For over 30 days, BSO Azad Central Committee member Sangat Lateef Johar has been on a #HungerStrikeTillDeath protest to #SaveBSOAzadLeader. Since he began his hunger strike, Lateef Johar has lost more than 20kg and his health is rapidly declining. Friends, Associates, Journalists, Activists, and sympathizers have urged Lateef Johar to end his hunger strike. Despite the excruciating hunger and fatigue, Lateef Johar remains determined to continue his hunger strike until BSO Azad Chairman Zahid Baloch is released.
“Our generation is the generation of waste and destruction. We must sacrifice one generation” – Lateef Johar (via twitter @LateefJohar)
Seldom is there a man such as Sangat Lateef Johar; so willing to sacrifice everything to awaken a sense of humanity within us. If Lateef continues his hunger strike until death, his martyrdom would be a terrible loss to all mankind. As a result of Lateef’s hunger strike, he has exposed the Pakistan government’s flagrant human rights abuses, oppression of education, as well as revealed the international community’s cruel complacency.
On April 22nd BSO-Azad student group established a protest camp at the Karachi Press Club in Sindh to protest the enforced disappearance of BSO Azad Chairman Zahid Baloch. Zahid Baloch was arrested by State Security Forces on March 18th 2014, while attending a BSO-Azad meeting in Satellite Town, Quetta. Zahid has since been imprisoned without charge or crime. Zahid’s family, his BSO-Azad associates, as well as Journalists, Activists, Human Rights Advocates have all publicly expressed serious concern about Zahid’s safety. Although concerned parties have attempted to file FIR (First Information Report), Pakistan authorities refused to accept the report stating “cases cannot be lodged against members of security agencies.”
Pakistan’s Security Forces have frequently targeted Journalists, Activists, Lawyers, and their relatives for Enforced Abduction and Extrajudicial Execution. Thousands of their Bullet Riddled bodies have been recovered during the past ten years in Balochistan. The remains of abductees are often discovered “dumped” in rural areas and Disfigured by Severe Acts of Torture. On May 10th BSO-Azad member Jahanzaib Baloch was extrajudicially executed by State Sponsored Death Squads in Mastung. To this day, not one single political abductee has been charged with a crime or granted due process.
BSO-Azad announced calls for a Balochistan province wide strike on May 21st. Cities all across Balochistan were completely shut down. Throughout the day roads were empty and shops were closed in protest of the illegal abduction of BSO-Azad Chairman Zahid Baloch. The BSO-Azad strike call was publicly endorsed by BRP, BYW and BNM. BSO-Azad officially thanked all the citizens workers and businessmen of Balochistan for participating in the strike.
Activists around the world continue to show their support and solidarity staging protests and demonstrations urging the international community to demand Pakistan release all political prisoners and cease their violent military campaign in Balochistan. On May 16th BHRO held a seminar in Karachi and on May 18th Protestors in Busan held a rally to show their support.
In Toronto, Ontario, Progressive students Tayyaba and Urooj Shahzadi, BHRC-Canada, Baloch Community Ontario and World Sindhi Congress held a protest on May 18th to show solidarity with BSO-Azad and condemn Pakistan’s campaign of human rights abuses in Balochistan.
“Pakistan and Iran are not only committing Baloch Genocide but also destroying Baloch’s culture.” – Hyrbyair Marri Baloch
Amnesty International has recently released a document calling upon the Pakistan Administration to either release Zahid Baloch or promptly charge him with a criminal offense in accordance with international laws. Activists are urged to print and mail the document to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, and Chief Minister of Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik.
In Dera Bugti, Pakistani Armed Forces conducted an intense military operation on Monday. Occupational State Forces heavily bombarded the Pelawagh and Sanghar pati districts of Dera Bugti killing Hayat Khan Bugti and wounding Pazo Bibi, Ghulam Nabi Bugti & Shahi Bugti. After heavily shelling the villages, State Forces invaded civilian houses, looting valuables and setting the homes ablaze. State Agents abducted 5 residents during the operation.
“Despite of all such brutalities of Pakistani forces over Baloch civilians, the United Nations and civilized world keeps silence. Mr Bugti appealed to the human rights advocate groups to raise their voice against the state brutalities in Balochistan. Where the state terrorism on Baloch people have become a routine.” – BRP – Dera Bugti District President Riaz Gul Bugti
Private schools throughout the region have been forced to close after state endorsed terrorist gang Tanzeem-ul-Islami-ul-Furqan distributed a threatening flyer in the Panjgur region earlier this month. Al-Furqan terrorists accuse school administrators of “corrupting the minds of young girls by exposing them to western education” and demanded “all private schools must immediately disallow girls from seeking an education”. The terrorist gang has effectively assumed the role of enforcing a long established Pakistan State policy of strictly oppressing education of Baloch. On May 14th, within close vicinity to a FC checkpoint, Al-Furqan militants set fire to a school van transporting female students and teachers. Although Pakistani FC soldiers were stationed at a checkpoint only a few meters away, they did not respond to the attack.
For several months, the entire Panjgur region has been under heavy occupation by State Forces. Pakistan Armed Forces have established checkpoints and camps at every major intersection and roadway. Vacant schools and public buildings have been reportedly repurposed into Military Barracks and detention centers.
Despite Pakistan’s heavy military presence in the Panjgur region, radical terrorist gangs openly operate with impunity. Instead of fighting the extremist thugs, Pakistan’s army directs their force against Balochistan’s impoverished rural villages. Students, journalists, activists, suspected nationalists and even their relatives are routinely targeted by State endorsed death squads. The use of mercenary gangs to enforce the policy of the Occupational State has been a long standing practice in Pakistan.
On May 21st, in the Hoshab region of Turbat, State Forces fired a rocket at a local hotel killing the owner. State Forces were allegedly retaliating on local civilians after a recent defeat at the hands of Baloch freedom fighters. On May 15th the remains of Roshan s/o Maulana Bux r/o Khudabad were recovered in Panjgur. Roshan’s body was found with the hands and feet bound. On May 14th one person was killed and four others injured by unidentified gunmen in Hub.