By Faiz M Baluch
In December 2017 Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian teenager heard the news that Israeli soldiers shot her 15-year-old cousin Mohammad with a rubber-coated steel bullet. So, raged with anger Tamimi and her mother came out in the street to confront the Israeli soldiers. In the course of the protest, she slapped and hit an armed soldier who in return did not shot her or even slap her back but maintain professional calmness throughout.
The video of slapping an Israeli soldier went viral and in most Muslim countries she was hailed as a hero. Obviously, this ‘heroism of her’ has incited other Palestinian children to act in similar ways or even worse. Tamimi and her mother were, however, later arrested and sentenced to eight-month imprisonment according to the law of the land.
She was safely released on 29 July 2018 after completing her eight-month sentence and again she has been greeted like a celebrity and hero. The news hungry international rushed to interview her and soon she became an international icon of ‘resistance’ against Israeli ‘occupation of Palestine.’
The Amnesty International also tweeted, ‘Hundreds of Palestinian children remain in prison, despite many having committed no recognizable crime. Israel must stop its discriminatory policies against Palestinian children.’
BUT do the international media, Amnesty International and other human rights so-called champions know what is happening in Balochistan? If they do know are they deliberately ignoring the Baloch plight at the hands of Pakistan and Iran?
While the international media was cursing Israel and glorifying Ahed Tamimi, the Pakistani and Iranian forces were busy arresting, torturing and humiliating Baloch women and children.
In mid June a local Baloch Imam (religious scholar), Maulana Tayyib Mullahzai revealed that a criminal gangs of ‘wealthy and affluent’ people supported by Iranian government officials especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have sexually assaulted at least 41 young women and girls in Pahra city renamed as Iranshahr after occupation of Balochistan by Persian forces in 1928.
The tragic news went unnoticed by the international human rights organisations and the Iranian security forces quickly silenced the victims and the whistleblower Maulana Tayyib Mullahzai to conceal the news.
On 3rd July 2018 Pakistani forces abducted a 10-year-old Baloch boy named Zameer Baloch from Alangi area of Mashky in district Awaran Balochistan. About twenty days later on 22 July Pakistani forces abducted Zameer’s mother Noor Malik 55 and her two daughters who have been named as 22-year-old Haseena wife of Ishaq and 18-year-old Sameena Baloch.
No international media outlet covered this news and how could they cover it when it was nowhere to be seen in Pakistani media. Since the international media reply on Pakistani media which follows and promotes the military’s narrative that everything is OK in Balochistan.
While the whereabouts of Noor Malik, her two daughters and 10-year-old son still remained unknown the Pakistan forces have abducted Jummal Baloch along with his wife Waseema Baloch on 31 July 2018 from Gichk area of district Panjgur Balochistan.
As recently as on Saturday 4th of August 2018 the Pakistani forces have abducted Khalil Baloch along with his friend Habibullah. Khalil is the brother of Noor Malik whose family remains clueless about her whereabouts.
Previously Pakistan forces have abducted Baloch women and children from Balochistan’s different areas including district Kohlu, Dera Bugti, Bolan, Awaran, and Kachi. The issue of the abduction went completely unnoticed by international media and human rights organisation including UN and Amnesty International completely brushed this issue under the carpet and turned a blind eye to Pakistani state crimes against Baloch women and children.
The Baloch women and children who suffered worst inhumanity and extreme torture than what Ahed Tamimi has suffered for slapping an armed soldier. If a Baloch girl had even said anything harsh to Pakistani soldier, she would have been shot at sight. One cannot even imagine slapping or hitting a soldier in Pakistan. Yet, the plight of Baloch women and children in Pakistani’s prisons goes unnoticed and Pakistani state terrorism in Balochistan continues under the nose of the international community.
The silence of HR bodies and international media is tantamount to giving Pakistan a free hand to continue its crimes against humanity and the war crimes in Balochistan with complete international impunity. The international prejudice, hypocrisy and selective just must end and all occupied nations including Baloch, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Kurds, Ahwazi Arabs, Turks of South Azerbaijan and others should be treated equally and given proportional coverage by international media.