New Delhi: Prominent separatist leader from Pakistan and President of World Baloch Women's Forum, Naela in an exclusive interview to Ashok kumar of OneWorld South Asia said that Pakistan is treating Baloch women in the same ways as ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) to contain the freedom movement led mostly by women. Excerpts from the interview:
OneWorld South Asia: Why is it important for women to have a decision making power across the world?
Naela Qadri Baloch: The issue of girl child is universal in a way. When a daughter comes she should be welcomed with love and pride. Girls have the blessing of mother universe and the femininity that created us.
We need to train girls and give them the confidence for decision making. If a girl or a woman has the courage to make decisions she will make decisions for herself, for her family, for her community and in the political sphere too.
When women make policy, it is essentially for peace, creativity and love and not for exercising power or control. We have to raise women with the awareness that freedom belongs to everyone and not a select group.
OWSA: Do you agree that Balochistan and India have common challenges and threats?
Baloch: India and Balochistan share common interests. Pakistan is a terrorist factory that is terrorising Balochistan and spreading terror in India. Both India and Balochistan should come together for containing terror in the subcontinent.
Even for economic reasons and for a flourishing trade with Central Asia, India needs a free Balochistan. Free Balochistan will provide India the safest and shortest trade route to Central Asia.
Moreover, the resources should be distributed among all the people equally. Therefore, the institutions like the United Nations and the global nonprofits can play a big role in ensuring equity for resources.
OWSA: What goes into raising a strong girl or a woman?
Baloch: Girls should be able to defend themselves like nations do. I used to travel in a land cruiser and keep a Kalashnikov assault rifle with me. When girls have the confidence that they have to win and are raised without any prevalent bias then they grow up to be very strong individuals.
Otherwise, a girl would be scared of the first touch she come across or the unsolicited stares when she walks out of her home. Certain impediments are created to stop women from rising in the field of education and entrepreneurship.
OWSA: How do you think the ongoing oppression by Pakistan in Balochistan increases the suffering of women?
Baloch: Women and children, if they survive, are the worst sufferers when Pakistani Army bombs residential areas in Balochistan. Women are taken to the rape cells where they face the most brutal handling by the Pakistani soldiers.
Like in Bangladesh and Afghanistan, people have seen how Pakistani army behaves with women or how insensitive it is towards them. They use rape as tool of oppression and as a tool of occupation. They are throwing acids on Baloch girls to stop them from coming out because Baloch girls are leading the liberation moment as most of the men are up in the mountains as part of the Baloch Army.
Political movement including the protests and demonstrations in Balochistan are led by women. Pakistan is treating the Baloch women in the same ways as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) does. You cannot separate Pakistan from ISIS. Balochistan is the worst example of women suppression in the world.
OWSA: What kind of harassment have you gone through while you were in Balochistan?
Baloch: Pakistani administration harassed me and raided my house repeatedly. They picked up my filmmaker husband Mustafa Raisani.
Me and my family have immensely suffered psychologically and physically as we wandered from one home to one another, and one locality to another. I had to cross the borders when I they raided my house nine times and I realised that they will not allow me to survive in my land.
OWSA: What message do you have for Indian women?
Baloch: There are some sections which do not want women to progress or be able to stand for themselves. Girls should make themselves strong by eating good meals and routine physical exercises. They should be confident to call in help in case of an unfortunate incident or situation.
Women should realise the feminine power in them. Women have to protect life because they create life. All the big rivers have been named after them. Indian girls should strive to become Razia Sultan or Rani Jhansi. They should not be scared of taking on anything in this world.
Girls here should be proud of being Indian because their country is making efforts to ensure their all round development.