Security forces seize Balochi books in a raid on a bookshop in Balochistan

On 6th of September 2016, the Security Forces raided ‘Pak News Agency’, the most popular bookstall on the main road Turbat, in the hometown of ex-Chief Minister Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch.

They checked all the shelves, drawers, and warehouses and took all the books written in Balochi Language away with them.

The printed record of Balochi language is very limited. It contains mainly creative literature. One can find almost nothing if one tries to find any material except the poetry and short stories, and of course a few short novels and literary criticism.

‘Pak News Agency’ had been a popular book shop not only for the Turbat city but all the Mekran Division. It’s one of the oldest bookstalls. It has a record of availability of all the Islamic books, be it translated Quran and Hadeeth or the materials to promote Islam.

It should be noted that teachers, Students, Writers, Intellectuals and Educationists have been the most common target of security forces for almost a decade in Balochistan. There are hundreds of cases of Enforced Disappearances in every month, and the highest number is that of the educated youth.

Literacy rate among 15-24 years youth in Balochistan is calculated as 27%, while the death toll in extra judicial killings show almost 80% in the age group of 15-35 years, and 98% of the Enforced Disappearances and extra judicial killings victims are the educated youth of this age group.

BU-Innerview

Inner view of Balochistan University Quetta. Military trucks are visible in picture. Photo by: BHRO

Most of the public schools in rural areas of Balochistan are turned into Military camps. They are closed for education. Bunkers are built on the top of the class rooms and all the school building is being used as a Military camp. In Awaran District, even the Inter College is turned into a camp for F.C “Frontier Corps”, a paramilitary force which controls law and order situation in Balochistan. On the other hand 129,997 students are registered in 5,441 Islamic schools as per the official sources of Government of Balochistan. Furthermore, 5,330 foreigner students are registered in these Islamic schools in Balochistan and 234 of these schools are receiving financial assistance from ‘Brotherly Islamic Countries’. No Islamic School is closed for security reasons.

There are very few public schools offering classes to the children in rural areas of Balochistan and hardly there is a school where Teacher or Principal is not abducted by security forces or in some cases killed by them.
Most of the private schools are forced to close.

Balochi is not the medium of education in Balochistan. Periodicals are published only on self-help of the writers and editors.

The most popular publisher, Wahid Baloch, has been abducted by security forces in July 2016 and security forces are denying to bring him in a court. Even though most of the Human Rights Organizations appealed to the government bring him before a law court. Amnesy International issued an appeal of urgent action to save Wahid Baloch. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has written letters to the Government, but nothing have worked so far.

And now, once again, Balochi books are not allowed in Balochistan.