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Martyred of Durand line at Spin Boldak Chaman

Naqibullah Son of Kamal Uddin from Norzai tribe was a patriotic Afghan which has sacrificed his life for the cause to prove the artificial Durand Line as a colonial imposed divide line between one nation, history and culture. On 30th July 2020, Pakistan armed forces have discriminately attacked the peaceful protest at Spin Boldak Chaman Gate, in which so many innocent people got martyred and injury. From more than 20 days a protest sit in Chaman gate was peacefully demanding to reopen the gate for the common people.

Thousands of refugees and villagers were trying to cross the DL to join their families and to celebrate the Eid on 01 August, 2020.The Pakistani state and military, while failing to address the grievances of the Pashtun minority in that country, is trying to divert the public attention, and under the pretext of the border management to terrorize the peaceful population of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Afghanistan does not recognize the Duran Line (DL) as an international boundary, and the construction and erection of installations are illegal along the Durand line. Thousands of people cross the line on a daily basis to go to their villages, conduct business and maintain cultural and family ties.
This bloody event adds another record in the list of Pakistani state terrorism activities.

 

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As Intra-Afghan Talks Loom, Taliban Hark To 1990s Regime

Talks between the Afghan government and the hard-line Islamist Taliban movement finally appear to be on the horizon after the two sides announced a brief cease-fire during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha this week.

But it is unclear whether they can overcome the immediate problems of reconciling differences over prisoner releases, extending the cease-fire, and resentment over relentless violence since the Taliban signed an initial peace agreement with the United States in February.

The agreement outlined a roadmap in which American troops would withdraw from Afghanistan in return for Taliban guarantees. The Taliban and supporters of the current Afghan political system, formally called the Islamic Republic, are expected to decide on a shared future political system before the U.S. withdrawal is complete next year.

The Afghan government and Taliban have reportedly reached an agreement over the release of hundreds of Taliban prisoners as U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad toured the region in an apparent bid to revive the stalled Afghan peace process. The Taliban have freed some 800 Afghan soldiers in return for the release of 4,000 Taliban fighters by the government.

But there is no sign that the Taliban are ready to relinquish their push to recreate the Islamic Emirate, the formal name of their 1990s regime that attracted Afghan opposition and international condemnation for harsh implementation of what the movement called Islamic Shari’a law.

FILE: Afghan army officers carry the coffin of former President Sardar Muhammad Daud Khan in March 2009.

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Afghans Still Divided Over 1973 Coup That Ended Monarchy And Unleashed Turmoil

The Afghan government, civil society, and leaders and factions supporting the republican system also want to preserve the gains of the past two decades, which saw a new pluralistic Afghan political system take hold despite Taliban violence, corruption, declining international aid, and continued interference by Afghanistan’s neighbors.

Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman in Qatar, said the group is now ready to move ahead with the peace process, offering a timeline that could get the ball rolling on talks. “The Islamic Emirate is ready to release all remaining prisoners of the other side before the eve of Eid al-Adha provided they release our prisoners as per our list already delivered to them,” he wrote on July 23. “Intra-Afghan negotiations will begin immediately after Eid.”

On July 28 Zabihullah Mujahid, another Taliban spokesman, announced a three-day cease-fire during Eid al-Adha, which begins on July 31. He wrote on Twitter that “in order for our people to spend the three days of Eid in confidence and happiness, all fighters are instructed not to carry out any operations during this period.”

Taliban leader Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, however, was vague about exactly what his movement will offer Kabul and what they will demand, indicating instead that the movement still sees itself as absolved of any commitments or responsibilities.

“Domestic parties should immediately remove all obstacles obstructing intra-Afghan dialogue and give priority to the greater interests of our homeland over division of smaller interests,” he said in a July 28 statement issued on the Taliban website, “so that the Afghans may jointly eliminate all internal and potential causes of war and conflict, restore peace to our homeland and reach an understanding among themselves over future Islamic government.”

The recent announcements have stirred mixed feelings among Afghans as they hope for peace but question the Taliban’s ability to keep their promises.

FILE: Convicted Afghan drug lord Hajji Bashar Noorzai.

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Taliban Demand Release Of Convicted Afghan Drug Lord

Under Ashraf Ghani’s presidency, the Afghan government has emphasized the preservation of republican values and the achievements of the past 19 years in the fields of democracy, human rights, and women’s rights — repeatedly stating that these issues are all part of the government’s “red line” of non-negotiable values.

“If the Taliban continue fighting, the Afghan peace process will face serious challenges,” Ghani said earlier this month. “Unfortunately, the current level of violence is higher compared to last year.” The Afghan leader said that some 3,560 Afghan soldiers have been killed and 6,781 wounded in Taliban attacks since the signing of the U.S.-Taliban deal in February.

On July 28, Ghani urged the Taliban to agree to a “permanent and comprehensive cease-fire” during impending peace talks.

But Mullah Fazel, a former top Taliban military commander and current senior negotiator, indicated in March that re-establishing the Islamic Emirate remains a top priority. “The amir or leader of [a future government] will be ours. There will be an Islamic Emirate, and there will be a system based on Shari’a [Islamic law],” he told Taliban fighters and supporters in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan, which has served as a Taliban sanctuary after they were routed from Afghanistan in late 2001.

Fazel maintains that the new Islamic Emirate will be more inclusive. “Unlike in the past, not all [officials] will come from among the ulema or the Taliban,” he said. “The Taliban or the Islamic Emirate will never become part of the Kabul government, but we can grant them [some individuals] a ministry or some other post.”

FILE: Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (C) with members of the Taliban political office in Qatar.

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Are The Taliban Committed To Negotiating Peace In Afghanistan?

Khairullah Shinwari, a political activist who has met and talked with Taliban leaders recently, says the Taliban are willing to cooperate with the Afghan government. “They will accept any political system agreed upon in the negotiations between the Afghans as long as it does not conflict with the religious and traditional values of Afghans,” he said.

The question, however, is whether any middle ground between the two sides can be found. Ali Yavar Adeli, an expert at the Afghanistan Analysts Network, says an agreement can only come from a sustained discourse built upon the foundation of achievements and progress. “We need to continue these talks because our values have not been easily achieved,” he said.

“The key issue is to preserve the achievements that go back to the fundamental rights of people, and to continue to bring about peace, a basic desire for all Afghan people,” said Aminullah Habibi, another Kabul-based analyst. Those fundamental rights include women’s rights, a large topic of concern for those who don’t wish to re-imagine life under Taliban rule.

Azra Asghari, a Germany-based women’s rights activist, doubts the Taliban have changed their views concerning women. “I don’t think the Taliban are paying attention to social activities and women’s rights,” she said. “The Taliban determine women’s rights based on outdated traditions, which is not acceptable in this new age.”

In the runup to the long-awaited talks, many questions remain unanswered. On one side of the negotiating table, supporters of the Islamic Republic appear ready to reach an agreed settlement and participate in talks if it means being one step closer to peace in the country. But whether the Taliban are prepared to end their violent campaign and compromise on their political ideals remains to be seen.

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Families of ‘missing persons’ spend Eid protesting on the roads

When the Muslim world was celebrating Eid-ul-Adha on Aug 1st, the families of the Baloch and Sindhi missing persons were protesting on the roads and streets for the recovery of their loved ones.

According to the details, the families of the Baloch missing persons traveled from different regions of Balochistan and organized a protest in Quetta for the recovery of their loved ones on Eid day. Under the auspice of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, a rights group actively working for the recovery of the Baloch missing persons, the protesters launched a rally on the roads and streets of Quetta that culminated as demonstration in the front of the Quetta Press Club.

Mama Qadeer Baloch, the vice-chairman of the VBMP, was leading the protest. According to VBMP, at least 47 thousand Baloch citizens are forcefully disappeared by Pakistan army and intelligence agencies.

The families of the missing persons said that their loved ones are missing for years without any trace. We want to know if they are alive or dead so that we can find some solace, they said. The protesters said that the rulers and politicians can never understand their agony, as they have never suffered such pain. “They are wearing new clothes and celebrating Eid, meanwhile, we protest on the streets for our loved ones,” protestors said.

In Sindh, activist groups like the Voice for Missing Persons of Sindh, Sindh Sabha and Sindh Sajagi Forum pitched a hunger-strike camp for the Sindhi missing persons. Sorth Lohar, Sandhu Amaan, Shazia Chandio, Inaam Abbasi and a few others are leading the strike.

Social reformists Zafar Junejo, Imdad Chandio, Prof. Riaz Ahmed, Naghma Shaikh, Nasir Mansoor and a few others participated in the strike. Asad Batt, the chairman of the Sindh branch of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, was also present at the strike.

The demonstrators said that the intelligence agencies are violating the Pakistani constitution by forcefully abducting and killing the Sindhi persons and then throwing their mutilated dead bodies at random locations. They said the forces are undermining the courts’ authority by executing “extrajudicial operations” throughout Sindh. The demonstrators said that the detainees must be produced in courts, and they should be allowed to defend themselves. If the forces operate outside the ambit of the courts and the constitution, then the common citizens are not obliged to follow them either.

The demonstrators said that if the perpetrators of enforced disappearances are more powerful than the Supreme Court and the parliament, then we appeal to the United Nations, Amnesty International and other global rights groups to take notice of the human rights violations in Sindh and Balochistan by the Pakistani state.

The leaders of the demonstration told the media that almost 70 political workers nationalists are missing from Sindh. They said they will soon summon an “all parties conference” of the social, political and human rights organizations in Sindh to address the enforced disappearances and lead our collective struggle in a more organized and powerful fashion.

As the families of the missing persons were protesting on the roads for the recovery of their loved ones, a Baloch woman was allegedly detained by the Pakistani forces in Awaran on Saturday. The woman was identified as Shalli d/o Talahoo. The forces reportedly exercised violence on the householders and forcefully detained Shalli. Many other women have been forcefully disappeared from different regions of Balochistan. Many of the detained women have been released, whereas a significant number are still missing

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Chaman: 4 dead, 17 wounded in the wake of indiscriminate firing from Pakistani forces

In the bordering city of Balochistan some 130 km from Quetta, a confrontation broke out between the protestors of trade unions and the Frontier Corps. The forces used live ammunition on the protestors, killing four including a woman and wounding 17 others.

In the wake of the firing, the panic-stricken protestors stampeded, and many women and children fainted as a result. The wounded were moved to the hospital, the Levies personnel said.

Additional doctors and first aiders have been summoned in the hospital.

Agitated protestors broke the border gate and torched the forces’ check post.

The forces said that thousands crossed the border into Afghanistan. To settle the tumult, the forces reportedly summoned reinforcements.

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The Moment Time Stops

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

How does one measure time? I suppose the criterion varies from individual to individual, from situation to situation and this means that time is and can be measured in different ways. True, some may measure it nonchalantly in their life of opulence and ease while some may measure it as a tedious exercise in their abject poverty.

The different attitude to measuring time is dependent on the usual circumstances that human live and survive in but how does one measure time in extraordinary and abnormal circumstances for then the measurement requires completely different parameters.

I have asked this question to understand how does a person whose father, brother, son or other relative has been disappeared measure time and bide time in hope when their loved one will come or what news will they receive about them? Just give it a kind and considerate thought for I cannot ask you to put yourself in their shoes for we may feel a lot for them but we cannot truly relate to the pain these people suffer specially when the abductor is the State and the abductee is a Baloch when thousands of Baloch families have seen the bodies of their disappeared ones dumped somewhere tortured and mutilated inhumanly with drills, burns, bullets and broken bones.

For Sammi Baloch, her younger sister Mehlub and their family the time is frozen at dawn of 28th June 2009 when they received a gut-wrenching call from the driver of the ambulance at hospital where their father Dr. Deen Mohammad worked in official capacity as a government doctor. The driver told them that people of law enforcement agencies had come and forcibly taken him away and manhandled another of his colleague there. That horror-stricken moment is forever etched on their souls as they strive and struggle for his recovery and in trepidation also wait for news about him.

Banuk Sammi was only 10 years old then and was suffering from chronic tonsillitis which her father Dr. Deen Mohammad had promised to get treated once he is free but that promise remains unfulfilled for, he languishes in unknown conditions in unknown dungeon in Pakistani custody. From that tender age she has been striving for recovery and release of her father; she has appealed to different forums, different persons and to people and world at large but all seem helpless in helping her or thousands of others whose relatives are missing.

When time stops it is an unbearable burden for though it stops in a way but that doesn’t mean that problems too stop. Her mother is ill and is all the time naturally obsessed with his fate and recovery. Time stops but that doesn’t mean your needs vanish, they only become increasingly difficult to satisfy because your provider and your protector has been unjustly snatched from you.

Dr. Deen Mohammad was not a gun carrying militant he was a member of the Baloch National Movement and wrote about the injustices and the missing persons. Banuk Sammi says if he has committed a crime he should be tried and it is absolutely inhuman to deny them the love and protection of their father.

Banuk Sammi along with Banuk Farzana and others participated in the 105-day duration Long March which began in Quetta in October 2013 and culminated in Islamabad in March 2014. I had the honour of being the part of this historic Long March and have seen blisters on her feet as well as Farzana Majeed. I once asked her that despite the pain from the blisters and all the tiredness and unfavourable circumstances during the March how could she continue, to which she replied that, “The pain of a missing father is thousand times more painful than all the blisters in the world and it was for him that I was walking and am ready to accept all the pain that comes my way in efforts for recovery for him.”

For Farzana Majeed and her Family the time stopped on 8th June 2009 and despite her efforts her missing brother Zakir Majeed is still missing. Banuk Farzana along with Mama Qadeer was the motivating force behind the Long March.

For Ali Haider Baloch the time stopped on July 14th 2010 when his father Mohammad Ramzan was picked up by agencies in front of him and a decade has nearly passed without any news about him. To add more to his misery, he himself was disappeared last year in June for a few days last year. He and his sister and aunt marched with Mama from Quetta to Islamabad.

For Haseeba Qambarani and her family the life has stopped more than once; once when her brother Salman and cousin Gazzain were picked by State from Qilli Qambarani in June 2015 and on 11thAugust 2016 when they saw their horribly tortured bodies. They were hoping their already shattered world would be left alone but when the State becomes a man-eater it never relents and on February 14th her brother Hassan and cousin Hizbullah were picked up and once more their lives are shattered and time frozen in one moment of horror which never seems to tick away.

For Mama Qadeer the time stopped ticking on 13th February 2009 when his son Jalil Ahmed Reki was picked up and it turned into a moment of horror on 23rd November 2011 when Jalil’s body was recovered and that moment of horror has seen him spend 11 years protesting outside press clubs. There are thousands of families that are living with the eternally frozen moment of horror when their loved ones are abducted or their mutilated bodies found.

Seemingly the State has visceral fear tinged by hate towards Baloch and it continues to destroy lives of people in Balochistan in an organized and systematic manner otherwise why else the body of Sangat Sana would have 28 bullet wounds on his heart and body and why would Jalil Reki’s body have 3 bullet wounds on heart. The fact is that they know these are the hearts that they can never subdue and so show their wrath on those they can and do pick up.

These are the few stories of the pain and sorrow that the Baloch people suffer when their loved ones go missing. As much as I may want but I cannot bring myself to appeal for kind heartedness from the State for I know it is as heartless as it is soulless so appealing to it useless. If they for so long have not been able to hear and see the pain of Banuk, Sammi Deen, Banuk Farzana Majeed and Banuk Haseeba Qambarani they will not be able to hear me too.

رہزن ہے میرا رہبر
منصف ہے میرا قاتل
کہہ دوں تو بغاوت ہے
سہہ لوں تو قیامت ہے

The writer has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He tweets at mmatalpur and can be contacted atmmatalpur@gmail.com

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UN Says Thousands Of Pakistani Militants In Afghanistan

More than 6,000 Pakistani insurgents are hiding in Afghanistan, a fresh UN report says.

The report released earlier this week said most of the militants belonged to the outlawed Pakistani Talibani group that is responsible for attacks on Pakistani military and civilian targets.

According to the report, the group, known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), has linked up with the Afghan-based affiliate of the Islamic State extremist group. Some TTP members have even joined the IS affiliate, which has its headquarters in eastern Afghanistan.

The Afghan government did not respond on July 26 to requests by the AP news agency for comment.

The report was prepared by the UN analytical and sanctions monitoring team, which tracks terrorist groups around the world.

The report said IS in Afghanistan, known as IS in Khorasan Province, has suffered losses as a result of being targeted by Afghan security forces as well as U.S. and NATO forces, and even on occasion by the Afghan Taliban.

The report estimated that the membership of IS in Afghanistan is 2,200, and while its leadership has been depleted, IS still counts among its leaders a Syrian national, Abu Said Mohammad al-Khorasani.

The report also said the monitoring team had received information that two senior Islamic State commanders, Abu Qutaibah and Abu Hajar al-Iraqi, had recently arrived in Afghanistan from the Middle East.

“Although in territorial retreat, [the Islamic State[ remains capable of carrying out high-profile attacks in various parts of the country, including Kabul. It also aims to attract Taliban fighters who oppose the agreement with the United States,” the report said, referring to a U.S. peace deal signed with the Taliban in February.

That deal was struck to allow the U.S. to end its 19-year involvement in Afghanistan, and calls on the Taliban to guarantee its territory will not be used by terrorist groups. The deal is also expected to guarantee the Taliban’s all-out participation in the fight against IS.

The second and perhaps most critical part of the agreement calls for talks between the Taliban and Kabul’s political leadership.

Late on July 25, the U.S. State Department issued a statement saying its peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, was again shuttling through the region seeking to jump start those negotiations, which have been repeatedly postponed as both sides squabble over a prisoner release program.

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Missing persons should be recovered before Eid – VBMP Chairman

Nasrullah Baloch, the chairperson of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), said that the families of Baloch missing persons are hoping that their missing loved ones will be recovered on this Eid, that’s why we anticipate that the government will not dispirit them and will release the missing persons and double the joys of grieving families.

Nasrullah Baloch appealed to the government to look into the issue of missing persons on humane basis and resolve this humanitarian issue immediately in accordance with the domestic law because the families of the missing persons are suffering from many difficulties including mental anguish.

It is to mention that the missing persons issue in Balochistan is noticeable. According to rights and political organisations of the region; around 47, 000 Baloch students, political activists, teachers, journalists and others are forcefully disappeared by Pakistani forces.

International campaign groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International accuse Pakistani security forces as the perpetrators of illegal abductions in Balochistan.

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Balochistan: Police probe minister after a journalist’s killing

On Saturday, the police said that they were investigating the target killing of a local journalist to determine whether a provincial minister was behind the killing.

According to details, the development comes a day after the family of Anwar Jan accused Abdul Rehman Khetran, a minister for food in Balochistan, of hiring gunmen to kill Anwar Jan.

Police told media that a murder investigation has been initiated into Khetran’s possible involvement. Khetran has denied being involved, saying the gunmen blamed by Jan’s family for killing him were not his men.

Jan was killed by unidentified gunmen as he was returning to his home in the town of Barkhan. His family insists Khetran ordered Jan’s murder in retaliation for Jan exposing alleged corruption.

Balochistan is considered to be one of the most dangerous places for journalists; the abduction and targeted killings of journalists are not uncommon.

Anwar Jan’s killing comes few days after when a prominent Pakistani journalist Matiullah Jan, who is unrelated, was abducted in broad daylight in the capital Islamabad. His abductors freed him in a deserted place 12 hours later.

The government has not commented on who was behind Matiullah Jan’s abduction.

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