Shabir Baloch : Another Baloch activist was picked up by Security Forces of Pakistan

While progressive political left, nationalist groups and civil society members from all over the country are demanding early release of enforced missing Baloch poet,writer and social activist Abdul Wahid Baloch , there are news of more enforced missing of people from Baloch community. Recently Pakistani Security forces conducted a military operation in Gwarkop Baluchistan And on 4th October,2016 and picked up 9 persons including 24 years old spokesman of Baloch Students Organization Azad-BSO Azad Shabir Baloch. Usually security forces and intelligence agencies pick up people from Baloch community and never admit that such arrested Baloch activists are in their custody. This practice started in Musharraf Era and still continued. Even Judiciary has been failed to recover such missing person from security forces. In most cases concerned Police Station does not register FIR of enforced missing persons.

24 years old student Shabir Baloch was picked by security forces of Pakistan in Gwarkop military operation which took place on Tuesday, 4th of October 2016.This incident of another enforced missing was reported on official website of Human Rights Council of Baluchistan-HRCB. According to HRCB, 9 persons were picked up during the day long military operation in which more than 50 vehicle of ground forces took part with the support of two gunship helicopters, as it has usually been norms in Baluchistan.

Shabir Baloch, born in 1992, is brother of three sisters and three brothers, resident of Labach Awaran, Balochistan.

He had been active in BSO since a long time and gradually rose as Central Spokesperson and Information Secretary of Baloch Students Organization (Azad).

BSO is a political organization which is said to be the mother organization of modern Baloch nationalism. It evolved in an its institutional form in 1960’s after the educated Baloch youth kept setting together while discussing the ways of building the national capacity as well as to defend the Baloch rights in a situation of an Identity Crisis.

BSO had been the main source of inspiration for Baloch nationalism for decades. With the recent row of conflict between Islamabad and the local inhabitants of Balochistan, BSO has again been the driving force behind the discourse of Baloch rights.

BSO is considered as a cradle organization in the struggle for rights of Baloch people on Pakistan. Many of the current leading figures including ex-Chief Minister of Balochistan Dr Malik Baloch, and also the chief commander of Baloch Liberation Front Dr Allah Nazar had got their early political education in BSO.

When the ground work was started on Gwadar Deep sea port in Balochistan, BSO was one of the main organizations campaigned to oppose it and was struggling to raise awareness against the project, especially in Gwadar and adjacent parts of the area including Mekran region. BSO has been and is one of the hardest opponents of China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor, the multibillion ‘development project’ which is a highlighted issue in the conflict between Islamabad and Baloch populace of Balochistan, which the latter fear that are tools to convert them in minority in their own ancestor land.

In March 2013, Government of Pakistan announced a ban on the activities of BSO and since then the organization’s leadership have been under ground. The then chairman of BSO, Zahid Baloch was picked up by security forces in March 2014 and he is still missing. Dozens of its middle level leadership have also been killed by security forces. Hasil Baloch is the most recent one, who was killed by helicopter shelling in Kolwah region of Balochistan on the western route of CPEC on Wednesday, 5th of October 2016. Dozens of its workers and leaders have been allegedly picked up  by security forces, Shabir Baloch being the most recent, abducted on Tuesday.

Since 1970’s, BSO has been the main force of providing secular educated youth to the Baloch society, opposing Islamization and Talibanization of educational institutions. It has witnessed brutal suppression in the hands of state forces as well as Drug Mafia and the Islamist militants.

 

Since 2009, thousands of political activists have gone missing, allegedly picked by security forces in Balochistan. Hundreds of the abducted persons were found dead on road sides after some period of the abduction. Hundreds of military operations took place on the routes of CPEC, villages burnt, populations forcefully displaced, for which there are clear evidences available.

Government of Pakistan has openly said again and again that ‘no hurdles would be tolerated on the way of CPEC’ and has taken this project as matter of its survival and had clearly said that any one opposes these projects would be considered as culprits. Even the Islamabad backed Balochistan Government has claimed recently that the security forces have ‘arrested 13,575, killed 375 during 2,825 military operations in Balochistan’, under what Government calls ‘National Action Plan’. But neither the details of the killed persons had been made public nor of the ‘arrested’ ones.

In most of military operations, the educated youths are the target of extra judicial killings and the enforced disappearances. While on the other hand the Islamic schools and madrassas are increasing in numbers and operate freely. There are serious concerns among people of Balochistan that the security establishment of Pakistan seems to have a plan for cleansing the educated youths from Balochistan.