Wed, Dec 7, 2016 | updated 07:56 PM IST

India's support on Balochistan gives me hope, US should rethink on Pakistan, says Baloch leader Mehran Marri

Updated: Sep 17, 2016 09:26 IST

By Ravi Khandelwal

Geneva [Switzerland], Sept. 17 (ANI): Asserting that the United States is "very well aware of the connivances and the dirty games that the Pakistan agencies and the Pakistan military are playing in Balochistan", Mehran Marri, the Baloch representative to the European Union and the UNHCR, has urged Washington to follow in the footsteps of India and Afghanistan and have rethink on its policies towards Islamabad.

Speaking to ANI in an exclusive interview, Marri said, "The US is very well aware of the connivances and the dirty games that the Pakistan agencies and the Pakistan military are playing in Balochistan. I would really like to take this opportunity to thank the Afghan leadership for their support and I would request the American administration and American government to rethink their policy about Pakistan and take a step in the same direction as India and Afghanistan have taken."

Responding to reports of the Pakistan army intensifying its operation in Balochistan, Marri said, "The Pakistani military and the Pakistani Army are having chills running down their spine since Mr. Modi spoke about the Balochistan issue. They are panicking and are nervous, and understandably so, because they went through this in 1971, and they can see it coming again. So, I don't blame them for feeling nervous, but yes, they have intensified their operations in Baloch areas in the recent past.

The Baloch representative also accused the Pakistani Government of misinforming the world community about the Balochistan issue and the Balochistan leadership by heavily lobbying and putting a lot of finance into the pockets of their lobbyists in Europe and the U.S.

He also took the opportunity to express his gratitude to India for raising the Balochistan issue at the international platform, including the United Nations, saying, "Myself and the Baloch nation are very grateful to India for raising the issue of Balochistan, especially on the 15th August at the Red Fort, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged that he will raise the issue at all levels. And recently, two days ago in the Human Rights Council, India raised the Balochistan issue at the United Nations for the first time."

He said that Balochistan sees that India is very serious about addressing the issues of Balochistan and the human rights violations that the Pakistan is committing there because almost for 70 years.

"We were left helpless and now we see that the international community, particularly India, has a serious say and status in the international community, and now, the people will finally take the issue of Balochistan seriously," he said.

India on Wednesday launched a scathing counter attack against Pakistan by raising human rights violations it perpetrates in Balochistan at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

India also took aim at human rights violations by Pakistan's politico-military establishment across the country, including Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Giving a befitting reply to Pakistan for alleging human rights violations in India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement said that Islamabad is characterised by authoritarianism, absence of democratic norms and widespread human rights violations across the country including Balochistan.

"Pakistan has alleged human rights violations in India. Our credentials as a peaceful, democratic, pluralistic society that is deeply committed to the welfare of its people are well established. On the contrary, Pakistan is characterised by authoritarianism, absence of democratic norms and widespread human rights violations across the country including Balochistan," the statement said. (ANI)