The situation in Balochistan continues to be volatile. The latest victim of the violence and anarchy in Pakistan’s largest province is the well known Baloch rights activist and professor, Saba Dashtiyari, gunned down in Quetta on June 1, 2011. Words are not enough to express outrage and grief at this continued genocide of Pakistan’s liberal, secular, progressive citizens.
“As young kids, we had heard charming stories about a Baloch professor who was an atheist but, ironically, taught theology and Islamic studies at the University of Balochistan. Another thing that fascinated us about him was the narrative that he spent most of his salary on the promotion of Balochi language academies and preparation of Balochi text books,’ writes Malik Siraj Akbar in his moving obituary for the slain professor in Baloch Hal.
Video of Prof. Dashtiyari speaking at Karachi Press Club at a seminar last year on missing persons – at the start a woman ‘journalist’ tries to interrupt him but he rightly insists on having his say and presents a strong argument about the situation in Balochistan, giving a historical and political perspective
In March 2011, human rights activist Naeem Sabir, HRCP coordinator was gunned down in Khuzdar, the day before Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti was killed. What I wrote then holds true today: “There is outrage and anger at these cowardly acts that have deprived Pakistan of two dedicated human rights activists just when we needed them most. It is heartening that citizens in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad assembled at very short notice to protest, however small in numbers they may have been….Unfortunately, our ideas don’t get much space in the mainstream television channels, that are in general more interested in talk shows that fan conflict (get more ratings) rather than in propagating responsible ideas that make people think…” (Murders most foul, March 2, 2011)
I had also shared this note from Kamran Shafi: “You and I and other friends can protest until we are blue in the face, it will make no difference as long as the Deep State goes on supporting these extremist obscurantists. It is time we picketed the Establishment itself if we are to save this country from its nosedive into the shadows of hate and intolerance. We need slogans like: ‘Murderers cannot be this country’s “STRATEGIC ASSETS”‘! WE ARE!'”