PM Narendra Modi’s Balochistan remark: The full story so far

While the Prime Minister's remarks were met with angry reactions from Islamabad and a section of Opposition parties in India, it also received support from Baloch leaders who thanked him for raising the issue.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 26, 2016 11:39 am
Narendra Modi, Pakistan, Balochistan, Modi balochistan, PM Modi Balochistan remark, Jammu and Kashmir, PM Modi balochistan Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves from Red Fort during his speech, his third on Independence Day from the same venue. Source: Express photo Renuka Puri

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech sought to bring back the focus on Balochistan, nearly seven years after an India-Pakistan joint statement mentioned it, which led to an outcry over the UPA government’s Pakistan strategy.

While the Prime Minister’s remarks were met with angry reactions from Islamabad and a section of opposition parties in India, it received support from Baloch leaders who thanked him for raising the issue.

Islamabad claimed his remark “only proves Pakistan’s contention that India, through its main intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing, has been fomenting terrorism in Balochistan”.

READ: Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech: PM throws down Balochistan gauntlet

PM Modi’s remarks also faced sharp criticism from Pakistan’s main Opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto, who said he should first account for the alleged “atrocities” committed by India in Kashmir before talking about Balochistan. Bilawal said the words used by the prime minister were “highly provocative, irresponsible and inflammatory”.

“Modi should first stand accountable to the international community for unending and perpetual atrocities against Kashmiris, Muslims and Dalits in Kashmir and in India,” said Bilawal, chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

WATCH: Why Has India Written A Second Letter To Pakistan Stressing Talk On Terror

 

Pakistan opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto blasts PM Modi for Balochistan comments

Pakistan today further said that PM Modi crossed the “red line” by talking about Balochistan and asserted it will “forcefully” raise the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly session next month.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria alleged that India was involved in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi and the Balochistan remark was aimed at covering up its human rights violations in Kashmir.

Narendra Modi crossed ‘red line’ by talking about Balochistan: Pakistan

Zakaria’s reaction came a day after India accepted Pakistan’s invitation to visit Islamabad to discuss aspects related to cross-border terrorism, which are central to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir. India has, however, insisted that it would talk only on “contemporary and relevant” issues in Indo-Pak relations and not Kashmir.

Reacting to Zakaria’s statement that Prime Minister Narendra Modi crossed the “red line”, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said it finds it an extraordinary remark by a country which recognises no red line in its diplomacy.

“I find this an extraordinary remark from a senior functionary of Pakistan that recognizes no red lines in its own diplomacy. Pakistan’s record of cross-border terrorism and infiltration is at the heart of the problems in the region today. And this not just India’s view. You can ask some other countries in the region too,” Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, said.

Meanwhile, Baloch leaders showered praise for the prime minister’s stance on Balochistan. Khalil Baloch, chairman of the Baloch National Movement, said in a statement that the “policy of indifference towards Pakistan’s war crimes in occupied Balochistan that include both ethnic cleansing and genocide, adapted by the international community is worrying. The Indian Prime Minister’s statement on Balochistan is a positive development.”

“Baloch nation hopes that the United States and Europe will join Prime Minister Modi and hold Pakistan accountable for the crimes against humanity and the war crimes it has committed against the Baloch nation in 68 years of its occupation of Balochistan and during the five wars that the Baloch nation has fought with Pakistan to win its national freedom,” added Baloch.

Back home, PM Modi’s remarks created consternation among the political establishment, with the Congress party aiming to discredit the Prime Minister for taking up the issue of Balochistan and supporting the cause of Baloch leaders. Congress said the PM Modi is not the first one to talk about Balochistan, insisting that the UPA government had consistently spoken about the “spiralling violence” and “heavy Pakistani military action” in the region. 

PM Narendra Modi not the first to talk about Balochistan, UPA did it too: Congress

“Congress and UPA government have condemned the human rights violations in Balochistan as also in PoK by Pakistani forces and establishment on multiple occasions in the past,” party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said, noting that the first time the UPA did so was on December 27, 2005.

Congress further fine-tuned its attack on the Modi government for its ‘inconsistent’ foreign policy, with party leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi asking the government to end its “knee-jerk” policy with Pakistan and fix problems within the country first before raising issues such as Balochistan.

“It has become almost impossible for us to track this government’s daily changes in policy. One day, we are talking at Ministerial level, one day we are talking at Foreign Secretary level, one day we are calling off. I am waiting for a stable policy,” said Singhvi.

Modi government’s foreign policy changes faster than weather: Congress

National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah too directed his angst at the PM and said he should discuss about the part of J&K which is burning. “If PM wishes to talk about Balochistan he can, but he should also discuss about part of J&K which is burning,” said Abdullah.

The NC leader also urged the prime minister to engage in dialogue with Pakistan. “When you say Kashmir is integral part of India, you are talking of land not people. Make people yours too. We are supporters of a dialogue process between India & Pakistan, we believe that a dialogue is the only way. It is responsibility of both PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif to create atmospherics for dialogue,” he said.

PM Narendra Modi should talk about Kashmir which is burning, says Omar Abdullah

Even the CPI(M) wasn’t on the same page as the Prime Minister on Balochistan when party general secretary Sitaram Yechury lashed out at him for referring to “human rights violations” in Balochistan and Gilgit during his Independence Day speech. Yechury had said it would give Pakistan an opportunity to “internationalise” the Kashmir issue.

“On Monday, in his speech, the Prime Minister spoke about human rights violations in Balochistan and Gilgit. We have been saying that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Nobody has the right to interfere in its affairs. But now we have started talking about Balochistan,” said Yechury.

Meanwhile, the RSS supported PM Modi’s remarks saying India is morally right to rake up the Balochistan issue. Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar had said that India is “morally right” to rake up the Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan issue and claimed that Pakistan treats its own people like “third grade citizens” and uses bombs to crush muhajirs and provincial independence movements.

India is morally right to rake up Balochistan issue: RSS leader Indresh Kumar

He claimed Modi raising the Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan issue was morally right when the provinces are plagued with difficulties and witnessing murders.

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  1. D
    Desi
    Aug 18, 2016 at 6:08 pm
    India can do whatever they want but will never be able to change muslim mindset. India is a secular country but only for Hindus. CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHICH SECULAR LAW MUSLIMS IN INDIA PRACTICE. Can muslim practice 4 marraige at a time and fast food style divorce in any non muslim Democratic Secular country in the world. WHY MUSLIM ARE ALLOWED 4 WIVES AS PER QURAAAAAN BUT WHEN IT COMES TO CRIMINAL AS THEIR RELIGION.. NO FLOGGING, NO LIMB CHOPPING. I think India should impose complete Sharia law as in muslim countries.. and bring criminally convicted muslim for open flogging in Cricket Stadiums and let people buy tickets to watch it and hotels and airlines should run tourism package called SHARIA PACKAGE to watch Taj Mahal and Muslims Flogging. I am sure muslims won't complain as it as per their religion.lt;br/gt;Kashmir.. Kashmir solution is what Jinnah and hii decided. All Muslims to stan and all Hindus to India. Believe me.. till india practices in spirit 1947 deal, no peace. Nothing wrong.. India is only country which wss cut to give muslim separate home land. START A MOVEMENT HASHTAG.. THOSE MUSLIMS WHO FLY STANI FLAGS, CALL THEMSELVES STANIS MUST BE FORCIBLY SENT TO STAN AND FULL SHARIA LAW INCLUDING FLOGGING, LIMB CHOPPING FOR MUSLIM IN INDIA. lt;br/gt;Bharat mata ki jai.
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      Desi
      Aug 18, 2016 at 6:17 pm
      Indians learn from small country like Burma or Maynmar. Burma took care of its muslim and pushed muslim to sea. Today Burma's growth rate is much higher than India. Nobody asked AUNG SUNG to give her noble prize back and she wants to be informed if she is going to meet a MUSLIM. Muslims will hurt you, attack you and kill you becuase it in their Qura....n but if you retaliate then Muslim say human rights violation, free speech, democracy and bring out their impotent Hindu leaders like Dig Deafeat Singh, Khujliwal, Sibal, Pappu etc...
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        Desi
        Aug 18, 2016 at 7:36 pm
        By the way.. Muslim scripture say kill Kafir.. go google wiki pedia. If i am kafir to them or india is kafir to them then we have every right to self defense and neutralize enemy who wants to kill me became i am a non muslim.
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          Desi
          Aug 18, 2016 at 7:32 pm
          It will happen.. even if you vote. Muslims are doing this to themselves. It is like 1984 or 1947 situation in india. India is going to erupt in anti muslim. On everty Friday... muslim come out mosques in Kashmir and start throwing stones to security forces, indian Muslims watch that.. they can create a counter narative on fridays coming out of mosques with indian flags. No indian muslim and muslim are delusional if they think when Kashmir gets Azadi they will distribute sweets and have EID. They have no idea what happened in 1947. Today world opinion is against muslim who can't live with non muslims in non muslims countries. Except preaching me tell me what i said is wrong. Read word EID in muslim way.. left to right.. you get their Allah 's answer. They going home. stan daily sends hindu refugees.. the minute few lakh muslim families reach stan, stan and Muslims politics in region will change. I am saying those who don't love india, raise stani flag, go to stan which was created for them. It is just a matter of time when Modi and BJP will adopt this line for Kashmir muslim and muslims in india. You may vote again down... no explanation needed. I have seen 1947 as a little kid.
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            Purna Varma
            Aug 18, 2016 at 5:09 pm
            Brother HM has said severe punishments will be served to these anti socials. And I bet you justice will dished out.
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              Purna Varma
              Aug 18, 2016 at 5:16 pm
              To: Bilwal what happened to your gfather and mother? Have you ever talked to the existing Gson of BUGTHI. You are living in a golden cage and your address might be to gain votes and continue on the path of your father I.e. 40% commission on all projects.lt;br/gt;To: The gson of the lion of Kashmir. Please give us an account for 3000 lakh CRORES given to your family to do good for Kashmir.Only Kashmir. Kashmiri Muslims who were in power including the hurriyet are traitors to their own kind.
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                Dr Harry
                Aug 18, 2016 at 6:51 pm
                I meant to vote down, we are Indians and our scriptures, history and leaders have taught us to respect each and every religion, race and creed. We must fight and improved our own self and let Muslims leaders do their bit for their people and religion, We must get rid of caste system, overt religiosity and killing in the name of caste, religion and any other reason.
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                  Dr Harry
                  Aug 18, 2016 at 6:55 pm
                  in 1947 Hindus comprised 85% and Muslims 15% of the potion. But under leadership of Congi British collaborators like Nehru, gi India (meant to be Hindu) was given 75% of the land and Muzz got 25% (stan East and West). But makes mocjery of this even more is depsite getting almost twice the land area, that inlucded the most fertile in W Punjab, Morons Nehri and hi still kept almost all Muzz in India.
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                    manikantan
                    Aug 18, 2016 at 6:15 pm
                    After smart cities, digital India and Stand up India, Make in India, Black ooney trials and other jhumlas, there was nothing else to offer hence to be in news, another drama being pla. the same PM landed in stan as if he has broken the Ice and then allow ISis to visit pathankot. After being fooled there another drama being pla. Absolute no brains in dealing with stan.
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                      Milind Abhyankar
                      Aug 25, 2016 at 7:37 pm
                      Report focus sedan me on the vws of ihe stanis and that of the congress party.lt;br/gt;The artic seems to greably biased against the patriotic bjpl government. I am quite astonished.
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                        mohan
                        Aug 18, 2016 at 5:09 pm
                        There are plenty of human rights violations in Balochistan and NWFP, but none of the MSM highlights these. India should not remain a static South Asian second liner, but must reach the drivers seat, particularly in the context of Chinas fast growing lust for all its neighbours land frontiers and international waters. We were mute spectators during USAs GULF OIL WAR. Nehrus historical bers are irreversible, for which our nation was subjected to the humiliation of diplomatic and military defeat. India has persistently allowed itself to be tricked by China. We had betra the people of Tibet who depended upon and trusted us. Chinese troops entered Lhasa and Nehru still lamented Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai. An ancient culture and its Monasteries were destro and its people became homeless. China swallowed Tibet, and Nehru swallowed the Panchsheel tranquilizer. Before taking Balochistan, India must tame the dragon as a first and foremost priority. Note that the Chinese are involved in a Economic Corridor (CPEC) through Balochistan. If our troops has to enter Balochistan then it has to be through PoK and NWFP only. The rich natural resources of Balochistan is sold to rich corporates by stani crooks. stan has used US drones to target its civilians under the cover of war against terror. one must think logically that stan is a trusted military ally of USA and then why should US bomb the civilian areas? stan wants to evict the natives from their homes for providing lebensraum to Chinese companies
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                        1. I
                          Ind
                          Aug 18, 2016 at 4:49 pm
                          God Bless America.
                          Reply
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                            dsheth
                            Aug 18, 2016 at 3:42 pm
                            From thousands of years kashmir land belongs to India and after parion mr. abdulla, all muslims belongs to stan not india or kashmir.
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                              Rajendran
                              Aug 19, 2016 at 3:29 am
                              I support Mr.Desi. You cannot win it with rose flowers. Here are the excerpts from Koran, which will tell you what actually it is. "Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them." Koran 2:191 "Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood." Koran 9:123 "When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them." Koran 9:5 "Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable." Koran 3:85 "The Jews and the Christians are perverts fight them."... Koran 9:30 "Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam" Koran 5:33 "Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water melt their skin and bellies." Koran 22:19 "The unbelievers are silly urge the Muslims to fight them." Koran 8:65 "Muslims must not take the infidels as friends." Koran 3:28 "Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur'an." Koran 8:12 "Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels." Koran 8:60
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                                PK
                                Aug 22, 2016 at 5:11 pm
                                Dont Blame stan about Balochistan,Pak Army is doing right job in Balochistan,They are working for the prosperity of the Province,INDIA should ashamed off while talking about Balochistan,Firstly look into Kashmir......!Actions Speaks louder then words!
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                                  SP
                                  Aug 18, 2016 at 2:48 pm
                                  Why NC and PDP are not doing all they can to convince people to shun violence.? If they also use it as a leverage to armtwist Government to talk to stan what is the difference between Kashmiri leaders and stan - one uses terror , another encouragement of violence.
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                                    Sudish Puthalat
                                    Aug 18, 2016 at 1:48 pm
                                    The treacherous Cpm. For muslim vote bank they continously supported palestine, even collected 'bucket donations' in kerala for palestine (nobody knows where the money went).lt;br/gt;Suddenly yechury asks not to interefere for balochistan. Which bharteeya did you ask when interfering for palestine and supporting it?lt;br/gt;And by the way mr yechuri, the ones getting slaughtered in balochistan are mostly left leaning revolutionaries.lt;br/gt;Now figure out how you juggle your replies with lies
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                                      Timo Dinkler
                                      Aug 18, 2016 at 5:51 pm
                                      India Can talk about Balochistan, when stan can talk about Kashmir. Remember Kashmir is Integral part of India.lt;br/gt;And, we do not need to have a Static policy talking about only Kashmir that Pak always wanted. We also should deal in different angles when needed in International arena. lt;br/gt;Current Opposition leaders better understand these basic points which regular citizens understood. Talking with an intention to finger point at a person doesnt help the nation, nor you. This is not 20th century.
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                                      1. Z
                                        Zafar Sadeq Chowdhury
                                        Aug 19, 2016 at 1:17 pm
                                        We had to fight for our own country, Bangladesh and we should have moral support for nations struggling for their independence and it should not be limited to Kashmir and Baluchistan.
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