The De Jure Ruler of one of the richest lands in southwest Asia, Balochistan, which is presently under Pakistani and Iranian occupation, has reached out to the state of Israel for a future political and strategic alliance, a Baloch writer has said.
His Royal Highness, the Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Daud Ahmadzai, whose family had ruled over Balochistan for more than three centuries before the arrival of the British, along with other Baloch exiled leaders Hyrbyair Marri, Brahumdagh Bugti, Mehran Baluch, Javed Mengal, Kachkol Ali Advocate, Noordin Mengal, Bhawal Mengal, Jumma Marri and leading political activists Zaffar Baloch and Imtiaz Baloch(Toronto), Aziz Baloch (Vancouver), Samad Baloch and Mehrab Sarjov (London), Dr. Wahid Baloch (Jacksonville), Munir Mengal (Paris) and a number of others are considered to be the genuine representatives of the Baloch people. Inside Balochistan, in addition to the Baloch Liberation Front of Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch,these patriotic forces include the Baloch National Movement, Balochistan National Party, Baloch Republican Party and Baloch National Front.
HRH Ahmadzai, who now lives in exile, is fully determined to see Balochistan emerge as an independent country on the world map. He has refused millions of dollars from Pakistan military to give up his demand. Along with the other leaders and activists, he has been working tirelessly to raise the profile of Balochistan and has managed to get the support of Tea Party members in the U.S. House of Representatives for the freedom of Balochistan. He has posted the Baloch writer's article on his Facebook page.
According to the Baloch writer, A strong pro-Israel sentiment exists among the Baloch, who look up to Israel and the Jewish people as a role-model for their own struggle against oppression. An independent Balochistan is an ally-in-waiting for the Jewish state, which always has been regionally isolated. A plethora of strategic benefits to Israel will materialize once the self-determination aspirations of the Baloch are realized.
The struggles of the Baloch and the Jewish people are very much alike. They face common enemies. The ideological affinity between the two peoples is strong, considering the commonalities in the persecution against Baloch and the ancient mistreatment of Jews. Not to mention, the Baloch are overwhelmingly secular and pro-Western, just like most Israelis and Jewish people. An alliance between the two peoples is indeed a match made in heaven.
"I, as an ethnic Baloch, and a Sunni Muslim, urge my Jewish brethren to take notice of the Baloch, who are today experiencing what they experienced for millennia, and who long for self-determination and freedom against tyranny and terror. I plead with them to guide us in this time of peril, to help us achieve what they did, attain freedom through persistent, decades-long effort.
Washington DC-based Baloch Dalai Lama fully supports the efforts of all the pro-liberation forces and personalities.
Few people, if any, who purport to be defenders of the Palestinians’ rights, are aware of the political happenings in a region called Balochistan. In this region, thousands of indigenous people have been extra-judicially abducted, tortured, brutalized, slaughtered, ethnically cleansed and exploited for their land and resources regularly for over 60 years by Pakistan, that occupies the Eastern part of the region, and Iran, that occupies the Western half. The Baloch never willingly accepted being a part of Pakistan or Iran. Their culture, customs, language, cuisine and other traditions are totally different from the rest of Iran and Pakistan.
Thanks to this brutal occupation, resource-rich Balochistan has the highest illiteracy rate and is the poorest and most underdeveloped region in both Pakistan and Iran. It also has the highest infant and maternal mortality rate in South Asia, caused mainly by malnutrition among 34 percent of pregnant women. It is estimated that the Baloch form 55-60% of Iran’s crane-hanging victims. Similarly, Sistan ve Baluchistan (Western Balochistan) has the lowest per capita income in Iran and almost 80% of the Baloch live below the poverty line. But I’m not holding my breath for any flotillas, or even solidarity for the Baloch, in their struggle against this slow but sure genocide, from the serpentine list of so-called human-rights groups that have a strange fixation on only Israel.
I will begin with a brief introduction of the region’s history:
Balochistan was an independent nation for over two thousand years, until the British invasion in November, 1839. After killing the ruler Mir Mehrab Khan in the same
year, the British took control of the Eastern half of Balochistan, while less than a decade later, in 1848, Persia militarily annexed the Western part of Balochistan.
On August 11, 1947, Eastern Balochistan became an independent country, but this freedom would last for only nine months, when in April 1948, the Pakistan Army unlawfully annexed the land.
Since then, the Eastern half of Balochistan has remained under Pakistan’s military occupation and the Baloch have had five guerrilla wars against Pakistan (1948, 1948-52, 1958-60, 1962-69, 1973-77 and 2004) and are currently fighting their sixth guerrilla war against the occupation of their lands.
In the 19th century, in Western Baluchistan, many revolts took place against Persian occupation. By the end of the 19th century, a major Baloch military uprising was crushed by an Anglo-Persian force. But in the beginning of the 20th century, Anglo-Persian conflicts were capitalized on by the Western Baloch, who succeeded in gaining independence for Western Balochistan, which even the British recognized. But with the ascent of Reza Shah to the Persian throne in 1928, Persian armies annexed the Western part of Balochistan in the same year and the indigenous Baloch people once again faced mass-exodus, murder and suppression. The Western part of Balochistan continues to remain under Iranian occupation to this day.
Subsequently, the Persian-occupied region was renamed “Balochistan and Sistan” and then “Sistan and Balochistan.” The Baloch, in their despair, believe that the original name “Balochistan” will disappear just like many conquered regions and peoples have disappeared over time because of forceful assimilation and genocide.
Baloch people in Iran are deprived of their cultural, social and economic rights, rendering them third-class citizens. The punishment for dissemination of Baloch culture and language is a declared act of treason against the state, and forceful assimilation policies are carried out by the Iranian government. Baloch are not allowed to give their children Balochi names. For example, a Baloch can’t name his son “Chaakar” or “Kamber” or any other Balochi name in Iran. Baloch are not allowed to have books of Balochi literature or write in Balochi. There are no magazines, newspapers or any other form of media in Balochi, or for that matter any other language besides Persian. Similar legislation outlawing Baloch literature and the study of Baloch history exists in Pakistan.
In this region called Balochistan, there’s a brutal genocide underway, and the Baloch rightly feel that the rest of the world does not care. The United Nations and other world fora, most NGOs, most human-rights groups, most aid and humanitarian organizations have been completely hijacked by the oil-wealthy Arab states to push their own anti-Israel agenda in an effort to mask their own human-rights abuses — presenting Israel as the perpetual boogeyman to deflect all attention from their own failings. And as a result of this, only the Palestinian issue gets most of the world’s attention, while human-rights abuses, like that of the Baloch persecution, are almost unheard of.
Even other non-Arab Muslim countries haven’t paid any attention to the sufferings of the Baloch. Tarek Fatah, a Canadian writer and a liberal activist, stated:
I attended a workshop at the UNHCR in Geneva on Baloch Human Rights [in March 2012] and witnessed first-hand how not a single Muslim state from the 56-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was willing to pay even lip service to the tragedy of the Baloch.
Can you imagine? Here’s a region where Muslims are facing a genocide and ethnic cleansing of horrifying proportions, yet other Muslim countries simply ignore it. Is there a reason why all Muslim and Arab nations have a strange obsession with Israel and the Jews in their conflict with the Palestinians, with whom they share religious solidarity, but are totally apathetic about their other fellow Muslims being butchered in Balochistan?
At the same March 2012 UNHCR workshop in Geneva, Mehran Marri, the spokesman of the Baloch Human Rights Commission, during his speech angrily protested this behavior by Islamic nations, asking:
Why do Islamic countries support the independence of Palestine, but not the independence of Balochistan? Don’t we have a stronger case than them for a national homeland? While we have a distinct language, culture and a history going back thousands of years and a state since the 1500s, they don’t.
In Pakistan, there have been numerous protests for repatriating Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a US-based Pakistani, who was charged with attempting to kill US personnel and having links with Al-Qaida. But Pakistanis never protest for an end to the military occupation, state terrorism and human rights violations in Balochistan or protest for the freedom of Baloch women who are languishing in Pakistani torture cells. Also, both Iran and Pakistan are always among the first to denounce and demonize Israel at every turn, but that’s just sheer hypocrisy considering the fact that both nations are doing far worse to the Baloch in their own backyards.
Currently, as I write this article, a massive protest is underway against the mass disappearances and extra-judicial abductions of over 10,000 Baloch. The protesters have marched 700 km from Quetta, Balochistan, to Karachi and now some of those protesters have continued the Long March and are currently marching 1406 km to Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. Each step the protesters take is an indictment of the ‘dirty war’ unleashed against the Baloch. Farzana Majeed, who is leading the ‘Long March’ said: "We are receiving threats and they are constantly pressurizing us to stop our long March but we won’t. It’s a very painful journey, my feet are bruised, but I still want to walk for the recovery of my brother and others."
Another leader of the Long March is Qadeer Baloch, whose son, Jalil Reki, was abducted, brutally tortured to death and dumped in Kech, Balochistan. He said that: "I have been receiving threats constantly, let them do whatever, I won’t stop my long march."
Qadeer is participating in this Long March because he considers all the extra-judicially abducted Balochs to be his sons. The Pakistani media did not care to report much about this march, just as they don’t care to report about the atrocities, mass abductions, torture cells, and kill-and-dump policy in Balochistan. The government, supported by the media, has been successful in hiding the atrocities committed against the Baloch. When Baloch activists raise their voices or ask for independence they get butchered, and Pakistan accuses Baloch nationalists of having foreign backing. Which countries do they blame for supporting Baloch rebels and nationalists?
You won’t be surprised! They blame India, the United States (which actually is propping up Pakistan and bankrolling its activities) and Israel for backing the Baloch nationalist movement. The “Zionists” are always their favorite scapegoat.
A week ago, a 15 year old Pakistani boy attacked a suicide bomber and saved the lives of hundreds of students. You will definitely hear about this news because Pakistani media and journalists will report and talk about it maybe for months from now. Of course, this guy is a hero and he did something that many won’t do, but what you WON’T hear is that on January 10th, 2014, a 10 year old Baloch school boy Chakar Khan Baloch’s dead body was found bearing torture marks. It was later discovered that he was killed by multiple gunshots. He had gone to a bazaar in Turbat, Balochistan, over a week prior to his murder, from where he went missing. This young boy’s brother often participates in the nationalist struggle and because of that he was killed by the Pakistan army and security agencies. His cousin Sanaullah has also been extra-judicially abducted and is still missing, while Chakar’s father was shot at but survived. The entire family constantly gets death threats from the Pakistani army and its thugs.
Turning back the clock by a decade, I often remember Mir Munir Mengal, managing director of a Balochi-language television station, who was abducted from Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2003 and was transferred to a military torture cell. He reported the story of the forced sex slavery of a young Baloch teacher, Zarina Marri, who was extra-judicially abducted by the Pakistan army because they accused her of being involved with Baloch nationalists. Mengal said: "A young Baloch woman (Zarina Marri) was used as a sex slave by the officers and they even threw her in my torture cell naked and told me to rape her but when I refused they tortured me, she begged me to kill her because she didn’t want to live such a life, I didn’t know what had happened with this mother of a family who had been abducted by the Pakistani army in Balochistan."
The world should not forget that the Baloch are being butchered and abused by the same barbaric Pakistan army that is responsible for killing three million Bengalis and raping 200,000 Bengali women during its occupation of East Pakistan (which is now Bangladesh) and is responsible for a significant portion of the terror attacks on Indian soil, which have resulted in the deaths of thousands of Indian civilians.
Another event occurred in June 2013, when at least 25 people – mostly Baloch and Hazara (Shia) university students – were killed in Quetta by a Wahabi terrorist organization called Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which is predominantly Punjabi.
In an interview on Al-Jazeera with Mohammed Taqi, a columnist who writes about sectarian violence in Pakistan, the interviewer, Lisa Fletch, asked him about his views regarding the sectarian violence in Balochistan. He stated that these terrorist organizations that perpetrate sectarian violence in Balochistan are front organizations of the Pakistani army, fully backed and funded by the latter. He also mentioned that Pakistan has been torturing, killing and literally wiping out the Baloch, but does not kill Jihadists or radical Islamist terrorists, and that the Pakistani state itself has been providing all kinds of logistical support to these terrorist groups. In the same interview, Sajjad Changezi, who is a Human Rights Activist and a Hazara who has lost family in sectarian violence said: "Being someone who lives in Quetta, in Balochistan, I can see a clear difference in how security establishment is tackling the Baloch nationalist movement and then how it tackles the Lashkar-e- Jhangvi and the Taliban. While thousands of Baloch nationalists are abducted, tortured, killed and dumped not a single Lashkar-e- Jhangvi killer has received justice."
The height of injustice is that though a couple of months ago, the Pakistani court of justice charged General Pervez Musharraf, the then military dictator of Pakistan, with “house arrest” over the 2006 unlawful killing of Nawab Akber Khan Bugti — who had been living in the shadow of death for decades after his alleged connection to the East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) crisis of 1971 — where military violence eventually led to the Bangladesh Liberation War. Musharraf was conveniently bailed out from the murder case, with no trial date in sight. This is the so-called “justice” that Pakistan offers the Baloch.
The timeline of the horrifying violence by both Pakistan and Iran against the Baloch is too detailed to list on here, especially the list of Baloch leaders assassinated by Pakistan. The above incidents are not even the tip of the iceberg with regards to Pakistani and Iranian repression of the Baloch. The Baloch struggle for freedom and justice stems from Pakistan and Iran’s decades-old occupation, genocide and ethnic cleansing. Pakistan has merely been interested in the ample resources of Balochistan, and sees the Baloch people as an “obstacle” to their procurement, which explains their repression of the indigenous Baloch.
Baloch leaders have asked for help from many countries, including Israel, as they can see that historically Israel has been highly interested in oppressed, indigenous minorities such as the Kurds, the Amazighs of the Maghreb and the Druze.
Brahamdagh Khan Bugti, a prominent Baloch leader living in exile, lost his grandfather in a massive aerial bombardment by General Musharraf, the ex-dictator of Pakistan. Brahamdagh’s sister Zamur and her 12-year old daughter Jaanan were also killed by Pakistani government agents in 2012. When interviewed by a Pakistani local media representative, Brahamdagh said: “They keep accusing India of supporting Balochistan’s liberation, India isn’t, but we plead India to please support us!”
The interviewer asked, “You’re asking India to support you?” to which Brahamdagh replied, “We are asking everyone to support us, we plead for help from Israel, America, any country.”
Dr. Wahid Baloch, President of Baloch Society of North America, said: "We Baloch don’t use religion to judge people. Baloch are secular, pro-peace and democratic people. We believe that every nation, including the Jewish people, has the right to defend itself. Baloch people are not against the Jews or the Jewish state. We do not support crazy people like Ahmadinejad, who wants to wipe out Israel. We are against all kind of Islamic extremism and terrorism. An Independent free and united Balochistan will recognize and respect the territorial integrity, boundaries and sovereignty of all nations, including the State of Israel, and extend a warm friendly hand of cooperation and support to all nations, including the State of Israel."
"We are not against any nation. We are an occupied Nation and are the victims of Pakistani and Iranian State terrorism that has been going on for a long time. It is the duty of the international community to come to our help and rescue to help us free our land from the occupiers. We strongly believe that a free, united, secular, democratic independent Balochistan is the answer to all the problems that the US and the world community are facing in the region. It will not only protect the US’s interests in the region but will also help to secure the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian threats, help stabilize Afghanistan by eliminating and eradicating the Al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists safe havens provided to them by Pakistan’s army. It will also help to build peace and stability in the entire region."
Even Khan of Kalat . His Royal Highness Agha Mir Suleman Daud Ahmadzai, the exiled de jure ruler of Balochistan, who now lives in Wales, in an interview with Tower Magazine, when questioned about a possible alliance with Israel, stated: "Whomever is the enemy of our enemy is our friend and we’ll take help wherever we can get it. I’d love to come to Tel Aviv someday – hopefully soon."
In the same interview, his assistant, Mehrab Sarjov, a Baloch from Iranian-occupied Balochistan stated: "We believe Israel has a right to exist and to full security. We don’t live in the age of empire or religious supremacism but that of the nation-state. If the Greeks can form a country from their part of the crumbling Ottoman Empire, then what’s wrong with the Jews doing the same? The whole world order is based on nation-states, and history shows the Jews need protection."
Even at the grassroots level within Baloch society, there is no animosity or hatred towards the Jewish people as one can find in most parts of the Islamic world. Quite surprising to many Jews and supporters of Israel, is that there exists quite a bit of sympathy and admiration for Israel among the Baloch, although this sentiment is often muted and suppressed, out of fear of repercussions from the Pakistani and Iranian governments.
The Ayatollah Regime of Iran and Pakistan are die-hard enemies of Israel. Iran’s nuclear program is specifically created with the aim of annihilating Israel. Iran, especially the Revolutionary Guard, has been the backbone of terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, who’ve slaughtered scores of Israeli and Jewish civilians, both worldwide and within Israel, in the most gruesome manner possible.
Pakistan has been an enemy of Israel since the very beginning. It heavily backed Israel’s Arab neighbors during all the wars they waged against Israel. The most noteworthy contribution they made was supplying Jordan with fighter planes and pilots during Six Day War of 1967.
Many Israeli planes were destroyed by these Pakistani fighter jets. Similarly, Pakistan, with its nuclear program and its terror activities, is a much bigger threat to Israel than is Iran, a topic with Tarek Fatah brilliantly expands on in an op-ed with the Huffington Post.
All of this is over and above the fact that in the international arena, Pakistan and Iran are the biggest critics of Israel, who sponsor and back multiple resolutions and punitive measures against Israel. So there you have it: Israel and the Baloch even share common enemies.
In conclusion, I’d like to say that the Baloch, just like the Israelis, live in the shadow of annihilation. The Islamic world doesn’t care – it’s too obsessed with Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. If this treatment of the Baloch continues, it’s not too hard to figure out what the future holds for them.
The Jewish people have known the terrible facts of oppression and slaughter, and yet have survived and thrived, rating a powerful and independent sovereign state of their own.