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Dear Sir,

I’m a Baloch human rights activist from Balochistan but, because of media blackout, I am unable to present the ugly picture of human rights abuses that Pakistan Army is committing in the Balochistan conflict on a daily basis.

Internet service is deliberately filtered and has been throttled to extremely low speed limits where it takes impossibly long times to upload or download a picture or video particularly during elections days or military operations.

Media access to Balochistan can be gauged by the facts that during recent Pakistani elections, international observers’ teams were not allowed to visit Balochistan due to the fear that the grim situation of Baloch nation will be exposed to international media glare. Previously, a UN team of human rights was also not allowed to visit Balochistan.

All international media outlets are banned to visit Balochistan. During Pakistani elections days no international media was allowed to enter Balochistan to report directly. Pakistani media does not report what the government does not want reported.

Baloch nation entirely refused to participate in Pakistani elections, but Pakistani media, as biased as it could be, reported distorted facts about elections results. Actual Pakistani election turnout in Balochistan was 0.5% but Pakistani media, controlled by Islamabad, said it was around 35% to 40%.

But, of all, the most serious situation for us is the Gwadar Port control that has been assigned to China against the will of Baloch nation. Internationally we want to say that we’re against Chinese presence on our soil but through what sort of media we can say that? Pakistani media will not risk the wrath of the state.

We’re in need of effective media access so that our leaders and intellectuals can present the interests of Balochistan and expose the intrigues Pakistan weaves in the Indian subcontinent against Balochistan and of course, against India too.

To oppose and expose Pakistani and Chinese designs about Gwadar in the future, we want Indian electronic media to allow us voice so that we can express our concerns.

Baloch resistance to all Pakistani designs, including Gwadar Project in the Indian subcontinent has created the condition whereby we find that our national interests are dependent on each other’s success. The Balochistan conflict is a struggle for freedom for decades without assistance. Pakistan serving the strategic interests of powerful countries in the the Indian subcontinent leaves no one to insist on our rights. Therefore, as a secular people and natural allies in the Indian subcontinent, Baloch nation has high expectations that the great Indian nation would come forward and support Baloch national cause for freedom in real time for moral support.

After having consultation with fellow human rights activists, we have identified one of our intellectuals, Hafeez Hasanabadi who can participate in an interview in Hindi language, as he is a well-informed journalist among Baloch intellectual circles. We request Indian media to discontinue their bias and allow us access to present the facts about Balochistan and let the world and Indian nation as well know what the ground situation in Balochistan is! Facts that Pakistani media ignores.

Indian media routinely interviews Pakistani journalists and political and Pakistan Army figures, who represent only one side of the situation here in Balochistan and their talk on Balochistan is enforcing silence. We believe that a fair media would strive to give voice to those who are silenced. I am sending this open letter in the hope of stirring the conscience of Indian media and requesting aid to present the massive humanitarian crisis and devastation of the Baloch people wreaked by the Pakistani state. Ongoing attacks on people using massive weapons of war, deprivation of basic needs, radioactive contamination of our soil leading to strange illnesses, silencing of our voice, killing and dumping of our intellectuals and brutal attacks on civilian homes continue to devastate the people of Balochistan on a regular basis.

Hafeez Hasanabadi blogs in Urdu http://hafeezbaloch63.blogspot.com/

Hafeez Hasanabadi blog’s English Section http://hafeezbaloch63.blogspot.com/p/english-section.html articles related to international issues, mostly translated by me.

I hope to receive your response at your earliest convenience.

With best Regards,

Archen Baloch

58

The Baloch are sitting ducks. With the sea on one side, and Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, they literally have nowhere to go. The world watches in horror as a steady trickle of deaths flows through the news on a daily basis. I call it “The Baloch Black” in my mind – the season’s color, except the season doesn’t end. No one seems inclined to take risks with safety or popularity for these people – no matter what they sufer.

Pakistan holds a unique record in the world. A six decade old country with killing sprees – state sponsored killing sprees in four different places. Bangladesh, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Balochistan. In each instance, there is documented involvement of the country’s armed forces acting in collaboration with various militia – be them the Razakars, the various Kashmiri militants, the Taliban or in the case of Balochistan, the local militia. And we are not looking at torture videos from FATA, etc, because I don’t know what slot to put them in. Let’s call them extracurricular.

This, on an average amounts to one genocide every fifteen years, so to say. Not counting the boundary skirmishes with Afghanistan and India including out and out wars, not counting the terrorist training infrastructures, not counting indoctrination for conducting human rights abuse, not counting possible large scale radiation poisoning of the region, not counting sabotage of US+NATO interests and lives after explicit agreements of cooperation.

I see here a worldwide conspiracy of silence. The US in particular. The idea seems to be to not say anything that makes Pakistan unhappy unless absolutely needed. This idea is also backfiring, because career terrorists can simply change employers to remain perfectly safe, and they can take up new job opportunities once the market in Afghanistan opens on US exit. There has been no US comment on the kill and dump policy against Balochistan, there has been nothing on the massive JuD rallys with a few journalists raising alarm. Pakistan is an ally and that is that, except for selective condemnation. The rest is the gift of impunity in return for goodwill.

It is easy to say that Pakistan is a nuclear power, but that applies only to the Kashmiri Pandits. They were driven out of Kashmir, but the actual people dead by all accounts is less than a thousand. But for the other three genocides, Pakistan’s nuclear bombs cannot be called an excuse. The United States, for its own interests in the region “cultivated” Pakistan, making the Pakistani Army disproportionately powerful. Did they not have an ethical responsibility to monitor how that power was used? Wouldn’t today’s war on terror and its immense losses in life and money be prevented? Where is the accountability?

Today, the carte blanche that the world gave Pakistan has resulted in an Army/ISI state within a state. They have dragged the country into surprise wars with India, they have butchered people in their own and in neighbouring countries. The government is helpless to prevent anything they do. US itself is now helpless and expects the government to put their Frankenstein’s monster in the box again. The Pakistani on the street is living in an increasingly deprived and difficult situation, children are deprived of education and health, but the Army’s budget knows no bounds. By Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani’s own confession, in the aftermath of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the Army stood thoroughly discredited on a moral and defensive perspective, yet their salaries were doubled as the country lived on in staggering insecurity and anger.

News reports speak of the Pakistan Army supporting the Taliban in anticipation of the US exit from Afghanistan. The astonishing part is that the strategic analysts are still peddling this as news – something that any ten year old in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Balochistan and possibly India too could have told them on the first day of the war. The pretense goes on, the drama goes on. In the meanwhile, there are people paying hideous costs. 2.3% of Afghanistan’s total population is DISABLED. The Baloch black – as I call it – just unrelenting doom and gloom in the news, continues.

Today, Balochistan is fighting desperately for independence as the world continues to watch. They have no alternative if they must live. Most Pakistanis insist that the real problem is the human rights abuse and not independence. But there is no question of human rights in Balochistan. Human rights are for humans, and there seems to be no indication that the Army/ISI think that Baloch are humans as they are kidnapped, killed, assassinated, murdered .

The killing of Brahmadagh Bugti’s sister and niece in Karachi has been understood and condemned for the chilling expansion of the war against the Baloch that it is. Yet what difference does that make? What does it mean that people understand what is happening, if it cannot result in any change what so ever? There is NO ONE in Pakistan that can prevent the Army/ISI from doing what they want. The Court has not succeeded in bringing about justice for the numerous crimes against the Baloch stagnating and accumulating.

In a post Fukushima world jittery about radiation, the Baloch are living with alleged significant contamination of their area with no recourse to even measuring for confirmation and identification of risk areas. There is no monitoring, there is no information on if and how much radioactive contamination exists. Last year, American soldiers who served in Afghanistan had radiation levels in their urine. They have been attributed to tactical nukes by commentators, and denied as inexplicable by the official speakers. What if they are from the contamination of the area they worked in? It is close to the area of Balochistan that has been contaminated.

There is no information about the real situation except for photos of deformities and descriptions of illness that can match radiation exposure, but there is no way of knowing without tests being allowed, and Pakistan doesn’t allow independent access to the region for such work. Pakistan had even refused humanitarian assistance access to this area after the flood claiming that they would do it themselves. So the Baloch people are tired of asking for help, but have no other option open to them other than asking for help. No matter how many walls of silence they bounce off. Some of the walls are you and I. They are fighting a heavily unequal war for survival. Militarily, politically and even on health and humanitarian terms. Where is our own humanity in this story?

There literally is no way out for them unless something is done specifically to bring them relief and solutions, and the ethical responsibility for this assistance lies on the world and particularly the US that stood complicit in Pakistan Army’s use of weapons supplied by them on civilians. Even more, because the US is doing precisely the kind of rescues worldwide, for ages that it is refusing Balochistan – a victim of torturers armed by them. The Leahy Law prohibits U.S. military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity. It doesn’t get more impunity than this, it doesn’t get more blatantly human rights abuse than this, and it doesn’t get more studiedly ignored than this. So, in calling Pakistan a partner, arming their Army, funding them and refusing to exert any preventative influence on their human rights abuses is blatantly flaunting its own laws. It is a question for Americans why have a law like that if it will not be followed?

What needs to be done is a matter of strategy and the Baloch people should be consulted. It also needs to be a practical and sustainable solution. It doesn’t make sense to only separate into independence a sparsely populated region sharing a border with a country that overflows every national border they have to commit human rights abuses. They would do the same thing in Balochistan that they are planning in Afghanistan – install proxies, subjugate people again. It is their default mode. There needs to be a comprehensive political regional solution – a sustainable one that ensures that boundaries that allow the Baloch safety are established.

2

By Archen Baloch 10/012/2012

At the sacred altar of Chinese interests in Balochistan Pakistan military slaughtered more than nine prominent Baloch political workers under detention and dumped their tortured bodies on different location cross Balochistan during Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao’s three days visit to Islamabad after India on December 17, 2010. And surprisingly the state controlled private media was vigorously giving coverage to these massacres right after every bet of news of Chinese premier activities in Islamabad. The motive behind it was to show the Chinese that Pakistan is doing everything to protect the Chinese interests in Balochistan even if it has to flow the river of blood in Balochistan. Mehboob Wadhela and Master Arif were among the prominent bulwarks that stood against the Chinese imperialistic interests in Gwadar embraced the martyrdom.

The very image of Pakistan, in Balochistan and outer world, is that of a mysterious serial killer that abducts, kills and dumps the bests of Baloch youths. Pakistani state relationship with Baloch People is painted with red blood. So far more than 360 activists have been killed under custody of Pak Army. And thousands of political workers are missing. Their fates are not known what have happened to them. All have been registered in the trusted books of world human rights organizations.

Balochistan was an independent Baloch sovereign state. Pakistan invaded it on March 27th, 1948 at the behest of the then British Raj and forcefully annexed it against the will of Baloch People. Being left alone at the mercy of Fundamentalist Pakistani military, world community never paid any attention to the atrocities Pakistan inflicted upon Baloch nation ever since. However, being a diehard nation it never disheartened them from seeking their lost independence.

But what Pakistan doesn’t understand is that Baloch is a diehard secular natured nation. Even if it has deprived them of education for centuries, but politically Baloch are more matured and conscious than any nation in the neighborhood. This has unified them in the resistance movement. Despite spending rupees in billions in establishing Madrassas (religious schools) in Balochistan Pakistan failed to radicalize Baloch into a religious extremist society necessary to subscribe to Pakistani national ideology of two nations theory. Ideologically Baloch People believe that Pakistan is a fundamentalist state biased towards other religions and cultures. It always suppresses religious minorities and never tolerates cultural diversity, Therefore Baloch nation has become its cultural victim.
How far Balochistan has moved away from Pakistani state clutch is evident from the fact that if one read the articles written by Pakistani writers in the last three weeks regarding Balochistan crisis, one won’t fail to detect their fear and comprehension about how volatile the situation is in Balochistan.

Baloch are more interested in seeing how much Pakistan is suffering from gas energy crisis and isolated from international community than the political and judicial quarrels in Islamabad. The constant attacks on Gas pipelines have generated ripple effects on Pakistan economy. One cannot simply ignore the social unrest in Punjab cities without linking it Baloch national insurgency.

Being highly organized, the armed organizations of Baloch Sarmachars, the freedom fighters, namely Baloch Liberation Army, Baloch liberation front, Baloch Republican Army, have utterly paralyzed Pakistani ground troop’s movement in Balochistan in isolated camps and check posts. They are overstretched in the vicious terrain of Balochistan. Being a foreign force, it is totally alienated from general society of Balochistan. Their fighting morale is depleted by being constantly high alert against guerilla attacks. They are extremely vulnerable and exposed to guerrilla attacks because their enforcement capacity is hampered by long distances. Pakistani ground troops would capitulate to Baloch Sarmachars, the Freedom Fighters, within weeks if not within days if aerial support from international community was rendered to them like they did in Libya against tyrant Gaddafi forces. In An interview with BBC, the field commander of Baloch liberation Front, Dr Alla Nizer said they call for international support and added that their forces could be merged into a single entity whenever the circumstances allowed them.

Now that Baloch national struggle for freedom has reached to new heights. In International media our voice is being heard. We have a just cause to pursue; that is the freedom of Balochistan from the unjust occupation by Pakistan. In the foreseeable future, we can see that the conflict between Baloch and Pakistan is going to intensify.
So far Baloch Sarmachars have confined their operation and actions within Balochistan geography targeting Pakistani armed forces, the state’s institutions and installations of railways and gas pipelines and every sign that shows the existence of Pakistan on Baloch soil and the ISI agents spying for Pak Army, whether they are settlers or locals.

If the situation was allowed to linger on like this and no intervention took place from world powers on the legitimate appeal of Baloch leaders, the human catastrophe will be highly extensive. And two things are likely to happen: first, being on edge, Baloch armed guerrilla leaders did not rule out the possibility of stepping out of Baluchistan’s geographic boundaries to carry out lethal actions against Punjab’s major cities such as Lahore and Rawalpindi. Even suicidal attacks could be an option, as BLA recently carried out it against Pakistani intelligence officers.

The second, Pakistan all along has been putting the blame on India that Baloch insurgency is being abetted by India. Now given the near future events, Pakistan’s frustration will grow to a limit where it, out of sheer frustrations, starts harming Indian interests in different Place and time.

It is a mystery why Baloch freedom movement is not being supported or opposed by world powers, despite the fact that Pakistan is committing vicious crimes against humanity in Balochistan, enough to prosecute it in Hague. So much so that it has wiped out an entire generation of Baloch leadership.

The nagging question is how much American has compromised on Balochistan issue with Pakistan during heyday of their good relationship on terrorism?

In Baloch political society and media it’s widely believed that the world powers would themselves intervene and come to Baloch aid at their own convenience, arguing that world powers are still disentangling themselves from Pakistani blackmails.

Pakistani military and political establishment is more interested in courtship of a super power. During cold war Pakistan sought American courtship and exploited geostrategic situation of the region and suppressed Baloch and Pushton dissent voices. Our fear is that the same is going to be repeated here again, albeit with new Partners. With new geostrategic partnership Pakistan has started to seek defense pact with China and Iran. At the core of this new triangle strategic alignment lays the fear of Baloch freedom movement which has, all along, been calling for help from international community. Under Chinese strategic objectives Gwadar Deep Sea port is being prepared to establish bases for Chinese Naval ships.

Under the disguise of Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, Chinese exploitation of Baloch resources sees no limits in Balochistan, from Gwadar coast to gold and copper rich Chaghi region, from oil and gas rich areas of Dera Bugti and kohlu to the beautiful mountains of Jahlawan for marble extraction. Pakistan has allowed China open access to exploitation of Baloch resources.

According to a prominent Baloch research scholar, Sana Baloch “The resources here are being extracted by a Chinese company, without any independent monitoring for the past seven years. According to official reports copper-gold worth $633.573m were produced during 2004-08. The Balochistan government receives a paltry two per cent share, while half the profits go to Beijing and 48 per cent to Islamabad. The fortified Saindak project is a no-go area for the Baloch people”.

Last word: Baloch deserve the right to know why the managers of world affairs are apathetic about Baloch crisis. Is it a tacit consent to Chinese exploitation of Baloch natural resources and an affirmative nod to Pakistani atrocities against the secular Baloch people?