Stories about Balochistan

Indian elections: Give peace a chance, don’t vote for Modi

“Mr Prime Minister, the country wants to know – what is your priority? Is it national pride and respecting the blood of martyrs or is it to show eagerness to talk to Pakistan under pressure from other countries?”  This is how Narendra Modi addressed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a rather patriotic (or jingoistic) bid demanding to know his priorities. With such pressure from the opposition, Manmohan Singh has quite clearly shown reservations in resuming talks with Pakistan. Modi went on to state, “I want to ask you one question, when our soldiers and innocent citizens are being killed day and ...

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Forget NUST, our Baloch brethren need our help

NUST was the top trend on Twitter this week. 48 hours ago an earthquake of 7.7 magnitude struck Balochistan, the tremors of which were felt in Karachi and as far as Delhi. Tragically, over 300 people have died in Balochistan and according to The Express Tribune, 40,000 houses have been flattened. All the while, Nust remained top trend on Twitter. (News) #Balochistan quake death toll nears 350 http://t.co/2o5vUpPDoK #Pakistan #earthquake — The Express Tribune (@etribune) September 26, 2013 Photo: Reuters Most people seem to have forgotten that a tragedy far bigger than Nust’s dress code has struck Pakistan; either this or ...

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Jamshed Dasti: We get it, you are powerful.

I wrote my first blog for The Express Tribune about two years ago. I wrote it with high expectations, wrote it with all my heart and wrote it with the hope that the readers would feel it resonate with their daily lives. The comments surprised me to no end. How could the average man think that people in power deserve privileges that defy the norms of decency? Maybe it is just the first instinct of every reader to say, “No, you’re wrong, here’s what I think and clearly my opinion is better and your blog deserves a place in the lowest rungs of ...

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Balochistan University bus attack: My best friend died the day he wanted to live his life!

After spending all day preparing for a party at my university, I slept very late. I could hardly wait for the next morning, when my classmates and I would finally be performing in the plays we had prepared for. We had parodies lined up and even a fashion show. The next morning was going to be fantastic, I thought. The fashion show was a party tradition of the computer science and computer engineering departments of the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS). This time, upon my insistence, my friend Aqeel agreed to walk the ramp. After a ...

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Musharraf trial: Is this really the most pertinent problem for Pakistan?

Musharraf being tried for treason is a shame. It is a shame in much the same way that he wasn’t allowed to contest elections while other ‘leaders’, many of them with criminal charges outstanding against their names, were permitted. It is a shame because we let people accused of corruption become leaders of the country, industrialists become prime ministers and journalists become cricketing board chiefs. I’m not here to pass a judgement on Musharraf. My issue is with the principle at hand. If Musharraf has been tried for treason then there is an extensive list of politicians that also deserve some, if not more, ...

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Jinnah’s love for Balochistan

There have been times in the history of Pakistan when the founding father was manipulated, criticised, misquoted, used, abused and misused by different political parties for different political purposes. Not very long ago, a prominent political leader questioned Jinnah’s nationality. Fortunately the nation, as well as Quaid, survived the insult, and life moved on. However, never in the history of Pakistan was Jinnah disowned from his contributions towards an independent and sovereign Pakistan, nor made into an oppressive figure that haunted the corridors of Pakistan’s national history. Even the hard-headed Taliban never questioned Jinnah’s personality and his attitude towards Islam (though he was condemned by ...

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Balochistan bleeds: A Saturday that shook the province to the core

Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University is the only women’s university in Quetta. It was established in March, 2004 and approximately 3,000 female students are currently studying at this university. Last Saturday, something tragic happened that left these students scarred for life. Now, they worry if they will ever be able to pursue their dreams. Like any other day, students attended their classes, packed their bags and switched on their cell phones to mark the end of their school day. They were chatting, laughing and bidding their friends farewell as they made their way towards the bus that would take them home. ...

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Terrorist attack on Quaid’s residency

Being a History student, it came as sad news to me that Pakistan’s founding father’s residence was attacked on June 15 in Ziarat where, amongst other things, his personal belongings were all destroyed. Ziarat is popular for its natural beauty and for being Quaid’s last abode during his days of illness. It came as no surprise to me as many started raising questions regarding his stay in Ziarat at the time. Despite the unavailability of doctors and lack of medical facilities in this region, he was shifted there and while being brought back to Karachi, his health deteriorated and ...

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What will elections bring for Hazaras – more death?

It was October 5, 1999 when ex-education minister Sardar Nisar Ali was ambushed by “unknown” terrorists. His driver and personal bodyguard died on the spot, he, however, was fortunate enough to have survived the attack but sustained serious bullet injuries. This was the first terrorist attempt ever to be made on a prominent Hazara figure in Quetta in a democratic set up, led by the elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Soon after, leading Hazara businessmen including Sardar Saadat Ali, the younger brother of Sardar Nisar Ali started receiving life threatening calls known to be later on from the ‘alleged’ terrorists in Afghanistan. On ...

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Balochistan’s electoral politics

The decision of Baloch nationalist parties, including the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), the National Party (NP) and the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) to take part in the upcoming elections is a good omen not only for Pakistan but also for Balochistan, which is fraught with every kind of danger — enforced disappearances, kidnappings and sectarian killings. Baloch separatists and government forces point fingers at each other for all this mayhem. At this juncture of uncertainty and scepticism, where Baloch nationalist parties are treading cautiously, fearing the backlash they might face from separatist elements for their decision to go to the ...

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