MEERUT: When Babur invaded India in 1526, he is said to have been accompanied by artillerymen from what is northern Balochistan, who later settled around Delhi and in the western parts of UP. On Thursday, Mazdak Dilshad Baloch, a prominent voice in the expatriate Baloch community in its struggle to liberate the province from Pakistan, met some of these Baloch from villages in Baghpat and Meerut.
“This is the start of a movement to secure support for our freedom struggle against illegal occupation of Balochistan by Pakistan. By meeting these people, who share our ethnicity, we are starting to mobilise all Baloch to highlight atrocities on our community by Pakistani forces,” he told TOI.
Mazdak, who travelled to these villages with his wife, further stated, “These people are Indians but have their roots in Balochistan. They are actually a crucial link between Indians and us. They can help spreading the message among Indian masses of the inhuman treatment being meted out to the citizens of Balochistan. I am thankful to them for showing overwhelming sensitivity to our common cause. I am sure, in times to come, we will visit many more villages in the whole region and give the movement a proper name and shape.”
The interaction with far-reaching consequences was facilitated by a Baraut-based social activist, Amit Rai Jain, and director of Shehzad Rai Research Institute, a Baraut-based organization with historians and farmers as members.
Jain told TOI, “There are close to half-a-dozen villages in Baghpat, Meerut and Muzaffarnagar districts alone where people of Baloch origin have lived for centuries. One of the villages, Bilochpura in Baghpat, was even given the title of ‘Kranti Gram’ by the district administration as the ancestors of the residents had fought in the army of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadurshah Zafar against the British.”
The villagers also showed a lot of enthusiasm to support the Baloch cause. Irfan Pathan, 47, a resident of Bilochpura village, said, “The visiting delegation of Baloch expatriates shared hair-raising stories of mass suffering at the hands of Pakistani army in Balochistan. We share common roots and we are there with Baloch people in all their endeavours against such atrocities.”
Courtesy: Times of India