The Punjabi empire dominates the state of Pakistan so the Pashtun, the Baloch, the Sindhis and other ethnic groups are effectively second class citizens.
Sidi Ahmed Talmidi was one of the nine-member group responsible for the negotiations with the Moroccan government during the events in Gdeim Izik camp in Western Sahara in October 2010 (Camp established to protest against ongoing discrimination, poverty and human rights abuses, some protesters also demanded independence for Western Sahara. The protests were initially peaceful, but turned violent following clashes between civilians and security forces - the ed.). Seven members of the original group are in prison and have recently started a hunger strike while they await trial. DW spoke to Talmidi, one of those still free, at the Sahrawi refugee camp in Western Algeria.
After a ceasefire agreement in 1991, most of the SADR territory, including the entire Atlantic coastline, has been under Morocco’s control. A small, largely uninhabited and economically useless desert portion, known as the “liberated territories”, remains under the rule of the Polisario Front, which is outlawed in Morocco-controlled Sahara but strongly backed by Algeria and recognised by the U.N. as the legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people.
This is testimony taken at an undisclosed location in Pakistani-controlled Balochistan. Originally meant to be a “question-answer” interview, I've preferred to type it directly in first person following the recorded version.
You might remember Karlos Zurutuza from his photos of Baloch insurgents, his guide to warzone hotels or maybe, if you like reading news and knowing what’s going on in the world, you will have seen his work elsewhere. During recent trips to Iraq, Karlos waded into a story that even in the quagmire of depressing awfulness that is Iraqi news, stands out as brutally distressing. We had a chat with him about the medical fallout of the Iraq War and specifically its effects on children in Fallujah. You can read his original report on this here.
Basically, we want a country whose leaders are elected democratically, where religion is a private issue which doesn't play a role in the state affairs and where women, every creed and ethnicity share equal rights.