When we were celebrating Christmas horrible things took place in south-western Pakistan. The area has been inhabited for at least 7000 years and is the place of one of the first known civilizations on earth, The Indus or Harappan Civilization, with cities like Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, which had streets clad in a kind of asphalt e.g. Nevertheless this area also is a region of many conflicts. In south-western Pakistan we find the province Balochistan, which covers about 44% of Pakistan’s area where people live on fishing, gas, coal or other minerals, on mining or manufactured goods. The capital city of the region is Quetta. Balochistan is the home of mainly Balochs, Pashtuns and Brahais, but here we also find Iranians, Hazarajats, Kurds, Sindhis, Punjabis, Uzbeks, Turkmens, Sikhs and Hindus. This information I write mainly for those of you who don’t live in the region and who within the UN or EU might take some action and will try to put an end to the killings in the region of Balochistan. I implore all of you who read this to try and help stopping the on-going genocide. Pakistan as a nation came into existence in 1947-1948 alongside India, after the ending of the British Raj. It has though since the very beginning been a place of never-ending conflicts. That’s a great pity because of the richness of the many co-existing cultures in the region. Yesterday I was asked by people in Pakistan and India to make a contribution in the attempts to stop the violence and genocide. In Balochistan there’s also a guerrilla movement since the foundation of the Pakistani state. That guerrilla is now led by Dr Allah Nazer.
As in all violent conflicts killings are made on both sides and no party in a bloody feud is “innocent”. What happened in the Mashkey Operation? On Christmas Eve 2012 the Pakistan Frontier Corps launched a military operation in Balochistan’s city Mashkey which is the home town of BLF-leaders. The Pakistan Frontier Corps then attacked the city with bombs and gun shots from military helicopters. Troups went into the city, burning, killing people, going from house to house. During December 25th 2012 32 people were killed in the massacre. Women, children and men were slaughtered. Even Balochi politicians were killed as well as bloggers and exiles.
I now once more turn to the military, political and religious leaders in Pakistan, but also to the civilians. I implore you to put an end to this continous vicious circle of death, bloodshed and vengeance. I know that this massacre has to do with the strifes in Balochistan to get free of Pakistani rule, and that the government do not want to lose control of money, natural resources and status in eyes of the world. Nevertheless, the guerrilla warfare and the killing of civilians, here as in other parts of the world, only leads to even more hate, even more people longing for vengeance, and the loss of even more innocent lifes. Try to show the world that you can end this dirty bloodshed and accept each other instead; Sunni, Shi’ite, pro-Pakistani, Balochi local patriot, Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Zoroastrian or Jew. Try to see the brother and sister in someone not belonging to your own group. Stop the patronizing idea of this or that religion’s superiority over another. It’s precisely this attitude that exists within most faiths directed towards “the others” alongside suspicion and hate of other lifestyles than one’s own that contributes to the continous slaughter of men, women and children. If Balochistan wants to separate from Pakistan, then have serious referendums on the matter. Sit down by the negotiation table, civilian representatives, militaries, ordinary people from all social classes, Majlis. Try to remember what I say as a friendly outsider: Find a way forward for the benefit of everyone, men in power, listen in the voices of people who’re tired of atrocities and killings. Let the people in the region live in peace so that your area get a chance to flourish even more. Let your proud inhabitants be even more proud and be able to say to each other and the world: “We managed to end the killings. We mananged to rise and co-operate. We managed to end the enmity with India. We have now proven that we are dignified in our humanity. We can be role models.” Let Muslims of all forms, Jews, Christians, Zorastrians, Hindus and Sikhs also feel the same pride and belonging. Find that unison and acceptance for each other. Please!
Anders Moberg, January the 31st 2013