October 22, 2012

Baloch people being treated like slaves: Akhtar Mengal


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Pakistan has not just neglected Balochistan but has also discriminated against it ever since its army forcefully occupied the region in March 1948.

The exploitation of the region’s natural wealth continues at the cost of lives of hundreds of Baloch political activists and nationalist leaders.

There is no rule of law in Balochistan, which is facing the worst kind of human rights violations.

" We have been occupied against our will. Balochistan was forcefully occupied by Pakistan and till now we have not been treated as equals. We are being treated like slaves." said baloch leader Sardar Mengal


Sardar Akhtar Mengal of Balochistan National Party (BNP) is among many Baloch leaders who have been forced to live in self-imposed exile. He has been living in London for the last three years.

He recently visited Islamabad to depose on the state of Balochistan before the Supreme Court and submitted a six-point plan that asked for an end to military operations against the Baloch and the release of thousands of missing persons.

Sardar Mengal, who headed Balochistan for 18 months in 1998 before his government was dismissed by Pakistan, is seeking an intervention by the United Nations.

"If you look back in the past, we have tried all methods. We have participated in elections. We have tried the democratic way to make them understand the genuine problems of Balochistan. The Pakistani establishment just doesn’t want to understand. The six-point plan that I have submitted to the Supreme Court is not a solution to Balochistan's problems. These are confidence building measures. Once these measures have been taken, then we can sit with Pakistani authorities, whoever they are – be it the establishment, the Parliament or the government. Whoever they are, but with a guarantor! The guarantor can only be the United Nations."  said baloch leader Sardar Mengal

Mengal’s 6-point plan is similar to the six-points presented in 1966 by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the leader of the Bengali nationalist movement who later become the founder of Bangladesh state.

The Pakistan government and the army has rejected the assertions of the Baloch leader saying the armed forced are neither conducting any military operation nor are there any death squads of the intelligence agencies operating in Balochistan.

Sardar Mengal says it is `outrageous’.

" I am not surprised by their (Pakistan government) attitude. Till now they haven’t accepted what they have done in East Pakistan – which is now Bangladesh. They killed thousands of civilians. Their army raped innocent Bengali women. Even the Hamoodur Rahman Commission report is against the Pakistan army. They are not ready to accept it, then how can they accept the genocide in Balochistan." said baloch leader Sardar Mengal

The situation in Balochistan is fast moving towards a point of no return.

Baloch people are continuously raising their voice against Pakistan’s atrocities, especially the “Pick, Kill and Dump” tactics adopted by Pakistani intelligence agencies.

An urgent political solution with international intervention is required to save millions of lives in Balochistan.

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