Baluch protests to mark Pak birthday as black day
An internationally known fighter against the exploitation of Barrick Gold will join Baluch freedom lovers in Washington DC to expose the injustices perpetrated against Baluchistan since its forced annexation by Pakistan more than 61 years ago.
As Pakistanis will observe the founding of their country, the Baluch all over the world will mourn on that day as Pakistan has enslaved Baluchistan, killed tens of thousands of Baluch people and is kidnapping and toruring all those demanding freedom. Baluchistan's political status has gone down much lower than what it was when the British were ruling Baluchistan more than 60 years ago. Baluch students, youths and resistance parties will observe a black day on August 14 and massive preparations are under way towards that end all over Baluchistan.
Banuk Gulnaz Baluch, a spokesperson for the Baloch Students Organization [Azad] said Baluch students and youths will join hands with resistance organizations to observe August 14 as a black day all over occupied Baluchistan.
"It is the duty of all able-bodied Baluch to challenge the occupation forces," she said
Banuk Gulnaz Baluch is among the girl activists who have joined the freedom struggle for Baluchistan and there are reports Baluch women are ready to take up arms against the Pakistani occupation forces.
Pakistan as a state in itself is not a very legitimate organization and sliding towards failure. In Washington DC, an event Light a Candle for Baluchistan has been organized by Baluch expats and their friends to honor the victims of torture, missing persons, the Baluch killed and highlight the loot and plunder of their natural resources in Pakistan's area-wise largest province called Baluchistan.
One of the keynote speakers on that day is Sakura Saunders, who has been actively involved in fighting against the injustices of Barrick Gold.
Like many other places in the world, in conflict-ridden Baluchistan Barrick Gold has ganged up with the Pakistani occupation forces to work against the interests of the local people, tribal people who own the lands at Reko Diq said.
Sakura will speak on Barrick Gold at Reko Diq: What the Local Community Can Do Against Exploitation.
Sakura Saunders is an editor and founder of ProtestBarrick.net, an all-volunteer online network of groups researching and organizing around mining issues, particularly involving Barrick Gold. It contains news articles, testimonies, and backgrounders about Barrick's operations worldwide. Ms. Saunders came to ProtestBarrick as an independent journalist and activist, whose radio/tv work has appeared on Democracy Now! and Sprouts radio and whose writing is published regularly on CorpWatch.org and The Dominion paper in Canada.
A second speaker on the day is former speaker of the Baluchistan assembly, Waheed Baloch. His topic is "Baluchistan: 61 years of blood and tears -- how Pakistan wronged a people of honor."
Speaker Waheed Baloch, is a well-known Baloch politician and former speaker of the Baluchistan assembly. In politics, he has worked closely with key players in Baluchistan and also with slain premier Benazir Bhutto, among others. Prior to his election as speaker of the Baluchistan assembly, Waheed Baloch was actively involved with securing the Baluch rights from the platform of the Baloch Students Organization of which he was the central chairman. He came to the United Sates as a political asylee and now lives with his family in Reston, Va.
Baluch notables from many different US cities are expected to attend the event.
The Baluch are engaged in a heroic struggle to free their homeland ever since they were forcibly occupied by Pakistan.
In Iran too there are Baluch, who have a province named Seistan-o-Baluchistan. But there public executions are routine and only this month 16 Baluch were hanged as "enemies of Allah." Disappearances and tortures are almost a daily happening in Pakistani-occupied Baluchistan [PoB] and the government tortures all those sympathetic with the Baluch liberation movement. At least 2,000 Baluch are still missing in PoB, according to Pakistan's largest newspaper Jang.
The event is being organized at the St. Stephen and The Incarnation Episcopal Church on Friday, August 14 at 3 p.m. The address is:
1525 Newton Street NW
Corner of 16th & Newton Streets
The event is open to public.
Background: International Crisis Group reported that since December 2005, at least 84,000 people, mostly from the Marri and Bugti tribes, were displaced in the districts of Dera Bugti and Kohlu alone.
Aid agencies were repeatedly denied access to the displaced, although supplies of food and medicines lay in warehouses in the provincial capital Quetta. Local officials helped the agencies monitor conditions, but more senior provincial and federal officials refused humanitarian requests or blocked them with bureaucratic hurdles.
Please also see: http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4373