am posting some jottings I received
from a young friend in Quetta. When
I first read them I was reminded of
Riverbend, the blogger who documented
life in Baghdad during the Iraqi war.
I will update this note as I receive
texts. For those unfamiliar with Baloch
current history, see Daisann McLane's
article at Corrente: http://www.correntewire.com/disappeared_balochistan).
there was a blast in the evening. many ambulances rushed to the site. it was
on sariab road. they haven't disclosed any casualties, but on my way back home
there were just too many miliatry trucks and personnel near my place. havent
seen anything like that--and they seemed tense.
and there were demonstrations against Barrick Gold, for not hiring locals.
photos to illustrate dispatch below provided by Faiz Baluch
demonstration London (Hairbyar
The Baluch observed their independence
day, despite strict measures by the
Pakistani Occupation Forces [POF]
to quell the celebrations. The Independence
Day celebrations were kicked off
by hoisting the Baluch flag at eleven
in the morning, followed by singing
of the national anthem, setting
free birds as a symbol of freedom,
and by releasing balloons in the
the national colors. The national
flag was also posted at Mount Chiltan's
highest peak. The forces did take
down the national flag raised at
New Kahan Town and raised the Pakistani
flag, but the Baluch youth were quick
to lower the Pakistani flag and
raised the national flag again.
Events became interesting when
POF members surrounded the Marri
Tribal Council to take down the national
flag posted there. The children of
the Marri tribe pelted POF members
with stones, forcing them to retreat.
By dusk the POF had abducted eight
Baluch men, two from Hazar Ganji
and six from New Kahan. POF forces
used tear gas and other tactics like
a special twelve-man motorcycle patrol
at the city's Northern Bypass, flagged
motorcades driving through the city,
Pakistani flags and baton charging
to stop the celebrations.
In Kalat Independence Day celebrations
were observed at midnight, by aerial
firing and distribution of sweets.
In Khuzdar the students at the Engineering
University hoisted the national flag
and celebrated by performing the
the tribal dance performed on joyous
occasions. At Mand the celebrations
started with aerial firing through
the early morning hours. The flag
was raised later on and the national
anthem sung. The Baluch assembled
and rallied through the town. One
man was abducted by the POF Police.
In Naushkei the celebrations were
observed by the flag hoisting ceremony,
followed by a rally. Similar celebrations
took place in Dalbandin, Hub, Sibi,
Kohlu, Mach, Karachi and Interior
Sindh. According to Pakistani media
fifty five people were abducted
on August 11th, 2009.
Meanwhile in Dera Bugti, there were fierce clashes between the Resistance and
the POF, at Marwar Ilyasi and Gaudi.
The Resistance reported that it inflicted
heavy casualties on the POF, including
shooting down one POF Helicopter.
The helicopter crash landed in Sibi.
In Mashkei, a POF truck fell prey
to an IED and 15 POF members were
His Highness the Khan, Khan Suleiman Daud, has announced the establishment of
the Council for Independent Baluchistan.
The Khan said that they are in contact
with friendly states and they've
been assured all possible help. Resistance
Commander Brahmdagh Bugti, in a message
to the Baluch, said that there will
be no compromise on the Baluch Nation
and he praised the courage and determination
of the Baluch m en and women. Ms.
Karima of the BSO appealed to women
to join the Freedom movement.
(sources: www.dailyasaap.com, printed
from Quetta and Turbat)
The gist of today's news:
25 activists from the student party
BSO-Azad have been arrested. Last
night the Resistance targeted two
Pakistani Occupation Forces [POF]
policemen at Brewery Road Quetta,
and three more this morning at Sariab
Road Quetta, the policemen were injured
as a result of the grenade attacks.
have started an offensive. The operation
is classified as 'big' by the Resistance.
The POF are backed by helicopter
gunships and are indiscriminate in their offensive.
POF gunships have targeted Baluch
civilians in this fresh offensive. There are reports of the POF having imposed
an unannounced curfew of sorts on all main roads, following the announcement
that Baloch would observe Independence Day on August 11th, 2009. The POF tried
to lower a Baluch flag in New Kahan Town, Quetta, but the local population
resisted by throwing stones at the officers. The POF have installed at least
126 machine gun posts with APCs on standby in Quetta. Several Baluch political
parties have asked the Baluch to raise the Baluch flag over their homes. Meanwhile
the POF have posted Pakistani flags on power posts and Pakistani government
buildings. (sources: www.dailyasaap.com, printed from Quetta and Turbat)
the jailer of the notorious mach jail has been shot dead. he was loathed by
the baloch. 2 cops injured in a grenade attack with 9 collateral.
listen, I told u about the abducted
ATFs and gov employees. they [the
BRP] let go of 2 because their family
members were walking around with
the Holy Quran, pleading for their
release and it's part of Baluch culture
to forgive when someone does that.
And today they released another 7.
All the detainees were fine and they
weren't abused in any manner. the
police refused to go after the BRA
and requested the FC to conduct a
release operation. the FC forwarded
the request to the army. the army
announced that they would conduct
the recovery op in 12 hours. it's
been over two days now and still
I decided to stay back, university's
starting on the 10th. I'll leave
on the 15th or 13th. I want to see
what's next and God knows what's
in it for me. we took some more photos
today. made some film and some of
the previous film was lost. People
are resisting. Baluch guys are riding
their bikes in traditional garb.
there are stories...like this one
guy whom the paki forces stopped,
grabbed his pants and pulled out
a scissor to cut the drawstring...the
guy pulled the soldier's rifle barrel
and placed it against his chest--challenged
him to shoot him in chest. the soldier
didn't do it. another cousin of mine
said they stopped a guy on a bike.
he had his wife with him and they
told him to do that murgha. They
were hitting his back with a baton
when passersby got there and the
pakis had to let him go. what i find
really funny is that their flags
are just rippin off by themselves
:) they're givin away flags, but
no one's hoisting them. The paki
patrols are good at recognizing Baluch.
I roamed around in a pair of jeans
and a shirt, but even then whenever
they saw me they would keep an eye
on me. the funnier part is that Baluch
guys take me for a paki and would
gaze angrily at me. There are reports of one Baluch guy, one Pashtoon guy gettin
killed by mistake and 2 others beaten badly for moving around in pants. our
neighbors are from Kalat. they say that their relatives, one man and a few
women, were killed at Gai Khan Sariab when paki forces told them to stop and
they couldn't because of weak brakes. And there's this story about a single "gun slinging" biker
rebel who shot 3 or 4 paki soldiers. And I've met this teenage guy who was
brainwashed into gettin suicide attacks. he says that they were training next
Aug 5, 2009: there was a comms blackout.
lasted for at least 2 hrs. the media reported as a fault with a link cable
outside karachi, but I believe it was sabotaged at Hub, that's happened previously
as well. the BRA let go of two hostages to send a message that they aren't
interested in killing, but the gov has planned an offensive. they have disclosed
the participation of the FC, ATF and Army, backed by 2 gunships. the FC has
also warned of it being capable of tackling any situation in Quetta. the US
has massed 10k troops along the Chaman border, Afghan border, for sure. I remember
the news reading Chaman. I did take some pics but the troops were either moving
fast or scanning hard. I bought a laptop. it's used. can't find the drivers
after installing it. it's a fujitsu fmV7220nu5/b. cost me around $200, i bought
it to be able to do more. and they arrested two guys from karachi yesterday.
it was something about servers and the i/n. i hope it wasn't because they were
using proxy servers.
4, 2009: i
went out on a bicycle trip, had
my cousin with me. he's 13. pretty
obsessed with an independent Baluchistan.
I asked him to try to take some
photos. the kid captured some film.
it wasn't much. we caught 2 military
pickups--the soldiers were carrying
and a LMG mounted on the pickup.
they weren't proper military vehicles.
saw three makeshift compounds/battle
stations--all heavily armed. Met
an eyewitness who told me about the
way they humiliate the guys caught.
they "cut" their
locks and beards. the ones with
the baggy pants are forced to
take off their pants. That's too
humiliating. God forbid, it's a
run, fight or die situation. dad
saw 3 bikers and one motorist being
taken away.They're raising paki
flags over their check posts--not
just one, 4 and so on. and there's
this one place--it seems like a
mini garrison or something. it's
near my place--a boundary with
paki flags on all 4 corners and
a machine gun post at the front.
Aug 3, 2009: Couldnt
go out on the rcon ;) , mom was
not feelin well, took her to the
doc. just too many security personnel
outside. saw a convoy of army vehicles
with the soldiers in battle gear
and faces covered. saw two FC trucks
full of Baluch men, heading north,
most probably to the cantonment.
they have also deployed Sindh Rangers.
fighter jets are buzzing over,
quite high...they're circling around.
the FC has come up with a new plan--sealing
the city entrances. I'll try to
Aug 3, 2009: They're taking
people away, dad saw them taking
away a guy--his hands were tied
really hard and they threw him
in an old truck. I'll be goin
out today, I'l try to get sum
pics, the problem with my bro's
cell is that its camera is a
bit slow, it's 3.2 but it does
all that autofocus n stuff. if
i get caught i'll be hitting
the cells too. the military's
actions remind me of those chinese
films based around worldwar 2,
the imperial japanese would beat
up civilians and then the there
would be this kungfu vs karate
fight. In other parts of Bn they're
even searching women, and the
people here seem to be pretty
fed up. the BRP has also said
that on August 14th it's goin
to be our flag or theirs and
KK has dismissed any reconciliation
and asked the Baluch to observe
August 11 as our independence
day. one thing that's noteworthy
is the this surge in Baluch media--more newspapers,
very bold, and we have a TV channel.
it's not really picin on the
gov, but it's still doin a gud
in Qta, I dont think its the FC,
the guys are army, they're in khaki
cameos, body armor, holed in makeshift
gunny compounds [don't know the
exact word for it], surrounded
by barbed wire, with APCs stationed,
the compounds have heavy machine
guns, sticking out and not just
a LMGs. the guys humiliating the
people, they're checking everyone,
they'll beat up anyone who questions
them, and would order them to do
a "murgha", that's urdu
for Rooster, it's a punishment in
which the "punishee" has
to bend down and hold his ears.
they're particularly tough on the
motorcyclists, and so far they
have abducted over a 100, suspected
for the killing of Army Personnel
over the passed 2 days. today also
is the deadline for the hostages
taken by the resistance, it includes
6 policemen of the anti terrorist
force and 11 or so govt. labors
etc. the resistance is demanding
the release of abducted Baloch...i
also walked in the Shadow of the
Baluch Flag and Saluted Balach's
portrait posted outside his father's