A writer who says he is linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the RSS has belittled the speech of Prime Minister Narendra at the historic Red Fort on India’s independence day last year in which he expressed sympathy with Balochistan.
“You can say it was a card, nothing more,” said Aveek Sen, who writes for the Firstpost, DailyO and Diplomat and has been following Balochistan developments for some years now.
To a request by this writer that the Lok Sabha adopt a resolution on Balochistan’s right to to self determination in a WhatsApp group named #Freebalochistan, Sen said, “That isn’t happening anytime soon. Our PM merely talked about human rights violations in Balochistan. Nothing more to read into it.”
Sen, who appears to support Baloch militants unconditionally, is a staunch advocate of India granting asylum to Geneva-based Baloch leader Brahumdagh Bugti, president of the Baloch Republican Party. The Swiss government turned down the asylum request as they believe he heads the militant Baloch Republican Army (BRA).
After Modi’s historic speech, Bugti backed the Indian premier and media reports showed he went to the Indian consulate in Geneva to ask about the asylum process, annoying the army GHQ in Rawalpindi even further.
“After his statement of going to India, the army has killed hundreds of people in Dera Bugti in anger,” a very close relative of the exiled leader told this writer on the request of anonymity. He guesstimated 2,000 Bugti tribesmen were killed and as many disappeared in the aftermath. However, four months ago India told Bugti they wont accept his asylum petition.
Sen’s questioning of the Indian prime minister’s sincerity towards Balochistan, is shared by at least two other Baloch exiled Baloch activists.
Paris-based Dr Ali Mengal, president of Baloch Diaspora France, says India only wants to use Balochistan as a bargaining chip vis-a-vis Kashmir. “Now after completion of Chabahar port India wants to connect that with CPEC for her economic interests. Russia is already forcing India to join CPEC,” Mengal said.
India had helped Iran build Chabahar port and earlier this month President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated the port. India sent Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan to attend the event, Pakistan sent Ports and Shipping Minister Senator Hasil Bizenjo, Afghanistan sent Commerce Minister Mohammad Hamayon Rasa while Iran’s solid Gulf ally Qatar sent Transport and Communications Minister Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti.
Another exiled Baloch leader who shares Sen’s views that Premier Modi is playing the Baloch card, is Moscow-based Dr Jumma Marri, son of Mir Hazar Khan Ramkhani, the main guerrilla leader during the 1973-77 insurgency. “They are using Baloch, giving few coins to few gun men,” Dr Marri said. “They don’t support Baloch freedom fighters who are holding pen.”
Interestingly, Sen also publicly says no one in Congress party is pro-Pakistan, while majority of Hindu nationalists believe otherwise. On the other hand, he maintains, “The West and US, Israel, UK especially fund Jaish ul Adl and Ansar al Furqan.”