Malik Siraj Akbar On The Mashky Operation | Q&A

Dec 2012
By M.A.

On December 25th, 2012, the Pakistan Frontier Corps launched a military operation in southern Balochistan’s Mashky area, in Awaran District. The operation has received little or no attention in the Pakistani media. Tanqeed speaks to Malik Siraj Akbar, editor-in-chief of the banned online paper, The Baloch Hal, to get an update on the situation, and a take on why the Mashky atrocities have been ignored.

Tanqeed (TQ): What is the status of the Mashkey operation right now?

Malik Siraj Akbar (MSA): On its fifth day, the operation has relatively slowed down as far as firing and door-to-door search operations are concerned. The heavy deployment of the Frontier Corps (F.C.) is still in place. According to local residents, the security forces have established at least 12 new check posts. The deployment of the F.C. has restricted civilian movement and caused a shortage of edible supplies in the area and also blocked road communications. At least 20 people, including women and children, have been killed in the operation. The Baloch insurgents have also inflicted losses on the F.C. and the F.C., on its part, says most of the people killed in the operation were ‘terrorists’, a charge the locals deny.

The claim of the security forces cannot be trusted because the operation is taking place in a populated area which cannot be the same place from where the Baloch insurgents operate. The insurgents mainly hide in and operate from mountainous areas. Dozens of local residents have also been whisked away by security forces and taken into custody for interrogation. Their whereabouts are still unknown. The local communities are in a state of shock and male members of various households have gone into hiding because they fear being arrested by the F.C. as a part of their tactic to spread terror among the citizens. During the operation, several houses have also been burnt.

TQ: You have criticized the Pakistani media of carrying out a blackout of the operation. Please elaborate.

MSA: The Pakistani media, mainly the broadcast media, have pretended not to know what has been happening in Mashky although they were given a heads-up by the local politicians through their press conferences and also through the social media. The Mashky operation entails several levels of human rights abuses at the same time. It included killing of civilians, burning people’s homes and whisking away unarmed citizens. It also has deep implications on a political and peaceful resolution of the Balochistan conflict. The media did not cover the operation, the protests and press conferences that ensued in the wake of the operation and kept the whole nation in darkness. The Pakistani media is known for its immediate and aggressive adoption of position on almost every issue. It was not seen asking those tough questions as to who sanctioned the military operation in Balochistan and what caused it this time. There were no talk-shows about it either. After all, the operation was carried out at such a time when the nation was either marking the birthday of the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah or, two days later, mourning the death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto. Our media should have played a role and put into question what was actually happening in Balochistan during these days. It was a quick operation which remained unnoticed by the Pakistani media. Worst still, the media was more obsessed with Pakistan-India cricket match and the domestic issues of a Pakistani singer at a time when people were being killed by the forces in Balochistan. This shows how badly misplaced the Pakistani media’s priorities are.

TQ: But the Pakistani media has covered the Baloch cause extensively this year. Do you not think this is an improvement?

MSA: Pakistani media’s coverage of Balochistan is not consistent and professional. It is not research-based but driven by the passionate national narrative provided by the Pakistani military. Most of the what we have seen in the past one year is rather an expression of frenzy or paranoia, which is also not an original product of the media. This frenzy is the brainchild of the military and the Pakistani nationalist journalists. Reporting on Balochistan is spontaneous and reactionary.

From time to time, we see a short-term surge in talk-shows and newspaper columns on Balochistan which is connected to some other development elsewhere.

For instance, in 2012, Balochistan’s coverage could easily be classified in various frantic phases. Continue reading >>

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18 Responses to Malik Siraj Akbar On The Mashky Operation | Q&A

  1. M Ali Khan on Dec 2012 at 5:06 AM

    It is important to realise that Mehi area of Mashkay has been a BLF stronghold. The FC convoy attacked on 23-24 December by BLF got at least two soldiers killed, hence the heavy retaliation, also hence the reason why Dr Allah Nazar is on the run since Mehi is his home village. Despite the common perception of rebels hiding out in the mountains, Allah Nazar frequently visits his village knowing he won’t be caught due to varying interests of the Pak security establishment.

    One needs to remember that Allah Nazar’s BLF has proven to be the most deadliest and dangerous terrorist group in Balochistan. They have attacked unarmed civilians (Esp. ‘settlers’) with impunity, they have killed critics including National Party’s Maula Bakhsh Dashti and Naseem Jangian.

    • Omar on Jan 2013 at 4:59 AM

      If the Pakistani army pulls out of Balochistan, there will be no attacks on them. The Pakistani army came to Balochistan to terrorise innocent Baloch people. Dr Allah Nizar and his comrades are freedom fighters defending their homeland.
      There are more terrorists in Punjab than people in Balichistan, why the Pakistani army doesn’t wipe cities and villages there?

      The entire Pakistani Taliban terrorist

  2. Gazzi on Dec 2012 at 8:21 AM

    someone please solve this problem.

  3. Baloch on Dec 2012 at 10:33 AM

    M Ali Khan if it is true what you are talking about So your Pakistani media must show it that what is happening in Balochistan.

  4. Farooq Baloch on Dec 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Thank you Tanqeed for publishing this important interview and highlighting the untold story of Mashky operation. The media should play a honest role and we Balochs are unhappy with the Pakistani media.

    • Dilshod on Jan 2013 at 8:33 PM

      Who will decide if the demo is or is not anti-state? Who does this state bonleg to by the way? It is not the state of the people. It is not the state of the oppressed nations of Pakistan. The people, the oppressed nations are justified being anti-state and anti-governemnt. The Baloch and Sindhis have seen all sorts of governemt, so had the Bengalis. And we still are supposed to be ONLY anti-government. It is the STATE which either has to be aboloshed or demorcatised, and what is democracy if the oppressed are not allowed to demonstrate, and the agencies issueing threats. The worst emerges when civilians make a fetish of an anti-people state and condemn all activities as anti-state, or try to be selective: anti-state, anti-governement . This ahs not helped in past, this will not help now. I am all with the journalists and the people who dare the army-ridden body politic of this God-gifted’ country.

    • Puant on Jan 2013 at 6:28 AM

      Mr. Kambar Ali Baloch Saab writes: {{Hope all the msnsiig persons are alive and soon some day shall come home.}}Kambar SAAB ALLAH kare with you people struggle that DAY is VERY SOON otherwise, HIS DAY will be day of judgment to award/reward all good doers and bad doers.

  5. […] Courtesy: TANQEED […]

  6. Meer siarus on Jan 2013 at 6:14 AM

    M ali khan : shaeed bugti ne kaha tha pakistani media us kuthey ki tara hay jidher haddi penko udhar bonktha hay : yar ap free media ko waha bejo kud tasaweer our social media par deko me na manoo wala qissa naiy karo face the reality

  7. Kalgor on Jan 2013 at 3:49 PM

    How come some one call the freedom fighter terrorist, go and find who is terrorist, Balochistan is occupied and your army should leave Balochistan and save the rest of Pakistan which crumbling day by day, Balochistan was free country, tous Baloch Pakistan’s one ethnic majority army is terrorist, we give our 65 years to live with you but your army proved they just ethnic army of punjab who want everything under their controll, the Biggest example was Bengal now Bangladesh, once again my advice to people who really love Pakistan is tell their army to quit dreaming about Balochistan and stop further Baloch genocide.

  8. Hamza Baloch on Jan 2013 at 11:31 PM

    My Two recent Blog on Mashkay Operation:

    1) http://hamarabalochistan.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/fake-photos-about-mashkay-operation-by-bla-cyber-team/

    2) http://hamarabalochistan.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/mashkay-operation-some-more-details/

    Mashkay Operation was against Dr Allah Nazar. Dr Allah nazar not only killed Punjabi settlers but also killed Baloch poltical leaders and activists. I am a Baloch, and I support this operation.

    • Talal BAloch on Jan 2013 at 8:23 PM

      they can see every thing ..
      they know that what happning in balochistan .
      but they are Silent
      Ho talking with then is like a talking with walls ?
      What ever they do one day will come for balochs
      And every baloch is waiting 4 this new hope and for a independent country
      ..
      there is a onli one thing to do just pray ..
      even they seen my comment they will also arrest me 🙁
      nice Artical 🙂

  9. Asfand on Jan 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Dr Allah Nazar is a terrorist, No doubt about this.. He must be brought to justice… But we must takecare the human rights of our brother living in the area(locals) + respect their dignity..

  10. Miguel on Jan 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Pakistan falls into the cateogory what the cailsapitt politcal language calls them as failed state , police state , and indded some how rogued state . currently it has descented into total chaos { this word i prefer than only chaos}.Gradually the group which calls every shot has succeded to control every aspect of the people living within its terriotoy. Media , government (its all pillars ; legislature , executive , judiciary) , manufactured public opinion which revoles around a manufactured idelogy , propganda all work together to strengthen ultra totalitarian regime.all means of suppresion and exploitation are used to maintain the status quo. violence is its favorite mean.Balochistan is in grip of insurgency for quite few years. killing , torture , disapperance of poilitical activists , intellectual and journalists , artist and poet , teachers and also children and women are routine there , even in daylight. students are murdered cold blood.Asaap , a daily paper , was closed down because Forntier Corps (F.C) put a seige around it and its worker were tortured and threatened.Where has been Media for 7 years ? As one of baloch poet put it in this way By killings our bodies , You cant kill our thoughts ; can you stoped the flowers giving out its fragrance ; if you want to kill me , then kill my soul , and hang my hopes ; if i m dead u will die too. { Atta shad}

  11. ISMAIL KHAN on Feb 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Dont worry …. What ever this blood thirsty Allah Nazar does , he has to die one day , natural or killed … Then their would be no baloch no punjabi in his grave … So will all of us … Just like bengali great leader SHEIKH MUJEEB UR REHMAN.. Not killed by Punjabi but hahha his own Mukti bani bengali commanders …GOD bless you balochs … Inshallah Islam will revive one day again and we all will see no baloch no punjabi no pathan and no sindhi …

  12. […] Front (B.L.F.), belongs to the same district where he has been resisting Pakistani military’s unlawful and extrajudicial actions in the recent past. Dr. Nazar calls for a free Balochistan and enjoys tremendous influence and […]

  13. […] Front (B.L.F.), belongs to the same district where he has been resisting Pakistani military’s unlawful and extrajudicial actions in the recent past. Dr. Nazar calls for a free Balochistan and enjoys tremendous influence and […]

  14. Hammal Gwadari on Aug 2015 at 4:35 AM

    to stop this bloodshed.. UN and USA Should carryout the selfdetermination in Baluchistan …this must come to end..

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