In his confession video, alleged Indian RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav mentions meeting and funding Baloch Students Organisation–designated as a terrorist organisation by Pakistan– as one of his espionage activities. Karima Baloch, chairperson of BSO Azad, in an exclusive interview to dna says the `fake accusations’ of RAW agent by Pakistan is to cover up on its atrocities in Balochistan.
“It will take more than one fake `RAW agent’ for Pakistan to hide and cover all mass graves, enforced disappearances, State-run genocide and war crimes that it is committing against Baloch Nation.’’
Karima spoke on the atrocities and militarization of Balochistan, why Iran will never allow India to support Baloch liberation movement from its land, how China under the garb of economic development through CPEC is plundering Balochistan’s gold and mineral resources and why India should raise its voice against Pakistan’s oppression in Balochistan
Pakistan government last month released a video of an alleged Indian RAW agent Mr Kulbhushan Jadhav, where he states that his job was `gathering information, intelligence and directing various activities in Balochistan.’ He further mentions that he was the man for Mr Anil Kumar Gupta, Joint Secretary RAW and held meetings with his contacts in Balochistan Students Organisation. Is BSO in contact with Indian intelligence agencies?
Karima Baloch : BSO-Azad has no contacts with Indian intelligence “R&AW” or any other intelligence agency of any country. In fact, it is our first time to hear these two names i.e Mr. Kulbushan and Mr. Anil Kumar Gupta. First of all, BSOAzad doesn’t need to follow directions from other foreign groups to love and protect its land. Baloch movement is an indigenous movement. It has been going on since 1948, the year Pakistan sent its fascist army to occupy Balochistan.
There is no Indian presence or involvement in Balochistan. As i mentioned earlier, the allegation of Indian involvement in Balochistan is an excuse to label ingrown Balochistan freedom movement as a proxy war to cover up the war crimes Pakistani state has committed in Balochistan. Pakistan wants to show the world that its ruthless policy is in self-defence against foreign aggression. But, the world is not blind, deaf and dumb. It is now an open secret that almost 7 decades old Baloch movement is an indigenous movement, not a proxy war imposed by an outsider. In fact, we are in self-defence against Pakistani aggression because it occupied our land illegally, and without our consent. Under all the principles and conventions of International Law we have rights to resist against foreign aggression.
Does BSO receive any directives, funding or support in its activities from India or any Indian agency including RAW?
Karima Baloch : If BSO- Azad or the Baloch movement had received any kind of economic support, then perhaps we would’ve been a step ahead of our goal. Pakistan repeatedly lies and tries to mislead the world opinion on Baloch Cause by using accusations that the Balochistan’s independence seekers are funded or they receive directions from India or other countries who are fighting their war against Pakistan through the Baloch cause. Undoubtedly, Pakistan state has terribly failed in her dramas because she has failed to disprove the Baloch movement as purely a National movement for independence. So Pakistan is, in fact, unconsciously accepting its own defeat by using such fake dramas against Baloch.
Why do you think BSO is being linked in the controversy related to the arrest of Mr Jadhav ?
Karima Baloch : BSO formed in 1967 had split in factions. To bring the organisation’s main goal is the independence of Balochistan and the struggle for greater rights of Baloch students, BSO-azad was founded by Dr Allah Nazar Baloch in 2002. It that believes in peaceful struggle, while striving to create political, ideological awareness and educating Baloch students and masses. The leadership and workers of BSO-azad , despite following a peaceful pattern of struggle, face brutal crackdown by the hands of Pakistan security forces. They are forcefully abducted from their schools, colleges and university campuses and hostels, later on, their mutilated bodies are dumped into wilderness. They are targeted and shot inside their houses by Pakistani forces and later on their bodies are displayed by forces as people that have been killed in armed confrontations. Such fake encounter cases involve murder of our core members, like our former secretary general of BSO AZAD, Raza Jahangir, Rasool Jan and central committee member Qamber Chakar Baloch. Many of BSO-Azad’s leaders and members have been illegally dissappearred by Pakistan army including our former chairman Zahid Baloch, for whom we have launched an international campaign for his save recovery from Pakistani torture cells, and also for Zakir Majeed Baloch, both of them are still missing. So i think in order to justify its war crimes and human rights violations in Balochistan, Pakistan uses such fake accusations (like one that mentioned in jadhav’s fake confession) against BSO-azad to further extend its brutal crackdown on its peaceful student activists.
It will take more than one fake “Raw Agent” for Pakistan to hide and cover all mass graves, enforced dissaparances, State-run Genocide and War crimes that it is committing against Baloch Nation.
When and why was BSO outlawed by the Pakistan government and designated it as a terrorist organisation ?
Karima Baloch : In March, 2013, Pakistan banned BSO-Azad. The move is aimed at curtailing our growing resistance against Pakistani occupation. It would also provide Pakistani security forces pretext to abduct, torture, kill and dump bodies of our members and leadership. After the ban, Pakistan killed BSO Secretary General and many other members of BSO in fake encounters in the name of counter-terrorism. As we consider Pakistani state presence in
Balochistan as illegal, so we don’t need a certificate from it to enlist us an outlawed organization.
What role do you expect India to play in Balochistan’s liberation movement?
Karima Baloch : Perhaps India is too busy to care about us. Although we do expect from peace loving Indian people to raise their voice against Pakistani state war crimes in Balochistan.
Balochistan is burning. Thousands killed, thousands missing, millions of Baloch displaced and resources are being sold to China. It is one of the worst humanitarian crisisses of the 21 century happening right next to Indian border. Pakistani state terrorism has crossed all its limits in Balochistan. Our kids, elders, artists, farmers, nomads and other are picked up in day light, tortured at dark nights in ISI dungeons and killed and dumped in desolated areas. Genocide by Pakistani state in Balochistan has to stop as soon as possible. We request not only to India, but also to the world civilized communities and to the United Nation to stop considering Pakistan’s inhuman business in Balochistan as its internal matter without any further delay. It is now or never, If the world wants to counter the insane army generals of Pakistan army and to stop the spread terrorism and global Jihad, then the world must have to step forward to support the freedom of Balochistan. An independent Balochistan will serve as bulwark against extremism and terrorism as secular and democratic state.
Pakistan accuses India of interfering in Balochistan and conducting `terror activities’ through Iran.
Karima Baloch : Pakistan has never come up with solid evidence of RAW’s involvement in Balochistan despite that it has been claiming that since ages. We are aware of India’s commercial ventures in the Western Balochistan occupied by Iran. Iran never let India to support Balochistan’s movement in the territory in fear that it also has a domino effect in the Baloch occupied by Iran. In fact, Iran supported Pakistan in 1970s to crush Baloch insurgeny. Therefore such a blame is contrary to common sense. Pakistan wants to counter Indian pressure on it by supporting and sponsoring terrorists groups in Kashmir, it has created its own narrative of Indian interference in Balochistan. If Pakistani state is confident on its stand, it should allow UN and international observers, investigation teams and international media to visit Balochistan. I believe the UN and investigations team would take neutral stance. I am sure Pakistan will never let such investigations. Let alone this, Pakistan should first allow international media and NGOs to visit Balochistan and frequently monitor the situation. Why does it not allow them and have put an iron curtain on the affairs in Balochistan? I will tell you the reason. Because, Pakistan does not want the world what is happening in Balochistan. It just wants to show even to its own patriots that all is well in the western front.
Since 2003-2005, there is a resurgence in the armed insurgency in Balochistan. Can you provide a brief update on the current situation on ground?
Karima Baloch : Balochistan never stopped to resist in the past. On the one hand, there are political parties that use peaceful means to free our people from the scourge of state terrorism and brutal suppression. Pakistan has not given political space to the political parties, and always tried to crush them by implying military and civilian forces. The armed resistance in Balochistan is in reaction to such brutal repression and military occupation of Pakistani armed forces. The armed movement is not also a new phenomena in Balochistan. It is the fifth insurgency. But this time there is a stark difference to the previous ones. Previously armed movement were not so wide spread, not so lengthy too. Current armed movement seems to be more sophisticated, more organised. It is also now led by common people. The armed movement in Balochistan is in against Pakistani military occupation of Balochistan.
Pakistan has turned Balochistan into military garrison. In every two to 3 miles there are military check posts. They stop cars, drag people down, humiliate and abuse men and women equally. The majority of political activists were stopped in such military check posts and they were forcefully abducted. People of Balochistan see Pakistani military presence in Balochistan as tool of repression and extreme atrocities. Besides this, Pakistan is using religious terrorist organisations such as JuD, LeT, LeJ, Lashkar e Khurasan (an Islamic State, IS, affiliate in Balochistan backed by ISI) to crush Baloch movement and kill religious minorities. In such a situation, it is a basic right to resist. So, people of Balochistan are justified to resist using all means allowed by principles and conventions of International Law when a nation face the threat of forceful occupation, repression, genocide and so on. In short, the armed movement is an expression against Pakistan military occupation, used by people of Balochistan in self-defence. It is also countering spread of Islamism and Talibanization of Baloch in Balochistan.
Geo-politically Balochistan is located strategically and China’s recent foray through the Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor has added one more stakeholder in the region. What do Baloch locals make of these “development projects’’?
Karima Baloch : Pakistan with help of China has been looting resources of Balochistan, without consent of Baloch people. The development in Pakistani lexicon means looting and plundering of resources by Pakistan affluent Military Inc. People of Balochistan are even excluded to work as labourer on such projects. Even the labours are imported from Punjab. All the projects are owned by Pakistan military under Frontier Work Organisation, a combatant force which also can take commercial investments. Fauji Foundations is another example. Even the dummy government in Balochistan is not aware about specifications of such projects. There is no public disclosure about them.
Mystery is a tool of colonialism to loot and plunder. We people of Balochistan do not accept such loot and plundering of our resources. Let us talk about CPEC. Pakistan has eliminated all the villages through which road networks pass through under CPEC projects just to meet up to Chinese demand of security. In Gwadar, Baloch are not allowed to enter from other cities. Pakistan wants our resources and land but not us. China has no economic development interests in Balochistan. It is only interested in taking out gold and mineral resources and turning Gwadar port to a naval base for its future military campaigns. It wants to use Gwadar port against India and US. Gwadar is strategically in the mid of Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. It has great strategic importance in military term. This is what China needs to be there to counter and monitor Indian and US activities. Baloch resist such illegal Chinese ventures. We will never accept China to turn our coast to naval bases in the name of development. And we will not let any country to use our land and coast to be used against our neighbours such as India and Afghanistan. It is also reason that China is actively involved in genocide of Baloch people in Balochistan.
Is there any dialogue for peace by Baloch separatist leaders with the Pakistan government? Do other Baloch leaders share the view of Mr Brahamdagh Bugti of Baloch Republican Party on negotiation with the Pakistan authorities?
Karima Baloch : As I said before, political parties in Balochistan apply peaceful means to achieve their goals. We believe in peace. We are not against any peaceful settlement of Balochistan issue. It is Pakistan that has militarized Balochistan, using brute force to suppress any dissent, let alone Baloch struggle for freedom. For a peaceful negotiation, Pakistan has to stop genocide, end occupation of Balochistan, and accept us as equal on the table of negotiation. Pakistan is not ready to do these. It does not want peace. Pakistani military believes in use of force to settle all the problems it’s facing.
We are ready to negotiate with Pakistan under UN, US, EU and NATO supervision of such peace talk. There should be some international guarantors as Pakistani state is untrustworthy. In the past, Pakistan had killed Baloch leaders in the name of peaceful settlement on the negotiation table. Thus, a peaceful settlement of Balochistan issue is possible if there be some international guarantors.
Currently, Pakistan does not seem in the mood of negotiations. It has speeded up the process of genocide. The situation in Balochistan is not better than in Syria. Regretfully, the world has not paid attention to the war crimes being committed by Pakistani military and state forces. One day, we hope, the world will also come to rescue us as they did in freedom of Bangladesh, South Sudan, Serbia and so on.