Following are excerpts from an interview with Baluch Khan, a rebel leader in Baluchistan, Pakistan, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on January 21, 2011:
Baluch Khan: Our goal is to obtain independence for Baluchistan, to get rid of the control of the Punjabis, and to achieve a life of happiness for the Baluchis – a life of security, justice, and equality. This is what we strive for.
The question is: Who are the Pakistanis? Do they constitute an ethnicity? There is no Pakistani ethnicity. The people living here are Sindhis, Pashtuns, Baluchis, and Punajbis. These are the ethnicities that live in Pakistan. Why are we forced to be Pakistanis? The amazing thing is that this is done by usurping our resources of our lands. This is why we fight the authorities and all those who work for them, like the police, and so on. They all steal our land in order to strengthen Pakistan, while we strive to weaken these authorities.
The responsibility for this war lies mainly with the Punjabi army, not with us. The army has to decide where it wants to take this war. The more the army tries to exert pressure on us, the more violent our response will be. When they kill innocent women and children, we will do our best to teach them a lesson, wherever we can. We may, at a certain point, employ patience, if we are subjected to a massive aerial attack, as has happened to us in the past on several occasions. But later, we may target the capital Islamabad, or Lahore or Rawalpindi.