Mumbai: A prominent Baloch leader on Tuesday said Indian governments in the past disappointed her people, who are fighting for independence from Pakistan, and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "extending moral support" to their movement.
"We were disappointed with earlier Indian governments but I thank the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi for extending moral support for the freedom fight of Balochistan (in his August 15 speech)," said Naela Quadri Baloch, president of World Baloch Forum, here.
"We are using all forms of struggle, including armed struggle, for independence," she said, in an interaction at the Mumbai Press Club.
Pakistan was using chemical weapons against the Balochs, abducting women and killing children, Quadri alleged.
Atrocities increased after China's entry into Balochistan (for infrastructure projects it is developing in the region), she said.
"We are not Pakistanis, we know it," said Quadri.
"Where was the UN when Pakistan invaded Balochistan," she said.
Pakistan could not claim that insurgency in Balochistan was its internal matter, the Baloch leader added.
Quadri also alleged that Pakistan was nurturing terror with funds obtained (from foreign countries) for the war on terror.
Between seven and ten lakh Balochs live in India, according to Quadri. Balochs have been living in India for the last 500 years, she added.
"Balochistan issue is not human rights violations. It's the issue of independence," Quadri said.
In a major shift in India's foreign policy, Modi, in his Independence Day speech this year, had hit back at Pakistan when he talked about human rights violations in Balochistan.
It was in apparent retaliation for Pakistan dedicating its Independence Day to the freedom of Jammu and Kashmir