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,