Let us not turn Panjgur into Swat and wait for another Malala to be a saver!
Balochistan has been in turmoil since its occupation in 1948 and from that time up till now Balochistan has been facing insurgencies. Balochistan conflict started over the resentment of being illegally occupied by Pakistan and with passing of time this resentment turned into a movement of Baloch rights, and provincial rights. Unfortunately the impotency of Pakistan government and deployment of armed forces in Balochistan kept fueling the issue. Especially the death of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti by Armed forces was the last nail in the coffin and since then the Baloch movement for rights has completely transformed in to a movement of a Free Balochistan.
Never in Pakistan history, had government or establishment ever taken steps to resolve Balochistan issue peacefully. Instead, kill and dump policy, extra judicial killing, enforced disappearances, genocide, and military operations are the dirty tactics being adopted by government and establishment. Thousands of Baloch are missing; hundreds of their mutilated bodies have been found, mass graves of Baloch missing persons have been discovered, ongoing military operations in many parts of Balochistan, extreme human rights violation is what Baloch nation is suffering from. In reaction to this action, Baloch nation is not only forced to adapt arm resistance for survival but also 2000 km long march from Quetta to Karachi and Karachi to Islamabad and a recent hunger strike till death being observed by Latif Johar for the recovery of Baloch missing Persons is to draw attention of International human right organizations to intervene and resolve Balochistan conflict.
At the moment struggle of Baloch rights and use of full force by establishment to crush this movement is on peak. Baloch who are already suffering miserably are now being exposed to another threat from an underground organization Tanzeem-ul-Islami-ul-Furqan, an armed group based in Panjgur, Balochistan’s western district, has threatened 23 English Language Learning Centers to shut down and stop imparting co-education and teaching in English, which they say is ‘Haram (prohibited) in Islam’. Local police advised that under such circumstances girls should not go to school.This development came after the recent operation against Baloch (so called) militants. Though this is not an only attempt to discourage girls from getting education in Balochistan, many times educational institutions have been bombarded, girls have been threatened in past also from going to Schools and colleges.
It seems that someone is trying to radicalize people in Panjgur. This is the first time that we have seen Baloch women taking an effective part in the progressive Baloch rights movement. From doctors, lawyers, teachers to journalists, and political activists we can see the strong presence of Baloch women. Stopping girls from getting education means to seize the development of Baloch society. And to mention here Panjgur and Kech regions are known as centers of learning and the ‘intellectual capital of Balochistan’.
In the present scenario of Panjgur where along with Balochistan Levies and local Police, more than 15000 personnel of the army and the Frontier Corps (FC) are deployed, a heavily guarded district where a military operation is also in a full swing has been threatened by an unknown organization. Question is; where does this organization come from? How did it prevail under the strong presences of paramilitary forces? Who will benefit from this threat? Why ‘halal’, ‘haram’ and ’Islam’ issues are only raised in the areas where Pak Army has dirty targets to achieve?
Unfortunately Pak Army and state carries a history of promoting radical Islam as a tool to fight against ‘unwanted’. Spilling-over of Taliban culture into Panjgur is not just a threat to Baloch nation but to bring down Baloch Nationalist on their knees at any cost. The threat to eradicate education from Balochistan is an attempt to weaken the progress and prosperity of Baloch nation.
To save Baloch is directly proportional to saving Balochistan. In this worsening situation Mr. Sabir Baloch, the Deputy Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan and Mr. Rehmat Baloch, Balochistan’s Health Minister whose native land is Panjgur should speak up and address this issue on federal and provincial level. Also humanitarian organizations and civil society should also raise slogan. Let us not turn Panjgur into Swat and wait for another Malala to be a saver!