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Zakir Majeed's family.
Zakir Majeed's family.
Protesters and long march participants holding slogans demanding the recovery of missing persons.
Protesters and long march participants holding slogans demanding the recovery of missing persons.
Long march participants.
Long march participants.
Long march participants.
Long march participants.
Long march participants.
Long march participants.

Her face covered with a shawl, feet swollen, eyes dried, holding a picture of her brother tightly in her hands, Farzana Majeed is slowly and painfully covering the 450 mile distance from Quetta to Karachi on foot for the past nine days. In reality, this painful journey for Farzana began four years ago, when her family received a call at their home informing that her brother had been “picked up” on his way from Mastung. Having attended funerals of hundreds of tortured and mutilated young men, who had been disappeared under similar circumstances and later dumped in various corners of Balochistan, Farzana knew very well that her brother may meet the same fate.

Farzana’s brother, Zakir Majeed, was a student of English literature at the Balochistan University. With excellent leadership and communication skills and a heightened sense of awareness for the rights of the people of Balochistan, Zakir was intensely involved in campus activism. Zakir had no record of violence against his name and his means of protest were strictly peaceful in nature.

Farzana herself is a graduate of biochemistry and was until recently enrolled in a Master of Philosophy program at the Balochistan University. Her educational achievements are a rare feat for a woman from Balochistan, where the rate of transition to tertiary education is one of the lowest in the world. But ever since her brother’s disappearance, Farzana’s own life has come to a grinding halt; attending classes at the university is now an indulgence she simply cannot afford.

She moves from one city to another setting up protest camps outside various press clubs, attending court hearings and organising rallies in collaboration with the families of hundreds of other young Baloch men who have disappeared. In search of her brother, Farzana has knocked on all the doors. Each time she hears about a tortured and abandoned body found somewhere in Karachi or Balochistan, she rushes to the morgue, praying for it not to be her brother. With each passing day Farzana’s hope for the recovery of her brother is fading away. In an interview given a few months ago, she said,

He was kept at Quli camp. Other people who were kept in that camp and later released have brought us his messages. He sent us his love. He took the buttons off his shirt and sent them to reassure us that he was alive.

She says she does not know how to comfort her old mother or how to give her hope that one day Zakir will return home alive and not as a disfigured corpse.

Farzana’s story and the plight of hundreds of other Baloch families’ are not sensational or significant enough to warrant much attention, neither from the West nor from the people of Pakistan. When 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot, there was an international outcry against the ruthless attack. United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and the US President both released statements condemning the cowardly attack by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. Malala soon became a powerful symbol for girls’ education across the globe; her battle to secure a right to education for the girls in Swat Valley was aptly raised and praised on the global stage. The perpetrators in her case were the Taliban; a clear-enough enemy. No diplomatic ties were at risk of being sabotaged by condemning the Taliban and certainly no ally lifelines were at peril of being severed. The support for Malala was not going to affect Pakistan’s war on terror; if anything, it would further legitimise it.

Nabila Rehman, the young girl whose grandmother was killed in a drone strike, is currently in Washington DC to record her testimony in front of the US Congress. She is in Washington DC to share her story, and those of other innocent victims, with US lawmakers, the American public and the rest of the world. Nabila is getting an international stage to record her protest and has given hours of recorded interviews to the US and international media. Citizens across Pakistan are not happy; they think Nabila deserves as much, if not more, attention than Malala. They are also upset about the embarrassingly low turn-out of lawmakers (just five senators) at the congressional hearing where Nabila was testifying. People across Pakistan are lobbying online for greater awareness and attention for Nabila’s plight and that of other drone victims.

So, while Malala enjoys support in the West for her cause, Nabila has managed to secure an overwhelming amount of support from the people of Pakistan, Farzana, the sister in quest for her missing brother, remains as lonesome as ever. And yet, she marches on.

For most international powers, talking about Balochistan and the human rights abuses occurring there, adds to the complexity of dealing with Pakistan. With most western powers already in a dysfunctional relationship with a rapidly spiraling Pakistan, raising or discussing the Baloch cause is seen as not worth the headache nor does it, in the short run, directly affect their own national security interests.

For the international media, Balochistan is strictly a ‘no-go’ area, not only because it is widely-considered unsafe for outsiders but also because journalists and camera crews are said to be immediately denied clearance by the intelligence authorities. Pakistan’s own local media is perhaps under strict directions to limit or altogether exclude stories from Balochistan.

For the people at large, it is more comforting and makes more sense to believe that the sovereignty of a people can only be violated by external forces. No rallies are held in Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad, like they have been held in the past for drone attack victims. Nor will they ever question the fact that if Nabila can fly to Washington DC to ask the US Congress, ‘why did you kill my grandmother?’ Why can Farzana not ask the same question on the floor of Pakistan’s own parliament? Does Farzana not have the right to ask Pakistani lawmakers, ‘where is my brother?’

Farzana Majeed’s brother, and all those missing Baloch men and women, are unfortunately not the victims of drone strikes nor are they victims of the Taliban’s savagery. They are, instead, victims at the hands of a known yet unknown enemy for raising their voice against injustice and demanding their basic rights.

Farzana will continue walking; she knows when she will reach Karachi, there will be no politicians or public crowds waiting to receive her or express their solidarity. The United Nations and key international powers will not condemn the disappearance of her brother, let alone the government or people of Pakistan. She is left to fight this battle alone. A battle she is not willing to give up on until her brother returns home; hopefully alive.

Author Image

The writer is a former 2012-13 Hubert Humphrey Fellow who has completed her professional affiliation with The Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education in Washington DC. She is an avid political and social commentator and can be reached at She tweets @hinabaloch.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (65) Closed

Khurram Aziz Nov 11, 2013 05:49pm

very inhumane on part of the Govt.

amarjeet singh sandhu Nov 11, 2013 06:18pm

Isn't it amazing how the people on both side of the border go through such horrific pain

Chandra Nov 11, 2013 06:53pm

What a strong lady. Admire her courage and perseverance against all odds.

intazar ali Nov 11, 2013 07:17pm

that is ironically that our baloch brother are missing and our sister are searching them govt of pakistan should release them so that every one can live happily with their loved one and we should not create enemies of our homeland within it. i appeal govt to solve this issue as soon as possible

Yousaf Nov 11, 2013 07:20pm

And then we all wonder why the Baluch hate the idea of Pakistan. The reason in this article.

Tariq Abbasi Nov 11, 2013 07:26pm

It is very unfortunate..Balochistan is mishandled and mismanaged not only by establishment and federation but also by Baloch politicians. The track adopted by people like Dr. Allah Nazar is devastating as the way our establishment deal things. What is the solution? I think solution of the problem of missing person can be a good step forward. It will empower people like Dr. Abdul Malik with sufficient credibility to tackle situation. Foreign powers are also involved in Balochistan. So an iron hand is required for external enemies and a accommodating behavior for locals.

Akram Nov 11, 2013 07:52pm

Although I am not condoning the arrest and detentions as such, the fact remains, this whole nation has not been able to hold it leaders to account, it is not just Farzana. This is how democracies begin, they evolve to better practices, and better rights, through suffering like that of Farzana.

This is no comfort to her, it takes a long time to do. But her brother should have tread more carefully in University, especially since he must have been aware that he was picking a fight with the Army. I have no doubt the wealthy let the poor take the brunt of the Army's action, whilst the poor do the suffering, it will be the wealthy sardars who profit from any change in the end. This is the case in every country not just Pakistan, and its a reason to be careful regarding wanting change. The sardars will just use you and toss you away when done.

Ghulam Ali Nov 11, 2013 08:16pm

This is a great piece of writing. Very sad and painful.

Shahid Khan Nov 11, 2013 08:52pm

The sign carried by the walkers says it all. Asking the UNO to come to their aid just shows how irrelevant the Pakistani state is becoming in all parts of the country.

Christine Nov 11, 2013 09:42pm

Excellent article. Deep respect for Farzana!

Ahmed Nov 11, 2013 10:01pm

What about the thousands of non-baluchis and shias who have been hounded out of baluchistan, brutalized or murdered by these "baluch nationalist victims"? What about the rights of all Pakistanis to live in peace and not have constant violence on the pretext of religion and/or ethnicity?

IBN-E-ASHFAQUE Nov 11, 2013 10:37pm

The people under the leadership of politicians and Allah's help created Pakistan. Now an institution has taken over Pakistan causing grave injustice to ordinary Pakistanis. The good politicians are dead or have been made dead. The people of Pakistan are suffuring. My brave brothers and sisters in faith pray to Allah for guidance and salvation. My sister Farzana may Allah give you courage as democracy cannot do much for you, nor the courts can do anything, but have faith in Allah.

Hamza Baloch Nov 11, 2013 11:07pm

International community ever speak on Gutnamo bey ? Which is full of Zakir Majeeds.

Iltaf Kiani Nov 11, 2013 11:17pm

Strange just three comments and two are Indians. wake up Pakistan!

Summi Nov 11, 2013 11:34pm

My heart goes out to Ms Farzana Majeed. I sincerely hope the people of Balochistan find peace soon.

sherie Nov 11, 2013 11:51pm

it could have been me. in a way it is me because he is my brother too. farzana, please know that we all pray for zakir and so many other brothers who are missing. i hope that someone responsible can start seeing how harmful this illegal business in the name of security is for our country.

Ritesh Gowarikar Nov 12, 2013 01:06am

Excellent write-up; it exposes the gaps within the Baloch narrative as waxed by the establishment. Missing persons languishing in the 'dungeons' and dumped bodies are both terrifying examples of ongoing atrocities and human rights violations. Too bad there is no one out there to listen to this girl and hundreds of other Baloch people's crying voices. May God have mercy on these missing persons and their families and may the powers that be, who are holding these poor people captive, show some mercy and compassion. Maybe it's too much to expect and ask for? Sigh!

Bin Adam Nov 12, 2013 01:10am

The top political leaders of all major parties of Pakistan, the top media men and the Supreme Court CJ by himself have shown their deep concern about such missing, imprisoned, tortured persons, mostly the youths leaving their parents half dead and family members in extreme pains. But it is unfortunate that like all the other major problems of Pakistan like terrorism, corruption, extortion, kidnappings for money and sectarian killings no amicable solution could be found since the past Military and Civilian Governments? Are they waiting for Angels to land from skies to solve these grave national problems?

Ghulam Rabbani Nov 12, 2013 01:15am

Heart rending story. Hina, is'nt there any social media Forum where this story can be propagated to enlarge the exposure of this human tragedy to our own public and beyond.

Debashish Kapoir Nov 12, 2013 01:26am

Great article! Terrible to see what is going on in Balochistan.... Where is the follow -up on Amnesty International's report on Balochistan's missing persons? Why are the people of Pakistan, who are so passionate about ending drone strikes, silent and blind to the massacre of Baloch people within Pakistan's own border? As the writer said, violation of sovereignty comes in many forms: sad to see people not recognize this!

Derrick Maedal Nov 12, 2013 01:31am

Very well written piece by the author. I had no idea about the Baloch missing persons. I was ignorant about this till now. What an eye opening account. I hope the people of Pakistan will treat Baloch people better. Very sad to read all this.

asef Nov 12, 2013 02:47am

May Allah grant this courageous lady success and may her brother and all 'missing' brothers and sons return home safe.

Usman Baloch Nov 12, 2013 02:38am

Pakistan is the new word for hypocrisy in dictionary. Inshallah Balochistan will get the independence and be a good example for brotherly neighbors.

Gulbagh Singh Nov 12, 2013 02:53am

This was same in Indian Punjab during '80s Shame on both India and Pakistan

Irfan Khawaja Nov 12, 2013 03:17am

Forwarding this article to my US senator with the hope that he would raise a voice for these oppressed people. Some people in Pakistan may consider this as bringing bad name to the country, but what other option? as there is no hope for them in Pakistan.

Ali Nov 12, 2013 03:57am

Very very sad news. I don't know why they go missing and who are these heartless people who pick up these innocent people. Come on you all have mothers and fathers too and just imagine how much pain they must be going through and not to forget that we all have to die one day and face Allah. Please let everyone come home. Courts are made to give justice. Baloch, Sindhi, Pathan or Punjabi we all are Muslims and we all are Pakistani.

Sh Nov 12, 2013 03:59am

Such is the attention of media on Balochistan that during elections 2013 when the entire media was focusing on the rigging in NA 250 there was a strike in Balochistan (which was never reported in any news)

Agha Asad Raza Nov 12, 2013 07:59am

This is NOT the whole truth about these so called 'missing' persons! Kindly remain balanced in your reporting rather than creating an emotional issue out of it!

Muhammad Farooq Nov 12, 2013 08:20am

for how long people of Pakistan in general and people of Balochistan in particular would be subjected to this inhuman treatment. Where are all defenders of democracy (defined as the rule of the people). Those who matter in the matter should wake up from their deep slumber before it is too late.

We should all work with this iron-willed lady Farzana Majeed to get her brother released.

Kudos for HINA BALOCH for this brilliant piece of writing. May Allah help us while we help ourselves.

Shazain Balooch Nov 12, 2013 09:11am

Apparently your article is biased and is tilted towards a school of thought that people of balauchistan are being mishandled by Pakistan Agencies. People who are supposedly picked up by agencies have a track record of criminal activities which might not be apparent to writers like you. But this is a fact that many learned people of Baluchistan province are being funded by enemies of Pakistan to preach an agenda of hatred towards this sacred land. Such people must be stopped. Your article doesnot mention killing of Punjabis mazdoors in this province by Balauch Separatists for no reason. It doesnot mention the atrocities conducted by these separatists against other ethnicities. Many people are still rotting under captivity by these Balauch seperatists.

Ali Khan Nov 12, 2013 09:21am

Touching stories by the writer of this column. I guess most people like me have no sympathy for the Baloch missing persons is because the killings of non Baloch by the BLA and other associated Terror groups.

I wounder why no one writes about the innocent migrant workers killed by the Baloch terror groups and the stories of their families seeking justice.....

I have family who fled Quetta because they were given a "parchi" for being outsiders so sorry but any sympathy from me is not going to be vocal as long as there is justice of the victims of BLA.

Wajeeh Nov 12, 2013 09:46am

Why don't our establishment learn from the case of Bangladesh, and stop doing cruelty with the people of Baluchistan. They are ruthless just after the money and power on the name of national security. Two brothers cannot live together without justice then how can you keep an entire province. Political government will not open its mouth as they have to complete their five years.

human Nov 12, 2013 10:52am

Dear Baloch people, you are unfortunate to be born in Pakistan. Thats all I can say.

Atiq Rehman Nov 12, 2013 11:23am

People should consider the consequences of their actions before joining groups which want to break up their country. Even if he did nothing violent himself, being part of such a group is bad enough.

Ali Nov 12, 2013 11:31am

Hina should be appreciated for covering this story very well, and newspaper DAWN for giving it good space and highlighting this very important matter.Balochistan is a totally lawless area now and many agencies and criminals are operating there Farzana is a brave young lady who it seems is enduring a lot of pain in order to find her brother and we pray that she finds him alive and healthy soon. This is one of the worst things that can happen to a family.The SC of Pakistan did issue some orders to some agencies to find out about these missing persons but i guess it did not meet any success, maybe after reading this article it will take some action again, maybe the army chief can help or perhaps she should get in touch with Ansar Burney for advice and help,. All the best to Farzana and her family.

Daniyal Nov 12, 2013 11:32am

@amarjeet singh sandhu: its rather heart wrenching

z Nov 12, 2013 11:28am


Justice for All Nov 12, 2013 11:51am

My heart goes out to Farzana. Thank you for speaking out Hina. This article is a must-read for all the jingoists in Pakistan who keep harping about Nabila. I ask people like them: Where's your outrage for people like Farzana? Are Farzana, her abducted brother and and the hundreds like them not worthy of your attention?

Thanks Dawn and Hina for highlighting this issue. We must also not forget the Punjabi and Urdu Speaking minorities of Balochistan, Who will speak for them? Hardly anyone speaks out against the blatant ethnic cleansing of minority groups that has been carried out by certain rouge Baloch groups.

I hope to see justice for Farzana, and her brother. And our Baloch brothers and sisters who are in similar position. And I hope to see justice too for the so-called "settlers"--the unsung barbers, teachers, doctors, professors, and blue-collar construction workers--who have been targetted in Balochistan because of the sin of being a 'Balochi' but not a 'Baloch' in Balochistan. Let us hope we will see justice for all of these people. Let us hope for peace.

Nawaz Nov 12, 2013 12:01pm

Appreciate your work for highlighting the miserable condition of ignored Pakistanis..

Ashraf Mirza (USA) Nov 12, 2013 12:30pm

Sister Farzana I am very sorry to hear the story of your brother Zakir Majeed. I read an article in English Dawn news paper.You and your brother are citizen of Pakistan, and Govt of Pakistan is responsible to locate your brother. Also you and your brother are well educated and people like you and your brother are DIAMOND for Pakistan. Lot of educated people leave Pakistan and work in USA, Europe, Middle-east, Canada, Australia. I migrated to USA and settle here. Main reason I see more rules and regulation of Islam in USA, and no one is above the LAW ..Every one treated EQUAL.... I wish you all the best, hope you succeed in your mission, and find your brother alive Inshallah..(aameen) .. . Sincerely, Ashraf Mirza (USA)

BBB Nov 12, 2013 12:54pm

A missing member is probably the worst thing, which can happen to a family. Ms. Farzana Majeed, I wish you and your brother a lot of luck. Thanks Dawn for throwing light on those, who ar doomed to darkness. Let

sana baloch Nov 12, 2013 12:53pm

Sad state of affairs in balochistan, we baloch gonna die like this only :(

Linkagoal Nov 12, 2013 01:42pm

Such stories are so sad and I really hope she gets her brother back. I'm amazed how she hasn't given up yet, my prayers are with Farzana!

Ismat Shahjehan Nov 12, 2013 02:33pm

Awami Workers Party will be there to receive Farzana Majeed and Qadeer Mama...

Arshad Nov 12, 2013 02:49pm

My heart is in pain for any missing person and persons who are killed without a reason on the basis of language they speak or ethnic back ground, It would be much more effective if all people of Pakistan join a walk against the american invasion in Pakistan and Afghanistan , I am sure the dawn news will not cover that kind of story. Recognize the real enemy of Balochi population of the country. The invaders are the enemies....

intazar ali Nov 12, 2013 04:53pm

is this solution to make pakistan strong their problem should be solved they are our brothers will you kill you brother if he want to separate from family and want to live alone independent life or try to reconcilate

siraj Nov 12, 2013 06:15pm

painfull story ,but my prayers and wellwishes with sister that her borther could recover safly.

khanm Nov 12, 2013 06:33pm

@amarjeet singh sandhu: Symptoms may differ in India and Pakistan but disease is the same. We don

arif Nov 12, 2013 07:18pm

Other side story what Dawn news paper needs from this story, and how much they took financial aid and whome ?

Ahmad Nov 12, 2013 09:53pm

Its not just people are/were missing in Baluchistan. All over the country people are taken away in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi. There many foreign and local agencies are working on there different agendas. There were no cases reported like that before Musharraf Govt. It was all started in Musharaf govt when he allowed foreign agencies agents to come to Pakistan without any Visas or papers. We still have many foreign puppets within us. Situation in Pakistan can never be normal until we through these foreign puppets from all the govt and Army.

IBN-E-ASHFAQUE Nov 12, 2013 10:39pm

@Shazain Balooch: I tend to agree with you. However, if a group commits atrocities, it does not mean the law enforcement agencies should also commit atrocities. I have seen the same logic applied in 1971 in former East Pakistan with disastrous consequences. The right approach is to adhere to the law as far as possible. The government should amend the laws to suit local conditions. Once, an insitution leaves the legal course it becomes dangerous for itself and the country.

Humanitarian 4rm Punjab Nov 12, 2013 11:44pm

Situation is worsening day by day, in Sindh also, Political worker's built ridden, mutilated bodies is going to be a deadly disease which will engulf Pakistan. we should change our policies, and work further on provincial autonomy to save Pakistan. I am focusing on Sindh because Balochis hatred for Pakistan is at extreme, and our policies are creating same situation in Sind.

Shahid Nov 13, 2013 07:48am

Missing of any person is very unfortunate and state is responsible to recover them. But is it not one side of storey! I wish the writer could have taken pain to ask the government and other peaceful citizens (still called settlers after more than century old migration in Balochistan) what ordeal they have faced on the hands of miscreants. In a volatile society where miscreants are fighting day night war with state and other innocent people, such kind of unfortunate things do happen. To put things in perspective in Pakistan, please see state of missing persons in other provinces too.

fairy Nov 13, 2013 01:00pm

@Ali Khan: I agree. Its really unfortunate, the whole situation in Baluchistan. But, everybody tends to forget that it started with the target killing of Non-Baloch in Baluchistan. I also fled from there with my in-laws, but every day every moment I am worried for my parents and brothers and sisters still living there. I pray all the time for their safety and protection. What is their fault if they are not Baloch. I have lived in Baluchistan; I have seen the hatred on their faces for my ethnicity or language. Nobody has ever written about the brutally murdered laborers, hair dressers, tailors (majority are non Baloch) working in Baluchistan to earn livelihood for their families. Wearing pant shirt has become a taboo as it is associated with non Baloch or settlers. Hina your article is touchy and emotional but you are depicting one side of the story. Extra judicial killing is unfortunate but more unfortunate is the fact that this has somewhat resulted in curbing the target killing of settlers there. I honestly pray that peace and tranquility revert back to Balochistan. I missed my birthplace, my friends, my school, college and uni. I would love to come back.

Saad(DXB) Nov 13, 2013 01:22pm

Even trouble makers have mothers, sisters, wives and children. I completely blame parents and other family members for not keepinbg an eye on their children's activities and for letting them drift off to a place where they can not turn back from. The security agencies are not crazy to arrest innocents and keep them locked up. There is no smoke without fire.

Mirza Baloch Nov 13, 2013 07:33pm

Free Baluchistan... the ultimate solution... long live Baluch people.

Ali Baloch Nov 13, 2013 07:38pm

@Shazain Balooch: Mr. "Balooch" if these people have a proven track record then how do you explain the case of a student of BUITEMS Qamber Chakar who was twice abducted and then killed in this very month of Nov???? and if these people have a track record then why aren't they presented before a court of law or presented before the media? As far as your allegations regarding the killings are concerned "mazdoors" with fouji cuts. bullet proof vests and walkie talkies are fair game. I'd also like to add that the "daily Asaap" and "Tawar" had ran a story in June 2009 which reported how people in Mokran had captured a serving Military Intelligence officer while he had tried to attack a Punjabi Professor's home. When the people captured him and handed him over to the police the local commandant of FC came and forcefully took the man away. After this scenario 2 more incidents were reported by "Daily Asaap" and in August the FC had surrounded the Newspapers office and harassed the staff so much that they had to close the News Paper. If the Army and FC have nothing to hide then why do they go out of their way to make sure not a single Pakistani or Foreign Journalist enters Balochistan and if by some miracle they do enter why is it that they must have a guided tour of the Barracks and Garrisons only why are they not allowed to meet the locals? based on all this it is safe to say "Kuch tau hai jis ki pardedaari hai".

Ali Baloch Nov 13, 2013 07:37pm

@Agha Asad Raza: Please enlighten us to the whole truth, I'm all ears.

zeeshan ahmed Nov 14, 2013 01:23am

you obviously have no idea about the 'security' agencies of pakistan.

Ahmar Mustikhan Nov 14, 2013 03:23am

Enforced disappearance is even more brutal than extrajudicial killing as it keeps the victim family wondering about the fate of their loved one. Though it is true that in most cases the victims appear to have committed the cardinal crime of killing people from other ethnic groups or even their own Baloch, who disagree with militancy, it is the responsibility of the state to follow the rule of law and uphold the constitution. The state security services can do a great service to the state, the present government and to democracy by releasing the victims or charging them with the crime they did and bring the matter before a court. All said, the nawabs and sardars, who are behind the violence and are politically exploiting this issue of enforced disappearances while leading luxurious lives in the West, should be ashamed of themselves. Could they not provide decent walking shoes to the women who took part in the long march?

SHAUKAT Nov 14, 2013 03:32am

What a courage of a sister, if everyone in Pakistan has same courage we will be out of dark

Kashif Rehman Nov 14, 2013 06:37am

@Shazain Balooch: To all those who talk about ethnic cleansing of non-Baloch, please realize that no one is justifying those acts of barbarism. Loss of any life, be it Baloch or non-Baloch is tragic and unforgivable. But please remember that the numbers are stacked overwhelmingly in favor of the Baloch with respect to the number of their people abducted, tortured, maimed, sodomized, killed and dumped. Although the acts of the militant groups against Punjabi-settlers is outright condemn-able, the truth is that the disillusioned Baloch youth, including organizations like the BLA, are reactionary forces to the years of marginalization that they have suffered at the hands of the Federation. The level of poverty, lack of infrastructure, access to health care and clean drinking water, high unemployment levels and outrageous law and order mechanism is not the fault of the Baloch (just like the fact that Balochistan's natural resources help energize all of Pakistan except for the very province from where they are sourced)! To blame everything on the Sardars is also futile, because there are only 22 major Sardars in Balochistan! Most of the Sardars are confined to only 30% of Balochistan's inhabited georgraphy, the rest of Balochistan is free from an Sardar-based influence. Also, the Sardars are a convenient excuse for non-Balochs, it help fill in all the gaps and makes for a believable story to justify and explain the Baloch plight. And if the Sardars have been paid off, which some have indeed, then who paid them off? The federation and establishment did! And NO, not every dissenter is linked to some criminal activity! This is a deliberate and targeted attempt to silence the intellectuals of the Baloch society, since they pose the greatest risk as they are educated and aware of their rights!

junaid khan Nov 14, 2013 01:56pm

I don't know why there are double standards in a global world?? Justice can not and can never be selective . It must be for all or for none . This article has clearly pointed out the discrimination which people of Balochistan or People of sindh are meeting in this "land of pure '

I have no words but the tears in my eyes for sister Farzana and perhaps these tears may be the prayers from me !

SN Nov 14, 2013 02:18pm

one of greatest thing of my life that i saw inspiring and motivational Long March... thanks for writer Hina

Sultan Nov 14, 2013 03:19pm

A well crafted article about balochistan situation. I pray that farzana eventually find his brother. But I question the people who proclaim themselves as advocates of human rights. First of all I start with a question that the author is in USA. if the american society act as racist about her in everry field how she will feel? I have lived in Balochistan and never a day past when I wasnt forced to realize that I am not baloch. Setters are treated as lower grade citizens. By the way if you start fire to burn other people you will be victimized by the same fire. Same is happening.i have seen the B areas where FC and law enforcement agencies cant petr due to life threats. So plz don't portrait one sided story its not fair