Balochistan, We Do Not Know You!

Posted on March 6, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Education, Society
Total Views: 57294

Adil Najam

This video needs no explanation. It says so much more than what it says. It deserves a lot of thought. And, for those of us not from Baluchistan, a head hung in shame.

I saw it first in a post on the blog Cafe Pyala, which got it exactly right:

Many of us have often had a laugh about Americans’ woeful knowledge about the rest of the world.

Well, what would you say to this? A BBC Urdu correspondent roamed the streets of Punjab’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, Lahore, to ask random people on the street how much they knew of Balochistan. His report is compiled under the heading “Punjab Balochistan Ko Kitna Jaanta Hai?” (How well does Punjab know Balochistan?). Keep in mind that Lahore is not a rural backwater where media is not easily accessible, that Punjab’s population comprises some 60 percent of the Pakistan’s population and that in the last three years, the issue of Balochistan has probably been one of the most talked about issues in domestic politics. Think for a moment what it says about our educational system, our media, our democracy, our policy-making,  our national integration and yes, our majoritarian chauvinism.

If this does not actually shock you, you’re made of sterner stuff than I am.

As I said, this video needs no explanation. It says so much more than what it says. It speaks to the facts that we too often do not speak of. It reminds us of the killings, the disappearances, the murders that we wish to wish away. It deserves a lot of thought. And, for those of us not from Baluchistan, a head hung in shame.

33 responses to “Balochistan, We Do Not Know You!”

  1. WAKH says:

    I agree with Ruszn Baloch completely!!!

    I believe myself to be patriotic Pakistani as the next person and would like it balkanized. However we should know that we can’t and shouldn’t suppress people through the violence, it simply hasn’t worked in the past (Bangladesh anyone) and wouldn’t work in the future.

    Pakistan must solve this issue even if it means granting amnesty to the folks who are being hunted by the security agencies rightly or wrongly to at least bring down the violence. People, rebels or individuals from security agencies, who have committed crimes to big to be forgiven should be brought to justice. At least make the Balochis believe that their blood is not cheap and they matter as much as everyone else in the country.

    BTW I also wanted add that this idea of government neglect isn’t unique to Baluchistan, Sindh or Khyber-Pakhtoonkhawa but also Punjab which is often purported to be hogging all the resources of everyone else. Because most of these resources end up in only three cities Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. Most of the other places are in equally dire need of resources and services as they are in Baluchistan.

  2. Asad says:

    And we support democracy, where everyone is assumed to be knowledgeable ! Just imagine the impact of this phenomenon on the overall democratic process.

    Aristotle has recognized the point long ago!

  3. Ruszn Baloch says:

    @MMN you are completely off the mark my friend. The issue is not the genral knowledge of the people of Punjab or Balochistan. The issue that this short documenray highlights is the complete indifference of the people of Punjab and for that matter, the rest of Pakistan to the plight of Baloch and Balochistan. Someone had commented about Baloch militants killing settlers in Balochistan, nobody mentioned the killings of Baloch political activists having nothing to do with these target killings; being abducted, brutally tortured, murdered and thrown away by Pakistani security agencies. I condemn both. Pakistan and Pakistani military should stop acting like colonists in Balochistan and should stop treating it like a colony. An institution as established and responsible as Pakistan Army cannot and should not act like a mafia or a gang; unfortunately that is what its agencies are doing in Balochistan to silent the militants in the mountain by taking revenge on Baloch students and political activists. This has come with a free hand to the petty criminals to go with their reign of lawlessness. But as I said you wont know it as just like everybody else the Pakistani media does not consider it worth reporting on. They have more urgent issues like stupid worthless seminars on “Aman ki Asha”, Raymond Davis etc.
    Its time Pakistan Army and its Agencies go back to where they belong and leave the matters of Balochistan in the hands of the political leadership including holding free and fair elections in Balochistan and non-interference in its affairs.

  4. Techuth says:

    Thats all they can do but we should think about them they are humans.

  5. MMN says:

    does it matter? how many baloch know about rest of Pakistan? except whatever is taught in schools….this is not something to be worried about, not at all. my head is not hung in shame. not at all. geographical knowledge is general at the very least. and you cannot expect a commoner to know much about anything beyond his few square miles of reach. our nation is cringed with poverty and baterred by abysmal state of unity both religious and national. honestly, i do not see a silver lining…unless a major reform is brought about. unless education for the masses is aligned. unless religious ideologies are consolidated and aligned….there will be no silver lining.otherwise. not at all.

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