President of the Baloch Republican Party Brahumdagh Bugti on Tuesday took a major shift from the mainstream Baloch nationalist narrative by denying that Pakistan occupied Balochistan on March 27, 1948.
Brahumdagh has been on the forefront of the ongoing Baloch separatist movement that seeks its justification from the alleged March 27 occupation.
“On March 27th 1948, Pakistan attacked and forcefully annexed Kalat, one of the states of #Balochistan. The other states and tribal areas had joined Pakistan before that. It is factually incorrect to (call) 27 March occupation day of entire Balochistan,” Brahumdagh wrote on Twitter.
He also said that all Baloch leaders had strived to achieve rights for the Baloch people within Pakistan’s framework.
“After the annexation of #Balochistan, our forefathers always tried to adjust within #Pakistan. With all forms of struggle, the entire Baloch leadership, at one time or another, strived for the Baloch rights inside Pakistan.”
He claimed that the Baloch people were currently demanding an independent homeland only because of “constant treatment of #Balochistan as a colony & repeated injustices against the Baloch people by the Pakistani state that Baloch people now demand freedom from Pakistan”.
Brahumdagh went on to say that his party rejected March 27 as the day of occupation of Balochistan.
His tweets came at a time when Baloch nationalist forces were commemorating March 27 as a black day. His own Baloch Republic Party has also previously rallied on the same ground.
Critics shared old tweets by BRP leaders to remind them of the shift in their policy.
“Balochistan was forcefully occupied by Pakistan on March 27, 1948. BRP protests in @UN office in Geneva, Switzerland against the invasion,” BRP’s spokesman Sher Mohammed Bugti had tweeted in 2013.
Criticism also came from inside the BRP ranks with party members complaining that their leader made a major shift from the party’s stance without consulting them.
“I think this issue raises concerns within party as this is one of the most crucial and controversial matter. According to my knowledge many of BRP & BRSO activists are not even supporting this stand. Before taking such a stand convincing party colleagues and workers is important,” tweeted Hakeem Baloch, a member of the BRP.