The strength is in numbers but more importantly, in the resilience of hope. Whether it is the fearless demonstrators in Cambodia who confront their government, the solidarity marches held by Greeks and immigrants against the fascist Golden Dawn or the people in Srinagar who refuse to bow before brutal occupation, it is more than clear that man’s hope for a safer future is perhaps the most potent force for change.

More than 590 mutilated bodies have been found in Balochistan in the last three years. Most of the bodies belong to Baloch political workers from Quetta, Khuzdar, Kalat and the volatile Mekran belt. In addition to those found dead, there are 132 cases of missing persons pending before the Supreme Court and the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances. Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) claims that the death toll as well as the number of abducted is far higher than the official count; a possibility that no longer shocks anyone.

When Mama Qadeer Baloch set on a dreary journey from the Quetta Press Club on October 27, 2013, he probably had no idea that he would find support from others on his way. Today as he inches closer to Rawalpindi and as anonymous threats increase in intensity, it is distressingly evident that the Frontier Corps maintain little sympathy for the Baloch plight. Despite a series of notices issued by the Supreme Court to produce missing people in the court, our law enforcement agencies refuse to budge.

But nothing, it seems, will hold the Baloch march back. Braving a harsh winter, walking on foot without protection, it is their sheer will that carries them forward. According to Justice Jawad S. Khawaja, there are records of at least 506 people – mostly Baloch – in custody of government agencies. History has demonstrated to us the invincible power of a human emotion that defies all barriers, looks straight into the eyes of terror and demands justice sans discrimination. And that emotion is hope.