Since March 27th 1948s forced accession the Baloch have been resisting the Pakistani state’s attempts to exploit their resources, politically disenfranchise them, physically eliminate and intimidate them and last but not the least turn them into a minority with influx of non-Baloch people. Baloch resistance has so far foiled the evil designs though this has taken a heavy toll of Baloch lives but there seems to be no let up in resistance.
The intensity and areas of this resistance has varied over time; initially it was limited to central Balochistan then it shifted to Marri and Mengal area with traces of it in the Makran coastal areas. Now the resistance encompasses entire Balochistan with Makran coastal and adjoining area being the most active.
Makran has benefitted from the education that the people there strive for and the political consciousness that is a concomitant of that education. Makran and its adjoining areas people have suffered immeasurably as in wake of mega-projects came brutal repression in form of ‘dirty war’ which would shame even the perpetrators of same in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The blatant political and economic repression that Pakistan has unleashed in name of mega-projects and developments has woken them up to their rights. The abducted and the killed are in their thousands and there seems to be no end to this but yet the Baloch continue to resist with increasing vigor.
There are many brave and heroic people who have sacrificed their lives for Balochistan and all deserve thanks and praise of Baloch Nation for their selfless sacrifices. I will talk about Comrade Abdul Qayyum Baloch of Gwadar, his fifth martyrdom anniversary was two weeks back, who was born in 1984 to Shay Nizar Mohammed. Like other people of the area he too was enrolled in Jadeed School in Gwadar in year 1989 and continued to study there until he passed his Matric exam in year 2002. He passed his FA from Government run Sayad Hashmi Degree College Gwadar in 2004 and then did his Bachelors privately in 2008. He was a good and diligent student who worked hard to learn well; he was interested in political literature as well.
Interestingly Abdul Qayyum while he was a student at Jadeed School like many other students joined the Baloch Students Organization (BSO) at the tender age of nine. Joining BSO was considered something to be proud of. However his brother says he had initially joined BSO as it was the vogue to join it but as he read political literature and heard senior members speeches and talks he matured politically and he realized that activism in BSO is not just a frivolous pastime but a national duty for every Baloch who loved his motherland and wanted the Pakistani injustices to end.
In the 1980s and 1990s the BSO was riven by factions and splits with different leaders advocating different policies and approaches to the solution of Baloch issue. These splits created a lot of misgivings in minds of youth as to what the BSO would be able to achieve and would it be able to stay on the course of right to national self determination which was its fundamental aim.
With arrival of Musharraf and his mega-projects the differences on policies grew as some wanted to be part of the so called development plans. Dr. Allah Nizar realized that these projects were no more than a ploy to change the demography to their disadvantage and bring in social forces which would oppose the historically secular social ethos of Baloch society. Fed up with the bickering and intrigues in 2002 in a press conference at Pak Hotel in Turbat Dr. Allah Nizar announced split from the existing BSO on ideological grounds and announced the formation of BSO-Aajohi. Aajohi in Balochi means independence therefore his group came to be known as BSO-Azad. According to Qayyum himself, he was one of the founding members, regarding this he said they were only 7 members including him of BSO from Gwadar who joined it. He worked untiringly to make BSO-Azad the most popular and effective student organization. This just shows that he was used to struggling against overwhelming odds and his life and death amply proves it.
Pakistan was unnerved by the increasing resistance to its exploitative policies of detrimental mega-projects and its increased military presence began a systematic policy of physical elimination of Baloch activists in Balochistan in 2008 under ‘kill and dump’ policy to intimidate and thwart the Baloch struggle. The BSO-Azad was at forefront in struggling for the rights of Baloch people and therefore became the prime target of the Frontier Corps, the intelligence agencies and their sponsored ‘death squads’.
Comrade Qayyum Baloch had become the member of the Central Committee of BSO-Azad due to his hard work and dedication to the Baloch struggle for their rights. He had also married and had two children a boy Haiyrbiyar and a daughter Shifa. His dedication to the Baloch struggle made him a target for Pakistan which wanted him silenced. On 11 December 2010 he was abducted by Pakistani State agencies from his uncle house in Gwadar. Two months later on 10 February 2011 his badly mutilated body was found from Heeronk district Turbat along with another Baloch activist Jameel Yaqoob Baloch who was a member of Balochistan National Party-Mengal. Pakistan has been indiscriminating in its brutality towards Baloch and doesn’t reserve it for only those who demand independence but employs it against all who demand rights for Baloch people.
After his Martyrdom he was buried at the graveyard of the Zikiri sect in Gwadar. His grave has been desecrated thrice and the Balochistan freedom flag flying there burnt. On his grave the graffiti "kafir, kafir zigri kafir" was written. There is no discrimination against Zikris in Balochistan; the government supported religious groups are involved in killing of Zikris and such dirty crimes. Comrade Abdul Qayyum Baloch like Hameed Baloch, Sana Sangat, Qambar Chakar, Ilyas Nazar, Sulaiman aka Shehaq, Raza Jehangir, Dr Mannan Baloch and hundreds of other Baloch youth who sacrificed their lives was the epitome of love for Motherland and Balochistan’s independence. Their sacrifices will never go in vain.
The writer has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He tweets at mmatalpur and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org