Tag Archives: Jahanzeb Hussain

Balochistan: The Largest, Most Resource-Rich, Yet Poorest Province of Pakistan

conflict in Balochistan

Journalist Jahanzeb Hussain talks about who’s profiting from the Pakistani province’s natural gas and the suppression of the Baloch people

JESSICA DESVARIEUX, PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

On Thursday Pakistani forces laid siege to Pakistan’s largest province, Balochistan, injuring and killing several people. If you haven’t heard about Balochistan, it’s at the heart of the conflict between the Pakistani government and Balochistan nationalists who are demanding independence from Pakistan. This southwestern province is Pakistan’s largest and most natural resource-rich province, and has been affiliated with violence since Pakistan’s independence in 1947. This area is of great significance of late since there’s an ongoing development project being negotiated connecting Balochistan’s Gwadar port to China. It’s being called the China-Pakistan economic corridor.

Joining us to unpack this is Jahanzeb Hussein. Jahanzeb is an editor at Ricochet Media, the South Asia editor at Global Voices and a blogger at Huffington Post India. Thank you so much for joining us.

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بلوچستان کی جدوجہد

 

allah-nazar-baloch1

بلوچستان لبریشن فرنٹ کے رہنماء ڈاکٹر اﷲ نذر سے خصوصی انٹرویو
سیریز: بلوچستان سے جرات کے خاکے

انٹرویو: جہانزیب حسین
ترجمہ: لطیف بلیدی

اس خصوصی انٹرویو میں جہانزیب حسین نے بلوچستان لبریشن فرنٹ کے موجودہ اعلیٰ کمانڈر ڈاکٹر اللہ نذر سے بات کی ہے جو کہ اس وقت پاکستانی ریاست سے آزادی حاصل کرنے کیلئے مسلح جدوجہد میں مصروف ہیں۔ ایڈیٹر کیساتھ مراسلت میں اﷲ نذر نے اس بات پر زور دیا ہے کہ پاکستانی پارلیمانی سیاست میں حصہ لینا بلوچستان پر پاکستان کی حکومت کو قانونی حیثیت دینے کے مترادف ہے۔ مگر پھر بھی وہ کہتے ہیں کہ وہ بندوق کے بجائے کتاب کا انتخاب کریں گے اگرچہ دونوں ایک دوسرے کی رہنمائی کرتے ہیں۔

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Inside the struggle for Balochistan

dr allah-niza

An exclusive interview with the leader of the Balochistan Liberation Front

Series: Profiles in courage from Balochistan

In this exclusive interview, Jahanzeb Hussain talks to Allah Nazar, currently the top commander of the Balochistan Liberation Front, which is engaged in an armed struggle for freedom from the Pakistani state. In correspondence with the editor, Nazar asserts that taking part in Pakistani parliamentary politics would be akin to legitimizing Pakistan’s rule over Balochistan. And yet, he says, he would rather choose the book over the gun, though each informs the other.

Can you shed some light on the genesis of Baloch nationalism and its evolution since the creation of Pakistan?

Baloch culture, customs, code of honor and common psychology are the ingredients that sustain Baloch nationalism, which is rooted in hundreds of years of history. As soon as Pakistan invaded Balochistan in 1948, it imposed its cultural hegemony on us in order to erase our identity. The Urdu language was imposed in schools. Our children were taught about the histories of Arab, Afghan and Mongol invaders in a way that is completely different from and contradictory to our own history. Instructors were brought from Punjab and other areas so that the new generation of Baloch students could be moulded into Pakistanis. In a way, a slow cultural genocide was initiated. To shift the demographic balance, population settlements were created in and around the provincial capital of Quetta.

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Profiles in courage from Balochistan

Balochistan Map

Rampant human rights abuses in Pakistan go underreported

Series: Profiles in courage from Balochistan

This is the first part of a series of articles in which Jahanzeb Hussain interviews five important figures from Balochistan. The story of Balochistan is one of the most under-reported in the world. We are pleased to publish these all-too-rare and wide-ranging interviews in hope that the narrative from Balochistan reaches a wider audience.

Mama Qadeer, Farzana Majeed, Karima Baloch, Khalil Baloch, and Allah Nazar are names unfamiliar to most people in Pakistan, let alone the rest of the world.

Even for educated Pakistanis, Balochistan is mostly out of sight – mere rocks, sand, and the Chaghi Mountains, where Pakistan tested its nuclear bomb.

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The missing persons of Baluchistan – by Jahanzeb Hussain

how many moreI’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.

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