We saw the grand welcome for two young men Shahbaz Taseer and Ali Haider Gilani whose stories are shocking and their unbelievable excruciation only exposes the barbaric nature of these terrorists. However, this cheerful ‘boy comes home’ story might have also sprouted some hope among those hundreds or may be thousands of laymen whose loved ones also fall in the list of abducted or missing ones.
I really felt for those poor people, but with a heavy heart and pinch of realism one can sadly state that a happy ending to their stories seems improbable. Not because they were not abducted by the bad guys but merely because they were no sons or daughters of former governors or prime ministers.
Yes this is the sad story of my country called Pakistan. Where somebody started a game of divisions at the beginning and the country is falling down like a house of cards.
First we became a Muslim nation, then an only for Muslims nation, then only for ultra-Muslims nation and then a nation divided into the tiny sects, clans and colures.
Even though the list of those Pakistanis who were abducted or vanished into thin air contains people from all over the country, but one can safely say that a vast majority of the victims would be coming from the marginalized and extremely resource rich province of Baluchistan.
Some kind of demon is licking this unfortunate province right from the beginning, as if its riches have become a curse for its people. They were kept enslaved under the hands of their feudal lords who earlier were supported by the British Raj and then thrown into the laps of their new masters.
The curse is so powerful that one finds dozens of champions for their rights but none seems sincere or capable enough to get the poor families rid of their pain; a pain that only the families of Shahbaz Taseer and Ali Gilani could better explain.
The nightmares of those mothers, wives, sisters and children who hang with the thin thread of hope that one day they might be able to see the faces of their loved ones… And yet most of those who succeed so far to see the faces were shown the faces of their loved ones’ dead bodies.
The poor creatures are unable to understand that they have become victims of an international dirty game. It seems that as Doel said the Indians only want these Baloch to pick up weapons and make life hell for their biggest foe (Pakistan). The Americans only want the Baloch to move heaven and hell to protect their interests in this mineral rich and strategically important part of the world.
The Chinese are only concerned about their dream port which promises to two fold their economic and political strength in the world. And it seems that the Pakistani establishment or the almighty security agencies only think about how not to lose their dominion or a precious piece of motherland no matter what price the people have to pay for that.
Any discussion or debate about missing persons in Pakistan always acts like a livewire and triggers crazy responses mostly from the violent pockets.
I still remember the march of Mama Qadeer and the 20 other Baloch who started the campaign to take a round of the country with high hopes that the Pakistanis would join them in the noble cause from every nook and corner they will pass through.
Alas their high hopes ended up into a big disappointment as their fellow countrymen never bother to pay heed to their sigh and some even went against them to the level of animosity. The issue also vanished from the media sooner than we had ever thought.
Sabeen Mahmud who only held a discussion about Baluchistan’s missing people in her cafe was shot dead by ‘anonymous’ motorcyclists, who have been roaming across the country for around seven years and lurk like a demon around any progressive Pakistani, yet always remain invisible.
Sabeen’s murderer might have been found and convicted, but the identity of these perpetrators is as secret as the identity of the old-school undercover crimes branch cops who were notoriously famous across the country for their presence in political processions, while always wearing the typical white shalwar qameez with Peshawari chappal.
The person standing on the stage could have counted the total number of plain clothed men in their processions merely due to the uniform like attire they would be wearing.
Moreover the attack on a well known journalist Hamid Mir, after his programs on about Baluchistan and its problems, is reprehensible. In a video he bluntly mentioned that the Pakistani security agencies want to hold their iron hand over the resources of this region regardless of the pain and miseries the Baloch people are going through.
My dear country fellows, Baluchistan is not only a province or a territory but a saga of woes that has remained unheard for 68 years. Because of our apathetic attitude, Baluchistan a home to nearly 5 million Pakistanis, has failed to evoke any sympathy. In spite of having enormous riches in oil, copper and coal as well as its key ports with direct access to the Indian Ocean, the people of Baluchistan cannot enjoy clean water, basic facilities or a secure life.
We Pakistanis boast about Baluchistan’s resources but always ignore the miseries and plight of our country fellows. Meanwhile, many politicians and noble journalists blow trumpets over Pak-China friendship.
We feel secure when China is sending its army in this region and establishing a parallel force to combat Indian insurgency, despite the fact that many of Baloch are being abducted and killed in the midst of this happy joint venture. How can one exult in the situation when OUR own country fellows are being slaughtered for the riches of OUR land?
According to the data collected by human rights organizations, around 4,000 Baloch including students and political activists have disappeared, extra-judicially killed or illegally detained.
History has witnessed that the political and security forces had been quelling them mercilessly by not giving them their due share in the budget, their basic right of freedom and their right to live according to their customs.
Lately Ali Gilani told media that Pakistani army has broken Taliban’s backbone which is considered to be the greatest evil of all times. Even though the tale of two escapees is no doubt exceptionally inspiring and heart touching, we are yet to witness anything remotely similar with the thousands of missing people across the country.
If TTP is weak enough to be defeated by the security forces of Pakistani then who is carrying on the abduction and killing of these poor people?
I have a strong appeal to these hidden powers: let the Pakistani people live in harmony. Peace and serenity are the two basic elements which are sorely needed for the development of Balochistan. Stop playing hide and seek with your own countrymen. This carnage of humanity is tearing my country apart.
We bore the partition of East Pakistan. We cannot see another partition of our motherland. You must fear for the time when these poor people galvanize into action.