By: Malik Siraj Akbar
Guerilla movements in Balochistan have always been romanticized by young men who aspire to overthrow the domineering elite and bring revolutions. Taking to the hills for the rights of the Baloch fatherland is what has placed many Baloch governors, princes and tribal chiefs at irremovable positions in the annals of the Baloch history.
A similar exceptionally striking chapter of the Baloch movement was written in the early 1970s when a group of five scions of Pakistani non-Baloch elite joined Balochistan’s guerilla war against the Pakistan army’s occupation of the Baloch land. Popularly known as the London Group, the members of this study circle left the comforts of wealthy life, education in London and joined the Balochs in their battle against the Pakistan army in the Marri hills. In their early twenties, these comrades adopted Balochi names, learned the language, explored the terrain, faced hunger and fought on the frontline in their commitment for the Balochs.
A spirited Asad Rahman, the youngest but the fittest in the popular London Group, remembers how he, at the age of 21, used to ambush the Pakistani military convoys and take away ammunition from them to sustain the movement. An eyewitness to what he bills as the ‘genocide” of the Balochs in the 70s, Rahman alias Chakar Khan, still an ardent supporter of an independent Balochistan, reveals how Baloch women were used as ‘comfort women’ in the military custody and male fighters were captured and thrown from the helicopters.
In an exclusive but a candid and revealing interview with this writer, Rahman recalls his Che Guevara -like days of Baloch resistance movement of 1970s and compares it with today’s Baloch movement.