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Pakistan killing our Intellectuals and History, says Baloch freedom activist Mazdak Dilshad Baloch

Most of the Baloch leaders and intellectuals are either dead, underground or have fled Pakistan fearing for their life

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Map of Pakistan. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

– by Kushagra Dixit

New Delhi, August 28, 2016: An “identity crisis” looms before the Baloch people as Pakistan is killing their intellectuals and strategically suppressing their history, says a Baloch freedom activist, adding that they will “not let Pakistan take our cultural identity from us”.

According to prominent Baloch freedom movement activist Mazdak Dilshad Baloch, the lullabies of Baloch mothers “are the only source of the history lesson for the new generation” of their people.

https://twitter.com/NewsGram1/status/769118219697201153

“As per Pakistani textbooks, Balochistan is a barbaric nation and Baloch people are barbarians who fight among themselves. That’s what they (Pakistan) teach their kids, a manipulated history of Balochistan,” Mazdak told IANS.

The issue of manipulated history in textbooks was also raised in the Pakistan Parliament earlier this year, after the 12th standard sociology books defined Baloch as “uncivilised people who engage in murder and looting”.

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“There is a total crackdown on journalists, lawyers, doctors, engineers, students. The figure of missing people has crossed 25,000 and about 25 Baloch journalists have been killed. They are killing our intellectuals, educated ones who could take us forward in the future,” said Mazdak, who was in the Indian capital.

He said most of the Baloch leaders and intellectuals are either dead, underground or have fled Pakistan fearing for their life.

https://twitter.com/NewsGram1/status/767276966835810304

Terming the Pakistani media a “puppet” and Pakistan an “artificial nation”, the young activist who was in Delhi to garner the support of Indians and Baloch people, said, “Our history is being suppressed and this is part of their strategy. Baloch people are voiceless and Pakistani media can’t help us”.

“They are confining our 700-year-old history to 70 years which is not even ours. Our children are told that Jinnah was our founder, while it was Mir Miro Baloch who founded the kingdom of Balochistan in 1410,” Mazdak said, adding that while Baloch people love education, they resist the Pakistani syllabus.

“They teach us about Ahmed Shah Abdali. He was a great person in history and should be celebrated by Afghans. We have nothing to do with him, Sher Shah Suri, Mahmood Gaznavi or Mughals. You can’t just snatch someone else’s history and make it your own.

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“We have our own history, culture, and lifestyle. You can see our clothes and carpets — they have the same pattern and geometry as were in Mehergarh (an ancient site in Balochistan). Our historic fingerprints are still intact. Our culture and language is never dying and we will not let Pakistan take it from us,” Mazdak said.

He also speaks of Hindu shrines in Balochistan including the famed Hinglaj or Nani Mandir.

“Hindus in Balochistan are not Indian or Pakistani, they are Baloch Hindus. We have been protecting and celebrating the centuries-old legacy. The town of Mastung, where I come from, has a Mahadev temple. We protect and respect them because it’s part of our heritage,” he said.

“All around the world mothers would tell their children a fairy tale. But a Baloch mother while putting her child to sleep tells about how the forefathers got this land, this is how they fought and got martyred. So this is how the children there are brought up. This is how a sense of sovereignty is inherited in their blood,” he explained.

Asked why he opposes the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a project that allows China to access the Gwadar Port in Balochistan from its western province of Xinjiang, the activist in exile called it “a conspiracy to loot our resources”.

“We are not against economic activities or anything that would uplift the economic condition of the region, but for this, they have to talk to Baloch, not the people in Lahore. It is a conspiracy to loot our resources as with this move there is no economic benefit to the Baloch people,” he said.

“Army and government of Pakistan only want our land and our resources.”

Saying that while they want to nurture a free Balochistan as a “democratic”, “secular” and “gender-balanced” nation, Mazdak calls Pakistan an “artificial country”.

“If they (Pakistan) teach correct history then people will ask why it even got separated from India, with which it shares history. Even ethnically and genetically they are same. This shows how ignorant Pakistan is and what kind of artificial country it is,” he said. (IANS)

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Pakistan Elected to UN Human Rights Council along with 14 other countries

The new members will serve a three-year term from January 1, 2018

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un human rights council
UN General Assembly elect 15 new members of Human Rights Council. Wikimedia

United Nations, October 17, 2017 : Fifteen countries, including Pakistan, have been elected to the UN Human Rights Council by the UN General Assembly.

In a vote on Monday, Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Chile, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine were elected, a Foreign Office statement said.

They will serve a three-year term from January 1, 2018. (IANS)

 

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Richard Thaler Supported Demonetisation, there is More to the Story

Demonetisation is what Richard Thaler had long supported. However, he remarked "Really? Damn," when he was informed about the introduction of Rs. 2,000 notes in place of the discontinued Rs. 500 and 1,000 notes thereby highlighting how his joy of seeing a step towards a cashless economy and reduction of corruption was momentary.

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Richard Thaler
Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences on 9th October.Wikimedia

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to scrape Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last November, Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler supported demonetization describing it as a policy that he had long supported.

Dr. Richard Thaler, a Professor of Economics and Behavioural Science at the University of Chicago won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences on 9th October.

Did Richard Thaler really support demonetization in the way BJP took it? There is more to the story than what meets the eye.

As soon as Thaler was declared the Nobel Prize winner, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) started sharing Thaler’s tweet regarding demonetization on social media affirming that the move which was severely criticised by the members of the opposition was actually supported by a Nobel Prize winner. The BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya retweeted the old tweet within a fraction of a second.

However, Richard Thaler remarked “Really? Damn,” when he was informed about the introduction of Rs. 2,000 notes in place of the discontinued Rs. 500 and 1,000 note thereby highlighting how his joy of seeing a step towards a cashless economy and reduction of corruption was momentary.

It was not only the BJP supporters but also a large number of BJP leaders who were flowed away with incomplete picture depicted by Malviya and tweeted about it.‬ This included Union Minister Giriraj Singh, former BJP IT Cell Head Arvind Gupta, and many others.

Soon after, twitterati realized that the full picture of Thaler’s statement on demonetization was rather hidden.

Prime Minister Modi declared that the motivation behind scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was to promote cashless economy and reduce corruption. This decision was severely criticised by different sections of the society putting on Modi the ultimate responsibility for heralding economic deceleration. Demonetisation pulled down India’s GDP growth rate to a mere 6.1% in 2016-17.

Some highlighted that the introduction of Rs 2000 note was an ephemeral panacea for remonetization and that its printing has been terminated.

-Prepared by Mohima Haque of NewsGram, Twitter: mohimahaque26

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Pakistan Electoral Body Bars Political Party Due to Terror Ties

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Sheikh Yaqub
Sheikh Yaqub (C) candidate of the newly-formed Milli Muslim League party, waves to his supporters at an election rally in Lahore, Pakistan. voa

Pakistan’s Election Commission (ECP) on Wednesday rejected the registration application of a newly established political party with alleged ties to a banned militant group in the country.

Milli Muslim League (MML) has been disqualified to participate in the country’s state and general elections.

The electoral commission’s decision is said to be based on a request made earlier by the country’s Ministry of Interior Affairs, stating that Milli Muslim League is a front organization for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a U.S.-designated terror sponsoring organization in Pakistan.

“The government is vigilant and under no circumstances will allow any political party with a proven record of promoting violence and terrorism to spread their extremist ideology through democracy and political means,” Tallal Chaudhry, Pakistan’s minister of state for Interior Affairs, told VOA.

Saif Ullah Khalid, president of Milli Muslim League, dismissed the election commission’s decision and said the party will take the matter to the country’s judiciary.

Political wing

Milli Muslim League was established in August 2017 as a political wing for the controversial Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which is believed to be a front organization for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group led by Hafiz Saeed.

Saeed was accused of masterminding Mumbai’s 2008 terror attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

The U.S. government has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest. Saeed has been reportedly under house arrest in the eastern city of Lahore for the past eight months.

In September, during an important by-election in Lahore, when the National Assembly’s seat fell vacant following the disqualification of then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the newly launched MML backed an independent candidate who finished fourth in the race for Sharif’s seat.

At the time, Pakistan’s upper house of parliament strongly criticized the country’s election commission for allowing JuD’s political wing, MML, to participate in the Lahore by-election.

Some experts were concerned about the emergence of militant groups joining mainstream politics in Pakistan. They maintain that the political trend seen in Lahore’s by-election, where parties linked to militant groups are able to mobilize and generate sufficient numbers of votes within a very short period of time, as alarming.

“There should be a debate on this sensitive issue through social, political and media channels. By allowing militant-based political parties to integrate into mainstream politics, it will only escalate radicalization in the society,” Khadim Hussain, a Peshawar based political analyst, told VOA.

“There are people who believe with the merger of such militant groups into politics, we’ll provide them an avenue to maintain a political presence without leaving their extreme ideologies,” Hussain added.

Army’s support

Earlier last week, Pakistan’s army acknowledged they are mulling over plans to blend the militant-linked political groups into the mainstream political arena.

Some analysts side with MML, arguing the party should be allowed to participate in elections.

“I do not understand in what capacity the election commission has rejected MML’s application to register as a party,” said Ahmad Bilal Mehboob, the head of Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT).

“Did they (MML) break any law? If not, how can you bar MML from entering the mainstream politics when they’re doing it through legitimate ways,” Mehboob emphasized.

Zubair Iqbal, a Washington-based South Asia expert, also raised concerns over the validity of the decision.

“This is how democracy works. … There are some extreme groups, some moderate groups and no one should be stopped because of their extreme ideologies,” Iqbal told VOA. “The extremist groups can be barred from entering into the politics only through people and democracy.”

“Unless these parties and individuals are allowed to participate in the political system they might never change their extreme ideologies and might continue operating underground which will prove to be more dangerous,” Iqbal added.

International pressure

In the past few years, Pakistan has faced escalating pressure from the international community for not being able to crackdown on militant groups enjoying safe havens in Pakistan and launching attacks in neighboring countries.

In his recent speech on the region, U.S President Trump put Pakistan on notice to take actions against safe havens in Pakistan. Pakistani officials deny the existence of safe havens on its soil.

Pakistan is also accused of being selective in its pursuit of terror groups. It allegedly goes after only those groups that pose a threat to the country’s national security, ignoring others that threat India and Afghanistan.

Pakistan rejects the allegations and reiterates its stance of having no sympathy for any terror group operating in the country.(VOA)