Ban on BSO-Azad: where is democracy?
By Yousaf Ajab Baloch
The independent faction Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) has been banned in Pakistan as per decision taken on March 15, 2013 by the interior department. The ban on Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) has become a questionable issue for the state that claims to be a democratic country, and it is being criticized by International community and Human Rights Organizations that how a political organization is included with religious terrorist organizations to be banned?
The Government of Pakistan on March 15, 2013, issued an order that defining 13 organizations as terrorist organizations in Pakistan as per the Sub Section-1 of Section-11(B) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 (XXVII) of 1997 and 11-E of the same. The organizations include Tehrik-e-Taliban Mohmand (TTM), Tariq Geedar Group (TGG) Abdullah Azam Brigade,East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Islamic Jehad Union (IJU) ,313 Brigade , Tehrik-e-Taliban Bajaur (TTB) ,Amar bil Maroof Wa Nahl Anil Munkir (Haji Namdar GP), United Baloch Army (UBA) Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) and Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM)
It is somewhat puzzling that Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) and Jeaye Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM), both the political organizations have been included in religious militant groups to be banned. Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) is a faction that is struggling in democratic way, through processions, strikes, charts and banners. The government alleges that Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) is linked with underground armed organizations, a banned militant organization that has been struggling for independent Balochistan.
If we go through the history of BSO, so it has its effective democratic influence in Baloch history. The BSO was founded on 26 November 1967, as a Baloch student organization to struggle for political maturity and educational development. Since its formation BSO has always been deliberately polarized where nationalist parties tried to use factions as their pocket groups.
The wing Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) has remained significant due to its decision to be independent Baloch Students Organization, because the BSO Azad has routes from BSO- Mothihida which was formed by Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch and Martyred Hameed Shaheen Baloch. Dr. Allah Nazar is the current guerilla leader of Baloch Liberation Front that also opposed to be pocket organization of Baloch nationalist parties.
In February, 2006, three separate wings of the organization BSO-Mutahida, headed by Dr.Imdad, BSO-(Aman) headed by Chairman Amanullah Baloch and BSO –Pijar headed by Asif Baloch were united and the single BSO was formed, that disassociated itself from any Baloch Nationalist party. However, Balochistan National Party (Mengal) and National Party (NP) did not favor the united Baloch Students Organization and they divided student into groups and named them as BSO (Muhdin) of BNP-Mengal and BSO –Pijar of National Party. But a large number of students who did not want to be part of any pocket organization of any political party, they named their platform as Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) and continued their struggle and openly became pro freedom students’ organization.
Since its formation the BSO Azad has been suffering from difficulties, till today more than hundred members of the organization have been killed, who were firstly abducted and later on killed and dumped, including their leaders Shafeeq Baloch, the joint secretary and Qayum Baloch the central committee members. Apart from this hundreds of the members are still missing who were abducted from different areas of Balochistan including high incumbent holder Zakir Majeed Baloch, the voice chairman of the organization. The organization alleges that secret agencies of state abduct and kill their members and leaders.
Since its formation till today Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) has proved itself a politically mature student’s organization. The Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) brought a new change and opposed not only to be any student wing of mainstream Baloch national parties but also works against feudalism and tribal system in Balochistan. It is the organization that encouraged female participation in politics and provided educated female the leading role in the organization. This is the organization known among regional and international intellectuals for social change harbinger in Baloch Society.
The Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights commission has criticized banning on Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) and marked it as Human Rights abuse. The organization in its report has alleged that banning of Jeaye Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) and the Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) was an effort to mislead the international community and prove her loyalty toward the extremist Taliban. The AHRC report explains that both the Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) and the JSMM were secular organization working for the uplift of their oppressed nations – Sindh and Balochistan.
The Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) spokesperson in a press statement said “BSO is a student organization and its aim is to provide professional and educated cadres to those Baloch political parties those are struggling against the forced occupation of Balochistan.”
In short, banning Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) goes against the democratic ethics, if the government claims to be democratic and believes in the government of people so the Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-A) should have not been banned. Since in democracy, everyone including students and political organizations have right to function free and democratically; however, banning this organization endorse lack of democratic tolerance.