Why Baloch, Sindhi, and Pashtun don’t celebrate 14th of August? – TBP Editorial

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According to the Indian Independence Act, the day of Independence of both the dominions is 15th August, not 14th. It was only after 1948; Pakistan stopped celebrating Independence Day on the 15th. Historians like K.K Aziz have criticized the distortion of history in Pakistan. Many analysts today agree on the view that Pakistan chose to celebrate Independence Day on 14th instead of 15th only to carve out a separate political identity for itself.

Nevertheless, the burning question is, why after 73 years, Baloch, Pashtun, Sindhi, and the people of Gilgit Baltistan are not ready to celebrate Pakistani Independence Day at all, many even observe it as a black day.

After the partition of British India, East Pakistan was almost less than half of the total size of today’s Pakistan. It comprised of Punjab (without Bahawalpur State), Sindh (without Khairpur state), North-West Frontier Province (KP) without the states of Dir, Chitral, Swat, Phulra, Amb and Tribal areas. Northern areas did not exist as Hunza and Nagar’s states were annexed during the Bhutto regime in 1975 to form northern areas, now known as Gilgit Baltistan. The army was used to forcibly annex Balochistan in Pakistan in March 1948. Balochistan gained freedom from the British on 11th 1947august and stayed a free and sovereign state for seven months.

Within 8 years, most of these independent states were forcibly annexed. In Balochistan, which is still 43% of the landmass of Pakistan, many celebrate Independence Day on the 11th of August, not 14th. Sindh was joined with Punjab to form Pakistan before any other region but Sindhi people were the first to get stabbed in the back. Very soon, under the leadership of GM Syed, Sindhi nationalists started their freedom movement of SindhuDesh which is still underway and 14th August is observed as a dark day in Sindh’s history.

Pashtun people never accepted the demarcation of Durand line as they considered themselves to be a part of Afghanistan, instead of joining Punjab to form Pakistan, Pashtun leaders like Bacha khan along with Pashtun nationalists boycotted the referendum which was going to decide the fate of Pashtuns. They boycotted the referendum because it was designed in a way that Pashtuns could only join Punjab and there were no options to vote for an independent nation or to join Afghanistan.

The burning question asked above, why all nations except Punjabi do not consider 14th August a day of celebration but a day of mourning? Many analysts have argued that this is due to the fact that the formation of Pakistan was based on lies and deceit; most of the parts are claimed as “illegally and forcibly occupied territories”. The only thing which is holding on to this modern shape of Pakistan is Pakistan’s Punjabi dominated army, which are the true rulers of the state. The grip had loosened once in the 1970s and resulted in the formation of Bangladesh. Political pundits believe it is only a matter of time when the grip will lose again and the maps will change.

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