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Remarks by Hyrbyair Marri

Delivered to the Baluchistan International Conference, Washington, D.C., Nov. 21, 2009


Hyrbyair Marri

I thank the American Friends of Balochistan for inviting me to talk here today, and I thank you all for attending this conference to show your solidarity with the people of Balochistan!

I’m sure most of you are aware of the fact that Balochistan was never a part of India and it was always an Independent state having friendly relation with neighbouring empires and countries, until the British had invaded and divided. Even after the British division of Balochistan it remained a sovereign state and had treaty relations with the British under which the British were bound to respect the sovereignty of Balochistan.

However, when the British were departing from the Indian subcontinent they recognised and announced the Independence of Balochistan on 11 August 1947. The new upcoming administration of ‘to be Pakistan’ had also conceded to the British and Baloch ruler’s announcement of Independent Balochistan. The Baluch had their own parliament and two houses ‘Houses of Commons and Houses of Lords’.

When the former legal adviser of Baloch ruler ‘Mr Jinnah’ suggested that Balochistan should join Pakistan on the basis of shared religion, the Khan of Kalat put the matter before the Baloch parliament and both the houses had rejected the notion of joining Pakistan saying that “If because of the mere fact that we share the same religion we have to join Pakistan then Iran and Afghanistan should also merge to Pakistan”. Hence, Balochistan remained Independent until it was forcefully occupied by Pakistan on 27 March 1948. The western part of Balochistan had already been occupied by Iran, with the help of British.
In the same year 1948, the younger brother of the Khan of Kalat, Agha Abdul Karim, started a campaign against the illegal annexation of Balochistan to Pakistan. Baloch peoples’ struggle to regain their sovereignty continued since the occupation and will continue until Baloch are a free nation and Balochistan appears on World map once again.

Today Baloch struggle is moving forward on scientific basis and our Nation has realised the importance of Independence that is why more and more young and educated Baloch are joining the Baloch struggle. Baloch are struggling for their freedom by all possible means, however the Pakistani and Iranian repressions have almost made it impossible for the Baluch to struggle in a peaceful way. The state sponsored terrorism and violence against the Baloch have compelled well-educated Baloch youth and leaders to rise up in defence of their land and people.

The unfortunate silence of the International community on the state atrocities against the Baloch people is not only surprising but sad as well. The western democracies and champions of Human Rights by keeping silence are encouraging the occupying states to carry on their repressions our occupied Nations.
It seems the UN is also discouraging the struggle of oppressed nations by not giving them proper representation in the UN security and Human Rights councils.
Hundreds of thousands of innocent Baloch children, men and women have been killed by Pakistan army and hundreds have been executed by Iran, but surprisingly we see no strong action from the International community against these states sponsored atrocities. At present more than 8000 Baloch political activists, students and ordinary people are missing from Pakistan occupied Balochistan only. Several top Baloch leaders have been killed in cold-blood during the so called elected government. The FC (frontier constabulary) has been given a free hand to kill and capture Baloch youth without a shred of evidence against them.
Western supplied weapons are being used against the people of Balochistan. The weapons and resources that Pakistan gets for the fight against Taliban are being used in Balochistan against secular Baloch freedom loving people.

Today through this conference I want to tell the International Community that Pakistan is the state that has bred these Islamic extremists, and still harbouring them. Pakistan Intelligence agencies have always been sympathetic to the Taliban and their like organisations. On one hand they are protecting these extremists on the other hand they are deceiving the western world in the name of war on terror. I have read even yesterday that the ISI has moved Mullah Omer from Quetta to Karachi that proves the close association between the extremists and the Pakistan army and Intelligence agencies.

The Baloch has warned the West about the deliberate settling of Taliban in Quetta long ago but nobody listened to the Baloch. If it was not for the secular Baloch leadership and movement, today that region would have been full of Taliban and their supporters.

That is why it is important for the world’s secular and democratic powers to help the secular Baloch to regain their freedom. United and Free Balochistan will be at peace with its neighbours and the International community.  I want to emphasise that our struggle is not to break Pakistan but we are struggling against the illegal occupation of our country (Balochistan). We want to go back to pre 27 March 1948 position as a sovereign state. However, should Pakistan breaks up because of its own failures and wrong policies with neighbouring counties and the international community that is not the concerned of Baloch people.

The Baloch people hope that the West, the EU and other secular nations will play their role and pressurise Pakistan and Iran to stop the ongoing brutalities against the people of Balochistan. The international community should fulfil their moral obligations and respect the human right of the Baloch. Baloch lives are as valuable as any other human’s life. The UN and international laws apply to the Baloch as much as any other oppressed and occupied Nation. That is why it is the duty of UN and the entire international community to raise their voices against the genocide of Baloch people and human rights violation against other nations like Sindhis & Pashtuns in the region.

I thank you!


Hyrbyair Marri was born on August 4, 1968, in Balochistan. He is the fifth son of veteran Baloch national leader Nawab Khair Baksh Marri. He did his primary education in Quetta Grammar School and higher education in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Russia, where he studied journalism. In the 1980s he moved to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, along with his father and other family members. He paid several visits to Hilmand where Baloch refugees fleeing Pakistan’s repression had sought refuge.

People close to Mr. Marri say he has been a Baloch patriot since adolescence. While studying in Russia, he designed Balochistan Liberation Front stickers and badges and distributed them among his class fellows. He has never described himself as a Pakistani, not even as a child.

Mr. Marri returned to Balochistan in the early 90s. In 1997 he took part in Balochistan provincial elections, winning an overwhelming majority of votes to become Minister of Road and Communications in the Balochistan state government in Pakistan. He was the youngest and first Baloch minister to decline to pledge loyalty to Pakistan. Instead of the words ‘I shall remain loyal to Pakistan’ he vowed “I shall remain loyal to my Nation”. Mr. Marri was also the first Baloch minister to protest against conducting nuclear tests in Balochistan in May, 1998.

In 1999, Mr Marri traveled to Europe and sought exile in the UK, the same year Musharraf came into power through a military coup and dismissed the government of Nawaz Sharif, including all provincial governments. In early 2000 a Balochistan High Court Judge, Mir Nawaz Marri, was killed by unknown assailants, but the Musharraf government arrested Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, along with hundreds of other Marri tribesmen. Mir Hyrbyair Marri and his brothers were also implicated in the murder case. During his stay overseas Mr. Marri has continued to play a key role in the cause for Balochistan's indepedence.

On December 4, 2007, Hybyair Marri was arrested at the behest of the military government of General Pervez Musharraf and put in Britain’s high security Belmarsh prison. He is the first Baloch leader, along with Faiz Baluch, ever to serve prison abroad for the Baloch cause. In February 2008 he and Faiz Baluch were acquitted of terrorism charges by a British jury. He remains steadfast in his demand for an independent Balochistan. He is open to the idea of a dialogue, but insists that the issue of Balochistan’s independence must be a part of any such talks.