Saturday, November 8, 2014

Landmine explosion outside Baloch folk singer’s house injures two

QUETTA: A planted landmine exploded outside the house of Baloch folk singer Sabz Ali Bugti in Dera Bugti Town in Balochistan, injuring his son and niece on Saturday.
“The landmine was planted outside the house of folk singer Sabz Ali Bugti,” an official of Dera Bugti Levies told The Express Tribune.
According to him, Sabz Ali’s six-year-old niece Nabila and seven-year-old son Abdul Majeed Sabz were playing outside their house when the landmine went off.
The children sustained critical wounds, and have been shifted to a hospital in Rahim Yar Khan as there are not any proper health facilities in Dera Bugti.
The six-year-old girl is in critical condition, medics said.
The motive behind the explosion is not yet known. However, the Balochistan Levies have started an investigation into the incident.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the incident.
Dera Bugti is one of the worst militancy hit areas in Balochistan, where clashes between security forces and Baloch militants often take place.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pentagon: Pakistan Uses 'Proxy Forces' in India and Afghanistan

The Pentagon released a report earlier this week that directly condemns Pakistan for its use of terrorist proxies against India. The report, titled “Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan,” is atypically candid and is intended for consumption by U.S. legislators. While a growing chorus of experts and former officials in the United States has remarked that the U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relationship is sliding into dysfunction and delusion, the U.S. government has generally kept things civil, refraining from overtly condemning Pakistan. U.S. officials, however, have long privately acknowledged Pakistan’s support of anti-India militant groups. Most notably, the United States’ former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, testified that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence had links to the Haqqani Network.  India, naturally, applauded the release of the report. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs remarked, “If the international community is saying Pakistan is using terrorists as proxies to counter Indian army then its welcoming [sic]. Issue of terrorism should not be segmented.” As one report in The Hindu noted, the release of this report following Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States could signal a coming rapprochement between the United States and India. Historically, Indian officials have remained skeptical of the United States given its long term support — both rhetorically and materially — for Pakistan. By acknowledging Pakistan’s use of terrorist proxies, U.S. officials are saying what Indians have long waited to hear. Amid worsening relations between India and Pakistan in recent weeks, the report will likely reverberate in both India and Pakistan.
India, naturally, applauded the release of the report.

Religion must be a personal matter of the citizens not the system of a state: Malik Siraj Akbar

With reference to Balochistan we interviewed Malik Siraj Akber. Malik is a US-based journalist as well as the editor-in-chief malik sirajof the Baloch Hal, the first online English language newspaper of Balochistan province and a contributing writer for the Huffington Post. In 2010-11, Akbar was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at Arizona State University while in 2012, the National Endowment for Democracy (N.E.D), a Washington DC-based organization, awarded him a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship where he researched the political assassinations, enforced disappearances and attacks on journalists in Balochistan. His writings mainly focus on the Baloch nationalist movement, human rights, press freedom, sectarian killings in Pakistan, the war on terror and U.S.-Pakistan relations. Much to his credentials, He has interviewed leading Pakistani government officials serving in Balochistan and the leaders of the Baloch nationalist movement. In addition to that, he has authored a book, ‘’The Redefined Dimensions of the Baloch Nationalist Movement’’ which was released in 2011.

Balochistan: Dead mutilated bodies are received, changes noticed by right organisation in pakistan

KARACHI: Over time the nature of torture has changed, with the release of severely injured but alive victims being replaced with the dumping of bodies one after another, said provincial assistant coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Abdul Hayee at a round-table conference on Thursday. Earlier, he said, there was a chance of receiving a severely injured yet alive person. “Now we are receiving body after body, be it of a political or a social activist, which in itself is a warning by the perpetrators, for people like us, to mend our ways”.Mr Hayee and many other prolific representatives of rights organisations and media presented their views at the conference on the ‘Convention against torture in Pakistan: towards implementation and accountability’

Balochistan gushes blood and there seems no imminent desire by Pakistani civilian or military leaders to stem that bleeding

The key component of the game plan is deploying the jihadist proxies to neutralise the Baloch militants as well as to pry away the initiative from the latter’s secular leadership.  The evolving, merging and/or overlapping groups such as the Jundullah successor Jaish-al-Adl (JA), the LeJ and the BMDT, share extreme Deobandism as their creed in which the Shia and, for that matter, anyone that they declare heretics are liable to be murdered. The obscure group Lashkar-e-Khurasan (LeK), which is essentially a conglomerate of the LeJ and JuL, slaughtered seven Baloch Zikris after attacking their zikrkhana (worship place) on August 28, 2014 in Awaran. The unmistakable sign of the deep state’s complicity came when the state tried to manipulate the funeral of the revered Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Khair Bux Marri this past June. The deep state’s operatives colluded with a disgruntled son of the late Nawab, Jangez Marri, and imposed Ramzan Mengal, the Balochistan chief of the LeJ’s political face, the Ahle-Sunnat-wal-Jamat (ASWJ), to lead the great nationalist leader’s funeral prayers. The Baloch nationalist cadres, especially their ladies, who by that time had realised what was going on, had to wrestle away Nawab Marri’s coffin and, ultimately, wrapped it in their national flag and buried him. Both Nawab Marri’s family, including his other son, Nawabzada Mehran Marri, and the Balochistan Students Organisation-Azaad, had in written statements squarely blamed state operatives for trying to hijack the nationalist leader’s funeral and imposing sectarian bigots on the Baloch.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Silencing the Baloch Malalas

p6Today again thousands of Malalas are being vulnerable to circumvallate themselves at homes instead of sitting in their classrooms of schools. This time the victims are the Malalas from Balochistan. A province that had never been threatened by any religious extremist groups in the history before however today is a victim of an unknown religious extremist group that had been threatening female education. Despite the fact that the Baloch had always remained wholly bound with its culture, this particular race had conferred no interest towards religious extremism. The Baloch society is structured on some of its meticulous mechanisms and women empowerment stands out of all other mechanisms. Primarily Baloch populace is a very secular race by the means of religious beliefs and it effusively encourages female education. The biggest example of this fact is the recent protest against the previously unknown religious extremist group that had been threatening female education in the Pakistan-Iran bordering district Panjgur. Thousands of people including teachers, students, their parents and other residents protested against the threats to female education through a protesting rally this Monday. Pangjur as one the very first hub of educational spring in Makran has always remained the nucleus of the driving educational air.  Recently the schools and English language learning centers are confronted by threats to female education through threatening letters and various attacks by a hidden religious extremist group that has been stimulating edginess amongst the female students, their parents, private schools and English language centers from the beginning of this month.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Protest in Toronto to save Zahid Baloch chairman BSO Azad and Solidarity with Latif Joher and Balochistan

Press Release
Toronto, May 18, 2014 – A large number of progressive students, Baloch and Sindhi activists gathered at Nathan Philips Square to protest the enforced disappearance of Zahid Baloch, Chairman of Baloch Students Organization-Azad (BSO-Azad), on March 18th, 2014 by the Pakistani Frontier Corps from Quetta, Balochistan. This is yet another case of enforced disappearances of the Baloch people, who are resisting domination and exploitation of their resources by the Pakistani military and intelligence establishments.  Protesters stood in the rain carrying banners and placards condemning the Pakistani military establishment for the atrocities against the civilian population of Balochistan. They chanted slogans – Stop Military Aid to Pakistan – Shame on the Pakistani State and its Army – Immediate Recovery of Zahid Baloch – Recovery of 18,000 Disappeared Baloch Youth. Speeches were delivered at the protest rally by Tayyaba, Urooj, Ayaz and Zaffar Baloch, President BHRC – Canada. A message of Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur a Baloch intellectual and Human Rights activists was read by Urooj at the rally. The speakers informed the public at the gathering about the gross human rights violations in Balochistan by the Pakistani armed forces. They stated that Baloch people were being denied their basic right to life along with political, economic and social rights. The speakers demanded immediate recovery of Zahid Baloch and all the enforced disappeared persons illegally abducted by the Pakistani security forces. The Voice of Baloch Missing Persons, an advocacy organization run by the families of ‘missing persons’, has compiled a list of 19,000 Baloch missing persons, which include women and minors. Latif Johar, member of BSO-Azad, has begun a hunger strike unto death for the safe recovery of his Chairman, Zahid Baloch. As of now, Latif has NOT EATEN since 22 April 2014 and his condition is extremely frail. Latif has asked student groups around the world to support his call for the release of Zahid Baloch and other Baloch missing persons. Enough support for his cause will also help in convincing Latif to end his hunger strike and prevent more lives from succumbing to this cruel tragedy.
***** We are calling this protest to demand: *****
 1. The immediate release of Zahid Baloch and all other Baloch missing persons.
2. The immediate cessation of military operations, covert arrests, abductions, and raids in Balochistan by the Pakistani state.
3. The immediate cessation of financial and political support to the Pakistani military by the Canadian government.

Zaffar Baloch.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Students, Civil Society Protest Threats Against Schools in Panjgur

PANJGUR: After threats made to private schools educating girls and an attack on a school administrator, members of the civil society and students took out a procession here on Wednesday to protest the threats and show solidarity with private school. Rallies from different points of the town started and gathered near Model School Chowk. From there, they headed towards the Deputy Commissioner’s office. The participants chanted slogan in favor of education. “We want education. Education is our basic right. Save education,” the protestors demanded. All private schools in town had closed earlier this month after an attack on an English language tuition center in Washbood and a school in Sawaran localities. Teachers were beaten and humiliated, while their cell phones were snatched. A shadowy Islamic extremist group Tanzeem al-Islami ul-Furqan claimed responsibiliy for the attacks. They issued pamphlets to all private schools and English language tuition centers in the area to stop educating girls. The group in its pamphlet had called girls’ education ‘Haram’, an Islamic term that refers to things forbidden in the religion, and had asked private schools to stop educating girls. According to a source, the schools were considering demands of the group and wanted to make an arrangement to educate girls separately. When they reopened this week, vehicle of an administrator of a private school carrying female students and staff to school came under attack by members of the group. Major (retired) Hussain Ali’s vehicle was set ablaze by the attackers. According to him, they were wearing headbands that had an Allah O Akbar print.  READ MORE: 

Ultimatum: Private schools in Panjgur closed indefinitely


abducted political activist at risk of death�Zahid Baloch, Chairman of the Baloch Student Organisation-Azad (BSOA) was abducted in Quetta, Balochistan, on 18 March. His family do not know where he is or what has happened to him. He is at grave risk of ill-treatment, torture, or even death. Hundreds of other activists have suffered similar fates in the province over recent years. Witnesses claim Zahid Baloch was taken at gunpoint in the Satellite Town area in Quetta, Balochistan on 18 March by personnel of the Frontier Corps, a federal paramilitary force. The authorities have not provided any information concerning his abduction and have failed to investigate it adequately. Zahid Baloch is the Chairman of BSOA, a student organization advocating the separation of Balochistan province from the state of Pakistan. It was banned by the Pakistan government in March 2013 because they claimed it was “involved in terrorism.”Zahid Baloch’s abduction follows a pattern of enforced disappearances in Balochistan province whereby Baloch political activists, human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and suspected insurgents have been picked up by state security forces, and never seen again. Across the province many of those subjected to enforced disappearance have been recovered dead, often bearing bullet wounds and marks of torture. Activists calling for greater autonomy for the Baloch population, seen by the Pakistani authorities as ‘anti-state’, are particularly vulnerable to these violations. Relatives and eyewitnesses frequently accuse the security forces, especially the Frontier Corps and intelligence services, for carrying out these violations. READ MORE:

Abduction of activist Zahid Baloch highlights Balochistan plight

Latif Johar (C), 23, sits in a camp during a hunger strike demanding the release of Zahid Baloch outside Karachi's Press Club on 5 May 2014Pakistani activist and Baloch nationalist Zahid Baloch was abducted earlier this year and his whereabouts remain unknown. The BBC's Shahzeb Jillani, who interviewed him six months before his abduction, reports on the case.  In Karachi's sweltering summer heat, at a protest camp outside the city's main press club, Lateef Gohar, a young man in his early 20s, is lying stretched out on a footpath. Sitting next to him are a few colleagues, mostly women with their faces half-covered in their traditional headscarves. Mr Gohar has refused food since 22 April. With every passing week, he is losing weight and his health is deteriorating. The hunger strike is to protest against the alleged abduction of a nationalist student leader, Zahid Baloch, by Pakistani security forces.  Mr Baloch, who heads the separatist Baloch Student Organisation (Azad), was picked up in a security raid in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, on 18 March.  Soldiers from an official paramilitary force, the Frontier Corps, are said to have held him at gunpoint. He was blindfolded and his hands tied behind his back. He was then pushed into a vehicle by men in plain clothes thought to be from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), say his colleagues.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

“Why Pakistani state agencies fear books in Balochistan?”

fear_books.jpg"The Baloch should acquire what colonizers call subversive education because the education that colonizers provide can only pollute minds and blunt the will for liberty"
On 13th January the Frontier Corps (FC) of Balochistan raided a book fair being held at Atta Shad Degree College Turbat dispersing students anxious to get books for reading and confiscating books which they termed as provocative and seditious. After this unjust and illegal raid on the College book fair Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Azam  of FC talking to the media said that their force had seized anti-Pakistan literature, books, maps, posters, banners and other subversive material and added that elements in “banned BSA (Azad) wanted to use students for their designs on the dictates of the foreign agenda”. He said that these elements were brainwashing students in the college to provoke them against the state through anti-Pakistan poetry, anti-Pakistan ideology material and stories based on the lives of the miscreants. He said that these brainwashed students were then used in subversive incidents across Pakistan. He said that miscreants had also established a media cell and anti-state slogans were written on the walls of college. He also said that action would be taken against the printing press where these books were being printed and added that following secret information last week, the FC had sealed a private language centre where anti-Pakistan literature was being taught to students. The FC IG Ejaz Shahid praised the FC personnel for their successful raid which, he said, saved the youngsters from being led astray through brainwashing. Bravo! They move not a finger against the Jihadi and hate-mongering sectarian literature but when Baloch want to learn about the world it is termed as subversive. READ MORE:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chairperson of Baloch missing persons & prominent Baloch Rights activists Nasrullah Baloch life is in danger as threatened to eliminate him by Pakistani agencies

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding threats to the life of Nasrullah Baloch, the Chairperson of the Voice of Baloch Missing persons (VBMP) and a prominent human rights defender, for pleading the cases of missing persons in the higher courts and before the international community. His two younger brothers were abducted, tortured and released after being told by officials of the intelligence agencies that if their brother did not stop campaigning against disappearances he would be eliminated. The Supreme Court, on more than one occasion, also ordered the police of Quetta to file First Information Reports on the threats but the police, under the influence of military intelligence, failed to comply.  The state intelligence agencies are conscious of the threat to their practice of abduction, keeping incommunicado, torture and extrajudicial killings of persons after the country-wide long march of family members of the missing persons under the banner of the VBMP. 
Mr. Nasrullah Baloch, son of Dad Mohammad, chairperson of Voice of Baloch Missing Persons, has been receiving threats for more than a year from unknown persons who claim to be from the state intelligence agency, the ISI, to stop the campaign against disappearances and extrajudicial killings. His two brothers were told by persons from the intelligence agencies that if they cannot stop their brother then he would be ‘dealt with’.READ MORE:

Journalists are Blacklisted in Baluchistan by Pakistan

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made a series of commitments to safeguard press freedom during a meeting with a CPJ delegation last week. Among them was a pledge to speak out in support of media freedom and against attacks on journalists, particularly in high-conflict areas like Baluchistan.  Baluchistan--Pakistan's largest province by area--has been mired in a separatist conflict since the inception of Pakistan in 1947.  Some journalists have termed Baluchistan Pakistan's black hole. Local journalists work in a climate of intense intimidation and risk being killed by an array of actors, including Pakistani security forces and intelligence agencies, state-sponsored anti-separatist militant groups, pro-Taliban groups, and Baluch separatists. Foreign journalists seeking to cover the restive province face tight restrictions. Last month, Pakistani authorities denied British journalist Willem Marx an entry visa to participate in a panel on reporting in Pakistan at the Lahore Literary Festival. The apparent reason: his newly released book, Balochistan at a Crossroads. Pakistaniconsular staff in New York informed Marx he was not welcome in the country. Marx told CPJ that after much probing, the consular official muttered to him, "It was the agencies"--a term used for Pakistan's intelligence apparatus, which includes the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).