President of Baloch Society of North America Visits US Institute of Peace Seminar
Senator Sanaullah Baloch, (via video)
Senate of Pakistan
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Center for International Policy
J. Alexander Thier, (Moderator)
U.S. Institute of Peace
Among notable Baloch intellectuals who attended the seminar, the President of Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA), Dr. Wahid Baloch was also present. He met with the eminent speakers and presented them with copies of the article, Economic Potential of Balochistan by Government of Balochistan in Exile, and the “Facts About Balochistan” by BSO-NA which is reproduced below:
Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA)
- Prior to losing its sovereignty, Balochistan was never a part of Iran or Pakistan in recent history. In 1947 when the British Indian government was dissolved, all its treaties with Balochistan, an independent and sovereign state, also ended. But, both Iran and Pakistan have illegally and forcibly occupied Balochistan in breach of all international laws. This illegal occupation of Balochistan must end.
- Ever since the occupation of Balochistan, the Baloch (indigenous people of Balochistan) have resisted foreign rule, and are still fighting against Iran and Pakistan to liberate their country.
- In 1948, the first major Baloch insurgency was organized under the leadership of Prince Karim, younger brother of the ruler of Balochistan. The Pakistani military forces arrested him and incarcerated him along with his comrades as common criminals, not as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.
- Nawab Nowruz Khan Zehri, a 90-year-old Baloch leader, organized the second Baloch insurgency in 1958. A year later, the Pakistani military authorities arrested him along with his sons and nephews. His relatives were hanged and he was spared hanging to die a natural death in jail.
- The first Baloch War of Independence started in 1970, and it lasted for 5 years. During this War, the Pakistani armed forces used sophisticated weapons and were supported by Iranian gunship helicopters (piloted by Iranians) to crush the Baloch uprising. Over 50,000 Baloch and 15,000 Pakistani soldiers died in this war.
- The second Baloch War of Independence began in March 2005 when the Pakistani military dictator, General Pervez Musharraf, refused to persecute a military officer (relative of a serving general) for raping an ethnic Sindhi physician in the Dera Bugti area of Balochistan. To further stroke the sensitivities of the Baloch, he provoked the Baloch nation by making derogatory statements. When the Baloch voiced their concerns, he sent the Pakistani armed forces to bomb the civilian population of Dera Bugti killing 60 and injuring more than 200 non-combatant Baloch nationals.
- In an attempt to assassinate the 79 years old Baloch veteran nationalist leader, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the military forces bombed his personal residence. Fortunately, he escaped the carnage, and now he is up in arms along with his Baloch freedom fighters defending Balochistan.
- Since the occupation of Balochistan, the Islamic republics of Iran and Pakistan have systematically launched an “ethnic cleansing” operation against the Baloch people. For your information, the Baloch are secular and liberal, and their belief system clashes with the extremist Muslims of Iran and Pakistan. Although the colonizers are forcing the Baloch people to lose their national identity and aspirations of liberating Balochistan, the Baloch are resisting such efforts vehemently.
- Being the inhabitants of the resource-rich Balochistan, the Baloch people live in extreme poverty due to exploitation of their resources, like oil, gas and other minerals, by the occupying forces of Iran and Pakistan. Economic deprivation and lack of infrastructure development during the last 58 years of occupation has turned Balochistan into one of the most under-developed regions in the world.
- There are barely any educational facilities of any repute that dispenses specialized skills to the Baloch youth. But, with Pakistani and Saudi Arabian funding, the Pakistani intelligence agencies have established numerous Madrassas (religious seminaries) throughout Balochistan to transform the secular belief system of the Balochi culture.
- In Iran and Pakistan, it is considered an act of treason and labeled an anti-state activity to teach Balochi language and history in schools.
- Iranian and Pakistani government departments and its armed forces discourage employing any ethnic Baloch. All the senior bureaucrats serving in Balochistan are from outside Balochistan. The employment situation is worse in those departments that are responsible for maintaining law and order in Balochistan, as they are totally composed of non-Baloch people.
- In both Iran and Pakistan, the Baloch are considered anti-state elements. The state sponsored media labels them as “miscreants”, “bandits” and “terrorists”.
- President Muharraf calls the Baloch War of Independence as a mere pinprick by three tribal chieftains. He and his propaganda machine have misled and confused the global community about the seriousness of the freedom struggle by the Baloch people.
- There are over 6,000 Baloch activists arrested or missing in Pakistan. It is believed that the intelligence agencies have sent them to Gitmo-style prisons where they are either tortured or murdered.
- The Pakistan government has stationed more than 65,000 fully armed troops in Balochistan supported by airpower to solidify its occupation of Balochistan and protect its access and exploitation of the Baloch natural resources. They are also building three military bases within Balochistan to contain the Baloch freedom struggle.
- There are more than 600 Gestapo-style military check-posts erected throughout Balochistan to control the free movement of the Baloch people. The conditions are so bad that the Baloch people are now like prisoners in their own land.
- With Chinese assistance, the Pakistanis are building the Gwadar Port on the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz so that the Chinese can install their listening post to monitor all shipping movements in the region. This development is marginalizing the political demographics of the Baloch by populating the area with non-Baloch, primarily people from Punjab.
- Many prominent Baloch leaders in Pakistan, who want to seek asylum in foreign countries due to deteriorating conditions in Balochistan, have been put on the Exit Control List (ECL) and cannot leave the country. This act is against all human decency and it certainly violates their right as a human.
- Amnesty International, Asian Human Rights, and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan have repeatedly exposed the gross human rights violations committed by the Government of Pakistan in Balochistan.
- Pakistan and possibly Iran are using Balochistan as their site for nuclear testing and dumping nuclear waste. The local population has strongly objected to such use of their land by the occupation forces, but to no avail.
- The Baloch people are an oppressed nation, and they want the global community to get involved to assist in reinstating the sovereignty of Balochistan.
- In his recent State of the Union speech, President Bush stated that those nations that live under tyranny, the United States would support their freedom struggle.
- The Baloch nation pleads to the United Nations, the United States, and the community of nations to end the illegal occupation of Balochistan and stop the massacre of the Baloch people by governments of Iran and Pakistan.
Mir Azaad Khan Baloch
The Government of Balochistan in Exile