Many believe the artificial country Pakistan was cobbled together, without any historic basis, by the British. They have a point. Nine historic nations, seven of them already countries –Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan–, and two of them likely to become countries, Balochistan and Kurdistan, have “istans” in their name. “Istan” means “land of” and all these countries have been named after historic nations with hundreds and thousands of years of history behind them: Kazakhs, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, Afghan, Baloch and Kurd. But Lord Mountbatten, last Viceroy of British India and uncle to Prince Philip, imposed a tenth artificial and nonsensical entity named Pakistan –“Land of the Pure”– on the world by dividing India. The name itself has no historical basis and was first coined in 1933 by a University of Cambridge student Chaudhry Rehmat Ali Khan. The spelling he used was Pakstan, but an “i” was added later.
Many rightly call Pakistan a bastard child of the British Raj. So when the bastard child fumes over legitimate Baloch demands for justice and freedom, the UK concedes as we could see earlier this month when British ambassador to Pakistan, Thomas Drew, was summoned by foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua to the foreign office in Islamabad. On that same day– as if he was envoy of some third-rate failing state like Pakistan– Ambassador Drew was also asked to meet the real ruler of Pakistan, army chief of staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the army general headquarter in Rawalpindi on the same day, Friday November 3.
By Monday, The Independent reported Transport for London action in its story headlined, “TfL removes ‘Free Balochistan’ adverts from London black cabs after pressure from Pakistani government.”
Freebalochistan advertisement blitzkrieg is a multi-phase campaign launched by the World Baloch Organization, headed by Javed Mengal, a former Pakistan senator and son of former Balochistan chief minister Sardar Ataullah Mengal.
After the Transport for London, better known by its acronym TfL, took down the ads from the black cabs, the WBO launched the second phase of the campaign that saw huge bill boards coming up on London’s main thoroughfares. That was followed by a third-phase of the campaign that saw Free Balochistan posters on 100 double-decker buses.
On Wednesday, under Pakistan’s pressure TfL ordered removal of the ads from the double-decker buses as well. A spokesman for Transport for London (TfL), which runs the capital’s transport network, told Hindustan Times: “This advert does not comply with our advertising guidelines.” The report cited Bhawal Mengal of World Baloch Organisation (WBO) as saying TfL is cooperating with Pakistan authorities, and added that “the message has already gone across.”
According to Bhawal Mengal’s elder brother Noordin Mengal, “Tens of thousands of Baloch people have been murdered or disappeared by the Pakistan security forces. The killings are happening right now and are sadly aided by American weapon systems that are being diverted to attack the secular and progressive Baloch people, including the misuse of US supplied F-16 fighter jets and Cobra attack helicopters.”
The advertisements have been well noticed by the UK polity.
“#FreeBalochistan campaign across #London is intriguing & raising questions. Previous tweet replies shining some insight & I am keen to learn more about Pakistani politics. Keep me informed,” said Laween Atroshi, Labour Party first UK-born Kurdish Parliamentary Candidate (MP) .
The rogue state of Pakistan has done the same blackmail with the Swiss government after a similar campaign was launched by the Baluchistan House in Geneva, which is led by prominent Balochistan freedom leader Mehran Marri. On Thursday the Swiss authorities detained Mehran Marri and his family at Zurich airport Thursday (See related story). According to his tweet, he has been told by the Swiss government he has been banned for life from entering Switzerland.
Ambassador Drew was quoted as saying by the British diplomatic mission in Islamabad that while he understands Pakistan concerns over the advertisements, “our own position is clear: we fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan, of which Balochistan is and will continue to be an integral part.” Statement of the UK ambassador to Pakistan is pathetic. The UK is being ripped apart by Islamic radicals of Pakistan origin. Pakistani men grooming minor young UK girls is now an open secret, about which Labour MP Sarah Champion wrote an article in The Sun. However, her fellow Labor MP Naz Shah, acting as if she was more Pakistani than British, attacked Champion and defended the Pakistani men.
The question here is how can any ambassador decide the future of more than 30 million Baloch people of Balochistan? The UK ambassador will be doubly guilty if he tries to impose Pakistan colonial rule on Balochistan as the UK failed to meet its international obligations to Balochistan as a former colonial power when the sun set on the Raj in India. If any ambassador in the world should know more about Balochistan, it should be Ambassador Drew.
Pakistan army, Inter Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence, and the Frontier Corps crimes against humanity are well documented. Pakistan is continuing its kill and dump and enforced disappearances in Balochistan, bombarding villages,
The TfL removal can easily be challenged by Javed Mengal in a UK court of law for heavy damages for silencing peaceful voice for Balochistan rights. Javed Mengal and his family have been directly affected by Pakistan army and ISI crimes against humanity in Balochistan, spanning many decades. His eldest brother Asadullah Mengal was abducted by the ISI in 1974 and his remains were never found, while his father former Balochistan chief minister Sardar Ataullah Mengal– his government was dismissed on the army’s instructions– spent 10 years in jail and his younger brother Sardar Akhtar Mengal was reportedly poisoned by the army regime of Gen Pervez Musharraf.