There is widespread Baloch support for the restoration of independence. The recent wave of disappearances and assassinations is evidence of Pakistan's increasingly desperate attempts to crush the burgeoning Baloch self-determination movement.
With death almost imminent, my friend asks me in the most hapless and helpless of voices to write a good obituary of him in case he gets killed, like Rustam Marri. “I know because of the kind of work I am doing for the betterment of my community, they won’t spare me,” he tells me as if the angel of death is about to knock the last knock.
Although the HRCP report blames the killing of non-Baloch settlers in the province on Baloch insurgents, the issue is highly controversial and far from clear.
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
Armed groups of Balochs in southwest Pakistan are gaining momentum at a critical point for the country's future. Deutsche Welle looks at the phenomenon which presents yet another problem in the troubled region.
Why is it that the armed forces and the government disregard the rights of the Baloch people who were a reluctant partner in the first place, and have now increasingly become alienated and seek a radical solution for the cure of their oppression and deprivation?
It is tricky saying that Balochistan is not being covered by the mainstream media. Technically, the news keeps trickling out -- of mutilated corpses, of lawyers or academics gone missing, of gas pipelines bombed, of Aghaz e Haqooq e Balochistan Package and so on. It is the manner in which these news items are treated -- by the journalists, editors and analysts -- that makes Balochistan a special case.
Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, the leader in the Darul Awam, clearly stated: ..."We are ready to have friendship with that country on the basis of sovereign equality but by no means [are we] ready to merge with Pakistan…"
Meanwhile, the rest of the country is not losing any sleep over Balochistan. Filmmaker Sharjil Baloch recently told me about his interviews of people in Lahore that clearly established apathy towards Balochistan. Thanks to the blog Cafe Pyala, I was able to see parts of the video. The answers to Baloch’s questions mostly drew a blank. Not only were Lahoris blissfully unaware of the developments in Balochistan, most could not name even a single city or town of the province.
“Despite the appalling illiteracy rate among us, many Baloch speak more than four languages.”