The Baloch people are being annihilated and the world is witness to our decimation.

Omran Daqneesh could be a Baloch would that matter screenshot
Blog Balochistan Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 10:40

The writer of this piece has requested anonymity

I am neither a writer nor a politician. I don’t know big words and clever phrases. But this much I know and feel it in my gut - my role in this world is bigger than all roles put together and more. When you give life, bring children into this world, when you see little lives snuffed out you cannot remain silent. Mothers will tell you they forget the pain of childbirth because it is a natural pain. How can we forget the pain of a child’s death?  When a child dies because of war, or for that matter disease and hunger, all of us die a little. Children are being killed every day in Balochistan. Do you feel our pain?

You can switch television channels, go shopping, make a meal for your family, paint your nails – you will never be able to forget images of children who are falling silent to bombs and cannons all around you. Something like that happened to me. I am a Hindu Baloch mother. I lost close members of my family on March 17th 2005 in Dera Bugti in Balochistan. The army started shelling this civilian town from the hilltops just before noon. They knew what they were doing.

Our houses were under constant shelling. I could see the holes being made in the walls windows and doors being knocked down by explosions. Everything around me was surreal as people were being hit with splinter particles of mortar shells, their bodies covered in blood. I was watching a movie, no I was dying, my daughter was looking at me, a splinter from a shell hit me, it hurt and I was bleeding. This was real – that cold and sticky smell of blood and the smoke from mortars. Shucks, this was real.

A hundred Omrans and Kavitas, Abdullahs and Lakshmis blew up in front of my eyes. There can be no exaggeration when you see death and destruction of the kind we have been subjected to. It will always be terrible. The Baloch people are being annihilated and the world is witness to our decimation.

I will remember that fateful day till I die. I am writing this for memory, for my children and their children so we don’t forget. When the Pakistani army started firing mortars my little girl who was 11 months old didn’t know what was going on. Her eyes. Her innocent eyes like those of thousands of children. She was looking to me for something I didn’t realize I had lost then. She was unaware of the commotion around her and continued to look at me. I had to think fast – get the hell out of there while remaining calm so no harm would come to my daughter. People were falling all around me, 70 people or was it 100? We ran into a mandir (Hindu Temple) but soon the shelling was directed at us. It was indiscriminate.

My story is not an isolated one. There are thousands of similar cases across Balochistan and as I write this there are renewed attacks. My daughter was lucky and it is because I want to go beyond luck that I am writing this. Had I not seen death from so close, seen the fear in people’s faces, cries of mothers and the mangled bodies of their babies I would have continued to live in a fool’s paradise calling myself a Pakistani.  That day proved me wrong in my bones. It also gave me a sense of closure about myself, us, the Baloch people, our land rights, our identity, our families and our future. It was that uncertainty which flickered in my eye as I tried to catch my daughter’s between bombs and mortars.

That day in 2005 the Pakistani in me died and a new Baloch identity in me took deep roots. Roots take time to grow but mine and that of my family was instant because as a people we have been butchered since 1948. When the history of independent Balochistan will be written, the period between 2005-2006 will be seen as a decisive one. It was a point of no return. What the world now sees about the Baloch struggle is just the beginning. We are tribal people and we know what it means to fight to finish. We are unafraid.

Why does the world not see what is being done to us in Pakistan? Do we have to wait for millions to perish before something can be done? As a mother, as a daughter and as a human being I have the right to ask this question of all leaders who want to protect human rights and civil liberties. Are some children more human than others? It’s a human life, for God’s sake so why do we highlight Syria and ignore Balochistan? Is there a competition for compassion and a threshold to reach after which countries decide where and whom to help? Damn, is anyone listening?

I have seen war first hand and I have come out the stronger for it. I will add my voice to those speaking up for us. I will keep standing up every time my people are killed because you in Pakistan have unleashed the power and the anger of the mother in me. I add my voice to the mothers of Balochistan in thanking Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for focusing on our plight. India is a big democracy and its voice is heard in other democracies. This support has meant a lot to us. I request all who are reading my story to help us in Balochistan. It is about the survival of humanity. Please, spare a thought for us.

Note: The views expressed here are the personal opinions of the author.

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