NEW DELHI: An outpouring of support followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on Pakistani atrocities in Balochistan, with the Baloch Republican Party, Baloch National Party and Balochi dissidents and exiles in Europe and USA seeking India’s intervention.
Most of the exiled Baloch leaders took to microblogging site Twitter to express their gratitude and support for Modi, who on Friday became the first Indian PM to call for exposing Pakistan’s atrocities in Balochistan, one of the four provinces in Pakistan.
Modi’s comments marked reversal of the stand of his predecessor Manmohan Singh, who in 2009 at Sharm-el-Sheikh agreed to discuss Balochistan with Pakistan government, drawing sharp criticism from both within ruling Congress and the opposition.
Baloch Republican Party’s president Brahumdagh Khan Bugti further welcomed India’s claim on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir articulated by Modi. “We appreciate the statement of PM of India. Being largest democracy of the world and a responsible responsible neighbour, India should intervene in Balochistan,” Bugti tweeted.
Mehran Marri, representative of Balochistan at the UN Human Rights Council and European Union, and son of the late Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, also hailed Modi for his support to the Baloch movement.
“Thank you@narendramodi for raising the #Balochistan issue. We hope you will correct the historical mistakes of 1947,” read another tweet by Nobat Marri Baluch, a UK-based Baloch human rights activist and former student leader.
A foreign spokesman of Baloch National Movement, Hammal Haider Baloch said, “We welcome PM Modi’s statement to support freedom movement of Balochistan. This is the first time ever that an Indian PM has expressed his wish to support Baloch people, and this is a very crucial decision taken by Indian government.
Baloch leader Hyrbyair Marri asked, “If Pakistani officials can openly meet the Kashmiri leadership, then why shouldn’t India do the same?” He offered to visit India if the government offers moral support to the struggle.
Baloch activists in the US and Europe observed August 14, Pakistan’s Independence Day, as ‘Black Day’ even as they offered greetings ahead of India’s Independence Day. There were reports of protest marches across Balochistan against Pakistan on Sunday demanding freedom.
“Pakistan forgets that it rains bombs from fighter planes on citizens of its country,” Modi had said in his concluding remarks at an all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the crisis in Kashmir in the wake of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen’s Burhan Wani. “Time has now come that Pakistan will have to answer to the world about the atrocities being committed on people in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” he said.
Meanwhile, on Saturday massive protests took place in Gilgit in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, with the people demanding the release of their leader Baba Jan and asking the Pakistan Army to vacate the area. The protesters were also agitated over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.