Monday, September 7, 2009

Baloch Hatred

Teeth Maestro posted a link to a BBC Urdu interview of a 25-year-old girl from Quetta. She speaks for ten minutes with quiet passion about Baloch independence and with vast hatred about Pakistan. We read on and off about Baloch terrorism and about the agencies kidnapping Baloch nationalists but it is hard to comprehend the intensity of Baloch sentiment. That is until one hears this girl speak. In one of the most powerful moments of the interview she says, "We hate Pakistan so much, so much that all we pray for is that our hatred becomes so intense, so intense that we forget Pakistan's name, forget its existence. Just like it is kufr to say Satan's name. We want our hatred to be that intense."

In ten minutes this girl explodes the myth of common Islamic brotherhood that this country was supposedly founded on. This girl wants nothing to do with Pakistan. All she wants is independence.

Teeth Maestro in the same entry mentions that the speech reminds him of "the animosity between Hindus and Muslims" in 1947. This girl certainly reminds me of the colonial era but I think a more appropriate analogy would be the anti-colonial struggle of the early twentieth century. Every year we commemorate our nationalist heroes who fought for freedom from the British but I can't remember when I heard someone speak with so much passion about freedom in my lifetime.

This girl finds herself in a position similar to the one Jinnah, Nehru and Gandhi found themselves nearly a hundred years ago. She too finds her people oppressed and their rights denied by a power far superior economically and militarily and setting her aspirations of becoming a doctor aside, she has joined the Baloch Students Organization to fight for independence. But unlike the nemesis of the leaders of the past, her nemesis knows no rules of fair play. The agencies have killed her father and kidnapped both her brother and her cousin. Justifying her belief in violence, she says, "If we were fighting a noble enemy then we would have been fortunate enough to learn from our enmity. But we are fighting a despicable enemy and this despicable enemy only understands the language of armed resistance."

I don't want to glorify Baloch nationalists. I care deeply about Pakistan. But justice and fairness are more important and Pakistan does not hold the moral high ground here. Most Pakistanis acknowledge the injustices meted out to the Baloch but I am not sure that we realize that the damage done is very likely irreversible. We may be able to stop Balochistan from seceding but we can only watch powerless as millions of Baloch hearts secede from this country.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Nice to know there is finally someone who took notice of this. Everyone has the sad "bugti's are doing this, otherwise Balochies don't want a seperate country" explanation for any such concerns. In my experience, I have found that this sentiment is growing stronger day by day and it might already be too late, however the govt really needs to get up and do something about this..

Good one.