by Mir Muhammad Ali Talpur, Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Ayesha Siddiqa, Mohammad Hanif…
On March 18th, 2014 around 5:00 pm in Quetta, Zahid Baloch chairperson of Baloch Student Organization– Azad (BSO-A), was abducted at gun point. Banuk Karima, vice chairperson of BSO-A, witnessed the abduction. She notes, ‘Pakistan’s secret agencies and security forces abducted Zahid Baloch, I along with three other members of BSO-A witnessed the abduction. We are deeply concerned about his safety and feel that his life is under serious threat. Zahid Baloch is not the only missing Baloch.
Denial of aid for any reason tantamount to premeditated intent of committing genocide and this is exactly what is happening in Awaran
Last August 3,000 rock-drill operators of Lonomin platinum mine at Marikana demanding a wage raise stopped work; some miners opposed and this led to clashes. On August 12, the workers on strike infiltrated production areas and assaulted three on-duty employees, fatally wounded one and torched six motor vehicles. Between August 12 and 14 eight people, four miners, two police officers, and two security guards were killed. On the16th police officials ordered thousands of striking miners to leave Marikana mine or face action; later, they opened fire killing 34 and injuring 78 striking miners. This massacre was likened to the March 21, 1960 Sharpeville Township massacre where some 5,000 and 7,000 people converged on the local police station offering arrest for not carrying pass books. In police firing 69 people, including eight women and 10 children were killed, and 180 including 31 women and 19 children injured. A state of emergency was declared, almost 11,000 people detained and the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) and African National Congress (ANC) outlawed. March 21 is now celebrated as the Human Rights Day in South Africa.
The government and its ministers along with the army are quick to blame the Baloch for putting up hurdles in relief work and the social media and the mainstream media join the chorus
Awaran, a place that already was suffering from shocks of long-drawn army and Frontier Corps operations in their effort to contain the brave and unflinching resistance that Dr Allah Nazar and the people there are putting up against their attempts to make people meekly submit to exploitation, was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on September 24. The UN humanitarian envoy, Dr Abdullah Al-Matouq, said the UN was ready to help with relief work in Balochistan’s earthquake-affected areas but the Pakistani authorities have refused. This isn’t the first time that the disaster-stricken Baloch have been left at the mercy of the vagaries of nature and elements on a flimsy security concerns excuse for which the establishment itself is to blame. When Balochistan was battered by Cyclone Yemyin in June 2007 causing flooding affecting 1.5 million people, the international relief organisations were suddenly stopped on the security concerns excuse. Even the relief operations of the Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) and other nationalist organisations were stopped and camps disbanded. The same is true today; early Thursday morning some Baloch students of Dera Ghazi Khan (DGK) put up a camp at the Traffic Chowk near the DGK Press Club to collect supplies for the Awaran quake victims but were soon rudely stopped by intelligence agencies personnel. Independent news reports confirm that the relief supplies being sent by individuals and NGOs are stopped by the FC, which says only it will distribute them. The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Agency handouts claiming relief are bogus as reports prove no supplies had reached either Gajjar or Malaar till Friday.
COMMENT: Awaran II — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
London: 28th July, 2013- In an attempt to bring to light various issues the Baloch are facing in their socio-political circumstances, Baloch Students and Youth Association (UK) (BSYA) convened a major conference entitled, ‘’The Baloch National Struggle: Past, Present and Future’’, that took place at Birkbeck University of London on 28th July, 2013. An esteemed panel of Baloch intellectuals and writers were invited to share their insights and expertise on the conference subject to help the Baloch leaders, socio-political activists and the various sections of the Baloch national struggle accurately assess the circumstances and challenges faced by the Baloch, in order to devise feasible strategies to organize themselves and achieve the objectives of their struggle.
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