Missing Balochistan and Social Media – Hakeem Baloch

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Author: Hakeem Baloch

8th of June is the day when Zakir Majeed Baloch, a student leader, was abducted 11 years ago. The day was remembered as Baloch Missing Persons Day by the Baloch social media activists on twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #BalochMissingPersonsDay. The participants of the campaign demanded safe and quick recovery of all abducted people.

The hashtag trended on the day of campaign in Pakistan and in some other countries. The families of Baloch missing persons also arranged a protest in Quetta, Balochistan.

The protest was led by Mama Qadeer and Nasrullah Baloch , the leaders of VBMP Mama Qadeer whose son Jalil Reki Baloch became a victim of the abduction and killing. Similarly another leader of VBMP, Nasrullah Baloch, is waiting for his missing uncle for more than a decade now.

Along with Mama Qadeer and Nasrullah Baloch, many other families were there to record their protest and demand justice for their loved ones, including the family of Hasaan and Hizbullah Qambarani.

This protest could also go missing without receiving any coverage, but a video clip from the protest has managed to shake the social media. A video shared by Dr Mahrang Baloch, A Baloch human rights and social media activist, went viral in minutes. the video shows a shivering girl with tears dropping from her eyes and in broken words she tells the her story of pain and agony.

The girl in that video is Hasiba Qambrani, a girl who lost one of her brothers to torture cells and her two other brothers are missing. In that video clip she asked the government and higher authorities to help her to find her missing loved ones.

Hasiba Qambrani’s tearful video was shared by thousands of people including the leaders of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement and journalists like Aasma Shirazi.

The story was out like a fire in the jungle and it was impossible to ignore or divert the story. Independent, BBC and DW published articles about the story and the office of the prime minister of Pakistan has also agreed to meet Hasiba Qambrani.

This may give hope to at least one of the families of abducted persons. Yet this does not guarantee the safety of Hasaan and Hizbullah Qambrani. Because the real power in Pakistan lies with the Army, ISI and Military Intelligence but not with the government or any other civilian authorities.

This news made it to the media because of the hard work of Baloch social media activists and thanks to our Pashtun brothers including Manzoor Pashteen and Mohsin Dawar.

This also tells us how important and vital it is for us to use social media in the best way possible because this is not the first incident and it will not be the last one.

We have seen many similar videos and campaigns but most of them went unnoticed or they did not receive the same amount of response from the social media users or influencers.

I think this was because the Baloch social media activists have in a way or manner always limited their campaigns to themselves and they never thought of broadening their approach or reaching to the bigger audience.

With time I can see the social media activists from Balochistan have changed their way of activism and interaction. They are understanding the importance of social media and using it far better than the those living abroad who were the ones supposed to be doing this job.

I personally believe it is time for many of us to learn, understand and react accordingly. And we must not only appreciate the one who is actually raising the voice in the best way possible but also try to be part of that voice.

Social media can be the best possible platform for the oppressed people to raise their voice if they use it in a positive way. It can also be very poisonous if people start using it to defame or discourage people by blaming them or just to show unnecessary intellectualism.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Balochistan Post or any of its editors.

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