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The War Within Islam ( 4 Dec 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Eid ‘gift’ for the Baloch?

Daily Times Editorial


Six bullet-riddled bodies of ‘missing persons’ were found in different parts of Balochistan during the three days of Eid-ul-Azha. Lala Hameed Baloch, a journalist and president of the Baloch National Movement (BNM), and Samiullah Mengal, a student and Balochistan Students Organisation-Azad (BSO-Azad) activist, were among those whose bodies were found. This was the eid gift that was given to the families of the six Baloch men who were picked up by unidentified personnel and later killed brutally. A strike was observed in some parts of Balochistan to protest against these killings and today there will be another strike as it is the third death anniversary of BLA commander Balaach Marri. In recent months, we have seen a sudden increase in the targeted killings of Baloch nationalists. Despite the government’s assurances that the Baloch would get their just rights, nothing has changed since General Musharraf’s time; if anything, the campaign to get rid of nationalist cadres has made things worse.


If the military operation is not stopped and our intelligence agencies continue to harass and kill the Baloch with such impunity, it will only lead to further alienation of the people. This is a sure shot way to fill the ranks of the militant nationalists with more recruits since it is only the moderates who are within reach and therefore under threat. The militant nationalists have not only taken up arms but are also accused of being involved in killing settlers. Far from serving any strategic purpose, targeting ordinary settlers is producing a negative political fallout. The nationalists had never killed settlers in any of the previous four wars in Balochistan. The reason for this new trend could be that the Baloch leadership has shifted from the older and mature nationalists to young, hotheaded elements suffering from extreme anger and frustration. But they must realise that when you are fighting for your just rights, such actions erode the appeal of an otherwise worthy cause.


To make matters worse, at a time when Balochistan is soaked in blood, most of the country remains indifferent. This gives rise to the sentiment of separation and secessionism in Balochistan. It is time to raise our voice against the grave injustices being committed in the province in the name of ‘national interest’. We must understand that the blood of the Baloch is on the hands of every Pakistani who sits quietly and watches the travesty being unfolded there.


Source: Daily Times