Mon, Dec 5, 2016 | updated 01:49 AM IST

Baloch leaders-in-exile thank PM Modi for highlighting Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK in Independence Day speech

Updated: Aug 15, 2016 14:07 IST

Geneva/ London, Aug 15 (ANI): Enthused and relieved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's expression of gratitude and indirect criticism of Pakistan's brutalities in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Baloch leaders on Monday thanked the Indian leadership and media for raising the issue publicly, but called for more practical steps to be initiated by New Delhi.

Baloch leader-in-exile Brahumdagh Bugti who is also the founding chief, Baloch Republican Party said, "I thank the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi sahab for speaking about the Balochistan problem. I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi sahab on behalf of the whole Baloch nation. And we hope that the Indian government and Indian media and whole Indian nation will not only raise voices for Baloch nation but also strive to help practically the Baloch independence movement."

Asserting that Pakistan's destructive role in Kashmir and direct involvement in terrorist attacks in India such as Mumbai and Pathankot has been a very well exposed fact, Bugti said that the Baloch issue should be a very serious part of the foreign policy of the Indian government.

"In this context raising the voice of Balochistan should not be a temporary reaction or a counter strategy by the Indian government. But it should be a sincere intention of the Indian people to support their oppressed brothers and sisters and also should be a very serious part of the foreign policy of the Indian government," he added.

Taking a jibe at Pakistan's demand for self determination and self rule of Kashmiris, and questioning Balochistan demands, he said that this doesn't only expose the double standards of Islamabad but also their evil designs to destroy the peace and stability in the region.

He also highlighted that thousands of Baloch youth are being tortured in the custody of Pakistani forces and more than 20000 dead bodies have been recovered. Many other bodies were found to have been dumped.

He also questioned that how many people know that there is a military operation going on in every part of Balochistan? where innocent Baloch civilians, women and children are being killed on a daily basis.

Stating that recent comments of the Indian government and Indian media is very encouraging, Bugti hoped that the same continues in the future.

He also revealed his admiration for Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan and requested them to craft a movie on Balochistan.

Echoing similar sentiments Baloch-leader- in exile Ashraf Sherjan hailed Prime Minister Modi's 70th Independence Day speech for reiterating the Baloch issue.

"I would like to thank Prime Minister of India for highlighting the issue of Balochistan internationally. I would like to thank all the media of India and social activists of India for always supporting Balochistan issue internationally," he said.

Prime Minister Modi earlier in the day said he was grateful to the Baloch people for reaching out to him.

"People of Balochistan,Gilgit and PoK have thanked me a lot in past few days, I am grateful to them," Prime Minister Modi said while addressing the nation on the occasion of 70th Independence Day.

"This is the example of our humanitarian approach, but there are some countries who glorify terrorists. To the youth who have taken up guns, I urge them to return to their parents and shun violence," he added.

Terming Prime Minister Modi's speech as very encouraging, Baloch Voice Foundation, President Munir Mengal said,"The statement of Narendra Modi ji with respect to Human rights abuses in Balochistan is highly appreciating.India as an elder brother of the region has an obligation to break its silence and help Pakistan accountable for the forces occupation of lands colonization and excessive abuse of human rights in the region particularly in Balochistan. "

He hoped that India as an obligation will take all sorts of practical steps in the Baloch issue.

Another Baloch Leader and Central Secretary, Foreign Affairs, United Kashmir People's National Party, Jamil Maqsood also hailed Prime Minister Modi's remarks saying, "We welcome the statement."

Meanwhile, Baloch Journalist, Faiz Baloch from London thanked Prime Minister Modi for remembering the Baloch people on the occasion of India's Independence Day.

We hope Indian government will raise the Baloch issue officially on all forums. Together we can stop terrorism in the world. Baloch people are fighting with terrorism, " he added.

Prime Minister Modi on terrorism had earlier said that India will never bend before terrorism.

Highlighting the December 16, 2014 Peshawar terrorist attack he said, "Many innocents were killed in Peshawar terrorist attack, but there were tears in everyone's eyes in Parliament here."

He asserted that 'unity in diversity' is the whole essence of the Indian culture, the Prime Minister said there is no place for violence and atrocities in the nation.

Two Baloch leaders earlier on Saturday welcomed Prime Minister Modi's stand to expose Pakistan's brutalities in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

World Baloch Women's Forum president Naela Quadri Baloch said the people of the region supported Modi.

Hammal Haider Baloch, another Baloch leader, said it was for the first time that an Indian Prime Minister has expressed his wish to support the Baloch people.

Their appeal came a day after the Modi government launched a fresh offensive against Islamabad for igniting the latest unrest in Kashmir after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani last month.

Kashmir has been on the boil for more than a month with at least 58 killed and thousands wounded during protests against Wani's killing. (ANI)