Category Archives: Balochistan

Sindh should be Seceded out of Pakistan: says India’s BJP minister Subramanian Swamy

Separate Balochistan from Pakistan if it hangs Kulbhushan Jadhav: Indian Minister

DELHI – “If Pakistan hangs (Kulbhushan) Jadhav, then India must recognise Balochistan as an independent country,” said BJP minister Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday, reacting to Pakistan’s announcement of the death sentence to RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadav.

The minister asked the Indian government to ‘declare Balochistan as independent state.’

Sawamy

The minister further said if Pakistan commits another atrocity after this then its Sindh province should also be “seceded out of ” what’s left.

Sawamy on Balochistan

Swamy also urged the Balochis in Delhi to form a government in exile. “Ultimately Pakistan will end up in four pieces,” he said. Accusing Pakistan of being a ‘terror friendly state’ Swamy said New Delhi cannot deal with Islamabad in a civilised manner.

Read more >> Daily Pakistan
https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/world/separate-balochistan-from-pakistan-if-it-hangs-kulbhushan-jadhav-indian-minister/

Read more details in Sindhi daily Awaami Aawaaz
http://awamiawaz.com/124501/

Read more >> Indian Express
http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/apr/10/pakistan-should-be-warned-of-consequences-of-executing-kulbhushan-jadhav-subramanian-swamy-1592130.html

Read more >> The Times of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/now-we-must-recognise-baluchistan-as-country-subramanian-swamy/articleshow/58123824.cms

More >> ZeeNews
http://zeenews.india.com/india/if-kulbhushan-jadhav-hanged-india-must-recognise-balochistan-an-independent-country-bjp-mp-subramanian-swamy-1995136.html

More >> BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.com/urdu/regional-39568941?ocid=socialflow_facebook

India raises Balochistan, Sindh at UNHRC

By Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London

India has responded to Pakistan’s allegations of rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir at the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva by highlighting alleged atrocities in the Pakistani provinces of Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The two countries clashed at the UNHRC session on Wednesday evening, with India’s permanent representative, Ajit Kumar, saying the “monster” of terrorist groups created by Pakistan is now “devouring its own creator”.

Under India’s “right to reply” after a statement by Pakistan law minister Zahid Hamid, Alok Jha, counsellor in the Indian mission, said Islamabad’s “trust in the methods of terror” was so deep it did not hesitate from using it against its own people.

Read more > Hindus Times
See more >> http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/india-raises-balochistan-sindh-at-unhrc/story-UenNnhZf7dQcUOtzIF0IrL.html

Pakistan, India aur woh: With Baloch insurgents and China in the fray, New Delhi should be prepared for more flip-flops

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Even before the summer of 2016 can hit the peak, Pakistan is sweating because of rising turbulence in Balochistan province. Its fear is evident in the flip-flops on the peace process with India and refusal to allow the National Investigating Agency (NIA) to visit Pakistan to probe the Pathankot attack.

China recently announced it will pump nearly 50 billion dollars in infrastructure projects in Pakistan. But, Baloch separatists have been regularly targeting project sites, making China wary of turmoil in the sensitive region.

It is likely that China has asked Pakistan to ensure Baloch separatists are kept on a tight leash and its investments are protected at any cost. So, Pakistan is trying to do what it does best: Blame India for the instability in Balochistan and rake up an international controversy over the neighbour’s “involvement in its internal matters.”

Read more » First Post
See more » http://www.firstpost.com/india/india-pakistan-aur-woh-with-china-and-baloch-insurgents-in-the-game-delhi-should-be-ready-for-more-flip-flops-2719304.html

CLOSED CIRCLE: India must stand by Balochistan in its struggle for freedom

Activists fighting for a cause, especially one that has a lot of popular emotion attached to it, are usually loud and shrill when holding forth in public.

They tend to be belligerent and turn excessively aggressive if their views are contradicted.

In a sense, loud speech, belligerence, and aggression are necessary for effective activism. After all, if an activist is an easy pushover, then his or her cause cannot be worth fighting for.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3536469/CLOSED-CIRCLE-India-stand-Balochistan-cause-deserving-support.html#ixzz45iASl4mu
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17 years old Saqiba committed suicide

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A despondent 17 years old Saqiba committed suicide after taking poisonous medicine in Muslim Bagh city after being rejected by school administration of her admission forms to be sent to Balochistan Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education board for exams scheduled from April 1st.

The dispiriting decision came by the principle of the Inter Girls College Abida Ghos as she refused to send Saqiba’s admission for Intermediate exams. “After the principle behavior and the due dates for form submissions, my sister lost her hopes and committed suicide by taking poison,” Aizazullah brother of Saqiba said.

Dozens of students staged protest against the behavior of the principal of Inter-College Muslim Bagh last August where they urged the provincial government to appoint senior professor in the college.

Saqiba who loved to get education and was raising voice to promote girls education in her impoverish area was leading the student protesters came to Quetta and demanded quality education in her college.

Read more » Daily Balochistan Express
See more » http://www.bexpress.com.pk/2016/02/httpwp-mep5f0gk-3pm/

BLF chief reportedly killed in Awaran operation: Bugti

By Zafar Baloch

“According to intelligence reports, BLF chief Dr Allah Nazar has been killed in an operation in Awaran,” Bugti said, while addressing the media.

However, he added, the reports of the BLF chief’s death have not been confirmed.

“The operation was successful as many key militants were killed and there has been no trace of Dr Nazar since the Eid operation,” Bugti added.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/952820/blf-chief-reportedly-killed-in-balochistan-operation-bugti/
More » BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.com/urdu/pakistan/2015/09/150908_blf_leader_death_as

Two killed as militants attack Jiwani airport in Balochistan

By Zafar Baloch

Gunmen armed with automatic weapons attacked Jiwani airport near Balochistan’s Gwadar district, killing two, officials said.

Up to a dozen attackers torched navigation equipment at Jiwani airport in Gwadar district before entering the building, a spokesperson for Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said.

“The attackers entered the building and killed a superintendent and injured a supervisor critically,” spokesperson Pervez George told AFP.

“Around 12 armed men on six motorcycles attacked the airport at around 4:30am killing a CAA engineer,” Gwadar Deputy Commissioner Abdul Hameed Abro said quoting SHO Jiwani.

“The assailants also kidnapped airport manager, Mehmood Niazi.” Later during the day, Niazi’s body was found from near the airport.

Further, the deputy commissioner said, “The airport radar system was also destroyed in the attack.”

Read: One killed in attack on Pasni radar installation

The airport has not been in use for the past 20 years.

Abdul Hameed Abro, a senior government official in Gwadar, confirmed the incident and told AFP that security forces had launched a search operation to recover the engineer and find the attackers.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/947498/militants-attack-jiwani-airport-in-balochistan/

Iran offers 3,000MW of electricity to Pakistan at low rate

QUETTA: Iranian top official at the Quetta consulate has announced that his government would supply 3,000 megawatts of electricity at a low price to end power crisis in Balochistan.

“We can increase the power supply anytime if requested by the Pakistan government,” Consul General Islamic Republic of Iran at Quetta Consulate Seyed Hassan Yahyavi told reporters on Thursday.

He said Iran is willing to help Pakistan to end persisting power crisis in the country by supplying sufficient electricity at a cheaper price.

“Iran has already increased the power supply to Gwadar from 70MW to 200MW and this process is nearly completed which will put an end to the power problem in the port city,” pointed out the Iranian diplomat.

Iranian and Pakistan electricity companies, he said, are working together. “The country is providing electricity to districts which share the border with Iran.”

Yahyavi said he met Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch and discussed issues of mutual interest, adding that the border trade and economic activities would be improved in the coming months.

He said the issue of border security was also thoroughly discussed with the chief minister. “We agreed to jointly fight to end the menace of terrorism from the bordering areas.”

Courtesy: The Express Tribune
Read more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/913950/iran-offers-3000mw-of-electricity-at-low-rate/

Year-to-date: 83 mutilated corpses found in Balochistan

QUETTA: The Vice Chairman of Human Rights Commission Balochistan chapter Advocate Tahir Hussain said that as many as 83 mutilated bodies were recovered this year in Balochistan.

He said this while addressing a news conference on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on Friday here at Quetta Press Club.

He said that as many as 230 cases of disappeared persons are registered with the Supreme Court. He added that people have little knowledge about their rights and called for raising awareness among the public about their basic privileges. He said five years ago, in extension of the UN Treaty on Support of Victims of Torture, Pakistan pledged an effective statute in torture. He said torture should be declared as a crime.

Read: Four bullet-riddled bodies found near Karachi’s Lyari Expressway

He said that on the International Day of Support of Victims of Torture, MCT and Pakistan Human Rights Commission should demand of the government to make laws against torture and compensate the victims of torture in Pakistan.

He said that the day reminds everyone that inhuman behaviour, such as torture, still exist in Pakistan, mocking human dignity. He said that after having signed the Treaty five years ago, it is high time Pakistan legislated on the issue. He added that HRCP and MCP have in an open letter to NA welcomed a draft bill that is still pending in the lower house of parliament. “Pakistan Human Rights Commission should demand of the government to make laws against torture and compensate the victims of torture.” said Hussain. Both organisations have also suggested good amendments against torture and killing into the draft bill.

In response to a question, he said that earlier the family members of missing persons would inform them about their dead bodies began to surface, they stopped telling HRCP anything about them now.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2015.
Read more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/910713/year-to-date-83-mutilated-corpses-found-in-balochistan/

War on Language

By NAZIHA SYED ALI

WHILE visiting Balochistan, one becomes aware of just how removed that province is from mainstream Pakistan. And it’s not only the obvious things — such as the dire lack of development, the air of oppression or the stories of enforced disappearances and dumped bodies. There’s also the more subtle issue of language.

According to Article 28 in the chapter on fundamental rights, the Constitution says: “… any section of citizens having a distinct language, script or culture shall have the right to PRESERVE and promote the same and subject to law, establish institutions for that purpose”. Most of the national conversation on this is centred on the fact that many private schools, at least in urban areas, do not teach the relevant provincial language in contravention of provincial laws to the effect.

In Turbat some weeks ago, I learnt that the situation is quite the opposite in Balochistan. This is the only province where government schools do not teach either Balochi or Brahui, the two most widely spoken native languages outside the Pakhtun-majority areas in the north of the province. Balochi is only taught in a few private schools here.

Public schools in Balochistan teach neither Balochi nor Brahui.

One of the most devastating weapons of repression EMPLOYED by a state is the suppression of a native language.History is replete with examples of forcible assimilation of a people in this manner.

To exclude the teaching of a native language while imposing on its speakers the language of the dominant polity is exactly what it sounds like — an act of cultural warfare. Language is an inherent part of a people’s identity, the repository of their history and culture, a record of epic battles fought and of heroic exploits for its generations to emulate.

Continue reading War on Language

No exit: Human rights activists denied foreign travel at Karachi airport

By Faraz Khan

KARACHI: Abdul Qadeer Baloch, also known as Mama Qadeer, the vice-chairperson of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), was stopped from travelling outside the country at the Karachi Airport on Wednesday night.

Qadeer, accompanied by his organisation’s general secretary, Farzana Majeed and a relative of one of the Baloch missing persons, Faiqa Baloch, was travelling to New York for a conference on the alleged human rights violations in Balochistan and Sindh, to be held on March 7.

“They [FIA] officials told us that Farzana and I could not leave the country as our names have been placed on the exit control list [ECL],” Qadeer told The Express Tribune. “They even stopped Faiqa as her visa was issued in my name.” He added that the FIA officials also off-loaded their luggage from the plane. “They forced us to stay at the airport for at least three-and-a-half hours until the plane flew off, during which time they mentally tortured us,” he alleged.

“The US government has given us a five-year visa, but we cannot fly to the USA now,” he lamented. “I just want to ask the government what we have done wrong that made them stop us from travelling abroad,” he questioned, adding that there was no case registered against him and he had never heard about his name being put on the ECL.

“What is the government doing with us since the last six years? We are human rights activists, not anti-state activists, but the government has always tried to label us in the latter category,” he decried. “They [government] should be ashamed of such activities.”

On contact, the FIA officials confirmed that the name of Qadeer and Farzana Majeed had been placed on the ECL. “We do not know why their names were put on the ECL as it does not concern us,” the FIA’s Immigrations deputy director, Asim Qaimkhani, told The Express Tribune. “We only follow the system. We put their names on the computer and found them on the ECL. It is our job to stop those people whose names are on the ECL and we only did our job.” He said that only the interior ministry would be able to tell why their names were put on the ECL.

HRCP condemns

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has slammed the denial of foreign travel to the rights activists, reportedly on account of their ‘anti-state activities’.

In a statement issued on Thursday by chairperson Zohra Yusuf, the commission said:

“Apart from the obvious denial of the freedom of movement, the decision to prevent them from traveling abroad is bound to add to the sense of deprivation felt by the Baloch. It also demonstrates the many difficulties that human rights defenders face in their work in the country.”

This manner of arbitrarily adding citizens’ names to the ECL has been severely criticised by the Supreme Court in the last few years and the government has committed on more than one occasion to introduce parameters to introduce safeguards to prevent abuse. The safeguards are meant to inform the individuals in time about inclusion of their names to the list in order to enable them to challenge the inclusion, read the statement.

Continue reading No exit: Human rights activists denied foreign travel at Karachi airport

Bleeding Sindh

By Ayesha Siddiqa

As Imran Khan and the PTI vociferously protest the death of their worker in Faisalabad, many mothers elsewhere in the country must be sitting lamenting their sons and wondering who will lock down the country and force the state to answer why their sons will not return. While we all got used to missing persons and tortured bodies in Balochistan, it’s odd to find Sindh becoming part of the same tragic cycle.

Death and dead bodies are not new to Sindh. Every decade since the 1980s, the province has bled for one reason or the other. But this current spate of killings seems to be a new pattern. It is almost as if Sindhi nationalism is being woken up. Interestingly, the six dead bodies found recently did not belong to violent nationalists. In fact, five out of the six were men who had moved on in life. Notwithstanding old associations with the JSMM, these people were not actively involved in any ‘anti-state’ activity or even in party politics.

In any case, one thought that from the state’s perspective, Sindh was not Balochistan. The province had been through this phase during the 1980s when people challenged the military regime and were killed for it. Like Balochistan, Sindh was politically vibrant. The Sindhi media and intelligentsia was politically active and educated people about issues in its own language. Fast-forward to the 2000s, things were manipulated and changed. Despite the media still being active, it has begun to behave and sound more like the media in the rest of the country. What the state couldn’t purchase or silence was bought over by influential dons.

Continue reading Bleeding Sindh

Playing Balochistan in Sindh

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A spate of abductions and killings of political workers in Sindh can lead to explosive consequences

Conflicts within multi-national federations are ubiquitous particularly in the post-colonial states which carry the baggage of artificially induced stream of conflicts during the centuries-long colonial divide-and-rule regimes. Third world states inherited a mosaic of socio-cultural diversity that had been competing against crumbs of resources and meager political power controlled by oppressive state structures.

Colonial masters left behind amalgams of occupied territories that were engineered to create unnatural states to fulfill their colonial needs stemming from their economic and political avarice. South Asia is mired in conflicts in the post-colonial era.

In most of the South Asian countries dominant groups have been exploiting the others through administrative and muscle power. Propensity to establish hegemony over weaker groups resulted in protracted conflicts and civil wars. As a corollary, history of these juvenile states is riddled with genocides, forced disappearances, torture, abductions, rapes and crimes against citizens.

Fratricide through extrajudicial killings and massacres is not new to the third world states where post-colonial atrocious regimes have replaced exploitative colonial state structures. Pakistan too has a blood stained history of pogroms that has taken toll of millions of compatriots.

Former East Pakistan, Balochistan, Sindh and FATA had been repeatedly subjected to atrocities at different stages. National interest and religion have been used to mask these brazen violations of constitution, international obligations and principles of human rights. Sizzling Balochistan has been at the boiling point for many years.

Recently, a similar spate of abduction and killings of political workers has been unleashed in Sindh. Young political activists are abducted in Balochistan-styled action, not produced in any court and their lacerated bodies are dumped at desolated places. All laws of the land, international agreements and fundamentals of human rights are brazenly trampled.

The constitution of Pakistan unambiguously recognizes right to life. Article 4, Clause 2 (a) reads “no action detrimental to the life, liberty, body, reputation or property of any person shall be taken except in accordance with law”. Similarly Article 9 reads “no person shall be deprived of life or liberty, save in accordance with law”. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”.

Continue reading Playing Balochistan in Sindh

Spillover effect: ISIS making inroads into Pakistan, Afghanistan

By Shamim Shahid

PESHAWAR: In a bid to extend its influence in the South Asian region, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, (ISIS), commonly known as Daish, distributed pamphlets in Peshawar and border provinces of Afghanistan as well.

The booklet titled Fatah (victory) is published in Pashto and Dari languages and was distributed in Peshawar as well as in Afghan refugee camps on the outskirts of the city. The logo of the pamphlet has the Kalma, the historical stamp of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Some copies were also mysteriously sent to Afghan journalists working in Peshawar.

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/757186/spillover-effect-isis-making-inroads-into-pakistan-afghanistan/

Sher Muhammad Marri

By Babar Mirza

Mujahid Barelvi remembers a forgotten hero of the Baloch struggle. Translated from the Urdu by Babar Mirza.

It is a great tragedy for this country in general and Balochistan in particular that Sher Muhammad Marri – who fought an armed struggle in the mountains during the 1950s and ‘60s and was imprisoned in different jails during the ‘70s – is hardly ever remembered in Baloch politics. Even most of the Baloch wouldn’t know where he is buried, for Sher Muhammad Marri was not a sardar or nawab whose politics and legacy had to be kept alive by his sons.

The day my lamenting eyes run out of tears

The eyes of the night of sorrow shall lose all light

My first meeting with Sher Muhammad Marri was entirely by accident. In Karachi, when Mir Bazan (the eldest son of Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bazinjo) heard that I was going to Lahore to participate in an inter-collegiate debate, he asked me to carry a message for BSO’s central leader Raziq Bugti who was then studying at the Animal Husbandry College. This was my first meeting with Raziq but he greeted me with such warmth as if we had known each other for years. He asked me to sit behind him on his bike and said, “You have reached here at a good time. I am going to Kot Lakhpat Jail to meet Sher Muhammad Mari,” adding, with a smile, “the same Sher Muhammad Marri nicknamed General Sherof by your Leader of the People to paint him as a Russian agent and keep him in jail for life.”

No wonder Bhutto Sahib called him General Sherof

Sitting in the reception area at Kot Lakhpat Jail, I was about to doze off when suddenly I heard a noise. Sher Muhammad Marri made an appearance that was much more impressive and imposing than I had heard. A stocky build with medium height, his long, golden-white-and-black hair was well-kept, his red-and-white face carrying a set of fiery eyes. No wonder Bhutto Sahib called him General Sherof. I for one did not have the courage to look him in the eye. Sher Muhammad Marri had a hurried chat with Raziq Bugti and left. Shortly after that, Sher Muhammad Marri was transferred to Hyderabad Jail. I used to exchange greetings with him in the visitors’ room on my trips to the jail to cover the Hyderabad Conspiracy case. But his authoritative outlook took away my courage to strike a conversation with him.

In 1978, after the Hyderabad Conspiracy case had been closed and the Baloch and Pakhtun leaders released, I went to Quetta as a journalist and had my first detailed interview with Sher Muhammad Marri. This interview proved how wrong my first impression of him was. In the Marri house, after Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri retired for the night, I felt that Sher Muhammad Marri had relaxed as well. He remembered our first meeting in the Kot Lakhpat Jail. He had also read my interview with Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bazinjo published that very week in the weekly Me’yaar. In contrast to his imposing personality, he had a very slow and soft voice. I had learnt from my Baloch friends that Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri and Sher Muhammad Marri were not only angry with Wali Khan but also with the moderate Baloch leader Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bazinjo. This estrangement became so bad in Hyderabad Jail that, upon their release, they left for Quetta in separate processions of their supporters. Balochistan would have looked very different today if the four pillars of Baloch nationalism during the ‘70s – Marri, Bugti, Mengal and Bazinjo – had put their differences aside. Faiz sahib penned a beautiful couplet about the myriad splits and divisions in secular and progressive movements during the ‘70s:

Continue reading Sher Muhammad Marri

Baloch nationalist leader Khair Bakhsh Marri passes away

By Dawn.com

KARACHI: Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, a veteran Baloch nationalist leader has passed away in Karachi after a protracting illness for which he was admitted to a local hospital in critical condition last week, DawnNews reported late on Tuesday night.

He was being treated at Liaquat National Hospital’s intensive care unit where he had been unconscious for the last few days.

Marri was a leader of Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) – a proscribed Baloch separatist organisation – and was one of the key leaders of the 1970’s insurgency in Balochistan.

He had returned to Pakistan after the fall of the left-wing government in Kabul after spending several years there in exile.

He had six sons including Balach Marri, Jangaiz Marri, Hyrbyiar Marri, Gazain Marri, Hamza Marri and Mehran Marri.

Khair Bakhsh Marri’s eldest son, Nawab Balach Marri was allegedly killed by Nato forces in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border in 2007.

Courtesy: DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1111835/baloch-nationalist-leader-khair-bakhsh-marri-passes-away

 

Top US delegation meets exiled Baloch leaders

BalochBy Murtaza Ali Shah

LONDON: A delegation of the US Congressmen accompanied by top official from the US State Department met two exiled Baloch leaders and assured them of the open and clandestine help in their activities in Balochistan and abroad. Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Khan Dawood and Hyrbyair Marri held talks with a delegation of US congressmen at a central London location.

Sources have told The News that officials linked with America’s State Department were also present in the meeting where the situation in Balochistan was extensively discussed and the two asked the US officials to step up support for their efforts.

US Rep. Steve King, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and Rep. Dana Tyrone Rohrabacher were confirmed present in the meeting but a source said that two other senators were also part of the meeting. Some of these representatives have been meeting the Baloch exiled leaders for many months now but the presence of some US government officials have provoked interest in this meeting. The meeting will be viewed with interest in Pakistan where a great level of suspicion at the official level exists that elements of the US establishment are deeply involved in Balochistan and have been helping some armed Baloch groups, directly and indirectly.

Rep. Louie Gohmert told the Baloch nationalist leaders that he would do his best to highlight their movement. For several years, Hyrbyair Marri and Khan of Kalat have been living in exile in London. Both have been given asylum status by the British government. Mehran Marri, Khair Bux Marri’s youngest son and Balochistan’s unofficial representative at the United Nation Human Rights Council, has also held several meetings in recent days with ambassadors of European countries in Geneva. A source told that a delegation of the US administration met Marri in Brussels a few days ago.

Mehran Marri and Brahumdagh Bugti, who have been given asylum by the Swiss government, work closely at the European level US Representatives have assured the Baloch leaders that they would continue to work on their behalf to speak against Pakistan. The issue of the discovery of the alleged mass graves in Balochistan was also discussed in the London meeting. Some US congressmen have been showing increasing interest in Balochistan in recent months and have taken it upon themselves to talk about the issue.

Balochistan and human rights officials say several bodies have been uncovered recently in Balochistan but Pakistani officials put the number at just over a dozen and its hoped that a judicial inquiry would be held into these allegations. Although US politicians and the government figures deny supporting the Baloch nationalist political movement or the armed insurgency but such meetings will only strengthen the view of those in Pakistan who believe that the US continues to grow interest in the resource rich province, which is also of huge strategic importance in the region.

Courtesy: The News
http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-230061-Top-US-delegation-meets-exiled-Baloch-leaders

Balochistan at a Crossroads

Balochistan: Portraits Of Life On The Brink

Balochistan, a vast, resource-rich desert region spanning Pakistan and Iran, is a hotbed of separatist conflict. In his new book titled “Balochistan at a Crossroads,” journalist Willem Marx and photographer Marc Watterlot documented the suffering and struggles of Baluch people living in underdeveloped and marginalized communities in both Pakistan and Iran.

Read more » rferl.org
http://www.rferl.org/media/photogallery/balochistan-portraits-of-life-on-the-brink/25324011.html

Voice of Baloch Missing Persons’ Long March Arrives in Lahore: warm welcome for Baloch marchers.

Comrade Irfan stood head and shoulders above the entire left in Pakistan. An organic representative of the most advanced and progressive section of the working class, he literally risked his life safeguarding the Baloch. He came in front of a truck to protect the march and escaped because he came under the truck and between its two front wheels. He cared for their every need from Harrapa onwards. He took care of their food and shelter. And finally he organised the most incredible reception that they have received in the entire Punjab.

Lahori workers lifted Comrade Irfan on their shoulders as he spoke passionately against the injustice of the Baloch. Surrounded by red flags he welcomed the Baloch march to Lahore on behalf of the working class movement. The enthusiasm and the energy was a sight for sore eyes to see. In one big gesture, workers brought together people of all communities in the fight against all forms of oppression. Lahori working women draped their Baloch sisters in chadors. People showered petals until the road was red with rose petals. Media surrounded the march and took pictures from every angle. Everyone was disciplined, there was no pushing or shoving. Women were safe in the centre. Workers made a human chain around the march to protect their Baloch brothers & sisters. The Baloch said to us “this was the best reception we have received anywhere in the Punjab. We thought we would not return alive from the Punjab but we did not expect that so many people had so much love for us.”Altogether united people shouted “We want, justice” “Baloch want justice”. There were representatives from the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party, Bonded Labour Liberation Front, Peoples Democratic Front, National Students Federation, Baloch Students Federation, Shahvar Ali Khan representing musicians, Rise for Pakistan and so many others whose names I cannot remember right now. This was not your caste of usual suspects. This was a real proletarian gathering for the Baloch. And I think that is what made it genuine and wonderful.

The entire left should join us in awarding comrade Irfan with a medal as a “Hero of the Working Class”.

Courtesy: Facebook

Shrine of Sufi poet set afire in Pakistan

KARACHI: The shrine of Pakistani Sufi poet Mast Twakali, revered across the subcontinent, has been set afire by unknown persons in the restive Balochistan province.

The shrine, visit by hundreds of devotees each day, has been partially damaged in the fire, authorities in Kohlu district said.

Kohlu deputy commissioner Ejaz Haider said some unknown persons had entered the shrine on Saturday and set it afire.

“But because people of the area gathered quickly and put out the fire the shrine was saved but a big portion has been damaged,” Haider said.

Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the case, he added.

Towaq Ali Mast – popularly known as Mast Twakali – was born in 1828. He spread the message of love for the humanity through his poetry.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and other militant groups, which consider going to shrines as un-islamic, have in the past targeted them.

Read more » THE TIMES OF INDIA
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Shrine-of-Sufi-poet-set-afire-in-Pakistan/articleshow/30164949.cms?intenttarget=no

“Iron wills never bend”

by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

On February 4th, a day before Pakistan closes down ostentatiously for the rights of Kashmiris, Pakistani intelligence agencies’ personnel harassed the Voice of Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) Long Marchers with intimidation and questions. They didn’t stop at that they even harassed a Baloch family which stopped to greet the Marchers by asking them for their National Identity Cards (NIC) numbers, telephone numbers address and the purpose of greeting the Marchers. They also harassed their host at 7 Chak Raowan Wala for that night with questions and threats. They took their NIC numbers, telephone numbers and asked how they knew these Baloch. This place was arranged by Comrade Irfan Ali of Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party (CMKP), who has now joined the march. This nuclear power is so scared out of its wits at these handful but brave and defiant Baloch that it is harassing not only them but even who come into their proximity.

Read more » http://www.nakedpunch.com/articles/202

WSC DEMANDS INTERNATIONAL ENQUIRY OF THE MASS GRAVES IN BALOCHISTAN

London: (Press release) World Sindhi Congress (WSC), together with the entire world, is saddened and shocked at the uncovering of mass graves from Tootak area in Khuzdar District of Balochistan. No independent source is being allowed to visit the area, which is under strict control of Pakistani armed forces. However, a very grim picture is emerging suggesting 100s and possibly thousands of bodies in scores of mass graves. The discovery of mass graves is being viewed in the backdrop that since 2002 thousands of Baloch and scores of Sindhi political and human rights activists, intellectuals, writers and journalists have been forcibly abducted by armed forces and remain missing.

WSC believes that unearthing of the mass graves is the biggest crime against humanity of 21st century and shows that the establishment is bent to carry out genocide in Balochistan. The Baloch people are concerned that there may be many more mass graves that have to be uncovered and they believe that thousands of their loved ones missing since years have been brutally killed and inhumanely dumped in these graves.

WSC request the international community to take an urgent action on this one of the worst atrocities in recent history by sending an independent enquiry committee comprising of UN representatives, intentional experts and representatives of human rights organisations to uncover the remaining graves and identify the bodies.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 29th January 2014.

A country controlled by war criminals

PAKISTAN: More than 100 dead bodies from three mass graves were found in one district of Balochistan

The UN and international human rights organisations must send fact finding missions to probe the illegal disposal of Baloch people in mass graves

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) expresses shock and deep concern over the discovery of mass graves in Balochistan; it is suspected that these graves are of Baloch missing persons who were arrested and subsequently extrajudicially killed. A large number of family members gathered around the places of Tootak village, district Khuzdar to inquire about their loved ones who have been missing for many years. However, the police and other security forces refused them permission to try and identify the bodies and baton charged the people to disperse them.

On January 25, three mass graves were found after one of them was discovered by a shepherd who saw pieces of human bodies and bones. He informed the Levies, a private armed force organised by tribal leaders, and according to Assistant Commissioner, district Khuzdar, Mr. Afzal Supra, Balochistan, the grave was excavated and 15 bodies were found.

As the news of the mass grave spread throughout the district people gathered there and started digging in the nearby area where they found two more mass graves. In total 103 bodies were recovered from the graves. The bodies were too decomposed to be identified. From the three mass graves 17, 8 and 78 bodies were found but the local people say that a total of 169 bodies have been found. People have witnessed more than 100 human bodies in Tootak while they were digging the area. However, Pakistani military forces stopped the local people from unearthing the mass graves and took control of the area. Now, no one is allowed access to the location except military personnel.

According to the media, a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity said so far they have found around 56 unidentified graves and that there are many more. It is claimed that these bodies are those of Baloch missing persons.

Read more » Asian Human Rights Commission
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PAKISTAN: The lives of the long marchers are in danger

The participants of the long march from Karachi to Islamabad for the recovery of Baloch missing persons are facing threats from the notorious intelligence agency. The marchers have been threatened not to enter Punjab province otherwise they would face serious consequences.

Read more » Asian Human Rights Commission
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-020-2014#.Ut64w47BZK4.facebook