The untold story in Balochistan

|
Opinion Zone,Sumantra Maitra

Just a couple of days back an article came out in Guradian, about the secret war in Balochistan province of Pakistan. I was quite ashamed reading that, not because of not knowing this thing, which has been happening for quite sometime now, but for not letting the World know about this untold savagery, which is I guess my duty as a journalist, more so being specifically from South Asian subcontinent.

Though there is an inherent contingency in that. Being an Indian, and taking up the issue of Balochistan rebellion will invariably mark me as an agent of RAW, the Indian intelligence service. India is accused of aiding and abetting the Baloch rebels in Pakistan for decades now...contrary to any evidence provided however, thus far, but the aguement is understandable.  

For a movement of such a massive proportion, and being in a region of such an immense geo-strategic importance, Balochistan, (located centrally between Iran, Afghanistan, China, and the whole of central Asia) rebellion has received no media glare, compared to other rebellions in the Middle East, and insurgencies in Af-Pak. Partly because it is a rebellion waged by basically the local disgruntled Baloch people, with practically zero involvement of any foreign forces, like the Talibans, or Al Qaeda, or any nations. Also Pakistan government's cowed media, general apathy of the World, heavy Chinese strategic involvement of unbelievable secrecy being other reasons. 

Balochistan province, based on ethnicity is divided between Iran and Pakistan. It has the highest concentration of minerals, Iron ore, and copper deposits in the entire Southern Asia, and recently even Gold mines were discovered. The tribes of Balochistan, due to their culture and legacy are basically secular and unorthodox, unlike their counter parts in Iran, Afghanistan, and the larger parts of Pakistan. They first rose in rebellion during the 1950s, when they were promised a genral amnesty by the Pakistan Government. Only to see their leaders hanged when they came out to surrender. The second phase of rebellion started during the 1970s, when they were butchered by the Pakistani airforce.

Here's a link which charts with the history of the rebellion.  

Even though the area geo-strategic importance of the place, with its minerals and its position to keep an eye on Iran, China, and Afghanistan, no Western nation have ever shown any interest in delving deep. And more irnocally, nor even India, even after repeated, desperate calls from the rebels, for help. 

That is considering the incredible humanitarian crisis , forced disappearances, and likelyhood of state crimes being committed by a sovereign powerful army controlled Government, against its own population.

Sounds similar to Libya? Only this has been going on for decades.

Some independent blogs and radios have been established over time by the Baloch nationalists, braving the Pakistani government onslought. But a lot more needs to done. We find little mention of these people, in the human rights publications, and the left wing activists groups, who cry buckets over Palestine, and Kashmir, even though probably more people have died here than the combined Middle Eastern revolutions we have seen this year.

The news and the stories in this blog are gory, horrible, and unprintable, but that is the sad, untold truth of these people. 

View article comments Leave a comment