Tag Archives: Argentina
Every day a Baloch cries out for justice, Pakistan as a democracy loses its legitimacy
By: Uzair Younus
On April 30th, 1977, protestors led by fourteen strong women descended upon the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to demonstrate against their missing children. An authoritarian government responded to these protests by calling referring to the demonstrators as “the madwomen.” Under a cloud of fear and repression protestors gathered every week, using the World Cup hosted in Argentina in 1978 to raise international awareness of the human rights violations going on in the country. A decades long struggle, led by what have been called The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, ensued and eventually culminated on January 26, 2006, when the activists acknowledged the civilian government’s efforts to find the missing bodies. A similar struggle is emerging in Pakistan, as Mama Qadeer leads his followers from Balochistan to Islamabad to raise awareness about the missing Baloch.
A protest long march of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) led by Mama Qadir Reki, vice chairman of VBMP, with as many as 20 families, including women and children, carrying placards, photographs of missing persons and banners inscribed with slogans in support of their demands started their journey from Quetta Press Club on Sunday 27th; it will culminate with a sit-in at Karachi Press Club. Many relatives even fear protesting in fear of further retribution. This isn’t a march to secure justice because the relatives of missing and dead had sought all avenues but were let down by all including the Supreme Court (SC) which has been long on rhetoric and miserably short on action. This 700 plus kilometer journey which the relatives of the missing and dead have undertaken is to highlight the injustices to Baloch people. The agencies, the army and Frontier Corps (FC) naturally couldn’t be expected to provide justice because even the most partial SC reluctantly admits that these are responsible for the missing and the mutilated dead. The civil society is expected to stand up for human rights violation but their enthusiasm regarding missing Baloch persons is quite uninspiring.
I’ve seen their silent faces
They scream so loud
If they were to speak these words
They’d go missing too
Another woman on the torture table
What else can they do ?
One day we’ll dance on their graves
One day we’ll sing our freedom
One day we’ll laugh in our joy
And we’ll dance (twice)
Hey Mr. Pinochet, you’ve sown a bitter crop
It’s foreign money that supports you
One day the money is going to stop
No wages for your torturers
No budget for your guns
Can you think of your own mother
Dancin’ with her invisible son?
These lines taken from ‘They Dance Alone” a protest song composed by the English musician Sting and dedicated to the persons who went missing during the reign of terror unleashed by the military dictatorships in Chile and Argentina, which also fully depicts the grief and the determination of the mothers, sisters, daughters, sons, wives, brothers and fathers of the persons who have gone missing in Baluchistan like in the southern cone of Latin America in 70’s and 80’s.