Authorities stop Mama Qadeer from leaving country

By AFP
Published: March 5, 2015
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Authorities have slapped a travel ban on Mama Qadeer who campaigns for human rights in  Balochistan, stopping him going to a conference in the United States, sources said Thursday.

Abdul Qadeer Baloch, known as Mama Qadeer, was stopped at Karachi airport as he was about to fly to New York, where he was due to attend a weekend conference on alleged rights violations in Balochistan and Sindh provinces.

Qadeer is the founder of a pressure group working for information on people who have “disappeared” during the long-running conflict between the  government and Baloch separatist movements.

Hundreds of people accused of links to separatist groups have gone missing in recent years, allegedly at the hands of security forces.

Many, including Qadeer’s own son, show up dead, but many are simply never seen again.

Last year Qadeer led a group of families with missing relatives on a gruelling 2,000-kilometre march to raise awareness of their cause and demand answers from the government.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) confirmed to AFP its officers had stopped Qadeer and his companion Farzana Majeed, whose brother is one of the missing, because they are on the government’s “exit control list” (ECL) of people barred from leaving the country.

Majeed said she had visited Dubai only a month ago without any problem.

“But last night we went to Karachi Jinnah International Airport, but after check-in, members of FIA told us: ‘You are on the ECL, you people are in anti-state activities so we cannot let you (go)’,” she told AFP.

“I am not an anti-state activist, I am only a human rights activist.”

Human rights groups have long accused security forces of serious abuses in Balochistan, particularly kidnapping and killing suspected rebels and leaving their bodies by the roadside.

According to Human Rights Watch, more than 300 people have suffered this fate — known as “kill and dump” — in Balochistan since January 2011.

The security services deny the allegations and say they are battling a fierce rebellion in the province, which is also an important smuggling route for heroin from Afghanistan.

Balochistan, the size of Italy and rich in copper, gold and natural gas, is Pakistan’s largest but least populous province.

It is also the least developed, which has exacerbated a long-running ethnic Baloch separatist movement that wants more autonomy and a greater share of its mineral wealth.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • unionist
    Mar 5, 2015 - 2:16PM

    Good on them, he would’ve turned into another Tarek Fatah or Malik Siraj Akbar and make a living over bashing Pakistan, and the western imperial powers would make him into some kind of hero like the Dalai LamaRecommend

  • Narejo
    Mar 5, 2015 - 2:20PM

    Pakistan annexed Baluchistan in 1948. It is considered a Pakistani-occupied territory under International Law. Baluch people want freedom from Pakistan. The same is true for Sindhis. Sindhis want Sindh to separate from Pakistan just like the Baluch. And just like the Baluch, Sindhis want independence from Punjab dominant Pakistan as well.Recommend

  • Baloch
    Mar 5, 2015 - 2:44PM

    I am sure the US will raise this at the UN and speak up for the voice of the Baloch people.Recommend

  • Narejo
    Mar 5, 2015 - 2:52PM

    What’s new? Baluch people have been oppressed since 1948 when Pakistan annexed Baluchistan. Recommend

  • kal
    Mar 5, 2015 - 3:18PM

    @Narejo:
    Read history narejo, only kalat state was annexed which is only 5% of Balochistan, the British-Balochistan part acceded into Pakistan in a vote, and gwadar was bought from Oman.Recommend

  • Mar 5, 2015 - 3:34PM

    @Narejo

    No, I speak of sindhis as a sindhi myself. Sindhis are proud Pakistanis. Sindh happily joined Pakistan, we hosted the capital of country, remember? Our leaders fought and gave lives for this country. Get your history right. Separate sindh is demanded by some nationalist political parties who have never won a single seat in National or Provincial Assembly, that says a lot about how unpopular separatist movements are on Sindh. Recommend

  • Troll Hunter
    Mar 5, 2015 - 4:32PM

    @Narejo
    Typical Indian imposter troll favored by ETRecommend

  • Ammar
    Mar 5, 2015 - 4:35PM

    @Najero: 30 % of indian occupied states want freedom . if its not on news it doesnt mean that its not happening . worry abt ur sitch rather than worrying for patriot balochis and sindhi’s.
    Being a KAKA ZAI baloch myself , we would die defending our homeland than let it see go into the hands of indian backed separatists . Recommend

  • Chughatta
    Mar 5, 2015 - 4:47PM

    “This is my doctrine: Give every other human being every right you claim for yourself.”― Robert G. IngersollRecommend

  • Alfa Romeo
    Mar 5, 2015 - 6:40PM

    @Unionist. If your family members (may be your father/son/bother/sister) get into that missing list, would you post the same comment? Recommend

  • Ali Baloch
    Mar 5, 2015 - 7:09PM

    @kal:
    Kalat ruled all parts of Balochistan! the other states had no right whatsoever to join any state,as far as british balochistan is concerned that are is neither british nor baloch but entirely pashtoon. You lot can keep those areas, don’t want em, don’t need em.Recommend

  • Usman
    Mar 5, 2015 - 7:16PM

    @Narejo: During partition, Pakistan neither had the power or the intention to annex any state, 95% of the states acceded to Pakistan. In addition, more than 30 small states and 5 big states in now India acceded to Pakistan. Should we talk about them, rather than a person like Mama Qadeer who would rather do pointless walks then work in Balochistan to bring a real change?.
    .
    I have no sympathy for him or his cause. Pakistan is a democracy, and he has more than enough opportunity to contribute to Baloch politics, rather than attention seeking theatrics.Recommend

  • kal
    Mar 5, 2015 - 9:29PM

    @Ali Baloch:
    British-Balochistan isn’t just entirely Pashtun, there are numerous Baloch living there and the major Baloch tribes such as Bugtis,Mengals and Marris inhabited British-Balochistan, also the Marri tribe which is the most pro-separation tribe is located outside the Kalat state.

    As for the Bugtis, we all know the Akbar Bugti endorsed Pakistan and supported it, he only changed his mind later in the 90s.

    The Kalat state and 3 other units, Makran,Lasbela and Awaran and they voted to join Pakistan and to this date the tribes from there such as Jams,Magsis and Zehris and what not, support Pakistan.

    The Jamalis,Raisainis and Khosos were also always pro Pakistan; it’s only 3 major tribes and some disenfranchised middle class Baloch from around Turbat that are in the rebellion.

    Also the Khan of Kalat is not even trusted among Baloch rebels, Allah Nazar doesn’t trust him either.

    Khan of Kalat’s son and younger brother support the state of Pakistan and claim that they acceded by choice and not force, so first you guys have to make up your mind.

    Also since you mention that you don’t northern Balochistan and we can keep it?then we can also keep Gwadar which bought from our taxpayers money from Oman!Recommend

  • Mar 5, 2015 - 10:18PM

    you can’t suppress people like this…. if Pakistan is really a democratic country then they must have not stopped him.. this proves that there is something fishy.. Recommend

  • Ali Baloch
    Mar 5, 2015 - 11:33PM

    @kal:
    As far as Gawadar is concerned your tax payers never had enough money to feed themselves in the 60s the money that you mentioned was paid for by Nawab Bugti, and Khan of Kalat and as if you want to play the price is right game, my grandfather paid 50 kgs of gold and 400 kgs of silver as collateral to reserve bank of India so your first currency can be printed, also consider the fact that you lt still have to pay 8000 billion to Sui district in terms of Natural gas royalty, 5000 billion to Chaghai district for the exploitation of minerals and precious metals, 700 billion from fruit exports, and around 1200 billion from the exploitation of our fishing coast. I can go on but I think I have made my point and need I remind you that people can not be bought or sold as livestock regardless of what you might think. You yourself have admitted that people in those areas are disgruntled and angry at their being continuously sidelined, why don’t you man up and go their and tell them that your govt bought them and then tell us al what happened to you.Recommend

  • Fairness
    Mar 6, 2015 - 12:22PM

    It is sad to see exploitation of Balochistan at the hands of Pakistani elite. Recommend

  • Fairness
    Mar 6, 2015 - 1:09PM

    In Pakistan, only Punjabis have rights. Smaller provinces and their people are treated as stepchildren. Recommend

  • kulwant singh
    Mar 7, 2015 - 4:41AM

    In a Democratic set up every citizen enjoy the right to preach his views and this man is fighting for a cause if the hands of the Govt are clear they should not put him ECL like Hurryat leaders are free to preach their views they even visit Pakistan and meet Pakistani leadership.Recommend

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