Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, the former foreign minister of Pakistan visited New Delhi during the first week of October to release the Indian edition of his memoirs, ‘Neither a hawk nor a dove’. The book is considered to be the first insider account of India-Pakistan secret diplomacy on Kashmir. Kasuri was too much in news for being in the cross hairs of Shiv Sena. The Hindu, a prominent news paper in India flashed the picture of a man who claims to be the representative in Delhi of the Baloch Liberation Organisation. The event coincided with the release of Kasuri’s book which spurred Baloch issue though not quite as dramatically as The Hindu report suggests. The Hindu opined that the acknowledged presence of the Baloch representative in India would enable India to highlight human rights issues there similar to the way it has begun highlighting alleged atrocities in Azad Kashmir.

The new Indian position over Balochistan became public when Balochistan Liberation Organisation (BLO) representative Balaach Pardili addressed a gathering in New Delhi on October 4, reading out a statement from BLO’s exiled leader Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri. The BLO has confirmed to The Hindu about the presence of its political representative in Delhi. Mr Pardili originally hails from Afghanistan but has been living in Delhi since 2009 and was recently contacted by Nawabzada Marri to represent him at public meetings. The London-based Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri is the leader of Free Baluchistan Movement orchestrated by BalochLiberation Organisation (BLO) – the political wing- with Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) being its militant arm. ‘I hope to facilitate Nawabzada Marri’s visit to Delhi in near future,’Pardili disclosed to The Hindu. In a statement to The Hindu, Nawabzada Marri had said: ‘We wish that India, the largest democracy, have a clear policy about Baluchistan.

If Pakistani officials can openly meet the Kashmiri leadership, why shouldn’t India do the same? The Red Cross does not have a hotline on Baluchistan despite our repeated pleas. I want India’s help to start a crisis hotline with the Red Cross.’The panicked Pakistani military has undertaken massive repressive operations to thwart the unrest in natural resource hub i.e. Baluchistan which has resulted in mass killings and number of missing persons shooting up. India is now boldly exposing the human rights violations in Baluchistan and isolates Pakistan further in the world community. Interactions in social media reveal how Pakistan appears to have little tolerance for ‘bitter truth’ when driven to the receiving end. Some have compared Baluchistan with Kashmir stating that Baluchistan is not a disputed territory whereas Kashmir is a ‘disputed territory ‘. But Bangladesh was not a ‘Disputed Territory’ as well. For that matter even Kashmir was not a disputed territory seven decades back till King Hari Singh of Kashmir was literally forced by Pakistan to accede to India. Pakistan then had attacked the independentprincely state of Kashmir despite a standstill agreementbetween the two.

When requested by Raja for help India entered the fray as a good Samaritan saviour to save Kashmir from uncouth illiterate attackers. With secession to India, Kashmir became its inalienable and integral part and belonged to India in perpetuity. It was Pakistan which deliberately made Kashmir a disputed territory through unilateral aggressions in 1947 and 1965. In geo-politics it is possible for any country tohighlight an issue and rivet world’s attention to it. By its nefarious activities, Pakistan has kept Kashmir on the boil projecting all along as a disputed territory even though UN resolution no 47 which refers to Kashmir dispute under section VI renders it non- binding nor enforceable.

Subsequently UN has taken off Kashmir from the list of pending resolutions in 2010. India should just learn this trick from Pakistan. Baluchistan common man had opted for Pakistan at partition though its tribal sardars but deprivation and suppression has resulted in five phases of militancy. Now it has acquired thedubious distinction of being the most under reported freedom struggle of South Asia. It is quite natural for a democratic country like India to worry about human rights violation in Baluchistan. Baluch leaders have also been beseeching democratic India almost for a decade to accord support to their freedom struggle. It is time India pays heed to such request now. Remember East Pakistan was not disputed territory, it separated from Pakistan. Why can’t Baluchistan follow the suit?

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