NEW DELHI: As tension in the Kashmir Valley refuses to die down, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ratcheting up the Balochistan issue to rattle Pakistan, both at home and abroad.
The neighbour, who has been encouraging meetings between separatist leaders and successive High Commissioners in Delhi, will be further discomfited when residents of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan arrive to attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be organised in Bengaluru on 7 January 2017.
Mission Balochistan doesn’t end there. Pre-freedom activist Mir Mazdak Baloch will start organising camps in Delhi to garner support for the cause. He will be delivering talks at universities and has been granted a visa to travel across the country to highlight the Baloch humanitarian crisis. Mir Mazdok has a speaking engagement in Jawaharlal Nehru University this week.
Coincidentally, pro-azadi Kashmiris had shouted anti-India slogans earlier this year on the campus. Mazdok has been camping in Delhi to put together the logistics of his campaign. On Saturday, Doordarshan interviewed the grandson of assassinated Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti on his ‘Martyr Day’. The activist died in a Pakistan military action on August 26, 2006.
“Many Baloch came to India about a century ago during tribal wars. They have settled down in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. We share blood ties. Our aim is to connect with them,” says Mazdak.
He was forced to flee Balochistan in 2010 to Afghanistan. He holds Pakistan responsible for ‘genocide’ in Balochistan and has dedicated his life to freedom of Balochistan—“nothing less and nothing more”.
Even as the Indian government is yet to explicitly lay down the fine print of its Balochistan policy, this tacit approval signals India’s ‘softening of stand’ towards their plight, according to diplomats.