Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur, Sammi Deen Baloch And Baloch Grievances

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur, Sammi Deen Baloch And Baloch Grievances
“The real problem of Balochistan began in 1948. At the time of Partition Kalat State, the British Government and the representatives of the about to be formed Pakistani state representatives signed “Standstill Agreement’ on August 11 1947. This agreement recognized Kalat State’s independent status and Khan Kalat declared Independence on August 12 1947.

Jinnah started to put pressure on Khan Kalat whose lawyer he had been to accede to Pakistan but both houses of Kalat Assembly refused. After all ploys failed on the March 27 1948 Khan Kalat Ahmad Yar Khan was forced to sign the accession instrument.

Whether they call us terrorists or traitors, that is not the truth of who we are. We are just asking for the inalienable rights that all people have everywhere.

Mama Qadeer Baloch sits at Quetta and Karachi Press Club since 4960 days. Yesterday I visited him and he was alone… Mama Qadeer is sitting on token hunger strike outside press clubs since July 28 2009. At present he is sitting outside Karachi Press Club. He needs treatment and also to attend UNO human Rights forum but has been put on ECL.

Sammi Deen Baloch’s father was abducted in June 28 2009, how old do you think she was then?  She was 13 years old then. They abduct our youth from colleges and book fairs and take away books by Bertrand Russell. There was a book fair in Atta Shad College in Turbat in January 2013 it was raided by the Frontier Corps and books were confiscated and fair dispersed. Bools included Bertrand Russell, Che Guevara and other personalities and these were termed as subversive.

Akbar Bugti made a mistake. Akbar Bugti sided with Bhutto in 1973 to oust the elected government of Ataullah Mengal on February 13 1973 on the excuse that arms were found in the residence of Iraqi military attaché in Islamabad. According to his son Jamil Bugti he often rued his mistake. When Akbar defied the State he was killed by army under Musharraf on August 26 2006.

What is the solution? Solution has to come from the establishment. I have touched upon it in the note on ‘Baloch Grievances’.

Let me tell you something, a Wise person will never oppress people. What am I supposed to say to the ignorant? We don’t understand who to cry before, or who to tell. The Government has tried to solve all Baloch related issues with use of force or deceit.

One can only hope that the public realization that military intervention in all affairs is bad for everyone does become a reality for the vast majority of the people here. But, No. It is like it is said ‘First they came for the Communists And I did not speak out Because I was not a Communist Then they came for the Socialists And I did not speak out Because I was not a Socialist Then they came for the trade unionists And I did not speak out Because I was not a trade unionist Then they came for the Jews And I did not speak out Because I was not a Jew Then they came for me And there was no one left To speak out for me’.

Indeed, all those who remain unaffected by state atrocities complacently think the State will not ever encroach on their rights and this is an error that has been very often repeated in history of mankind and led to collective sufferings.

“The Baloch grievances are multiple and multi-dimensional and range from right to life, human rights, rights over resources, right to assembly, right to education, right to information and the whole gambit of rights. Though the grievances are multi-dimensional the government, regardless of which party is in power, seeks to resolve them through use of force alone and naturally this brutal attitude is met with resistance and that again prompts more repression and more use of force. The government’s response has set a vicious circle of oppression-resistance in motion and this has now continued with varying intensity for the past 75 years.

The Baloch have protested peacefully and non-violently but remain unheard. Mama Qadeer Baloch in 2013 and 2014 along with families of missing persons marched from Quetta to Karachi and then from Karachi to Islamabad but the then government paid no heed. In February 2021 relatives of Baloch missing persons sat for 10 days in Islamabad’s Red Zone and only then a luke warm response came which eventually resulted in their meeting Imran Khan who was the PM then but nothing came out of it.

In 2022 families of Baloch Missing persons sat in Quetta Red Zone for a hundred days in rain and storms and here too a delegation came but result remained nil. Leaders like Maryam Nawaz and Imran Khan have promised to sort out matters when they were in opposition but did nothing when their parties assumed power. These is a chasm of distrust and until grievances are remedied the chasm will continue to grow. The Baloch do expect the government at centre to solve their problems as for the provincial government, which is installed at whims of establishment, the Baloch do not expect anything from them.

The media avoids Baloch issues like plague and only when there is something like the recent murders of Marri woman and two men and the consequent protest in Quetta do they take notice and that attention too is transitory.

The resolution to the problem will only be possible when the State gives up on its policy of use of force to suppress the peoples’ aspirations. This seems unlikely because they have a huge economic stake in Balochistan and are not ready to share anything with the people as is apparent from the CPEC’s Gwadar Port and Gwadar itself, the Saindak copper and gold mines which have been looted since 2007 and now the recently inked Reko Diq deal with Barrick Gold of Canada.

When people find themselves in desperate and dire straits their response are also desperate. We can only hope that sanity prevails.”

  • Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur. He can be reached by email: talpurmma@gmail.com

Testimony by Sammi Deen Baloch:

“My father Dr. Deen Muhammad Baloch was a government official, he was on duty when he was kidnapped, I was 11 years old and my sister was very little. This was nothing less than a huge trauma for us. I went to court on the June 28 2009 with my grandmother because she was so worried about her son. So the case was heard for 4 to 5 years but closed on a no progress basis.

At the time of the earthquake in Balochistan, in September 2013 we went to court. We held protests and campaigns against this issue. We held the VBMP (Voice for Baloch Missing Persons March) to Islamabad. We reached Islamabad in 3 months and 18 days. Many families and children marched with us including the sister of Zakir Majeed.

We used every platform to highlight this issue, but the police and courts had no time for us, and they did not resolve our case because of the dictation of powerful people of Pakistan. We re-opened this case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2012, but they closed the case again on the basis of fake allegations.

When we held a protest in Islamabad then Maryam Nawaz Sharif came to our protest in 2021 But there is no government including PPP, PMLN or PTI that are serious to resolve Baloch problems. PTI said they would resolve the issue in 3 months but now after 2 and a half years there is no progress.

Last year from July to September we did a protest for 50 days in front of the Governor House to know about our relatives, and whether or not they are alive or dead. We make protests in tents and rural areas in Balochistan and Islamabad when we protested in Islamabad the two leaders of the PMLN party Azam Nazir Tarar and Rana Sanaullah came to our camp and told us do not discuss this issue on media and platform of news otherwise your people may be murdered. If there is any progress in this case, we shall inform you.

If we went in any place of Pakistan like Islamabad, Quetta, Karachi or Peshawar there is no person to give us an answer about our issue. Rana Sanaullah promised our ladies that he would resolve this issue, but whichever government officials make promises to us, afterwards they refuse to answer our phone calls. They made 2 or 3 commissions for the Balochistan issue but nothing was resolved. We faced 14 years of all political parties, but there is nobody to work on it.

When Ehsan Arjumand came back home after 12 years he told me and the media that he saw my father alive. In Intelligence Agencies, Parliament and Judiciary they call us terrorists. There is no main stream media to cover our story and there are no more places left to announce our problems to the people of Pakistan. Once Hamid Mir spoke on our issue and brought us on his programme but he was subsequently shot. Thankfully he got a second life, but in one way it was the death of his speech. There is one newspaper by the name of Intikhab in Balochistan that prints our news in Urdu.

The media in general has made a narrative to call all of us terrorists. We demand, that if we are alleged terrorists than hold a fair trial in the courts and any place of judiciary in Pakistan, but I already told you about our secret agencies of Pakistan. I have data of approximately 7 thousand people who are the missing persons but it is very difficult to compile data in Pakistan and there is no awareness in people of how to register themselves to any platform.

The intelligence agencies blackmail parents that we will murder your children if you go to court or any platform of digital and social media. I am living like half an orphan and my mother is living like half a wdow. If this is a democratic state then why is nobody listening to our issues? Why is nobody resolving any of our cases? Our essays are not published here on any platform. When I went to speak at the Asma Jehangir Conference they stopped me from speaking half-way, even though she herself was such a fearless lady. I was a victim of enforced disappearance myself for 5 days. Right now my house is in the possession of the Pakistan Army.”

Sammi Deen Baloch – Student, Human Rights Activist and General Secretary VBMP