During the 18th century, the British empire sent thousands of social outcasts, thugs, criminals such as thieves, robbers, murderers and sex offenders to its newly acquired colonial possession of Australia. What these people did to the Australian people is a well known historical fact. After their mass slaughters and infliction with infectious diseases, they were reduced to what now we know of them as Aborigines. In the 20th century, we witnessed the settlement of thousands of Urdu speaking people of “noble origin” from north India into Sindh by the British before their final departure from south Asia. Today, Sindhis are reaping the crop what the colonial power sowed in their soil. In the same vein, we are now witnessing another gruesome thought by the ruling alliance of Military, Mullahs and Muhajirs about Balochistan.
In a display of state’ sheer arrogance and insensitivity to the lives of the people of Balochistan, the Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court, Athar Minallah, directed the Foreign Ministry to airlift the Pakistani citizens stranded in coronavirus-hit Wuhan, to the port city of Gwadar in Balochistan, as he heard the plea for the evacuation of its citizens. There are an estimated over 800 Pakistani students studying in Wuhan alone, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus. The irony is that the majority of these students are from Punjab and were allocated the scholarships primarily announced for the students of Balochistan.
This is an open secret that the independent judiciary of the Allah given country only speaks the language of the ruling alliance and these remarks by the Islamabad High Court judge reflects the intended strategy in dealing with the Baloch people. Athar Minallah is undoubtedly highlighting the establishment’s perception of looking down to the marginalized national entities of Pakistan as irrelevant. According to the BBC URDU, early this month, a Sindhi student Shazaib Rahujo, who had returned from China, was suspected of carrying coronavirus and was forced back to isolation in Sindh when he tried to go to Islamabad for further treatment. Although it became clear later that Rahujo had not contracted the virus.
It is a known fact that Balochistan lacks basic health amenities with the worst health statistics in the world. People in Balochistan in particular women and children die of easily preventive diseases. It records the highest mother and infant mortality rate in Pakistan which is another aspect of the state showing its love to the people of Balochistan. The people who have been calling for their basic rights have always been dealt with brute force by the ruling establishment of Pakistan. Mr Athar Minallah’s remarks are just another reflection of the state’s callousness towards the people of Balochistan. However, the ruling alliance of Military, Mullahs and Muhajirs is forgetting that it is not the 18th century. Pakistan is not the British empire and BALOCHISTAN is not Australia. Dumping of virus afflicted people in Balochistan will be another miscalculated adventure by the state.