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A page from the Past

In keeping with the Pakistani tradition of camouflaging history a vital chunk of the country’s past has been shrouded in mystery for over 20 years. This was the period of 1973-1977, when the Baloch rose in revolt against a state that had relentlessly oppressed them for decades and military operations against the Baloch people were at their peak.

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

As Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Arbab Jahanzeb, the corps commander of Sindh and Balochistan during the rebellion and subsequently MLA, Sindh during Zia’s martial law himself recently conceded, the army “responded forcefully” to the perceived threat from the Baloch struggle.

While this may be a huge understatement, it is nonetheless demonstrative of the fact that there is at least some acknowledgment by the military brass of what happened in those years. There also other signs of a desire to hearken to that era.

Recently, the respected veteran Baloch leader, Sardar Sherbaz Mazari mentioned the individuals who went missing in those days. Similarly, the redoubtable Ardeshir Cowasjee, in a recent column in Dawn, referred to those involved in the Baloch struggle whose fate remains unknown to this day. Among those mentioned are Asadullah Mengal, Ahmad Shah Kurd and Dulip/Johnny Dass alias Dali.

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