Violence is bad. Violence is no solution to any problem. Agreed. But what should a community, a colonized nation do when violence is thrust upon it and state-sponsored violent attacks take place all round the year on its people? Yes I am talking about the hapless Baloch and the systematic violence carried out by the Pakistani regime across occupied Balochistan. The Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA) retaliated Thursday by planting bombs at Anarkali bazar in Lahore targeting police and bank executives, symbols of Pakistani regime.
In most parts of the civilized world Balochistan remains an alien word. Even for the select few who may have heard about Balochistan look towards this occupied nation through the eyes of Pakistan’s Punjab province. This has emboldened Rawalpindi to successfully mask its genocide in Balochistan under the garb of curbing Baloch insurgency. ISPR (Inter-Services Public Relations) the propaganda arm of Pakistan Army justifies military operations across Balochistan as its efforts to curb terrorism.
It’s not the ISPR’s shenanigans that bothers me, what worries me instead is the naivety of civilized world that happily laps up ISPR’s falsities. How else can one call the retaliation of Baloch insurgents on Pakistani regime as a terrorist attack. Did the world ever bother to condemn the cold blooded murder of Taj Bibi? When Pakistani forces shot dead Baloch student Hayat Baloch? When activist Karima Baloch was eliminated in Canada by Pakistan’s ISI? When journalist Sajid Hussain was silently murdered by the ISI in Sweden? NO.
Over 70,000 Baloch went ‘Missing’, rather ‘Disappeared’ during the last two decades. And all these 70,000 are ordinary people. There are doctors, engineers, lawyers, professors, students, housewives, businessmen and children who were abducted by the Pakistani forces during the last decade and a half. Did we hear any outrage by any of the international human rights organization? Did the haloed United Nations (UN) ever take cognizance about these Enforced Disappearances? NO
During 2021 Pakistani forces conducted 600 military operations across Balochistan and abducted over 650 Baloch, whereabouts of whom remains unknown. More than 290 Baloch dead bodies were recovered who were killed by Frontier Corps (FC), Pakistan Army and ISI-backed Death Squads. The Pakistani security forces set ablaze more than 1000 Baloch homes and looted another 1900 Baloch homes. These aren’t bland statistics, rather a gigantic humanitarian crisis. Think of the Baloch families whose loved ones were killed or abducted, their houses set on fire and women taken upon as sex slaves by the Pakistan Army. And this isn’t a movie script or some figment of imagination, either. Did the media write about these atrocities? Did the human rights organizations or the US ever castigate Pakistani regime for Baloch carnage? NO
What are the options left for the hapless Baloch? What should they do if not pick up arms and retaliate against the colonizing Pakistan Army and shoo them away from their motherland, Balochistan.
Lahore blasts carried out by the newly formed Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA) is just a manifestation of collective Baloch anger. This anger and pain is about the civilized world’s neglect of the Baloch cause.
Soon after the blasts at Anarkali Bazaar in Lahore the BNA spokesperson took the responsibility. Even a cursory look at the media statement of Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA) should have given the perspective and background for Lahore attack.
“The Lahore blast was in response to the killing of women and children by Pakistani forces in Balochistan,” said Mureed Baloch BNA spokesperson.
Ironically, yet again, some prominent media organizations fell into the information trap laid by the ISPR. India Today and Times of India said (based on PTI report) that the place of Lahore blast is known for selling Indian commodities. Aaj Tak went a step further and termed the Lahore blast as a terrorist attack on Pakistan!
These headlines and the reportage would have definitely brought smiles to ISPR (Inter-Services Public Relations) who managed to turn world’s attention from Pakistan Army’s genocide in Balochistan towards the attack on Anarkali bazar Lahore that sells Indian commodities.
Sadly, this will not quell the violence rather escalate it further. The root cause of this mindless violence spree is Pakistan Army’s ongoing genocide across Balochistan. And the first step towards stopping this is the acknowledgement that Pakistani regime is the perpetrator of violence.
Indian media must shun the practice of looking anything and everything in their neighbourhood through ISPR lens, more so in the case of Balochistan.
It’s time the world sits up and take note of the rampant and massive violence across Balochistan and impose sanctions on Rawalpindi.