The story of the Baloch struggle
by Abdullah Baloch on 27 Jan 2018 4 Comments

My father migrated from Balochistan because of the oppression and persecution, soon after my grandfather was poisoned by the enemy for being a Baloch freedom fighter. I grew up abroad and learnt the Arabic language. When I was young, the kids did not allow me to play with them as they would say, “You are a Pakistani; go and play with the Pakistanis”. When I tried to play with Pakistani children who were from Punjab, they used to say, “You are not a Pakistani, but you are Balochi harami do not play with us”, and they threw stones at me. I used to ask my father why people do not like Pakistanis and why do the Pakistanis call Baloch people as harami?’ (illegitimate). My father used to say he doesn’t care about that.


My father did not tell me about Balochistan because he did not want to lose me like he lost his father. I had to bear a lot of difficulties because I have Pakistani citizenship. Whoever carries this nationality is not respected anywhere. Due to the circumstances of life and racism, I was forced to leave my studies and start working.


It was my dream since childhood to become a doctor, but because of the racism I had to face in school just for being a Pakistani, I was forced to leave my studies to support my family. Even at work I was insulted because of my Pakistani citizenship. This made me think why people don’t like Pakistanis. I started searching about Pakistan and realized that Pakistani identity is based on lies, deceit and terrorism.


I was very happy when I discovered that the Baloch were not Pakistanis and that Pakistan occupied Baluchistan in 1948. Balochistan was the homeland of my ancestors and the Baloch people faced much injustice in the years of occupation. When I grew up and researched about Pakistan, I realized why my father did not tell me about Balochistan. I realized why the Pakistanis hate us and why the world hates Pakistanis. I got answers to the questions which haunted me throughout my childhood.


After this I decided to follow my grandfather’s footsteps and become a defender of Baloch rights. This is what I seek - the Baloch Federation - and to communicate with the educated Baloch diaspora who will benefit our cause in the future. I get threats daily, telling me to stop talking about Balochistan and Baloch rights. Nevertheless, I am a defender of Baloch rights and demand the right of self-determination of the Baloch people.


I am tired of the injustices I face in life just because of this Pakistani nationality. I have seen hatred in the eyes of people only because of it. When I went to the Pakistani Embassy to renew my passport, I was harassed by the embassy staff and forced to speak Urdu, even though I can only speak Baloch and Arabic languages. They take large sums only to renew a passport. A Baloch gets insulted at the embassy only because he speaks Baluchi. They consider Baloch people as third class citizens. The Pakistani embassy in the passport writes every Baloch who is born abroad to be from Sindh or Punjab provinces and not from Balochistan.


I want to travel to Kuwait, Indonesia, India or Britain, but I am denied visa for those countries only because of my Pakistani passport. I tried to get another country’s passport, and also tried to emigrate to a country which has democracy and freedom of speech, not racism like the Arab countries, but I could not because I do not have much money.


I remember when I loved a girl of another nationality and she loved me too, but her father rejected me just because of my Pakistani passport. I lost my love, my studies and my dream because of Pakistan, but I will not allow the same happen with other innocent Baloch people.


The world considers Baloch people to be Pakistani but Pakistanis consider Baloch people as their slaves. The world doesn’t know about our suffering. Thousands of Baloch suffer the same atrocities within and outside Balochistan. When we object to a big problem abroad, the Pakistani Embassy does not intervene in resolving it if one is Baloch, but will do so if one is a Punjabi.


When a Baloch are is abroad he is deported to Pakistan. When he arrives to Pakistan, he is arrested by the airport staff, interrogated and forced to pay a bribe to be pardoned. And if he fails to do so he will have a problem. All his belongings will be seized. And even if a Baloch goes to Pakistan for a visit he is treated the same way if identified as a Baloch. Therefore I am a defender of Baloch rights, Baloch Union and the Baloch Diaspora. I would like to do a lot for my Nation which is Balochistan, but I am exposed to threats every day.


When I was a child, my father did not want me to go to school so that I could learn and study. The real reason was that my father was a poor person and could not spend on education. But my mother insisted that I go to school to learn and finally my father agreed to it. When I entered school, I did not speak Arabic well and everyone laughed at me. Even the teachers laughed and hit me just because I did not speak Arabic well. At school, I was beaten up by the students every day and when I told the school principal he said it was not his business. The principal and teachers said ‘the students did not beat you and you are a Pakistani liar’.


I had no friend in my childhood and even today I have no friends. There was no one who would help me and stand with me in my suffering. My father did not pay me school expenses because he had a lot of loans. I had no money, even to buy food. I saw students eat but I did not have money. When the bell rang, I used to take the remaining food left by the students and eat it. On one occasion, a teacher saw that I had taken food out of the trash, and instead of helping me, he hit me and said, “I warn you, do not to do it again”.


I used to suffer a lot in school at everyone’s hands, although I loved studying. But because of my suffering school and my family’s poor condition, I left school. I worked in cleaning the houses of people and buying items from the market. But they too did not appreciate my efforts and gave me very little money, which could not fulfill the needs of my family. They always said, “You are Pakistani”, and I was always insulted for my Pakistani identity. I used to ask myself, ‘I do not know why Pakistani people and Pakistani children are hated? Why do not they allow me to play with them’, but there was no one to answer my questions.


Then I gave up cleaning people’s homes because I did not like being insulted every day. I began to work in markets, shops and delivery service.


I was arrested six times and every time I was imprisoned for three days or a week. The charge was that I was begging, not that I was working. Although I told them that I was working for expenses and helping my family, they did not release me. I was finally released after a period in bail after paying a fine. I remember when I was ill and went to the hospital for treatment, they would say, ‘you are a Pakistani, we do not have a cure for you’, and I was forced to buy medicines from the pharmacy.


There was a good family and I was getting orders for them every day, which I would go and deliver daily. They had a daughter who played with me every day, even though I was poor, but she did not differentiate and she became my girlfriend. Soon we were adults and her mother knew we loved each other. She said, “I will marry you one day to my daughter. Go look for a good job for the girl’s father to agree”.


I started looking for a good job and went to many companies. They all said that I did not have a school certificate, am a Pakistani and I must be an Arab citizen to get a job. I could not understand.


After a while I went back to the girl’s mother and told her that I did not get any decent work, but I would work in delivery and markets and asked her to agree to our marriage. She said she would try to convince the girl’s father. But the father refused. “These Pakistanis are criminals and you cannot marry my daughter to a Pakistani”, he said.


So we were separated and I decided to look for the answers I had sought since childhood. I decided it was time to travel to Pakistan to get my answers. My father was reluctant, but I finally managed to convince him to let me travel.


When I arrived at Multan Airport, I was arrested by the airport police. They said that I was an Israeli agent; I told them I was a Baloch. But they said your passport is written in English, I told them that the embassy made this mistake and they said, ‘why did you write Pashtun and say that you are Baloch? And why the writings are not in Urdu?’


I tried to convince the Multan Airport Police that all information on my passport was written by the embassy, and they said, “Give us a little money, we will let you go”. I said I did not have any money, but the policeman attacked me and kept me in custody for more than four hours and then finally let me go.


When I left the airport, a Baloch man greeted me; he was my grandfather’s friend and I left with him for Baluchistan. On the way, he told me the story of my grandfather and I started to learn a little about Baluchistan. I got some answers.


In Baluchistan, I saw the intense presence of the Pakistani Army and many checkpoints. I saw people being beaten and searched by the Army; some of them were carrying their belongings but the army was taking them away. They searched me and finally when they saw my card that I came from abroad, they did not say anything to me.


In Balochistan, I saw people without water in their houses, they were drinking from wells. And in Balochistan, people do not own houses; they live on land or in huts. There are no schools and children are sent to graze sheep. There are no places for people to live if they come from abroad. People are very poor; they have nothing to eat and many children and women beg.


After these incidents, I started researching on this topic and discovered many things. I saw the discrimination against Baloch people in employment, education and public institutions in Pakistan. There are no schools, hospitals, electricity and water for Baloch people, yet they are persecuted and displaced. They use brutal methods and policies against the Baloch. The massacres are horrendous; they are murdered and buried; human organs are stolen and exported abroad and then the rest of the bodies are left in the streets.


The Pakistani Government has conducted nuclear tests in the Baloch areas. In 1988, the Pakistani Army claimed the lives of thousands of Baloch; the army is deployed throughout Balochistan and one cannot travel from one area to another without fear.


Nearly two hundred thousand Baluch have been killed since the beginning of the occupation and over 20,000 Baloch have been kidnapped. They are amongst the missing and we do not know their fate.


The Baloch people are very good and spread love; despite their poverty they are generous and hospitable people and care for guests. But I did not stay long and came back from Pakistan because the situation there is very dangerous. I was monitored, so I returned after getting all my answers.


Then I decided to follow my grandfather’s footsteps and defend the rights of Balochistan. I urge all human rights organisations and the world to espouse the cause of Balochistan. The world must discover these facts, which they do not know.


The author is a Baloch human rights activist; the views expressed are personal 

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