A historical protest

by Faiz M Baluch

Qadeer Baloch and Banuk Farzana Majeed along with other protesters
Qadeer Baloch and Banuk Farzana Majeed along with other protesters

Pakistan has been violating Baloch human rights including their right to life and freedom since it occupied Balochistan in March 1948. For over 60 years of occupation, the people of Balochistan have continued their resistance against the occupiers. Baloch freedom movement has had its ups and down but it has never stopped.

In 1970s when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto started offensives against the Baloch people there was almost a total media blackout. The death and destructions, expulsion of people from their homes, pillage of villages and mass disappearances went unnoticed. One of the main pillars of Pakistan is its media. The media in Pakistan, by and large, is an instrument of army and security agencies. Their role in the state imposed war on Balochistan has always been consistent. They have always followed the line of the security forces.

The new chapter of struggle, the preparation of which, started around late 1980s is undoubtedly the continuation of the war of liberation initiated by Prince Abdul Karim Baloch and those who fought against British imperial forces in the previous decades. The legacy of the liberation struggle was later pursued by Nauroz Khan, Ghulam Mohammad Baloch, Dr Khalid, Akbar Bugti, Mir Balach Marri and thousands of Baloch forerunners and living legends.  The new Baloch national liberation dawned when the young Baloch assessed the results of our past struggles carefully and the way forward. In their assessment they realised that for an effective and successful liberation movement there had to be a strategic change of direction. Hyrbyair Marri’s role in this respect has been very significant. The movement got its national dimension for the first time. This new phase is indestructible and will eventually lead to Balochistan’s independence.

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Remembering the missing Baloch on the International Day of enforced Disappeared

Dr Sarwar Baloch holds the picture of his abducted nephew Zafarullah Bangulzai
Dr Sarwar Baloch holds the picture of his abducted nephew Zafarullah Bangulzai

The International Day of the Disappeared on August 30 is an annual commemoration designated to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and under poor conditions unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives. On this day, the International community remembers the missing and disappeared people throughout the world. The day has been officially declared as the Day of the enforced-disappeared. On this day, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) calls on all governments to provide answers to families on the fate and whereabouts of missing persons. International Human Rights Organisations have declared enforced disappearance as a grave human rights violation and a crime against humanity.

Yet, on this day the fate of thousands of innocent Baloch men, women and children remains unknown. Thousands of Baloch families in occupied Balochistan are looking for justice for their beloveds and peace of mind for themselves in particular and for the Baloch society in general. The issue of enforced-disappearances in Balochistan is not a new phenomenon; it started from the day of Balochistan’s illegal occupation by Iran and Pakistan. Since then occupying states, Iran and Pakistan, have been committing gross human rights violations against Baloch people. Thousands of Baloch have been forcefully disappeared and hundreds of thousands have been killed in cold-blood and massacred by aerial bombardments by these ruthless and uncivilised states. Thousands have been extra judicially executed. Continue reading “Remembering the missing Baloch on the International Day of enforced Disappeared”

Baloch Genocide at full swing right before the eyes of ‘civilised’ world

Baloch female protesters carrying a 'stop Baloch Genocide' placard during a protest in Karachi
Baloch female protesters carrying a ‘stop Baloch Genocide’ placard during a protest in Karachi

Pakistan in its dirty war in Balochistan has changed its tactics several times in past few years. In their most recent tactic they have started to kill Baloch political activists in several orchestrated stage encounters. Their criminal tactic follows a clear pattern. They abduct Baloch activists and torture them for days, months or even years. July 2010 onwards Pakistan adopted the policy of abducted, kill and dump but recently they started to discard the bodies of previously abducted Baloch activists, who were abducted from different areas of Pakistan, during military offensive and then announce in their media that they were killed during arm clash with Pakistani security forces. This tactic could partly be due to the pressure that has grown on Pakistani military and intelligence agencies to produce the enforced-disappeared Baloch persons.

The Baloch political leader, Hyrbyair Marri says, “Abducting our people and killing them in such sham operations and labelling them as terrorists only demonstrate the height of our enemy’s inhumanity and desperation. They think with this monstrous tactic they close the cases of our loved and get away with their murder. These cases cannot and will not be closed as long as the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity are not brought to justice – the perpetrator for us is the state of Pakistan.”

Continue reading “Baloch Genocide at full swing right before the eyes of ‘civilised’ world”

Balochistan: A no-go area for media and foreign journalists

Balochistan media restricted zone
Balochistan media restricted zone

Pakistan has forcibly invaded and occupied Balochistan and has been exploiting Balochistan’s natural resources since 1948. The Baloch nation never accepted the illegal occupation of their homeland. They started resisting Pakistan’s occupation from the very first day. Pakistan carried out four major military offensives, the fifth military aggression is still on-going, to crush the Baloch liberation struggle. For a short period they succeeded in dispersing the Baloch struggle. Baloch came back to confront their occupiers with greater determination and once again restarted their freedom movement in early 90s, which still continues. This time the Baloch are more disciplined and organised as they have learned from their mistakes of past. In the past Baloch struggles failed to achieve their objectives because they were limited to certain areas of Balochistan. Hence, the initiators of the current struggle succeeded to make it a nation-wide struggle.

People from all walks of life have started to pour in and become part of the Baloch liberation movement. During the first stage of this movement the emphasis was on national awareness. Pioneers of the movement and their supporters distributed literature in Baloch masses to give them awareness about their right to be free from foreign occupation. Soon the message of Baloch liberation movement reached to every nook and corner of Balochistan and Baloch men, women and elderly belonging to all spheres of life started conversing about their freedom. Many well-educated and energetic Baloch youths mixed theory and practice. With their ideas and actions they awakened the entire Baloch nation.
Continue reading “Balochistan: A no-go area for media and foreign journalists”

Pakistani media’s lies exposed as relatives of abducted Baloch identify the bodies of their loved ones

Bodies of Martyrs of Bolan
Bodies of Martyrs of Bolan

The Pakistan military and its state sponsored media reported on 10 August that the military has killed 6 ‘armed militants’ in an exchange of firing in Machh area of district Bolan in Balochistan. As the saying goes “A Lie has no legs to stand upon”– soon the misleading statements of Pakistan army and media were exposed as the families of previously abducted Baloch identified the bodies of their loved ones.

It became obvious that no arm clash took place in fact the Pakistan military has dumped the bodies of previously abducted Baloch who were in their custody and claimed to have killed them in a fake encounter. Relatives of these men said that they had received phone calls from unknown numbers informing them that their relatives have been killed and dumped. The victims of 10 August have been identified as 28 year old Bijjar Ahmad son of Ali Bux Marri, 35 year old Paliya son of Nodhan Marri, 20 year old Izzat Khan son of Wahsho Marri, 35 year old Dad Ali son of Raheem Khan Marri and Wahid Bux son of Nabi Bux Marri.

Bijjar Ahmad Marri was abducted on 24 June along with Khoda Dad Marri at an FC check point from Rabi area. Brutally tortured and mutilated body of Khoda Dad Marri was found in Dera Allah Yar on 1st July 2013 whereas Bijjar’s whereabouts remained unknown until 10 August. The other men including Paliya, Izzat Khan, Dad Ali, Wahid Bux and another two of their relatives were abducted from main bridge of Mach town on 8 August. The Pakistani security forces also took away their private Datsun pickup. Two of their relatives are still in the custody of Pakistani forces.  Continue reading “Pakistani media’s lies exposed as relatives of abducted Baloch identify the bodies of their loved ones”

Baloch Social Media Activists’ open Letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Mr Ban Ki-moon Secretary General, United Nation 1 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017 Dated: 28/07/2013

Subject: Pakistan’s crimes against humanity in Balochistan 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Dear Sir, The Baloch Social Media Activists forum would like to draw your kind attention towards the heinous crimes that the occupying Pakistani army is committing against humanity in Balochistan on daily basis. In order to contain the Baloch Freedom Movement, the Pakistani state has adopted a sinister strategy of eliminating the intellectuals and activists of Baloch society –with its systematic ‘dirty war’ which generally is called “kill and dump policy”. Pakistan’s notorious spy agencies, ISI and MI abduct Baloch political activists and subject them to untold agonizing tortures and subsequently throw their mutilated dead bodies on deserted areas across Balochistan.

Since September, 2011 more than 700 mutilated dead bodies of around 18000 abducted Baloch political activists have been gifted to Baloch nation. The fates of the rest are unknown as Pakistani Guantanamo Bays abound in Balochistan and are off-limits to Human rights organizations and local as well as international media. Despite respected internal and international human right organizations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reports and courts orders, Pakistani state adamantly refuses to acknowledge and own the crimes against humanity that its security apparatus have committed and are committing in Balochistan.

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War Crimes Trials – Pakistan’s dirty war from Bangladesh to Balochistan

Alleged perpetrators of war crimes during Bangladesh war of independence
Alleged perpetrators of war crimes during Bangladesh war of independence

By Faiz M Baluch

On 17 July a Bangladesh war crimes tribunal sentenced a leader of Jamaat-e-Islami for crimes against humanity during the 1971 war of independence. He along with others is accused of collaborating with Pakistan army and hence allegedly involved in murder, rape and other crimes against humanity. The Bangladeshi government estimated that at least 3 million people (including women and children) were killed and 250,000 women raped by the ‘Islamic’ Punjabi Army of Pakistan and their ‘pious’ collaborators from the Al-Badar and Al-Shams extremist organisations.

Despite all the crimes against humanity by Pakistan and its Bangladeshi collaborators, the people of Bangladesh continued their war of liberation. Although their freedom came with a heavy price but eventually the day arrived when more than 90,000 Pakistan soldiers surrendered at Dhaka and become Indian prisoners of war. What was called as East Pakistan became an independent country. Modern country of Bangladesh was added to the list of free nations on 16 December 1971. Bangladeshi’s independence has ended Pakistani barbarism in their country.

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Baloch want immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Pakistani troops from Balochistan

By Muriam Salman

The state army has created several religious proxy groups to counter the freedom struggle in Balochistan. These fanatic groups have warned Baloch women to stop taking part in protests and supporting the freedom movement

The following interview was conducted with representatives from the Women of Baluchistan and Role of Women in Revolution online group created in July, 2012. The page is run by a collective of individuals with the stated aim of raising awareness about:

1. Baloch women who are struggling for freedom and the betterment of Baloch society;

2. The role of women in revolutions around the world.

We hoped to discern information about the role of Baloch women in the nationalist movement, their thoughts on the struggle, upcoming elections, and the class and gender composition of Baloch leadership. Since the formation of Pakistan, Baloch nationalists and the Pakistani establishment have clashed with each other at least four times over issues of provincial autonomy, resource control and the right to self-determination. The most recent upsurge of the nationalist movement, sparked by the rape of Dr. Shazia Khalid, began in 2005 and, as with previous uprisings, was met with state suppression and intelligence agencies’ action. . Hundreds of Baloch villagers, professionals, students and leaders have been subjected to arbitrary abductions and ‘kill and dump’ operations led by the state. As a result of this crackdown by the state and its security establishment, tensions in the region have heightened. Moreover, the nationalist parties boycotted the general election in 2008 under President General (retd.) Pervez Musharraf and thus, had no formal representation in the political power structure of the country for the past five years.

The representatives of the group were reluctant in identifying themselves by name due to understandable fears for personal safety and security. Thus, we do not lay claim to the veracity of the answers but leave it upon the judgment of our readership. In publishing this interview we hope to broaden the discourse with regards to the perspectives of the Baloch people and ensure that the often neglected voices of Baloch women are heard and documented. Continue reading “Baloch want immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Pakistani troops from Balochistan”

Pakistan army atrocities in Balochistan and silence of International Community

By Faiz M Baluch

A video footage, presumably captured from a smart phone, emerged on social media exposing the brutalities of Pakistan military against Baloch people in Mashkay Balochistan. In the footage one can clearly see that Pakistan military personnel are burning Baloch houses where Baloch women and children beg them to stop burning their houses as they have nowhere to live. The Khaki uniformed men of military speak in Pashtu, Peshawari dialect, with each other but shout at Baloch women in Urdu asking them to go away and threatening to burn more houses. Continue reading “Pakistan army atrocities in Balochistan and silence of International Community”