Tag Archives: Abdul Sattar Purdely

Unseen and Unheard: Afghan Baloch People Speak Up

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“Against all odds, our national identity is [growing]. We just need the rest of the world to know about us.” — Baloch intellectual and historian Abdul Sattar Purdely

By Karlos Zurutuza

ZARANJ, Afghanistan – Balochistan, divided by the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, is a vast swathe of land the size of France. It boasts enormous deposits of gas, gold and copper, untapped sources of oil and uranium, as well as a thousand kilometres of coastline near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz.

Despite the wealth under their sandals, the Baloch people inhabit the most underdeveloped regions of their respective countries; Afghanistan is no exception.

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Afghanistan’s Re-Emerging Baloch

Several generations of Baloch line up in Kandahar, southeast Afghanistan

Several generations of Baloch line up in Kandahar, southeast Afghanistan

The war-torn country is witnessing the unprecedented revival of a long-neglected community

By Karlos Zurutuza

Abdul Sattar Pordili

Abdul Sattar Pordili

“We are the only nation that has fluent relations with all the rest in the country,” claims Abdul Sattar Purdely. A former MP during the rule of Mohammad Najibullah (1987-1992), Purdely today is a professor, writer, and one of the main advocates for the Baloch language and culture in Afghanistan. In his late sixties, he looks tireless.

“In coordination with the Afghan Ministry of Education, I have written the schoolbooks in Balochi up to the 8th grade (15 years old) and they’re already being used at three schools,” Purdely tells The Diplomat just before producing the full set of volumes.

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