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 12.03.2013

 Six relatives of abducted Baloch students disappeared

  KARACHI: As missing personsí issue remains a persistent problem for Pakistanís southwestern Balochistan province, bodies of two ...


 26.02.2013

 BALOCHISTAN: 6 more Baloch kidnapped by FC forces in Panjgur

Feb 23, 2013 PANJGUR, Balochistan. Pakistani security Forces, Frontier Corps (FC) surrounded and raided several houses in early dawn in Chitkan area ofDistri...


 14.02.2013

 BALOCHISTAN: Baloch people to Protest in front of the White House.

http://bso-na.org/2013/Feb/001.html A peaceful protest rally is being organized by the Baloch community in North America in front of the White House to d...


 28.01.2013

 Balochistan violence: Insurgents kill 3 peace force personnel

According to Balochistan Levies sources, dozens of armed insurgents assaulted the post of the pro-government tribal militia post in the Tilli Mat area of Dera B...


 21.01.2013

 Rights violations: Protesters rally against FC in Balochistan

QUETTA:  The Baloch Human Rights Organisation (BHRO) on Saturday staged a demonstration outside the Quetta Press Club against the ongoing operation in Mas...


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FACTS    

Resolution on the Historical and Political Basis of the Baloch Quest for Autonomy

14.07.2004

 

And Self-determination from the point of Peace, Human Rights and Social Justice

Where there is political deprivation, issues of violations of human rights, peace and social justice become vital for social and political discourse. The Baloch question of autonomy has been prominent and has been raised by Baloch leaders and intellectuals as political issue and has been a cause of many repressive actions by the State against the Baloch people. Balochistan means the eastern and south-eastern part of Iran from Dasht e Lut in the west to the lower half of the Indus valley in Pakistan, including the south western part of Afghanistan.

Its total area is approximately 340000sq. miles and its population is estimated to 20 million. Geographically Balochistan is a part of the Iranian plateau and culturally it forms part of South west Asia, also the area where South Asia ends. The Baloch resisted against Iranian attempts to domination up to 1928 when Raza Shah of Iran subdued them with British support. The eastern part of Balochistan was further divided into British Balochistan, Balochistan states, while a part of Seistan was given over as lease. At the end of the nineteenth century, in greater imperial interests the British negotiated with the Afghan government and decided to draw the Durand line and Goldsmith line which resulted in dividing Baloch homeland in three parts.

And, in the name of administrative purpose, huge tracts of land from Balochistan were annexed to the provinces of Punjab and Sindh under British control. The land and the people of Balochistan have a distinct national, cultural and political and administrative entity and identity from centuries. By the beginning of the twentieth century territorial changes occurred in this area. Political maps of the world have changed repeatedly to serve the interests of the imperial hegemonic powers.

Wars, revolutions, and political movements have brought major shifts in human population and values of various cultures and societies. Many countries have divided and re-divided and new states have emerged as independent states. Borders have run through cultural and linguistic entities. And thus the national issue of Balochistan was left unresolved. The area of Derjat and Khangarh (Jacobabad) were demarcated and given to British India. Early 20th century when the movement for independence in the Indian subcontinent gathered momentum, the Baloch people also asserted their political and geographical identity.

The people of Balochistan under the auspices of Kalat National Party started a movement for their democratic rights. During this period conferences were held highlighting Baloch identity, and the inspiration to sovereignty. In March 1940, the Lahore resolution was passed by the All India Muslim league which clearly declared that the new potential state of Pakistan would be a federation. At that time Balochistan was an independent state (Kalat State Union), having a bicameral assembly.

The issue of annexation was debated and rejected by both the houses of Balochistan parliament. However, a year later after the creation of Pakistan the annexation was forced on the State of Kalat by Pakistan. That created a wave of resentment and political unrest, which resulted into an armed revolt and had to be got quelled by coercion. In 1920, Mir Abdul Aziz Kurd and Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Magsi initiated a political movement, Anjuman e Ittehad Balochistan (Organization for the unity of Baloch and Balochistan). In 1931 Kalat State National Party was formed by Mir Ghous Bux Bizanjo, the aim of these attempts was to secure United Balochistan.

The first Baloch national conference was held in 1932 to shape the future contours of Baloch nationalist agenda which continues till today. The movement has seen various ups and downs in the last hundred years. Political movements of the people have been going on in form of various demands for self-determination and autonomy. On August 11 1947, before the independence of India and Pakistan Balochistan‚?Ts Independence was announced by British. On March 27, 1948, Balochistan was annexed by force in Pakistan. Mr. Ghous Bux Bizanjov, Mir Abdul Aziz Kurd and several other political leaders were jailed or placed under house arrest or exiled. On May 1948, Agha Karim Khan, the governor of Makran, launched a rebellion against Pakistan and went to mountains with numerous members of the National Party.

The newly created state of Pakistan did not honor its resolve to achieve a true and genuine federal political arrangement. The political and administrative structure was highly centralized. The rights of smaller groups and federating units were denied by the Punjabi ruling clique. Pakistan’s ruling elite treated all nationalist movements, particularly Baloch nationalist struggle, as a threat to the state and the so-called ‚?~national security‚?T. The establishment reacted to all political movements with strong oppressive measures. Baloch struggled for political recognition has continued till now in different forms and strategies that have included constitutional struggles also. Unfortunately the constitutional attempts have remained unsuccessful ‚?" one instance being the first elected Baloch nationalist government in Pakistan, headed by  Attaullah Mengal, which was forcibly dissolved by the Federal Government forcefully eight months of its establishment, with majority of the members of assembly being put behind bars.

Two elected provincial governments in Balochistan were broken down by power and conspiracy. Balochistan has gone through four armed conflicts since 1948. The discrimination against Balochistan in term of resource allocation, government services, education, and development of basic infrastructure has been conspicuous from the beginning. One hundred years of continued human rights violation and oppression has reduced the indigenous Baloch population into a ‚?~minority‚?T.

The people of Balochistan see the recent development projects another threat to their livelihood and political aspirations. It is feared that these projects will result into greater displacement of Baloch people and an inward migration of others, which will be again a blow to demography of Baloch population. The nuclear blasts and defense programs of Pakistan have made the people poorer and more vulnerable. The present traditional Baloch society has a number of inherited structural discriminations.

The hierarchy of tribe, caste, clan and patriarchy is reflected in various forms of oppression within the society at various levels. The colonial system provided full support to the tribal ruling class and strengthened and contributed to the perpetuation of tribalism. The ruling elite of Pakistan and Iran have also joined hands with the tribal ruling class to continue the system based on undemocratic values. The worst form of discrimination and violation of rights can be witnessed against women in present Baloch society. The patriarchy is so strong that women are being killed in the name of honor and treated as third class citizens. Their mobility is extremely restricted which has resulted in marginalization of women at all levels of society including their access to information, education, resources and to the decision making institutions. Women‚?Ts participation and representation is also negligible in all spheres of state and society.

The notion of peace in the present Baloch context is intriguing. The grievances of the ordinary citizens of Balochistan remain un-addressed. The post 1977 situation has worsened the plight of people. This is a continuous phase of human rights violations, which include torture and extrajudicial killings. Nuclear tests and missile tests in Balochistan have created health sufferings, drought, displacements and rising insecurities. The neighboring Shia fundamentalism in Iran and Sunni fundamentalism in Punjab are threatening the traditional secular society of Baloch where Hindus, Christians, Zikris and Sunnis had lived for long in relative peace. In the structure of decision-making the Baloch has no representation, so development and all related policies are against the existence of Baloch people.



Overview

The Balochis of Iran live in the southeastern tip of Iran and form the majority of the province of Sistan-Balochistan which sits along Iran’s border with Pakistan. There are also many Balochis living in the provinces of Kerman and Khorasan. Their history in this region can be traced back as far as the 7th century A.D. They also have kindred groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Balochis are mostly Sunni Muslims and are divided into tribal groups. At a few points in their history, a single tribal leader was able to unite all Balochis but this unity rarely lasted past his death. The rest of the time, their tribal differences were divisive. The Balochis, even until today, are mostly illiterate and non-urban and their culture shows many traits of nomadic and warrior traditions.

The provinces in which the Balochis live are among the poorest in Iran. Attempts by the Iranian government (both under the Pahlavis and the current government) to integrate the Balochis into the Iranian economy were intended to bring the region under the government’s control and not necessarily improve the lot of the Balochis. Perhaps due to this poverty and the remoteness of the region, the production and smuggling of opium has become a major industry in the region. This has not surprisingly resulted in clashes between Balochi smugglers and the government, but this seems to be more due to the "business" of the smugglers rather than their ethnicity.

The Balochis, mostly due to the remoteness of their living in a mountainous and desert region, were effectively autonomous for most of their history. Even today, their isolation limits the amount of government control of their region. Their isolation was first disturbed by the British in the second half of the 19th century. However, until Reza Shah came to power in 1921, they remained mostly autonomous. As part of his campaign to centralize Iran’s government and economy, Reza Shah launched a series of pacification campaigns against the Balochi and by 1935, none of the Balochi tribal chiefs were able to oppose him.

After a brief period of independence during and after World War II, the Pahlavis reasserted their control over the Balochis. The Balochis did well under the secular Pahlavi government and their tribal leaders entered into a patron client relationship with the Pahlavis which allowed them limited self government. This ended after the Iranian revolution. In 1980, a non-Balochi Shi’i governor was appointed as governor of Sistan-Balochistan and the patron-client relationship ended. This both angered Balochis and freed them of the economic controls that went hand in hand with their patron-client relationship with the Shah. Also, the religious differences between the Sunni Baluchis and the Shi’i controlled government, which had not been a problem under the secular government of the Pahlavis, began to cause tensions.

The Iranian government uses its usual strong arms methods which include assassinations, arrests, torture, executions and other civil and human rights violations in order to put down any real or perceived resistance to their rule. Despite this, since 1980 the Balochis have been sporadically engaging in armed resistance against the Iranian government. The information on such fighting is clearly incomplete and it is often difficult to distinguish between rebellion and clashes between government forces and Balochi smugglers and drug dealers.

Since only Iran’s ruling party has been legal since the revolution and that was disbanded in 1987, the Balochis have no legal political parties. They also have no illegal organizations.

Also, during the 1980s, the war in Afghanistan caused the flow of a considerable number of refugees and guerrillas into the regions in which the Iranian Balochis live.

Chronology March 13 1990: Pakistani security forces kill 7 people when they raid a hideout of Iranian saboteurs planning attacks on Iran in the area of Sistan-Balochistan.

March 28 1990: Iran executes 2 men for spying for Iraq and collaborating with bandits and counter-revolutionaries in the Sistan-Balochistan area. Note: Iran executes many of the rebels it catches. Such executions will not be further noted unless otherwise noteworthy.

March 28 1990: UPI reports that Iran is facing a low-key rebellion among Balochi tribesmen in the southeastern territories. The Balochi rebels are frequently referred to as drug traffickers, bandits and counter-revolutionaries. Note: Incidents will not be reported in this chronology unless at least one source refers to those perpetrating the incident as rebels or their actions are clearly rebellious.

April 1990: Iranian security forces clash with armed rebels and drug traffickers in the Sistan-Balochistan province several times this month.

June 7 1990: "Armed bandits" kill a prominent Iranian cleric in Sistan-Balochistan.

February-March 1991: Severe flooding damages crops and property leaving at least 50,000 homeless. In the following months and years a considerable amount of foreign aid is donated to deal with this problem.

June 1991: Clashes between Balochi tribesmen and government forces in the Sistan-Balochistan province result in the deaths of over 100 of Iran’s revolutionary guards.

July 1991: The Independent (July 16, 1991) reports that during 1990 in heavy fighting with Baloch tribesmen, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard lost at least 20 helicopters and "devastated" many Balochi villages.

September 13 1991: Iranian opposition radio reports clashes between Balochi combatants and Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the city of Khashi. They also report a demonstration in the city of Birjand.

October 18 1991: Iranian opposition radio reports clashes between Balochi "strugglers" and "the regime’s agents."

November 5 1991: Iranian opposition radio reports continued clashes between Balochi "strugglers" and Iranian government forces.

November 28 1991: Iran claims to have killed 27 Balochi rebels in a raid on a hideout in Sistan-Balochistan.

April 18 1992: 300 Afghan guerrillas based in Sistan-Balochistan return to Afghanistan.

June 24 1992: Local people protest over Iran’s setting up a military base and violently clash with Iranian revolutionary guards in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Balochistan. 6 revolutionary guards are killed and the township’s mayor is taken hostage.

March 18 1993: 3 Iranian Balochi activists are murdered in Karachi by what are believed to be agents of the Iranian government.

June 6 1993: Mohammed Hassan Arbab, a Balochi activist, is shot dead by gunmen believed to be working for Iranian security forces.

November 17 1993: Amnesty International includes Baluchis in a list of groups especially subject to human rights violations in Iran.

February 2 1994: Demonstrators in Sistan-Balochistan attack public buildings and military vehicles in Zahedan, the province’s capital, on the 15th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution.

February 6 1994: The Iranian government reinforces security forces in Sistan-Balochistan due to clashes between police and armed protestors who were denouncing Iran’s demolition of a Sunni mosque in the city of Mashad in the province of Khorastan. 21 protestors and 4 security men are killed and at least 30 are wounded. The government claims that the unrest was caused by drug smugglers.

October 27 1994: Deutsche Presse Agentur reports that a self-proclaimed Baloch National Council has called for a special status for the Sunni-dominated Sistan-Baluchistan region within the Iranian Shi’i theocracy.

June 7 1995: A group of 97 "bandits", including Abdollah Lushari a member of the Balochi nationalists and 20 of his men, surrender to government forces.

Update June 1999

March 10 1996 Reformers gain a majority of seats in first round polls. (ABC CLIO)

April 21 1996 Conservative parliamentarians in Iran’s Islamic consultative Assembly lost more seats in the run off elections held on April 19. (ABC CLIO)

May 23 1997: Khatami, a moderate, is elected president with 69% of the vote. Khatami promised in the campaign to reduce censorship and support a diversity of attitudes. (ABC CLIO)

October 25 1998 Conservatives dominate election to the council of experts when many of the reformist candidates were disqualified. (ABC CLIO)

March 8 1999 Moderates win in first local elections in 20 years. (ABC CLIO)

Risk Assessment

The situation of the Balochis since 1989 seems to have remained unchanged, both economically and politically. They still inhabit some of the poorest regions in Iran and still are denied autonomy by the Iranian government. The rebellion and activism against the government seems to be continuing. However, information on the situation in these regions is limited and it is likely that more activism and rebellion against the Iranian government is taking place than is indicated by this chronology. Since 1995 there has been even less media exposure for the Baluchis.

References

Fabietti, Ugo "Power relations in Southern Balochistan: A comparison of Three Ethnographic Cases" Ethnology, Jan 1992, 31(1), pp. 89-102.

Helfgott, Leonard M. "The Structural Foundations of the National Minority Problem in Revolutionary Iran" Middle East Studies, XIII (1-4), pp.195-213.

Meron, Theodor "Iran’s Challenge to the International Law of Human Rights" Human Rights Internet Reporter, 13 (1), Spring 1989, pp. 8-13.

Metz, Helen Chapin Iran: a Country Study (4th ed.), Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1987.

Richard, Yann "The Relevance of ’Nationalism’ in Contemporary Iran" Middle East Review, summer 1989, pp. 27-36.

Wirsing, Robert G. "The Balochis and Pathans" Minority Rights Group Report no. 46, 1987.

The Christian Science Monitor, 1990-1994.

Keesing’s Contemporary Archive, Keesing’s Record of World Events

Source: Strategicnetwork.org

 

Baloch Unity is very great full of our brother Aziz Baloch who always helps us in our mission.

« Previous  |  Next »

• 14.07.2004 - Baloch unity asks help for the effected area in Balochistan by foot & mouth disease
• 12.07.2004 - Why Baloch People should protest? They must demand.
• 11.07.2004 - Iranian authorities keep on their cruelty.
• 10.07.2004 - Evil of bonded labour
• 05.07.2004 - A discussion about Sardari system

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    COLUMNISTS 

 - Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

 31.07 - COMMENT: Saggaan ra kushaada-and, Ďoí sing ra basta
 24.07 - COMMENT: Aung San Suu Kyi: the beacon ó I
 24.07 - ďCOMMENT: Rolling back the tsunami
 03.07 - COMMENT: The judge, jury and the hangman
 03.07 - COMMENT: Not crazy, courageous

 -  Sanaullah Baloch

 07.01 - Judiciary, parliament silent on Baloch issues
 25.11 - Exploitation of Mineral Wealth
 24.10 - From Chile to Chagai
 26.09 - The Baloch agony in Pakistan
 26.08 - The great Baloch martyr

 - Aziz Baloch

 14.04 - A Message to Honorable Leaders of the Baloch "Nation"
 13.11 - A Voice of a Baloch
 27.09 - Two Womenís Tragedies in Balochistan: Honor Killing and Rape.
 25.08 - Self-determination of Balochistan: Looking Back and Looking Forward
 11.08 - United Nations: Itís Contribution to the Everlasting Balochistan Crisis

 Malik Siraj Akbar
 - ANALYSIS: Strategic mess

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