Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Despite Peaceful Protests Pakistan's Army Continues Relentless Rampage in Balochistan

For 45 Days Baloch Student Organization Azad Central Committee member Lateef Johar has been on a #HungerStrikeTillDeath to #SaveBSOAzadLeader Zahid Baloch.  BSO-Azad Chairman Zahid Baloch was abducted on March 18th 2014 by Pakistan’s security forces after a BSO-Azad Central Committee meeting in Quetta.  Since Lateef Johar began his hunger strike at the Karachi Press Club, he has lost more than 30kg and his glucose levels have dropped dangerously low.  Attending doctors have expressed deep concerns that Johar’s condition is rapidly deteriorating.  Activists, Political figures, Journalists, Friends, Family, and people from all walks of life around the world continue to show their support for Lateef Johar. 

We all appeal to Lateef to end his hunger strike so that his courage and determination will continue to aid in the struggle to save BSO-Azad leader Zahid Baloch.  Lateef is a beacon of light in these dark times, guiding humanity, on a global scale, to seek out knowledge and take action to create awareness of the severe human rights abuses being committed in Balochistan by Pakistan’s Armed Forces, Intelligence Agencies and their Mercenaries.

On June 1st activists from Hyderabad held a #24HourHungerStrike demonstration at the Karachi press club in solidarity with Latif Johar and to demand the safe release of BSO-Azad Chairman Zahid Baloch.  Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur along with Ustad Talpur Sahab, Mir Sher Muhammad Talpur Waja, Zarina Baloch, Advocate Hussain Hussain Bakhsh Thebo, Punhal Sario, Bakhshal Thalho, Ali Nawaz Behrman, Dr. Masood Jamal, Punhal Jamali, Inayat Khaskheli and countless other participants from Hyderabad and across the nation joined Lateef Johar in his hunger strike for 24 hours and signed the petition for the safe release of Zahid Baloch.  Asghar Lahari and his Family also joined the #24HourHungerStrike, Asghar's son Rohail Laghari has been missing since March 8th 2014.

On June 2nd BSO-Azad activists and participants staged a rally from Karachi art gallery to the press club to show their support for Lateef Johar and sign the petition for the safe release of Chairman Zahid Baloch.  BSO-Azad demonstrators and rally participants protested the cruel silence of the UNO, World Human Rights Organizations, and International Media about the enforced abduction of Zahid Baloch.

While visiting Lateef Johar, Voice for Baloch Missing Persons Vice Chairman Mama Qadeer joined the BSO-Azad protest and signed the BSO-Azad petition.

#SaveBSOAzadLeader #BringBackOurSons Mama Qadeer and Banuk Horaan the two Inspiring Icons of #BalochStruggle for #Freedom poring over #BSOAzad journal. image c/o @mmatalpur

Banuk Horaan Baloch also visited Lateef Johar today to show her solidarity with Johar and support for the campaign to recover BSO-Azad Chairman Zahid Baloch.  During her visit, Banuk Horaan issued a statement exposing Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti’s involvement in serious crimes committed by his personal death squad the “Bugti Aman Force”.

Dera Bugti - Sarfraz Bugti Reality by Our Brave Baloch Sister from Shawn Forbes on Vimeo.

Earlier today the Pakistan Frontier Corps and Sindh Rangers carried out a massive joint operation in the Dera Bugti regions of Balochistan.  Occupational State Forces burned down more than 50 homes and injured 10 civilians while heavily bombarding rural villages in Patfeedar, RD238, and Tangwani districts.  During the attack State Forces invaded, looted and destroyed the houses of innocent civilians, and subjected the residents to violent abuse.  Injured victims were refused access to medical care and dozens of local citizens have been reported as abducted.

Soon after Occupational State Forces bombarded the innocent Dera Bugti residents, Baloch Freedom Fighters arrived in Tangwani district to rescue the besieged villages.  The Brave Baloch Sarmachar unleashed a firestorm of over 20 missiles upon the Sinister State Forces.  At least 25 Pakistani soldiers were killed and countless wounded during the battle of Tangwani.  One Baloch Sarmachar, Qurban Bugti, embraced martyrdom during the clashes.

In a statement about the attack Baloch Republican Party’s central spokesman Mr. Sher Mohammad Bugti said “Pakistani forces had always been denying military offensives on one hand but on the other they had been massacring innocent lives in many areas of Balochistan.”  Mr. Bugti urged the international community and human rights groups to "take note of human rights abuses and war crimes being committed by the state forces to deter the demands of Baloch people for their rights of freedom and sovereignty."

In the Hoshab district of Turbat, Local Levies recovered a bullet riddled body today.  Authorities brought the disfigured remains were brought to the district headquarters hospital.  The deceased was identified as a local Hoshab shopkeeper named Nawaz.

On May 29th the bullet riddled remains of Dur Mohammad s/o Jeyand Bugti were recovered in the Kotri region of Jamshoro district, Sindh.  Dur Mohammad was abducted along with several other family members on April 17th in Nawabshah, Sindh.  All of the abductees are relatives of exiled BRP activists Mr. Sher Baz Bugti & Raiz Gul Bugti.  In a statement to BRP Media Cell, Sher Baz Bugti said “We are committed to our cause.” and “State’s tactic of killing family members would not deter us from the struggle for the freedom of our motherland.  We will continue the struggle for a free and sovereign Balochistan.

On May 28th several unidentified bodies were discovered riddled with bullets and dumped in Besima, Panjgur and Muslim Bagh, Balochistan.  On May 24th in Killi Bro, Quetta, unidentified gunmen killed Nisar Ahmed.

Image c/o @SaamZad

In Iranian Occupied Balochistan, 3 Baloch prisoners were executed in Sarawan on May 28th.  The executed prisoners were identified as 45 year old DostMohd Doshambah Zahi, 37 year old Kolyan Yar Ahmedzahi and 33 year old Islam Naroui.  

A few days earlier on May 25th, Iranian Intelligence agencies abducted Abdul Ghani Waheed from Tablan Bahksh region of Zarabad.

VBMP representatives in Quetta held a press conference to describe how Pakistan’s courts have delayed the cases of missing persons without reason causing anxiety among the family members of the missing persons.  In a statement by VBMP Chairman Nasarullah Baloch “There have been as many as 373 mutilated dead bodies of missing persons recovered during one year of rule of the incumbent government.” He further said “the appearance of the case of the missing persons could not be held on 6th of May this year for unknown reasons at Supreme Court and now after lapse of 2 weeks no hearing of the missing persons is held in the apex court which is causing anxiety among the family members of the missing person.”  Chairman Nasarullah Baloch also voiced his support for Lateef Johar stating “Latif Johar has been on hunger strike since last 41 days and insists to continue it till death for the release of Zahid Baloch.  His life is under severe threat.  Under such grave circumstances, the security forces wanted to give a protective shield to the unconstitutional, inhuman and heartrending acts.“

On June 1st BHRC Canada and Baloch Community Organization Ontario held a 2 day token hunger strike for the safe recovery of Zahid Baloch.  During the protest the head of BHRC Canada Dr Zafar Baloch strongly condemned the illegal arrest of BSO Chairman.  He said “The Pakistani security forces have abducted thousands of baloch Political activists so far. And they have killed approximately 900 since they started a brutal "kill and dump" campaign in 2010.”  

Dr. Zafar Baloch further stated “The world must take notice of such heinous crimes being committed by Pakistan forces on urgent basis because the lives of other missing person are in grave danger.”  Both parties also issued a joint statement demanding the immediate release of Zahid Baloch and urged the Pakistani establishment to lift the unjust and controversial ban on BSO and humbly requested Latif Johar and BSO leadership to call off the hunger strike till death considering his extremely deteriorating health condition.

Activists in Seattle, Washington, USA, protested the
illegal abduction of Zahid Baloch on April 2nd
BSO Azad held a protest rally in Awaran district on May 31st to show solidarity with Lateef Johar and demand the release of BSO-Azad Chairman Zahid Baloch.
BSO-Azad activists in Kolwah held a protest on May 27th to show solidarity with Lateef Johar and demand the release of BSO-Azad Chairman Zahid Baloch.
On May 29 JSSF - Jeay Sindh Students Federation (Markaz) protested against illegal abduction of BSO-Azad Chairman Zahid Baloch in Hyderabad
Student Activists in Malaysia held a demonstration on May 26th to show solidarity with Lateef Johar and demand the release of BSO-Azad Chairman Zahid Baloch.
BRP Germany held a protest in Frankfurt City on May 31st to create awareness about the ongoing human rights abuses in Balochistan.  Party members, German Human Rights Activists, and NGOs participated in the rally.  Activists distributed educational materials about Balochistan and the struggle for independence.

On May 27th the Balochistan Chief Minister Dr. Malik visited Lateef Johar to promise his administration would ensure the registration of an FIR for the recovery of abducted BSO-Azad leader Zahid Baloch and humbly request Lateef Johar end his hunger strike.  In a response to CM Malik’s statement, Johar said “We were given assurances in the past as well.  We’ll end our strike the day an official from the intelligence agency admits they have our chairman in custody and release him.”  

Banuk Karima Baloch demanded the minister accept that Zahid Baloch was abducted by the ISI.  The Chief Minister expressed a frustration with his own lack of authority and influence over the conduct of military forces in the province.  Dr. Malik also signed the petition for the safe release of Zahid Baloch during his visit.

No talks with Pakistan until withdrawal of forces – Nawab Brahumdagh Bugti
In a recent interview with a Pakistan news channel the President of Baloch Republican Party Brahumdagh Bugti denied claims that the Pakistan government was conducting negotiations with Baloch freedom movement leaders.  In a statement BRP President Brahumdagh Bugti said “Like the previous governments, the current government makes false claims of negotiations, these are tactics of fooling people.”  He further stated “civilian government are helpless regarding Balochistan issue and Pakistan army & its intelligence agencies are in control of Balochistan matters.

BRP Korean Chapter President Waja Nasir was recently interviewed by local Korean news.  Waja Nasir discussed the difficulties faced by Baloch refugees.  Refugees fleeing occupied Balochistan have to overcome the vast language barriers, legal obstacles, and excessive delays in court proceedings.  Waja Nasir went on to describe the deplorable conditions in Balochistan and the Occupational State’s relentless campaign of enforced abductions and extrajudicial killings.  In a statement Waja Nasir said “In All of Balochistan one or two members of every family has been killed or abducted.  Since 2004 more than 18,000 missing people have been reported.”  Waja Nasir’s own son was killed last year in Pakistan.  When asked what the people of Balochistan want, Waja Nasir told the reporter “We would like independence from Pakistan and Iran.  Claim our basic human rights to not be kidnapped, tortured and killed.  We should be able to enjoy our lands and its resources.  We should be able to educate our children in universities.

The following is a true story about the recent enforced abduction and extrajudicial execution of Zubair Ahmed Baloch from his home in Lyari, Karachi.  This firsthand account of Zubair’s abduction was written by an anonymous eyewitness to the incident.

28th May 9:30 am: Zubair Ahmed Baloch was sleeping while the gate was wide open. His brother had gone to shower in the neighbor's, not alarmed of the horror he shall have to face in the next few minutes.
They broke into the house armed with the notion of abducting him. He who was in a deep slumber, little did he know that after a while, he would be asleep forever. When his brother finally got out of the shower, he was informed of the ungodly incident. He was overwhelmed with mixed feelings. He knew that his brother was innocent but he was also aware of the profanity of the rangers.

This news spread rapidly like a fire. His family and friends ushered in, pleading for a last look of their son. His aunt pleaded for his life, pleaded for their acknowledgement of his innocence. She was welcomed by the disrespectful attitude of the rangers with the fake promise of his safe return.

28th May 10:00 am: His body was thrown at Jadgal Chowk. Blood was still oozing out of his body, forming a blanket of blood around him. He just laid there dead yet nobody cared to take him to the hospital, fearing their own lives. Cries echoed in the air when he was taken to his family.

He was taken so young. The calmness, the innocence his face depicted provided the testimony of his innocence. No police came, no FIR was filed. Rangers were above the law, nobody could find it sufficient in themselves to raise even a cry of justice as the authorities were bound to rule against them. This was their trial of being destitute.

Even the media failed to sketch the true picture of the story. Newspapers were filled in with the story of him being killed in a gang war. He was sketched as a culprit while his murderers escaped justice. This is basically the story of every other day in Lyari, Karachi. The real terrorists stay on the loose while the innocent keep getting killed.

I do not ask much from you but only to play a part in seeking justice for him, Zubair Ahmed Baloch, and all the others who are killed mercilessly every single day in Lyari. I ask of you to raise awareness of this alarming situation in Lyari, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan so that no other son is snatched mercilessly from his mother. For you to know the real side of the story. I would highly appreciate it if you aid me in raising my voice for the justice for Zubair Ahmed Baloch. 

Activists are using hashtag #Justice4ZubairBaloch to create awareness of the extrajudicial abduction and execution Zubair Baloch.

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