• Monday 18th February 2019

Losing Youth To Rebels, The Sound Bytes Emerging From Balochistan Are Not Too Encouraging Aoun Sahi

She says there is a mushroom growth of madrassa and religious and sectarian organisations in Mastung, Kallat, Khuzdar and Makran.

Losing youth to rebels,

The sound bytes emerging from Balochistan are not too encouraging

Aoun Sahi

“Treat us with respect, consider us human beings, we do not hate Pakistan but we do not like your establishment’s treatment of Baloch,” says Anwar Baloch, 21, student of Quetta University.

Clad in traditional shalwar kameez and chappals, he was on his way to his university when I struck a conversation with him on the Balochistan issue. “One who wears Baloch shalwar Kameez is considered a traitor. Change this attitude,” he says.

He says Baloch do not expect anything from Pakistan. “We have been persecuted since 1948 in the name of national interest and I do not see it stopping in near future. I can name dozens of my class fellows who disappeared and returned as bodies. You call them missing persons, we call them martyrs,” he says, adding that more educated youth are joining the separatists.

He adds, there are seven FC checkposts between Gawadar and Karachi. Baloch are stopped and insulted on every post — “just Baloch,” he says.

At these checkposts, according to him, only Punjabi and Pashtun personnel are deputed. “For people sitting in Punjab and Islamabad, we do not even exist. They are only interested in Balochistan’s gas, oil and gold,” he says as he walks away.

One senior Pashtun official in Quetta even went so far as to say that there was a separatist in every Baloch. “They have been pushed to the wall during the last six decades. How do you expect them to react.”

A senior Baloch government official, who hails from Makran division, where Dr Allah Nazar’s Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) operates, tells TNS that it is already too late. “Makran is the most literate division of Balochistan. Majority of the educated youth have joined the BLF. Pakistan anthem is not played even in a single school in the area, no shopkeeper would sell Pakistani flags and everybody who has been working with state institution is considered a traitor”.

“There is a mushroom growth of madrassa and religious and sectarian organisations in Mastung, Kallat, Khuzdar and Makran.”

He adds public at large also supports the BLF.

“Our Punjabi brothers in Balochistan either remained apolitical or sided with the PML-N or PPP instead of nationalist parties. You would never find them in protests organised by the nationalist parties. It gives a sense that they do not own the political situation and issues of Balochistan. This angers the locals. They consider them as agents of the establishment and FC,” he says.

“Our state has been promoting religious organistaions in Baloch areas. SSP, LeJ and JuD are active in Baloch areas with the blessings of certain quarters of the state,” he says, continuing that the Baloch are losing out in the ongoing war in Balochistan while Pakhtuns are reaping the benefits.


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