Long live free and united Balochistan

Long live free and united Balochistan

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Christmas message: Pakistan an abatoir for Christians, Baluch

As a Baluch living under Pakistani occupation, I ask the global Christians to please pressure the Obama administration and other Western governments on this Chrstmas to take steps to safeguard not only the religious rights and the right to life of the persecuted Christians but also support the independence struggle in Baluchistan and the right to life of the Baluch people.

On the eve of Christmas my hearts goes out to the Christian victims who were targeted by religious goons in Pakistan, which is nearing the failed state description because of the shenanigans of the country's rogue army. The year 2009 saw the highest numbers of Christians killed in Pakistan.

The way peaceful Christains were attacked in the Punjab -- stronghold of the Pakistan army -- was reminiscent of the pogroms of Jews under Hitler.

Rape of Christain girls and women continues unabated and the rapists use the religious license to do so. Christian females are abducted, forcibly converted into Islam and forced to marry men against their will. Their families have absolutely no avenue to get justice.

As founder of the American Friends of Baluchistan this past autumn on August 10, I had the honor to address a Press conference that was hosted by the Pakistan Christain Congress leader Dr. Nazir Bhatti. Representatives of the International Christain Concern were also present.

No sooner had I finished the Press conference, a journalist of Pakistani origin came to me and said "Why have the Baluch stooped so low to address a Press conference jointly with chooras." I really felt aghast a person now living in the U.S. would use such a slur for Christians. The other slur most commonly used against Christians in Pakistan is bhangees.

Chooras, like bhangees, means the dirty ones. Since that day, I have stopped talking to that Pakistani journalist as I think he has links with the infamous Inter Services Intelligence -- Pakistan's premier military spy service meant to control civilians.

Pakistan mostly runs on Christian taxpayers funding, but Christians in Pakistan eke out a slavish existence, do the dirtiest jobs of handling human excreta, and live in the poorest slums, deprived of all basic human rights and no chance of upward mobility.

Just like on religious grounds the Christians are being held slaves, the indigenous Baluch people -- the "Native Americans of Pakistan and Iran" -- have been deprived of their statehood for 62 years now. The worst human rights violations are taking place in Baluchistan where Pakistan has thrown the Geneva Conventions to the winds.

In the backdrop of slow motion genocide, state abductions are a routine. A case in point is the prisoner of conscience Ehsan Arjemandi, 34, a Norwegian Baluch who was kidnapped by the military intelligence on August 7 but the Pakistan military has to this day not officially acknowledged that it was holding Arjemandi.

On December 10 -- one of the coldest days this winter -- I went to stage a hunger strike and protest in front of the Norwegian embassy. I had in my hand a poster of the burning towers with an inscription "Paki army did this." Thousands of Americans, including Vice President Joe Biden saw my protest.

Biden knows very well Pakistan's I.S.I. played a key role in the 911 attacks, but realpolitik or the fact that Pakistan has nuclear weapons has kept the U.S. silent.

Abductions and rape of Baluch women is taking place at the hands of Pakistan military, much like Bangladesh in 1971 when Pakistani soldiers raped 200,000 Bengali women. Pakistani generals did this shamelessly saying their boys were correcting the genes of the Bengalis. Just on December 16, I was at the Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC where the Bengalis were using the exact same words for Pakistan -- occupation, genocide, killing, atrocities -- like the Baluch are today using in Baluchistan. A case in point is the unresolved case of the sexual slavery of a Baluch woman teacher, Zarina Marri.

I am proud to say that when the American Friends of Baluchistan was launched in 2006, one of its founding members was the late Brother irving Sylvia. Brother Sylvia had gone to Quetta to learn Baluchi in the early 1980s and translated the King James version of the New Testament in Baluchi language.

I am pleased to inform the world the Baluch have not surrendered but are waging a heroic struggle under the banner of the Baloch National Front and various other outfits united on the single point agenda of independence of Baluchistan. In spite of the worst brutalities Baluch men, women, children and the old have come out openly in favor of independence of ther country from the colonial yoke of Pakistan and Iran. And as everyone knows, when the banner of independence is unfurled no power on earth can wish away the desire for freedom.

Three Baluch national heroes Mir Hyrbyar Marri, Nawab Brahumdagh Bugti and Dr. Allah Nazar are boldly leading the Baluch independence movement. The U.S. and Western governments must talk to them and other Baluch national leaders on the single question of how to peacefully end the decades of Pakistan and Iranian slavery and usher in the dawn of freedom for Baluchistan, which means the land of the Baluch.

Just next door to Baluchistan, there are tens thousands of soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan who are showing heroism to confront the forces that are determined to push back the clock of history. There is no reason why the U.S. and other Western governments should not tell the bitter truth to their public: the Al Qaeda and Taliban are alive and kicking thanks to the secret support of the Inter Services Intelligence and the Pakistani defense establishment. It is for this reason the native Baluch consider the I.S.A.F. their natural ally. Unfortunately, the I.S.A.F. is till heavily relying on the Pakistan troops, thus endangering the lives of thousands of young men and women in NATO.

I urge the Christian public in general and Christian missionaries in particular to please raise the issue of Baluch and Baluchistan with ther respective governments and ask NATO to go to the rescue of the Baluch people.

[Note: The author is a Baluch journalist and founder of the pro-independence American Friends of Baluchistan. He can be reached at ahmar_reporter@yahoo.com]


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