‘Baloch to boycott elections, seek UN referendum on freedom’



Geneva: Balochistan Republican Party (BRP) Chairperson Brahamdagh Bugti (BRP) has said that the Baloch population will boycott the elections in Balochistan, and will simultaneously work to convince the international community to undertake and allow a United Nations-sponsored referendum to determine the Baloch demand for establishing a free and democratic state.

In an exclusive interview, Bugti said that all nationalist parties of Balochistan were coordinating with each other to realize the long-term goal of freedom from Pakistan.

"Our strategy is that people should not vote. It does not mean that we are against elections or political process, we have our own political party and we believe in political process. But these are not our elections, they are the elections of Pakistan and we believe that we were a separate country.

Unluckily, Pakistan has occupied our land for the past forty years and we have tried our best to adjust with them. Our elders have tried but what have we got for our effort in return, perhaps that was the wrong decision of our elders. Right now, we can''t even imagine being the part of the election process in Pakistan," Bugti said.

Bugti further said ''since the death of Nawab Bugti (2006), our struggle has intensified''. "The Baloch ideology has strengthened up to large extent, which you can see.

This is because after the sacrifice, the political struggle has intensified, and other armed groups have also speeded up their struggle. There are more political parties in Balochistan, like nationalist parties that are fighting for the freedom of Balochistan. Our party is one among them," he said.

Bugti, who has been leading a struggle to secure freedom for the people in Balochistan, has accused the Pakistan Government of suppressing the movement through the selective picking up of political activists, and then torturing them into submission.

He told a news agency, "The ISI and military forces of Pakistan are trying to suppress this struggle by picking up political activists. They torture these activists. Earlier they used to pick them and later set them free, but now they capture and torture them on daily basis. Earlier, such incidents would happen five to six times a month, but now this is happening on daily basis."

Elaborating further, he compared Islamabad's authoritative rule over the country's largest province to what Nazi Dictator Adolf Hitler had managed to achieve during his nearly decade-and-a-half rule over Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.

"They (Pakistan) are doing the same thing, which Hitler was doing in Germany, which is a very negative thing. The biggest thing worrying us at this moment is that there is no media coverage of such incidents. They don't allow anyone to go there. No journalist or NGO can pay visit to that area," Bugti said.

He further revealed that the situation of Balochistan is such that people are getting kidnapped and mutilated bodies are being found on daily basis

"Operations are going on and these things are growing rapidly. I have given an interview to Pakistan media and BBC some five six years back where they asked me the same question that what is the situation of Balochistan. I have always been saying this that it is getting worst than before. Just the procedures are changing, otherwise the killing of people and the launching operations directly or indirectly, continues," he added.

He also accused Islamabad of trying to build pressure so that it could tell the international community that people of Balochistan were willingly participating in the forthcoming general elections without reservations.

"That is why I have said this once that if Pakistan is claiming that the whole Baloch community is supporting them, we nationalists say that 80 to 90 per cent Baloch want freedom and only 10 per cent are with Pakistan may be because of pressure, or they have been bribed so much, that they support them," he added.

He reiterated the Baloch view that Pakistan was in illegal occupation of Balochistan, and that a political solution to this decades old dispute is possible through a United Nations sponsored referendum.

He said that the long-term goal was to create a democratic state of Balochistan, where the basic human rights of the people are guaranteed and safeguarded.

"Once a separate country is formed, the final constitution of the country will be decided after consultation with the people, tribals and other political parties," he said.

During the course of his interview to ANI, he confirmed China's presence in Balochistan, and that gunship helicopters were being used to force people to migrate from the area.

"There is a political solution to the Balochistan issue, but it depends on the one who is powerful. In Pakistan, the ISI and the military have had powers from the very beginning. Power is in the hands of the army, and the army mostly belongs to Punjab. The economic interest of Pakistan, in majority, is also for Punjab. Eighty percent of bureaucrats of Pakistan are also from Punjab. So, the majority of people who are involved in looting the country belong to Punjab," he claimed.

He also claimed that Pakistan would not easily agree to leave gas, oil and other resources of Balochistan, as it was not in its interest to do so.

"I don't think they will let it go easily or agree to hold dialogue on this issue. They will try to use their force, which they have been doing. Perhaps they will increase their brutalities in future like they have done in Bangladesh in the past," he warned.

ANI