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Arundhati Roy and Pakistan

Author: *Salam Sabir*

I have been keenly reading Arundhati Roy since I was a student, and the only image she successfully left in my amateur brain was that of a strong voice for oppressed and persecuted who condemns cruelty and tyranny what may come.

From a long while, I have seen her raising her voice for Kashmir, the continuation of this saga can be witnessed in a recently surfaced video filmed in 2011 video where the Booker prize-winning novelist can be heard saying that Pakistan has not deployed the army against its own people the way “democratic” India has done.
As a journalist, who has lost his many colleagues only for critiquing the Paksitani army, this very statement from a so-called well aware activist and writer was nothing but extremely shocking.

The double standards and contradictions on Arundhati’s so-called stance for oppressed compelled me to question the very honesty of her.

Is she really not aware of the grim situation in Pakistan and does not give a heed to what oppressed nations have been undergoing?
How can she erase the genocide of 3 million Bengalis in 1971 from her memory?
Is she so unaware of the surroundings that she has never heard a single story of 40000 missing Baloch political activists, thousands of martyrs and the daily occurrence military operations in which Pakistan even uses fighter jets?
How can she only see Kashmir and not very far from there the devastated KPK, Looted Gilgit baltistan and trampled Sindhu Desh? Or is she just trying to cover the heinous face and bloody history of Pakistani Army but for what?
If Arundhati is trying to give a clean chit to criminal Pakistani army just for the sake of undermining the Indian government or Army, then she must know, while doing so she is hurting the cause and sacrifices of millions of the oppressed who have been subject to Pakistani brutalities.

The Genocide of Bengalis in 71 is not an old story that we can so easily turn a blind eye towards. Moreover, the way the Pakistani Army used Jets against innocent civilians in the so-called war against terror, killing thousands and compelling millions to flee their homes while at the same time hiding Osama Bin Laden near their cantonments are nothing but the worst war crimes.
The current uprising of PTM is against such brutalities, and it has only been few weeks when Pakistani Army opened fire on a peaceful PTM rally and killed 17 activists and arrested two elected members of parliament.

Thousands of Sindhi and Muhajir nationalists have been extra-judicially arrested and killed over the years and the Pakistani army is carrying such inhumane brutalities till date with immunity.

As far Balochistan is concerned the situation is much dire, since Arundhati appears to lack any information about the region, I would like to inform her that at the time of sub-continent’s partition, Balochistan was declared as a sovereign and independent state on 11th August 1947. When Pakistan requested an official annexation with Balochistan, it was rejected by both cameral houses of Balochistan, House of Commons and House of lords. However, on 27th March 1948 through a military invasion, Pakistan forcefully annexed Balochistan and ever since there are is an outcry and movement for the freedom of Balochistan. Pakistani Army has used its all military might to quash rightful Baloch movement for freedom, killing hundreds of thousands so far.
You can easily find confessions of Pakistani military officers of they were involved in the Baloch Genocide. Brigadier Osman Hasan’s confessional autobiography can be informative for you if you have missed General Musharaf’s opens threats to Balochs on national television and his Home minister Aftab Sherpao’s confession that they have at least abducted 5000 Baloch Political activists.

If Arundhati’s said statement was in accordance with the narrative of oppressed Baloch, Sindhi, Pakhtoon, and Muhajir then we have nothing to criticize her, because the said oppressed and occupied nations have been stating that Pakistan is only Punjab and yes Pakistani Army has never been used in Punjab but only in the other occupied territories.

But if she refers to the situation within the current geographical borders of Pakistan then see military jets bombarding in Balochistan on daily basis, the long convoys of military trucks I see every day on my land, everyday when I witness my colleagues, friends, relatives being picked by army and killed and dumped, the military checkpoints of Pakistani army I see everywhere is just my hallucination not really Pakistani army, then either every Baloch is going insane or your cry for Kashmir is nothing but business and hypocrisy.

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