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  • „They dump the bodies somewhere out in the fields”

    The political activist Jawad Muhammad had to flee from Pakistan but he still fights for his rights.

    Belutschistan ist eine geografische Region am Golf von Oman, die sich über Pakistan, Afghanistan und den Iran erstreckt. Nachdem die Briten sich 1947 aus Pakistan zurückgezogen hatten, wurde die Provinz Belutschistan vom pakistanischen Militär annektiert. Bis heute versucht die Bevölkerung in der Region ihre rechtmäßige Unabhängigkeit zu erlangen, wird jedoch gewaltsam unterdrückt. Jawad Muhammad musste als politischer Aktivist aus Pakistan fliehen. student!-Redakteur Jonas Nayda sprach mit ihm über seine Flucht vor den Soldaten und die Perspektiven seines besetzten Heimatlandes.


    Jawad Muhammad beim Interview in der student!-Redaktion. Foto: jn

    student!: You say that you come from occupied Balochistan. What exactly do you mean by that?

    Muhammad: Technically Balochistan is a province of Pakistan. Iran and Afghanistan also have occupied parts of Balochistan. We Baloch people want our own state, as it rightfully belongs to us. Balochistan has hundreds of years history as a sovereign state.

    student!: Since when are you in Germany?

    Muhammad: I am living in a village nearby Leipzig since two years now. My wife and my five children are with me.

    student!: Why did you have to leave Balochistan?

    Muhammad: I am a member of the Baloch Republican Party. Our goal is to gain freedom for Balochistan. Since the last few years we are working against mass human rights violations committed by the Pakistani Army, which are going on in Balochistan. Because of our struggles to get freedom, we are facing military operations. In 2006 my father participated in a great rally against the suppression, but a few weeks later, my father was killed. We found his mutilated body with trails of torture and violence on a riverbank. In the same year prominent Baloch Leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was also assassinated by Pakistan Army in Balochistan.

    student!: Where were you when this happened?

    Muhammad: At the time I was in Dubai. I was working as a sales manager. Before my father was killed, he told me to leave the country because it would not have been save for me anymore. My family didn’t tell me of the death of my father for two weeks because they didn’t want me to come home to the funeral immediately. (Pauses) The soldiers probably would have been looking for me and would have tried to catch me as well.

    student!: How can you be sure, that the Pakistani army did this?

    Muhammad: We don’t have any other enemies in the region. The Pakistani army has the order to “kill and dump”. They are literally just taking any Baloch people, especially Political Activists from the streets and torture them till they die. Then they dump the bodies somewhere out in the fields as a warning for everyone else. My father wasn’t even particularly active. He simply attended the rallies, as many people did back in 2006.

    student!: How often does it go like this? Are there many bodies being found?

    Muhammad: It happens often until today. At least every month there are new people missing. And most of them will probably never return. Everyone who is active tries to hide, but the people are living in constant fear. Mothers fear for their children, especially for the boys.

    student!: What is the situation like for your relatives and friends who are still living in Balochistan?

    Muhammad: The Pakistani government doesn’t provide very well for the Baloch people. There are no medical facilities and very few schools in the area and most of them are ghost schools, without teachers. It feels like the Pakistani government wants to keep the Baloch people uneducated, so they won’t rise against them. The army is present on the streets every day. Let me pose an example for how bad the infrastructure is: If a pregnant woman living in the rural area has to deliver her baby, she has to be driven 700 kilometers to the next hospital. But there are only bus-services available, since very few people actually own a car. One can imagine the struggles.

    student!: How did you manage to escape?

    Muhammad: I was organizing protests and rallies in my hometown but I already was living in Dubai. I had to keep contact by phone and skype and I also tried to visit as often as I could. But Dubai is nearby Pakistan and their governments work together closely. It is very easy for the Pakistanis to catch me even in Dubai. Since there are only very few human rights in Dubai as well, the government would have handed me over to Pakistan with no questions asked. As military forces raided my house in Balochistan on my last visit in September 2013 to look for me, I escaped back to Dubai. Luckily no one was home at the time, so no one got caught. But I knew it was too dangerous even in Dubai. Then me and my family, we took an airplane to Italy and travelled the remaining distance to Germany by car. Here we are save.

    student!: What are you doing to keep on supporting your people in Balochistan?

    Muhammad: Right now my responsibilities are here in Germany. I am still a political activist and President of My Party in Germany. I am trying to raise awareness against the Human Rights Violations in my home country by means of conferences, peaceful protests, awareness-campaigns and meetings with politicians to gain support.

    Die pakistanische Provinz Belutschistan ist rot markiert. Quelle: wikimedia

    Die pakistanische Provinz Belutschistan ist rot markiert. Quelle: wikimedia

    student!: Do you want to go back to Balochistan someday?

    Muhammad: I wish to see my country. But my kids are getting integrated in Germany. We like it here. Until we get a free Baloch state, we will not go back.

    student!: Why is the Pakistani government not willing to give the Baloch people their own state?

    Muhammad: Balochistan is rich in natural resources: Oil, Gas and Copper. That is the reason why the Pakistani government wants to keep Balochistan under its control. Besides, China has made some huge investments in Balochistan from which the Pakistani government profits. But Balochistan is not involved in the deal. Representatives of Balochistan don’t have a voice in the Pakistani government. Our hope lies in the neighboring countries India and Afghanistan to support our cause. Maybe they are able to bring the necessary media coverage because in Pakistan we are not present in the media at all. The army won’t allow any media related to protests in Balochistan. If the western countries like the USA or Germany take action, maybe we can get a referendum. That would be a first step.


    Die Amnesty International Hochschulgruppe Leipzig plant eine Veranstaltungs-Woche zu den Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Pakistan an der Universität vom 11.- bis zum 15. April 2016.


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    Artikelfoto: flickr/Beluchistan

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