Hamid Mir and Pakistan’s ideological security establishment

Below, text of my interview with Viewpoint Online about the Hamid Mir saga, that began with the murderous attack on one of Pakistan’s top journalists and television talk show hosts, who has angered Pakistan’s ideological security establishment with his stands on 1971, regional peace (including with India), and most recently, Balochistan. Besides speaking openly about the distorted history we are taught about this issue in Pakistan, he even walked in support with the Baloch Long March activists. Also read these excellent analyses: Sahar Habib Ghazi on Pakistani spies, Mir, and the missing people of Balochistan, and Jugnu Mohsin –  Rumi and Mir. The character assassination on Hamid Mir now reminds me of the campaigns that followed the attack on Raza Rumi that killed his driver, and even before that, against Malala Yusufzai when she was shot. And this measured speech by Shaheen Qureshi at a recent SAFMA meeting (video, Urdu). Continue reading

Update to the ‘coffin protest’ in Pakistan

Photo tweeted by Haider Changezi @Aushpaz: Dear #Pakistan U all came in protest but Gov is deaf, hasn't announced #ActionAgainstLeJ #WeAreAllHazara

Photo tweeted by Haider Changezi @Aushpaz: Dear #Pakistan U all came in protest but Gov is deaf, hasn’t announced #ActionAgainstLeJ #WeAreAllHazara

A quick note on the current situation: The past two days and nights have seen inspiring massive, ongoing peaceful protests all across Pakistan in solidarity with the ‘coffin protesters’ at Alamdar Road in Quetta who are refusing to bury their dead until their demands for security are met. The protests finally pushed the PPP government to action – the Balochistan provincial government has been dismissed and Governor Rule imposed in the province, one of the demands of the protestors. Continue reading

Quetta Youth Festival 2012: Winds of change?

Who says there’s no positive news coming out of Pakistan?

“Looking at the videos really changed my perception of the youth of Balochistan. Such brilliant young men and women, sitting together for a cause, enjoying, eating, singing, dancing and spreading the message of love” – Ali Rahman, on the First Quetta Youth Conference 2012

Continue reading

Who Was Dr. Baqir Shah?

Since the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) continues to block Baloch Hal in Pakistan, I’m posting these news items from their website here. The saga of Pakistan’s ‘enlightenment’ martyrs continues…

Who Was Dr. Baqir Shah?

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: Dr. Baqir Shah, a police surgeon, had conducted the postmortem of the five foreigners, including three women who were brutally killed by the firing of security forces in Kharotabad area on May 17 this year. He had come up with a report that the victims were killed by the bullets that contradicted to the claims of security forces that the foreigners were killed due to explosion Continue reading

“We want to attend universities, not funerals” – Young Women of Balochistan

HRCP activist lit candles on Dec 10, Human Rights Day, that they dedicated to Balochistan. But the killings and disappearances continue - as the photos on the wall testify. Photo: Reuters

Below please see a letter from Young Women of Balochistan, forwarded by a friend who received it via email on Dec 10, 2011, Human Rights Day – a day commemorated around the country and dedicated to the people of Balochistan by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (See this report by Rabia Ali). Ironically and tragically, that very day, a young Baloch human rights activist, 35-year old Faisal Mengal, was gunned down in Karachi (details in this report). As Rabia Ali reports, from July 2010 to November 2011, around 300 dead bodies were found — some even of 14-year-olds, according to Tahir Hussain, Vice Chairperson of the HRCP’s Balochistan chapter. Those killed include two HRCP activists, while the number of people missing range from 5,000 to 6,000.  Read on for this brief appeal by the Young Women of Balochistan… Continue reading

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