Cute Balochi Pashk ‘female Dress’ Goes To Bollywood!

Dress is one of the most important representations of the uniqueness of a nation. Cute Pashk is one of the connecting aspects of the people of Baluchistan, along with land, language and history

Cute Balochi Pashk ‘Female Dress’ Goes to Bollywood!


Dress is one of the most important representations of the uniqueness of a nation. Cute Pashk is one of the connecting aspects of the people of Baluchistan, along with land, language and history. I remember, lately I was in Tokyo, Japan; I saw how Japanese girls were proud of their traditional dress KIMONO.

I still remember when I checked in Imperial Palace Hotel in Tokyo, right across the Emperor Palace around GINZA, first thing I noticed, girls wearing cultural KIMONO, at the reception, even university convocation was also being held at the hotel, every one was in traditional KIMONO. My host informed me that traditional dress means a lot to people, it connects everyone, binds the nation; it is the power of dress that plays a role of common unifying factor of nationhood.


Lately, Slumdog Millionaire movie premier attracted millions, even I during my recent US visit, almost in top 5 States, 90% of cinema halls were playing Slumdog Millionaire. When I saw famous Shabana Azmi in Balochi dress at the movie premiere , it was like a fresh air to me, soothing to eyes and satisfying moment to see cute Pashk ‘Balochi Dress’ going Bollywood. At this juncture of historic struggle of Baloch nation, this picture means a lot to all of us. I remember many of my close friends forwarded and shared the picture with sheer joy and pride.

Shabana was wearing the dress, is called Kalati Doch, and it is a Tarho/Tadho (Tarho means the Chageen/embroidery is made on canvas then fitted on the shirt) This Kalati Tarho, of Shabana Azmi, is an old and traditional in design. Its front pocket is called Goptaan or Pandol.

There are several types of doch (balochi embroidery done on pashk). There’s Kapnaal doch, Rind doch, Banor-e-Ans (Bride’s Tear), Gul -e- Kantuk, Badshah-e-Taj (King’s Crown), Taidok, Pazep, Neza, Chandan-e-Haar, Gul-e-Nimash, et al

The patterns on Balochi dress seems artistic and unique in nature, I wish the art survives and cute Pashk attracts many more all around.

All simply gives me joy and pride.

Top Article: A Home Grown Conflict Malik Siraj

When the first Baloch insurgency broke out in 1948 to resist the illegal and forceful annexation of the Baloch-populated autonomous Kalat state with Pakistan, Manmohan Singh – today Indian prime minister – was barely a teenager while his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani had not even been born to witness the rebellion’s magnitude. Yet, last month, both leaders in Sharm el-Sheikh discussed for the first time the indefatigable Baloch insurgency.

Pakistan has been blaming India for causing trouble in its resource-rich province. Gilani broached the issue with India at a time disgruntled Baloch youth have removed the Pakistani flag from schools and colleges and stopped playing the national anthem. Punjabi officers refuse to serve in Balochistan, fearing they would be target-killed. Islamabad attributes the unrest to ‘foreign involvement’. India is not the first to be blamed. Similar allegations were levelled in the past against the now defunct Soviet Union, Afghanistan and Iraq to discredit the indigenous movement for retaining a distinct Baloch identity. Indian assistance sounds ridiculous given that the Baloch do not share a border, common language, religion or history with India. Hardly has 1 per cent of Balochs have visited India.

The idea of Pakistan never attracted the secular Baloch. Ghose Baksh Bizanjo, a Baloch leader, said in 1947: “It is not necessary that by virtue of our being Muslims we should lose our freedom… If the mere fact that we are Muslims requires us to join Pakistan, then Afghanistan and Iran… should also amalgamate with Pakistan.”

Over the years, Islamabad has applied a multi-pronged approach to deal with Balochista Apart from military operations launched in 1948, 1958, 1962, 1973 and 2002 to quash the rebellion, Islamabad adopted other tactics. First, it kept the province economically backward by denying it good infrastructure, mainly in education and health. Natural gas was discovered in Balochistan in 1951 and supplied to Punjab’s industrial units. The Balochs hardly benefit from their own gas.

Second, Balochs, whom the state views as traitors, were denied representation in the army, foreign services, federal departments, profitable corporations, Pakistan International Airlines, customs, railways and other key institutions. Third, Balochistan has historically been remote-controlled from Islamabad. A Pakistan army corps commander, often a Punjabi or a Pathan, and the inspector general of the Frontier Corps, a federal paramilitary force with less than 2 per cent Baloch representation, exert more power than the province’s elected chief minister. The intelligence agencies devise election plans and decide who has to come to the provincial parliament and who should be ousted.

Fourth, Islamabad has created a state of terror inside Balochistan. Hundreds of check posts have been established to harass people and restrict their movement. Forces and tanks are stationed even on campuses of universities. Fifth, national and international media are denied access to conflict zones in Balochistan. Several foreign journalists were beaten up supposedly by intelligence agencies personnel or deported when they endeavoured to report the actual situation. Sixth, international human rights organisations are denied access to trace the whereabouts of some 5,000 ‘missing persons’. Pakistan is also in a state of denial about the existence of around 2,00,000 internally displaced persons in Balochistan.

Seventh, Islamabad has been engaged in systematic target killing of key Baloch democratic leaders. Ex-governor and chief minister of Balochistan, Nawab Akbar Bugti, 79, became a victim once he demanded Baloch rights. Balach Marri, a Balochistan Assembly member, was killed to undermine the movement. In April this year, three other prominent leaders were whisked away by security forces and subsequently killed.

Eighth, Pakistan has pitted radical Taliban against secular and democratic Baloch forces. The state is brazenly funding thousands of religious schools across the province with the help of Arab countries to promote religious radicalisation. Elements supportive of Taliban were covertly helped by state institutions to contest and win general elections. They now enjoy sizeable representation in the Balochistan Assembly to legislate against the nationalists and secular forces.

Ninth, Islamabad has been using sophisticated American weapons, provided to crush Taliban, against the Baloch people. This has provided breathing space to Taliban hidden in Quetta and weeded out progressive elements. Finally, Afghan refugees are being patronised to create a demographic imbalance in the Baloch-dominated province.

Baloch leaders are critical of many democratic countries for not doing ‘enough’ to safeguard a democratic, secular Baloch people. I asked Bramdagh Bugti, a Baloch commander, about the India link. He laughed and said, “Would our people live amid such miserable conditions if we enjoyed support from India? We are an oppressed people… seeking help from India, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union to come for our rescue.”

The Baloch movement is rapidly trickling down from tribal chiefs to educated middle-class youth aggressively propagating their cause on Facebook and YouTube. This generation would understandably welcome foreign assistance but will not give up even if denied help from countries like India. The Baloch insist their struggle was not interrupted even at times when India and Pakistan enjoyed cordial relations.

The writer is Balochistan bureau chief of Daily Times .

Dar Brings Baluchi Music To Kuwait

Long years of migration left them open to various influences. He spoke of the presence of Baluchis, who can trace their origins to Africa. “When I spent sometime there, they called me a ‘White Baluch’,” said the Professor whose beautiful performance was resonant with his love not only for his subject, but for the people and culture that he is trying to showcase.

During.jpg
On Monday, Feb 8, Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah introduced their friends and patrons to the fascinating world of ‘Baluchi Music and Trance Healing’ at the Al-Maidan Cultural Centre through a lecture, images, beautiful sound bites and a rare and unpublished video footage shot in Karachi, Pakistan. The speaker/ performer for the evening was the celebrated ethnomusicologist Prof Jean During, known for his multifaceted approach which invests his publications and lecture concerts with an originality that combines aesthetics, religious anthropology and mysticism. His presentation at the Dar Al Athar was no exception.
He played beautiful strains of music common to areas of Pakistan, India Afghanistan and Iran, he also offered the audience a look at ritualistic mystical practices adhered to by sections and areas of the Indo -Pak subcontinent. Like the Baluchis, rituals practiced by the ‘sidi sufis’ in Gujarat and similar traditions in Hinduism show the cross-cultural influences and homogeneity shared by the Subcontinent.

Traditions
As Director of Research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, Prof During spent 11 years in Iran and five years in Uzbekistan. He has written twelve books on the musical traditions and cultures of Inner Asia, more than a hundred articles and has released around 30 CDs. Three of his books have been translated into Persian. His fieldwork covers many traditions of Inner Asia.
He studies not only musical forms, but also Sufi and Shamanic rituals and the cultural traditions related to musical practices.In the 1970’s he learned Persian classical music (on the lute târ and setâr) with the best masters of the time. Later, in Karachi, he mastered the playing of the Sufi and trance Baluchi repertoire on the fiddle sorud. He has given many concerts of these traditions in Europe and USA. He is one of the rare Westerners who has devoted himself to composing in the traditional maqâm forms, for which he was awarded from Cultures France in 2007.
“The Baluchi people occupy a vast territory covering the western half of Pakistan and southeastern Iran. They also move throughout the Gulf coastal regions and are found in Turkmen and Afghan Khôrasân,” notes Prof During, who spent time in Karachi studying and researching Baluchi music and rituals. ” In both Iran and Pakistan Baluchis are viewed as marginal and rebellious.”
Long years of migration left them open to various influences. He spoke of the presence of Baluchis, who can trace their origins to Africa. “When I spent sometime there, they called me a ‘White Baluch’,” said the Professor whose beautiful performance was resonant with his love not only for his subject, but for the people and culture that he is trying to showcase. “They have preserved a culture of great originality in which archaic Iranian elements are rooted in a more ancient Dravidian substratum. They have also intermingled with the desert peoples of Western India among which the proto-Gypsies (Luli, Langaw, Ostâ) who for centuries were outstanding musicians adapting their know-how to local sedentary traditions.”

Practice
The Professor recounts the instance of the Persian King Brahma who requested his Indian counterpart for 12,000 Indian musicians who would practice their art in Persia. These Gypsies are believed to be the ancestors of the Persian Gypsies. They propagated Indian music and dancing and may have travelled further into Europe in the next four to five hundred years, where they are regarded as ancestors of the Romany people. Speaking of cross cultural blending, the Professor refers to the musical similarities between India, Pakistan, Iran and Spain, noting the Eastern influence prevalent in the popular flamenco.
The sorud is the principal instrument of the Baluch, some of whom claim a musical lineage that goes back seven generations. It is a highly sophisticated fiddle with four melodic strings and six sympathetic strings that resembles the ‘sarinda’ which is popular in India and Nepal. The scholar went on to intersperse his discourse with recorded music that illustrated various genres of baluchi music.

Healing
“Professional baluchi music is a soloist art, but they do come together and play at festival and other entertainment.” There are various genres depending on the subject matter and occasion such as entertainment, love, epic and sufi. The trance songs of the Baluch draws from both the profane and the sacred types of Baluchi music. Drawing comparison with the Arabic maqam and thereby establishing the high artistic value of this form of music, the Professor notes ” In musical hierarchy, the zahirig as a maqam or raga system occupies the most eminent position.
It works as the basis, the substance of music as well as its abstract essence, the knowledge of which defines mastery.”
He went on to show through a video recording special healing and devotional rituals using a specific repertoire of pieces called guâti-damali, or qalandari, in which the principal actors are the shaman, the patient and the fiddle player accompanied by a rhythmic lute (tanburag). A sick person unsuccessfully treated by a doctor and a mullah who uses appropriate koranic prayers and chants, as a last recourse consults a shaman who specializes in dealing with a kind of spirit called ‘guat’.
The shaman organizes a trance session in order to neutralize the evil spirit and cure the patient. “These spirits are of a particular species, much more stubborn than ordinary ones, and cannot be dealt with except by organizing a musical session (leb, la’ab) with the obligatory participation of the fiddle sorud. All night long music (mainly instrumental) is performed to the patient in an endeavor to please the guâtand force him into manifesting himself through the patient’s trance. This process has to be repeated several nights in succession after which the khalife bargain with the spirit,”notes Prof During.
These sessions require the obligatory performance of the fiddle and tanboura. In this ritual, instrumental and vocal music and a form of dance trance state is the fundamental principle of operation along with a pike, fire, perfume, incense and sacrifice. The trance like state of the khallife is at times punctuated by high drama and theatrics. At the end of his presentation, Professor During was asked if he believed in what seemed a mere superstitious ritual. He refers to this ceremony as a rich, profound and complex phenomenon which cannot be reduced to the ordinary category of possession cults like voodoo, zar or candomble. It has much more in common with shamanism and even Sufi ritual as the officiator (khalife) enters himself into a state of trance and is helped in his diagnosis by a familiar guât.

Great Baluchi Vocalist Kamal Khan Dies

Musician Mohammadreza Darvishi had also described Kamal Khan as a grand singer in the true sense of the term in the Baluchistan region. This is true Darvishi said, “Because not only is he a great singer, but also an eminent poet who helped preserve the intangible history and ancient culture of the region.”

TEHRAN — The outstanding vocalist and poet of Baluchistan Kamal Khan Hout died of a weak constitution in his hometown early Sunday. He was 68.

Kamal Khan was taken to a hospital in Chabahar on Saturday night and was admitted to the CCU to receive medical treatment but died at 2am Sunday, the Persian service of MNA reported.

His style of singing was epical and heroic, part of the oldest styles of Baluch music, and was popular among the Baluchis.

“It is a great pleasure for me to attend the honoring ceremony of a prominent musician from Baluchistan, and I must admit that the music of the region has not been recognized and respected well,” vocalist Mohammadreza Shajarian had declared in a ceremony the Iranian Academy of Arts arranged to honor Kamal Khan in 2007.

Kamal Khan never went to school but was able to read and write and always carried a notebook with him. He used to write his own poetry and poems by others in his notebook. He had a very good memory that surprised many people.

Musician Mohammadreza Darvishi had also described Kamal Khan as a grand singer in the true sense of the term in the Baluchistan region. This is true Darvishi said, “Because not only is he a great singer, but also an eminent poet who helped preserve the intangible history and ancient culture of the region.”

“There are many musicians and singers in Baluchistan who are number one in technique, but I dare say the singing techniques of Kamal Khan are unique compared to other styles in several other regions. Kamal Khan has a close relationship with the literature of Baluchistan. He is actually important, since he is a narrator of culture and civilization through the music of Baluchistan,” Darvishi once mentioned.

Photo: Kamal Khan Hout performs during a ceremony held by the Iranian Academy of Arts in Tehran on October 17, 2007 to honor the veteran Iranian Baluchi vocalist with a lifetime achievement award. (Mehr/Mohsen Sajjadi)

Rohrabacher Urges Voa Broadcasts To Balochistan

The Baloch people occupy homelands that stretch across the borders of the three countries and their “secular, tolerant and liberal tradition is now in danger” of being deprived of access to independent media, said the congressman.

Rohrabacher Urges VOA Broadcasts to Balochistan

Jul 15, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, called on the overseer of the Voice of America to initiate native-language broadcasting to the Baloch people living in Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

The Baloch people occupy homelands that stretch across the borders of the three countries and their “secular, tolerant and liberal tradition is now in danger” of being deprived of access to independent media, said the congressman. The three dominant states, he said, are attempting to create a “single-state identity” – Persian, Punjab, and Pashtun – and impose the values of their respective religious sects.

In a letter to John Lansing, chief executive officer of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Rohrabacher said, “[N]ative language broadcasting could help to provide Baloch with non-biased news and liberal and democratic values. It would also help to preserve Baloch people language and its secular culture.”

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Kenneth Grubbs Communications Director Rep. Dana Rohrabacher Forty-eighth District, California
Issues: Foreign Affairs

In Iran, Journalists Remain In Government’s Crosshairs

Rigi, from the repressed Baluch ethnic minority, regularly wrote on his blog about politics and Iran’s treatment of the Baluch. He was convicted on charges of “acting against national security” and “propagating against the regime,” according to local news websites. Rigi’s online writings were used as evidence against him in the trial, local blogs reported.

New York, June 15, 2011–Iran’s ongoing assault against independent and opposition media has recently gained momentum, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. In recent weeks, a journalist died in custody for what his family said was a lack of adequate medical care, the government sentenced another journalist to 20 years in prison, arrested one more, and confirmed a 19 and a half year prison term for a blogger known as the “Blogfather.”

Hoda Saber, editor of the long-defunct magazine Iran-e Farda, died in Evin Prison after suffering a heart attack on Friday, news and human rights reports said. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported that Saber’s wife, Fariden Jamshidi, said that hospital personnel told her that her husband’s life “could have been saved had prison officials brought him earlier.” Saber had the attack around 4 a.m., but was not moved to a hospital until after 10 a.m., according to news reports.

Saber had begun a hunger strike on June 2 to protest the killing of another journalist and activist, Haleh Sahabi, who died from a violent punch by security personnel at her father’s funeral the previous day. Saber had been imprisoned in Evin since July in relation to his political activism, CPJ research shows.

According to one account, 64 prisoners in Evin’s Ward 350, reserved for political prisoners, issued a statement saying that Saber was severely beaten at the prison infirmary where he was initially taken in the early morning on Friday, the reformist news website Kaleme reported. Saber “was returned to ward 350 in severe pain…his screams woke up all his cellmates,” the prisoners wrote.

In a related matter, Kavyan Mehregan, a journalist who writes for reformist publications including the daily Sharq, was arrested at Saber’s funeral, which took place on Tuesday, local news websites reported.

“Iranian authorities show a pervasive disregard for the physical integrity and wellbeing of imprisoned journalists,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem. “Hoda Saber never should have died, and the Iranian authorities must ensure that imprisoned journalists have access to adequate medical treatment and humane conditions.”

Sakhi Rigi, a blogger, political activist, and formerly a member of opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s campaign staff, was sentenced to a 20-year prison term by a Revolutionary Court in Zahedan in Baluchistan province, according to local news reports. CPJ could not determine when the Revolutionary Court ruled on Rigi’s case.

Rigi, from the repressed Baluch ethnic minority, regularly wrote on his blog about politics and Iran’s treatment of the Baluch. He was convicted on charges of “acting against national security” and “propagating against the regime,” according to local news websites. Rigi’s online writings were used as evidence against him in the trial, local blogs reported.

The blogger was first arrested by plainclothes security forces on June 18, 2009, according to blogs that cover Baluchi minority rights. He is currently being held at Karun Prison in Ahvaz, hundreds of miles away from his family.

A Tehran appeals court confirmed blogger Hossein Derakhshan’s 19 and a half year prison sentence, his family said on Thursday. The appeals court upheld his conviction on charges of “working with hostile governments, propaganda against the state, and insulting religious sanctities,” according to local and international news reports. Derakhshan’s sentence was announced in September, along with a five-year ban on “membership in political parties and activities in the media,” CPJ research shows. He is known as the “Blogfather” for being one of the first bloggers active in Iran.

You can download or buy the complette report in the address below:

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/07/28/we-can-torture-kill-or-keep-you-years

“We Can Torture, Kill, Or Keep You For Years” Security Forces ‘disappear’ Opponents In Balochistan

The report is based on over 100 interviews by Human Rights Watch in Balochistan in 2010 and 2011 with family members of “disappeared” people, former detainees, local human rights activists, lawyers, and witnesses to government abductions.

“Their Future is at Stake” Pakistan’s security forces are engaging in an abusive free-for-all in Balochistan as Baloch nationalists and suspected militants ‘disappear,’ and in many cases are executed. The national government has done little to end the carnage in Balochistan, calling into question its willingness or ability to control the military and intelligence agencies.”

Brad Adams, Asia director (New York) – Pakistan’s government should immediately end widespread disappearances of suspected militants and activists by the military, intelligence agencies, and the paramilitary Frontier Corps in the southwestern province of Balochistan, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Several of those “disappeared” were among the dozens of people extrajudicially executed in recent months in the resource-rich and violence-wracked province.

The 132-page report, “‘We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years’: Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan,” documents dozens of enforced disappearances,in which the authorities take people into custody and then deny all responsibility or knowledge of their fate or whereabouts. The report details 45 alleged cases of enforced disappearances, the majority in 2009 and 2010. While hundreds of people have been forcibly disappeared in Balochistan since 2005, dozens of new enforced disappearances have occurred since Pakistan returned to civilian rule in 2008.

“Pakistan’s security forces are engaging in an abusive free-for-all in Balochistan as Baloch nationalists and suspected militants ‘disappear,’ and in many cases are executed,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The national government has done little to end the carnage in Balochistan, calling into question its willingness or ability to control the military and intelligence agencies.”

The report is based on over 100 interviews by Human Rights Watch in Balochistan in 2010 and 2011 with family members of “disappeared” people, former detainees, local human rights activists, lawyers, and witnesses to government abductions.

Human Rights Watch investigated several cases in which uniformed personnel of the Frontier Corps, an Interior Ministry paramilitary force, and the police were involved in abducting Baloch nationalists and suspected militants. In others cases, witnesses typically referred to abductors as being from “the agencies,” a term commonly used to describe the intelligence agencies, including the military Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intellilgence, and the civilian Intelligence Bureau.

In all the cases Human Rights Watch documented, the security forces never identified themselves, nor explained the basis for the arrest or where they were taking the person. In many cases, the person being arrested was beaten and dragged handcuffed and blindfolded into the security forces’ vehicles. Withoutexception in the cases Human Rights Watch investigated, released detainees and relatives able to obtain information reported torture and ill-treatment of detainees. Methods of torture included beatings, often with sticks or leather belts, hanging detainees upside down, and prolonged food and sleep deprivation.

In some cases relatives told Human Rights Watch that senior government officials, including the Balochistan chief minister, Nawab Aslam Raisani, had freely admitted that intelligence personnel were responsible for the disappearance but expressed an inability to hold the abductors accountable.

Those targeted for enforced disappearance were primarily Baloch nationalist activists or suspected Baloch militants.In several cases, people appeared to have been targeted because of their tribal affiliation, especially when a particular tribe, such as the Bugti or Mengal, was involved in fighting Pakistan’s armed forces.

Little information is available about what happens to people who are forcibly disappeared. Some have been held in unacknowledged detention in facilities run by the Frontier Corps and the intelligence agencies, such as at the Kuli camp, a military base in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.

“Pakistani security services are brazenly disappearing, torturing, and often killing people because of suspected ties to the Baloch nationalist movement,” Adams said. “This is not counterinsurgency – it is barbarism and it needs to end now.”

The number of enforced disappearances by Pakistan’s security forces in recent years remains unknown, Human Rights Watch said. Figures provided by senior officials are grossly inconsistent, and these officials have provided no explanation about how they were reached. In 2008, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said there had been at least 1,100 victims of these disappearances in Balochistan.In January 2011, Balochistan’s home minister, Mir Zafrullah Zehri, told provincial legislators that only 55 people were considered missing.

There is increasing evidence to suggest that many of the “disappeared” have been extrajudicially executed while in government custody. Human Rights Watch has recently reported on the killing of at least 150 people across Balochistan since January in acts widely referred to as “kill and dump” operations for which Pakistani security forces may be responsible. Assailants have also carried out targeted killings of opposition leaders and activists. Human Rights Watch reiterated its call to the Pakistan government to end these abuses immediately.

Armed militant groups in Balochistan are responsible for killing many civilians and destroying private property. In the past several years, they have increasingly targeted non-Baloch civilians and their businesses, police stations, and major gas installations and infrastructure. They have also attacked security forces and military bases throughout the province. Human Rights Watch documents abuses by Balochistan militants in a December 2010 report, “Their Future is at Stake.”

Under international law, enforced disappearances are considered a continuing offense, one that is ongoing so long as the state conceals the fate or the whereabouts of the victim.

“President Asif Ali Zardari should realize that the disturbing reality of wanton and widespread abuse in Balochistan cannot be wished away,” Adams said. “All Pakistanis will pay the price if the government fails to protect Balochistan’s population from heinous abuses at the hands of the Pakistani military.”

Background
Balochistan has historically had a tense relationship with Pakistan’s government, in large part due to issues of provincial autonomy, control of mineral resources and exploration, and a consequent sense of deprivation. During the rule of Gen. Pervez Musharraf, from 1999 to 2008, the situation deteriorated markedly. Two assassination attempts on Musharraf, in 2005 and 2006 during visits to Balochistan, resulted in a crackdown on Baloch nationalists by the armed forces and Military Intelligence, the military’s lead intelligence agency in the province. The recent surge in killings and ongoing enforced disappearances can be traced to the 2006 assassination of the prominent Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and 35 of his close followers, and the murders of three well known Baloch politicians in April 2009 by assailants believed to be linked to the Pakistan military.

Since 2005, Pakistani and international human rights organizations have recorded numerous serious human rights violations by security forces, including extrajudicial executions, torture, enforced disappearances, forced displacement, and excessive use of force against protesters.

Cases From “‘We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years'”: Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan:

Account of “Rahim” (not his real name), who was held in acknowledged custody until his release:
First, they bound my arms behind my back, and then they threw me on the ground face down and someone sat on my back. Whenever they asked me a question, the interrogators pulled my head back by grabbing my hair and kept asking, “Who are you? Why have you come here to Quetta?”

I explained that I was a farmer in Awaran [district of Balochistan], and they also asked about my family, and about Dr. Naseem and Ilyas [Baloch nationalist activists]. When I told them that they were my friends, they screamed, “You are lying to us! Dr. Naseem is a separatist. Tell us what Naseem is doing. Why is he involved in separatism?”

They beat me all over my body and on the soles of my feet with their fists and feet. They hit me for around one to two hours continuously in the morning, then again in the evening. At night they would not let me sleep or lie down, I was forced to stand. If I started to fall asleep they would hit me on the back and shoulders to keep me awake.

Enforced Disappearance of Din Mohammad Baloch
On June 29, 2009, Din Mohammad Baloch, age 40, a physician, was on a night shift at a small medical clinic in the Ornach area of Khuzdar district.

A staff member, “Bukhtiar” (not his real name), was also in the clinic. He told Baloch’s family that at around 2:30 a.m. seven men entered the clinic. A few of them tied Bukhtiar up and locked him in a room, while the others went into Baloch’s office. It was dark, Bukhtiar said, and he could not see the men clearly or determine whether they were wearing uniforms. Bukhtiar said he could hear loud noises that sounded like a scuffle between Baloch and the men, and then he heard the men dragging Baloch out.

When Bukhtiar finally freed himself around 30 minutes later, he informed Baloch’s family. The family went to the local police station, but the police refused to lodge a criminal complaint, known as a First Information Report (FIR), offering no explanation. Two days later the police lodged the report, based on an interview with Bukhtiar. It said Baloch was taken by unknown men.

Several months later, local newspapers reported that the Frontier Corps had arrested Baloch and two others in connection with an armed attack on the Frontier Corps on August 14, 2009, nearly two months after Baloch was abducted. Baloch’s brother spoke to the author of the article, who told him that the information came from the Special Branch of the Police, the intelligence arm of the Balochistan Police Service. However, government authorities have not officially confirmed that Baloch is in Frontiers Corps custody or specified the charges against him.

Baloch’s family told Human Rights Watch they believed Baloch had been abducted by intelligence agencies because he was a senior member of the Baloch National Movement. Baloch’s brother said that he had met with the chief minister of Balochistan, Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, on July 15 and in August 2009. On the latter occasion the chief minister told him that Baloch was in the custody of the intelligence agencies, but did not specify which one. Human Rights Watch wrote to Chief Minister Raisani seeking confirmation that he had made these allegations, but received no response.

A lawyer acting on behalf of Baloch’s family filed a petition regarding Baloch’s “disappearance” with the Balochistan High Court on July 4, 2009. On May 27, 2010, the court ordered police to locate him, with the presiding judge saying that they should “do everything” needed to find him. But the court has had no further hearings in the case.

The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, a local Baloch nongovernmental organization, filed a separate petition on Baloch’s disappearance with the Pakistan Supreme Court. In June 2010, the Supreme Court told Baloch’s lawyers that the ISI had reported to the court that Baloch was not in their custody but was being held by the chief of the Mangal tribe. However, the ISI did not provide any further details about these claims to the court, and the court did not share their submissions with Baloch’s lawyers.

The family has not been able to obtain any further information about Baloch’s fate or whereabouts.

Enforced Disappearance of Mir Abdul Waheed Resani Baloch
Over the last 15 years, Pakistani security forces have detained Mir Abdul Waheed Resani Baloch, 45, a senior member of the Balochistan Republican Party (BRP) central committee, numerous times. He was held in Frontier Corps jails in Mastung and in Quetta.

On January 2, 2010, a court in Khozdar ordered Baloch released after a 10-month detention in Khozdar central jail. However, within minutes of his release, the police picked him up again in the street in front of multiple witnesses. The police took him to Mastung police station, where he tried to speak to the news media.

A relative of Baloch told Human Rights Watch that a senior police officer interrupted Baloch, announced that he would like to “talk to Baloch in private,” and took him to another room. The relative told Human Rights Watch:

We waited for about 10 minutes and then asked about him. The officer came back and said, “Sorry, we had to transfer him somewhere and we cannot tell you where, so you should all leave.” We waited for about six hours, and then left. The same day, officers from the [police] anti-terrorist unit came to our house, claiming they were looking for him. They pretended he had escaped from custody. Of course, they knew he was not there, and instead of looking for him they just looted our house, taking away money, jewelry, mobile phones, and expensive clothes.

On January 4, Baloch’s relatives went to the police, who denied having any knowledge of his whereabouts. They accepted an FIR, which simply said that Baloch was “missing.” Three days later the family filed a petition with the Balochistan High Court. The court sent inquiries to the chief minister, home minister, and inspector-general of the police. Their representatives, who appeared in court, denied having any knowledge of Baloch’s whereabouts and claimed they were looking for him.

Baloch’s relatives said that after his forced disappearance, Chief Minister Aslam Raisani temporarily suspended the district police officers (DPOs) for Mastung and Much because the Mastung DPO allegedly had handed Baloch over to the Much DPO. A month later, however, both officers were reinstated.

Baloch’s fate and whereabouts remain unknown.

Enforced Disappearances of Mazhar Khan and Abdul Rasool
At around 10 p.m. on December 19, 2009, a group of armed men abducted Mazar Khan, 21, and Abdul Rasool, 26, from Khan’s house near Kili Station in Noshki district.

A witness to the abduction told Human Rights Watch that seven men in civilian clothes, their faces covered with scarves, broke down the gate to Khan’s house and burst in, firing their pistols in the air. The witness said Rasool resisted and one of the men hit him on the temple with his pistol butt, but Khan did not resist. The assailants tied the men’s wrists and ankles and blindfolded them. Then they dragged the victims outside, put them into one of their three pickup trucks, and drove away.

The next day, relatives of Khan and Rasool reported the abductions to police at Kili Station.

“The police said they cannot do anything about kidnappings,” one of Khan’s relatives told Human Rights Watch.

In mid-February 2010, Rasool was released by his captors. He told Human Rights Watch about his ordeal:
On the day of the abduction, after travelling for 15 to 20 minutes by car, it stopped and I was dragged outside and into a room. I don’t remember anything about the building I was in because I was still blindfolded. But after whoever brought me in had left, I removed my blindfold and saw that I was alone in a small, dark room. I had no idea where Mazhar was.
Rasool said that soon after he had been brought in, some men entered the room and asked him if he was involved in Baloch political activities. They kept him in this room for a month and 25 days, and then moved him to another location, a three-hour drive away. They kept him there for another five days. Then at night the captors put Rasool into a vehicle, blindfolded and handcuffed. They drove for a few hours. His captors stopped the car, removed Rasool, still blindfolded and handcuffed, and told him he was being released on Chaman Road on the outskirts of Quetta and then drove off.

Fearful of being abducted again, Rasool did not approach government authorities about his disappearance. But Khan’s family filed an application for a first report with police in Noshki on February 17, 2010. Although the police registered the FIR, it only stated that Khan was a missing person and made no mention of the circumstances of his abduction. On February 21, relatives of both men filed a statement about the abductions with the Balochistan High Court. The next day, relatives of Khan and Rasool met representatives of the Balochistan Home and Tribal Affairs Ministry, who said they would record Khan’s abduction but could do nothing to investigate it.

In March 2010, the Balochistan High Court accepted a habeas corpus petition asking the federal Ministries of Defense and Interior, the Balochistan provincial government, Military Intelligence, the ISI, and the Kili police station to provide information on charges brought against Khan and Rasool. The high court has since held five hearings but only police representatives have ever appeared before it. They have denied having any knowledge of the abductions.

Khan’s whereabouts remain unknown.

You can download or buy the report from the link below:

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/07/28/we-can-torture-kill-or-keep-you-years

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State Oppression Of Baloch People In Iran Nasser Boladai

Presentation at the Side even on 18th session of the United Nation in Geneva on Nationalities in Iran which was jointly organized by The Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples ” And Zagros Human Right Organisation

Brief info: Balochistan is located in south-eastern Iran, bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is strategically situated at the eastern flank of the Middle East, linking the Central Asian states with the Indian subcontinent and the Indian Ocean. It occupies the northern part of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea from the Strait of Hormuz to Gwater, a small village divided between Iran and Pakistan. Some estimates put the Baloch population in Iran at over four million,

Balochistan is being deprived of basic socio-cultural and political rights of its people by Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. States that basically are governed not by civilized rule of political and cultural behavior but mostly in the name of religion, distorting facts of history and denying the national minorities their minimum political and cultural rights allowed by the various conventions of United Nations.

Religious Discriminations

Article 12 of the constitution states: “the official religion of Iran is Islam and the Twelve Ja’fari School of Thought and this principle shall remain eternally immutable”. This explicit endorsement of a school of Shia Islam alienates the Kurds, Turkmen, Baloch, and Ahwaz, who practice Sunni Islam. Tehran has a population of 1 million Sunni Muslims, but planning permission for a Sunni mosque has yet to be granted. Article 115 excludes non-Shias from holding the office of the Presidency of the Republic.

A widely used practice which discriminates against National Groups and religious minority is Gozinesh, meaning “selection”. Gozinesh is an ideological test requiring candidates for some government jobs to demonstrate allegiance to Shia Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran including the concept of Vilayat-e Faghih (Governance of Religious Jurist), a concept not adhered to by Sunnis. The adherence to this practice effectively excludes Ahwaz, Baloch, Turkmen and Kurds from employment in the government and, in some cases, within the private sector. Some applicants to universities are also subjected to Gozinesh.

Mohammad Ismail Mulazahi, a Baloch religious activist and Son in law of the Sunni Baloch Religious leader, Mr Abdul Hamid Shahbakhsh was convicted on the false charges of contact with foreign embassies and espionage for 10 years without due process of law and defense lawyers, most analyst believe his arrest and subsequent charges are political to put pressure on Mulavi Abdul Hamed, to accept the regimes control our religious seminars and for his activities for religious freedom , and Baloch peoples and Sunni peoples right in Iran.

Other Baloch and Sunni Activist who are imprisoned in Iran:

In Khurasan Razavi Province:
– Mulavi Habib Hakimzadeh, from Kariz tubar Jam,
– Mulavi sedigh Rashidi, from Turbat Jam
– Mulavi Abdulsatar Haidari, from Ghaderabad, Turbar Jam
– Mulavi Nour Ahmad laghai from, Nashitifan, Khaawf Distict
– Mulavi Abdulkarim Gul, from Mehrabad, Khaawf Distict

From Balochistan
– Hamid Mulazadeh, Zahidan Prison
– Habib Mulazadeh, Zahidan prison
– Mulavi Said Kurdi
– Mualvi Abduljalil Mir Balochzahi
– Mulavi Jabir Yarmohamadzahi

From Kermanshah
– Mulah Jumhe Tayshahie, from Sarpul Zihab

From Western Azerbaijan
– Mulah Abdularahman Fatahi, from Mahabad
– Mulah Ahmad Sanandaji, from Mahabad
– Mulah Mohamad Brayie, from Bukan

From Khuzistan
Ali Ahmiri, from Ahwaz

Political Representation Of Minorities

Many ethnic groups boycotted the 2009 Presidential Elections once their preferred candidates were officially forced to withdraw their candidature. No Baloch has ever served as a minister of cabinet or as an ambassador. The number of the Baloch in the provincial administration of Balochistan is no more than five percent of the total civil servants .

After the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005 many ethnic minority civil servants were reportedly forced from their jobs in a widespread purge.

ECONOMIC DISCRIMINATION AND EXPROPRIATION OF LAND

76 percent of the Baloch people live under the poverty line, although the national figure is 11% .

Despite signing the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination there is strong evidence that the Iranian authorities encourage land confiscation, forced migration of ethnic groups and the resettlement of Persians in the ethnic regions . In 2005 Baloch houses were destroyed after areas of the port city Chabahar were dismantled by Iranian Security forces with no alternative housing provided for those evicted.

In 2005 the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate housing expressed concern regarding “the continued discrimination faced by ethnic and religious minorities and nomadic groups, as reflected in […] the considerable number of alleged cases of land confiscation and forced evictions”.

Arbitrary Arrest Torture, Judicial Procedure and Execution

The death penalty continues to be applied in political cases, where individuals are commonly accused of “enmity against God”. In August 2007, Amnesty International noted that a disproportionately large number of executions in Iran that year were of Baloch citizens (50 from 166).

According to Amnesty International “Even before last summer’s unrest, there were signs that President Ahmadinejad’s government was increasingly using the death penalty as a way of stemming unrest in areas with large ethnic minorities. Bomb attacks in the predominantly Arab province of Khuzestan and ethnic Baluch areas of Sistan-Baluchistan province in recent years were followed by a wave of often public executions. Some of the condemned men were shown on state television making “confessions” that are believed to have been extracted from them under torture or other duress.”

Extra-judicial killings have been a characteristic of Iranian state policy in ethnic minority regions, especially in Balochistan. This was clearly stated by the head of Mersad, a paramilitary force, who said: “We have not been given orders to arrest and hand over those who carry weapons. On the basis of a directive we have received, we will execute any bandits, wherever we capture them (Ettela’at, 25 February 1998)”.

Arbitrary Arrest

Baloch weblog activists face the harshest kind of punishment, the first blogger that who was executed for his journalistic activities using weblog was Mr Yaghub Mehrnihad, he was arrest in May 2007, with five other members of a Baloch cultural association, he was tried in secret and executed in 4th August 2008.
Mr Sakhi Rigi Another Baloch blogger was arrested by plainclothes security forces on June 18, 2009, At the time as a member of Mr Musavi’s election campaign team in Zahidan. Latter he was convicted because of his blogger activities; charges ranged from “acting against national security” and “propagating against the regime,”.
With no press freedom in Balochistan and a ban on press on Balochi language weblog and websites have been only medium available to Baloch journalist, cultural and social activist, to publish their articles and news about their local community and profession however for their activities they are constantly harassed imprisoned tortured and executed, some of them have left country and have applied for refugee status from UNHCR in neighboring countries like Afghanistan Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, and Turkey without success for resettlement to the safety of a third country.

Mohammad Saber Malek Raisi, a Baluch youth aged 15 from Sarbaz, has been arrested in July by intelligence agency was held in their custody until recent month however he has been moved from Intelligence custody to Zahidan Central Jail. He is held to force his elder brother to surrender to security forces. From time to time he is made to call to his family and tell his mother that he will be imminently executed if his brother does not surrender.

Linguistic And cultural Discrimination in the Medai
Despite Article 15 of the Iranian constitution and Article 27 of the ICCPR, the Ahwaz, Baloch, Kurds and Azerbaijanis face difficulties in exercising their rights to use their own languages, in private and in public. For example, all state-schooling in these regions is conducted exclusively in Persian. As a result, drop-out rates are high.

Minority cultural activists have had journals and publications banned, often for reasons of state security, and even when publishers have adhered to conditions that Farsi must be the main language. Cultural organizations are closed down, and those involved subject to imprisonment and execution. Advocates for broader linguistic and cultural rights for minorities are detained arbitrarily.

Nasser Boladai

Balochistan Peoples Party www.balochpeople.org
P. O. Box 13022 www.ostomaan.org
103 01 Stockholm
Sweden

Minority Rights In Iran

Confirmed speakers include Mark Lattimer (Executive Director, Minority Rights Group), Monireh Sulemani (Balochistan Peoples Party), Karim Abdian (Director, Ahwaz Human Rights Organization, Fakhteh Zamani (Director, Association for the Defense of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners, and Antonia Bertschinger (Amnesty International).

March 5, 2012

Minority Rights in Iran

 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012, 12.00 – 14.00

Room XXIII, Palais des Nations

Geneva, Switzerland

Uncovering repression against Iran’s ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities

5 March 2012 – In conjunction with the planned report of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran to the UN Human Rights Council, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and Minority Rights Group International (MRG) will host a parallel event titled “Minority Rights in Iran” The event will take place in Room XXIII of the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on 14 March 2012 from 12:00 – 14:00, and will include contributions from minority and NGO representatives. Through this event, UNPO and MRG aim to focus attention on the human rights situation of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities in Iran.

 

Iran’s population includes a large number of religious, ethnic, and linguistic minorities. These groups are highly diverse, but share common experiences of economic marginalization, political repression and denial of even the most basic of cultural rights. As the country begins its first round of elections since 2009, when disputed Presidential polls sparked widespread protest, the Iranian government has been cracking down on dissent with increasing severity. While abuses against activists, journalists, and members of the political opposition have been widely documented and discussed, the relative severity and pervasiveness of abuses against Iran’s minority populations, though well documented by international NGOs and United Nations human rights bodies, tend to receive significantly less public attention. Since 2009, however, issues of equality and minority rights have steadily gained the attention of Iranian academics, media and activists both within and outside of Iran, marking a growing recognition among the populace of the importance of these issues to the future of democracy and freedom in the country. This growing popular support should now be matched by concrete action from the government.

 

This event will highlight some of the most pressing issues currently facing minorities in Iran. Confirmed speakers include Mark Lattimer (Executive Director, Minority Rights Group), Monireh Sulemani (Balochistan Peoples Party), Karim Abdian (Director, Ahwaz Human Rights Organization, Fakhteh Zamani (Director, Association for the Defense of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners, and Antonia Bertschinger (Amnesty International). Speakers will present a picture of the state of minority rights in present-day Iran, and explore possibilities for national and international initiatives towards guaranteeing the political, economic and cultural rights of these marginalized groups.

Iran Executes Three Baluch Political Prisoners

The third Baluch political prisoner Abul Basit, a social activist and a promoter of ‘Human Rights & Democracy’, was reportedly very active on internet. He used to advocate justice, Human rights and democracy in Baluchistan.

Zahidan : The Iranian fundamentalist regime has executed three Baluch political prisoners on Saturday morning in Zahedan, the capital of Iranian occupied Balochistan.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Iranian Regime executed the three youth in a blind revenge against human rights laws and humanity. The victims have been named as 25 years old Abdol Basit Rigi, Abdol Jalil Kahrazehi and Yahya Charizahi. They were charged with Moharebeh (enmity against God) and were executed in Zahedan prison, early Saturday morning
The report further said that two activists were transferred to solitary confinement in the Intelligence Ministry two days before their execution. They were subjected to brutal torture and coerced to a televised confession.

The third Baluch political prisoner Abul Basit, a social activist and a promoter of ‘Human Rights & Democracy’, was reportedly very active on internet. He used to advocate justice, Human rights and democracy in Baluchistan. He was arrested three years ago and kept in solidarity confinement for eleven months. He was physically and mentally tortured. They also kept him in appalling conditions in prison.

Intelligence interrogators subjected Mr Rigi to brutal and inhuman torture and forced him to give televised confessions against himself.

A death sentence by a kangaroo court was passed against all three Baloch political prisoners after their forced confession.

Diaspora communities say that innocent political activist from Kurdish, Baluch and Al-Ahwazi community are executed in different prisons by Iran on regular basis but due to country’s strict grip on news agencies and media such news hardly reach to the wider world or find any space in international media.