President of the Baloch Republican Party Brahamdagh Bugti on Friday accused Islamabad's forces of committing a "tsunami of human rights violations" in Balochistan. Bugti thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking up the Baloch cause while calling for the international community's political and military intervention in the matter, PTI reported.
The grandson of slain Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, who was allegedly killed in an encounter with the Pakistani Army 10 years ago, Brahamdagh has been living in exile in Switzerland since 2006. He claimed that the use of aerial bombardment and gases have become common in Balochistan, while referring to the province as the world capital of missing people. He also demanded a referendum on the Balochistan issue under the United Nations' supervision, and said "We do not want to live with Pakistan anymore."
The 33-year-old leader said his party was ready to engage in dialogue with Islamabad but maintained that it would not compromise on its movement seeking freedom from Pakistan. Brahamdagh added that the province, which is the largest in the country, has been under Pakistan's illegal occupation for the last 70 years. "It is, for the first, time that an Indian prime minister has spoken [for the cause]. We believe that India should have taken this step a long time ago," he said.
Pakistan had dismissed claims that its forces were responsible for the killing and abduction of the Baloch people. Islamabad had reasserted that the province was an undisputed and vital part of Pakistan, according to a report by the International Business Times.
Following Modi's remarks on alleged atrocities in Balochistan, Pakistan had said the prime minister had "crossed a red line", and his comments were "fomenting terrorism" in the province. In his Independence Day address, Modi had brought up the troubled regions of Balochistan and Gilgit in Pakistan and said people from there had "thanked" him.