• Tuesday 18th May 2021

Time For Solidarity With Balochs By: B. Raman

The Killing Fields of Balochistan have started shocking the conscience of the international community.

The Killing Fields of Balochistan have started shocking the conscience of the international community. Not only non-governmental human rights organisations, but even Governmental spokesmen of other countries-including a spokesperson of the US State Department in response to Tweets on the sufferings of the Balochs- have started getting over their hesitation in expressing their concern over the steady flow of reports from Balochistan about the atrocities committed by the Pakistani security forces on the people of Balochistan.

The atrocities have taken many forms. Brutal killing of the Baloch youth in false encounters for opposing State repression. Custodial deaths of Baloch youth rounded up by the security forces for interrogation on their suspected association with the on-going freedom struggle. Hundreds of missing Balochs, who were rounded up by the Security Forces for interrogation and who have since disappeared from public view and public conscience. Frequent recoveries of dead bodies of Baloch youth here, there, everywhere after they were allegedly tortured to death. Despite all this, the Baloch freedom struggle continues unabated.

Even the conscience of right-thinking sections of the Pakistani civil society have been shocked by the atrocities committed on the Balochs by the Pakistani security forces which bring to mind the atrocities committed on the Bengalis of the then East Pakistan before 1971.

Balochistan is the largest State in Pakistan with the smallest population as compared to East Pakistan which had more people than the then West Pakistan. The atrocities committed by the Pakistani Security Forces in East Pakistan led to the exodus into India of millions of Bengalis. They brought with them dramatic accounts of what was happening in East Pakistan shocking our conscience and that of the international community.

There has been no similar exodus of the Balochs. Balochs fleeing from the crushing boots of the Pakistani Security Forces have nowhere to go. They can’t flee into Iran which has been brutally suppressing a freedom struggle of its own Balochs. They can’t flee into Afghanistan which continues to be in a state of war. They can’t flee to other parts of Pakistan which will not accept them.

They find themselves bottled up in Balochistan – slowly and brutally killed one after the other without the rest of the world coming to know about the details. The Baloch diaspora in the West is very small. It is unable to play an effective and articulate role in drawing attention to the goings-on in Balochistan. It is trying bravely to do so, but with very limited success.

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