Keyya Baloch had no choice but to flee his homeland and seek asylum in the Netherlands. Whose he has been a refugee since 2015, this period has been difficult for him, but he had persevered, and today he believes that he can use his voice to help the repressed and vulnerable people through our media.
All of these obstacles were overcome by my determination and the realization that we are a marginalized ethnic community and must participate in attaining independence from Pakistan.
The struggle of Balochistan and Baloch Nation from 1948
Pakistan invaded Balochistan in a military coup in 1948. Baloch people have continued their battle against Pakistan since the occupation. Many minority groups across the country have been motivated by the Baloch movement to speak out against persecution.
Keyya Baloch urged India to help elevate the issue on international platforms and to play a vital role in the province’s fight for independence, “much as it did in the case of Bangladesh’s independence.”
Each year on November 13th, Baloch Martyrs’ Day is commemorated to honour the fallen heroes of the Baloch freedom movement. Baloch activists from around the world used the hashtag #13NovBalochMartyrsDay on Twitter yesterday to draw attention to the genocide of the Baloch people.
“If India wants long-term peace and stability in the (South Asian) area, it must assist Sindhi, Baloch, and Pashtun national movements,” stated Lakhu Luhana, Secretary-General of the World Sindhi Congress.
According to a recent report released by Dil Murad Baloch, the Central Information Secretary of the Baloch National Movement(BNM), the Pakistani army conducted 28 operations in Balochistan in October alone, resulting in the forcible disappearance of 30 people and the discovery of 25 bodies.
Balochistan is an economic power of Pakistan
China and Pakistan agreed on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in 2015, a group of construction projects to be built in Pakistan.
CPEC was valued at 62 billion dollars in 2017, making it a significant expenditure for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration.
A state-sponsored program of erasing Baloch people has only gotten worse since China’s engagement in the weak South Asian country.
Balochistan is an integral part of China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative, which is part of a more significant economic corridor that leads to the Gwadar Port, which is also in Balochistan.
For the most part, the Baloch people remain adamantly opposed to CPEC, seeing it as another significant government program aimed at siphoning Balochistan’s natural resources, land, and property.
This is also a concern that the Islamabad administration is pursuing a demographic makeover of the province, similar to what India is accused of planning in the Kashmir Valley.
The Baloch people accuse Islamabad of exploiting natural resources to meet consumer demands in cities like Lahore and Islamabad.
Despite Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statements about the need for additional development in the problematic province, Baloch activists are skeptical, seeing these initiatives as yet another policy to strip the Baloch of their national integrity and resources.
The Baloch people are concerned about Pakistan’s increasing number of enforced disappearances.
Nothing seemed to be standing in the way of new infrastructure developments in Pakistan. Pakistan will upgrade its infrastructure, and China will cement its position as an empire builder in South Asia and reaping exceptional returns on its investment.