Balochistan, a region in the southwestern part of Pakistan that covers 46 percent of its land, harboring valuable resources but plagued by an extremely poor population, has long been denied its rights by state authorities. The issues faced by the Baloch people are enormous, but the concern that every citizen of this state should feel now is the issue of missing persons.
The issue of missing persons is not only illegal but also unconstitutional, as the Constitution protects from arbitrary detention and arrest under Article 10. Individuals who are still missing have been abducted by authorities on charges of terrorism or for involvement in activities that threaten the state’s interests. No civilized nation can tolerate such a brutal system of disappearing individuals from a particular region based on accusations of their involvement in anti-state activities.
With growing tension in the country, some people continue to use slogans of selective humanity, selective journalism, and selective standards of dignity. Oppression, whether at home or outside, needs condemnation, and strong actions need to be taken to end it. Some people call for peace in Palestine without realizing that those who cannot achieve peace at home should not act as human rights champions abroad. Although atrocities in Gaza need to end, we must also raise our voices for the atrocities at home.
No other individuals during this extremely cold weather can imagine going on roads for hours and hours just to demand the peaceful return of their loved ones who have been abducted by the state without being provided with legal judicial processes, only those who are concerned. The whole nation needs to stand for justice in Balochistan if we consider ourselves to be civilized. The atrocities perpetrated against the Baloch people despite their services to Pakistan are clear injustices, and we should not only condemn them indiscriminately but also change our demands from electing elites.
When some are treated oppressively at home and others are deprived of rights, revolution is the ultimate consequence of such a system. As long as the state deprives the Baloch people of their rights to fair trial and justice, they will turn against the state. God forbid the day when those holding play cards and pictures of their loved ones take up arms for their rights.
We, as a nation, have a double standard of humanity. We consider it binding upon us to condemn injustices abroad but remain silent about injustices at home. It is also a clear message from Allah to speak the truth and stand for justice and to bear witness against oppression, whether it is against your parents, family, or anyone else. Those who have selected standards of human dignity and human rights are nothing but hypocrites disguised as human rights champions.
People who dare to speak the truth and stand against oppression need to be celebrated. No definition of terrorism or extremism can label as terrorists those who have a long history of resilience against oppression. The youth of our country need to realize collectively that the problems, whether in Balochistan, K.P.K, or Punjab, require a unified national stand for solutions.
Our nation is in an extremely challenging situation regarding acknowledging the role it can play during the election of representatives. This is a crucial time for us as a nation to raise demands that truly matter to us. We need to raise our voices against injustices at home and elect representatives who dare to stand against every form of injustice indiscriminately and at any time.
As a nation, we should discard double standards of humanity so that the state treats us as one human. We need not engage in unnecessary debates and conflicts that neither have nor will help us grow as one nation.