“India should join hands with us to liberate Balochistan from Pakistan”: Naela Quadri Baloch in Manipal4 min read
MANIPAL: Prof. Naela Quadri Baloch, President of World Baloch Women’s Forum and campaigner for Balochistan’s secession from Pakistan, urged for intervention from the international community to stop the atrocities committed against Baloch people while delivering a lecture on the genocide in Balochistan by Pakistan and its implications.
She also condemned the actions of the Pakistan army in the talk organised by the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal University on February 16.
The speaker has been for some time now visiting various universities and engaging herself to gain support from global groups on the issue of the secession of Balochistan. Prof. Naela has also led many student movements and started campaigns against honour killings and other patriarchal traditions.
The speaker was a professor at Balochistan University, but was forced out of her homeland after cases of anti-state activities were filed against her. Currently, she resides in Vancouver and continues to influence people through her films and lectures.
“I feel a sense of victory against Pakistan whenever I’m in a university or among students. I spent some of the most beautiful moments of my life, as a student and professor at Balochistan University. Most of our youth are denied such opportunities as our schools and colleges are taken over by the Pakistan army and converted into barracks. The current generation has been kept in darkness,” said Prof.Naela.
Speaking about the origins, history and culture of Balochistan, she mentioned about the non-inclusion and misrepresentationof Baloch people as “a group of uncivilized and uneducated people” in the school history textbooks of Pakistan.
“We Balochis are basically 40 million people, and 20 million people are living under Pakistan occupation. We are pluralistic and don’t have the concept of majority and minority. We only have the concept of love, peace, and justice. If a DNA test is done, you may find Indian, Kurdish or African genes in us and vice versa. We are a multi-racial region,” she added.
Invasion by Pakistan
Balochistan constitutes around 52 percent of Pakistan. Prof. Naela claimed that the Pakistani army as well as terror groups have resorted to mass killings and over 30,000 people were missing since 2006.
Primarily emphasizing on the alleged invasion of Balochistan, she elaborated on the establishment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a collection of infrastructure projects valued roughly at $52 billion, currently under construction throughout Pakistan.
The strongest opposition to CPEC has come from the people of Balochistan, who now fear a strong influx of non-Balochs, and that the project would be used by Pakistan and China to exploit Balochistan’s reserves of natural resources like gold, oil and minerals, in the guise of development assistance.
“This project is connected with the genocide of Baloch people. Pakistan and China have been grabbing our lands and stealing our resources. Pakistan leaders may feel that it’s going to change the fate of Pakistan, but if you look at the facts and figures, they are stealing $52 billion from Balochistan. It is a death sentence for Baloch people,” she said.
In addition to this, she also drew attention to the growing threats by extremist religious groups in Balochistan, who are now preventing girls from attending schools, and throwing acid on them. She blamed the presence of the Pakistan army in most of the areas, which has made it difficult for people to even move around. “These groups are created and recruited by Pakistan to cause terror in Balochistan,” she added.
Role of the Indian government
Prof.Naela went on to speak about how the response to the challenges that lie ahead for the Baloch people, has been highly mute. “The day Narendra Modi, spoke from the Red Fort for Balochistan was historic because it was the first time that a world leader had spoken for the Baloch people. However, after these remarks, the killings of Baloch people have multiplied. Earlier they (Pakistani army) said that you are RAW agents, now they are saying you (Balochs) are Indians,” she said.
She also encouraged students to spread awareness about this issue through social media and stated that it was the need of the hour for India, being the largest democracy to join hands with Baloch people in raising their voice to fight against these forces.
“The region needs to be cleaned from the cancer called Pakistan. When India raises its voice, any government or political party will have to respect and honour its opinion. Only a strong political will can change the scenario of the region,” she added, while concluding her lecture.
Featured Photograph Courtesy: Dr. Nanda Kishor, Department of Geopolitics and International Relations
Edited by Soumyajit Saha
The Manipal Journal sat down with Prof. Naela Quadri Baloch for an exclusive interview discussing the seccession of Balochistan from Pakistan and its wide-ranging implications. Stay tuned as we follow this developing story.