B.R.P.’s Unfair Treatment of Dr. Naela Quadri

The Baloch Republican Party (B.R.P.) has cancelled the basic membership of its senior leader Mir Abdul Wadood Raisani for allegedly violating the party discipline. Mr. Raisani had protested through newspaper statements against an earlier similar decisions under which the B.R.P. had suspended Professor Dr. Naela Quadri, a member of the B.R.P.’s Central Committee, for three months. Mr. Raisani had given the B.R.P. an ultimatum to restore Ms. Qadiri’s position in the party. In response, B.R.P.’s spokesman Sher Mohammad Bugti said Mr. Raisani had violated the party discipline by contesting the decision to suspend Professor Quadri for three months. 

The details of Professor Quadri’s indiscipline are unknown but her suspension was indeed shocking. The Party Chairman Bramdagh Bugti should review the decision and also evaluate the implications of such a decision. Ms. Quadri has been a very seasoned Baloch nationalist leader since the days when even Bramdagh Bugti was an apolitical young boy. She was among the very first people in Balochistan who publicly stood against the nuclear tests in Balochistan in 1998. As a price for her brave stance against nuclear tests, Professor Quadri, who taught physics at the University of Balochistan, was fired from her job. Her husband also lost his job from the university for the same reasons of opposing nuclear tests in Balochistan.

When Bramdagh Bugti formed the Baloch Republican Party, it initially looked like a one-man show because no major political personality joined his party. They all viewed the B.R.P. and Bugti’s vision (supporting an independent Balochistan) “too dangerous”. Those who became friends with Mr. Bugti and joined his party, such as Jalil Reki, the Party’s central secretary information, Sher Mohammad Baloch and Sangat Sana Baloch, members of the Party’s Committee, were abducted, tortured and eventually killed. Dr. Quadri, along with Dr. Hakeem Lehri of the erstwhile Balochistan National Congress, were the two relatively high-profile and widely respected nationalist leaders who joined the B.R.P. to make it stronger. Both Dr. Quadri and Dr. Lehri did not manipulate their political experience and rich contacts to demand higher positions and special treatment in B.R.P. They simply rendered selfless services and remained with the Party during all hard times.

Dr. Quadri, who formerly served as a senior member of the Balochistan National Party, has paid a very heavy price for her support to the Baloch nationalist movement. She has been forced to live in exile in Afghanistan because of death threats she has been receiving from the Pakistani security forces. She is one such person who could have easily lived a comfortable life as a university professor if she did not stand for the Baloch rights and confront the Establishment. Irrespective of her party affiliation, Dr. Qadiri’s active role in raising voice on a number of critical issues, ranging from nuclear tests to human rights abuses in Balochistan, is highly commendable. She came on the roads in Balochistan at a time when female agitators were a rare sight in the province.

Bramdagh Bugti should be able to recognize and value highly senior politicians who have reposed their trust in his (much younger) leadership. The best way to treat leaders like Dr. Quadri is to pay them back with respect and admiration for their unflinching commitment to the rights of the Baloch people. B.R.P., just like rest of the Baloch political parties, should not be confined to a ‘party of the martyrs’. It should learn to respect living legends who have sacrificed everything in their lives for a better future for the Baloch generations. The B.R.P. should richly benefit from Dr. Quadri’s knowledge and political experiences. Dr. Quadri is not only a member of the B.R.P. but a collective asset of the Baloch nation. She truly deserves recognition recognition from her party rather than expulsion and suspension.

This article was originally published in The Baloch Hal on December 22, 2012


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