Amid chauvinists’ propaganda

by: Malik Siraj Akbar

August 17, 2009 at 6:09 pm

My recent article, A Home Grown Conflict, was published in the Times of India on August 11, 2009. In this write-up I have argued that the Balochistan conflict is a purely indigenous one rather than being ignited by India.

While the article was widely appreciated by Balochs and the supporters of the Baloch cause across Pakistan and abroad, a section of ultra-nationalist Punjabi chauvinists in Pakistan has initiated a massive abusive and threatening campaign against me.

This group of people, which regrettably, but understandably, includes several journalists as well. They insist I have committed “sedition” and proved to be an “Indian agent” by speaking ‘against Pakistan’ in an Indian newspaper. They are demanding that Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) should condemn the article and constitute a legal action committee against me. Some others are endeavoring to reach my editor to get me fired from my job. In addition, the article has brought me a lot of abusive and threatening phone calls and e-mails.

In fact, it is the first time the people are getting a Baloch perspective on the Balochistan issue. In the past, the only people who reported about Balochistan were the ones who sat in air-conditioned rooms of Lahore and Islamabad. They did not know the difference between Baloch and Balochi, Kech and Turbat but still pretended to know everything about Balochistan. They tremendously mislead the public opinion. Now, they feel threatened that anti-establishment, rather than ISPR-dictated, voices are being fearlessly raised from Balochistan.

In the meanwhile I am deeply thankful to all of the senior journalists and my readers who have stood united with me in the aftermath of the publication of the article. I would also wish to thank the Times of India management for assuring me of “full professional support” in case propaganda against me gets out of control. Last but not the least; I still stand on every word of my article. I believe trouble in Balochistan is caused by Pakistan itself.


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