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). 

Baloch Canadians Observe March 27th Black Day – Speakers at Toronto Meeting Support Independence of Balochistan

Hajan Kalhoro CanadaAbusufyan-Al-Ahwazimohammad-ali-baloch

Toronto, March 29, 2014 – BHRC (Canada) held a meeting in Toronto to mark the Pakistani military invasion of Balochistan on March 27, 1948. The gathering of Baloch, Sindhis, Kashmiris, Ahwazi Arabs and Azeri Turks was addressed by speakers from various organizations. The event in Toronto was part of the Black Day observed throughout Balochistan to voice their dissent against the forced annexation of Baloch lands into Pakistan by an illegal military invasion. Ms. Mumtaz Baloch, opening the evening event, provided the audience with an introduction to the history of Balochistan and the events of 1948 that led to the illegal military occupation by Pakistan. She explained how the sovereign parliament of Kalat had decided in favour of independence rather than joining Pakistan.
Zaffar Baloch, President, BHRC – Canada. Those who do not move; do not notice their chains.
I would like to begin with quoting not only a revolutionary individual but an extra ordinary woman who had a deep sense of what freedom means to a people or a social class in terms of awareness and clarity of their goal. Rosa Luxemburg said, “Those who do not move; do not notice their chains.” This truly depicts the inner dimensions of Baloch national liberation struggles in the last hundred years – after every battle, we as a people became increasingly aware of the chains and its various forms of illusions. Today we have reached a point in our collective history where freedom is the only true voice that echoes from the mountains of Balochistan. On March 27, 1948, Pakistan Army attacked Kalat, the centre of Balochistan’s sovereign legitimate parliament without provocation and violated the international law by forced annexation of an independent country into Pakistan. The loss of motherland has since become the basis for all the human rights abuses; loss of Baloch national identity and culture, atrocities, plundering of resources in the name of development, and of course the ongoing fifth military operation in Balochistan with genocidal intent. Please read the full text of the speech and details of other speakers on the following link:
View More Pictures of the event;

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Invitation to BHRC event in Toronto - to observe Balck Day on Saturday March 29, 2014

Balochistan Observes Black Day

March 27, 1948
On August 4, 1947, a tripartite agreement was signed between Pakistan, the British and Balochistan, called The Standstill Agreement, in which the sovereign status of Balochistan was accepted. The Khan declared Balochistan independent on August 11, 1947, three days before the independence of Pakistan. On March 26, 1948, the Pakistan Army was ordered to move into the Baloch coastal region of Pasni, Jiwani and Turbat. This was the first act of aggression prior to the march on Kalat by a Pakistani military detachment on April 1, 1948. Kalat capitulated on March 27 after the army moved into the coastal region and it was announced in Karachi that the Khan of Kalat has agreed to merge his state with Pakistan. Under the Constitution of Kalat, the Khan was not authorized to take such a basic decision. The Balochistan Assembly had already rejected any suggestion of forfeiting the independence of Balochistan on any pretext. The sovereign Baloch state after British withdrawal from India lasted only 227 days.
A meeting will be held in Toronto to protest Balochistan’s forced annexation through illegal military invasion on March 27, 1948 by Pakistan.
Join us in remembrance of Baloch nation’s loss of rights, freedoms and sovereignty:
North York Central Library
Meeting Room # 1
First floor
5120 Yonge Street, Toronto
Ontario M2N 5N9
Saturday, March 29, 2014
6 pm to 10 pm
TTC Subway Station: North York Centre (Library located above the station)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sindhu Desh is inevitable as Millions of Sindhies March for freedom

sindh-freedom-march-karachiKarachi: Pakistan is under the threat of disintegration and after Baluchistan now Sindh is also demanding freedom from the state of Pakistan. To show this demand politically one of the Sindhi nationalist party Jeay Sindh Qaumy Mahaz (JSQM) called for a Freedom March in Karachi capital of Sindh. The leaders in their speeches were telling the audience about the atrocities of the state and they specially brought recently burnt after being shot dead two of the leaders Maqsood Qureshi and Salman Wadhiyo bodies in protest.  Sanaan Qureshi a young leader and son of the slain nationalist leader Bashir Khan Qureshi told the audience that we are betrayed and our rights are violated by the state of Pakistan. Demanding our right to live is not a sin but when we demand it we get killed. He said enough is enough, our survival is in freedom and the state of Pakistan has to demolish. Niaz Kalani the vice chairman again reminded about the extra judicial killing of nationalist leaders by state agencies and condemned it. He said our province meets the demands of Pakistan like 70% of Tax revenue, 83 % of natural gas, sea ports and the biggest coal mines in Thar Desert but our people are dying of hunger. He said this is the right time to show the world and world should see this that millions of peoples are on streets but except regional Sindhi media there is no media coverage. He further said how long will you suppress our voice, how many people will you kill? The leaders demanded world community to take notice of extra judicial killing & human rights violation of Sindhi people. The rally was attended by almost 5 million people and the majority was youth of Sindh. After speeches they performed the funeral prayers of their slain leaders whose bodies were brought in the rally. 


They also considered the languages here as a threat to their dominance and set about to change that ...The atrocities against the Baloch or the ravages against the Bengalis, the recent burning of the Hindu Dharmshala in Larkana or the carnages against the Hazaras or Christians sadden me deeply as do all the brutal and senseless attacks on nationalities or minorities in the length and breadth of the ‘land of pure’. However these horrendous attacks have never surprised me; had there been peaceful coexistence between different nationalities or religious and sectarian harmony; it would have surely surprised me because the basis of all that is wrong here lies in the creation of this state on the basis of religion.
Sheikh Saadi says,
Khist-e-Awal choon nahd Maymaar Kaj Ta Suraiya mee rawad Dewaar Kaj.
Translation,  If the wall’s first brick by the Mason is wrongly laid To Heavens it taken be; tis’ll remain but wrongly laid.             When the power assuming elite, for its ulterior motives, of a colonized land imposes the blatant untruth that the religion is the bedrock of nationhood on the people with different history, culture and ethos inhabiting the land they are set to assume power in then we get the dreadful mess what we see today in Pakistan. The ruling elite tried to over-ride the existing historical and cultural ethos with a specious and spurious one based on religion alone which they thought would unite all by doing away with the old ethos. Blind to history they did not see that there were many Muslim countries but were separate nations or people and not united on religious basis. They committed the crime of fabricating (pun intended) a Muslim ethos.  READ MORE;

Mehran Baluch and a representative, addressing UN Session on Balochistan

18 March 2014: Mehran Baluch, Baloch representative to the United Nations & EU and representative of United School International addressing 25th Session of United Nations Human Rights Council on Balochistan. Item 4 General Debate: Human rights situations that require the Council's attention.

Rights violations, mass killings in Balochistan discussed at UNHRC in Geneva

Geneva (Switzerland), Mar.12 (ANI): Human rights activists, political leaders, Baloch nationalists and students from various parts of the world gathered in Geneva on March 10 to raise the issue of human rights violations in Pakistan’s province of Balochistan. The event titled “Human Rights, Regional Security and Perspectives for Balochistan and Pakistan Post-2014″ was held at Palace of Nations, Geneva on the sidelines of the 110th session of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) together with the United Towns Agency for North-South Corporation and Baluchistan House organizes the event. The speakers highlighted the worsening human rights situation, especially the issue of missing persons in the province. “There is an ongoing military operation in Balochistan. It has intensified in the last few months. In the last week alone, over 100 young Bugtis were killed in Dera Bugti area alone. And now we are requesting the international community to halt or to pressurise Pakistan to halt all military operations in Balochistan because operations are happening across Balochistan,” said Balochistan’s representative to the UN, Mehran Marri Baloch. In January 2014, mass graves were discovered in the district of Khuzdar, Balochistan, current day Pakistan. Numerous bodies of Baloch individuals were discovered, although most remain unidentified and the families of the disappeared still live in uncertainty about the faith of their beloved ones. “There is a serious case of mass genocide taking place in Balochistan. Even in the American Congress it was raised last month that mass graves were found in the area of Khuzdar called Tutak where 167 previously abducted or disappeared Balochs mutilated, decomposed bodies were found. This is crimes against humanity and Pakistan should be held accountable for these crimes it is committing against Baloch nation,” added Mehran Baloch. Read More

EU should not remain silent over 'horrendous' human rights violations in Balochistan by pakistan

The increasing evidence of widespread human rights violations highlight the need for the EU to strengthen its role in the troubled region of Baluchistan, says Niccolò Rinaldi
Baluchistan is one of the most troubled and poorest provinces of Pakistan. Bordering with Afghanistan and Iran, Baluchistan is rich in oil, gas, and minerals, but nevertheless its development has been hindered by the turbulence prevailing in the country. This feeling of injustice among the Baloch population has caused decades of long battle between the Baloch separatists and the Pakistani government. The Pakistani army and security forces are accused by the Baluchistan population of not only usurping their wealth, but also violating their fundamental rights. These protests have led to more abuse, persecution and are even inflicted by Pakistani officials. Enforced disappearances of Baloch political workers have been described by human rights NGOs as a widespread practice in Pakistan, allegedly orchestrated by the Pakistani authorities. According to a report issued by the Commission of inquiry on enforced disappearances in 2013, 209 cases of missing Baloch political workers have been reported. Of these, 61 missing persons have been recovered and 24 mutilated dead bodies have been found in different parts of the province up till now. Additionally, according to a March 2013 UN human rights council report the number of missing people could reach up to 14,000.  READ MORE;

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

US State department Human Rights report on Sindh & Balochistan

Politically motivated killings of Baloch nationalists continued in Balochistan and
Karachi. On August 14, security forces allegedly killed Secretary General of the
Baloch Student Organization Azad Raza Jahangeer, along with another
Balochistan National Movement leader in Turbat. Separately, security agents
allegedly abducted Zaheer Baloch, a son of Baloch Republican Party leader Anwar
Baloch, from Panjgur in April. In June authorities found Baloch’s corpse near
Karachi.  The South Asia Terrorism Portal reported that journalists, teachers, students, and
human rights defenders also were targeted in Balochistan. In 2012 at least 690
civilians were victims of violence in Balochistan. According to a July 2012
Interior Ministry report, at least 868 persons had been killed in Balochistan since
2010. The report stated that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Lashkar-e-Balochistan, Baloch
Musalla Difa Tanzeem, and the Baloch Liberation Army were involved in
disrupting law and order in the province. According to the HRCP, terrorist attacks
in Balochistan killed 2,050 innocent persons and injured another 3,822 in 2012.
Read More:

Memorandum demanded UN to investigate missing persons issue of Balochistan

KARACHI: The government of Pakistan has ignored the historical long march of Balochistan by Voice of Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP} and families of missing persons for the recovery of disappeared persons of Balochistan. According to media reports the four page memorandum demanded the UN to investigate issues of missing persons; target killings; enforced disappearances; alleged involvement of agencies in heinous crimes; and a UN fact-finding mission to investigate mass graves and international standard DNA tests to identify bodies. According to a Statement Issued by Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) a Hong Kong based organisation, United Nations Information Centre Director Vittorio Cammartoa, who was also a part of the meeting, told that UN Resident Coordinator Lola Castro, and ILO Country Representative Francesco d’Ovidio, who is also chair of the Human Rights Task Force, was part of the meeting. Cammartoa said that the concerns of the marchers were handed over in the form a petition which was addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “The petitioners were assured that their request will be promptly forwarded to Secretary-General’s office in New York and to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva for follow up,” said Cammartoa. The delegation of the long march was satisfied with the assurance given by the officials from the UN mission.

Baloch to raise the issue of missing persons, mass graves at UNHRC

Pakistan, March 03: 72-year-old Mama Qadeer Baloch and 21 others have been marching by foot for over 100 days - passing through tough terrains, mountains and busy streets. Qadeer is not only seeking justice for his son, Jalil Reki, who was abducted, killed and dumped by the secret agencies, but also for thousands of other Baloch missing persons who are victims of atrocities by Pakistani agencies. Mama Qadeer reports over 18,000 Baloch missing, many of whom were killed and dumped in the last few years. The secret agencies, worried by Qadeer's Long March, are now threatening the marchers.

Pakistan's Free Media and Baloch Missing Persons - 5th Dimension Ep40

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Balochs are peaceful: 72-year-old Mama Qadeer Baloch breaks record of Gandhi after 84 years

ISLAMABAD: Abdul Qadeer Baloch, aged 72, and 11-year old Ali Haider Baloch are not aware that they have made history. This old man and young boy have travelled more than 2,000 kilometers on foot along with a group of Baloch women and men on their way from Quetta to Islamabad. The purpose of their non-violent long march was to raise voice against enforced disappearances in Balochistan. They broke the 84-year-old record of Mahatma Gandhi who traveled for 390 kilometers on foot from Ahmadabad to Dandi as part of his famous salt march. When Mahatma Gandhi started his march to protest against the salt laws of British Government in the colonial India he was 61 years old in 1930. The youngest among the first 80 marchers with Gandhi was 18 years old. Gandhi opposed unjustified taxes on the production of salt and started disobedience by making salt himself. Chinese leader Mao Zedong also started a long march in 1934 but this long march was actually a military retreat undertaken by the red army of Communist Party. There was no single long march but a series of marches because various parts of the red army in the south China escaped to the north and the west. The red army of 41 years old Mao Zedong regrouped and then attacked Kuomintang. This long march was part of a military strategy. It was not a political long march. The word long march was used and abused by many politicians after Mahatma Gandhi and Mao Zedong but nobody traveled on foot. Most of the politicians used vehicles in their long marches. Read More:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Baloch Human Rights Council observe mother language day and claimed " language & land are integral part of freedom struggle"

Toronto, Feb 23, 2014 – International Mother Language Day was observed by Baloch, Azerbaijani, Turkoman and Ahwazi Arab communities in Toronto to honour their culture and heritage under repressive occupation of Iran and Pakistan. Baloch representative from Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada) and Balochistan People’s Party spoke on the occasion and described the situation of cultural genocide and mass killings as ongoing repressive measures by the states of Iran and Pakistan to quell the freedom and rights movement of the Baloch people.  Mohammad Ali Baloch, General Secretary of BHRC (Canada) spoke in his mother tongue, Balochi, highlighting Iran’s fascist policies towards Baloch and other oppressed nationalities by denying them the right to preserve, develop and be educated in their mother languages. He, in the end, recited Balochi patriotic verse addressing the issue of Baloch identity and struggle. Various representatives from Ahwazi Arabs, South Azerbaijanis and Turkoman also spoke at length against the racist policies of Iran towards oppressed nationalities. Most of the representatives spoke in their mother languages to honour their heritage and culture.
Full Text of speech by Zaffar Baloch, President, BHRC (Canada):
Mother language is the first social contact of a human being with the world that will lead to knowledge, freedom of expression and development to higher levels of consciousness as we progress in nature and society. Denial of such a basic human need to a child or a people is the basis for ignorance, intolerance, loss of identity, cultural genocide and war.In recognition of the importance of linguistic diversity, UNESCO declared 21st February as International Mother Language Day (IMLD) in its 30th session of General Conference in 1999. The declaration was motivated by the current threat to linguistic diversity posed by globalization and as well as the tendency to use a single language in communication, at the risk of marginalizing the other languages. According to a UN report, there exist about 6000 languages used by people of the world today. Of these 6000 about 3000 are considered under threat of extinction mainly in the Americas, Australia and Pacific regions. Reports also indicate that every year 10 endangered languages disappear from the world never to be restored – a great loss to humanity and knowledge accumulated in thousands of years. The history behind IMLD is intimately linked to the cultural history of a nation called Bangladesh, where on the 21st of February, 1952, tragic events took place that eventually shaped the history of this nation in conflict with Pakistan’s hegemonic policy toward oppressed nationalities and their languages. What began as a language movement in 1952 in the former East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, developed into a national liberation struggle and complete independence from Pakistan. It also internationalized the importance of mother language as a basic human right by the UN. It is noteworthy that the cultural genocide of a people will eventually lead to mass annihilation of human beings – Bangladesh won freedom from Pakistan in 1971 at a cost of 3 million lives. Balochistan, today, is going through a similar phase of cultural and physical genocide with 18,000 youth, students, journalists, and political activists enforced disappeared by the Pakistani state security forces. Similarly, the Iranian fascist regime is engaged in mass prison executions of Baloch youth and complete repression of cultural and language rights of Baloch, Kurd, Ahwazi Arabs, Azeri Turks and Turkoman people. The recent discovery of mass graves on January 25th, 2014 in the Khuzdar area of the Pakistani occupied Balochistan is part of the genocidal policies of the state against Baloch people. According to locals, the 3 mass graves discovered by a shepherd contain more than 100 mutilated bodies of the tortured and executed Baloch activists disappeared by the Pakistan Army in the last several years. The families of the victims of forced disappearances are now on a long march to the capital city of Islamabad led by the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons. This is the longest march in the recorded history of mankind that began from Quetta, Balochistan few months ago. The Baloch families will inform the UN officials in Islamabad about the atrocities Pakistani state security forces are committing in Balochistan. As we speak today, military operations of the Pakistan armed forces are continued against Baloch villages in Awaran, Dera Bugti, Kohlu and other parts of Balochistan where gunship helicopters are being used against civilians. The message of the IMLD for oppressed nations is very simple – it is a political issue that needs to be addressed likewise. Nations without state are at risk of losing language, culture and natural resources to powers with mechanized modern armies. The only guarantee that we have for the preservation of our culture, heritage and language is the safety of an internationally recognized political geography as a member state of the UN.
Zaffar Baloch,
President, BHRC (Canada)
International-Mother-Language-Day-Canada (16)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

بلوچستان: پاکستان کی’دوسری جنگ‘

پاکستان اور طالبان کے درمیان مذاکرات شہ سرخیوں میں ہیں اور سیاستدانوں اور سفارتکاروں سمیت سب کی توجہ ان مذاکرات پر ہے۔ لیکن معروف تجزیہ کار احمد رشید کا کہنا ہے کہ اُس بات چیت پر کسی کی توجہ نہیں جو پاکستان کی تاریخ کی سب سے طویل خانہ جنگی کو ختم کر سکتی ہے۔   17 جنوری کو بلوچستان میں خضدار کے قریب گاؤں تُوتک میں ایک اجتماعی قبر سے تیرہ لاشیں برآمد ہوئیں۔ اب تک ان میں سے صرف دو مسخ شدہ لاشوں کی شناخت ہو سکی ہے اور یہ ان دو افراد کی تھیں جو چار ماہ پہلے لاپتہ ہو گئے تھے۔  روزنامہ ’ڈان‘ سے منسلک صحافی ساحر بلوچ کی اجتماعی قبر کی دریافت کے بارے میں دل شکن رپورٹ کا اختتام ایک سرکاری اہلکار کی اس متوقع پیشن گوئی پر ہوتا ہے کہ اس قسم کی کئی اور لاشیں منتظر ہیں کہ انہیں بھی دریافت کیا جائے۔ فرنٹیئر کور، لشکر جھنگوی اور دیگر گروہ سب کے سب ایک دھائی سے ’لوگوں کو اٹھاؤ اور دفن کرو‘ کی ایک مہم پر ہیں جس میں بلوچ علیحدگی پسندوں، دہشتگردوں اور حتیٰ کہ عام بلوچوں کو اٹھا کر غائب کیا جارہا ہے، ان پر تشدد کیا جارہا ہے، ان کی جسموں کو مسخ کیا جا رہا ہے اور آخر میں انھیں ہلاک کیا جا رہا ہے۔  

Balochistan: The untold story of Pakistan's other war

Pakistan's on-off dialogue with the Taliban has been commanding headlines and the attention of politicians and diplomats. But there has been little interest in a dialogue that could end the longest civil war in Pakistan's history, says guest columnist Ahmed Rashid. On 17 January, 13 bodies were discovered from a mass grave in the village of Tutak near Khuzdar in Balochistan province. Only two of the mutilated, decomposed bodies have been identified so far - both were men who had disappeared four months earlier. A heartbreaking account of the mass grave by Saher Baloch, a journalist for Dawn newspaper, ends with the ominous prediction by an official that there are more bodies waiting to be found. The Frontier Corps, the anti-Shia group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and other groups are all enmeshed in a decade-long campaign of "pick up and dump" in which Baloch nationalists, militants or even innocent bystanders are picked up, disappeared, tortured, mutilated and then killed. The army, paramilitaries and the government have consistently denied being responsible for violence in Balochistan, pointing instead to the myriad of armed groups operating in the region. But even though the Supreme Court has taken up some of the cases of the disappeared, the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has failed to engage with the issue.
Read More:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mama Qadeer’s Long March for Justice in imminent danger

Sir: Mama Qadeer has informed us that he has received a serious threatening phone call from an unknown number. The person on the other end has stated categorically that a decision has been taken that the march will not be allowed to enter Rawalpindi. The person stated that all preparations have already been made to ensure that the march is stopped before Pindi. He told Mama that the march should return rather than continue. He stated that Mama Qadeer will not be allowed to present his demands in front of the UN in any way, shape or form.At this time Mama Qadeer’s march is in Wazirabad where they are staying the night. The patrol around them has suddenly increased dramatically and for the first time a contingent of lady police is now also present (such a contingent of lady policewomen is only brought when women have to be arrested or controlled). The presence of this lady contingent has also caused great anxiety amongst the marchers as it seems that there may be an attempt to thwart the march with force.Mama Qadeer is appealing to civil society and progressive organisations for support and solidarity. He says that we need human rights organisations and political parties to make an immediate press statement to allow the march to proceed peacefully to Islamabad. He is appealing to members of the press that the march is peaceful and non-violent and is raising a just demand. He appeals to the press to take notice of the imminent danger to the march. If something were to happen to Mama Qadeer and his companions, the situation in Balochistan will definitely take a more violent turn. These are unarmed civilians in a peaceful march for the rule of law. Hence, it is vital that the march is not only protected but allowed to exercise its democratic right of reaching its destination and presenting its demands to the United Nations about missing persons. Last but not least, volunteers who would protect the march are badly needed to march with them from Wazirabad onwards. We sincerely hope that this message falls on the ears of people with sensitive hearts and open minds.  Dr Taimur Rahman,  Lahore

Reporting From Pakistan's Most Isolated Province

Off-limits to foreigners after 60 years of separatist uprisings, Pakistan's restive province shows the country's struggles with economic and political pressures. Journalist Willem Marx joins us to discuss his book "Balochistan At A Crossroads."

1) View the video:

Originally aired on February 19, 2014

2) Video of the Author of Balochistan at Crossroads

Balochistan At Crossroads - Willem Marx Discussing His New Book on Balochistan Conflict

PAKISTAN: The Long March in support of the families of victims of enforced disappearances is under threat and the government is preparing to halt the marchers by force

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received reports that Mama Qadeer, the organiser of the Long March from Balochistan to Islamabad, the purpose of which is to urge the Pakistani government to do something about the ongoing enforced disappearances of Balochi activists is receiving death threats. The marchers have now reached an area just ten miles outside of Wazirabad and Qadeer and his supporters, Qadeer Baloch and Banuk Farzana Majeed Baloch addressed the crowd and explained to them about the situation of Baloch and Long March. Mama Qadeer informed his supporters that he had received serious threatening phone calls from an unknown number. The caller stated categorically that a decision has been taken that the march will not be allowed to enter into Pindi. The person stated that all preparations have already been made to ensure that the march is stopped before hand. The caller told Mama that the march should return rather than continue and that Mama Qadeer would not be allowed to present his demands before the UN in "anyway shape or form". At the time of writing the marchers are resting near Wazirabad and the police patrols that surround them have increased dramatically. For the first time it has been noticed that a contingent of lady police is also present (such a contingent of lady policewomen is only brought when women have to be arrested or controlled). The presence of this lady contingent is causing great anxiety amongst the marchers as it appears that there may be an attempt to halt the march with force.  Read More:

Mass graves in Baluchistan

96786Baluchistan has a long history of insurgency with nationalist groups and locals advocating greater autonomy. The Baluchistan people have been demanding for economic emancipation, concretely through a bigger share of the revenue generated by the province’s natural resources, principally natural gas. Despite being rich in natural resources, the Baluch people remain economically marginalized and receive little or no benefit from the Baluchistan economy. In its efforts to counter the Baluch struggle, the Pakistani government has attempted to suppress this opposition by increasing the military presence in the region. Thousands of people are believed to have been killed from the hands of the Pakistani security forces. Many people are reported to have been subjected to enforced disappearance, torture, summary executions and deaths in custody with each passing day. Although,the human rights violations are equally attributable to both the Pakistani army and the Baluch nationalist rebels, it is the Pakistani state which is largely responsible for the continuing violence and attack against the Baluchistan civilian population. It has been reported that the Pakistani intelligence agencies have started to employ the method of “kill and dump tactics,” in which the victim is first abducted, tortured and killed in cold-blood and then dumped in open fields.  Read More:

Silence of the grave

 KHUZDAR: Tutak is an area of harsh contrasts. This observation is borne out by the beautiful landscape that surrounds Tutak — and the open graves scattered across it. A 55-kilometre drive out of Khuzdar, the area is surrounded by rugged mountains, apart from a few houses and lanes at the beginning. But as one moves forward, the mud houses are left behind and Tutak comes into view. It is a desolate area. There is not a single person or animal around Appointed by the Supreme Court to head a judicial tribunal earlier this month, Balochistan High Court judge Noor Mohammad Maskanzai was given a tour of the area. With Khuzdar Deputy Commissioner Abdul Waheed Shah in tow, the members of the tribunal quietly walked around, mostly picking up and ‘investigating’ things themselves — without gloves. Flown in especially from Quetta for the purpose, the investigating team was under-equipped without pen or paper, or a digital camera. As the team approached the graves, an unbearable stench filled the air. A red handkerchief was lying near one grave, while a few bones were found in another. The team could not determine whether they belonged to a human or an animal. The men would stop at each grave and look at the judge, expecting him to say something, but he would quietly move to the next.  Read More: