The Baloch Hal Editorial: Tribute to Mother-e-Balochistan
By Malik Siraj Akbar
The team of Voice for Missing Baloch Persons office-bearers met a tragic road accident in Kalat last week. The team was traveling from Quetta to Karachi to attend an official meeting about the Baloch missing persons. This group entirely comprised of the relatives of the missing Baloch persons who were clung with the hope to succeed in relocating their loved family members. In the same accident, the 80-year old mother of imprisoned Mir Abdul Wadood Raisani, a leader of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP), passed away.
The history of Balochistan will not remember the mother of Mir Abdul Wadood Raisani as the mother of a Baloch leader only. She was the mother of Balochistan. She will be remembered with deep respect in the history for her own contributions not that of her children. She introduced new trends of democratic struggle and inspired hundreds and thousands of Baloch mothers. She had written history during her life time by formally joining the movement for the missing persons of Balochistan. She regularly attended all the protest rallies, demonstrations and press conferences which were meant to wage a democratic struggle for the release of the disappeared Balochs. She was a champion of human rights, equality and social justice.
She was too old to get out of her home. She did not care much about her deteriorating health when taking part in the struggle for around eight thousand missing Baloch persons who have supposedly been whisked away by the state intelligence agencies. She stunned everyone when she bravely took part in 10-kilometer long marches starting either from Degree College or the University of Balochistan, both on Sariab Road, to Quetta Press Club. She was a brave mother who said all the missing persons were her children. She passionately chanted slogans for the recovery of all missing persons. She indiscriminately took the photographs of the disappeared people in her hands during grand public gatherings and spoke bravely on the stage. She was a source of courage, determination, rebellion and steadfastness.
Throughout her participation in the movement for the recovery of the missing persons, she never shed a drop of tears publicly with the hope that she did not discourage the other mothers whose sons had gone missing. She looked fresh in every new protest rally that was organized to condemn the grave violation of human rights. She took every protest as the first and the last protest of her life by telling everyone that they should not lose hope in their struggle. She constantly fed optimism to her children and grand children who struggled with her on the platform of Voice for Missing Baloch Persons. She never bunked a long march, demonstration, press conference, seminar or any activity which was designed to raise the voice of the people of Balochistan.
The most striking feature of the ongoing Baloch resistance movement, when compared with the previous movements of 1948, 1960s and 1973, is the overwhelming participation of Baloch women. They have remained instrumental in protesting the injustices of the federal government and the grave violation of human rights in the province. The Baloch women began to join the movement in large numbers after the members of the missing persons’ families began to get out of their homes and marched on the roads, in front of the press clubs and the high court and Supreme Court buildings to press for the acquittal of all the missing persons.
The mother of Mir Abdul Wadood Raisani will eternally be remembered in the Baloch history as a brave lady who preferred not to die in the bed. She died at the age of 80 while struggling for the recovery of all the missing Balochs whom she called her children. She was on her way to raise voice for the missing people when she met an accident and passed away.
She was a role model for all Baloch women for her commitment to a just cause. She defeated the defective state judicial system that has failed to bring back those who were subjected to enforced disappearance during and after the military regime of Pervez Musharraf. She foiled all tactics to be pressurized and stay at home. She came out of her home as a legendary figure and fought valiantly against a system that snatches sons from their mothers but fails to undermine the spirit of an eighty-year old mother. The refusal of the Mother of Balochistan to give up her struggle till her death is the moral defeat of the government as well as the so-called independent judiciary.