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Media isn’t free in Balochistan; being used as a propaganda tool, BLF

Media isn’t free in Balochistan; being used as a propaganda tool, BLF

(Daily Sangar)

Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) spokesman GwahramBaloch in a statement, from an undisclosed location,said that media freedom and freedom of expression is not under threat by Baloch freedom fighters but Pakistani army and its intelligence agencies. He said that, Pakistan has created an environment of fear among journalists to hide the state's barbarism and suppress the Baloch people's voice. The ultimatum to the media by BLF is to focus on the fact that Pakistan has subdued media in Balochistan by force and with violence and it is just being used for propaganda by the military.

In the last ten years, many journalists have been abducted by the army and killed. According to Amnesty International, 12 journalists were killed in Balochistan from 2008 to 2016. Many journalists associated with international media, including Declan Walsh and Carlota Gil were expelled from the country for highlighting Balochistan’s plight. Fearing state’sreprisal, local media is playing the role of the spokesman for the military, which is opposite to the journalistic values. In such cases when thousands of people are being killed and harassed in Balochistan, journalists and media institutions should play their role in preventing this human crisis and must notrepresent the state policies in fear.

If media house owners and journalists ignore the voice of their conscience and support the army against the Baloch nation, then they are equal partners in these crimes against humanity. We support the freedom of media, but media in Balochistan is not free but being used as a propaganda tool by the state. In district Kech, Gwadar, Quetta and Khuzdar some journalists are violating BLF’s current call for media boycott and are involved in creating hostility against Baloch. They are favoring the state's position on the brutalitiesbeing inflicted on Baloch people by the state in Balochistan.We have received the detailed reports, their names and wrongdoings. We appeal to them to play their professional role positively, and support us against the atrocities on Baloch nation. If they continue to work against Baloch interests and favor the statethen they will have to face the dire consequences.

GwahramBaloch claimed the responsibility for various attacks, saying that on October 25, our fighters ambushed a Pakistani military patrolling team consisted of four vehicles in Gazzi area of Jhaoo, district Awaran, Balochistan. In this attack two vehicles were damaged, three soldiers were killed and several injured. We attacked a wagon and damaged its tires and burned the newspaper bundlesbeing transported on it from Karachi to Awaran on violating the BLF’s call.It was a warning for the transporters.

Gwahram Baloch claimed responsibility for grenade attack on Pak News Agency in Turbat and said that on October 26 we attacked with a grenade on PakNews Agency as a warning in Turbat area because this news agency was selling newspapers despite the ultimatum. Such newspaper sellers who live in Balochistan, seeing the Pakistani oppression with their own eyes, and yet supporting the state, will not be forgiven.

We invite international media and human rights organizations to visit Balochistan and witness the state oppression. Pakistani army is committing war crimes against Baloch, and crimes against humanity. In these conditions, we have the right to target all the organs of the state, including the media. After the attacks on the Pakistani Army and its informers for over a decade, we kept facing the bullying policies of media houses and despite repeated appeals, our stance and unabated atrocities against Baloch were concealed. The media considered our appeal as our weakness but surely it will be facing the strength of Baloch nation.

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