The London Group

About five members of the London Club decided to quit their studies in London, travel back
to Pakistan and join the insurgency on the Baloch nationalists’ side.
They were all between the ages of 20 and 2, came from well!off families and none of them
were "aloch#
$our were from the Pun%ab &rovince and included 'a%am (ethi, Ahmed )ashid,
and brothers )ashid and Asad )ehman# *ne was from a Pakistani +indu family, -ali& -ass#
$lag of the "aloch Liberation $ront ."L$/ 0 a left!wing "aloch militant outfit that was one of
the leading "aloch se&aratist guerrilla grou&s during the "alochistan insurgency in the 1230s#
A rudimentary 4study circle5 was formed in London .in 1262/ by some 7ar8ist Pakistani
students studying in colleges and universities there#
There were about 2 such students in the grou& who used to meet to discuss various left!wing
movements and literature#
They also began &ublishing a maga9ine called 4Pakistan Zindabad5 that .in 1231/ had to be
smuggled into Pakistan because it was highly critical of the Pakistani military5s role in the
former :ast Pakistan#
The maga9ine hel&ed the grou& to forge a relationshi& with some "aloch nationalists who
invited the grou& members to travel to "alochistan and hel& the nationalists set into motion
some education related &ro%ects#
After the loss of :ast Pakistan in 1231, the &o&ulist PPP had formed a new elected
government at the centre, whereas the leftist 'AP was heading the &rovincial government in
;n 123<, the PPP regime accused 'AP of fostering a se&aratist movement in "alochistan and
dismissed it#
;n reaction, hordes of "aloch tribesmen &icked u& arms and triggered a full!fledged guerrilla
war against the Pakistan Army#
'AP workers gather outside the offices of the &arty in =uetta soon after the 'AP regime in
"alochistan was dismissed by Prime 7inster "hutto in 123<#
About five members of the London Club decided to quit their studies in London, travel back
to Pakistan and %oin the insurgency on the "aloch nationalists5 side#
They were all between the ages of 20 and 2, came from well!off families and none of them
were "aloch#
$our were from the Pun%ab &rovince and included 'a%am (ethi, Ahmed )ashid, and brothers
)ashid and Asad )ehman# *ne was from a Pakistani +indu family, -ali& -ass#
All wanted to use the "alochistan situation to 4trigger a communist revolution in Pakistan#5
-ass was the son of a senior officer in the Pakistan Air $orce# After his schooling in Pakistan,
he had %oined the *8ford >niversity in the late 1260s where he became a committed 7ar8ist#
-ali& -aas .right/ chatting with a friend at a Pakistani college# +e soon travelled to London
to %oin *8ford >niversity before secretly returning to Pakistan to %oin the "aloch guerrilla
fighters in the mountains of "alochistan#
Asad and )ashid )ehman were sons of ?ustice (A )ehman who had been a close colleague
of the founder of Pakistan, 7uhammad Ali ?innah#
'a%am (ethi came from a well!to!do middle!class family in Lahore and so did Ahmad )ashid
whose family hailed from )awal&indi#
All five members had travelled to :ngland to study in &restigious "ritish universities#
;nitially, they were energised by the left!wing student movements that eru&ted across the
world .including Pakistan/ in the late 1260s#
@hen they reached their res&ective universities in London, they got involved in the student
movements there but ke&t an eye on the develo&ments in Pakistan where a student movement
had managed to force out the country5s first military dictator, Ayub Ahan .in 1262/#
The study grou& honed its knowledge of 7ar8ism, but also began studying revolutionary
guerrilla manuals authored by such communist revolutionaries as Che Buevara, Carlos
7arighella and $rant9 $anon#
@hen a civil war between the Pakistan Army and "engali nationalists began in 1231 in
former :ast Pakistan, the grou&, that originally consisted of about 2 Pakistani students
studying in :ngland, began to &ublish a maga9ine called 4Pakistan Zindabad5 that severely
criticised the role of the Pakistani establishment in :ast Pakistan#
The maga9ine was smuggled into Pakistan and then distributed in the country by Pakistani
left!wing student grou&s such as the 'ational (tudents $ederation .'($/ that had also led the
movement against the Ayub regime#
*ne of the issues of the maga9ine fell into the hands of some veteran left!wing "aloch
nationalist leaders in "alochistan#
*ne of them was (her 7uhammad 7arri who at once sent 7uhammad "abha to London to
make contact with the &ublishers of the maga9ine#
(her 7uhammad 7arri .third from left/ with "aloch fighters in 126C#
7uhammad "abha whose family was settled in Aarachi, met the members of the study circle
in London and communicated 7arri5s invitation to them to visit "alochistan#
(even members of the circle agreed to travel to "alochistan# +owever, two backed out,
leaving %ust five#
All five decided to travel back to Pakistan without telling their families who still thought they
were studying in :ngland#
The years 1231 and 1232 were s&ent learning the "aloch language and customs, and handling
and usage of wea&ons 0 es&ecially by Asad )ehman, Ahmad )ashid and -ali& -ass who
would eventually %oin the "aloch resistance fighters in the mountains once the insurgency
began in 123<#
'a%am (ethi and )ashid )ehman stationed themselves in Aarachi to secretly raise funds for
the armed movement#
:ach one of them believed that the government5s move against the 'AP regime was akin to
the establishment5s attitude towards the "engalis of the former :ast Pakistan .that broke
away in 1231 to become the inde&endent "engali state of "angladesh/#
The young men5s &arents all thought their sons were in London, studying# ;t was only in 123D
when the government revealed their names that the &arents came to know#
The three men in the mountains took active &art in the conflict, facing an army that used
heavy wea&onry and helico&ters that were su&&lied by the (hah of ;ran and &iloted by ;ranian
All three had also changed their look to suit the attire and a&&earance of their "aloch
Asad )ehman tracking the mountains of "alochistan with his grou& of "aloch fighters in
$irst to fall was the 2<!year!old -ali& -aas# ;n 123D, while being driven in a %ee& with a
"aloch comrade and a sym&athetic Aurd driver into the neighbouring (indh &rovince for a
meeting with a (indhi nationalist, the %ee& was sto&&ed at a military check!&ost on the
"alochistan!(indh border#
-aas and his "aloch comrade were asked to stay while the driver was allowed to go# 7any
believe the driver was an informant of the military#
-aas was taken in by the military and shifted to interrogation cells in =uetta and then the
interior (indh# There he was tortured and must have died because he was never seen again#
+e vanished#
$or years friends and family of -aas have tried to find his body, but to no avail# +e remains
A transformed -ali& -aas %ust before his arrest, torture and death#
After -aas5 disa&&earance, )ashid )ehman who was o&erating with 'a%am (ethi in Aarachi
went dee&er underground#
;n 1236, the 2C!year!old (ethi5s cover was blown and he was &icked u& by the military and
thrown into solitary confinement#
7ore than ,000 "aloch men and women lost their lives in the war that ended when the PPP
regime was to&&led in a reactionary military cou& in 1233#
Asad and )ashid )ehman remained underground till 123C before de&arting for Aabul and
then to London#
Ahmed )ashid also esca&ed to London#
Asad returned to Pakistan in 12C0 before going back, this time to esca&e the right!wing
dictatorshi& of Eiaul +aq#
+e again returned to the country and became a &assionate human rights activist and continued
s&eaking for the rights of the "aloch till his death in 201<#
Asad )ehman in 2012# +e &assed away in 201<#
After his release in 123C, 'a%am (ethi became a successful &ublisher and &rogressive
%ournalist# Today he is also known as a celebrated &olitical analyst and a &o&ular TF
'a%am (ethi in 2012# Today he is one of the leading liberal voices and &olitical analysts on
mainstream TF in Pakistan#
Ahmad )ashid travelled to :ngland, became a %ournalist and then a highly res&ected and
best!selling &olitical author and e8&ert on the &olitics of Afghanistan and Pakistan#
Ahmad )ashid in 2002#
)ashid )ehman returned to Pakistan from London and became a leading %ournalist and editor#
)ashid )ehman .second from left/ in conversation with "ritish author @illiam -alrym&le
.right/ in 2012#
The conflict in "alochistan continues#

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