Politics

PM”™s statement on Balochistan was Long Due

Kashmir is legally part of India while Balochistan is illegal occupation

New Delhi: External Affairs ministry has denied that there is any policy change as far as Baluchistan is concerned after the PM talked about it from the parapet of the Red Fort. Though the PM got support for his statement from all across except a few politicians. Experts on the matter of External Affairs are of the view that this is a delayed pronouncement as Balochistan mentioned in Sharm ul Sheik was altogether different.

On being asked if there is a foreign policy shift on Balochistan, spokesperson of the external affairs ministry Vikas Swaroop said that as to whether this constitutes a policy shift, let me say that Government of India has made statements about the situation in Balochistan in the past as well. My own predecessor had commented on this issue. The only difference this time round was that the various messages the Prime Minister had received had sufficiently moved him to share it with the people of India.

Swaroop further said that let us first understand the context, in which the Prime Minister made the comments that is being referred to.  Several people from Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, including Gilgit-Baltistan had messaged him, had been writing to him following his comments at the All Party Meeting on the 12th of August in which he had flagged the atrocities being committed on the people of Balochistan.  Prime Minister had been thanked by these people for flagging their cause in the All Party Meeting which represents all political segments in India.  Prime Minister was sufficiently moved by these messages of gratitude to share it with the people of India at his Independence Day address.

An expert on Pakistan said that whatever the PM had said about Baluchistan is an indication about the human right violation of Baluch people in their land. This is also true that earlier there was no talks about Baluchistan by the Indian government. As far as Sharm ul Sheikh is concerned where Balochistan was mentioned, the context was different. But this is premature to say if this is a policy shift but only such decisions change the course of the policy.

On the other hand Pakistani politician and journalist Najm Sethi in a TV discussion, Aapas ki Baat, argued it was a foolish act on part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to talk about Balochistan in his Independence Day Speech. He also states that it proves Pakistan’s point that “India is involved in creating trouble in Balochistan.”

In another programme, Capital Talk, the discussants argue that there is no comparison between Balochistan and Kashmir. One of the discussant even termed Modi as the no 1 enemy of Muslims and argued that “We are happy that Modi himself has accepted Indian involvement in Balochistan.”

Another expert on the matters of external affairs said that obviously there is a difference between Kashmir and Balochistan. In Kashmir Indian Army is attacked by stones and bullets and it is a clearly law and order problem. Army is forced to answer bullet by bullet however in Baluchistan peaceful civilians are being killed by Pakistani Army without any provocations. Another thing that needs to be understood, that Kashmir was legally merged with Indian Union while Pakistan is in illegal occupation of Balochistan. The Pakistan government is unnecessary provoking by passing laws regarding in its national Assembly which is not going to serve any purpose except antagonizing its neighbor.


 

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