Baloch expats in Europe and America, wary of nearly decade-old bloodshed in their France-sized province in southwestern Pakistan, have begun pro-actively monitoring each and every terror act that is taking place in Balochistan and immediately informing the law-enforcement agencies of Switzerland, U.K., U.A.E, and Canada, among others, to help bring the perpetrators and their supporters to justice.
These expats are also contacting the U.N., international agencies and human rights bodies to provide a blow by blow account of terrorism perpetrated by the Baloch insurgents in Balochistan.
This paper trail is likely to see Mehran Baluch, a Briton who now lives in Duba, U.A.E., shunted out from international forums where he has been active since 2001. Mehran Baluch is the youngest son of veteran Baloch leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri and allegedly a leader of the United Baloch Army (U.B.A.).
Mehran Baluch speaks at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva from the platform of the United Towns Agency for North-South Dialogue. In the past, another non-governmental organization called the Interfaith International got its status at the U.N. Human Rights Council suspended because of Mehran Baluch's strong speeches against Islamabad.
Mehran Baluch got the international activism job immediately after his father Nawab Marri, the God father of Baloch separatism, was jailed by the military government of General Pervez Musharraf for allegedly killing Balochistan high court judge, Justice Nawaz Marri, in 2000. The late Justice Marri belonged to a rival clan of pro-Pakistan Marris, called Bijaranis.
Though the funding mechanism for Mehran Baluch’s international operations is not known, it is widely suspected to be bankrolled by Pakistan’s eastern neighbor India. India and Pakistan are involved in proxy wars in Balochistan and Kashmir that have left thousands dead and countless disappeared in the two former princely states.
Pakistan has been involved in Kashmir militancy from the get-go when the two South Asian Siamese twins were born after the British quit India in 1947. However, New Delhi began supporting Baloch separatists in real earnest after the Pakistan military adventure in Kargil. That military operation saw the undoing of Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif’s previous government in a military coup in 1999.
Mehran Baluch’s U.B.A. has been documented to use child bombers for terrorist actions and just 10 days ago owned responsibility for a bomb attack in Quetta that left seven dead and more than three dozen people injured.
Mehran Baluch aka Zammuran Marri, in an interview with this scribe denied any link with U.B.A., which is headed by Abdul Nabi Bangulzai. However, Bangulzai is like a family member of Nawab Marri and was with him in Afghanistan, where Mehran Baluch was born. Moreover, columnists in the family newspaper Daily Tawar have confirmed that Mehran Baluch is one of U.B.A.'s main leaders and enjoys his father’s support.
Mehran Baluch’s position has been further compromised as yet another militant outfit called the Baloch Republican Army, which is led by his Swiss-based brother-in-law Brahumdagh Bugti, has been brazenly carrying out terror attacks in Balochistan. Brahumdagh Bugti and a couple of his comrades in Switzerland are already said to be on the security radar of the Swiss law-enforcement agencies.
“He has been roaming in Geneva markets with a satellite phone in his hand,” one Baloch source, who met Brahumdagh Bugti immediately after his arrival in Geneva, said on condition of anonymity.
On Saturday, the B.R.A. owned responsibility for blowing up the main water supply line from Hub dam in the Balochistan town of Hub to Karachi, leaving tens of thousands of people affected.
There was a groundswell of support for the Baloch movement after the killing of Brahumdagh Bugti’s grandfather Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, 79, on the orders of then military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf in August 2006. However, that support base has fast eroded as the Baloch militant leaders bid adieu to political organization and surface politics and turned their focus on attacking unarmed civilians and public utilities in one of the least developed provinces of Pakistan.
Balochistan has been reeling under a low-level insurgency for more than a decade. The situation has been further complicated by the September 24 earthquake that left 400 dead, more than a thousand injured and nearly 40,000 families homeless.
According to Pakistani observers, Balochistan got a fighting chance when a democratic and secular government was ushered in Balochistan after the May 11 elections. To the pleasant surprise of pro-democracy Pakistan progressives, Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif instead of nominating a tribal supremo from his Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz as the chief executive of the province chose Dr. Malik Baloch, a commoner with more than four decades of public service behind him, as the chief minister.
Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim league has 28 members in the Balochistan provincial assembly. However, these members belong to what is called the “King’s Party” as they have always joined hands with the man in power in Islamabad.
The premier human rights body in Pakistan called the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, whose officials include Asma Jehangir, a former UN special rapporteur on torture, last week reported favorably on the development in Balochistan since the May elections.
In the past Mehran Baluch’s elder brother, Hybyair Marri, a former Balochistan communications and works minister, who is the chief of London-based Baloch Liberation Army, was handcuffed and deported from Dubai for undesirable activities in the 1980s. Another elder brother Gazain Marri, who was a home minister in Balochistan, was also arrested by the U.A.E. government about nine years ago.
©Mustikhan News Syndicate