Voice for Baloch Missing Persons Long March and Baloch struggle for national liberation

Posted on 2013-11-22 ( 1273 reads )
<a href='http://balochwarna.com/features/articles.40/Enforced-Disappearances-and-extra-judicial-killings-Systematic-Genocide-in-Balochistan.html'>Enforced Disappearances and extra judicial killings: Systematic Genocide in Balochistan</a>

Articles :

by Archen Baloch
Twenty relatives of enforced-disappeared Baloch started a 750km long march on 27 October 2013 from Quetta to Karachi. The purpose of the march was to protest the adamancy of the Pakistani state policy that refuses to produce the missing persons before the courts to give them the opportunity to defend themselves. This long march culminated in Karachi yesterday after travelling 27 days long journey passing through some of the most difficult terrains of Balochistan. As the March entered Karachi people have greeted them in thousands and showered them with flowers. On its final day the foot march walked from Mawach Goth to Karachi Press Club and were joined by 20,000 people, most Sindhi and Baloch activists.

Mama Qadeer Baloch, Farzana Majeed and Bibi Gul Baloch led the caravn of the families of the missing person to Karachi. The walked with blistered feet but with dedication and conviction. Addressing the crowd and media person Qadeer Baloch and other vowed to continue the struggle for peace and justice and said that he would not hesitate to raise the voice of the Baloch missing persons even if he and his colleagues had to travel to Islamabad or knock the door of UN headquarters or seek support from Commonwealth.

Pakistani media turned a blind eye to the 750km long march of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons. However, Baloch Social Media Activists (BSMA) started a twitter campaign using hashtag #VBMLongMarch to galvanize the international media attention towards enforced disappearances at the hands of security agencies. Pakistani media apathy towards Baloch missing persons reinforced the impression that there is a tacit agreement between Pakistani army and media regarding “abduct, kill and dump policy” of Baloch political activists.

More than 18000 Baloch political activists have been abducted by Pakistan agencies across Balochistan. Out of them more than 1500 mutilated dead bodies have been found in desolate areas, the dead bodies of the victims bore inhuman torture marks including severed body parts.

Current Baloch insurgency is the continuation of the several previous attempts of Baloch people to regain their independence dating back to day one when Pakistan forcefully occupied and annexed sovereign Baloch on 27th March 1948 against the will of Baloch people in the name shared religion.

Indeed, In order to stop the general public from participating in the freedom struggle, Pakistani armed forces started unwarranted arrest of political workers from every walk of life including lawyers, doctors, teachers, journalists and among them the students borne the brunt of this savagery. As was writing this article, I have been informed that a mutilated dead body was found in Herronk of Kech District he was identified as Rehmat Pindok. He was reportedly abducted yesterday from Hoshab area of the same district.

Last September a UN working group briefly visited Balochistan under Pakistani restrictions and met few family members of the missing persons but the group was confined to Quetta only. Most recently the victims of the devastating earthquake were left at the mercy of Pakistan army and UN and other international aid agencies were not allowed to help them. Balochistan is totally off- limit to International media as well. Local journalists are working in extremely dangerous conditions. Many Baloch journalists have been disappeared and killed while on line of duty.

Pakistan has developed distorting narrative regarding Baloch and Balochistan crisis. The information about Baloch demand and insurgency fed to international media from Islamabad bottleneck are extremely distorting. An article from Islamabad posted in Miami Herald described Baloch insurgency in its second paragraph as: “Pakistani authorities battle a separatist insurgency in Baluchistan, heartland of the country's ethnic Baluch minority.” The ninth paragraph of the same article read: “Baluch nationalists have been waging a low-level insurgency for decades, demanding greater autonomy and a larger share of Baluchistan's natural resources.” These two paragraphs are evidently self-contradicting because even if the Baloch freedom fighters are described as separatists, then why would they demand greater share in resources? This contradiction also shows that even the international media based in Islamabad are forced to follow the false narrative of Pakistan army regarding Balochistan crisis.

The international media should either visit Baloch to know the true aspirations of Baloch people and the Baloch national struggle for liberation or they must at least contact the true representative of Baloch freedom struggle living abroad to report facts about Balochistan. The world and international media must know that Balochistan is an occupied territory and Baloch are struggling to regain their independence.

The writer is a freelancer, human rights and social media activist. He blogs at: http://www.archenspeaks.blogspot.co.uk and tweets at twitter.com/ArchenBaloch.
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