Press Releas,Photos and the petition of the protest rally held in London
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A rally was held by Balochistan Action Committee UK and World Sindhi Congress at the 60th anniversary of forcible annexation of Balochistan in Pakistan. The rally was attended by scores of Balochs and Sindhis from the UK and Europe and by the representatives of various human rights organisations. The rally was addressed by Khan of Qalat, Mr. Peter Tatchell, Mr. Akbar Barkzai, Dr. Haleem Bhatti, Mr. Mir Hussain Baloch, Mr. Samad Baloch, Mr. Rahim Bandovi, Dr. Ghulam Raza Hussainbor, Jamshed Amiri,Tariq Sabru, Ms. Suraiya Makhdoom, Mr. Mehrab Baloch and Lakhu Luhana.
The speakers denounced the forcible annexation of Balochistan and its continued occupation by Pakistan. They also detailed the suffering of Baloch people during these 60 years in which ruthless and cruel military operations have been carried out most of the time to suppress the Baloch people’s aspirations for liberty, dignity and peace. In these operations thousands of Baloch people, including children, women and elderly have been killed, their livelihood destroyed and hundreds of thousands displaced. The speakers particularly condemned the current ongoing military operation that has been carrying on in Balochistan since last four years and the target killing of Baloch national leaders. Nawab Akbar Bugti and Mir Balaach Marri. Khan of Kalat in his written statement reiterated that “People of Balochistan never accepted illegitimate annexation to Pakistan and still inspire freedom from occupation”. In his speech he demanded from the Pakistan government to end the colonial oppression of Balochistan and recogonise Baloch people’s right on their resources and their right to self determination. Mr. Peter Tatchell, a renowned British human rights activist, demanded from the USA and the UK to stop supplying arms to Pakistan as these are being used to kill innocent people. Concerns were voiced in the speeches that even the present government in Pakistan has so far failed to stop the military operation in Balochistan and release all Baloch and Sindhi political activists. It was also demanded from the British government to release Mr. Herbiyar marri and Mr. Faiz Baloch who have been arrested in Britain allegedly at the misinformation of Musharaf regime.
The speakers and the audience demanded from the international community in general and the British Government in particular to assist to end the occupation of Balochistan under its treaty of 1876 with the State of Kalat.
At the end of the rally a letter was delivered to the British Prime Minster at 10 Downing Street by Khan of Kalat, Mr. Peter Tatchell, Mr. Akbar Barkzai, Dr. Haleem Bhatti, Dr. Habibullah Malik and Lakhu Luhana requesting British Government to use its power to resolve the conflict and end the occupation of Balochistan under its commitments in 1876 treaty with the State of Kalat. The British prime Minster was also requested to look into the issue of arrests and persecution of Balochs in the UK at the behest of Musharaf regime.
The Petition written to Gordon Brown ,the prime minister
Subject: Forcible annexation of Balochistan by Pakistan
Members of the Baloch and Sindhi communities in the UK have gathered here today to register our anger and utmost disgust on the continued occupation of Balochistan by Pakistan. We are here to request for urgent moral and diplomatic intervention on behalf of her majesty’s government to end the 60 years illegal rule of Pakistan over Balochistan.
Let we briefly present the historical background to this issue. In accordance to clauses of the 1876 treaty between the Kalat State and the British Empire, the independence of Kalat was announced by the then ruler of Kalat, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan, in 1947 prior to the creation of Pakistan. After the partition of India and the creation of the religious state of Pakistan, the newly independent Baloch State came under tremendous pressure both from Pakistan and the colonial authorities in India for merger of Kalat with Pakistan. However, both the houses of Parliament of Kalat (House of Commons and House of Lords) unanimously voted not to join Pakistan and resolved to retain its independence. Ultimately, when the Pakistani government could not bend the Baloch will to remain independent by sabre rattling, Pakistan Army invaded the Kalat State to get the merger statement from the Khan of Kalat at gun point. It is also interesting to note that the leased areas of Kalat State were annexed by Pakistani authorities under the shadow of an illegal and immoral referendum from only a municipality of the province of British Balochistan.
People of Balochistan have never accepted the illegal occupation of their country by the religious state of Pakistan which is dominated by the Punjabi nationality and have waged a genuine democratic national resistance. Since its annexation, except few brief periods, Balochistan has been under military occupation and siege. The natural resources of Baloch people have been looted criminally and cruelly. The Balochi Language and culture have been suppressed in a crude colonial style.
Pakistan’s military dominated establishment has been cruel, ruthless and have committed gross atrocities and serious war crimes against the Baloch population. A ruthless military operation has been going on in Balochistan since last 5 years. The military operations in Balochistan has resulted in the loss of life for thousands of the Baloch people including children, women and elderly and has resulted in displacement of hundreds and thousands of civilian Baloch population. The national leaders of Baloch have been in prisons without trials, humiliated and target killed by Pakistani civil and military authorities. Thousands of political activists have been kidnapped, tortured and killed.
We request urgent intervention from the government of Great Britain to use its influence internationally in favour of the genuine demands of Baloch nation. In the face of a policy of genocide, insanity and deliberate disregard for basic human rights being pursued by the Pakistani establishment, we plead for the urgent action from Her Majesty’s Government. We genuinely believe that it is the moral duty of Great Britain to assist the Baloch people in ending the illegal occupation of their country as per the treaty of 1876 between the Great Britain and the State of Kalat (Balochistan).
We also would like to take this opportunity to request you to look into the matter of Balochs arrested and persecuted in the UK due to misinformation provided by Musharaf regime.
We look forward to hearing from you.
His Highness Suleman Ahmadzai ( Khan of Kalat)
Mohammad Akbar Baluch
Balochistan Action committee UK
Dr. Haleem Bhatti
World Sindhi Congress
Dated: March 30, 2008
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