Baloch, Sindhi, Kurds and Uyghurs came together at a conference in Berlin organized by the Baloch National Movement (BNM) on September 19 to share their plight and to wake up the world regarding ongoing atrocities and systematic genocide in their respective homelands.
BNM chairman Dr. Naseem Baloch said that under forceful Pakistani occupation the most compelling issue faced by Baloch is of “enforced disappearances” and the “kill and dump policy”, including the recent fake encounters by the Pakistani regime. “…in the recent sit-in protests at Shaal (Quetta) Balochistan, we saw sisters and mothers of the enforced disappeared persons with their infant children. We saw weak and ill children without shoes, their mothers holding them in one hand and holding a mic in the other hand, crying for their loved ones,” explained Dr Naseem Baloch.
Dr. Lakho Lohana, the secretary general of the World Sindhi Congress said that Pakistan was built on the denial of nations that have identities spanning thousands of years and that evolved through thousands of years old socio-political history. Pakistan has suppressed these nations. “The Pakistan Army controls all institutions and is the sole power holder. The state of Pakistan has been looting the resources of Sindhi, Baloch and Saraiki people. The recent floods can be associated with climate change, but Pakistan has made it worse by denying them the right to live….in Sindh, people are dying of hunger and diseases; this is intentional genocide.”
In the first session at the Berlin conference Sindhi intellectuals and secretary general of the World Sindhi Congress Dr. Lakho Luhana, president of World Uyghur Congress Dolkun Isa, Kurdish political leader Mako Qoçgîrî and junior joint secretary of Baloch National Movement (BNM) Hasan Dost Baloch addressed the audience.
President of the World Uyghur Congress Dolkun Isa said that we are Muslims, but we are not allowed to perform our religious rituals in China. Dolkun Isa said China does not allow the Uyghurs to greet each other in an Islamic way. “We are not allowed to say “Salam” to each other and we are not allowed to keep fast. We cannot choose Islamic names for our children like Muhammad, Ahmed, etc the state of China has forced people, even more than 60 years old people to change their Islamic names.”
In the second session of the conference, the chairman of the Baloch National Movement (BNM), Dr. Naseem Baloch, renowned scholar and author Dr. Ayisha Siddiqa, historian Dr. Naseer Dasthi and Bibi Gul, the chairperson of the Human Rights Council of Balochistan, addressed the conference. BNM central committee member Faheem Baloch gave a presentation on the situation in Balochistan, while Samul Baloch, vice president of the BNM Germany chapter, moderated the session.
”We are indirectly fighting against China, the ally of Pakistan. We are fighting against its presence in Gwadar. Our success means safeguarding the interests and way of life of many other minorities who are bound to fall prey to Chinese hegemony. Apart from the exploitation of our natural resources, the Chinese presence on the Strait of Hormuz in Gwadar Port is bound to have negative economic and military effects on this region and the world. Earlier, Pakistan was alone in inflicting atrocities on the Baloch, Pashtuns, Sindhis and in Gilgit-Baltistan but now it has got an expansionist and aggressive partner in the form of China. China has joined hands to carry on the Baloch genocide. Their main purpose is to exploit the resources of Gilgit-Baltistan, Sindh and Balochistan,” explained BNM chairman Dr Naseem Baloch at the conference.
Well-known author Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa said, “We need to broaden the definition of ‘enforced disappearance’, explore its causes and objectives and identify its various forms. What is disappeared, who is disappeared. I know many of you are sitting here whose loved ones are disappeared. The state tends to silence people. No state has the right to deprive the people of their land; no state has the right to deprive people of their heritage. It is fierce. We should come together against any form of disappearance.”
Dr Ayesha Siddiqa added: “Look, an elected member of his people Ali Wazir, who had got bail but could not come out and is still in jail. This is what I mean by a form of disappearance by silencing the voice of people. Disappearances in the Pakistani state context have a broader connotation. The more extensive definition of disappearance is the criminal silencing people and shutting down what they want for their lives and lands.”
Historian Dr. Naseer Dashti said Pakistan would become bankrupt in the next two years. As soon as Pakistan becomes bankrupt, the vandalism process will accelerate, and other countries will no longer support it financially. The collapse of Pakistan is certain. That is for sure and no one can change.
Dr Naseer Dashti added that in these circumstances the role of Baloch leadership and political cadre is very important. “Even here we made a mistake like our elders who thought Britain would provide them weapons to fight against Pakistan. While the truth was that Pakistan was occupying Balochistan with the encouragement of Britain. If we repeat our mistakes, we would lose our freedom even in these situations in case Pakistan collapsed.” He explained that the British government formed the Muslim League. After World War II, the world conditions changed, and the colonies were forced to leave. “The biggest colonial power here was Britain, which liberated its colonies in such a way that the conditions have not improved.”
Dr. Naseer Dashti further explained that because the Soviet Union became a world power, the discovery of oil in the Gulf countries and the fear of the communist forces in China becoming powerful, Britain violated its Standstill Agreement with Balochistan and took away the independence of Balochistan and handed it over to Pakistan.
President of the World Uyghur Congress Dolkun Isa said millions of Uyghur children were separated from their parents to deprive them of their identity. “Since 1949, millions of people have been killed by Chinese forces and women have been raped.”
Dolkun Isa also criticized the silence of Muslim countries on Chinese atrocities on the Uyghurs. “The world’s Muslim countries are silent because their economic interests are more important than humanity. Pakistan and China have formed a league to usurp the natural resources of Uyghur and Baloch under the CPEC route.”
Kurdish political expert Mako Qoçgîrî of Sevka Azad highlighted the division of Kurdish nation between the three nation states and the problems faced by Kurds due to this division. “Our aim and goal is the democratization of the region. Today we are working with all the peoples of the region who are fighting for democracy and freedom. We see it as our responsibility to promote the struggle for democracy and freedom throughout the region. This is also the reason why today Turkey, as well as other international powers, are fighting against our movement. They see our project as a threat to their power structures.”
On this occasion, Hasan Dost Baloch, junior joint secretary of the Baloch National Movement (BNM) said that Pakistan occupied Balochistan in 1948. Until now, millions of people have been killed and forcibly disappeared. The trend of suicide has increased in Balochistan. They are committing suicide because of their treatment in torture cells. There they were treated in such a way that after their release they felt they were no longer fit to live in society.
Dr Naseem Baloch said: “China has vast experience in exploitation and genocide from Tibet to East Turkestan, from Hongkong to Taiwan, China is a country that has no respect for human rights and humanity in its own country. More than two million Uyghur Muslims suffer in their concentration camps. Our national movement is a liberation movement from Pakistani occupation. We believe our liberation movement is an inspiration for the oppressed people of the entire region. Not only because we are fighting against Pakistan the center of world terrorism but also we are fighting for the survival of cultural diversity, empowerment of nations and the rights of the oppressed ethnic minorities in the region.”
Ayesha Siddiqa said that the Baloch need to connect with other nations that are jointly suffering in the same territory that we now call Pakistan. “Pakistan was based on the old European history formula. The formula was that the identity has to be deliberately concocted, even if you are Baloch and even if I am a Saraiki. From the first day, Pakistan has been struggling to form a common national identity.”