Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday expressed appreciation for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks on ‘freedom’ for Balochistan in his Independence Day speech.
Baloch people have been fighting the Pakistani state to attain independence for Balochistan province from Pakistan.
While addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Karzai expressed empathy with the people of Balochistan and said Modi’s remarks are understandable.
“The issue of Balochis and their rights and need for them to have peace is something that we commiserate, we understand the remarks of the Prime Minister of India. We wish Balochistan and its people very well. We wish all other regions in Pakistan very very well. We wish security and prosperity for that region and for all other regions in this part of the world. In other words, we understand the remarks of Prime Minister Modi and I appreciate it,” said Karzai.
Baloch people living in Europe had also hailed Modi after his speech.
However, Pakistan lashed out at India post his remarks, saying he had further strained ties between the two countries. Modi’s comments also gave rise to a spate of protests across the province.
According to human rights groups, a large number of political activists, students and intellectuals are victims of enforced disappearances in Balochistan allegedly by the army and spy agencies.
Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is Pakistan’s poorest and most thinly populated province.
It is also home to Taliban insurgents, drug smugglers, kidnapping rings, sectarian militants, and government-backed paramilitary death squads.