The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has cautioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make it clear that India will not interfere in Balochistan’s internal affairs in the wake of protesting Baloch activists taking to the streets with pictures of Modi and holding up Indian flags. The NCP warned that Modi needs to issue a clarification on what it termed as a ‘passing remark’ made during is Independence Day address, or else, expect India’s position to become more awkward as time passes by.
NCP leader Majid Memon told ANI, “So, India should not be brought into the issue with such a degree. This is not in favour of the nation. The Prime Minister should clarify that he was not trying to interfere in their internal matters, but only convey that India broadly wants that human rights must not be violated across the globe.
I don’t think that the Prime Minister wanted to land in the middle of issues in Balochistan. If he does not clarify, then India’s position will become more awkward later.”
He said that this kind of an agitation where India has been shown to have jumped in, is not in the best interest of the country, and added that if this is allowed to go further, then it will be understood that India is meddling in Balochistan’s affairs and is acting highhandedly. “It would be better for the Prime Minister to clarify that he does not mean to take one side in one group against another.
We are not a party there and we need to keep a distance,” Memon added. Days after Baloch leaders’ in-exile hailed Prime Minister Modi for highlighting the atrocities committed on their people by Pakistan, Baloch Republican Party (BRP) activists showered praise on him while holding the Indian flags and his pictures in their hands and vented their ire against Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri for declaring Brahamdagh Bugti a traitor.
Holding up pictures of the Prime Minister, late Baloch leader Akbar Bugti and his son Brahumdagh Bugti, the protestors, including children, with their faces covered, raised slogans against Islamabad and also burnt Pakistan’s national flag. The protestors raised slogans against Zehri for declaring Bugti a traitor and thanked the Indian Prime Minister for making references to Pakistan’s mistreatment of the people of Balochistan. Challenging Zehri, one of the protestors dared the former to visit the Quetta market without security.
“Zehri said that Bugti cannot even assemble 50 people. We want to tell him that Bugti lies not just in the hearts of just 50 or 50,000 people, but over 50 lakh people. If you are a man, then we challenge you to come to the Quetta market leaving your security, then we will see if you are a Baloch or not. Thousands of Baloch people are ready to sacrifice their lives just on Bugti’s one gesture. But Zehri makes such statements just to satisfy and please his bosses,” he said. “He should stop seeing us as slaves.
Then he will get to know who is in the majority. I want to tell him that the Baloch people are with Bugti,” he added. The protests have been going on for the past four days in Sui, Dera Bugti, Jafarabad and Nasirabad among other locations in Balochistan province. Speaking on his country’s 70th Independence Day, the Indian Prime Minister signalled a distinct hardening of posture against Pakistan by raising human rights violations in Balochistan and PoK. He said that the people of PoK and Balochistan had thanked him for flagging the human rights abuses by Pakistan’s security forces. The Prime Minister’s comments were criticised as “crossing a red line” by the Pakistan Government, a charge rejected by New Delhi.