t is an indisputable fact that whenever a colonizer has come, it has placed the natives under all oppressions and cruelties which had not existed prior to their arrival, which marks the sustainability of such colonialism under whatsoever means. Balochistan, under the colonial structure, is confronting the endless suppressions of any sort from the very first day of the colonial outset. This form of oppression, followed by cruelties, will eventually lead to a resistance to a great extent by the natives who are divest from all their rights, including the basic or fundamental rights.
Let’s have an overview over the kinds of oppressions practiced by the state over the Baloch.
Forced disappearance is one of the most perilous acts if done by anyone in any means whatsoever and anywhere. It has been denounced by all international laws, including Pakistan’s own Constitution and Pakistan Penal Code – the country’s criminal law. Forced disappearance means confining someone physically against his will and seizing his/her all rights indefensibly.
Nonetheless, Baloch have observed cases of such a nature with every passing day fortifying the anguishing pains amongst the masses, with no exceptions to the students.
I, inconsolably, believe that due to the forced abductions, not only the victims are going through the sufferings, but the families are suffering from maladjustment of physical and mental health. The recent upsurge in the enforced disappearances of people from all spheres of life has marked the zenith of the state’s subjugation of the Baloch.
In addition, the recent case, which is furthering our deepest pain, is not only the case that we are being victims of forced disappearances with an upsurge wave, but also the people are brought into power with the administrative position as the interim Prime minister and Interior Minister. Both Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and Sarfraz Ali Bugti, who got the position of caretaker P.M and I.M respectively, have not only denied the cases of missing persons (Reported by the Voice For Baloch Missing Persons and Families), have also tried with their full energy to pervert the cases of missing persons.
Recently, Pakistan’s Parliament, the National Assembly, passed the Official Secrets Act Amendment Bill, 2023, under which the country’s intelligence agencies are now warrantless. This will be empowering them to be able to search and, if necessary, use force for this purpose. Such a case will obviously distort the missing persons’ case, and will, in fact, further the pain of the families. By it, there is an apprehension of raising in the number of cases of forced abductions in times to come.
Practice of Smart-power upon Baloch:
The State is trying to impose its smart-power, which is consist of hard-power and soft-power, over the Baloch.
We see a large scale of humanitarian crisis here in Balochistan on one hand, which includes an increment in forced disappearances, threatening the youths and their families, mutilated bodies have also been recovered, and everyday harassment and suppressions over women and children in different areas in the name of search-operations.
On the other, the so-called selection of interim government, with two holding positions from Balochistan, further raises the concerns of the locals. This is abortive to legalizing the oppressions and cruelties which have been put in place upon Baloch.
The recent blockade-cum-curfew in Kech’s Turbat, following a teenage school girl with a disorder of brain sickness, who was taken into police custody for at least twenty-four hours, was argued that she was looking like a suicide-bomber. Following this act, the street blockades in Khuzdar and Gwadar link to the hard power.
On one hand, the missing persons’ case is being repudiated, while on the other, families of abductees are being threatened. All families have been harassed and threatened to end their protests, as Sammi Deen Baloch has been threatened in Karachi for many times, and Saira Baloch – striving for the safe recovery of her brother and cousin – is being threatened by unknown men, and her family, too, is facing such threats.
We have observed a total media blackout in Balochistan causing the factual issues redundant and dispensable. The abovementioned point may not cause our agonizing pain to be enhanced, but one thing is a fact: media is also manipulating the mindsets of Baloch masses. The recent media trial of Mahal Baloch under the custody-cum-confinement of CTD (Counter-Terrorism Department) has unmasked the state’s narrative and misbehaviour towards the Baloch.
It is crystal clear that the act of state media has always been fond of biasness, but the claim of neutrality by media is baseless as it has never existed as the so-called media, not at all, sever its attachment with state power.
All in all, I must say that Balochistan is under siege. The all aforesaid factors are the arguments which undeniably exist. The upwelling wave of enforced disappearances, the large scale search operations, the media blackout followed by media trial, the humiliation of Baloch masses, and the practices of hard and soft powers will, nevertheless, mark the siege over the Baloch and is equal to seizing all their subordinating rights which they reserve.
I conclude my points with a question to Baloch: when identity is endangered, life has become seigniory, women, children and elders are being humiliated on daily basis, search operations are being held in every passing day, mutilated bodies are being dumped, and enforced disappearances of youth are being fortified, then what is instigating us to remain ignorant?