The third time they kidnapped him, they kept him for 7 months. They tortured him.
– Daughter of Ghaffar Langau, Baloch activist.
Heads rolling down sand dunes, burning houses and a mother’s cry: Smoke rises over Balochistan as yet another village has been attacked by Pakistan. The land of Balochistan, lying in between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, is being raided for all it’s worth; its native Baloch slaughtered, and its natural resources usurped for the benefit of Pakistan. But assuming that the reader has until this moment never heard of Balochistan, we need to take a step back and look at its history.
A vast desert matching the size of France, the Baloch have lived there for up to four thousand years. Their language is one of the few remaining relatives of Sanskrit. Shifting throughout history between vassalage and autonomy, it was invaded and occupied by Pakistan in 1948. It’s 10 million ethnic population has ever since only known fear, a result of Pakistan’s policy to abduct any Baloch student, politician, and supporter of an independent Balochistan. In the last few years alone they have kidnapped at least 18 000 Baloch, resulting in the torture and executions of mostly innocent young men. In addition to this, thousands more have been slaughtered in military raids and shelling of Baloch towns.
Abandoned by the international community, the Baloch people’s only hope for freedom lies in the thousands of Baloch soldiers who have taken to the mountains, striving at this very moment to build a democratic Balochistan.
The occupation stems from Pakistan’s interest in Balochistan’s natural resources – Baloch lands contain gas, oils, and minerals worth up to 50$ trillion. Furthermore, Pakistan has stricken a trade agreement with China, enabling them to further exploit Baloch lands; a 48$ billion project to build a gas line through Balochistan. Since many Baloch happen to live in its way, Pakistani soldiers are demolishing their houses.
Pakistan’s disregard for the Baloch further reveals itself in Balochistan’s health crisis, as famine and illiteracy are the standard discourse: Only 0.3% of its drinking water is pure, and 45% percent and 75% of men and women respectively are illiterate. 47% are estimated to live in poverty. The infant mortality rate reaches a staggering 97 per 1000 infants and is only matched by the child mortality rate, stretching up to eleven for every hundredth child.
One of the largest problems with regards to the international relations situation lies in the fact that Pakistan has received 11.7$ from the US in military aid. In this, they have used the tax-dollars of honest and hard-working Americans to station one hundred thousand soldiers in Balochistan, as to enable them to perform genocide: Genocide, against a people who strive to gain the same freedoms that Americans possess.
As a citizen of the democratic West, I believe it is our duty to set our foot down, to show Pakistan that we do not stand for terrorism. Already US congressmen, such as Dana Rohrabacher, Louie Gohmert, and Steve King, have expressed sentiments for Balochistan’s right to independence. Further, both Indian PM Modi and Afghan ex-president Hamid Karzai have condemned Pakistan’s actions in Balochistan. But considering the current genocide, this is not enough: If the countries of the West stand for the right of peoples to direct their own future, they will stand in solidarity with the Baloch people and their right to independence. This they must do through ending any arms-deals, imposing economic sanctions against Pakistan and condemning the country in international courts. In doing this they will support Balochistan and help form a model of democracy in the Middle-east.
Therefore I urge the Knesset of Israel to extend its support to Balochistan, for both our peoples embody the ideals of freedom – In this, we are natural allies. We have also both suffered under racism. In your case, it is manifested in the anti-Semitism of those envious of your achievements. In our case, it cloaks itself in Pakistani “anti-terrorism”, enabling their military in killing innocent Baloch.
By working together, we would overcome these hateful forces which soil the Middle-East. In such an alliance, Israel would import oil from a nearby ally. In such cooperation, Balochistan would buy arms from Israel in the fight against terrorism. In such a friendship, Balochistan and Israel would stand together as shining beacons of freedom in this battle-weary part of the world.
Signed: Nohan Zainudini, The Organization of Baloch youth in Europe.
Are you a Baloch who has experienced oppression at the hands of the Iranian or Pakistani government? If so, we at OBYE would like you to send us your story detailing your experience in either text or video-format to Organizationofbalochineurope@gmail.com or to the Facebook page of the Organization of Baloch Youth in Europe. We will be attempting to present your stories to a Human Rights Commission. Visit our group-page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/OBYEurope