The narrative of the Baloch youth is largely underlined with hopelessness and heavily shrouded in pessimism. This can be epitomised by the statement of a twenty two year old female student that, “the biggest problem is that Balochistan has lost its peace, the education system has failed. We have lost our liberty!” It mocks at the loud claims made by the government to remove grievances of the Baloch people, but have succeeded in adding to them instead. Hopes and expectations were shattered once again when the idea of any development failed in Balochistan.

Peace surely has been lost as the security situation spiraled into danger zone, with international players entering the arena, thus increasing its severity. Beautifully playing into the hands of the opponents, the Pakistani skipper has exemplified his inability, when a UN team was called to appraise the missing person’s issue.

One needs to beware of the ‘pitfalls of national consciousness’, as put by Frantz Fanon. Nationalism, as Fanon argues, often fails at achieving liberation across class boundaries because its aspirations are primarily those of the colonized bourgeoisie—a privileged middle class who perhaps seeks to defeat the prevailing colonial rule only to usurp its place of dominance and surveillance over the working-class. A fact that the illiterate Baloch have not been introduced to and are thus forced to mouth the nationalist’s anti-state rhetoric.

Nations and people have been known to be betrayed by their leaders into thinking that breaking away from the motherland may result in liberation.

So when students are forced to make remarks about losing their peace and liberty, they speak what they have been fed by their leaders who show a picture of deliverance through national liberation. All those who provide separation as the only solution to the problems that infest Balochistan surely have not been allowed much liberty of thought. Being passive receivers, the youth is left with no other option but to indulge in self pity and think the worst of everyone including the State and the security forces.

It is true that they have been robbed of their liberty, but it is the liberty of free thought that they have lost. The people need to be liberated, but first from the domination of the Sardar system that has them enslaved to become mere pawns in the game of vested interests. True liberation can only come through education; this would be possible only by launching an educational campaign for the people of Balochistan. Surely not a very high budget plan! Considering the increase in Balochistan’s budget, only a trifle would be sufficient to resurrect the education sector to mainstream the Baloch people that would give them back their peace and their liberty that their very own leaders have robbed them of.

JALAALUDDIN BALOCH,

Quetta, October 2.