Thursday, December 20, 2012
LONDON: The Balochistan Liberation Charter Coordinating Committee has announced the ‘Charter’ will be formally launched in the New Year by self-exiled BLA leader Hyrbyair Marri.
A meeting was held to examine the comments and suggestions made in respect of the ‘Charter’ concluded that more than sufficient time has been allocated to the initial recipients to respond with their suggestions and comments and that it was now time for the ‘Charter’ to be made public. The coordinating committee said that any undue delay would not serve those interested in liberation struggle but only lead to further confusion.
The experience of last few months has shown that many who have either not wanted to see the charter or those who have not read it have raised their voice against it. “From time to time, we have also heard accusations and assertions being circulated about the contents of the charter that are contrary to the core spirit of the charter itself,” said the BLC coordinating in their press release sent to The News.
“It is a document that will determine the freedom and well-being of our people. Any response to such a vitally important document requires a sense of utmost responsibility, rational and candid judgement, and judicious civic and public duty. We are, therefore, pleased to announce that the Charter is at its final stage of completion and will be available to the whole Baloch nation to read and judge in the very near future.”
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Baloch Against Nawabs Sardars <Baloch_Against_Nawab_Sardars>
Date: Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 6:34 PM
Subject: [balochi_culture] Baloch ‘Freedom Char Tirr’ to be launched in new year.
FREEDOM CHARTER = CHAR TIRR (4 FARTS): A cheap publicity stunt.
Promoting Freedom Charter was a photo show and a cheap attempt to score some political point. After all who is Mr. Hair Biyar Marri to make or suggest such a charter. Beside being in bed with Rehman Malik, having dinner with him and trying to hijack Baloch cause by shooting fiery statement in Daily Tawar to fool people. He has no record of any real active role in Baloch national movement. We all know that he recorded the worst was corruption when he was the minister of education in Sardar Akhtar Mengal’s Government and he sold the jobs to non-Baloch Pashtun, Hazaras and Punjabis, did not build a single school in his own Marri area leave alone the rest of Balochistan. Who he think he is going to fool — none but himself.
Hiar Biyar Marri’s role to create disunity among Baloch is not hidden from any body. This person with his BIG Ego think he is right with his stupid ideas and every one else is wrong.
The purpose of his Freedom Char Tirr is mainly three fold;
- To distract and divert Baloch people’s attention from the real important issue that needs to be addressed, such as to unite Baloch people on common platform to farther Baloch cause.
- To create division among Baloch by engaging them into a useless baseless discussion that makes no sense. You don’t make a constitution of a country that is still not FREE. And, you don’t make it unilaterally based on your solo stupid ideas and then tried to push them into other people’s throats expecting that they will swallow it without asking them first or taking their opinion into account just because you think that you are Mr. Perfect dickhead, who knows everything and everybody else knows nothing.
- The 3rd purpose is to use this Char-Tirr as a cheap publicity stunt to score some political points.
After living in London for so many years Mr. Hiar Biyar has done nothing for Baloch struggle beside shooting fiery statements in daily Tawar written by his paid agent Mr. Hafiz Hassan Barbaadi, he finally came up with the Chaar TIRR idea, suggested and written by his “Close” Gay friend Peter Tachell, to fool none but himself. He and his Brother Gazzin Marri are in bed with Rehman Malik while his other brother Changez Marri is in PML(N) and still he think he can fool Ordinary Balochs with his fancy slogans of "Azadee".
How stupid and moron one can be? This Chaar TIRR of Freedom have generated so much controversy instead of the unity that it was supposed to create and build upon. It is not only divisive but also indicate the blatant fascist state of mind of a king-sized ego who think he can push his stupid ideas to other people’s throats by force. It is like either “my way or highway”, and most ridiculously, it is written by a well known Gay (BUGGA), Peter Tachell, an outsider, that tells you how credible it is, showing that all Balochs are so dumb and moron like Hiar Biyar himself that a BUGGA has to come to dictate them what to do and write their charter. Tomorrow when Balochistan becomes FREE and when your child ask you who wrote our constitution, you tell them, Peter Tachell, and when he ask you, who is Peter Tachell, you tell him he is a prominent GAY (BUGGA) in London…What a shame!!!
The brainchild of this Char Tirr, Mr. Peter Tachell wrote," This draft Baloch Freedom Charter (BFC) was drawn up by a dozen Baloch nationalist and human rights activists, with the assistance of UK human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell", but he failed to mention their names.
First of all who is Peter Tachell to write the Baloch Charter? Second, can some one ask this prominent Gay (BUGGA) Who did he consulted beside his "close" friend Hair Biyar Marri, the most corrupt person in Baloch history, who sold Jobs to non Baloch Punjabis, Pashtuns and Hazaras, when he was minister of education and who’s hands are painted with middle class Baloch leader’s blood.
"I advise that this debate should end now as it creates a lot of misgivings in the minds of the ordinary Baloch like me and enemies derive great satisfaction from the mutual division and derision" wrote by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur in his excellent article titled, "Charting the uncharted". He further wrote, " Balochistan is not a Baloch club alone. Egos should be put aside, allegations put on hold and efforts be made for consensus for common interests".
FREEDOM CHARTER: Khair Bux Marri & Sons Co Ltd, shown ugly face again
If we believe what Malek Towghi said, KB sons are rascals to the core..
From: Malek Towghi, Ph.D. <towghibaloch>
Date: Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 4:16 PM
Subject: Re: Re: Freedom charter or princely decree of feudal barons minus masses?
To: balochunity, balochi_culture, baloch_culture, balochvoice, Daily Tawar <Tawarart1>, Daily Intekhab <dailyintekhab>
Our dear and heroic Bramumdagg Bugti has nothing to do with Hayrbiar’s so-called "charter" and opportunistic activities. Cunningly, Hayrbiar went to Brahumdagh’s home in …. with the excuse of offering his condolences, and as soon as he reached there, he (Hairbiar) stageged this picture-taking drama pushing the paper in Brahundag’s hand which he and his companion picture-taker had already planned. Most probably, Brahumdagh being a gentleman par excellence — and less experienced than his great grandfather marhoom Akbar Khan Bugti about the disingenuous ways of the Marri-Mengal Sardar families — thought that the paper was a condolence note, condemning the murder of his loved ones. As far as we know, Brahumdagh has said ‘he will not consider’ the so-called charter of Hairbiar. Obviously, Brahumdagh does not sign any document of importance before consulting with his party (PRP) colleagues. We should not believe in statements released by Hairbiar and his cronies.
Our dear and heroic Brahumdagh should know that any association with Hairbiar will be political death for him in Balochistan. For Brahumdagh Bugti and his Baluch Republican Party, the only group in Balochistan worth alliance is the National Party headed by Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch. These two parties believe that both, political as well as defensive direct actions, are justified; and both, NP and BRP, know when to engage in political action and when to defend the Baloch nation by direct actions.
Dr. Malek Towghi (Tauqee), Liaison, Baloch Human Rights International, Michigan, USA.
THE BUGGA CHARTER – Peter Tachell, Baloch Nation rejects him
I agree with Waja Azeem Baloch. Freedom charters are made with consultations with all Baloch parties and stakeholders not in the living rooms by BUGGAS over a drink party. There should have been a constitutional committee formed with agreement and consent of all Baloch stake holders and every one should have been asked to give their input and a final draft should have been made with all stake holders consent and signatures and were put to vote by Baloch people. This is the democratic way, but seems like Sardari mentality does things their own way and not want any input from others. This charter is nothing but a piece of trash destined to the trash Cain.
GOOD BYE and GOOD LUCK with this BUGGA CHARTER.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Azeem Baloch <Azeembaloch2000>
Date: Saturday, 20 October 2012, 11:20AM
Subject: [balochi_culture] Re: To: balochi_culture,
THE BUGGA CHARTER
This charter was written by a well known Gay (BAGGA). His name is Peter Tachell. Baloch Nation reject this BUGGA CHARTER. No body was asked to put there input in it. There was no conference held on this to ask all stakeholders to join and give their input, nor a constitutional committee was formed including all stakeholders to help draft the charter. Those who made it and promoted it are not Baloch leaders but are a part of the Baloch killings. Their family members are in bed with Paki Government. Therefore we fully rejects this so called BUGGA Charter, its BUGGA writer and its promoter, Mr. Hair Biyar Marri and his gang, the so called self proclaimed “Baloch leaders”.
They need to stop calling themselves as “Baloch leaders”. They are not our leaders nor they are the leaders of Baloch Nation. they should stop calling them as such to fool themselves and the world.
Promoting Freedom Charter was a photo show
Promoting Freedom Charter was a photo show and a cheap attempt to score some political point. After all who is Mr. Hair Biyar Marri to make or suggest such a charter. Beside being in bed with Rehman Malik, having dinner with him and trying to hijack Baloch cause by shooting fiery statement in Daily Tawar to fool people, he has no record of any real active role in Baloch national movement. We all know that he recorded the worst was corruption when he was minister of education and he sold the jobs to non-Baloch Pashtun, Hazaras and Punjabis, did not build a single school in his Marri area leave alone in the rest of Balochistan
It’s a Family matter for these Sardars
Harbyar Marri issues freedom charter to family members. WHO is he to decide on Balochistan
MORE NEWS ON CHAR TIRR: (4 FARTS)
Exiled Baloch leaders oppose Marri’s freedom charter
Murtaza Ali Shah
Monday, December 17, 2012
LONDON: A year after Baloch leader Hyrbyair Marri presented the ‘Freedom Charter’ for consultations to unite the Baloch nationalists on a single platform, key Baloch stakeholders have either opposed the document or expressed reservations about it.
Exiled leaders Mehran Baloch, Hyrbyar’s younger brother and Balochistan’s representative in the United Nations, Brahumdagh Bugti, self-exiled leader of the Balochistan Republican Party, Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Dawood and Balochistan National Party (BNP) leader Akhtar Mengal have publicly distanced themselves from the ‘Freedom Charter’ and have alleged that the points in the charter are unrealistic and don’t correspond to the ground realities of the Baloch struggle.
Hyrbyar Marri, however, is determined that he will publicly issue the charter in the new year and believes that the detractors of the charter actually want to preserve the status quo, Sardari system and their opposition to the ‘Charter’ is motivated by their desire to safeguards their vested-interests.
When asked by The News about the opposition to the ‘Charter’, Hyrbyar said: “The ‘Freedom Charter’ is a radical document, it’s for the people of Balochistan, and it’s a roadmap for an independent Balochistan.
To gather consensus on the charter, Hyrbyar travelled to different parts of the Europe and held meetings with Baloch leaders but none of them have extended support to Hyrbyar, preferring to carry on with solo flights.
The first ones to cast doubt on the charter are Mehran Baloch and Brahumdagh Bugti. They have publicly stated that they cannot endorse the ‘Charter’ because Nawab Khair Buksh Marri, the revered Baloch leader still alive, was not consulted about the ‘charter’ formation and its methodology.
They have said that after the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti, the void can only be filled by a senior figure such as Nawab Marri who is the most veteran leader and without his advice and patronage the ‘Charter’ will not succeed in achieving its goals.
The fissures over the ‘Charter’ are linked to another wider issue facing the Baloch nationalist movement which has faced serious internal crisis in recent days when Baloch statesman Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri was targeted. Articles were written on Baloch websites that called Nawab Marri names and questioned his judgement. It was alleged that Nawab Marri was supporting his youngest son Mehran and his politics over his other sons and this was going against the “principle, belief, ideology” of the nationalist movement.
It is believed that the article was written after Sardar Akhtar Mengal’s recent visit to Pakistan. The article questioned why Nawab Marri had given “Mehran Baloch and Brahumdagh Bugti the go-ahead to form an alliance with Sardar Akhtar Mengal’s older brother Javed Mengal”, suggesting that the close familial relations between the three are a plot.
It was alleged that Nawab Marri was giving “precedence to blood ties on national imperatives” and was “uprooting” the very plant that he planted and for which a whole generation gave its blood to help it grow to become a tree. It was further alleged that Nawab Marri was encouraging Brahumdagh Bugti to call for a referendum because "Brahumdagh has said that he gets advice from Nawab Marri on every matter”.
Mehran Baloch confirmed to The News that some “sponsored so-called nationalists were running a vicious campaign to tarnish the image of Baloch heroes who have sacrificed their comfort for the better future of a nation”. Mehran, however, refused to comment why he was opposing the ‘Freedom Charter’ at a crucial time in the Baloch nationalist struggle when there should be unity of action and thoughts.
Hyrbyair Marri said that it didn’t matter to him whether traditional Baloch leaders from his own tribe or the affiliated tribes supported the ‘Charter’. “What matters is the support of common people who are most affected by the human rights violations. The Freedom Charter has received enormous support from Baloch Elders’ Council from 22 provinces of Afghanistan. The Council supported the aims of the Charter word-by-word, by consensus. They appealed to the Balochs of the world to be united and that’s what the Charter is about. If Sardars are against it then it’s their problem and show that they live in a cuckoo land,” he added.
COMMENT : Charting the uncharted — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
Balochistan cannot and should not be an exclusively Baloch club; different people have lived here since centuries and have as much right as the ethnic Baloch to live in peace here “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances existing already, given and inherited from the past” — Karl Marx.
Haiyrbiyar Marri’s ‘Baloch Freedom Charter’ has generated a needless controversy in the social media and local media about who is right in supporting it and who in opposing it. The controversy has assumed an ugly and vicious character in which a no-holds-barred attitude prevails and everybody involved wants to outdo others in being blunt. My intention here is not to support any of the views, which I will certainly do if the situation demands, but to talk about the issue generally and how it is disillusioning friends, antagonising supporters and creating schisms instead of the unity that it was supposed to promote and create.
Charters, manifestoes and programmes articulate the stance and policies of groups or parties so that the goals are laid down to ensure or garner support from all. These cannot be sacrosanct and binding on all because these essentially are proposals for cooperation to those the parties or groups feel will or can support it. By their very nature, these are never final, conclusive and ultimate because parties and groups need to keep evolving and changing with the demands of the circumstances and adapting to changed conditions. Before someone equates adaptation to capitulation, we should see that during 24 hours we adapt to the day and night conditions. Anyone insisting on carrying on during the night the way he/she does during the day is bound to come to sorrow soon.
Charters are meant to chart the uncharted paths of revolutions, struggles and movements. These cannot be created in a void and neither be applied in a void; they have to represent the ground realities and not the wishes of an individual, group or party. To become a charter truly it has to be representative of the majority of those it is concerned with and provided it also considers the world as it exists in reality, not as the authors see it. Charters are serious business and demand to be dealt with in all seriousness and gravity as the future of entire movements may hinge on how these are seen and received.
This ‘charter of freedom’ has generated controversy instead of the unity that it was supposed to create and build upon. If something becomes a bone of contention among those supposed to be on the same side, then it should be evaluated not on who or why it has been presented but by its implications for the unity that it ostensibly set out to accomplish. If it is divisive, the authors should be brave enough to admit it and seek consensus for the formulation of a new document, which would be the closest to the wishes, demands and needs of the majority.
I have not seen the controversial charter but some of its features were put on a website and had the normal promises and platitudes that certainly are not being debated because these reiterate the universal principles of equality, justice, democracy, rights and peace. Whosoever may decide to present a charter will of necessity include these unless of course he wants a blatantly fascist state demanding a ‘final solution’. It is the way it has been presented and then pursued that has generated controversy. Its advocates and detractors have been vociferous and vituperative and this has sullied the debate, which could have been healthy if king-sized egos had not become insuperable obstacles. I advise that this debate should end now as it creates a lot of misgivings in the minds of the ordinary Baloch like me and enemies derive great satisfaction from the mutual division and derision.
I too, due to force of habit, want to put in my two-penny worth of thoughts on the charter business. First of all, I want to make it clear that Balochistan cannot and should not be an exclusively Baloch club; different people have lived here since centuries and have as much right as the ethnic Baloch to live in peace here. These people include Sindhis, Jats, Jamots, Hazaras, Pashtuns, Hindus, settlers, Zikris, Loris, Dombs and Christians. Balochistan has to be for all those who are loyal to it and serve it. With so many different people living here, I repeat that it cannot be an exclusive Baloch club.
Simply put, equality, justice, democracy and rights on paper and paying lip service to them is pretty meaningless. In practice, these mean you are absolutely tolerant of dissent and criticism. This is doubly essential here because ironically all those who were persecuted or thought they were persecuted ended up doing exactly what was done to them, albeit in a more vicious and brutal way. The very best examples are Israel and Pakistan. Many of Israel’s Jews suffered at the hands of the Nazis but Israel now surpassed them in their treatment of the Palestinians. The same applies to the Pakistani establishment, which fearing suppression as a minority in undivided India, unleashed terror first on the Baloch who were numerically less, and then on the Bengalis, though they were the majority. Both forsook their past and attained unparalleled heights as barbaric states.
There will have to be genuine meritocracy so that truly talented persons have the opportunity to help build what the charters present and ask for. When favouritism, cronyism and palm greasing supplants meritocracy, you get opportunists and their ilk in the driving seat. Meritocracy will be strengthened only when resources are shared equally and opportunities for health, education and employment are uniform. Plurality alone will ensure progress because personality and dynastic politics create cesspools of corruption and criminality. Politics will have to be decriminalised and detoxified for becoming acceptable and worthy of participation. Accountability and transparency in all aspects of governance alone will ensure democratic rights being protected. Empty promises and platitudes have never worked and never would.
The present petty bickering has to end; what can people expect of those who supposedly lead them and bicker ceaselessly? Egos should be put aside, allegations put on hold and efforts be made for consensus for common interests. History is unforgiving; it will downsize all who have a false impression of their importance and utility. All concerned would do well to remember that no individual is bigger than the struggle.
The writer has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He tweets at mmatalpur and can be contacted atmmatalpur
Freedom charter or princely decree of feudal barons minus masses?
Posted on February 17, 2012 by balochsardar
Well said Ahmar Jan, Sardars are uniting as they are feeling threatened by common baloch comming on the forefront of freedom struggle. We wish to declare to all sardars that their days are numbered. Future of Balochistan belongs to people- NOT TO THESE SARDARS. It is better to change their mental makeup from feudalistic to democratic, rather face extinsion.
Baltimore Foreign Policy Examiner
Hyrbyair Marri (left) and Brahumdagh Bugti in Geneva. The picture appears to be an advertisement for designer clothing.
Somethings, especially when it comes to the life and death of a nation, must be done in a correct way without adding to the sufferings and untold miseries of the common people.
The two young but important Baloch leaders, both of them feudal barons, met in Geneva. One of them "Nawabzada" Hyrbyair Marri, who is now living in exile in London, is seen giving the other, "Nawab" Brahumdagh Bugti, 30, who is now living in exile in Geneva, what was described as the "Balochistan freedom charter".
More than a political meeting between two leaders, the picture appears to be an advertisement for designer clothing.
Baloch people are suffering and in blood, poor and hungry. But their tribal leaders are living lavishly in the West, flaunting Rolex watches and riding Ferari sports cars. They are no Gandhi; Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the thug who divided India and enslaved Balochistan, maybe yes as Jinnah too was completely detached from the masses, loved the fanciest suits and wordly comforts.
Freedom charters are not handed by one prince to the other, but discussed by the people. Because such charters are of the people and for the people. These documents are hammered out in elected assemblies or maybe out on the streets, but never in a drawing room.
Hyrbyair Marri is widely believed to be the operational commander of the militant Baloch Liberation Army while Brahumdagh Bugti is suspected to be the chief of the Baloch Republican Army.
Meanwhile, an ally of the two, a third Baloch militant organization Baloch Liberation Front led by Dr. Allah Nazar of Mashkay proudly claimed the killing of seven civilian road construction workers, all of them day laborers, in Buleda, Mekran. They also burned down all the construction equipment and four vehicles of the company.
Doda Baloch, spokesperson for the B.L.F., said the roads will help the military movement and vowed that the B.L.F. will not allow any development projects until Balochistan attains freedom.
Two of the most hated and anti-people politicians from the area Mir Mohammad Ali Rind and Ehsan Shah, who allegedly have extensive ties in the Inter-Services Intelligence, remain in the good books of the B.L.F., however.
According to Jan Bluedi, who is information secretary for the National Party and who was member of the provincial assembly previously, the road had absolutely no military value but would have brought some relief to the people of Buleda by connecting them with Turbat.
According to Ralph Peters, a defense strategist who supports Baloch freedom, the best fighters are those who know when not to fight.
U.S. congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who along with Rep. Louie Gohmert were the two members of the U.S. Congress who have unfurled the Balochistan freedom flag in Washington DC, told a historic house meeting Wednesday that it was crucial that people whose rights are being violated show respect for the human rights of others.
There are reports that the British government is extremely unhappy over some of the tactics being used by the Baloch militants. The Swiss government will also not close its eyes if militants target civilians.
Can "Nawabzada" Hyrbyair Marri and "Nawab" Brahumdagh Bugti answer should the Baloch commoners eat bullets while they themselves live in London and Geneva until the day Balochistan is freed? If they answer yes, then the charter they discussed might be described as a charter of death and destruction for Balochistan rather than a freedom charter.
Continue reading on Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/foreign-policy-in-baltimore/freedom-charter-or-princely-decree
Could Baloch Freedom Charter Do More Harm than Good?
Over the past year, Baloch nationalists and their supporters have been working to develop a Freedom Charterwhich articulates the legal grounds for an independent Baloch state. Using social media, email, and private consultations, the drafters have sought to extend the revolutionary spirit of the Arab Spring to Baloch lands in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan.
Claiming to have received significant feedback from the Baloch community, some North American supporters of Baloch independence suggest that the draft is now ready to be finalized. However, vocal American supporters of Baloch independence believe that the finalization of the Freedom Charter should not proceed. Andrew Eiva, a Washington lobbyist associated with a number of past self-determination movements, is one of them.
Eiva says that Baloch activists should abandon the Freedom Charter and instead embark on the drafting of a new document that better aligns with their tactical needs and strategic interests. Given my reporting interest in Balochistan, I sat down with Eiva to hear his long list of reasons why he favors this approach.
I. Foreign Influence
Eiva’s concerns can be traced as far back as the origins of the draft Baloch Freedom Charter.
According to the Baloch activists, the current draft Freedom Charter is derived from one originally prepared by Peter Tatchell, a British political campaigner best known for his work promoting LGBT freedom and global justice.
Without criticizing Tatchell, Eiva stresses that the Freedom Charter’s non-Baloch origin should concern proponents of Baloch independence: “The drafting of the document should have started with the Baloch and then moved on to other players. This is the wrong way to do it … The American founding fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence and gave it to the American army. It became important because the soldiers began calling themselves Americans because of the document.” Given its origin, he questions whether the Freedom Charter can ever inspire the Baloch resistance to the same degree.
Eiva says that the Baloch should have taken a different approach. If the document had been completely drafted and finalized by the Baloch and then circulated with foreigners, Eiva believes the average Baloch living in Southwest Asia would feel stronger ownership in the document. He also argues that the Pakistani Government would have a more difficult time dismissing the movement as yet another example of foreign meddling in Pakistani internal affairs. Such concerns cannot be easily rectified at this point in the process.
II. Out of Scope
Eiva’s second issue of concern is the language, length, and scope of the document.
While the draft has yet to be finalized, Eiva notes that the document has grown considerably in length and scope from Tatchell’s original. Eiva bemoans the current draft, saying that“the document is too long” and “the prose is unreadable.” He attributes this in part to the decision to originally draft the document in British English rather than Baluchi. The drafters may have failed to properly establish limits in their solicitation of feedback as well.
From Eiva’s perspective, the final document should strive to be no more than a few pages; emphasizing: “The founding document of Pakistan, the Lahore Resolution, is only a couple of sentences.” Given the length of the current draft (including consolidated feedback), it is difficult to see how Baloch activists can reduce the document to such an extent.
According to Eiva, the scope of the document clearly is to blame for the length issues: “This (document) tries to cover everything, which is a mistake. It is a declaration of independence and a constitution at the same time. In the end, it accomplishes neither. The Baloch need to establish their basis of existence by iterating a list of grievances and values and providing grounds for their self-determination. It is wrong to tackle more in this document.”
When asked specifically about the draft document’s support for the legalization of drugs, Eiva admits that this could be “a major turn off for the people of India, Russia, Europe, and Iran whose populations are afflicted with hundreds of thousands of cases of addiction from South Asia heroin.” He therefore presses the Baloch to be more prudent about what they choose to put in and leave out of their founding document.
III. Wrong Emphasis
Eiva’s third set of reservations are with some of the central arguments made in the draft Freedom Charter.
While Eiva sympathizes with the Baloch position that they are occupied by foreign powers, he also recognizes that the International Community generally supports the sovereign claims of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan over Baloch lands. As a consequence, Eiva says the occupation argument is a far weaker grievance than the others listed by the Baloch, including “genocide, marginalization, racial extermination, denial of education, and exposure to nuclear testing.” He therefore stresses that the Baloch should de-emphasize the importance of the illegal occupation grievance to their cause “until they have first won the argument for sovereignty based on their history and grievances.”
Eiva is also bothered by the document’s failure to sufficiently tackle “tribalism, the monarchic tradition, the vitality of the Baloch resistance in Iran, and religion.” Regardless of Baloch sentiment on these matters, Eiva says that each is likely to define future Baloch society. For this reason, he is of the opinion that the Baloch should vigorously debate all four as they create “a vision of Balochistan true to its past and its future.”
By failing to confront these four issues, Eiva believes that the current document instead “seeks to blindside the Khan of Kalat” and a significant percentage of the population who identify themselves as traditional Baloch or devout Muslims. He bases this opinion on the fact that the charter overlooks the nearly “universal attendance” of all Baloch traditional leaders at the Quetta Jirga called by the Khan of Kalat in 2006. Eiva asserts that this could lead to widespread opposition to the document weakening Baloch support and their ability to govern.
Eiva says a more pragmatic approach would prove a better course of action given that Iranian Baloch, particularly those affiliated with Jundallah, are much more fervent followers of conservative Islam than their compatriots in Pakistan. He even suggests that the Baloch in different countries should consider advancing their own freedom charters before being subsumed into the larger quest for the Baloch nation. He points out that the American revolutionaries “waited for preliminary declarations of independence in individual states” before moving forward on a joint declaration.
Alternate Way Forward
Given these lengthy concerns, Eiva argues that the Baloch should probably just scrap the current draft altogether and rewrite it from scratch based on a less radical and more concise approach.
In his view, the document should be limited to only a few pages, which should concisely “define the Baloch 1,000+ year history of nationhood, describe the illegal conquest of Balochistan by Pakistan 65 years ago, outline the five major uprisings against the Pakistanis and the 2006 jirga to establish a history of seeking independence, and list Baloch values and grievances, including genocide and ethnic marginalization.”
Eiva says that the document should emphasize that “the Pakistani conquest of Balochistan after the Lahore Resolution explains why the Baloch don’t recognize the Lahore Resolution and why Pakistan can no longer claim sovereignty over Balochistan.”
As opposed to many of Baloch activists, Eiva is less concerned with whether the new document is a declaration of independence or merely a declaration of the right to self-determination.
While he concedes that this decision is up to the Baloch, he stresses that the Baloch could “save a lot of lives” if they defer the question of autonomy, federation, or independence in the document: “In Lithuania, we had the same internal debate over this issue. The Lithuanian Democratic Movement debated vociferously between independence and sovereignty. The resulting ambiguity may have prevented a bloody crackdown and allowed for a relatively bloodless victory for independence when the time was right. The tactical decision of the pro-autonomy faction to delay their support for independence may have saved thousands of lives in the Lithuania case. I am not certain that the Baloch autonomy advocates will facilitate the same result, but at this point, the independence advocates have more important things to do than denouncing the autonomy/federation advocates as traitors.”
Eiva also reasons that the Baloch should not so overtly link their cause to Western geopolitical interests. He says Western governments, corporations, and politicians are beginning to discover the strategic value of an independent Balochistan on their own: “The Israelis have reportedly told the U.S. Government that more should be done to foment regime change in Iran. They know it is to their advantage to support groups who challenge the Iranian Government. As far as I can tell, Jundallah may be the most effective resistance in Iran at least until last year.” In any event, he does not think this document is the place to make such links.
That said, Eiva sees a place for separate preliminary document which outlines how the Baloch will manage their natural resources. He reasons that “a public debate and commitment over the transparent and just management of oil and gas revenues building upon the best practices pioneered by Norway and Alaska” could do more to unify the resistance than any other issue on the table: “Resistance movements in petrostate countries often have four to five rival strongmen who foresee independence as a chance to seize control of the natural resources from one another. Instead of trying to cut secret deals with outside oil companies, the Facebook revolution can empower the Baloch to agree on a transparent and just oil and gas production and revenue scheme that can unite every Baloch, whether in a federated or independent Balochistan.”
In the end, Eiva concedes that the Baloch still have a huge uphill battle to achieve independence with or without the Freedom Charter. While he believes that the “oil and gas reserves which nature has placed in the ground beneath their feet has given the Baloch an exceptional tool with which to unite,” he nevertheless agrees with Ralph Peters’ warning that the Baloch still need to unite around a set of common grievances and values rather than backing a divisive document that is “nowhere ready for release.”
The debate over Balochistan is a complex and contentious issue. I therefore encourage readers to voice their agreement or disagreement with the points raised by Eiva in the comment section below. I also welcome general comments on Baloch nationalism, including whether the Baloch should even be pursuing independence, as long as they are on-topic and tied back to the interview. Update: Peter Tatchell wrote to clarify his role in the drafting of the Baloch Freedom Charter. According to Tatchell, he first suggested the idea of the Freedom Charter at a conference of Baloch nationalists. He also helped edit/produce a standard English draft of the Freedom Charter. But, the draft itself was prepared from 12 points proposed by ethnic Baloch nationalists.
Editorial: What is the Baloch Freedom Charter?
A recent report from London published in The News International says that the Balochistan Liberation Charter Coordinating Committee intends to publicize the Baloch Freedom Charter in 2013 in order to address the concerns of those who have been reluctant to approve the document. The Committee said in a press release, “from time to time, we have also heard accusations and assertions being circulated about the contents of the charter that are contrary to the core spirit of the charter itself…any undue delay [in publicizing the Charter] would not serve those interested in liberation struggle but only lead to further confusion.”
The same newspaper had also reported a few days earlier that most Baloch leaders in exile did not support Hyrbyair Marri’s ‘Freedom Charter’ “for consultations to unite the Baloch nationalists on a single platform.”
Mystery shrouds the Baloch Freedom Charter for a number of reasons. It seems to have caused confusion among nationalist leaders over its motivations and substance and raised doubts among the ordinary people about its significance. All Baloch leaders do not seem to be on the same page about the Freedom Charter nor do we see any signs of joint future consultations among all political leaders to finalize the Charter.
What actually is the Baloch Freedom Charter and who are the members of the Charter Coordinating Committee? Nobody knows. Lack of public knowledge about the origins and intentions of the Charter are the basic problem. No body knows who thought of the idea of giving the Baloch people a freedom charter and how the Coordinating Committee was formed. Charters and constitutions are normally tailored by an elected body that represents the wishes of the people. If the Baloch Freedom Charter intends to reflect the aspirations of the Baloch people then it is very important that all segments of the Baloch society should be represented in the first phase of the process (preparing the Charter) instead of the upcoming phase (bringing it to general public attention for feedback).
We are not sure if Mr. Marri’s Freedom Charter is the same as the one published and circulated by British gay rights activist and journalist Peter Tatchell on June 15, 2012. Mr. Tatchell’s Charter is a blend of demands from Pakistan, very similar to what one saw in Sardar Akhtar Mengal’s Six-Point demands to the Pakistani Supreme Court and wishful democratic principles such as equality, land reforms and secularism in the free state of Balochistan. Mr. Tatchell, had also invited public debate and feedback for his Charter.
The fundamental problem with Mr. Tachell’s Charter is that it is an imported one that is imposed on the Baloch people from outside. The Balochs should sit down to craft their own charter and future plans instead of getting the work done by outsiders. After all, preparing a charter for a new free country is not the actual challenge for the Baloch. The real challenge begins if and when they acquire freedom. If they wish to run a free state, they also have to learn from now how to manage their own affairs instead of getting their very fundamental documents written by people who have not lived in Balochistan. While the support of non-Balochs is laudable, it is important for the Baloch leadership to prove that their movement is indigenous rather than foreign-sponsored-dictated. The future of the Baloch people should be decided by those who enjoy broad support among the local masses.
The Baloch Freedom Charter came under limelight after Baloch leader Hairbayar Marri visited Bramdagh Bugti, the chairman of the Baloch Republican Party, in Switzerland and presented him the Charter. Photos of similar meetings between Mr. Marri and the Khan of Kalat were also seen in the local Urdu media as well as on the social media. Later on, Mr. Marri seemed to fail in drawing ample support for the Charter among rest of the Baloch leaders.
The biggest challenge for the Charter, nonetheless, is to be consistent and persistent to the extent that it is taken seriously by the international community. In the recent past, we have seen a number of political gimmicks which provided temporary benefits to some individual leaders but did not contribute to the benefit of the Baloch movement. One such ideatic move was taken six years back on April 18, 2006, by announcing an obscure Baloch government in exile which “nominated His Highness Mir Suleman Dawood Khan as our King, chose the red, green, blue with sun as our flag, and reinstated Kalat as our capital.” In September 2006, the Khan of Kalat once again made headlines over deciding to move the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) in the Hague against Pakistan for occupying Balochistan. Six years after that announcement, the Khan of Kalat has not made an inch of progress in his pledge to challenge Pakistan at the I.C.J. The latest political gimmick was seen from Sardar Akhtar Mengal, president of the Balochistan National Party, who mimicked the father of Bangladesh freedom struggle, Shiek Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, by presenting Six Point demands in front of the Pakistani Supreme Court.
We hope that the Freedom Charter is not Hairbayar Marri’s moment of personal-heroism. Before freedom, the Charter should unite the nation, respect every leader, and accommodate diverse and divergent opinions so that a consensus document about the future of the Baloch people is developed.
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