An Appeal for John Solecki’s release
I hope the kidnappers of John Solecki are reading these lines or someone would help these words reach them. Throughout my journalistic career, I have been an ardent supporter of the Baloch struggle for self-determination. I am glad many Baloch leaders do listen to me. They apparently agreee that the Baloch journalists and intellectuals also have a role to show them the right direction.
Initially, we thought the John’s kidnappers were not the Baloch but the Taliban. Now that it has been learnt that he is in the custody of the Baloch Liberation United Front (BLUF), I, as a Baloch journalist, would like to humbly appeal to his kidnappers to release John safe and sound. I know I cannot influence anyone. But as an analyst I can predict the consequences of this episode.
The Baloch are purely democratic people and fighting for a just cause. We are surely not as barbaric as the Talibans. We do not want the world to identify us as the enemies of the humanity. We are a people who have suffered immensel in the hands of the country’s ‘actual rulers’, who have never bothered to read even a chapter from the books of modernity and civilization.
I have interviewed Nawab Khair Baksh Marri and Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti and their vision of Balochistan is that of a modern, progressive and secular state. The Baloch are a people who have sacrificed their lives to guard their guests. Shaeed Nawab Akbar Kahn Bugti cared so much about his Hindu minority subjects that he kept them close to his fort so that no one could harm the Hindus. The Baloch went to sacrifice their lives when Dr. Shahzia Khalid was raped by the Pakistani army. Our history is full of such examples. We can die but cannot let our guests be slightly affected.
Throughout the history, Balochs have remained an oppressed nation, not an oppressor. We have received dead bodies of our elders during every regime in Pakistan. Thousands of our beloved ones have gone missing. No one more than us can feel the anguish one undergoes when you lose a dear one or your family member goes ‘ missing’.
John Solecki is our guest. He is a friend of the humanity. I know some of the committed angry Baloch young men wanted to internationalize the Baloch cause. They have achieved their goal. Guys, John’s family is very worried about him. Now, this is not the Balochi way of protest. Please release him. Let the world know that we are different from the Taliban and other uncivilized people of the world.
If something happens to John, I can assure you that the Baloch movement will go one hundred years backwards. If not the American government but hundreds of American think-tanks, media organizations and independent groups are sympathic with the Baloch cause. They know our people are fighting a just cause. Keeping John under abduction for a longer time is going to undermine the Baloch movement. The Baloch will lose some important friends.
Through this post, I would also like to request Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti, Sardar Attullah Mengal, Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Daoowd, Nawabzada Jamil Akbar Bugti, Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal,the leadership of the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF), the Baloch Republican Army (BRA), the Balochistan National Party (BNP), the Baloch Republican Party (BRP), the National Party (NP), the Jamori Watan Party (JWP), all factions of the Baloch Students Organization (BSO), the Anjuman Ittehad-e-Marri, Baloch Women Panel, Baloch Bar Association, Daily Tawar, Daily Asaap, Daily Azadi, Daily Ustuman, Gwanik Radio, all the Baloch scholars and everyone concerned to make a collective appeal to the kidnappers for the release of John Solecki.
As long as John Solecki remains in the custody of the BLUF, the Baloch community living across the world, mainly in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, will miserably suffer. They will be viewed suspiciously and billed as the enemies of their host countries. Further, they will not be treated with respect any more. Rather, the Baloch diaspora will be ridiculed by the local people and asked if this is he Baloch secular and democratic mindset that they had been boastfully harping about.
I am very hopeful that I will not be disappointed but my appeal would be joined by you all. Let’s reiterate: The Baloch are a very civilized people victimized by a very uncivilized enemy. If you support my appeal, please drop a message on the blog.