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Seminar on Balochistan organized by Swedish Liberal Party and Baloch activist Mohammad Zainudini Baloch

Below is a transcript of Khan of Kalat Mir Suleiman Daud's address to the Swedish Liberal Party seminar on Balochistan, followed by an account of the event.

Mr. Chairman, organisers, Ladies and Gentleman, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to share with you the sorrow and pains that the Baluch nation are subjected to by the occupying forces of Pakistan and Iran.

The recent waves of extra-judicial killings of the Baluch by the Pakistani security forces and the issue of the Baluch right to an independent state are of legitimate international concern and do not constitute exclusively an internal affair of Pakistan.

The Iranian theocratic regime denies the Baluch in Iran basic civil rights--basic human rights such as the freedom of speech, worship and association.

The Iranians have failed to accommodate the Baluch pre-existing cultural, legal, political institutions and traditions.

The largest part of Baluchistan under Pakistani control suffers the worst human rights violations. Baluchistan is an occupied land and the Baluch suffer gross violations of human rights, such as genocide, ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination.

The international community has always been aware of the gross violation of human rights on both sides of the Goldsmith line, yet Iranians and Pakistanis have free rein to suppress the Baluch as they see fit.

The international community has never shown concern about genocide (targeted killing), mass forced disappearances in Baluchistan by the states. The states are not providing protection to Baluch properties and lives.

Pakistan is a state formed on prejudice against the Hindu faith, while Iran is a Shiite empire. Both states are intolerant towards religious and ethnic minorities.

The Iranians and Pakistanis are trying to find a common approach that will weaken the Baluch capacity to challenge the states' power domestically and internationally.

The Baluch are the victims of the states' forced assimilation policies. The fact is that human rights institutions and international organisations have failed to protect the Baluch.

The sincere desire to find an alternative means to protect Baluch human rights is the shell of statehood.

The Baluch people have always had a state of their own throughout recorded history. In that sense, the Baluch have a unique outstanding right to re-establish their sovereign state--the same right to which the Swedish, Norwegians and other nations in the world are entitled.

The fact is that the Baluch nation is a historic nation traditionally settled in Baluch land for millenniums. The European Union, the international community and other humanitarian bodies promoting human rights and democracy must recognise that Baluchistan is an occupied land. They should focus on conflict resolution between the Iranians, Pakistanis and the Baluch on the basis of the Baluch legitimate right to an independent united Baluchistan.

Thank you.

Khan of Kalat, Suleman Ahmedzai

* * *

Sweden: A one-day seminar was held in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, on the ongoing human rights violations and current situation in Balochistan. The Swedish Liberal Party (POLK) and a Sweden-based Baloch political activist Mohammad Zainudini Baloch organised the event.

Baloch leaders Hyrbyair Marri, Khan Suleman Daud Khan, Akhtar Mengal, Human Rights activists Angela Harvy and a representative of Amnesty International talked about the Baloch plight and the current situation in Balochistan.

Hyrbyair Marri said that Swedish people enjoy their social, political, legal and cultural rights whereas we (Baloch) are even forbidden to use Balochi in our homeland, Balochistan. He said it was an additional irony that currently more academic research on the Balochi language is in progress in Sweden than in Balochistan. Mr Marri further said that many other nations suffer from subjugation but not to the same degree as encountered in Balochistan with its unimaginable atrocities, exploitation and destruction.

The Baloch leader said that it was high time for international democratic powers to support the Baloch in their just struggle for national liberation. He requested that the Swedish government and Swedish people offer their moral help to the Baloch struggle and raise their voices against the on-going human rights violations in occupied Balochistan.

Addressing the gathering Mir Suleman Daud Khan said that the occupying states of Iran and Pakistan were committing a genocide of the Baloch people. He further said that the international community has always been aware of the gross violation of human rights on both sides of the Goldsmith Line, but yet the Iranians and Pakistanis have free rein to suppress the Baluch as they see fit.

The leader of the Balochistan National Party (BNP), Sardar Akhtar Mengal, also addressed the meeting via video conference. He said the issue of Balochistan began in 1948 when Pakistan forcefully occupied Baloch land. Since then social and political freedoms have been snatched from the Baloch nation and the Baloch have faced continuous atrocities.

Mr. Mengal said a solution to the Balochistan issue was impossible without international intervention. He said the Baloch should be given the right to national self-determination which would include full independence of the occupied territory and the right to freedom like other sovereign nations of world.

The speakers and POLK thanked Mr. Mohammad Zainudini Baloch for arranging the meeting at the Swedish Parliament. A large number of Baloch activists from Sweden, Norway and London attended the event and distributed informative leaflets and books on Balochistan.