Category Archives: Interviews and Articles
by Juma Baloch
26th August 2006 was a day of big loss for the Baloch nation. We lost the father figure of our nation Shaheed-e-Wattan Nawab Akbar Bugti. With every tragedy that falls on a nation, it either brings it together or shatters it apart. The martyrdom of Nawab Akbar Bugti brought the Baloch nation together. The fury of the Baloch nation could be seen in the streets from Karachi to Quetta. This is what living nations are made of.
May 28 is officially a “Day of Greatness” for Pakistan, but for many Balochs it’s a black day.
By Shah Meer Baloch
On May 28 each year, Pakistan proudly celebrates “Youm-e-Takbir,” which translates as the “Day of Greatness,” to commemorate the country’s first successful detonation of nuclear devices. But the locals in Balochistan’s Chagai district, and citizens all across Balochistan, see May 28 as a “black day.”
The locals still suffer as a result of the nuclear explosions the Pakistani government set off in the Ras Koh Mountains 19 years ago. The new generation of Baloch inhabitants in the region is plagued with serious diseases stemming from those blasts. And all in Balochistan are constantly reminded of the promises made at the time by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (then serving his second of what would be three terms, spread out over 17 years) to invest in health, education, roads, and infrastructure in the province — promises that have yet to be fulfilled.
Mujahid Barelvi remembers a forgotten hero of the Baloch struggle. Translated from the Urdu by Babar Mirza
It is a great tragedy for this country in general and Balochistan in particular that Sher Muhammad Marri – who fought an armed struggle in the mountains during the 1950s and ‘60s and was imprisoned in different jails during the ‘70s – is hardly ever remembered in Baloch politics. Even most of the Baloch wouldn’t know where he is buried, for Sher Muhammad Marri was not a sardar or nawab whose politics and legacy had to be kept alive by his sons.
The day my lamenting eyes run out of tears
The eyes of the night of sorrow shall lose all light
In the 1970s, five young people studying in London joined the Baluch guerrillas and, along the way, joined another. The revolutionary socialists won the respect and admiration of this forgotten people
Editorial correction: “It was not Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri who contacted Mohammad Bhabha but it was Bhabha who contacted Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri and Babu Sher Mohammad Marri to work in Marri area”.
Note: English translation of an article written in Basque language by Karlos Zurutuza published on NAIZ on 29 Aug 2020.
Ahmed hardly speaks of his time as a guerrilla. He is a journalist best acquainted with the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan today, so it is not surprising that he has sold a million and a half copies of his book “Taliban”, not to mention the signatures of the world’s major newspapers as analysts. In any case, before receiving all this fame, Ahmed spent ten years as a warrior with Baluch. We are talking about Ahmed Rashid.
Dalia Gebrial and Thomas Jeffrey Miley go head to head on this complex and topical issue
DALIA: Nationalism is one hell of a drug. No matter how many times it’s been declared dead, the idea of the nation finds a way of rearing its head and grabbing the political landscape by the throat. Particularly in times of crisis, nationalist language that otherwise seemed old-fashioned and gauche suddenly feels like the only way you can speak without being heckled off the political stage.
Fundamentally, the power of nationalism lies in its ability to appeal to a sense of common good. It’s a way of tying (some) people together in pursuit of an imagined positive future. As a socialist, I have sympathy with this. However, the problem is that nationhood is based on identity, rather than material principles.
Just before imposing new sanctions on Iran, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the country’s “Cabinet is in disarray, and the Iranian people are raising their voices even louder against a corrupt and hypocritical regime”. While this is clearly true, it is also true that sanctions alone are unlikely to topple the government or force democratic reforms. For that to happen, foreign governments and domestic opposition leaders must take another critical step — to finally acknowledge the importance of the country’s ethnic minorities and develop policies to address their demands.
As Pompeo noted, Iran’s leaders have been facing significant pressure from within. A major driving force of the anti-government activity has been ethnic minority groups, in particular the Kurds, Azerbaijanis, Ahvaz Arabs and Baluch. Each has long engaged in protests, over issues ranging from the right to use native languages in schools and courts, to local health and environmental concerns, to broader calls for the end of the regime.
Baloch anger is not against the ethnic mix, it is rooted in poverty and the systematic denial of opportunities by the Pakistani establishment.
The November 23 attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi by Baloch separatists brought into global view, once more, the Baloch trauma. The Balochistan Liberation Army, which claimed responsibility for the attack, had warned the Chinese authorities against “exploitation of Balochistan’s mineral wealth and occupation of the Baloch territory”.
Regrettable as violence in any form is, this incident is an unfortunate reminder that Baloch complaints cannot forever be ignored. In fact, the constant refrain through Pakistan’s 70-year history is this: Balochistan appears to be on the boil again.