False equivalence is a tactic which can be effectively used against an opponent to draw attention from the real issue. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about Balochistan from Red Fort on our Independence Day celebration this year, it was the crossing of the Rubicon. No matter what difference both nations have, Balochistan was a subject not to be discussed but after two years in office PM Modi decided to hit Pakistan where it will really hurt the most and that was a major shift in foreign policy. Some experts believe that the Uri attack was Pakistan’s response for mentioning Balochistan and that it touched some raw nerve. Also, this is one region that is rich in minerals, natural gas, and is home to the all-important Gwadar port where China plans to build massive sea port with collusion with Pakistan under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPAC), however if there are any economic gains it will not be shared with people whose lands they have usurped . Fact is the people of Balochistan have everything but have nothing because they live under the shadow of serpent and live a life in abject poverty.
But until 15th August 2016, no one in India really knew anything about Balochistan except it is one of the states in Pakistan. But after PM Modi mentioned it in his speech, I am sure many would have tried to find more information through Wikipedia just so they can have some answers if the topic popped during conversation. Fact is, Balochistan got its freedom before India and Pakistan but on 27 March 1948, Pakistan formally annexed the State of Kalat or Balochistan and since then the people of this region have endured and still endure unimaginable pain and suffering at the hands of Pakistan’s Punjabi dominated Army and Para military forces.
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Since then the Baloch nationalist have regularly fought against the government in 1948, 1958–59, 1962–63 and 1973–77. In the last ten years or so, the momentum to gain independence has grown stronger and with the help of social media atrocities of committed by Pakistan are seeing the light of day. However the road to freedom still has a long way to go and there will be many more sacrifices which the brave and secular people of Balochistan still have to make. But the good news is, there is momentum and international attention because the world is just tired of Pakistan which is home to ‘Ivy League of global Islamic terrorism’.
The case of Brahamdagh Bugti
Right now, the greatest thorn on the side of Pakistan is Brahamdagh Bugti grandson of slain Bugti tribe leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti who at the age of 79 died fighting the Pakistan army back in 2006. After that his grandson had to leave his homeland and took refuge in Afghanistan where attempts were made to assassinate him. To save himself and the cause he escaped to Switzerland and from there he has been waging a relentless campaign to internationalize the extra judicial killings that are taking place in Balochistan but Pakistan with its false equivalence has managed to force him to move by branding him as a terrorist with a chance of deportation. But one thing is clear, he is not a proxy of any country as it has been contested by Pakistan. Brahamdagh Bugti is not a Syed Salahuddin who is the chief of banned terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen or Burhan Wani who was recently killed by our security forces in the Kashmir Valley.
Brahamdagh Bugti is not leader of a terrorist organization but is the founder and leader of the Baloch Republican Party, and wants to pursue justice for the people of Balochistan through legal channels. At the U.N when Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called Burhan Wani a leader “A new generation of Kashmiris” who have risen spontaneously against India’s illegal occupation, who are demanding freedom from this occupation. He called the killing of Burhan Wani as murder by Indian forces and labeled him as the symbol of the latest Kashmiri Intifada. He called this AK47 gun slinger a popular and peaceful freedom fighter for Kashmiris. I am glad he did not equate this stone cold killer who wants a Islamic Caliphate to Martin Luther King, since the speech was given in New York.
Should India give Asylum for Brahamdagh Bugti?
If Brahamdagh Bugti is given asylum in India he will not be breaking any law because he is not going to plan any terror attack on Pakistan. He is not going to go kill people in cold blood or ask someone to kill on his behalf like Syed Salahuddin who sends young men to their death while he leads an opulent life. Pakistan is rattled because the truth of its atrocities will soon see the full light of the day. The mass graves of tortured Baloch men are now out in the open. Pakistan has not changed since its inception and even when it invaded Kashmir in 1947-48. It’s so called irregular fighter’s raped women and the same thing was repeated in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, back in 1970-1971 when the Pakistan Army indulged rape and killing at an industrial scale. Baloch women are dragged out of their houses and are raped so their sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands will surrender to be killed without mercy. But even then they resist tyranny and risk their live to protect other minorities like Hindus and Christians.
Pakistan is afraid that these inhuman actions of its Army and Para military forces will be judged by the international community. Back in 1971, its genocide was swept under the carpet by the Americans because of their vested interests but this time around things are different. With people like Tarek Fatah and Ahmar Mustikhan who are leading the charge against Pakistan and its state sponsored genocide against its own citizenry things that have been buried for seventy years will come out in the open. So this is a time for action and for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come true with his promise and make Pakistan pay for its crimes against humanity. India must take this burden on its own because no one will come to her aid because every country has its own vested interests. By giving Brahamdagh Bugti Asylum we are only following our tradition, after all we also gave asylum to the decedents of Prophet Mohammad, so why even think to help a son of our soil. Also we must help create a Baloch government in exile to give it legitimacy as we did with Dalai Lama in the year 1959, as has Pakistan given legitimacy to the Hurriyat Conference who are the separatist group in Kashmir. Also Pakistan wants to bleed India through thousand cuts but with this small flick of finger we can make them barking mad.
There will be outrage from Pakistan and there will also be consequences for India but this is a reality we must face together boldly as a nation and let no one shake our resolve. The time has come to hit Pakistan and maybe we will also suffer blows but if we look at our history we not only survived but we overcame insurmountable odds. Most countries are in pursuit for greatness but we are already great and all we have to do is look into our past because we were once the light that shone brightly for all of humanity for thousands of years. Our greatness is our self believe and all we need to do is believe in our inner good and welcome this man as one of our own because that is the right thing to do.
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