Airport or Death port?


Surely, their fear is not without a reason; more than a dozen Baloch have been abducted from different airports, they are either still missing or their dead bodies have been recovered after months of torture.

Asghar Ali

When you are living under the colonial rule, simply you are in an extended prison: you can be captured interrogated, humiliated and tortured without any apparent reason. This is clear to both the oppressor and the oppressed; the oppressor knows why he is using such contemptible tactics, and in the same passion the oppressed also know that why he is being treated in such a way, because he is a slave; hence, his emotions, feelings, and thinking are as free as wind. But the oppressor, like the body of slave, wants to make his or her conscious under his boots. Why? Because the colonial powers beside other factors try to establish their rule by creating an atmosphere of constant fear that controls every heart and mind.

There is a famous British political jargon that the prime minister of the England knows the leader of the opposition better than his own wife. Similarly the colonial masters know their slaves and their psychology more than anyone else. Therefore, in order to control and demoralize them, they use the device of fear. The fear always befalls upon the colonized through creating an air of insecurity and uncertainty by use of force in parts of colonizers. The colonial powers to uphold their rule establish military posts and check post at every square, road, highway, bus station train station, ports, airports, town and city.  These post and check post of the security forces observe the every movement of the native people and trace the political activists and their sympathizers that are conceived as a threat to their colonial regime.

In this case Pakistan is not different form its predecessors; it has established thousands of check posts across the Balochistan.  These check posts are established with its primary purpose to protect its colonial people and ensure the safe movement of its forces for any imminent threat that posit from the native people. Secondly, these post works as its traditional ways to watch the movement of the people and work as a symbol of fear.  The militiamen stop the commoner and harass them by posting barrage of questions, like where are you going? What is your name? Show your identity, when you are coming back?  Why are you wearing this? Why you are speaking low? What is your job? There is a series of unending question that can irritate anyone when an outsider come and asks his or her identity; even some time forces keep native people waiting for hours without any reason and then ask to leave.   And worst of all, thousands of Baloch political activists are picked form these check posts from Dera Bugti to Gwadar.

Baloch has a long historical connection with the gulf region; millions of Baloch Diasporas are working there. Perhaps Baloch particularly from Makran and Kharan immensely dependent on gulf region for their livelihood, the majority of them work as labor in different part of gulf region to fulfil the needs of their families.  They use Turbat, Gwadar and Karachi Airport for their travel.  However, now these airports are also not secure for travelling. Pakistan’s intelligence agencies are harassing them there too.  Like Mama Qadir, the voice Chairman of Voice for the Missing Persons of Balochistan and Farzana Majeed were stopped and off loaded at Karachi airport when they wanted travel to USA to highlight the case of missing persons of Balochistan.

But now the situation is growing worst for common Baloch travelers.  They travel with utmost sense of  insecurity  that they can be picked and tortured, or perhaps get killed; even a small connection  with political parties,  past activism in student politics, an hints of sympathy with the movement for a free Balochistan can be a cause of inhuman torture and death. They even fear of their lives and can be in deep trouble without any particular rhymes and reason. Some Baloch, especially in the range of 20s to 40s years of age have preferred to stay abroad for years and have not traveled back to Pakistan because they are suffering from a constant state of fear and mental agony that they might be picked up if they travel back to their home.

Surely, their fear is not without a reason; more than a dozen Baloch have been abducted from different airports, they are either still missing or their dead bodies have been recovered after months of torture.  Azeem Baloch who was working as a labor in UAE abducted from Karachi airport on 25th April 2016 by Pakistan Intelligence agencies, and his dead body was thrown at the vicinity of Hub city on May 2018 after two years of abduction.  Similarly, two other boys, Naeem and Qabus who were low profile political activists, were deported from German Authorities on 14th May 2016; they were abducted on their arrival at Jinnah International Airport Karachi by FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) of Pakistan.   Qubus was released earlier this year; but according to his family sources he has lost his health and is not stable mentally; however, Naeem Baloch is still missing.  Another elderly person from Dasht areas of district Kech was also abducted by Pakistani law enforcement agencies from Turbat International Airport last month, and who is still missing.

There is an incremental increase in the abduction of Baloch people from different airports of Pakistan which is creating an alarming situation for Baloch those who are working abroad. However, this is a cheap tactic by Pakistan to discourage the struggle of a free Balochistan by creating an atmosphere of fear and insecurity in the ranks of Baloch people so that they should distance themselves from the movement.

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The writer is a political activist, literary critics and a freelance journalist, he can be reached at dasthibalochia@gmail.com

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