Baloch leader Hyrbyair Marri is the head of the political platform called the Free Balochistan Movement and is one of the most popular leaders among Baloch youth. He was born in Quetta, in Pakistan's Balochistan region, in 1968, and he currently resides in London. He is the son of the renowned Baloch nationalist leader Khair Bakhsh Marri, who was the chief of the Marri Baloch tribe and head of the National Awami Party (NAP). NAP, comprising Baloch and Pashtun leadership, won elections in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtonkhwa and formed a Baloch-Pashtun coalition government in 1970s.
Hyrbyair Marri (Source: Twitter)
Baloch Nationalist Leader Khair Bakhsh Marri
The NAP comprised Baloch and Pashtun leaders and believed in the path toward a federal system. However, in the 1970s, after Pakistani President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's violent crackdown on the NAP and the Baloch people, the Baloch Liberation Front launched an uprising against the central Pakistani government that lasted from 1973 to 1977, in which the Marri clan led the way. Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, who was the father of Khair Bakhsh Marri and died in 2014, was "the linchpin" of the 1973 Baloch insurgency.
Fearing that the Baloch uprising would expand from Pakistan-Occupied Balochistan (POB) to Iran-Occupied Balochistan (IOP), Iran sponsored ground and air military operations against the Baloch people. The Shah's army provided military hardware and financial support to the Pakistani army. A mutual agreement between the two countries paved the way for Pakistan to avail itself of 30 Huey Cobra attack helicopters and financial aid of millions of dollars to conduct and sustain military operations against the Baloch people. The conflict took the lives of approximately 15,000 Balochs and 5,000 Pakistan army personnel. The Bhutto regime was then overthrown by General Zia-ul-Haq, who released the NAP leadership from jail. Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, along with thousands of Marri Baloch patriots, migrated to Afghanistan and from there continued their political struggle for independence from Pakistan.
Nawab Marri stayed with his thousands of patriot followers in Helmand province and Kabul for more than two decades during the 1980s. He fully supported his son Hyrbyair Marri to politically prepare the Baloch people for their national independence.
After the withdrawal of the Soviet army from Afghanistan, Nawab Marri entrusted Hyrbyair Marri with the responsibility of taking over the Baloch movement.
(Source: Central Intelligence Agency)
Hyrbyair Marri's Views on Balochistan's Independence
Hyrbyair Marri supports the independence of Balochistan from Iran and Pakistan. He promotes a free and democratic Balochistan, in which men and women will be treated equally and will be entitled to all rights, protections, and freedoms in all spheres of society.
He has repeatedly stated that both Pakistan and Iran are pursuing a slow-motion genocide against the Baloch people. "Linguistic, cultural, and ethnic genocide is going on in Iran and Pakistan, by Persians and Muslim Punjabis against other nations there, and against the people of occupied Balochistan," Marri stated.
In particular, on May 4, he commented on the recent execution of Baloch people by the Islamic republic of Iran. "Iranian-occupied Balochistan has been turned into an abattoir for the Baloch people under the oppressive rule of the Persian theocracy. In the past 5 days, 18 Baloch civilians have been executed by the Iranian regime on trumped-up charges," he said.
Marri also added: "The occupying states [Pakistan and Iran] left no stone unturned to make the Baloch nation feel inferior about their identity and culture through their traditional media and school curriculums, they arrested and disappeared thousands of Baloch to intimidate the Baloch people. Arbitrary arrests, torture, in-custody killings, broad daylight executions and throwing away dead bodies of abducted and imprisoned Baloch are also part of occupying states' efforts to subjugate the Baloch nation."
On May 5, 2023, it was reported that the Islamic republic of Iran had executed at least 13 Baloch people, including two women, in less than 72 hours. (Source: Twitter)
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On the banner: Balochistan. (Source: Facebook)
Views On Iran's Nuclear Deal
Hyrbyair Marri strongly opposes a nuclear deal with the Islamic republic of Iran, which he described as making a "deal with the Devil." He explained that a nuclear deal with Tehran would mean allowing Iran to have access to "trillions of dollars" that it would be used to make "mayhem" in the region and oppress the people inside the country.
Marri said: "Signing the deal has several implications. The first one is that the fundamentalist Islamic regime of Iran will never discard its ambitions of becoming a nuclear power. Militarism is a vital component of its existence. The Islamic regime of Iran has no rules in its diplomacy. They say one thing and do exactly the opposite of what they have agreed...
"Secondly, as developed Western countries open their gates towards the Iranian regime and companies, Iran will have greater access to modern technology and knowledge about nuclear science. That will enable them to make their nuclear bomb sooner. Therefore, the agreement may have exactly the opposite effect than what it was intended for."
According to Marri, the nuclear deal would signify giving the "green light" to the repressive Iranian regime to further violate human rights. A deal would also embolden and give credibility to the Islamic republic, making the regime more aggressive toward its neighbors. "Finally, and most importantly, with this agreement the nations under illegal occupation of the regime will suffer the most. The regime will use all its powers to crash the liberation movements of the Baloch, Kurd, Arab, Azeri and Turkmen. It will not just do that inside Iran but also outside the boundaries of Iran. [Tehran] knows that the international community would not raise its voice against the regime's atrocities." Overall, an agreement would be "bad for the world peace." "It is bad for the people living in Iran. It is bad for Iran's neighbors. It is extremely alarming for the states that the regime regards as enemy such as Israel and some of the Gulf States and it brings many dark days to the Baloch nation." According to Marri, the only winner would be the "extremist theocratic" state of Iran and that is a very alarming prospect to say the least.
Views On Pakistan
Concerning Pakistan, Marri declared that the Baloch nation has been striving to regain its independence since Pakistan occupied Balochistan in 1948.
Marri said: "Pakistan has made democratic politics impossible for pro-freedom political parties. They have killed and kidnapped top leadership of Balochistan... and thousands of others who were part of a peaceful political struggle... Our estimate is that Pakistan has abducted more than 20,000 Baloch including women and children from different areas of Balochistan... The latest phase of enforced disappearances started as soon as Pervez Musharraf seized power through a military coup d'état [in 1999]. The enforced disappearances continue to this day, however, a very tiny number of people have been released on condition that they will never participate or support the freedom struggle of Balochistan.
"Balochistan is a sparsely populated region; Pakistan army has razed several villages to ground and abducted the entire population of those villages. There is also a lack of communication system and people have no access to main towns. Another problem is that Baloch human rights groups and activists cannot freely collect data of missing persons and the kin of some victims' do not even come forward because they fear that if they register cases, the Pakistani forces and intelligence agencies will harm their disappeared loved ones...
However, the international community cannot know the extent of the human rights violations or verify the number of missing persons independently as long as occupying Pakistani forces are present in occupied Balochistan. Pakistan army will never allow international groups to know the crimes which they have committed... We should never forget that Pakistan army is the same army which has committed the worst crimes against humanity in modern history after World War-II where they raped and murdered millions of Bengali people."
1971 Bangladesh Genocide
Marri has always supported the rights of religious minorities and condemned the terrorist attacks against Hindus and Christians. In 2017, after a terrorist attack against a methodist church in Quetta, capital of the province of Balochistan occupied by Pakistan, he said: "The terrorist attacks in the heavily militarized city of Quetta show the complicity of the Pakistani army and other security forces with religious hatemongers. In a city where its inhabitants have to pass several Pakistani security force check posts, how is it possible that terrorists can so easily target places of worship? The Pakistani Army general Bajwa's refusal to take action against religious extremist protesters in Islamabad and terming them 'our own people' and later distributing envelopes of money to them for ending their protest was clear proof of military complicity with Jihadist terrorists... [Balochistan] has welcomed people from different faiths and backgrounds, but Pakistan's military is now spoiling the basic fabric of our secularism and tolerance by promoting religious intolerance in Balochistan. I strongly condemn Pakistan army's effort of promoting radical religious hatred in Balochistan. I extend my condolences to the families of the victims of this terror attack."
Views On China
Marri considers China a "rogue" state and its China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), part of China's One Belt, One Road initiative, a colonial project for the expansion of China's military hegemony. "Pakistan is the main occupier of Balochistan and it has sublet Balochistan to China for its own economic gains. There are already reports that Chinese will outnumber the Baloch in Gwadar by 2048... The CPEC is a corridor of death and destruction for people of Balochistan, not a development project. Once China finds a foothold in Balochistan and constructs naval and military bases in Jiwani and Sonmiani, then it is not only a threat to Baloch people but also a military threat to India, United States and Europeans. Balochistan is located in a very important strategic region and if Chinese get control of our country, then they will be able to project their military power in South Asia, the Middle East and beyond," Marri stated.
He then added that China is acting like "foe" of Baloch people by collaborating with Pakistan, the enemy of the Baloch nation. "Pakistan and China jointly want to strengthen Punjabi colonization over Balochistan for their expansionist evil designs and economic benefits. As I mentioned, the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is not an economic or development project, it is a military project where China wants to have a presence at the Baloch Sea and control the trade routes to Central Asia."
Balochistan has a strategic geographical position, and is an important economic gateway, with trillions of dollars' worth of rare earth minerals underground such as oil, gas, uranium, copper, and coal, and the two deep seaports of Gawadar and Chabahar. Balochistan is the perfect outpost to counter and keep under control Iran and its nuclear ambition, and its dangerous relations with Pakistan that may provide Tehran with tactical nukes.
Furthermore, the recognition of an independent and democratic Balochistan would play a vital role in uprooting Pakistan's use of terrorism, extremism, and economic and nuclear blackmailing.
It is high time for the world to approach Hyrbyair Marri, a recognized leader of the Baloch people, to chalk an out-of-the-box policy and invite him to international conferences. A free and independent Balochistan would help stop Chinese hegemonic policies and deter Pakistan's and Iran's rogue behavior in the region. Hyrbyair Marri is the accurate and right candidate for global change because he has a vision, objective, and commitment to deliver.
*Rudam Azad is a Baloch writer, Baloch representative, and Human Rights activist. He can be reached on Twitter, @RudamAzad and email email@example.com.
 Twitter.com/hyrbyair_marri/status/1363540076895084544, February 21, 2021.
 Twitter.com/hyrbyair_marri/status/1654073780640129024, May 4, 2023.
 Balochwarna.com/2023/05/16/iran-continues-to-execute-baloch-prisoners-on-trumped-up-charges-hyrbyair-marri/, May 16, 2023.
 Sundayguardianlive.com/world/china-acting-like-foe-people-balochistan, April 6, 2019.
 Balochwarna.com/2017/12/18/hybyair-marri-condemns-quetta-church-attack/, December 18, 2017.
 Sundayguardianlive.com/world/china-acting-like-foe-people-balochistan, April 6, 2019.