NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategic blitzkrieg against Pakistan on the issue of Balochistan seems to be yielding results as a rattled Pakistan on Monday said Balochistan was its domestic matter and invited Baloch leaders in self-exile for talks.
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The invitation came on a day when Modi, in an unprecedented move, raised the issue of the human rights violations in Balochistan in his Independence Day address.
Earlier in the day, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and Commander of Southern Command Lieutenant General Aamir Riaz extended offer of talks to the Baloch leaders living in self-exile and said they were welcome to return to the country. “It will be their choice, to join national politics or to do politics on a nationalist basis. We will honour it if the people of Balochistan give you the mandate,” Zehri said. He also contended that as against the situation in Kashmir, Pakistan was loved in Balochistan. Reacting to the support extended by the Indian government to the exiled leaders, Advisor on Foreign Affairs to Pakistan Sartaj Aziz refused to acknowledge the grievances of the Baloch activists fighting for their freedom as opposed to sympathising with Kashmir’s cause.
“PM Modi’s reference to Balochistan, which is an integral part of Pakistan, only proves Pakistan’s contention that India, through its main intelligence agency RAW has been fomenting terrorism in Balochistan,” Aziz said in a statement. The statement bore an uncanny resemblance to India’s appeal to Pakistan to refrain from fuelling unrest in Kashmir.
The tectonic shift in Indian foreign policy came when Modi, at a recent all-party meeting, directed the External Affairs Ministry to get in touch with Baloch leaders and Kashmiris from PoK living in foreign countries.