The aftermath of Arab uprising has shaken the conscience of the democratic world. The uprising that started in 2011 was peaceful and very promising. Masses came out in millions and demanded their basic rights. They wanted freedom, democracy, justice and employment. These demands were neither naïve nor idealistic. In fact, most people in the developed democratic nations take these rights for granted.
The prevailing view of the pundits, the region’s ruling establishments and the world powers was that this system does not fit in with the nature of these people. They openly professed that freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law cannot be applied in the region! When people removed one dictator after another from power the prevalent view changed overnight completely. One could hear the prediction that the end of dictatorship at last arrived in this part of the world. After this social and political upheaval it was said that one country after another would invariably adopt a liberal democratic political system. In their remedy, however, one key factor was missing.
We all know that the present map of the Middle East and its surrounding is the creation of the European Empires that colonised the nations of this region in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. When these empires ruled they watchfully handpicked the most corrupt, ignorant, violent and religious fanatics out of the local people to run and guard their interests in their colonies. As they left, they drew artificial boarders and created arbitrary countries and handed these countries to their most loyal servants that they had so methodically selected and trained for many decades. The prototypical product of this policy is the state of Pakistan. When the British Empire left India, they divided it and a segment of India was presented to their most dutiful servants, the Punjabi fundamentalist Muslims. Moreover, the British governments have continued their support to this artificial state and their horrendous violation of human rights and their Islamic extremism to this very day.
The rise and fall of the Arab Spring is also a consequence of this unpalatable truth. The problem is not with the people who reside within these artificial constructions. These people like rest of humanity want to live free of tyranny, prison, torture, flogging, execution, stoning to death, cutting of limbs and hunger. They want to live in peace, security and with dignity. The problem is with these colonial theocratic geopolitical structures. These colonial constructions are inherently irrational, undemocratic and inhumane. Formation of Hezbollah, Taliban and ISIL and their rise to political power is a natural outcome of this legacy. Needless to say that all other military and non-military left and right rulers of these Frankenstein states have not acted any different from these groups. There is a common tie that unites all these rulers and that is to guard these colonial constructions by all means. In one word, dictatorship. It would be utterly foolish to expect anything but raw dictatorship from colonial geopolitical structures such as Pakistan and Iran. Preservation of such artificial political construction can only be prolonged by extreme violence, religious hatred and warfare.
Among the nations the Baloch nation is the least known and has suffered the most due to these colonial theocratic constructions. The British Empire invaded Balochistan in 1839 and subsequently divided it into three parts. The western part was given to Persia, the Northern part to Afghanistan and the eastern part was illegally occupied by the state of Pakistan in 1948 soon after the British forged the state of Pakistan in 1947. With all the hurdles placed against the Baloch, they have not stopped their desire for their freedom and independence. Thousands of Baloch political and human rights and ordinary Baloch have been arrested, disappeared, imprisoned, tortured and killed by the occupying states of Pakistan and Iran during this period.
Since the year 2000 both colonial theocratic states of Pakistan and Iran have broken their records of atrocities per population against Baloch people. The Punjabi army and rulers of Pakistan have abducted and disappeared up to 20,000 Baloch political and human rights activists. The mutilated bodies of about 2,000 of these victims have been discovered in many desolated areas and in several mass graves in the eastern occupied Balochistan. The number of people being disappeared and killed this year alone goes to many hundreds of individual.
The Persian rulers of the colonial theocratic state of Iran also have carried out the largest mass execution craze per population from 2003 to 2009 in western occupied Balochistan. They also executed the first web blogger in the world, the Baloch journalist Yaghoob Mhrnehad in 2008. The regime policy of shoot to kill is still in its full swing. So far just this year the Islamic regime of Iran has killed over 30 Baloch, mostly youth and mostly bystanders.
The victory of Arab Spring is fundamental to restoration of Baloch democratic rights. The current set back is only temporary. It is mainly due to the policy of preservation of the present colonial theocratic constructions by all means. The setback has also emboldened the rulers of Pakistan and Iran to arrest; disappear, torture more Baloch political and human rights activists in the last two years. While the attention of the world is on the Middle East, these states in Balochistan are doing what ISIL does with their opponents in the territories that are under their control.
The Punjabi Jihadists of Pakistan and the Hezbollah of Iran have transformed Balochistan to a no go area. There is no independent media in Balochistan. Neither is there any human rights organization nor a single foreign scholar to carry out an independent study of Balochistan. Even foreign tourists and adventurists are not allowed to enter Balochistan. In case they see what goes on to the Baloch people under occupation of Punjabi Muslims and the Persian Mullahs. Instead, both eastern and western occupied Balochistan are full of all sorts of military and paramilitary crusaders and jihadists that are sent by the Pakistani and Iranian states to counter Baloch secular democratic liberation movement. Those who belong to these armies and groups are not different from ISIL in their beliefs and deeds. While the democratic world abhors ISIL’s creed and actions but they have kept quiet about the Punjabi and Persian extremists’ ideology and actions in Balochistan.
Besides all the atrocities cited above Baloch are deprived of their economy, environment, health, infrastructure, culture, language, art, music, moral and cultural values, peace and security. To the colonial theocratic states of Pakistan and Iran a Baloch life is worthless. But despite of all difficulties and the weaknesses of a few Baloch resistance organisations and their leaders, the Baloch liberation movement is still thriving and growing in strength. The main reason for that is every sensible person knows that what is going on in Balochistan is not viable in the long run. The same colonial and violent policies and methods cannot be sustained for too long. As much as it is not the end of the Arab Spring and in the same way Baloch resistance will never disappear until its eventual victory. The hidden currents are underway. Political tyranny and religious fanaticism had their time in the region and are no longer in demand. The colonial theocratic states solution to Baloch is more of the same; more cruelty, death, destruction and religious fanaticism. This is obviously not the answer to the legitimate rights of the Baloch nation and other nations that are under their domination.
What is more, no option is workable unless it is grounded on rational reasoning; freedom, democracy, respect to human rights, justice, the rule of law and mutual respect. These conditions will only materialize within a free, open and accountable environment. Baloch have been fighting for these values for a very long time. Many Baloch have given their lives to restore these rights for their people and homeland. For this reason Baloch nation has dedicated one day in the year to remember and celebrate the life and achievements of Baloch Martyrs of liberation struggle and continue their path of struggle for our freedom. This day is known as Baloch Martyrs Day “Shahmeeren Balochani Roch.” This is held on the 13 November of each year to remember them and to keep their memory alive. On this day the British imperial army invaded independent state of Balochistan and killed the head of Baloch state, Mir Mehrab Khan Baloch.