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Hassan Nisar & Balochistan

Few days ago, I had a get-together with the Balochistan based journalist fiends in Quetta for the purpose of discussing the reticence and apathy of the country’s leading liberal intellectuals towards crisis, particularly concerning Balochistan. The discussion was reverberating in my mind that I came across a caustic piece written by Hassan Nisar, “Balochistan Ki Bajharat”, in which he puts forward acrimoniously a distorted picture of Balochistan.  

Undoubtedly, it is sad and poignant that the writer who, instead of writing and paying heed to the real cause behind the tribulations concerning Balochistan where the Baloch activists routinely go missing, Hazaras get killed and bombed, Hindus leave their motherland and the Christians have kept silence due to the prevailing situation, writes and involves foreign hands in Balochistan behind these all happenings and tribulations.      

If any one takes out time and hits the ‘Google’ to go through Former Interior Minister Mr. Rehman Malik’s old statements, or if it seems impossible, then Pakistan’s right wing’s leaders, including: Maulana Fazul-ur-Rehman and Syed Munawar Hassan. They have been discussing all the times the same ‘foreign hands’ in Balochistan. But this time, Mr. Hassan Nisar, the one of country’s leading liberal intellectuals/writers, mentions these ‘foreign hands’ in his piece to divert the people’s attention from Balochistan’s key issue at a very crucial time.

On the one hand, Mr. Hassan Nisar holds responsible the Sardari and duke system for Balochs’ anguishes. But he, on the other hand, does not remember that Nawab Akbar Khan, who was a Baloch Sardar, voted for the creation of Pakistan when he was the member of the Shahi Jirga in 1947. And the then Khan of Kalat, too, acceded the ‘Princely Kalat State’ to Pakistan in March 27, 1948. So, due to these reasons, is Mr. Hassan Nisar accusing the Baloch Sardars for the Baloch people’s anguishes?

Moreover, Mr. Hassan Nisar writes that Balochs make 40 per cent of Balochistan’s total population, excluding the Brahuis (who are not Balochs in his eyes). In writing so, he is trying to make a futile effort to divide Balochs and Brahuis that even do not have a genetic difference with each other. For his kind information, the Balochs’ population and Balochistan is not merely clustered in Balochistan. It is stretched out to the Sindh and Punjab provinces. Also, Balochistan possesses its huge land masses with Afghanistan and Iran. And more than of his 40 per cent, Baloch are living only in Sindh.     

Mr. Hassan Nisar further includes the BS0 (Baloch Student Organization) on the list of the Baloch militant groups that operate in Balochistan. He does not bring into his notice that the BSO is an organization of students who study in the government-run educational institutions of Balochistan, and Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch, who is Balochistan’s current chief minister, started his political career under the platform of the same Baloch Student Orgaznization.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hassan Nisar writes his article at a time when the long march, led by 70 year old man, Mama Qadir Baloch, is underway in the Punjab with women and children for the recovery of their loved ones. It maybe that he is showing intellectual terrorism for the purpose of diverting the attention of the Punjab’s common people. Therefore, in Lahore, where the long marchers stayed, did have the solidarity of the 20 people out of its 20 million populations.

As a matter of fact, Punjab, the elder brother, has not perceived Balochistan’s issue to date. For example, when the BBC-Urdu surveyed in Lahore the people lacked knowledge about Balochs and Balochistan. They, except Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, did not know about rest of Balochistan’s 29 distircts.

And if, I suppose, the BBC-Urdu conducts a similar type of a survey in Balochistan about the Punjab, especially in its rural parts, then even college students can describe the Punjab and its politics accurately because they are ‘politicized’ by the virtue of Balochistan’s current situation. And here, it is not justified to hold responsible the common people of Punjab for not knowing about Balochistan, the largest proince of Pakistan. Instead, intellectuals themselves are responsible, including Mr. Hassan Nisar, for not bringing the clear picture of Balochistan to their readers. That is why Balochistan and its people are missing in the mainstream national media, or if an intellectual like Mr. Hassan Nisar discusses them in their pieces, gives a new angle to them and their issue for creating confusion among the masses.

Again, it is to be noted that Balochistan and its issue has not been understood. That is why it has been clamoring for decades. In order to understand them, our intellectuals ought to make understand the masses sincerely and truthfully about Balochistan and its issue. In doing so, Balochistan may be brought back into the national mainstream.     

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