Will Put a Stop To it with India’s Help
Source: Defence News
Branding China and Pakistan as ‘plunderers’, Baloch dissident leader Mir Suleiman Ahmedzai, who holds the title of “Khan of Kalat” asserted that Balochistan strongly welcomes India’s assistance in stopping both nations with their nefarious plans in executing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Speaking exclusively to ANI here on Monday at the side-lines of the seminar on Systematic State Suppression on Basic Human Rights in Balochistan, Ahmedzai stated that CPEC has no developmental value whatsoever and is simply one ‘occupier’ taking the help of another ‘occupier’ in plundering the region which is rich in natural resources.
“We are not going to enjoy anything, nor are we going to benefit from it. We are not even being asked as it is our land. They are coming as plunderers and we will stop them in whichever way, maybe with the help of your people and friends,” he said.
When asked to react on Islamabad’s promise that the CPEC would open doors of opportunity and would only benefit Balochistan, the Khan of Kalat dismissed the assertion saying that Pakistan had a history of lying through their teeth since the past 70 years, which is why their promises held no value.
“Since the past 70 years Pakistan has claimed a lot of things. They are big liars and will keep on lying. Even when it comes to terrorism, be it in their own country or their neighbors,” Ahmedzai added.
Echoing similar sentiments, President of Baloch Voice Foundation, Munir Mengal said that the CPEC was a ‘strategic design’ by Pakistan and China to loot Balochistan’s resources and eliminate their culture and identity.
“Most of the people have the same concern that is design is disastrous to the people. This conference was organised to show the international body that there will be no benefit from the CPEC project and all of us will be eliminated,” Mengal told ANI.
Earlier this month, the Khan of Kalat, has openly sought help from India and other western countries against Pakistan and called upon the international community to come forward to help the Baloch people in their freedom struggle.
He even took his cause to the Britain’s House of Lords and told the media that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a “friend of Balochistan”.
“We have passed on our message to Modi through the media and without the media. The only voice we heard in our support in so many years was Modi’s. I am confident that we will get support from the west, India and even from China”.
Prime Minister Modi, in his Independence Day address last year had had referred to rights violations in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan .
Gilgit-Baltistan has been occupied since 1947, when a British-supported military coup led to Pakistani control and the construction of CPEC, which runs through the occupied nation, has evoked a cry of outrage from several forums across the globe.
CPEC is a 51.5 billion dollar project that aims to connect Kashgar, in China’s western province of Xinjiang, with the port of Gwadar in the Pakistani province of Balochistan.
Though Gilgit Baltistan plays a key role in the CPEC project and all roads and pipelines crossing into China from Pakistan will run through this mountainous region, there are no plans for any special economic packages to support the people of Gilgit.
The locals, as stakeholders in the project, have been demanding that the Pakistani government shares details of the project with them, failing which they would consider the project, being constructed through an area contested by India, as illegal.
As a largely remote area with a delicate eco-system, Gilgit has been grappling with the problem of ecological imbalance due to uncontrolled deforestation.
Now, with the CPEC project planning to upgrade the Karakoram highway and build a rail network in the region, there are concerns that the project will displace thousands of locals and render them homeless, and also disturb the fragile ecology of the region.