim they will bring economic revolutions for the regions, such as future gas pipelines. But behind such projects, states of Pakistan and are Iran both having their hidden agendas using Balochistan. Strategically located regions such 900 costal built gates of Asia, are to protect the central governments interest, strengthen its defense through Balochistan gwader-Deep-Sea Port, where China is investing a billion dollars in the Gwader â€“Deep-Sea port.
The world should look it the May 28, 1998 nuclear test example, which was conducted by Pakistani scientist in Chahgi Balochistan, which is the only sign of development Islamabad, has left behind up to this point. Due to that test the whole region has been destroyed and it caused thousands of native displacements and the states left them out of in the cold without any compensation.
The social and economic reality of Balochistan is that it is the most backward province in Pakistan. It has been at the bottom of the list in terms of social conditions compared to the rest of the country, as Selig Harrison writes â€œthis condescending posture us reflected in the almost complete exclusion of the Baloch from the political, bureaucratic, and military power structure of Pakistan.â€ Such historic injustices can not be denied neither can be it hidden as according to Balochistanâ€™s dossiers â€œ85% of population is without drinking water, 80% without electricity, 60% are living below the poverty line and Balochistan has the highest rates of infants mortality and it is the lowest literacy rate in the regions where 70% children are deprived from the modern school.â€
Ahmar Mustikhan, a Baloch gournalist and founder of â€œAmerican Friends of Baluchistanâ€ from the United States has written an open letter to L.K Advani, N.A.T.O leaders in Brussels and to the Indian Ambassador United States, Ronen Senâ€™ He is appealing to all head of states and institutions by concluding his letter with this appeal â€œI again urge you not to let the secular people of Baluchistan plunge into blood. Please do the right thing and stop the project (gas Pipelines) until such time Baluch case at the I.C.J is decided and the people of occupied Baluchistan Pakistan and Iran gets their right of self-determinations.â€
Baloch people never benefited from any mega projects and economic polices of both regimes in Pakistan and Iran, their imposed projects and economic plans through out history benefited the central government. Mostly because their first priority have been strengthening their central government and military powers. They have ruled upon the Baloch with an iron fist till today. International community should look at all the historical aspects of Balochistan, both regimes are intentionally excluding Baloch representative whom are overwhelmingly supported by their people through out Balochistan. Such mega projects and gas pipe lines are seriously jeopardizing the interest of the native of the Baloch people. The International community base of international law and the United Nations charter of rights should not overlooked the ground reality and crisis that is Balochistan.
The writer is a Baloch activist who lives in Vancouver, Canada