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Independence is the only way forward for nations under foreign occupation

Zaffar Baloch

by Zaffar Baloch

BHRC representative’s speech on the occasion marking the 88th year of the Persian occupation of Al Ahwaz commemorated on April 27, 2013 in Toronto.

Today the Persian occupation and colonial rule over Al Ahwaz is 88 years old, and so is the Al-Ahwazi resistance against the theocratic state of Iran for independence. In 1925, when the Persian armies marched into Ahwaz led by Gen. Zahidi under the orders of Reza Khan Pahlavi, they had only one goal in mind – the total destruction of Al-Ahwaz national identity and the plundering of its natural wealth. In the first decade that followed, up to 1936, Ahwaz was divided and forcefully annexed into other provinces, and its oil & gas exploration including marketing were firmly brought under Tehran’s control.

Colonialism is always about the loss of the subjugated nation’s natural and cultural wealth resulting in the struggles to regain the lost heritage and sovereignty.

On this black day in the history of nations, we the Baloch, a people under occupation, stand in solidarity with our Ahwazi, Kurd, Azeri, and Turkoman brethren and their struggles for independence.

Exactly three years after the occupation of Ahwaz, the Persian armies entered Balochistan in 1928, and yet another nation fell to its colonial rule. Following the pattern, in 1948, the eastern Baloch lands and its capital Kalat was subjected to a military invasion and occupation by the newly founded state of Pakistan.

The Baloch national liberation struggles against the theocratic and fascist states of Iran and Pakistan have now matured with time. The increase in the depth and spread of Balochistan independence movement has succeeded in attracting international recognition by Western democracies, particular Briton and the U.S.

The gross human rights violations resulting from the repressive methods adopted by Iran and Pakistan are on the rise in Balochistan. Mass enforced disappearances, torture, in-custody executions, and extra-judicial targeted killings of Baloch leaders and activists have become the norm of the day. More than 14,000 Baloch youths have been illegally abducted by the Pakistani army and its paramilitary forces as a measure to crush the growing national awareness for freedom and rights.

Since 2008, more than 700 of the forcefully disappeared have been tortured and executed in custody and their bodies dumped in the fields. The recent escalation in the state atrocities include children of Grade 6 and 7 whose mutilated bodies were thrown outside villages as a lesson to their parents and all those who dare challenge the state.

Sadly, these incidents of brutality have taken place last week, amid Pakistani claims of so called “Free and fair” general elections – the bloodiest in the history of the country. The situation in Balochistan has grown worse with the rise in illegal abductions of political activists and dumping of 24 missing person’s mutilated bodies in different regions of the province and the city of Karachi.

Today the people of Balochistan are at a critical juncture in their national history – to choose – either to vote for the continuation of the Pakistani military occupation, atrocities, mass enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, and the plundering of our natural resources; or demand for the end of occupation and independence from Pakistan.

We have learned from the history of free nations that the only resolution to national subjugation, loss of culture and identity is – independence, so that we can develop as a sovereign nation, empowered to determine our own future.

Long live free Ahwaz, Kurdistan, Turkmenistan, South Azerbaijan, and Balochistan. Long live national liberation struggles of all nations under foreign occupation.

Full Text of Speech by:

Zaffar Baloch
President,
Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada)
March 27, 2011

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