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Why Baloch Freedom From Pakistan is Need of the Hour?

The Baloch have been fighting for their independence from Pakistan since long, and Pakistani government seems to believe that excessive use of force is the right solution

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Freedom from Pakistan, balochistan the largest province of Pakistan
Freedom struggle of Balochistan. Wikimedia
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  • Balochistan makes 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan 
  • The reputation of Pakistani army is tarnished among the Baloch population 
  • There is a total breakdown of dialog between the civilians and the government 

New Delhi, August 22, 2017: Balochistan, the southwestern province of Pakistan, makes 44% of the total land mass of the country. However, contrary to the expectations of the development that should have taken place in the province, it is its exploitation that is more evident.

The reputation of the Pakistani army is tarnished among the Baloch population. The anti military feelings among the civilians date back to 1948. The British rule ended in the Indian subcontinent in 1947, after which the princely states were offered with the options of acceding to India or Pakistan or remaining independent. The then ruler, Khan of Kalat of Balochistan chose to remain free. But, according to some, Pakistan, in 1948, against the wishes of the Baloch and their Khan, forcibly converted Balochistan into it’s province. At that time, feelings of betrayal and resentment took roots among the civilians, which only grew more intense with the passage of time.

Inequality and discrimination against Balochistan have continued to increase, resulting in an unrest in the province. Poor representation in the Pakistani army, in parliament, has left them feeling alienated.

Although Balochistan has experienced a dramatic rise in activities of the Islamic State and its local affiliates, the government officials continue to decline the existence of the Islamic State in the province. How would it deny the death of hundreds of innocent people, who were killed in at least three major terrorist attacks is the question.

There’s a total breakdown of dialogue between the civilians and the government. The Baloch have been fighting for their independence from Pakistan since long, and Pakistani government seems to believe that excessive use of force is the right solution. What is perceptible is that Pakistan is unaware, that armies are meant to be used against enemies and not one’s own people.

ALSO READ: Terror Attacks wiped out the whole Generation of Balochistan’s Lawyers in Pakistan

A lot of Baloch people had been abducted and executed by Pakistani agencies and army, while many of them were killed and dumped across Balochistan. The issue is indeed alarming. “Balochistan has had the dubious distinction of being the world capital of enforced disappearances where more than 2,000 journalists, singers, teachers, lawyers have been forcibly abducted, tortured, killed and dumped since 2009 – in just five years, as many as in Chile during the reign of Augusto Pinochet,” mentioned a DailyO report.

The Human Rights Watch has released several reports on abducted people in Balochistan, The freedom struggle of a province that has witnessed agony, darkness, and perpetual violence for more than a decade is, indeed, real.

-by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Copyright 2017 NewsGram

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Russia Using World Cup To Gloss Over Its Human Rights Record: Activists

FIFA President Gianni Infantino insists world football's governing body is engaging Russia on the issue

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People play soccer at the Red Square during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, June 19, 2018.
People play soccer at the Red Square during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, June 19, 2018. VOA

Human rights campaigners say Russia is using the glitz of the World Cup to try to gloss over its deteriorating human rights record — and they want tournament organizer FIFA to use its leverage to force change.

The 12 Russian host cities have enjoyed a World Cup makeover, as Russia presents a friendly face and photogenic scenery to hundreds of thousands of visitors. Tanya Lokshina, Russia program director at Human Rights Watch, is urging visitors to dig a little deeper.

“Our message to the fans is: Take a little time and learn more about the human rights crisis in Russia today, about what is, in fact, happening under the tournament’s glitter.” She described the situation as the biggest crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union.

“Russian citizens are denied their rights to speak freely, to protest freely, and people actually go to jail for posting online things like ‘Crimea is not Russia.'”

 Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov looks out from a defendants' cage as he listens to the verdict at a military court in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, Aug. 25, 2015.
Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov looks out from a defendants’ cage as he listens to the verdict at a military court in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, Aug. 25, 2015. VOA

Among those locked up is Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who criticized Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and is serving a 20-year jail term on terrorism charges.

In the Russian republic of Chechnya, Oyub Titiev, director of the human rights group Memorial, has been detained on drug charges, which his supporters said are false and politically motivated.

Before the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the release of several political prisoners. Campaigners are hoping he may repeat the gesture.

“We got a confirmation from FIFA that the organization’s leadership is engaging on the issue and hoping for a positive resolution,” Lokshina said.

Oyub Titiyev, the head of regional branch of Russian human rights group Memorial, attends a court hearing in Grozny, Russia, March 6, 2018.
Oyub Titiyev, the head of regional branch of Russian human rights group Memorial, attends a court hearing in Grozny, Russia, March 6, 2018. VOA

FIFA President Gianni Infantino insists world football’s governing body is engaging Russia on the issue.

“Concrete progress has been made in terms of human rights and the way we are dealing with human rights questions. Also through football and through an event like the World Cup,” he said in a recent interview.

On the opening day of the World Cup, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was arrested after staging a protest outside the Kremlin, calling for an investigation into the torture and disappearance of several gay men in Chechnya. In 2007, Tatchell was attacked in Moscow by neo-Nazis and suffered partial brain damage.

A short walk from the Kremlin lies Diversity House, set up to provide a safe space for LGBTQ and other minorities to watch the games. Pavel Klymenko, of the equality campaign group FARE Network that organized the facility, said it is intended to make a political point.

Russian police detane gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, center, as he holds a banner that reads "Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people" near Red Square in Moscow, Russia, June 14, 2018.
Russian police detane gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, center, as he holds a banner that reads “Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people” near Red Square in Moscow, Russia, June 14, 2018. VOA

“This house is a way of saying to everyone — to the footballing world, to the Russian society — that minorities are part of the game, part of society.”

Also read: Canadian Accused Of Helping Russian Intelligence Agents Sentenced To Prison For 5 Years

The fear is that once the fans and footballers return home, Russia’s human rights crackdown may intensify. (VOA)