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The Great Shift of Balochistan

Mariyam Mohammed Suleman

Walking on the wet sand of the West bay of Gwadar with friends on a Sunday morning in 2006, 11 year-old Sammi, as a new 6th grader, was sharing her excitement for her new class with her friends. All of a sudden she heard screams of people and saw lots of men with resentment coming out of homes, burning rubber tires on the roads and protesting.

At that point, for Sammi and her friends it was tough to comprehend the actual reasons behind the scenario. However they were the same kids who heard the first explosion in the history of their town “The Fish Harbor Road Blast” of 2003 followed by a series of other blasts, protests, rallies and numerous political up raises.

 Schools were closed for days, people protested and a number of young men were caught by the police and other forces. Sammi’s teacher too was accused for participating in an anti-state protest and activity. Sammi’s little eyes filled with tears when she couldn’t go to school for days and later when she went to school, she never saw her teacher again.

Though numerous young Sammis couldn’t understand what actually was going on, in their homeland. Being raised in a combat zone, with time, numerous youngsters got familiar with the real facts and causes of the conflict. Today, Balochistan might be the only province in Pakistan where young students even from remote rural areas follow the news.

Recalling the great revolutions of the world; for instance the French revolution of eighteenth century, when drastic social and political disruption in both French and European history marked the efforts of the people who wanted radical change and the Haitian revolution when the slaves of Saint Domingue rose in rebellion and changed the colony into a civil battle field. History presents thousands of uprisings due to social inequality, political restiveness and religious restrictions.

Balochistan, the province that had always lived under poverty, inequality and injustice only had insurgencies in a few districts before 2006 but today within eight years the same province had undergone numerous political ups and downs which led this land’s most districts to more complex and destructive situations.

Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the great Baloch leader, the chief of the Bugti tribe and former Defense Minister, Governor and Chief Minister of Balochistan, who voted to join Pakistan in 1947. He was a believer of radical change through legal structure and raised voice for Baloch rights.

Suddenly, in 2005 he became known as a rebel and warlord for the rest of the country, now what made him a rebel?  Perhaps, his Baloch blood, which refused to accept inhumane acts.

In 2005, when a Sindhi female doctor was raped by an officer of the forces, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti demanded justice for the victim. It was indeed a great insult for the Bugti tribe that a woman in their asylum was victimized brutally by the so called law enforcement authorities. Thus, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti took the great shift of his political career and demanded more rights for Baloch people.

However, on 26th August 2006, Balochistan mourned for the great Baloch leader when he was martyred in the mountains of Taratani along with 64 other men including Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs of Balochistan. Not only the Balochs grieve on every 26th August but the minorities too are suffering after his martyrdom. As the chief of the Bugti tribe, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti believed in equality for all. A number of Hindu families had to migrate due to the insurgencies in various areas of Balochistan.

Today Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and his political ideologies are followed by numerous Baloch youth, who are, marching towards a great revolution in society, politics and development of Balochistan. His efforts and sacrifices remain immortal in the hearts of millions for ever.

 Author  is a Staff Writer for The Balochistan Point 

Published in The Balochistan Point on 26th August, 2014.

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