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In Spite Of Oppression

Although Pakistan observes Independence Day annually on August 14, these people do not participate in it. In spite of the fear of oppression by the Pakistani Army on their home soil, people from Balochistan celebrate their Independence Day on August 11 across the globe. In 2022, some of those people of Balochistan demanded Liberation from the Exploitation of Pakistan and its all-weather ally China while celebrating the day on August 11 in Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea and some other countries.

On August 12, 1947, Mir Suleman Dawood, the then ruler of the Princely State Kalat (in Balochistan), declared Independence from British Rule, and Kalat became an Independent Nation on August 15 that year. However, the Pakistani Army forcefully acceded Kalat to the Dominion of Pakistan on March 27, 1948. To the people of Balochistan, that day is still considered as a painful Subjugation Day. The subsequent history of Balochistan is again all about a War of Independence, as the Pakistani Province has been experiencing State-sponsored Terrorism and the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of people for the past 74 years.

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Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan, is also the richest in natural resources. However, the Baloch people are gradually losing control over them. The looting has increased since the creation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The corridor starts from Kashgar in western China’s Xinjiang Province and enters Pakistan through the Karakoram. The nearly 1,300km-long corridor ends at the Chinese-controlled Gwadar Port in the southwestern tip of Balochistan Province. Pro-independence armed groups, like the Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA) and the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), have alleged that the rulers of Islamabad and Beijing are looting the natural resources of Balochistan, using this CPEC. The Baloch people have also alleged that the local fishermen have been asked to stop fishing by China, in and around the Gwadar coast.

It may be noted that Pro-independence leader Abdul Qadir Baloch, popularly known as Balochistan’s Gandhi, visited India a few years ago. Speaking at an event in New Delhi, he reportedly mentioned that he wanted India to stand by Balochistan the way former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi had stood by Bangladesh in 1971. Qadir also urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inform the global community about the condition of Baloch people.

Pakistan

Although India has raised the Baloch issue at the UN, New Delhi has made it clear that the Modi Administration would not interfere in internal affairs of Pakistan. The regional geopolitics in South Asia has changed a lot since 1971, when Bangladesh had received diplomatic support from the erstwhile Soviet Union. Now, Russia is not eager to back the Baloch movement, because of the close ties between Moscow and Beijing. In such a situation, the Baloch people shall have to get the backing of the US to counter both Pakistan and China. Neighbouring Afghanistan and Iran, too, can play a big role in liberating Balochistan from Pakistan. For that, the Baloch leaders would have to maintain cordial ties with the top Taliban Leadership in Kabul and the concerned authorities in Tehran.

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