Exclusive Interview with Commander Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch
By Asif Magsi & Qalander Bux Memon
Dr Allah Nazar is Balochistan’s most popular middle-class nationalist leader. Belonging from a modest family in Balochistan’s town of Mashkay, he started his political career from Baloch Students Organization (BSO). He founded his own faction of BSO in February 2002 that openly advocated an armed struggle for liberating Balochistan. In 2003, he went underground to organize his own militant group. His Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) made headlines when it claimed responsibility for killing three Chinese engineers in Gwadar on May 2, 2004.
He was picked up by intelligence agencies on March 25, 2005 from an apartment in Karachi where he had secretly come to meet his old BSO comrades. He remained missing for a year. Meanwhile, the BSO initiated mass protests throughout Balochistan and Karachi for his release. On August 12, 2006, Pakistan’s intelligence agencies shifted him to the jail ward of the Bolan Medical Complex in Balochistan’s capital city of Quetta. During his incommunicado detention, he had been subjected to severe mental and physical torture. The photo of a frail Dr Nazar lying on an ambulance stature in the Bolan Medical Complex went viral among the Baloch youth and he soon became an iconic leader. After his release on bail, he went into hiding again and he now leads the BLF.
Asif Magsi: Do you condemn the attacks on Punjabi settlers, who is killing them and why?
Dr. Allah Nazar: I condemn any kind of attack on innocent people anywhere in the world because we love humanism and believe in it. But as far as the question is concerned, one who supports the policies of the colonizer and plays the role of fifth column, the Balochs consider him as a collaborator. So the Baloch target the collaborators without any discrimination of ethnicity they belong to. No matter Baloch by race or a settler.
Asif Magsi: Many people believe that Baloch struggle for independence is more militant and less political, what is your response to this? What the political ideals behind your struggle?
Dr. Allah Nazar: The Baloch movement is entirely a political struggle. The Baloch militancy is also bound by the golden principles of politics. Our political ideals mean our political state; a democratic and prosperous Free Balochistan.
Asif Magsi: There doesn’t seem to be unity in the Baloch struggle? Do you think it has limited the struggle or do you think it has tactical advantages – i.e. the enemy cannot take out the leadership as it is diverse?
Dr. Allah Nazar: Yes, I do agree that there are more than one organization struggling for an independent Balochi-stan which has its own advantages and disadvantages. But all of us agree over one point that is an independent Balochistan. In this way, we suffer more but the brutality and tyranny of the occupier will compel us to unite and confront the rival.
Qalandar Bux Memon: Can you tell us about the months you spent in captivity? Were you tortured? Did you witness others being tortured? Were you charged with anything? Was legal process followed?
Dr. Allah Nazar: Yes, I witnessed my fellow prisoners tortured in torture chambers. So I was one of them who experienced the same torture and inhumane treatment by the colonizer that my fellow Baloch are still going through. I was charged with fake and very cheap cases like buffalo theft and/or car lifting, all in order to defame me.
Qalandar Bux Memon: You mentioned in a recent interview that you have read the works of Fanon and Che Guevara – what in their work has inspired you? Che and Fanon both talk about building a new society during the struggle itself. Che set up medical clinics in the camps and would go to villages of peasants and treat them? Does the BLF practice what it preaches in the areas it controls? If so how? Fanon also notes the transformation that occurs among freedom fighters – which they become ‘new people’. Have you noticed a transformation in yourself and others? How does the struggle change the soul of the Sarmarchars?
Dr. Allah Nazar: Yes. I have read both the giants. But any society has its own complexities so every freedom movement operates in accordance to its own environment, so we are trying to follow the good codes of honour of Baloch nation. We are not copying Che or other revolutionary leaders; we follow the principles and modus operandi of our own.
Our society is one of the most complex societies. There are so many stratum of Baloch society, for example, our society is nomadic but also semi nomadic in some areas. It is agrarian in some places and there are also semi urban areas. So the Sarmachars formulated their strategy to build a new society. So far, intellectually observing, a quite new society has emerged in Baloch nation. The Sarmachars are the architects of this emerging mindset of a free and welfare Baloch state.
In a way, the Sarmachars are guiding the nomads, peasants and other stratum of Baloch nation, and we could now see the results of it. The liberation struggle has not only changed Sarmachars, but you can say the revolutionary process of independence of Balochistan is called a cultural and intellectual renaissance of Baloch nation.
Asif Magsi: If the international powers don’t support Baloch independence as they didn’t so far, how long can you resist on self-dependency, how much is your capacity?
Dr. Allah Nazar: Baloch freedom movement is an indigenous movement from the very beginning. We rely on our own people who support us by all means; logistically as well as financially. We will keep it continue till victory. Although, the international community has closed their eyes towards Baloch, they are not fulfilling their international humanitarian obligations and are reluctant to move against Pakistan which has committed heinous crimes against humanity in Balochistan.
Thousands and thousands of Baloch are forcibly disappeared by savage and rogue state security agencies. Despite being bound to implement international laws, Pakistan is violating them and on top of that, is misguiding the international community. But one day the conscious of international community and freedom loving people will wake up against Pakistan. Or I am sure our continuous struggle for freedom will compel them to wake up and act.
Qalandar Bux Memon: State agencies are sponsoring jihadi groups in Balochistan… can you tell us which groups and how is being supported by them. Also, in relation to this, what would your message be to the international community? And the Baloch?
Dr. Allah Nazar: I have mentioned it several times in my interviews to the international media that Pakistani agencies are supporting the religious fundamentalists in Balochistan to counter the Baloch freedom movement through sectarianism. The recent burning of girl schools in Panjgoor and Dasht Makran; acid attacks on Baloch women in Mastung, Khuzdar and Quetta; the massacre of Zikris in Awaran and Dasht are clear examples of the presence of Jihadis in Balochistan. Lashkar e Jihad, Ansar ul Islam are operating freely. Lashkar e Tayyeba has recently opened its training camp in the earthquake-hit Awaran near the Army cantonment of Awaran where a brigadier is commanding the state troops.
The ISI is openly supporting the jihadis through finance and weapons and with cash money which they get by smuggling drugs to Europe, Americas and other Asian and African countries. Its main goal is to crush and root out the Baloch freedom movement and to divert the attention of world community that the real problem is not Baloch freedom movement but they want to show it as a sectarian issue.
Qalandar Bux Memon: The missing persons’ issue haunts every Baloch and forms the unconscious of every Pakistani. Can you explain what happens to those who are picked up? Are they killed or kept alive for years and then killed? Have any escaped from the torture chambers?
Dr. Allah Nazar: The missing persons are still missing. They are usually picked up from homes, buses, bazaars and most of them are brutally tortured, killed and dumped savagely by the agencies and theirs proxies. If in case, someone escapes alive from their captivity, they suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), losing their memory and conscious.
(Courtesy to Sangarpublication)