Message from Mir Hyrbyair Marri, leader of Baloch independence struggle, former Education Minister, and son of Nawab Khair Bux Marri
I thank and congratulate the IVBMP and BHRC friends in Canada for organising this important event to highlight the illegal occupation of Balochistan and the need to resist it until freedom.
We must know the fact that 27 March is one of the saddest days in Baloch history but it is not the only sad day. The miseries of Baloch people started since the British divided Balochistan in three pieces. After the British divide and rule the Persian and Pakistanis, Punjabis, have divided Balochistan into further small parts so that it would be easy for them to distort and manipulate the Balochi language, culture and history.
All Baloch whether in Sindh, Punjab, Iranian occupied Balochistan or living abroad must realise that their survival depends on collective struggle against the illegal occupation and national liberation of Balochistan. My request to the Baloch nation is: unite for the national goal of freedom and work collectively to regain their sovereignty. The Baloch had determined in 1948 that they do not wish to be part of newly born fundamentalist state of Pakistan in the name of religion. The occupying states have invaded our country at gunpoint against the will of Baloch people.
The only durable solution of Balochistan issue is immediate and unconditional withdrawal of occupying force and transfer of power to the Baloch. International community must recognise Balochistan as an occupied territory and urge the occupying forces to leave Balochistan.
Establishment of a free and democratic Balochistan will restore sanity; bring stability and economic prosperity in the region. It will bring much needed security, tolerance and respect to human rights and democratic values because throughout the history we have had any no major conflicts against our neighbouring countries in the region – neither have we had trouble sustaining and promoting peace on national level.
Hyrbyair Marri 25-03-2011
The annexation of Baluchistan to Pakistan was forceful. Pakistan came into existence on August 14, 1947, and on February 15, 1948, the Governor General of Pakistan Muhammad Ali
Jinnah visited Sibi, Baluchistan. His purpose: to persuade the Khan of Kalat to accede to Pakistan. The
Khan of Kalat, however, refused to see Jinnah. On March 17, 1948, armed Pakistani forces landed and occupied the two confederacies of Kharan and Lasbela and the Kalat district of Mekran. At the time
Baluchistan was an independent country and Pakistan had recognized the independence
and sovereignty of Kalat. Mohammed Ali Jinnah had no jurisdiction to
declare Kharan, Lasbela and Mekran independent princely states. Following this occupation, the Pakistanis isolated the Khan of Kalat and the annexation of Kalat (Baluchistan) took place on March 27, 1948–a black day of forced occupation for the Baluch.
At present, Pakistan is interfering in Baluch social and communal affairs, instigating internal tribal feuds and bribing tribal chiefs. The occupation of Baluchistan is a violation of Baluchistan’s sovereignty and the occupation should be brought to the end. The Baluch people have the right to lead dignified lives in a free and united democratic independent Baluchistan. United, the Baluch have always defeated invaders, and once again, we will free ourselves from foreign domination.
Message by Mehran Baluch: Baloch representative at the U.N.H.R.C., and son of Nawab Khair Bux Marri, legendary Baloch independence leader.
This day marks a dark period in our collective history as a nation when every single Baloch was robbed of his/her individual freedom, pride, honour, culture, and songs born in the hills and plains of a free land. On March 27, 1948, we lost our citizenship as a sovereign nation, and its meaningful relationship with the world in terms of peace, friendship, and humanity. And for the last sixty-four years, Baloch have been systematically degraded from a free nation to a subjugated people and second class citizens of Pakistan.
The deepening sense of our loss has given birth to a movement that will stop at nothing but total freedom from bondage, genocide, and plundering of our national wealth. The determination of our youth and the sacrifices of our brave Baloch mothers have made the West and the U.S. understand the geopolitical realities of the region and the pivotal role Baloch nation can play in bringing peace and stability to this part of the world.
After the wholesale departure of British colonizer in 1947, Balochistan became an independent country. In 1948, Pakistan forced the rulers of Balochistan to accede without consideration of the Baloch people’s right to self-determination. Both elected and representative chambers of Baloch people unanimously opposed the idea of joining Pakistan.
Despite this, in 1947, the Khanate of Balochistan became an independent state, recognized by Pakistan, until 1948, when, the Khanate without the popular consent of the Baloch people was forced to accede. There was no accession ceremony and formal process, this all happened under gun-point in one of the darkroom of Pakistan’s foreign ministry.
The so-called British Balochistan, mainly comprised on Baloch territories, was acceded in Pakistan through an unrepresentative council of elders nominated by the British authorities.
Balochistan National Party has a very democratic and unshaken commitment that the forced merger of Balochistan automatically raises the question of the right of self-determination, enshrined in United Nations charter.
Ladies and gentlemen:
When his courtier asked the 18th century Baloch ruler, Nuri Naseer Khan, founder of the modern Baloch state, “What is the future of our sovereign rule over these vast lands?” The wise Baloch ruler explained to the court, “As long as there is a Baloch shepherd sitting on a hilltop playing his flute, without a grain of fear in his heart, and considers himself the rightful owner of the entire lands – we have a future as a sovereign nation.”
This was the message of a great ruler to his people that has resonated in the history of Balochistan to the present day – the fearless heart of a common Baloch and the will to be free, is the only path to the freedom of this great nation. Destinies of nations are built on the blood and bones of a people who refuse to be slaves.
August 12, 1947 marked the end of a century of British colonial control over Balochistan that began in 1839 with the fall of Kalat and martyrdom of Mir Mehrab Khan. With the departure of the British, Balochistan enjoyed its freedom for 227 days before the invasion by the Pakistani army on March 27, 1948. It is an irony of history that Baloch nation’s 108 years of struggle against colonialism ended with 227 days of freedom, only to lose it again.
In short, Balochistan’s history as an independent nation dates back to 16th century and ever since has been involved in various wars against occupation by the Portuguese, British, Persians, and Pakistan. The British boundary commissions of 1871 and 1895 divided Balochistan into three regions – currently, within the state boundaries of Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Balochistan under occupation of Iran and Pakistan has witnessed a history of uprisings, rebellions, and wars of independence – 1905 – 1928 against the Persian rulers, and 1948, 1958, 1960, 1973, and the ongoing struggle since 2003 against the state of Pakistan.
The departing British, and the newly founded Pakistan, recognized Balochistan’s sovereign status as an independent state, declared by Khan of Kalat, Mir Ahmedyar Khan on August 12, 1947. This historic fact has been recorded and reported in the leading newspapers including New York Times. Both the houses of the sovereign Baloch legislative assembly in Kalat unanimously decided to be a free nation. However, following Balochistan’s independence from the British, Pakistan and its ruling elite began hatching conspiracies against Kalat, which finally ended in the military invasion of Balochistan and Khan of Kalat, Mir Ahmedyar Khan was forced to sign the so-called Instrument of Accession document on March 27, 1948.
The singularly most important socio-political concept that has grasped the Baloch mind in history, based on the collective experiences of subjugation is – FREEDOM – and the only guarantee for such an existence free from foreign dominance is a sovereign state with secure borders that defines and preserves Baloch as an historic, cultural entity. Anything short of that are temporary solutions, bound to run into trouble in times of rapid political changes.
Fortunately, the international community, West, and the U.S. are now beginning to realize the gravity of the Baloch struggles in Iran and Pakistan – the two theocratic and militaristic states involved in global terror networks and proliferation of nuclear weapons. In a historic event on February 8, 2012, US Representative Hon. Dana Rohrabacher, who also is the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired a congressional hearing on Balochistan in Washington, DC. Nearly a week after he chaired the Congressional hearing on Balochistan, US Congressman Hon. Rohrabacher introduced a resolution in the US House of Representatives calling upon Pakistan to recognise the Baloch right to self-determination. The motion was co-sponsored by House Representatives Hon. Louie Gohmert and Hon. Steve King. I would like to present here some extracts of the statement and resolutions by Hon. Rohrabacher on Balochistan:
“The Baloch, like other nations of people, have an innate right to self-determination. The political and ethnic discrimination they suffer is tragic and made more so because America is financing and selling arms to their oppressors in Islamabad.”
“It is US policy to oppose aggression and violation of human rights inherent in the subjugation of national groups as currently being shown in Iran and Pakistan against the aspiration of the Baloch people.”
US Representatives Hon. Rohrabacher and Hon. Gohmert also will be addressing a newsmaker briefing on Balochistan on March 27th marking Balochistan’s forceful annexation with Pakistan. The event will take place at the National Press Club, Washington, DC.
As the conflict in Balochistan intensifies, world is taking notice of the atrocities committed by Iran and Pakistan against the civilian population including enforced disappearances of activists; killing and dumping of disappeared persons; and target killing of Baloch leaders, women, and intellectuals. According to a recent report by Voice of Baloch Missing Persons, the current figure of the disappeared persons has come to 14, 385 and the number of Baloch activists killed and dumped has exceeded 400. In the last couple of weeks alone 35 Baloch were abducted by Pakistani security forces, which include 10 Marri Baloch, 5 from the Noshki area, and 15 from Dera Bugti. Reporting from inside the zone of conflict, Baloch Republican Party spokesperson, Sher Mohammad Bugti informed that on March 14, 2012, Dera Bugti was pounded by aerial bombardment, and Pakistan Air Force jetfighters and gunship helicopters were used on civilian population. Reportedly, 12 civilians lost their lives including children and the Pakistani security forces took away 15 young Bugti tribesmen to an undisclosed location.
Repressive measures by occupation forces and states cannot kill a movement by killing the ones who believe in freedom. History has proven that the road to national emancipation is full of suffering and broken bones – yet there comes a day in the life of a people when all the suffering ceases to exist, what remains is the memory of a free homeland that once was and will be – again.
It is with deep regret that I have to miss coming to this event tonight due to another speaking engagement, but trust me, my heart and soul are with you as you observe the anniversary of the occupation of Balochistan on March 27, 1948 by the invading Pakistan Army.
Few borders remain static for more than 50 years in all of human history. When the colonels and generals of Punjab along with their civil service masters from UP, CP and Bihar crushed your country to supposedly civilize it along with Sind, Pukhtunistan and Bengal, they failed to recognize the verdict of history: All occupations come to an end.
After crushing the Baloch uprising of 1948 and merging Balochistan’s very existence in the 1956 One-Unit scheme, the Pak Army had to hang more Baloch freedom fighters; they then had to deal with General Shroff and in the 1970s after dismissing the elected govt of Ataullah Mengal, massacre a few thousand more Baloch youth, but they cannot put out the light of hope and freedom that burns in the hearts of those who have taken to the hills to give their lives for a future Free Balochistan.
Be brave my friends for time is on our side. If not in our lifetime, our children or grandchildren will one day walk as free men and women in the streets of Kalat and once more raise the flag brought down by the Pakistan colonial army in 1948.
Let me raise a glass of wine to say, “cheers” to my Sarmachar saathi. Go forth and fight and do not despair. We are all with you, all the way.
Azad Balochistan Zindabad!