WASHINGTON DC: May 29, 2008. The Baluch in United States, who staged a protest rally in Washington DC against the nuclear tests carried out in Chagai 10 years ago, described the tests as a crime against humanity and called for extradition of A.Q. Kha
They gathered outside the Pakistan embassy in Washington DC on Wednesday to raise slogans “No More Islamic Bombs,” Extradite A.Q. Khan” and “Extradite Bin Laden.”
The rally called for right to self-determination for the Baluch people in Pakistan and Iran.
Robert Selle, president of the American Friends of Baluchistan, addressing the protest rally called for the right of self-determination for the people of Baluchistan “a land rich in resources” and said he has written to President Bush and U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleeza Rice to help the Baluch.
Selle informed Bush and Rice that Baluchistan was an independent state and had its own bicameral parliament before its forced annexation by Pakistan. “The Baloch have been discriminated against in multifarious ways by the Punjabi-dominated central government in Islamabad,” Selle said.
The protesters condemned the arrest of Ghulam Mohammed Baloch and Wahab Baloch in Karachi, commercial capital of Pakistan, as their only crime was protesting the nculear tests.
In a joint letter with Dr. Wahid Baloch, president of the Baloch Society of North America, Selle in a memorandum to Pakistan’s new ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani, said the nuclear tests in Baluchistan were carried out “without lawful authority
and in clear violation of international law as Baluchistan was never part of Pakistan and remained an independent state until March 27, 1948—seven months after the departure of the British from the subcontinent.”
They said, “The killing of former governor and chief minister of Baluchistan, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, and member of the provincial assembly Nawabzada Bala’ach Marri and the hanging of Baluch dissidents in Iran clearly demonstrates that no Baluch is safe in the states of Pakistan and Iran,” adding. “It’s even more regrettable that Pakistan Army has never carried out any real operation to arrest Osama bin Laden.”
In the memorandum to Haqqani, they called for Pakistan to allow U.N. inspectors to conduct an international inquiry into the radiation caused in Chagai because of the nuclear tests.
Taking a swipe against the new ambassador’s political past, Selle and Baloch said, “We also regret to note that you started your political career as a leader of the Islami Jamiat-i-Tulaba, allied with the Jama'at Islami at Karachi University. Secular, nationalist an liberal student groups came under armed attack of the group you headed at that point of time.”
They were referring to an incident from the early eighties when Yunus Shad, now a Karachi lawyer, received gunshots wounds on the day when Haqqani became the president at the Karachi University as a leader of the Islami Jamiat Tulaba.
Demanding extradition of A.Q. Khan to the U.S., Wahid Baloch in his speech said, “A.Q. Khan was in the hills of Chagai on this day 10 years ago and since then has launched a multibillion dollar nuclear materials smuggling racket with Pakistani generals as his partners. The generals, including Musharraf, are shielding him, so he does not spill the beans onthem.”
A Pakistan People’s Party activist from Panjgur, Mohammed Ali Baloch, held Pakistan army responsible for the radioactivity in Balochistan.
“What kind of strange creatures are these generals who come test their Islamic Bomb in our lands,” Mohammed Ali Baloch said, saying he has adopted Christianity as the nuclear tests carried out in Baluchistan in the name of Islam is without logic and is directed against humanity.
Journalist and poet Ahmar Mustikhan recited his poem “Mushroom Clouds-Rape of My Motherland” and demanded immediate release of Baluch anti-nuclear protesters, adding the arrests clearly show fate of the Baluch remain unchanged even under civilian rule