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. (more…)
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
The Citizens for Free and Responsible Media, Pakistan, has sent an email to the Editors of The News and Jang regarding an unethical, false and irresponsible report about Ali Dayan’s testimony before the US congressional hearing on Balochistan, in response to a private member’s proposed resolution in the House of Representatives. Text of the email posted in a Note in the CFRM facebook page; also copy-pasted below. (Note: Contrary to the impression given in some sections of the media in Pakistan, the U.S. has not passed any ‘bill’ on Balochistan; even if such a bill does pass, it will have no legally binding status unless it is debated and presented for a vote in the form of a bill that would need to pass through both the lower house and the senate). (more…)
> Date: Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 12:37 AM
> Subject: Re: Citizens for Free and Responsible Media statement on the media and Balochistan
> To: C4FRM Pakistan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Kindly send your Names and addresses, so that on the basis of your factually incorrect and rather harassing mail, a legal notice will be served > to you in 24 hours.
> *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***
Citizens for Free and Responsible Media statement on the Media and Balochistan
To: All TV channel heads, producers and directors, newspaper editors, DG PEMRA, Minister of Information, Prime Minister Pakistan
1. We urge the Government to facilitate dialogue by lifting curbs on the media in Balochistan.
2. We call upon the media in Pakistan to address the situation in Balochistan with sensitivity, empathy and fairness and to facilitate a civil discourse.
3. We demand a public apology from Kamran Shahid, the producers of Frontline, Express TV, Barrister Saif and APML and all channels to boycott Mr Saif until he apologises publicly for his remarks. We also urge the APML as a responsible political party to apologise for his excesses. (more…)
The Pakistan Medical Association, Karachi has strongly condemned the brutal murder of Dr. Baqir Shah, Police Surgeon, Quetta… The reason for his killing is obvious: that he was the key witness of the Kharotabad incident. He had conducted the post-mortem examination of the victims and had given the factual version that the victims had died due to the indiscriminate firing of the LEAs and not due to an explosion… PMA condemns colleague’s murder | Dr Baqir Shah.
It is an outrage and a violation of freedom of expression that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) continues to block Baloch Hal in Pakistan at a time when this voice needs to be heard across the country now, more than ever. Reproduced below, BH editorial pegged on the target killing of Dr Baqir Shah (emphasis added):
Editorial: War Against Baloch Doctors
The late police surgeon was somewhat an easy target for terrorists for a host of reasons. His situation could enable any murderer to immediately vanish in thin air because of the circumstances that shrouded the late doctor. He gained enormous national and international media attention after conducting the postmortem of five foreigners who were killed on May 17 in what is now remembered as the infamous and tragic Kharotabad incident. (more…)
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…
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 (more…)
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… (more…)
Interview: Beena Sarwar on Journalism and Safety in Pakistan
Published in Asia Society blog, November 8th, 2011
Rind, an editor and columnist with the Urdu-language newspaper Daily Tawar, was kidnapped in his hometown of Hub in southern Balochistan province. The discovery of his body paints a bleak picture of the working conditions for journalists in the troubled country, who battle pressures on the international front from the war on terror and human rights and ideological issues at home. (more…)