Equating atrocities in Balochistan to the massacre of Bengalis by Pakistan Army during the 1971 liberation war, a self-exiled Baloch leader has sought Bangladesh’s support to raise the issue at the UN and help liberate the restive region from “Pakistan’s occupation”. “They (Pakistan) are committing the same atrocities that they had committed with you,” Mir Suleman Dawood Jan Ahmedzai said on Wednesday, referring to Bangladesh’s independence struggle during which 3 million Bengalis were killed. “The family of the present prime minister (Sheikh Hasina) went through the same crisis and even worse,” he said, referring to Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who led the independence movement.
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He said ‘Pakistan occupied his country’ in March 1948 and since then has been carrying out atrocities to suppress public uprisings. Ahmedzai said Balochs are expecting “cooperation and diplomatic understanding of the situation they are going through” from Bangladesh so that Dhaka can take it up to the UN. “We, Balochistan, cannot speak in the UN as we are not a member. We want members to speak for us,” bdnews24.com quoted him as saying.
In Balochistan, they are committing atrocities on a daily basis, he said, adding that Pakistan has adopted ‘kill and dump’ policy in Balochistan. “More than 25,000 people are missing and over a million displaced. First, people go missing and then they are found in the wilderness….tortured, bullet-ridden bodies.”
“Our only plan is to regain independence for Balochistan. We are optimistic,” he said. He accused Pakistan of “spreading terrorism from Manila to California with its army intelligence”.
“Only difference between normal terrorists and Pakistani army is that they are wearing uniforms while the others are not. Both are terrorists. One has a shield of the government and the other one is a non-state actor,” he said.
“Going to the background as to who they back or finance, you will trace them in every terrorist link from Manila to California”. Ahmedzai has been staying in Britain since 2007 to gather international support for their cause of an independent Balochistan. He was in Dhaka to take part in a seminar organised by the Centre for Genocide Studies at the Dhaka University.
The Balochistan issue returned to the spotlight in the region after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech in August pointed at human rights violations in the province.