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August 15, 2008

Shehmir Gorgej, WASHINGTON D.C.

The American Friends of Baluchistan and the Baloch Society of North America were joined by Dr. Nazir Bhatti, editor of the Pakistan Christian Post, in observing Pakistan's 61st birth anniversary by holding a Press Conference “Killings and Persecution of Baluch, Hindus and Christians in Pakistan” at the National Press Club here in Washington, DC.

Washington, DC: As the Pakistani army operations continue in Baluchistan, Islamabad is also busy with a discreet jihad or undeclared war inside Afghanistan in spite of officially being allied with the U.S. in the war on terror and receiving $12 billion in U.S. taxpayers' monies, two Baluch organizations told a Press conference at the National Press Club here Friday afternoon.

The American Friends of Baluchistan and the Baloch Society of North America, were joined by Dr. Nazir Bhatti, editor of the Pakistan Christian Post in observing Pakistan's 61st birth anniversary by holding a Press Conference “Killings and Persecution of Baluch, Hindus and Christians in Pakistan” at the National Press Club here in Washington, DC.

The meeting began with two one minute silences: one for victims of Pakistani army jihad in Baluchistan and a second for Al Qaeda and Taliban jihad in Afghanistan .

A.F.B. founder Ahmar Mustikhan, moderator and organizer of the Press event, read out the speech of Robert R. Selle, president of the A.F.B., who said Baluchistan is profusely bleeding and the issue can no longer be treated like an internal issue of Pakistan, but can only be addressed by the concerted efforts of the peoples of the world.

“The crux of the matter is that the Baluch people are “victims of jihad” at the hands of the Pakistani army. This calls for immediate international intervention,” Mustikhan demanded.

"The entire world can not be lying," Mustikhan said about I.S.I. links with the Al Qaeda.

He said the security agencies of not one but three countries have confirmed direct Pakistani involvement in the violence against Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Force.

He recalled earlier in April, an attempt was made on the life of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. “This sort of jihadi terror requires greater international resolve,” he said.

Dr. Nazir Bhatti, editor of the Pakistan Christian Post, demanded an end to the killings of Christians and adequate representation in parliament after and unbiased population census.

"There were five elected members in Pakistan Assembly of 1948, in house of 48 and which are decreased to four seats when house constitutes with 342 members in 2008. A transparent census is very important issue in for the Christians to get their due share," Bhatti said. 
Wahid Baloch, president of B.S.O.-N.A., said one way the U.S. can help both Baluchistan and Afghanistan is to cut off all military aid to Pakistan until it grants the Baluch people their right to self-determination and hands of terrorists like Mullah Omar and Ayman Alzwahiri.

“We  urge our friends on the Capitol Hill just small baby steps on their part can make a sea of difference,” Baloch said.

He said one of the baby steps on the part of the U.S. Congress is an embargo on all military supplies and equipment until Pakistan grants the Baloch people the right to self-determination, hands over terrorists like A.Q. Khan, Osama bin Laden, Ayman Alzwahiri, Daud Ebrahim and Rashid Rauf and rolls back its nuclear weapons program.

“I like to call the Pakistan army the Jihadi army. They are in fact they Taliban in uniform bearing U.S. arms in their hands,” Baloch said. “ Pakistan has never been an ally in the war on terror, because Pakistan itself is the terror. Pakistan , its military and ISI, are the main sources of terrorism,” he added.

Mustikhan said since the day of their forced annexation in march 1948, the Baluch have been discriminated against in multifarious ways by the Punjabi- and Mohajir-dominated central government in Islamabad .

Ashraf Haideri, counselor at the Afghan embassy in Washington DC , said the Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan was the main cause of bloodletting in Afghanistan . He said tremendous opportunities exist for trade and economic development, once Pakistan stops helping the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Karim Abdian, Ph.D., executive director of the Ahwaz Human Rights Organization, USA , who represents the Ahwazi Arabs in Iran , deplored the continued violation of human rights of the smaller nationalities in Iran and mentioned the hanging of Baluch journalist and human rights campaigner Yaqub Mehrnihad.

The newsmen repeatedly heard the name of General David McKiernan, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force, who in a recent interview with CNN said that Pakistan 's ISI is supporting the bloodshed inside Afghanistan .

“We are firmly convinced that the Pakistani army is committing crimes against humanity not only in Baluchistan, but also Afghanistan , as the escape of high-profile terrorist Rashid Rauf shows,” Mustikhan said.

“It is inexcusable that Pakistan 's Punjabi and Mohajir generals want to usurp the rights of the Baluch, Pashtuns and other nationalities,” he added.

“As a I speak here, as many as 2,000 people are still jailed or missing in Baluchistan . Even though an elected government took office in Pakistan early this year, the fate of the Baluch people has not changed,” Mustikhan said.

Mustikhan expressed concern over press reports that the British authorities were considering handing over to Pakistan Baluch political activists, namely former Baluchistan provincial minister Hairbiyar Marri, Faiz Baluch and others who have supported the resistance, in exchange for known the al Qaeda terrorists like Rashid Rauf. “Any such shameless and unprincipled trade-off would undermine the secular movement in Baluchistan ,” he said.

He deplored the huge campaign Islamabad has launched in favor of Aafia Siddiqi, who is clearly suspected of having evil designs against our new home, the Unued States, while it silenced and forcibly sent Dr. Shazia Khalid out of Pakistan . Khalid was raped by Pakistan army Captain Mohammed Hammad in Dera Bugti.

Siddiqi, who Press reports suggest has extensive links with Al Qaeda jihadists, was allegedly arrested in Afghanistan , while planning to blow up a provincial governor. In the case of Dr. Khalid, who was raped on January 2, 2005, Bugti tribe under the slain Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti rose in revolt against the injustice done to the woman doctor who was their neighbor.

Mustikhan said the de jure ruler of Baluchistan, the Khan of Kalat, Suleman Daud Ahmedzai, who is now exiled in London , has appealed to the world to come to the aid of his hapless people. Ahmedzai has said without a commitment from the international community, justice for his people will remain a mere dream.

“Therefore, the United States must petition the United Nations to empanel a Commission on Baluchistan, with respected South Asian and international leaders as members, empowered to explore the possibilities for reversing the inequities in Baluchistan . And, if all parties agree, let there be an independence referendum by the residents of the Baluch territory,” Selle reiterated his demand. “Least of all, a Congressional fact Finding mission is in order,” Mustikhan read out the A.F.B. demand.