The central spokesperson of the Baloch National Movement said that a webinar was organized on the occasion of Black Day on March 27 which was chaired by Central Information Secretary Dil Murad Baloch and the chief guest was Dr. Naguman Baloch. Prominent intellectual and BNM Canada leader Dr. Zafar Baloch and BNM Diaspora Committee organizer Dr. Naseem Baloch participated in the occasion as speakers. Hakim Baloch, President BNM London Zone, moderated the program.
BNM Information Secretary Dil Murad Baloch while paying tribute to the Baloch martyrs said that today is the 73 years of our slavery. On the same day, Balochistan was occupied by the power by those who say that this state was built in the name of Allah and is the fortress of Allah’s beloved religion Islam which is invincible. “This country is the forerunner of Gazwa-i-Hind where the angels with green feathers in wars attack the enemy”. It is also true that this state was created in the name of Islam. This is not because the founders of this state had any special attachment to Islam or wanted to establish a religious federation or caliphate in the name of Islam, but because the elements for the establishment of the state with years of history, culture, shared values, language, land were essential. These elements of the state were not available for Pakistan but the partition of India was necessary. A united India was unacceptable to the Western powers for the future. The British feared a free and united India and they needed a submissive slave and watchman here. That is why in the name of Islam, the British fuelled hatred in the Muslim-majority areas for the partition of India, and this resulted in the formation of Pakistan.
Dil Murad Baloch said that the Muslim elite of United India was used in this British game because they saw that under Nehru’s leadership India would become a socialist state, there would be agrarian reforms and the feudal Muslim elites would lose their property and sovereignty. For this purpose, the British had already paved the way for religious hatred. For this purpose, they hired Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was also a paid lawyer of the Baloch.
He said that a historical weakness was of the Indian leadership at that time which accepted the formula of partition of India. If they had not accepted the formula for the partition of India, the Baloch nation would not be in a position where it is today, nor would the region, including Afghanistan, have reached this stage. But due to the surrender of the leadership of great India, India was divided. Although Balochistan was not included in the formula of partition, it was a matter of Pakistan and India, but the Baloch nation had to suffer the consequences. The same formula of distribution has put the shackles of slavery around our necks for 73 years.
Dil Murad Baloch said that the state which was built in the name of Islam, which was invincible, which was the fortress of Islam, etc., etc., exactly fifty years ago today, this state was divided into two parts. 54% of it became a separate country called Bangladesh. Two days ago, Bangladesh celebrated its Golden Jubilee. This proves that it is no more an invincible state. The people who worked hardest for the establishment of this state also accepted Parity’s law for the integrity of this state that 54% of the population is equal to 46% of the population. They dedicated their resources to it and so on. Then they dismembered this state. Pakistan which was created in 1947 in the name of Allah, today is only West Pakistan which is another name of Punjabi rule on the lands of Baloch, Sindhi, and Pashtuns.
He said that Pakistan has not been able to find a solution to its national question for seventy-four years. It is not clear whether Pakistan is a nation or a federation. What is its real identity or national identity? If Pakistan were a country, if it had anything to do with history, Pakistan today would have been able to explain what its national identity is? These states sometimes associate themselves with the Arab plunderer Muhammad bin Qasim, sometimes with the Afghan and Mughal conquerors as their heroes. The country has become a nuclear power, but the answer to the national question is nowhere to be seen. In fact, Pakistan was required to meet the needs of imperialist powers and a game in a particular period of history. Anything that happens for a certain period is destined to crumble. No power will be able to rescue Pakistan from dismemberment. Consequently, all the subjugated nations will be free and Balochistan will be the first among others because it is a historical fact.
Dil Murad Baloch said that the history of occupation of Balochistan is very clear. So much has been written on it. The state of Kalat was founded in 1666 by Mir Ahmad Qambarani. Naseer Khan Noori gave it a modern shape. If we look at the reasons for the occupation, apart from the important geographical position of Balochistan, it was that when the British invaded Afghanistan, the Baloch ruler Khan Mehrab Khan did not like it as a neighbor, so the Baloch in different areas launched attacks on British Sipah and this became the immediate cause of the occupation. Although Khan was well acquainted with the power of the British, he nevertheless resisted the British army.
He said that the news of the independence of Balochistan was broadcasted from Radio Delhi on August 11, 1947. A bicameral political system was established, which is the manifestation of the democratic spirit of the Baloch nation. On the issue of accession, a very clear position came from the parliament, which Khan had no authority to bypass. Nawab Kharan, Wali Makran, Wali Lasbela were part of Kalat, whose governors were the appointees of the Khan Kalat. There was no legal or moral justification for its so-called accession to Pakistan through the back door, but they had to write their names in history as a traitor, so they took the humiliation.
Dil Murad Baloch said that despite the occupation, the British did not take away the supreme power of the Baloch but recognized Khan Kalat as the ruler of Balochistan through various agreements with the Baloch in 1841, 1854, 1854, and 1862.
Addressing the Webinar, Dr. Naseem Baloch said that the purpose of celebrating Black Day on March 27 every year is very clear because seven decades ago, the Baloch had their own state which was snatched away by force. For any nation, national slavery is tantamount to depriving it of national life. If any nation is deprived of its sovereignty, power and authority, it has nothing left. As a result, that nation cannot adhere to its language, its culture, its values and traditions.
Dr. Naseem Baloch said that despite all the oppression and violence of the enemy, the Baloch nation stands by its traditions and values because time has proved that Baloch is a hard-working nation. Baloch, even before the creation of Pakistan, has fought wars with various enemies for its survival and identity. Baloch still manages to keep most of its values alive because of its strong nerves. Therefore, Pakistani barbarism has not been able to eradicate or crush the Baloch nation. The development and promotion of all values and traditions are linked to supreme national sovereignty. Only a free nation can better promote its civilization and culture.
“Just as Baloch national slavery is long, so our struggle for freedom is, which begins with the beginning of slavery,” he said. Today Baloch are being killed. Baloch houses are being set on fire. Baloch are in forced exile. These are all parts of the struggle. It’s all about our national identity, our national survival, our national language. This is the struggle to end this dark day. Persons from every walk of life of the Baloch nation should think about how we can end this slavery.
Dr. Zafar Baloch, leader of BNM Canada zone and Baloch intellectual, said that in terms of political, historical and national thought, we all agree that March 27, 1948, is a dark day in the history of Balochistan. On the same day, our freedom, national identity, and culture were taken away from us and the state of Pakistan occupied Balochistan.
Dr. Zafar Baloch said that to understand the status of this day, we need to understand the reasons and that time’s situation in the region and the world. What were the main reasons that Pakistan managed to occupy us? For this, we have to see what was the internal political position of the state of Kalat and what were the weaknesses that led to our enslavement. At the end of World War II, the circumstances led to the second occupation of Balochistan, the first being in 1839.
He said that after the first occupation, about a hundred years of British occupation, and divisions had a profound effect on Balochistan. On this basis, after a hundred years of slavery, Pakistan uses these experiences. From 1839 to 1948 and beyond, British conspiracies continued. Occupying Balochistan in 1948 would not have been possible without the help of Britain. One of the main reasons for the British occupation of Balochistan was the Anglo-Afghan wars. Control of Afghanistan was to protect British colonial interests. At the time, the biggest conflict in the region and globally was between the two British colonial powers and Tsarist Russia. Their interests in Asia and West Asia were at odds. A buffer zone was needed to prevent this. Balochistan was used as a springboard and as a military cantonment in the Anglo-Afghan wars. All attacks on Afghanistan were carried out from Balochistan.
Dr. Zafar Baloch said that to control Afghanistan, it was necessary to bring Balochistan under its control, because in the next phase, if Afghanistan was lost, Balochistan would also be lost. According to this analysis, Balochistan was included in the red zone. The British were trying to figure out how to turn Afghanistan and Balochistan into a buffer zone. Under the same plan, the British captured Kalat, and then the forward policy was brought forward. Under this policy, changes were made in the political and social structure of Balochistan. The Sandeman Sardari system was created in British Balochistan. British Balochistan was formed by merging some areas of Afghanistan. British Balochistan was the main reason for Pakistan’s occupation of Balochistan in 1948. A referendum was held in Quetta through a municipal committee that had no status. It neglected Kalat. The hundred years of slavery had already weakened Kalat’s internal political power and leadership. Because of the Sandeman system, the interests of all chiefs had become directly linked to Britain instead of Kalat. Leased areas and Pashtun areas were controlled by an Assistant Governor General (AGG). Through him the British rules over these areas. The British brought more changes in Balochistan through Robert Sandeman. It gave autonomous power to imperial states such as Kharan, Makkuran and Lasbela. Legally and constitutionally they were subordinate to Kalat but they were given enough autonomy to further weaken Kalat.
Dr. Zafar Baloch said that the forward policy had profound effects and became one of the main reasons for the occupation. The army of Kalat consisted of tribal forces. Because of the forward policy, their control over it was lost or weakened. By the time Pakistan entered Kalat on March 27, it had already taken control of Pasni and Jewani. The state of Kalat had no military force to resist because its military power had been depleted during the 100-years of the colonial era. Its political power was exhausted and its political leadership was weakened. These conditions had created favorable conditions for Pakistan to occupy Balochistan. When the Pakistan Army invaded Balochistan, the first Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Army, from 1947 to February 1948, was an Englishman, Frank Misroi. Douglas Gracie, the second Army Chief from February 1948 to January 1951, was also an Englishman. During Douglas Gracie’s period, Balochistan and Kashmir were attacked. Douglas Gracie prevents Pakistani authorities from invading Kashmir but allows an invasion of Balochistan. Then, in the same period, Pakistan had 5,000 tribesmen who were attacking Kashmir under the leadership of senior Pakistani military officers, and in the time of Gracie in 1948 ISI or Inter-Services Intelligence was formed. Its founder was a general of the British MI5 and he remained the head till 1959.
Dr. Zafar Baloch said that the status of Balochistan has always been a security state. The British occupied Balochistan to stop the expansion of Tsarist Russia. Today, Pakistan is following the same policy. How Balochistan has been used to counter the changes that have taken place in Afghanistan over the past 40 years, or the intervention of Pakistan and the West, is part of history.
He said that one of the reasons for the success of Pakistan’s occupation of Balochistan was the lack of foreign aid to Balochistan. Prince Abdul Karim’s uprising had no foreign support. When Khan Kalat contacted the Indian leadership, he did not receive a positive response. There were agreements with Khan Kalat and the British, who declared the independence of Kalat on August 11, 1947, but this independence did not last long.
Dr. Zafar Baloch said that even today Pakistan is following the British strategy to maintain its hold on Balochistan. Military operations, military garrisons, cantonments, etc are part of this strategy. Pakistan is still trying to resolve the political question in Balochistan through British-style military force. One change is that a new great game has begun. At that time there was a dispute between the British and the Russian colonial empires. The bipolar world was gone after the collapse of the Soviet Union but China has come to Balochistan as a new world power and is showing its strength. The Baloch political leadership was weak during the Pakistani occupation. It still lacks political unity but compared to the past the national movement has succeeded in making its mark on the world stage. It depends on our political vision that we move forward with long-term and short-term plans.
Addressing the online seminar, Baloch linguist and intellectual Dr. Naguman Baloch said that Balochistan was crushed in the ongoing Great Game between Britain and Russia. When an agreement was issued between the British, Pakistani and Balochistan representatives on August 5, 1947, that when the British withdrew from India, there would be three states, India, Pakistan and Balochistan. The agreement was signed by Lord Mountbatten on behalf of the United Kingdom, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan on behalf of Pakistan and Khan Kalat and his Prime Minister on behalf of Balochistan. Under the same agreement, a week later, three days before the independence of India and Pakistan, Balochistan declared its independence. But we see that the independence of Balochistan could not be completed even for a year and Pakistan occupied Balochistan.
He said that the British had made various agreements and treaties with Balochistan. One of them happened in 1876 in the time of Khan Khudaidad. It was decided that if the Baloch allowed the British caravans to pass safely through their territory, the British would help the Baloch. It also included that if any foreign country invaded Balochistan, the British would support the Baloch. When Pakistan was pressuring for accession, Khan Kalat sent a representative to London to ask Britain to help us under the treaty, but Britain refused to help. The main cause of Balochistan’s occupation is British facilitation to Pakistan. The reason was the Great Game between Britain and Russia at that time. They both were trying to have an influence on more and more countries. The British knew that independent India would be close to Russia and the narrative of the Indian leadership was that the lands of the feudal lords would be taken away and distributed. In order to curb the influence of India and Russia, they [British] formed Pakistan by fanaticizing the people in the name of Islam.
Dr. Naguman Baloch said that when Balochistan became independent, elections were held here, in which the Kalat State National Party formed the government with a majority of 39 out of 52 seats. The Kalat State National Party was a party that was influenced by the Russian Revolution and believed that socialism was a better political system than imperialism and other systems. When Britain saw that pro-Russian people came to power in Balochistan, it provoked Pakistan that to occupy Balochistan. These are all parts of history for which there is documentary evidence. Even today, Britain and the United States are responsible for maintaining Pakistan. Just as Britain made possible Pakistan’s occupation of East Balochistan, so did the United States provoke Iran to occupy Western Balochistan. In 1921, Sardar Dost Mohammad Barakzai was the ruler of Iranian Balochistan (declared independence) and was invaded by Iran. The United States helped Iran. Even today, Britain and the United States have a key role to play in enslaving Balochistan and maintaining Pakistan.
“Slavery has hurt us immensely,” he said, referring to language. Language and values and traditions are great losses. But the biggest loss is the loss of our freedom because in today’s world if a nation is deprived of freedom, its days are numbered. He can live a hundred, two hundred, or three hundred years, eventually, he dies a natural death. In today’s world, national slavery is tantamount to national death. Freedom is something that people sacrifice their heads to achieve and maintain. The second loss is of lives. From that time till today, thousands of capable, patriotic, and freedom-loving people of the Baloch nation have been killed. These are not all ordinary people who have been killed by Pakistan or earlier by the British, but these were the leading people. The third loss of slavery is national resources. Balochistan is a rich region in terms of coastline and mineral resources. How the fish and other marine life are being exploited on Baloch coast by trawling large ships in the sea today, which we cannot estimate, but how land and underground resources are being looted, we can see how much looting is going on. The fourth disadvantage of slavery is values, traditions, culture and language, but it is not less than other disadvantages; it is a conspiracy to destroy our national life. Our culture, language, values and traditions are banned. It was started by Pakistan along with slavery to brainwash the Baloch and eradicate the feeling of Balochism and sense of Balochism in you and to train the Baloch in such a way that they think of themselves as Pakistanis. As taught in the school curriculum that we are not Baloch, Sindhi and Pashtuns but Pakistani, and Balochi and other languages are regional languages and the national language is Urdu. It aims to deculture the Baloch and is part of a policy of “cultural assimilation” to alienate you from your language and culture.
Dr. Naguman Baloch said that when an occupier enslaves a nation, the only thing he does to maintain his slavery is to alienate the occupied nation from its culture, traditions and values, language and history. The question arises as to how it benefits Pakistan. The benefit to Pakistan is that when you lose your identity and culture, start speaking Urdu or become a Pakistani, you are no longer a Baloch. You begin to study what Pakistan is teaching. This eradicates your identity. You cannot claim Balochistan when the identity is eradicated. Even being deprived of a sense of Balochism is tantamount to changing one’s allegiance. When you become a Pakistani, you praise it all the time, you pledge to protect Pakistan. In that case, you are far from the sense Balochism and Balochistan.
Talking about language, Dr. Naguman Baloch criticized the Baloch political parties and said that the biggest effort of Pakistan is to deprive them of language and “de-culture” them. Banning the Balochi language in media, schools, government offices so that they are forced to use Urdu. Then it becomes a habit. The way our politicians or political parties are doing nowadays; Urdu has become the language of political discourse in Pakistani-occupied Balochistan and Persian in Iranian-occupied Balochistan. The language of the national discourse is not Balochi or Brahui but Urdu and Persian.