What have we received from the people of Pakistan except neglect and torment?

Published: May 5, 2015
SHARES
Email

My uncle, Shaheed Asadullah Mengal was the first case of a missing person in Balochistan in 1974 during Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s regime. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK, ZEHRA HASHMI/EXPRESS

 Some of the Balochistan marchers with pictures of their missing and disappeared relatives. This picture was taken in the town of Dina, 100km south of Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP My uncle, Shaheed Asadullah Mengal was the first case of a missing person in Balochistan in 1974 during Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s regime.
PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK, ZEHRA HASHMI/EXPRESS

What concerns me most is a word. It is a simple word that is not heard on the lips of people in most parts of the world, but for me it is a word that desperately needs to be heard more often. Whenever I do hear this word, or say it myself, it stirs emotions that I cannot explain. I cannot do justice to the memories they evoke.

That word is Balochistan.

I have grown up around politics and in politics. For a daughter of a Baloch tribal leader and activist, politics and life are irreversibly intertwined. The need to understand the ethnic and national tensions that have plagued Pakistani society for decades is integral to how I think, and as important as the lives-and deaths-of family to these struggles. To understand what drives individuals, tribes and nations to do what they do is necessary to understanding this conflict.

Although many people are unaware of this, there has been resistance from the Baloch people to Balochistan’s inclusion in the Pakistani state since its forced annexation in 1947, when the state of Pakistan separated from India. The Baloch people have always viewed Balochistan as a proudly independent nation, asserting their right to self-determination and the right to pursue their own wishes in their own way; to employ their own mineral resources without the wealth being exploited by companies owned and run by the Pakistani elite. This select few make up the Islamabad government and the military that underpins its pre-eminence. The tribal system in Balochistan has been strongly held culpable for Balochistan’s impoverishment and ironically, most of the Baloch tribal deities serve the government.

My grandfather, Sardar Attaullah Mengal joined politics as an activist member of the Baloch movement. He served as the first chief minister of Balochistan and it was during his rule that the first university in Balochistan opened. Years have passed, governments have changed but the number of universities has not. He spent 10 years in jail only because he stood up against the tyranny that prevailed in Balochistan. It was during his revolt that his family was first targeted.

My uncle, Shaheed Asadullah Mengal was the first case of a missing person in Balochistan in 1974 during Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s regime. My family refused to believe he was dead because no evidence of his body was found. There was always a ray of hope of his return; a hope which died the day my grandfather named my cousin after him. That’s when everyone knew Shaheed Asadullah Mengal, who was only 19-years-old at the time of his disappearance, was gone.

My maternal grandfather, Shaheed Aslam Jan Gichki, another advocate of freedom for the Baloch people, was murdered in 2002. Following his death, politics assumed new and frightening proportions. Our family was not only divided but hatred amongst us elevated for one another. The tactic of ‘divide and rule’ is one that I strongly believe the British planted for our agencies to adopt. Even though his murder is assumed to be the cause of tribal enmity, the ones who are aware of deceitful Pakistani politics know who is responsible for his death. The torment imposed on my family and the Baloch people, initially created a feeling of vulnerability, but as the atrocities within Pakistani society increased, my desire to understand why these things were happening, and to do something to combat them, increased.

Our wounds had still not been healed when my uncle, Shaheed Hasan Gichki, was brutally murdered in Central Jail Karachi in 2006. Not only was he a father figure to us but a man with profound dignity.

After Shaheed Akbar Bughti’s death, my father had become extremely vocal in Balochistan and instigated a wake-up call for the Baloch people. To hinder his cause, the agencies’ new target was us, Akhtar Mengal’s children.

My siblings and I were being followed to and from school. For our protection, he left everything behind, only to be trapped in a game he did not know was being played. He was arrested as a consequence of ‘harassing’ intelligence militia. Agencies and police surrounded our house in Karachi, as if a leading terrorist, and not a champion of freedom for our people, resided there. My father was released after the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) came into power. Luckily, he was neither killed nor tortured in jail but was kept in solitary confinement. Unluckily, his food was poisoned to such an extent that that he suffers to this day.

After moving away in self-exile, my family thought things may get better but they certainly did not. Numerous Balochistan National Party’s (BNP) central workers were openly murdered on the streets. Shaheed Hassan Gichki’s father, Shaheed Nadir Gichki, was murdered in Tump allegedly by government authorities. My cousins, Shaheed Murad Gichki and Shaheed Zubair Gichki, were brutally murdered on the same day in Turbat. Many young Baloch brothers have gone missing and many bullet-riddled bodies have been found.

We pleaded and knocked on every door there is in the name of justice. Yet, no one heard us. What have we received from the people of Pakistan except neglect and torment?

The ones who are brave enough to stand beside us and hear our stories are targeted. Sabeen Mahmud was a fearless activist who not only stood up for what she believed in, but left a message which most of the intellectuals should make use of. If we, the Baloch, were ever considered a part of Pakistan, Sabeen would not be the only one debating.

There is a growing and pressing need to come to terms with the issues of Balochistan so that we can calmly and peacefully address what really matters; the well-being of all people and how to make sure that repression and reprisal is turned into liberation, mutual benefit and cooperation. It is only through the means of political discourse and agreement between willing partners that this can be achieved.

The state, with its immense resources (many of which are from Baloch sources) and institutions, continues encouraging disorder, disunity and fragmentation in the Baloch society. They use all possible resources to discourage any political and social opposition in the province-even those that are illegal and are opposed by western governments and human rights bodies. Both ‘pro-government’ and nationalist tribal leaders blame each other as causes of the problem, ultimately taking advantage of their power bases for their own selfish ends. They choose this, rather than working together for the betterment of Balochistan and its people.

Fragmentation and disorder in Balochistan has adversely affected the political and social process. Disunity among both tribal chiefs and moderate political elements has encouraged the authorities to increase the ferocity of the promotion of their agenda with support garnered by military and the intelligence agencies. The Baloch society, awash with natural resources, has vital strategic importance as it borders the conflict hotspots of Iran and Afghanistan, but it is crippled by its low literacy rate, minimal communication resources, and worsening social indicators.

What Balochistan requires is a change of perspective and to aspire to a visionary political approach to tribal leadership, to shun their minor differences and to work together to achieve lasting peace and bring prosperity to the traumatised Baloch population.

There are many reasons why the current situation is as bleak as it is now, but the major cause of failure to achieve political progress is a lack of understanding and a lack of clear strategy to respond to the Pakistani establishment’s malicious and hurtful policies; put in place to subjugate the Baloch people in place of real negotiation. Each political party and group is responding merely to their own agenda, and Islamabad uses this to its own end.

Baloch political groups need to come up with a plan to respond to Islamabad and create a win-win situation that benefits everyone. Whether this is feasible is arguable, the real sentiments that individual players in this scenario possess, is truly, anyone’s guess. On one hand, nationalists proudly assert their support for the oppressed Baloch, yet may only wish to keep hold of their power base and wealth that their feudal status confers. They accuse pro-government leaders of collaboration, yet they could be said to be as corrupt as their opponents given their refusal to step back from the tribal system that legitimises their territorial stronghold.

Equally, those taking money from government contracts could be said to be the mirror image of their opponents. Indeed, the dividing line is often less than clear; many tribal leaders take advantage of the benefits offered by pro-government leaders despite their apparent disdain. Corruption in the Pakistani enterprise could be said to be endemic to the point where it cannot be avoided at some point without a resignation from power that both parties refuse to sanction. It will take something more than heated words from positions of privilege to effect change. What is needed in Pakistan and Balochistan is a real need to open up government to true democratic change that cannot happen under the current tribal and federal system, as selfishness is integral to running both the state and the opposition. Deeply entrenched as they are, it may be possible if the will to achieve real political change can take place. At present, this is a very remote possibility.

The struggle of my people is why I wish to dedicate my life to the same goals as my family. To support our province, our people and achieve some degree of justice. But the status quo means I cannot do this alone, not until people as courageous as Sabeen Mahmud stand with us.

The lesson of East Pakistan should have been enough for most Pakistanis to stand up against injustice but I do not blame most of you, most of you are not aware of our despair. I write this, not with contempt but because I implore you to open your eyes, to heed our suffering and help build a better future.

Banari Mengal

Banari Mengal

Daughter of president of the Balochistan National Party, Akhtar Mengal and a student of law.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Headstrong

    Ouch! Now blame India for this article as well. As always, Pakistan’s hypocrisy stands exposed. India will continue to give ‘moral and diplomatic’ support to the patriots of the Baloch nation – just as Pakistan gives similar support to separatists in Kashmir.Recommend

  • Singh

    Keep working hard. Your nation will be free in next 5 years. Once west start helping you in straightway manner.Recommend

  • Abracadabra

    I hope they listen.Recommend

  • https://www.facebook.com/ ather khan

    how this article can get even published? isn’t it a treason too? by the way, all the states in today’s balochistan join willfully to pakistan, except khan of kalat. half of balochistan called british balochistan was already part of british india and so part of pakistan. so this writer is not presenting the truth.Recommend

  • usman777

    I am an Urdu-speaking Pakistani. We have got to improve conditions in Baluchistan. We have got to integrate Baluchistan, FATA into the Pakistani mainstream. We have got to stop treachery and unfairness against all. We have got to put Pakistan first and we do that by respecting everyone. I stand shoulder to shoulder with all Baluch. Good people of all ilk must rise against bad people. No province or ethnicity has a monopoly on neither good nor evil.Recommend

  • Oats

    Common Pakistanis in all provinces suffer from some of the same issues of poverty as common citizens in Baluchistan. Class differences are more the issue.To paint an us vs them scenario based on ethnic background is easy but incorrect. In most countries, developing or not, a small elite controls much of the wealth and institutions of the nation. However, you are wrong to think there is any systematic exclusion of any particular group since all members of all ethnic groups are at the helm of this control. Most Baluch I meet are more critical of their elite especially the sardars than they are of any state institutions. After all, I have met Baluchis at schools and college who feel their own sardars have an interest in preventing development in their regions. Many Punjabis and Pashtuns have thrown off the shackles of feudalism. They have developed as a result. As you know about half of Baluchistan is now Pashtun and they have been prospering despite the instability since they have abandoned feudal control.The same will happen in Baluchistan through empowerment and economic power. For example, who is scaring away investment and development in Baluchistan now? I want to see Gwader give first preference to locals for jobs, land and opportunity so it doesn’t become like a Karachi where non Sindis dominate life but don’t blame ethnicity for human greed and human nature. I agree fully that more investment and development needs to take place all across Pakistan and especially in Baluchistan.Recommend

  • Ali S

    A sad truth, spoken beautifully and without hesitation. Pakistan’s military and Punjab-dominated federal leadership owes Balochistan a sincere apology (like the one they owed East Pakistan but didn’t until it was too late) – they’d rather shift the blame on a supposed foreign hand. The shameful part is that they seem incapable of learning – the unrest in Balochistan is because the Baloch have been oppressed, and the more they try to silence it the louder it gets.Recommend

  • Econ

    So you dont take yourself as Pakistanies? I lived in Punjab and I face problem but I did not cmplain to any one. I used to study and had meal after 24 hours, yes after a whole day BUT never asked any thing from any one. I did masters with distinction got acholarship and now study abroad. It is not a good way to just complain and wait the things from Elite class. Create your own world as a Muslim as a PakistaniRecommend

  • Emad

    Corruption, Injustice and poverty is a Pakistan-wide phenomena which is not only restricted to the people of Baluchistan. The main issue underlying this article is the same issue which sums of the problem in Baluchistan and that issue is summed up in your heading: “what have we received from the people of Pakistan” the fact is that if you don’t even consider yourself as being a Pakistani shows that there will never be effective dialogue and hence the situation will never be “win-win”. For Pakistan in general to progress we have to get rid of Lisaniat ke Siasat which means that people should not vote for someone based upon his ethnicity but rather on his merit, this will solve the problem in Baluchistan, Sindh, Punjab and KPK. A statement which i very passionately support is that: First i am Muslim, Then i am Pakistani and Then i am baloch/sindhi/punjabi/pathan/muhajjir/etcRecommend

  • The Truth

    Salute your courage and convictions.Recommend

  • Divyo singh

    Why people in Pakistan talk about agencies this much??Recommend

  • Ali

    Very well written, i would just say this, i and many other people i know stand with the Baloch people. I hope our government and agencies realize that you can’t suppress the voice of people through military operations.Recommend

  • Biased

    You weaken your case by rubbing Paks with the “East Pakistan” slight. Do Baluch want to prosper or keep fighting all other Pakistanis, the Iranians, the Chinese and soon Baluchis will have to fight the Indians building Chahbahar port………
    One might think one would know a good thing if it hits one on the head?Recommend

  • Dr Sohail Iraqi

    Miss Mengal sorry to hear your lament but you should encourage unity in the nation as an independent Baluchistan with its small tribal people would become vulnerable to external forces and unable itself to sustain an independent army for protection. If you think that Iran would be your defender then that again is not independence. Look how the Europeans are integrating and becoming an economic power due to unity and more countries want to join it. Remember Confucious sayings about strength in unity.Political differences will always be there which is reality but that does not mean division of country.Please support unity and patriotism for the countryRecommend

  • wiserneighbour

    Pakistanis who shed crocodile tears for kashmiris should realise that there are larger problems at home through forced occupation. First try to solve your issues before poking nose on other’s . otherwise it is not distant for another Bangladesh creation.Recommend

  • DesiExpat

    Here is the list of all Chief Ministers which Balochistan ever had. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chief_Ministers_of_Balochistan
    Now start reading the names for yourself and be amazed to know all these Sardars and Waderas which happen to be at the forefront of the so-called ‘Separation Movement’ have actually themselves been ruling Balochistan all those years and hence actual reason for economic exploitation and under development of Balochistan, and real reason for the suffering of Balochistan.Recommend

  • Santosh Menon

    Sorry, I meant the sacrifices laid out by your family & countrymen could benefit the youngsters!!.
    I feel bad that you have to undergo a timultous journey in your life!.
    All the best!Recommend

  • Santosh Menon

    Gwadar port is a good example!. Although it is in Baluchistan, I bet the revenue will feed Punjab!Recommend

  • Striver

    We hear your voice and are concerned for your security as well as that of Pakistan as a whole. We will not abandon you and we have not. Balochistan has a lot in common with the rest of Pakistan. But allow me to ask this:

    It is legitimate to ask why suddenly has the “issue” gained prominence. Could it be that Gawadar port and the recent $billions investment has hurt the strategic interests of those who wish to chop up Pakistan? There appears to be a strong link.

    We suffer from a common problem of corrupt leadership that is interested in lining its own pockets can couldn’t careless if the masses were dying of hunger, strife or natural calamities. Help us solve this common issue and you will see a prosperous Pakistan and Balochistan where resources are shared justly and justice reins supreme; Ideals to be achieved with hard work and sacrifices.

    Balochistan was annexed forcibly? This is a narrative constructed to achieve a nefarious end. It may be that you wish to separate Balochistan from Pakistan and create an independent country. But beware ! your “friends” are dressed in sheep’s clothing, Remember together we are strong divided we fall into deep bottomless chasm.

    Lets defeat our enemies together, the corrupt and greedy leadership, the enemies of the state within and from without.Recommend

  • Aftab

    I got a chance to live in Baluchistan (near Sakhi Sarwar and Fort Munro) where my father was civil engg for construction company. Normal Baluchi people were welcoming of new construction but Baluch sardars insisted company pack up and go and were against idea of roads schools or anything which will make their slaves educated. You baloch sardar want resources for yourself not for normal Baluch. Make a fool of someone else. I will like to see you selling your flashy SUVs and building schools with that if you are such a supporter of Baluch people.

    Btw rest of Pakistanis people dont live in Paris either despite PML telling otherwise.Recommend

  • Jayman

    I hope the leaders of this march stay safe. The record has not been good in the past.Recommend

  • sylmarkhan

    I am sorry banari for your suffering!
    Don’t feel bad. Pakistan from the start did few things right and wrong. Fatima jinnah & mohammad ali jinnah also suffered in their last state.

    You have noticed that. Why mohammad ali jinnah placed in ziarat not karachi lahore?
    Fatima jinnah could not run for election.

    I know our government should make decision to give justice to blochistan. if the government could not do that. then please give blochistan their freedom.

    Someone has to give justice to blochistan to all pakistan.

    Why musharaff did not give justice? Why make gawadar port?

    Same same govt makes economic corridor without justice? at least stop agencies from making trouble.Recommend

  • Anon

    ………and they are concerned about Kashmiris. Will Pakistan gov give “moral and diplomatic” support for the people of BalochistanRecommend

  • Pyaazriwal

    Exactly, except pain Balooch got nothing from Pakistan. And People of Pakistan should not forget that it was Baloochistan and not India and Pakistan, which got independence on 11th August 1947 but later Pakistan has captured it.Recommend

  • Queen

    The author should provide us details regarding the reason why people of Hazara community have been killed in Balochistan. I would like the author to let us know why people belonging to Punjabi ethnic background, have been killed by Baloch people? Were they not human beings? Why are so called Baloch nationalist leaders living in UK and Switzerland and not supporting their people by standing up for their rights in Pakistan? Who is providing ammunition and monetary support to insurgents in the province? why are Baloch leaders so against development and progress of Balochistan?Recommend

  • wb

    How is that the same logic not apply to Pakistan?

    Pakistan is vulnerable to external forces. Pakistan has not sustained itself for 70 years if it wasnt for foreign aid

    Today Pakistan has al sorts of ills in the world. That’s why Pakistan must also believe in confucious and join with India for strength in unity.

    Does the analogy work for you? Recommend

  • Syeda Ali

    Very well said.Recommend

  • Parvez

    You would do well to search for answers by looking inwards ………Recommend

  • Kushal

    “there has been resistance from the Baloch people to Balochistan’s inclusion in the Pakistani state since its forced annexation in 1947, when the state of Pakistan separated from India. The Baloch people have always viewed Balochistan as a proudly independent nation, asserting their right to self-determination and the right to pursue their own wishes in their own way; to employ their own mineral resources without the wealth being exploited by companies owned and run by the Pakistani elite.”

    As an Indian this sounds familiar. Where did I hear this?Recommend

  • Sane

    Gawadar port is a milestone for progress of Baluchistan and Pakistan too. The revenue shall not feed Indian Punjab, but Pakistan’s Punjab. This port shall extend employment opportunities to Balochs. Anyways, progress of Pakistan either Gawadar port or dams, highways etc. etc. anywhere in Pakistan pricks India.Recommend

  • Sane

    Kashmir is more near and ready for separation from India. In fact there are many indigenous freedom movement in India.Recommend

  • Sane

    Why you don’t add support from ‘east’ and proxy support from ‘north west’ also. Have courage to accept truth. No check on your dreams.Recommend

  • L.

    …….and we have indians here begging for attention; what an irrelevant comment. Recommend

  • نائلہ

    word! Recommend

  • Karachi Muhajir

    Well said sister , we are with you .You are not only the one who are persecuted by the so called thikedar of this land of pure .ET thanks for publishing the lady’s truth .Recommend

  • guest

    what have the baloch done for own province other than looting the natural resources. Baloch leaders are largely to be blamed.Recommend

  • Nitro

    Answers to all of your ‘naive’ questions: Because of numerous atrocities by Punjab-istan’s security agencies in Balochistan.Recommend

  • Queen

    So according to your logic, it is justified to kill innocent people just to quench your thirst for revenge against some agencies? I am not surprised. But, I am still confused about the ammunition and monetary support being provided to insurgents to Balochistan. Care to answer this ‘naive’ question?Recommend

  • Queen

    So according to your logic, it is justified to kill innocent people just to quench your thirst for revenge against some agencies? I am not surprised. But, I am still confused about the ammunition and monetary support being provided to insurgents to Balochistan. Care to answer this ‘naive’ question?Recommend

  • Kim

    So that justifies forced occupation of Kashmir by India? Self-contradictory statements make our neighbours sound foolishRecommend

  • Maqbool bhat

    They are least bothered about Kashmiri’s . I am from muzafarabad i see the plight of my people every day. We are living in a hell called “Azad Kashmir” there is noting Azad there.Recommend

  • GrammarNazi

    *tumultuousRecommend

  • Rationality

    That’ll solve everything. Good LuckRecommend

  • Zafar

    and let me tell you this that these Sardars, Nawabs and waderas would have been nothing, they would have ceased to exist if your courts and judiciary were even remotely functional … if the federal government would have been loyal to the cause of development they would have from day one helped ordinary Baloch to come up and represent their people, the federal always looked for vote banks which were provided by the Nawabs and Sardars of the area … once in power the government left the areaRecommend

  • Farhan

    “You (allegedly) persecuted us so it is justified for us to kill children and other civilians…”

    This is the same logic used by terrorists all over the world whether against Pakistan or America.Recommend

  • Grace

    Then you need to see occupied Indian Kashmir to know what real hell is. There is a reason why Indian Kashmir has over 500, 000 Indian soldiers gaurding it while people in Pakistani Azad Kashmir volunteer for the military themselves.Recommend

  • neat

    What did your head Mengal give to his poor people except misery? Your sardars lord over poor, ignorant tribesmen who have no say in their fate. Look inwards mister!Recommend

  • Grace

    Right on but I would say first you are a human being. he author thinks only one group of citizens has a monopoly on being victims whereas all Pakistanis need social justice. This article should read that some corrupt sardars who take money from enemy agencies should no longer be allowed to terrorize and suppress the people of Baluchistan.Recommend

  • Essar

    I am from Gilgit-Baltistan, the role of Pakistani agencies in keeping Gilgit-Baltistan grueling sectarian conflicts and those who raise voice for political and economic rights are in jail serving life imprison. Considering our situation, where we have never ever taken any anti Pakistani slogan to international level, I can see how Baluchis could be suffering. Pakistan’s efforts to gain control over natural resources is highly unappreciated!Recommend

  • Humanfirst

    India-Kashmir-Pakistan = Pakistan-Balochistan-IndiaRecommend

  • Faraz Talat

    People are forced to vote for their own ethnicity when the empowered ethnicities (namely Punjabis, and Sindhis to a lesser degree) refuse to extend their circle of compassion to anyone outside their own respective tribes.

    Let’s not teach the Baloch people to think outside their ethnicity. Their ethnicity is their only support group in a country that treats them as outsiders.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    As an Indian, what’s your response to the problem in Balochistan versus the problem in the ‘familiar sounding’ region?Recommend

  • Essar

    Queen, you are as ignorant as rest of your fellow Pakistanis are, or at least you guys pretend to be. As far as the genocide of Hazaras is considered, its Pakistani agencies blessed terrorists who kill those innocents, not only Hazaras but Shia genocide across Pakistan. Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Because it’s a free country, mostly.Recommend

  • Essar

    Speaking of Gawdar, its Pakistan’s property, His Highness Prince Karim Agha Khan bought it from Sultanat-e-Uman and gifted to Pakistan. It was being sold to India by the Sultanat. So, that’s Pakistan’s property!Recommend

  • Zafar

    It is not blaming, it is a plain and simple truth. Your governemnt instigates violence in Pakistan and we do the same in your country ….. by the way how is Assam these days?Recommend

  • Zafar

    No, it is never right to kill innocent people but nevertheless innocent people do get killed in war … that is why it is called war and not knitting. Does it matter who provides them guns and ammo?? Really? Is there even a question? I think the more important question is that, why a certain number of Baloch have chosen to pick arms against their own countrymen and armed forces? what has turned them against us? and how can we make them give up this armed struggle without further disappearences and killings on both sides?
    The Baloch are not the ones killing Hazaras, I am a Hazara and you can take my word. When Hazaras were forced to migrate from Afghanistan since the later half of the 19th century, some went to Iran (like my grand daddy’s daddy) and some came to Balochistan, Pakistan like (my Mom’s dad’s daddy). The Baloch never gave them hard times like they faced in their own country and slowly and very painfully we progressed. The ones who kill my people are not Baloch, they are strategic assets of the state’s intelligence agencies. LeJ banned and changed name to SSP, SSP banned and changed name to ASWJ and now a days they Ahl e sunnat wal Jammat!!!Recommend

  • Zafar

    Assam.Recommend

  • Queen

    It is wrong to label the ongoing insurgency in Balochistan as ‘war’. Yes, it does matter who is providing weapons and ammunition to the insurgents in the province. Pakistan is facing numerous challenges; terrorism being the major one. Therefore it is very important for us to eliminate all those anti-state elements which are involved in creating instability in our country. It is true that mistakes have been committed in the past in Balochistan which have definitely created a feeling of alienation among Baloch people but if it is said that all other provinces have prospered while Balochistan alone has suffered, then it is wrong. The recent project of the Pakistan-China economic corridor is an example of the serious efforts being made to address the grievances of Baloch people. Anyone be it Baloch, Sindhi, or Punjabi, if he is engaged in anti-state activity, then strict action has to be taken against them. Baloch are proud nation, they have rich culture and traditions and so does Sindhis, Pashtuns, and Punjabis. The killing of innocent people on the basis of ethnic or religious background cannot be justified in any circumstances and blaming the agencies for everything will also not help Balochistan’s cause. There is a need to look at the role of foreign elements operating in Balochistan. Baloch nationalist leaders, should be making efforts for the rights of Baloch people, rather than living their lives in foreign countries.Recommend

  • Queen

    Okay, pardon me for my ignorance about the killing of Hazara people but what about the rest of the questions?Recommend

  • Headstrong

    Irrelevance is in the mind of the reader. Considering you guys feel the need to blame all issues in Balochistan on India (look at the number of statements on RAW emanating everyday from Pakistan), methinks this is completely relevant.
    Btw, I don’t see you complaining of ‘irrelevance’ when any and every news from India is published on Pakistani media (especially the negative types which are totally lapped up by you guys). Hypocrites much? Recommend

  • Headstrong

    Assam’s fine, thank you. Border’s being regulated with Bangladesh, 2 new refineries are being built, two roads being constructed E-W and NW-SE. BJP’s making inroads and hopefully will win the next state elections. But this positive news will not be covered in your media – so let me know when you want more news. Recommend

  • Headstrong

    I think the answer is self-evident. Read his comment againRecommend

  • Linux Novice

    Pakistan occupied Kashmir doesn’t have to deal with the cross border infiltrators from Pakistan. And India is not instigating violence there unlike what Pakistan is doing in Jammu and Kashmir. That is why so many soldiers.Recommend

  • Linux Novice

    So the buck stops at the question that who to blame for the terrorism. Home grown snakes biting the masters?! What do you think that foreign nations will keep quiet and bear all the terrorism you grow, propagate and instigate all the time?

    You reap what you sow.Recommend

  • Akrama

    All Pakistanis are deprived of social justice, fairness and freedom Banari Mengal but breaking ties or separating Baluchistan will never solve the misery of people. people themselves have to be more involved and support democracy instead of tribal lords most of whom have been a disgrace for balochis and Pakistan. working within the federation and standing together with us against dictatorship and corruption is the only plausible way to address decades long grievances. Pakistanis love baluchis and stand with you but the struggle to achieve equality and fairness is tarnished by the demand of separation which does not go down with people of Pakistan who have very similar problems to balochis in a larger picture. we Pakistanis who are in millions not the government will always help you build a better future and deplore any injustice in our society.
    once again I reiterate that Pakistanis like myself love balochis and want to help you in anyway possible.Recommend

  • Swaadhin

    “India will continue to give ‘moral and diplomatic’ support to the patriots of the Baloch nation – just as Pakistan gives similar support to separatists in Kashmir.”

    It is not an irrelevant comment at all, when a country is not just going ballistic on you by words but having innocents killed in your territory, you need to think of a way to counter it, the nuclear option of Pakistan has left India no other choice but to also work upon Pakistan’s vulnerabilities because Pakistan is not going to change its intentions overnight, India has to set a price for Pakistan to pay each time it kills innocents in India.

    There is no other way of defending yourselves when your adversary follows the steps below:

    1. Attack a country using terrorists and kill innocents.
    2. Deny any responsibility.
    3. When faced with evidence, ask for more of it.
    4. Say the evidence does not hold good in their courts.
    5. No action taken and people go scot free.
    6. Plan for the next attack.Recommend

  • Nitro

    I am saying that the reaction is an outcome of the state’s discrimination against Balochistan. Easy to make lofty claims when you aren’t on the receiving end of state persecution. Your ‘loaded’ questions and prejudiced approach against Balochis aren’t worth answering.Recommend

  • Nitro

    Not justifying the killing of children and civilians by anyone. About your logic of ‘an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’. Please feel free to pose this logic to anyone whose family members are reported missing and were found dead in some remote area. Never underestimate the power of counter-examples to the state narrative. The worst form of terrorism is that which is done under the umbrella of ‘authority of state’. PeaceRecommend

  • L.

    Genius, are you implying that raw is doing zero in pak? Haha.

    Me welcoming india related blogs which cannot be relavent to a non indian? Nope. You are in the wrong, one only needs to check my comment history to prove that. Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Didn’t u people knock on the doors of UN yet? How did they answer? It was in the news some time ago….

    Oh and for the rest of your comment, vice versa. Recommend

  • Headstrong

    I believe we were told that the release of Lakhvi will be taken up at the next UN Security Council meeting. Memory refreshed?Recommend

  • Swaadhin

    Vice versa is not always a good option mate. India absorbed what ur country had to throw at us for three decades, the question is can Pakistan afford the same, if yes it is not u but ur enemies who would be happy because that is exactly the game they want to engage Pakistan in. As far as UN is concerned, India uses it as much as you do when it suits its cause. Recommend

  • Rebellious

    very well written i do have a soft corner for Baloch brothers …. Missing persons cases from all over Pakistan especially from Balochistan and Pukhtunkhwa is a great deal for this system and due to this issue there is hate developing for Pakistan amongst the people…Recommend

  • Zafar

    “having innocents killed in your territory”
    If they are not killed by pakistan some drunk actor might run over them at night while they sleep on the roadside and then get away with it … I don’t see you getting chaotic and twirly when that happens.Recommend

  • Swaadhin

    Allright, so you are going to send mercenaries to India to kill innocents to ensure a drunk actor does not get to kill them?

    Yes you are right, you don’t see but that does not mean it does not exist.Recommend

  • Swaadhin

    “So according to your logic, it is justified to kill innocent people just to quench your thirst for revenge against some agencies? ”

    Why do you think HeM, JKLF, LeT, JeM were introduced into Kashmir and the rest of India if not to quench the thirst against perceived or real atrocities by the Indian agencies?

    Ohh..I forgot LeT is actually JuD now a days and is a charity organisation being led by a very generous man by the name of Hafiz Saeed, a man whom you would rather not want to give your opinion, isn’t it?Recommend

  • Swaadhin

    Just read this out to a Baloch and keep the speakers name anonymous and I bet the Baloch would respond by saying this is being said by a soldier of Pakistan Army and a Punjabi at that.

    “Baloch nationalist leaders, should be making efforts for the rights of Baloch people, rather than living their lives in foreign countries.”

    Would you please tell the Baloch’s where is the grave of Akbar Bugti, he may not be a nationalist for you but you cannot deny the fact that he was one of your former chief ministers. Is this the treatment which they should come back and receive?Recommend

  • Queen

    This blog and my comment is focused on the situation prevailing in Balochistan but I can always expect people from across the border to twist the comment to suit their means. But anyways coming back to your comment, so you admit that India is providing support to BLA, BRA, and the likes in Balochistan because until now all Indians seem to be in denial mode on this issue. I am not interested in giving opinion on JuD or Hafiz Saeed just like you are not interested in giving opinion on Samjhota Express and on RSS. Why don’t you answer the question posed in my earlier comment regarding the monetary support being provided to insurgents in Balochistan?Recommend

  • Queen

    It is easy to say that questions are ‘not worth answering’ when one cannot come up with answers to simple and justified questions.Recommend

  • Queen

    Did you read my entire comment or did you just pick out points to suit your narrative? I have written that ‘mistakes have been committed in the past in Balochistan’ and Akbar Bugti’s murder is one of these grave mistakes. But having said this, the murder of Akbar Bugti does not give justification to anyone to carry out anti-state activities in any part of the country. What I have written in my earlier comment is a reflection of my discussion with Baloch people majority of whom, contrary to your belief, are very much supportive of Pakistani armed forces. The handful of insurgents present in the province do not reflect the mindset of the entire local population but this is something difficult to understand for some people.Recommend

  • Faruk Enamul Haque

    Balochistan is not like Bangladesh. It is sparsely populated, very large, with a small population. The exact opposite of Bangladesh. Bangladesh was separated from Pakistan by 1,000 miles and India in between [arch rival]. Balochistan shares no borders with India either. The strategic calculus is completely different. Bangladesh had a well-developed political class and sufficient resources to handle the situation. Balochistan does not. Then there is the question of what would happen if it could somehow magically gain independence. It would be flanked on two sides by Pakistan and Iran, with Pakistan being the ex-nation it removed itself from. Could Balochistan survive, economically, politically, militarily etc.?

    It’s not as easy as one thinks to declare a nation independent. But that’s one thing. To actually turn that into a workable proposition is a whole ‘nother thing altogether.Recommend

  • Nitro

    You have not addressed any of the injustices done against Balochis of Pakistan and you divert the discussion to their reactions. Their reactions are based on state’s action against them. I am sure your response will flow towards Balochi reactions rather than what perpetrated those reactions. Try to break the prism of your prejudice/stereotype and see things objectively.Recommend

  • mudassar

    Rebels and separatists are dealt the same in every countryRecommend

  • Chaudhry

    “the federal always looked for vote banks which were provided by the Nawabs and Sardars of the area”

    You yourself mention the reason for the situation that Baloch people are in. It is there society that is tribal which did not let them integrate and progress. The very same reason these Sardars fear CPEC is that it breaks their monopoly over the Baloch people as the educational and economic status of the general public rises.Recommend

  • Chaudhry

    You will always feel persecuted as long as you are a “Muhajir”Recommend

  • Chaudhry

    LOL can your India influence Pakistan?Recommend