“Pakistan army enjoys the largest sum of GDP in the name of defence; However, could not protect us from a unleashed bands of thugs” – Jalila Haider
After 2004 Quetta carnage when Ashura procession was attacked which left 50 dead and more than 100 wounded (all of victims were from Hazara community), once again Hazara community in Balochistan came under intensive attacks in 2011 apparently by Sunni extremist groups Lashkar-e- Jangvi, and its affiliates which enjoy the backing of Pakistan Army. In reaction of incessant killings of their loved ones, Hazaras set in a protest at Quetta with their corpses and refused to bury the dead bodies till the government wouldn’t arrest the culprits and provide them justice. Ironically, then Chief Minister of Balochistan Aslam Raissani commented, “ what can I do, to provide you trucks load of tissue papers to wipe yours tears.” perhaps his remarks was a laughing stock for Pakistani media and its viewers, in reality Raissani meant more than that— a clear message to tell that civilian government was acting as a puppet that threads were being pulled somewhere else – General Headquarters (GHQ).
They also considered the languages here as a threat to their dominance and set about to change that
The atrocities against the Baloch or the ravages against the Bengalis, the recent burning of the Hindu Dharmshala in Larkana or the carnages against the Hazaras or Christians sadden me deeply as do all the brutal and senseless attacks on nationalities or minorities in the length and breadth of the ‘land of pure’. However these horrendous attacks have never surprised me; had there been peaceful coexistence between different nationalities or religious and sectarian harmony; it would have surely surprised me because the basis of all that is wrong here lies in the creation of this state on the basis of religion.
Polls in Balochistan have always simply provided the much needed legitimacy to the brutal actions that the establishment had taken to suppress the rightful demands of the Baloch nationalists
The elections in Balochistan will be less than credible because elections held in an environment of terror and harassment, where people are permanently terrorised by the security forces and their proxy death squads can never be free or fair. The turnout will be naturally extremely low due to the overall security situation, which has for long been appalling for the Baloch and Hazaras, and also the boycott. Although the physical turnout will probably be extremely low, the participation figures will be manipulated to give them a semblance of respectability. Incidentally, the turnout even during the un-boycotted and peaceful elections of 2002 was a pathetic 29 percent. The people’s interest in elections in Balochistan waned a long time ago as these brought them more misery and sufferings while only the elected and their families thrived. The extremely successful strikes of May 9 and 10 have put paid to expectations that people can be forced to come out to vote.
The recent UNPO Conference on Balochistan in London led to the Pakistani High Commissioner in the UK to state that foreigners should respect the integrity of Pakistan, instead of interfering in the country’s internal affairs.
Below is an article published by the Friday Times:
To highlight the plight of the Baloch and Hazara Shias in Balochistan, a day conference entitled “Global and Regional Security Challenges in South Asia: What Future for Balochistan” was organized by Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) at The Royal Society, London. The conference was attended by US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Congressman Brain Higgins, Baloch nationalists, Khan of Qalat Mir Suleman Daud, Nawab Mehran Mari, Baloch representative in the UN, Noor-ud-din Mengal, and columnist Tarek Fatah.
Thousands of Baloch have gone missing since 1974 and continue to go missing while more than 700 of them have had their tortured bodies dumped all over Balochistan
Selective and convenient paranoia is ingrained into the psyche of the ‘establishment’; consequently, we keep getting ridiculous explanations and excuses for all the anguish and agony in Balochistan. The establishment’s spokespersons defend it with truisms attractive enough to befool people. They want people to overlook the fact that Balochistan’s present situation is the product of the atrocities and exploitation of the last 64 years and believe that all that this is a creation of international conspiracies by powers with ulterior motives.
I was all packed and ready when PIA suddenly decided to cancel its flight from Quetta to Turbat, which I was supposed to take to attend a family wedding the very next day. I panicked and called my uncle in Turbat to inform him that I couldn’t make it. But he was persistent and insisted that I had to come. So I decided to take a bus for Turbat the same evening.
As the bus left the station, I realised that I was wearing black clothes and that my surname was Hussain – enough reason to get killed on my journey to simply see two cousins tie the knot. Details of massacres of bus passengers who had taken similar bus journeys were quite vivid in my mind.
This is not the first time that a military operation has been carried out by the Frontier Corps (FC), a paramilitary force, in southern Balochistan’s Mashky, Awaran District. The FC launched another operation just two months ago. Unlike the current offensive, this earlier, mid-October operation was denounced from the floor of the provincial assembly by the Balochistan Minister for Agriculture, Asad Baloch. He said that the operation had been carried out without the Government of Balochistan’s consent. Their silence this time around is telling, and has caused many to speculate that they did issue their consent when the FC launched the operation on December 25th.