Waja Sohrab Baloch In the heart of Asia, there exists a forgotten tale, untouched by international scrutiny and buried under layers of geopolitical interests. It is the tale of Balochistan, a land that has known little peace and much affliction from the central authorities of Pakistan. Through the heavy veil cast over the region, one incident stands dwarfed but its impact resonates louder than the silence that shrouds it – the nuclear test executed by Pakistan in the region, now synonymous with an indelible scar on the Baloch identity.
With the tremors of the test that shook our hearts and homes, I watched in despair as the world, particularly those custodians of nuclear safety such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), turned their gaze away. Dishearteningly, our fears fell on deaf ears, our anguish drowned in the cacophony of international politics, and our identity swept away in the current of negligence. Imagine the heartland of Balochistan – its vibrant pastoral landscapes shadowed by the gloom of poverty and deprivation, its people held hostage by their desperate hunger for bare necessities, the most crucial of which is electricity.
A quintessential ingredient for progress today, electricity, is an elusive dream for many Baloch, its scarcity dimming the lamp of education, hamstringing the life-saving pulse of hospitals, and thwarting the progress of a people who have known nothing but struggle. One would hope that a nuclear capable nation would channel this advanced scientific expertise into uplifting its people. The nuclear test was like a double-edged sword: it had a profound and irreversible impact on the environment and health of the indigenous Baloch people, birthing a host of diseases and ecological devastation in its destructive wake.
Yet, its promise for a better future through industrial development and harnessing atomic power for energy remained tragically unfulfilled. Our mountains now stand like silent mourners around the graves of our children, who fell victim to the ruthless neglection of atomic power management. Alas, instead of bridging the chasms of development and poverty, the nuclear technology only fueled further desolation.
It did not spawn the much-needed industries, nor did it light the bulb in a Baloch child’s room, let alone illuminate all of Balochistan. In essence, we, the Baloch people, are an annexed population whose land yields nuclear power but its people live in the dark. It is as if we are in a tunnel, where the light of nuclear prowess illuminates only the end that suits Pakistan, leaving the other end, the people of Balochistan, cloaked in darkness. Thus, this is not just a tale of a nuclear test; it’s an ongoing saga of betrayal etched in the heart of Balochistan.
Shalee Baloch on Twitter: “مئے ھاموشی ھمے وڑا مردماں وران کنت ، اے ھانی ءُ سمیر ءِ جیڑہ نہ اِنت اے بلوچستان ءِ جیڑہ اِنت اے بلوچ ءِ چُکچینی اِنت ، اے ھاموشی مارا پروش دیگی اِنت اے جمبوریں آس ءَ من تو ھم رَکّ اِت نہ کناں پرچہ کہ من تو ھم بلوچاں ءُ ھمے زمین ءِ واھُند آں۔#StopBalochGenocide pic.twitter.com/br7cOkZM3Y / Twitter”
مئے ھاموشی ھمے وڑا مردماں وران کنت ، اے ھانی ءُ سمیر ءِ جیڑہ نہ اِنت اے بلوچستان ءِ جیڑہ اِنت اے بلوچ ءِ چُکچینی اِنت ، اے ھاموشی مارا پروش دیگی اِنت اے جمبوریں آس ءَ من تو ھم رَکّ اِت نہ کناں پرچہ کہ من تو ھم بلوچاں ءُ ھمے زمین ءِ واھُند آں۔#StopBalochGenocide pic.twitter.com/br7cOkZM3Y