Bangkok [Thailand], Nov 24 (ANI): UK-based Baloch nationalist leader Mehran Marri has warned the Pakistan establishment not to trust China, especially when it comes to the latter's ongoing involvement in the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
Speaking to the Asia Times, Marri, who was denied political asylum by Switzerland recently, when asked about the possibility of China establishing a hegemony in Balochistan, said, "To be honest, it's much worse than the Punjabi hegemony - I've said that on many occasions. In fact, the Punjabis should start fearing the Chinese as well. These guys will eat your children. Beware of the Chinese."
Marri squarely blamed Pakistan for convincing the Swiss authorities to bar his entry into that country.
Senior Pakistani officials said the ban was requested by Islamabad as follow up to the take down of the 'Free Balochistan' banners that appeared in Geneva.
Similar posters also emerged on London taxi cabs and buses, with Transport for London taking them down following the Pakistani High Commission's request.
He said the Swiss authorities have been harassing him with questions for the past ten years, but this (rejection of political asylum) was the last straw.
Marri said, "I've been going to Switzerland since 2001. Since 2006, they've started interrogating me, whether or not I have another passport, where I was born - blatantly foolish questions the answers to which they can find on my passport. This is because the Pakistani consulate there has provided them details of somebody with my credentials - but no picture - that claim that I'm a Pakistani citizen. I am a British citizen, not born in Pakistan."
Marri described Islamabad as being very desperate since the campaign for freeing Balochistan has picked up in Geneva and elsewhere in Europe over the past year.
"They (Switzerland) deported me and put a 10-year ban on me, but I'm taking them to court," he said.
".I believe I have been accused of supporting terrorism and that I'm involved in militant activities, which is basically the line that the Pakistani establishment toes. Pakistan has always been great at blackmailing the Western countries. But what is shocking is that Switzerland, a neutral country, the home of UN Human Rights Council, is falling into the trap. This is why humanitarian groups are absolutely shocked by the developments," he said.
He said, "My struggle for the past 17 years is evidence that there is actually an increase in awareness of the Baloch cause. If anything, the fact that the Pakistani establishment is acting in desperation shows how big a thorn in the backside we are for them. They're clearly getting paranoid..."
He believed that the Baloch movement for independence is now taking proper shape and moving forward.
".We are demanding the restoration of our sovereignty - separatist makes it look a bit radical and militant. We just want independence, which is a basic human right. Every nation has that right and that is what is mustering worldwide support," he said.
"Pakistan has been framing Baloch nationalists from day one. We have been dubbed Iraqi agents, Israeli agents, Russian agents, Indian agents. Today, they're accusing us of being affiliated with the BLA and the UBA, tomorrow it's going to be ISIS and al-Qaeda," Marri said.
When asked if the final goal is the creation of an independent Balochistan state, Marri said, "Our goal wasn't the creation of an independent Balochistan to begin with. To be honest, my father and all Baloch nationalist leaders all tried to work out a union within Pakistan. But they were all disappointed since Pakistan cannot exist as a union, because of the hegemony of Punjab of every other nation. So now we've reached the conclusion that we need to struggle for our rightful independent state of Balochistan."
Pakistan would eventually self-implode, he added. (ANI)