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Sulagta Balochistan launched

KARACHI: Sulagta Balochistan, a collection of Aziz Sanghur’s columns, was launched at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Thursday.

Introducing the book and its author, academic Dr Tauseef Ahmed Khan said Balochistan, the biggest province of the country, had always been overlooked. “Still the youth of this province are aware and educated. They like to read and write. Aziz Sanghur, one of them, has captured different aspects of Balochistan through his columns,” he said. “I’m all in favour of publishing collections of columns in book form because the collection tells you about all that is happening in Balochistan today and can also help researchers,” he added.

Senior journalist Saeed Sarbazi said that discussing Balochistan in “this China culture” can be problematic. “So much has happened in Balochistan in the past and there is scope for more research to understand the current affairs of this troubled province,” he said

Journalist Saeed Jan Baloch remarked that the title of the book Sulagta Balochistan means ‘Simmering Balochistan’, “but it is really the book’s author who is simmering inside.”

Another senior journalist Ashraf Khan said that it was not easy to write about Balochistan in that day and age, especially so boldly as Sanghur had done. “It is like he has himself collected all the proofs against himself,” he joked.

Yet another senior journalist Saeed Usmani said the issues that Sanghur wrote about had put his life in danger. “But he is a whistle blower on the many wrongs happening in Balochistan today, especially in Gawadar. People will read this book as the ‘Red Book’ one day,” he said.

Writer and researcher Akhtar Baloch said the book was like an encyclopaedia of the races and tribes of Balochistan.

Senior journalist Maqsood Yousufi said he got an inkling of Sanghur’s potential when he had seen his early documentaries. “They contained all the relevant facts. Similarly, his columns also go into detail of the facts. May God keep him safe as people have little tolerance for truth,” he remarked.

Journalist and documentary maker Shireen Jami remembered how as a co-worker she had conflicting points of view with Sanghur. “But as we clashed with each other, we also understood each other. While working on various topics, we would also help each other. He is an honest and humble person when it comes to his work,” she said.

Senior politician Jan Mohammed Buledi said Sanghur had a nice writing style. “He uses simple language to express himself and that is how he lays before you the bare facts. And he does this by also giving the background of issues,” he observed.

Senior journalist Nazeer Laghari said the book was like a first information report of crimes done against the people of Balochistan.

Senior journalist, analyst and anchor Mazhar Abbas said that compromises of the people of Balochistan, especially their parliament, had let the people of Balochistan down. “Not taking a political stand has made the Balochistan parliament give strength to the policies that go against the people of Balochistan,” he said.

The author said: “I am a professional journalist. My kitchen runs on journalism. I have written for several top newspapers including Dawn, The News and The Nation. But for these columns, I would give all credit to my publisher at the Azaadi Akhbar Arif Baloch.

“My book here is a document for different institutions here to know Balochistan better, to understand why Balochistan is worried. So do read it to see how you can resolve our issues,” he said.

KPC president Fazil Jamili said the press club upheld human rights and freedom of speech. He also said Balochistan Assembly was not expected to raise its voice as the political parties in that province were made by design. “Then the parliament cannot be expected to take a stand. Therefore, it is for us journalists to fight for the rights of missing people from Balochistan. This event today is more a sit-in for the rights of the people of Balochistan than the launch of a book,” he concluded.

Journalist and human rights activist Dr Jabbar Khattak, senior reporter and author Shahid Husain and journalist Arbab Chandio also spoke.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2021


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