In the 1970s, five young people studying in London joined the Baluch guerrillas and, along the way, joined another. The revolutionary socialists won the respect and admiration of this forgotten people
Editorial correction: “It was not Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri who contacted Mohammad Bhabha but it was Bhabha who contacted Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri and Babu Sher Mohammad Marri to work in Marri area”.
Note: English translation of an article written in Basque language by Karlos Zurutuza published on NAIZ on 29 Aug 2020.
Ahmed hardly speaks of his time as a guerrilla. He is a journalist best acquainted with the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan today, so it is not surprising that he has sold a million and a half copies of his book “Taliban”, not to mention the signatures of the world’s major newspapers as analysts. In any case, before receiving all this fame, Ahmed spent ten years as a warrior with Baluch. We are talking about Ahmed Rashid.
Hyrbyair Marri, the fifth son of Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, a former national leader and head of one of the largest Baloch tribes in Pakistan, was elected in 1996 to the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan and appointed minister but was later forced to flee Pakistan for Great Britain. Accused of leading the Balochistan Liberation Army — which he denies — Marri was charged and later acquitted of terrorism charges in the U.K. Today, he helms the Free Balochistan Movement, a pro-freedom political party.
By Karlos Zurutuza
OZY sat down with Marri to discuss Pakistani and world politics. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Members of a displaced Baloch family from Pakistan currently living in Kandahar, Afghanistan. by Karlos Zurutuza
Every 27 March is a day of mourning for the Baloch. Karlos Zurutuza reports from an area which is largely overlooked by the international media.
It was hanging on the wall of one of the many hairdressers in West London
On a yellowed piece of paper in a frame, The New York Times reported that Kalat – the old kingdom which corresponds roughly to Pakistan’s Balochistan modern province – was an ‘independent sovereign state’ as of 12 August 1947.
‘We had a state of our own for eight months until Pakistan annexed our territory by force eight months later, on 27 March 1948,’ the barber said while he finished the job with his razor. I could not help thinking of the late Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, producing the Palestinian pound note that he would always carry with him as a proof of the previous political existence of the country under British rule.
Meet the actors behind South Asia’s most under-reported armed movement.
By Karlos Zurutuza
Their existence is palpable across locations of every size in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. The initials of the several Baloch insurgent groups sprayed on brick walls and mud houses across the country’s southernmost region remind us of an insurgent movement the world still knows little about.
The Baloch live in a vast territory the size of France boasting enormous reserves of gas, gold and copper, as well as untapped sources of oil and uranium, yet one that is criss-crossed by the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.
Islamabad’s exploitation of natural resources in the area, combined with repressive state-run policies, have led to five armed uprisings in the region since the territory was annexed by Pakistan in 1948.
تحریر : کارلوس زوروتوزا
ترجمہ: لطیف بلیدی
(نوٹ: وائس نیوز کی طرف سے کیا گیا یہ انٹرویو اور فری لانس صحافی کارلوس زوروتوزا کا بانک کریمہ بلوچ پر لکھا گیا یہ مضمون وائس نیوز کے ہسپانوی صفحے پر شائع ہونے کے ساتھ ساتھ ہسپانوی زبان کے ’باسک‘ میگزین ’گارا‘ کے صفحہ اول پر بھی چھپ چکی ہے)
ایک بلوچ خاتون جو کہ ایک ایسی طلباء تحریک کی قیادت کررہی ہیں جو خود کو ”سیکولر اور آزادی پسند“ کے طور پرپیش کرتا ہے۔ پاکستانی حکومت اسے ”دہشتگرد“ قرار دیتی ہے۔
کریمہ بلوچ کہتی ہیں کہ وہ 29 سال قبل دبئی میں پیدا ہوئیں، اور یہ کہ وہ پاکستان کے صوبہ بلوچستان میں ”ایک گہری سیاسی ایقان رکھنے والے خاندان میں“ پلی بڑھی ہیں۔ اگرچہ عوامی اجتماعات میں صرف ان کی سبز آنکھیں ہی نظر آتی ہیں، تاہم وائس نیوز کیساتھ ویڈیو کانفرنس کے ذریعے انہوں نے اپنا چہرہ ڈھکے بغیر بات کی۔
“Against all odds, our national identity is [growing]. We just need the rest of the world to know about us.” — Baloch intellectual and historian Abdul Sattar Purdely
By Karlos Zurutuza
– Balochistan, divided by the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, is a vast swathe of land the size of France. It boasts enormous deposits of gas, gold and copper, untapped sources of oil and uranium, as well as a thousand kilometres of coastline near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz.
Despite the wealth under their sandals, the Baloch people inhabit the most underdeveloped regions of their respective countries; Afghanistan is no exception.
Several generations of Baloch line up in Kandahar, southeast Afghanistan
The war-torn country is witnessing the unprecedented revival of a long-neglected community
By Karlos Zurutuza
Abdul Sattar Pordili
“We are the only nation that has fluent relations with all the rest in the country,” claims Abdul Sattar Purdely. A former MP during the rule of Mohammad Najibullah (1987-1992), Purdely today is a professor, writer, and one of the main advocates for the Baloch language and culture in Afghanistan. In his late sixties, he looks tireless.
“In coordination with the Afghan Ministry of Education, I have written the schoolbooks in Balochi up to the 8th grade (15 years old) and they’re already being used at three schools,” Purdely tells The Diplomat just before producing the full set of volumes.
Karlos Zurutuza interviews Dr. ALLAH NAZAR, Balochistan Liberation Front commander.
Dr. Allah Nazar
SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain, (IPS) – Fighters in the Balochistan province of Pakistan will soon set up a common front to take on the Pakistani military in their fight for Baloch independence, a senior commander of the Balochistan Liberation Front tells IPS in an interview.
“We are in full coordination with all Baloch resistance movements and we are soon to form a united command,” Dr. Allah Nazar, a doctor turned guerrilla fighter tells IPS in the interview on the phone earlier this month.
Divided by the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Baloch have their own language, and live across a land the size of France they call “Balochistan.” The rugged terrain under their feet boasts enormous reserves of gas, gold and copper, and untapped oil and uranium. But this is also the most underdeveloped region across these countries.
In the wake of the first anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s killing by American elite troops, DW takes a closer look at Pakistan’s “other” war in a rare interview with a prominent Baloch leader.
Hyrbyar Marri is the fifth son of Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, a veteran national leader and the head of the largest Baloch clan. In the late 1990s Hyrbar Marri went into exile in Britain. In 2007, he was arrested under a warrant issued by former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and held in Belmarsh – a maximum security prison in southeast London. Prominent British human rights advocates such as Peter Thatchell campaigned for Marri and accused the British executive of collaborating with Musharraf’s regime. Marri was eventually acquitted in 2008 by a British jury and remains in Britain where he has recently been granted asylum.