The Passing of Baloch Leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri

KARACHI, Pakistan — Elderly Baloch nationalist leader, Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri died on June 10, 2014. He was hospitalized on Friday after his serious illness.

Nawab-Khair-Bakhsh-MarriAccording to credible sources, family members had taken him to the Liaquat National Hospital, and medical officials and family members refused to disclose the nature of his illness despite various calls from the media.

Nawab Marri was confined to his residence at the DHA where in recent months he rarely received guests. He complained that he was unwell and unable to meet many visitors, one of the journalists close to him told his fellow professionals.

Nawab Marri joined the defunct National Awami Party and won the National Assembly seat in 1962 and again in 1965 with a comfortable majority.

He demanded restoration of old and historic provinces at the floor of the National Assembly and public meetings where he attracted tens of thousands of followers.

Nawab Marri was arrested and remained in jail on several occasions for his strong political views which he never compromised. Furthmore, he was one of the co-accused in  the Hyderabad Conspiracy Case which Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto framed against the defunct NAP leaders, including Bizenjo, Mengal and Abdul Wali Khan and 51 others.

After his release from Hyderabad prison, he continued politics and delivered lectures on political and constitutional issues to young students. During this period, he went on self-imposed exile in Afghanistan where he remained there until he was brought back to Balochistan after Afghan mujahideen took over power in Afghanistan.

On his way from Quetta to Karachi, he suffered a road accident that damaged his backbone and received some other injuries.

There were no criminal allegations against Nawab Marri; he always remained in jails on political and constitutional issues. Until the last day of his life he never accepted the constitutions of 1956, 1962 and 1973.

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Mir Behram Baloch is a journalist covering government and social issues in Balochistan. Read other articles by Mir.