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Balochistan: Reuters reports on the war Pakistan does not want the World to know about

Balochistan: Reuters reports on the war Pakistan does not want the World to know about

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Published by Tarek Fatah
For 65 years, the Baloch have been fighting for the independence of Balochistan from the occupation by Pakistan. This report by Mathew Green of Reuters sheds some light on the conflict no one seems to care about. Read and reflect.…
For 65 years, the Baloch have been fighting for the independence of Balochistan from the occupation by Pakistan. This report by Mathew Green of Reuters sheds some light on the conflict no one seems to care about. Read and reflect.…

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Published by: Tarek Fatah on Sep 25, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The strugglePakistan does not want reported
Hundreds o people have vanished, suered tortureor died in a little-known separatist conict
DISAPPEARED: ProoreaderAbdul Razzaq Baloch, whowent missing in Karachi inMarch, pictured on a mobilephone.
bdul Razzaq Baloch worked nights. Ater dinner, he would start hisshit as a prooreader at the Daily  awar, a newspaper published on a shoe-string rom a cramped oce in Karachi,Pakistan’s commercial capital. At 2 a.m., the42-year-old would make the short journey home on his new Super Star motorbike.One night in March, Baloch did not re-turn. His phone was switched o and hisbike was missing. His amily made enqui-ries with the police, then hospitals, and -nally in the lanes o Lyari, the gritty neigh-bourhood where they live. Te word on the street was that Balochhad been kidnapped, his relatives said. Hehad last been seen as he was bundled intoa white SUV with a blanket over his head.Speaking to Reuters two months later,Saeeda Sarbazi, Baloch’s outspoken sister, was in no doubt as to the identities o theculprits: Pakistan’s intelligence services.“Tis case is like a bombshell – nobody  we go to wants to touch it,” Sarbazi said atthe amily home in Lyari, where his wie andour children awaited his return. “People arescared that the agencies will harm them.”On Aug. 21, Baloch’s body was ounddumped amid the brambles overrunning wasteground in Suranji own, a scrappy neighbourhood on Karachi’s northwesternringe. A piece o paper bearing his namehad been stued into his pocket. His hands were tied; he had been strangled. Pakistan’smilitary, which has repeatedly denied in- volvement in extra-judicial killings, didnot respond to a request or comment onBaloch’s death.Baloch’s associates believe his disappear-ance and murder was linked to the Daily  awar’s coverage o a separatist guerrillacampaign in Baluchistan, a huge Pakistaniprovince bordering Aghanistan and Iran, where his amily has its roots. Te Daily  awar supports independence or the prov-ince, and according to several o his riends,Baloch himsel belonged to a pro-indepen-dence party. Te Baluch rebels, who believe the resto Pakistan has always treated Baluchistanlike a colony, have agitated and ought ortheir own independent, secular homelandor decades. In response, the security orc-es have waged a lengthy but little-knowncounter-insurgency to try to quash them.In the past three years, the bodies o hundreds o members o pro-independencepolitical parties, student groups and evenpoets have been discovered on desolate verges or patches o scrub. Baluch activistssay the bodies are evidence that the military is pursuing a systematic “kill-and-dump”campaign to crush dissent – a charge thearmy denies.Under growing pressure rom Pakistan’sincreasingly assertive judiciary to explainthe disappearances, military ocers havespeculated that a range o armed groups orcriminal gangs active in the province may be to blame.But Baloch’s death has hardened a belie among Baluch that the security orces – arrom sotening their stance – have sharply expanded their crackdown this year in adrive to extinguish the uprising once andor all.In a new trend, the bodies o the dis-appeared have begun to turn up beyondBaluchistan’s borders in Karachi, a city o 18 million people and the motor o Pakistan’s economy. Te discovery o Baloch’s remains,alongside those o another man, broughtthe total number o bodies o missingBaluch that have been ound in the city to 18 since the start o this year, accord-ing to the Human Rights Commission o Pakistan (HRCP). Although Baloch van-ished in Karachi, many o the others hadbeen reported missing hundreds o kmaway in Baluchistan itsel. Asked to comment on Baloch’s
LEFT BEHIND: Baloch’s wie Gul Aroz and their daughters, Zainab, let, and Sara. Baloch’s body wasound last month.
This case is like a bombshell– nobody we go to wants totouch it.
Saeeda Sarbazi
Abdul Razzaq Baloch’s sister
disappearance, a security ocial said he hadno specic knowledge o the case but addedthat the military would have no reason todetain an obscure prooreader.“Unknown journalist. Unknown news-paper with a very limited or no ollowingat all. Why should we go and pinch himand make him part o the news?” the ocialsaid. “It doesn’t serve us.”Virtually sealed o to oreigners,Baluchistan is potentially one o Pakistan’smost prosperous regions, endowed withcopper and gold. Iran’s government hopesa planned $1.5bn pipeline project will oneday snake across its rocky wastes to exportnatural gas to Pakistan and India to help ehran circumvent U.S. sanctions. China wants to import oil via Baluchistan’s deep- water port o Gwadar.But none o that is likely to happen aslong as the unrest in Baluchistan continues. Te rebels, as well as the army, stand ac-cused o waging a dirty war. In recent years,the HRCP believes Baluch separatist gun-men have murdered hundreds o civilian“settlers” rom Pakistan’s eastern Punjabprovince to try to drive out the community.In turn, Baluch say the Frontier Corps, themain ocial orce in Baluchistan, launchespunitive raids to torch homes and roundup opponents.Unolding in closed-o badlands, theconfict is subject to ar less internationalscrutiny than the army’s separate battleagainst the Pakistani aliban on the ron-tier with Aghanistan.Nonetheless, repeated reports by humanrights groups o abuses in Baluchistan haveraised awkward questions over the conduct o Pakistan’s military, which has received almost$11 billion rom Washington since 2001 tonance its anti-aliban campaigns, according
DEATH IN KARACHI: More than a dozen bodies o dead Baluch have turned up in Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city.

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