Increasing attacks by the Islamic State in Balochistan are connected to Pakistan’s failed strategy of encouraging and using Islamist militants to crush Baloch rebels and separatists.
By Malik Siraj Akbar
Mr. Akbar is a journalist from Balochistan.
On Friday, several hundred tribesmen and students from religious seminaries gathered at a public meeting in Mastung, a town in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, to hear Siraj Raisani, a 55-year-old politician from the Balochistan Awami Party.
As he appeared on stage wearing dark sunglasses, the crowd cheered, whistled and raised their hands, in a gesture affirming their loyalty to him. “O! Brave people of Balochistan!” said Mr. Raisani, who was known and feared for his strong ties to the Pakistani military. Before he could utter a second sentence, a suicide bomber blew himself up near the stage. The explosion killed Mr. Raisani and 149 of his supporters, and injured 186 others.
The UNPO conference was aimed at discussing the conflict in Balochistan, analyzing its impact on the state of human rights, press freedom and the way forward.
By Malik Siraj Akbar
WASHINGTON DC: The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) organized a one-day conference at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Tuesday to discuss the conflict in Balochistan, analyze its impact on the state of human rights, press freedom and the way forward.
Senator Paul Strauss of Washington D.C. welcomed the conference participants to the U.S. capital and applauded UNPO for organizing the event. He noted that Washington D.C. was also a UNPO member because it still does not still enjoy the status of a full state in the U.S.
Regardless of the tensions between the Pakistani government and the Baloch nationalists, I think it is very important for journalists, scholars and policy experts to continue writing and debating without any interruptions
By Adnan Aamir
Washington: The Balochistan Institute, a Washington D.C based think tank has been launched to focus on Balochistan.
This is the first think tank established to focus Balochistan in USA.
United States is considered as heaven for universities, libraries, think-tanks and research institutions. There are thousands of such excellent institutions.
The Pakistani authorities have resorted to extremely repressive methods, including forced disappearances, torture and murder, in order to suppress the Baloch uprising
Malik Siraj Akbar
Foreign Policy Analyst
Political leaders, including a former Speaker of the state legislature, activists and human rights defenders protested outside the White House on Friday February 12th to protest against Pakistan’s military actions against opposition political activists and unarmed civilians in the country’s resource-rich province of Balochistan. The Baloch National Movement (BNM), whose central secretary general Manan Baloch, a physician by profession, was killed by the Pakistani security forces last month, organized the protest in the nation’s capital.
Pakistan will never give up the land due to its riches in oil, copper, and coal, as well as its key ports with direct access the Indian Ocean. It’s also a place where local journalists and political activists turn up mutilated and dead in remote locations on a daily basis.
“I’m hoping for a miracle,” says Malik Siraj Akbar, “a general in Pakistan who realizes that the country’s future lies with respecting its own people.” Akbar is a Pakistani expatriate and Baloch specialist living in Washington, D.C. He is unable to stay in his homeland of Balochistan because if he did so, he would probably already be dead.
Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, the prominent Baloch nationalist leader passed away without brokering a deal with any of the Pakistani governments to end the ongoing conflict in Balochistan. The veteran Baloch leader, who passed away on Tuesday, remained firm on his demand for a free Baloch country. His commitment to his principles has transformed him into one of the most revered leaders of Balochistan ever. The respect Nawab Marri enjoyed among the young pro-independence Baloch youth could easily be felt through the widespread public mourning over his demise on social media.
The others issues are all domestic which could be discussed later on but the foremost thing is that Punjabis should quit Balochistan
Note: The Baloch Hal editor-in-chief Malik Siraj Akbar, in 2008, interviewed Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, the veteran Baloch nationalist leader who passed away on Tuesday. We are reproducing his interview considering its relevance to his political career.
By Malik Siraj Akbar
Nawab Khair Baksh Marri’s meaningful silence over the past many decades has been a constant source of inspiration and guidance for the armed Baloch groups. Lapsing age has not crippled Marri’s attachment to the idea of an independent Balochistan. As the head of the largest Baloch tribe, the Marris, Khair Baksh has become a legendary figure even in his life time. Along with late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and Sardar Attaullah Mengal, Nawab Marri forms Islamabad’s axis of ‘three anti-development sardars in Balochistan’. Khair Baksh Marri remains a mysterious figure because of his unadulterated silence; the belief that he is in fact leading the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and that he is a staunch proponent of the idea of a Greater Balochistan, a free Baloch state comprising of present day Pakistani Balochistan province and the Baloch areas controlled by Iran and Afghanistan. A rare communicator with the media, Nawab Marri recently spoke to this blog at his Karachi residence.
Interviewed by Roshan Ghimire
Malik Siraj Akbar
Fate may have moved Malik Siraj Akbar from the bucolic terrain of Balochistan to the beltways of Washington D.C, but Akbar’s fight for Balochistan continues even though he is far from home.
Akbar is a well-known journalist and a blogger from Balochistan, the largest province of the Pakistan. He was granted political asylum in the United States after facing threats for his writing. He is also the Editor-in- Chief of the Baloch Hal , the first online English newspaper of Balochistan, which is currently banned in Pakistan. In an exclusive interview with Story South Asia, Malik spoke about the issues of press freedom, human right violations and the future of Balochistan.
By Dennis Lynch
British journalist Willem Marx was recently banned from entering Pakistan after the publication of “Balochistan: At a Crossroads,” his book about a “forgotten” region in that country. Marx was heading to the country for the Lahore Literary Festival.
Journalists face major difficulties in reporting from Pakistan’s troubled southwestern province.
London, United Kingdom – “It is, by far, Pakistan’s most hermetic province, even more than several among the tribal areas,” said Pau Miranda, a correspondent for Spain’s EFE news agency. “Being caught in Balochistan without permission almost means being automatically expelled from the country.”