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Monday, September 28, 2009

Brahmdagh Bugti - Qurratul ain Siddiqui

When the GoP, the mainstream media and the talking heads switch from discussing the Taliban threat, the warring politicians and the state of economy and law order the topic trickles down to Balochistan.

This large state is consigned to the bottom of the list, even when they all agree this is a festering and burning issue.

Read what Brahmdagh has to say in this little noticed interview by Qurat ul ain Siddiqui

Recently, government sources have spoken of granting a general amnesty to
all Baloch political prisoners as well as those in exile or allegedly involved
in anti-state activities. Earlier this month, the government also decided to
halt work on setting up cantonments in Balochistan’s Dera Bugti and Kohlu areas.
However, these moves have been received with much scepticism from the Baloch
nationalist and separatist circles. In this context, talks to the chief
of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP), Brahmdagh Bugti, who has denied having any
reconciliatory talks with Islamabad and rejects ‘such statements as eyewash.’

* Firstly, I’d like to emphasise that we were a free people. In 1948, we were forced to become a part of Pakistan, literally on gunpoint. On top of that, Balochistan as a province and the Baloch as a people have not been treated fairly by successive governments. Still, we have tried to fight for our rights within the Pakistani parliamentary system, but every time we have been suppressed through military operations and other means. At this point, things have come to such a head that people are left with no choice but to seek complete independence from Pakistan.

*... I see some people of Balochistan supporting the sardari system while others go for direct democracy. They should be allowed to decide their own future.

* Target killings are obviously wrong and I am not in favour of them in principle. However, when criticising target killings, people are pointing toward a symptom which obviously has a cause. Target killings are reactions to the ongoing military operation in Balochistan. People should also criticise the army when its gunship helicopters fire on innocent civilians and attack their livestock.

* It’s amusing how in 2006 Islamabad created a fanfare about abolishing the sardari system in Dera Bugti and now Aali Bugti has been brought to power there with the blessings of the Pakistani establishment. Aali has not been able to step out of his house. As for Shahzain, I am not in touch with him, but I feel that he too is being used by the establishment.


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