India has always had enough information on Pakistan-sponsored Jihadi machinations and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, but New Delhi has also begun to expose Pakistan’s dismal human rights record in its region of Balochistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. In a scathing attack, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought to the fore the atrocities committed by the Pakistan Army in these regions, and exposed how these gross human rights violation are tacitly approved by the Pakistani establishment.
One of the highlights of Modi’s speech on the 70th Indian Independence Day was his reference to Balochistan. “The people of Balochistan, the people of Gilgit, the people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have thanked me in such a manner, from places that I have never been and never had a chance to meet, they have sent wishes to the people of India and thanked us,” the Indian prime minister said. “I am grateful to them.” This was the second instances within a few days’ time that the Indian PM had highlighted the sordid plight of the Baloch people and Pakistan’s atrocities in POK. Mincing no words, the PM slammed Islamabad: “Pakistan forgets that it bombs its own citizens using fighter planes. The time has come when Pakistan shall have to answer to the world for the atrocities committed by it against people in Balochistan and PoK.”
This stance by India is a much needed and significant policy shift in its policy towards Pakistan. The reference to atrocities in Balochistan and POK has totally rattled Pakistan, which for a long side has swept its genocidal role and the illegal occupation of Balochistan under the carpet. Prime Minister Modi has found widespread support from Baloch activists, who have expressed their pleasure that for the first time ever, an Indian PM has expressed his wish to support the Baloch people, and this is a very crucial decision taken by Indian government. Brahumdagh Bugti the exiled leader of the Balochistan Republican Party was quoted by a leading India news service: “We hope that the Indian government and Indian media and whole nation will not only raise voices for the Baloch nation but also strive to help practically the Baloch independence movement.”
Ashraf Sherjan, leader of the Baloch Republican Party also hailed Modi’s speech and thanked him for highlighting the atrocities faced by the people of Balochistan. Terming Prime Minister Modi’s speech as very encouraging. Exiled Pakistani author and columnist Tarek Fatah who has written extensively on the Balochistan question and raised this issue during his visits to India said he was very pleased with the position taken by Mr. Modi. He told NDT, “For decades the Baloch people have fought alone to end Pakistan’s illegal occupation of Balochistan. Countless Baloch youth have died and many more have simply disappeared in the torture cells of the Pakistan Army and its Intelligence arm, the ISI.”
“Now the Baloch can count on the moral support of India and its courageous prime minister. This changes everything. Insha’Allah, we will see a free and independent Balochistan in our lifetime and although most of the credit for that will go to the many Baloch men and women who sacrificed their lives for the country, but part of it will also go to India’s Narendra Modi and his courageous stand in bringing the issue to the international scene,” Fatah added. Modi’s stand on Balochistan will go a long way forward in not only bringing the plight of the legitimate Baloch struggle before the international community, but has exposed Pakistan’s double talks on Kashmir. Modi has certainly reminded Pakistan of the old adage “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones”.