At the onset of the Holy Ramadan month, Muslims all over the world were busy with fasting rituals, and the global protest against the occupation of Balochistan on 27 March 1948 was not heard across the globe.

Balochistan, for 76 years has endured institutionalized persecution and atrocities of Baloch ethnic minorities.

The Baloch people have been living in pain and agony under Pakistan’s occupation. The exiled Baloch has taken to social media @Twitter (now X) to remind that Balochistan was forcibly annexed by Pakistan against the will of the people.

Not much has been written and published in the international press. Not enough voice has been raised at any international forum regarding appalling human rights abuses, missing persons, enforced disappearances, extra-judicial deaths, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed by state actors – Pakistan security forces.

Before the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan, Balochistan consisted of four princely states under the British Raj – Kalat, Lasbela, Kharan, and Makran, which is known as Balochistan. Two of these provinces, Lasbela and Kharan, were fiduciary states placed under Khan of Kalat’s rule by the British, as was Makran, a Kalat district.

The rulers of Kalat State first were under the subject of Mughal emperor Akbar in Delhi and after 1839 to the British.

Only three months before the creation of Pakistan (in August 1947), Muhammed Ali Jinnah, and the first Governor-General of Pakistan had negotiated the freedom of Balochistan under Kalat State from the British.

The series of meetings were held between the Viceroy, the British Crown’s representative based in New Delhi, Jinnah, and the Khan of Kalat regarding the future relationship with Kalat State and Pakistan.

The parleys ensued in a communiqué, popularly a Standstill Agreement on 11 August 1947, which stated that: The Government of Pakistan recognized Kalat as an independent sovereign state in treaty relations with the British Government with a status different from that of Indian States.

The ruling Muslim League elites of Pakistan led by Jinnah had a change of heart and unilaterally decided to merge Balochistan with the Pakistan Union on 27 March 1948. The hashtag #27MarchBlackDay is viral in social media.

A Baloch journalist Malik Siraj Akbar remarked, “The Black Day in Balochistan is a reminder of the struggle for freedom and justice that continues to this day.”

For decades, exasperated Baloch people have been ferociously protesting the forcible conversion of the Baloch population into a minority in their homeland.

Armed militants of the fiercest Marri and Bugti tribes, waged armed struggles and politically challenged the forcible inclusion of the resource-rich province into Pakistan in March 1948.

Pakistan army forcibly occupied the Balochistan capital Quetta, raided the Amar Palace of Mir Sir Ahmad Yar Khan Ahmedzai, Khan of Kalat, who was also the President of the Council of Rulers for the Balochistan States Union and was forced to sign a document of accession to Pakistan.

In 1958, Pakistan military officer Tikka Khan brutally suppressed the first nationalist movement by the Baloch people, and the military commander was dubbed the “Butcher of Balochistan”.

After 23 years, the hawkish Lt. Gen. Tikka Khan was rechristened as “Butcher of Bengal” for his role in the genocide in the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

The province is vastly rich in natural resources, including oil, gas, copper, and gold. Despite huge deposits of mineral wealth, Balochistan is one of Pakistan’s poorest regions and the largest province of Pakistan.

“Balochistan is a rich land with poor people because the state has never invested in its development,” stated Naela Quadri Baloch, an outspoken human rights defender and a senior member of the Balochistan government in exile.

Today the resources are plundered by the Pakistan junta in collaboration with China, in the name game of the mega debt-trap Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which was fiercely resisted by the armed Baloch nationalists.

Amnesty International in a report stated that despite several pledges to resolve the country’s crisis of ‘disappearances’, Pakistan’s new civilian government has not yet provided information about hundreds of cases of people believed to be held in secret prisons in undisclosed locations by the military establishment.

International political think tanks say that there is no global support for the Baloch movement for freedom because an independent Balochistan would result in more violence and destabilization.