An open letter to Hamid Mir (Geo TV)
Translated from the Urdu by Archen Baloch
Dear Hamid Mir,
I’m writing you this letter with the hope that perhaps the historians of the next century – standing in the witness box of history – will reveal the truth about the oppressed Baloch nation, hold the colonial powers and occupying rulers of the day accountable and examine the role and discourse of its advocates and intelligentsia. It should not be the case that today’s columnists and intellectuals are restrained by the fear of the ruler or its lust for conquest.
A century ago, British Lord B. Fell said, “We know and understand the history of Egypt far better than the Egyptians do.” Even one hundred and 25 years later these contemptuous words remain on the pages of history. Similarly, the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, when in Gadhi Khuda Baksh said, “Baloch should learn politics from us.” His implication was that the Baloch are ignorant, illiterate and unfamiliar with statecraft–born to be slaves. There is only the gap of a century between the words of Lord B. Fell and President Zardari, but the subject and message is the same: the lesson of slavery.
Mr. Hamid Mir, you hold the leading position among contemporary intellectuals belonging to the colonial state’s electronic and print media. Many of the policies of the state are devised and executed with the counsel of your community. But knowledge and consciousness demand to be on the side of truth. Jean-Paul Sartre, who despite being French, supported the Algerian freedom movement against the colonial system with his pen and wrote a golden chapter of history. Like Sartre, Mr. Hamid Mir, you are an intellectual. Yet you not only support the inhumane, immoral and terrorizing conduct of the occupying state in Balochistan, you have also actively advised the state regarding how to eliminate the Baloch freedom fighters and how to perpetuate its occupation over Baloch land. With the intimidation of the younger brother of Shaheed Assad Baloch, Akhar Mengal, you would enable the state to conquer the strong fortress of Baloch by building a Trojan horse out of him. If Akhtar Mengal is intimidated and taken in by you, it would be a master stroke of your molding hand. With the threat of state terrorism, not only have you tried to intimidate him into submission, but you have become a bridge to encourage him to cut a deal with the secret agencies of the state.
You have never regarded the Baloch as a nation and freedom a right of every nation. Is it just to deprive a nation of its freedom through the use of intellectual ploys? Five hundred years ago Nicholas Machiavelli advised a prince that kings and rulers are not bound by any values and permanent morals. If that is just, then why is Machiavelli under critique? Kings and rulers are never incriminated because all court intellectuals are subservient to their respective masters. In order to maintain their stranglehold, they advise their masters and propagate their policies. The struggle of the oppressed is portrayed as wrong and the result of ignorance. Sometimes religion is also utilized to subdue the oppressed. At present the intelligentsia of the Pakistani occupier is doing the same to the Baloch and you are a participant in this oppression.
Mr. Mir Sahib, you claim to be the banner bearer of human rights. When Malala Yousufzai was attacked you were among the first to condemn this inhumane act. Although it is commendable, on December 25, 2012, when Pakistani occupying forces were showering fire and iron from their helicopter gunships at Tank of the Mashkay area, in which 18 innocent women, children and elderly men were killed–among them Bahti was 2 years old and Bibi Mahnaz, 70–all Pakistani intellectuals, including you, were silent.
Is this justice to a man of your intellect? Or is it beneficial to vicious rulers? You decide. Two years ago, Bibi Zamur Baloch and her daughter were martyred by Pakistani beasts in the streets of Karachi. Previously, Pakistani state agents abducted Zarina Marri, along with her infant child Murad, while she was on her way to school in Quetta. On January 21, 2013, in Besima of Kharan district, Pakistani forces, along with the local death squad, broke into a house and martyred a prominent Balochi and Brahvi poet, Qasim Baloch, along with his sister Rozina Baloch. Over such poignant, heart-rending incidents, not a single word comes out of the mouths of Pakistan intellectuals. Perhaps it is because these oppressed people are Baloch.
At present Baloch are fighting a war for their freedom and the blood of this freedom loving nation is cheap. The only way to do justice with their blood is to forget it altogether. Because forgetting is the only way to escape the wrath of the master.
Those are just a few examples among thousands of incidents, mutilated dead bodies of our martyrs and Baloch prisoners that I mentioned herein. Mir Sahib, nations never die. If it were so, then the Israeli nation would have not existed at all. Even after two thousand years of persecution they have their state, although their suppressive treatment of the Palestinians is condemnable. General Dyer is not alive anymore, but the British Prime Minister calls the Jalyanwala Bagh mishap shameful. And your Bangladeshi history is a recent example.
Mir Sahib, it may come to pass that the words of Zardari and Lord B. Fell and your silence will be deemed Machiavellian. Perhaps our great grandchildren, while reading the bitter facts of history after a century, will conclude that today’s enlightenment was not directed against oppression, but utilized to maintain oppression. In any case, it is now a chapter of history that Pakistan’s intellectuals have encouraged the occupying army to control Makuran and Bolan in order to successfully control Balochistan.
Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch
March 15, 2013