At a recent meet-the-press programme organised by the Press Club of Mumbai, Naela Quadri, the president of World Baloch Women’s Forum (WBWF), sought India’s help in the cause of Balochistan’s independence.
Naela has been in self-exile living in Canada and been travelling the world to gather support for the cause, that is Balochistan’s independence from Pakistan. She said, “Pakistanis do not accept Balochis as their citizens, nor are we interested in becoming their citizens. We have been ‘independent’ since centuries, how can Pakistan claim its their internal issue?” as reported by oneindia.com
Earlier this year, Naela had commented that India is lacking the political will to take action in Balochistan even though it could benefit by fulfilling it economic and energy needs through Balochistan. Speaking geo-strategically, she commented that an independent Baolchistan will help India trade with Central Asian countries, as Balochistan has a long coastline.
In the recent meet-the-press event, Naela mentioned the atrocities carried out by Pakistan on Baloch women, violation of human rights, and even genocide. She has accused the Pakistani army of kidnapping and killing of Balochi women, along with the use of chemical weapons and also organ trade. She says she was touched by PM Narendra Modi’s mention of the Balochistan issue in his Independence day address, and also by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s mention at the UN.
- Known as Professor Naela Quadri, she is a known Baloch politician and an activist. She is a women’s rights activist and also a writer and a film-maker
- She travels internationaly to lecture at various universities talking about Baloch rights and the political issues the region is going through. She has been in self-exile and been living in Canada
- Naela has been accused of being a RAW agent by the Pakistani media (which claims India’s spy agency is fomenting insurgency in Balochistan, a claim India denies)
- Prominent exiled Baloch leader Brahamdagh Bugti has raised his voice against Naela’s efforts towards approaching India for government-in-exile. She has also been criticised for her move as this decision needs national concensus of Balochistan.
Feature Image Courtesy: DNA India