Category Archives: Human Rights

Zahra Baloch – an unsung hero of Balochistan

On 14 May 2018, a daughter of Balochistan and brother took a taxi home not knowing that it would be their last ride. She had just finished her final year exams and was going to visit her brother in Iranian occupied Balochistan when a Land Cruiser overtook their taxi and brake sharply leaving no time for the taxi to stop. Hence, the taxi collided with the back bumpers of the Land Cruiser killing all three persons on board – Zahra Baloch, her brother Attaullah Baloch and the taxi driver.

It is not clear yet what caused the Land Cruiser’s driver to brake sharply or whether it was a deliberate attempt to cause this accident with intent to kill Zahra and her brother. Iran and Pakistan are two dangerous states for Baloch people and they avail every opportunity to harm the most learned and educated youth of Balochistan. Since Zahra Baloch was politically active and had previously received threats from Pakistani security forces, it is highly likely that her death was not just an accident.

According to close relatives of Zahra, she had a keen interest in Baloch politics since her childhood. She always wanted to do something for her nation and to be able to help them in their struggle for freedom.

She was a silent but active political worker who believed in practical work than show off like many of today’s activists and even ‘leaders’. She would go house-to-house to educate people about the freedom struggle and advise youth of her age to spend their energy on education instead of wasting it on unnecessary things.

According to Basheer Shohaaz, the elder brother of Zahra, she the youngest among siblings but she was different from rest of the family. ‘She had grown up in middle of war [Balochistan freedom struggle] that is why her way of looking at things was different. She was a strong representative of the new Baloch generation. She was the kindest person with her innocent face and she would never argue, raise her voice or get angry with anyone at home.’

In Basheer Shohaaz’s words, ‘Zahra had a pain in her heart for the Baloch nation and Balochistan. That pain had made her politically mature before her age. The pain of occupation of Balochistan, the pain of brothers and sisters and the pain of disappearances had made her the leader of her sisters – political colleagues. After doing her school work and housework, she would sit and publish the news messages about disappearances of her brothers and abduction of Baloch women.’

The enemy [Pakistani forces] could not tolerate her peaceful political activities and they threatened her father to ‘tell your youngest daughter’ to stop publishing news messages.

When her brother told her to be careful circulating social media news messages, she replied, ‘There is nothing left for the Baloch nation. They [Pakistani forces] have done whatever they could. Now they can only kill us. If they want to kill me let them do so, I’m not better than my brothers.’

In 2017 Pakistani forces raided her house, harassed her family and abducted her father. During this raid one Pakistani army colonel ordered Zahra to hand over her mobile phone to them, not only she refused to give her phone but she took a stone and broke the phone making it completely disable for the Pakistani military officials to check its contents.

Such unsung heroes and silent soldiers of Balochistan freedom struggle should not be forgotten. In fact, their struggle and hard work should be praised and used as examples for the next generations of Balochistan so they can learn real activism instead of today’s petty politics of leg pulling and throwing dirt on each other.

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CPEC: The Corridor to Baloch genocide

By Sobdar Baluch

Baluchistan

Baluchistan

I was watching the inauguration ceremony of Gawadar corridor route passing through occupied Balochistan territory.

The puppet and toothless ministers from Balochistan and other parts were also present to confirm their attendance and obedience to Punjabi domination on Baloch land.

Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif repeated the same rhetoric and showed lollipops of the past to Baloch nation.

We still remember the tall claims of Zulfiqar Bhutto, Zia-ul-Haq, General Ayyub Khan, Benazir Bhutto, General Musharraf, Asif Ali Zadar and now again Nawaz Sharif of turning Balochistan into paradise but the reality in today different.When you visit Balochistan today after six decades you will witness the increased number of graveyards and mass graves instead of School, Collages, Universities, health care centres, technical centres.

Only three days ago the ‘Dawn Newspaper’ reported quoting the Home Secretary of Balochistan that “More than 9,000 ‘suspected militants and criminals’ were apprehended by police, levies, frontier corps and intelligence agencies in Balochistan as a part of the national action plan in the year 2015.But neither Dawn nor the Home Secretary has said anything about the whereabouts of those arrested 9000 ‘suspected militants’. Have they all been killed and dumped or are they being tortured in secret dungeon of Pakistan army?

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International Women’s Day and state violence against Baloch women

By Faiz M Baluch

vbmplongmarch-hyderabadThe world is celebrating the International Women’s Day (IWD) to pay their homage to working women and to renew their pledge to continue striving for gender equality and women’s empowerment. The women in Balochistan are not only out in streets (in front of Press Clubs) demanding the release of their loved ones but they also continue to be targeted by Pakistani state and its military backed religious extremists.

Baloch women tolerate the greatest hardships in Balochistan. The pain of losing their children, brothers, fathers and husbands at the hand of Pakistani security forces is couple with the religious extremism against women. Illegal occupation of Balochistan by the fundamentalist states of Iran and Pakistan has created a perpetual sense of insecurity for Baloch society as a whole but women and children are primary casualties of this insecurity. Continue reading

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Is Britain complicit in human rights violations in Balochistan?

by Faiz M Baluch

Kalat_StateBalochistan, bordering Iran to the West and Afghanistan to the North, was an independent country before the British attacked and invaded it in 1839. The Baloch ruler, at the time, Mir Mehrab Khan along with hundreds of Baloch fighters died while defending Balochistan.

Later the British draw two artificial lines (borders), the Goldsmith Line (1871) and the Durand Line (1895), dividing Balochistan into three pieces. Northern Balochistan and Western Balochistan were given to Persia and Afghanistan respectively, and Eastern Balochistan (Pakistan occupied Balochistan) remained independent and maintained treaty relations with the British.

One of the treaties the British government signed with Balochistan in 1854 and later amended in 1876 reads as follows: Article 3: “Whilst on his part, Meer Khodadad Khan, Khan of Kalat, binds himself, his heirs, successors and sardars to observe faithfully the provisions of Article 3 of the treaty of 1854, the British Government on its part engages to respect the independence of Kalat, and to aid the Khan, in case of need, in the maintenance of a just authority and the protection of his territories from external attack, by such means as the British Government may at the moment deem expedient.”

The British remained in Eastern part of Balochistan until 1947 and at the time of their departure they recognised Balochistan as an independent state. Three days prior to Pakistan’s separation from India, a tripartite agreement was signed between the British, the ruler of Balochistan and the upcoming Pakistan administration accepting the sovereignty of the Baloch people. On 11 August, 1947, Eastern Balochistan declared full independence. Continue reading

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Baloch activists to run a twitter campaign against China’s interference in Balochistan

NexusChina is the world’s third predatory country that is engaged in heinous crime of exploiting Baloch national resources after Pakistan and Iran. It is also the country that has virtually encircled Balochistan’s strategic geography into its so called String of Pearls Strategy – under the sphere of its influence Gwadar Deep sea port has already been turned into a major Chinese outpost to consolidate and expand its vital interests in the region.

Moreover, China is one of the major weapon supplier to Pakistan and Iran for suppressing the secular Baloch freedom movement in occupied Balochistan at a time when world peace is in the grip of Islamic extremist forces.

Baloch people as a suppressed nation at the hand of Pakistan and Iran have no option but to defend their national resources and struggle to restore the lost sovereignty.

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Remembering the missing Baloch on the International Day of enforced Disappeared

Dr Sarwar Baloch holds the picture of his abducted nephew Zafarullah Bangulzai

Dr Sarwar Baloch holds the picture of his abducted nephew Zafarullah Bangulzai

The International Day of the Disappeared on August 30 is an annual commemoration designated to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and under poor conditions unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives. On this day, the International community remembers the missing and disappeared people throughout the world. The day has been officially declared as the Day of the enforced-disappeared. On this day, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) calls on all governments to provide answers to families on the fate and whereabouts of missing persons. International Human Rights Organisations have declared enforced disappearance as a grave human rights violation and a crime against humanity.

Yet, on this day the fate of thousands of innocent Baloch men, women and children remains unknown. Thousands of Baloch families in occupied Balochistan are looking for justice for their beloveds and peace of mind for themselves in particular and for the Baloch society in general. The issue of enforced-disappearances in Balochistan is not a new phenomenon; it started from the day of Balochistan’s illegal occupation by Iran and Pakistan. Since then occupying states, Iran and Pakistan, have been committing gross human rights violations against Baloch people. Thousands of Baloch have been forcefully disappeared and hundreds of thousands have been killed in cold-blood and massacred by aerial bombardments by these ruthless and uncivilised states. Thousands have been extra judicially executed. Continue reading

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Baloch Genocide at full swing right before the eyes of ‘civilised’ world

Baloch female protesters carrying a 'stop Baloch Genocide' placard during a protest in Karachi

Baloch female protesters carrying a ‘stop Baloch Genocide’ placard during a protest in Karachi

Pakistan in its dirty war in Balochistan has changed its tactics several times in past few years. In their most recent tactic they have started to kill Baloch political activists in several orchestrated stage encounters. Their criminal tactic follows a clear pattern. They abduct Baloch activists and torture them for days, months or even years. July 2010 onwards Pakistan adopted the policy of abducted, kill and dump but recently they started to discard the bodies of previously abducted Baloch activists, who were abducted from different areas of Pakistan, during military offensive and then announce in their media that they were killed during arm clash with Pakistani security forces. This tactic could partly be due to the pressure that has grown on Pakistani military and intelligence agencies to produce the enforced-disappeared Baloch persons.

The Baloch political leader, Hyrbyair Marri says, “Abducting our people and killing them in such sham operations and labelling them as terrorists only demonstrate the height of our enemy’s inhumanity and desperation. They think with this monstrous tactic they close the cases of our loved and get away with their murder. These cases cannot and will not be closed as long as the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity are not brought to justice – the perpetrator for us is the state of Pakistan.”

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