Author: Riaz Baloch
On 26 November 2020 Baloch Students Organisation has completed 53 years in Baloch students’ politics. BSO has a magnificent symbolic role in Baloch revolutionary struggle. The organisation’s comrades have always stood for Baloch and Balochistan’s national rights on each and every platform. BSO is believed to be the mother organisation of the modern Baloch national liberation struggle. It has played an important role for social equality, justice and freedom, and has been at the forefront of student’s educational rights and uniting Baloch students in educational institutions.
Let’s have a brief view of BSO’s historical role in politics and education. It was established in 1962 as Baloch Students Educational Organization and it’s first Chairman was Changaiz Baloch, but later on 26th November 1967 it was named “Baloch students Organization” and it’s first council session was held in Karachi. We can say BSO was founded as a first Baloch student’s platform on 26 November 1967. However, it was divided into two main parts after few years as “Awami” and “Anti Sardars”. It was united again in early 80’s but it only lasted until 1987 when it bifurcated into two factions, BSO Pajjar and BSO Suhb, due to ideological differences in party politics..
As result of these division BSO acted mainly as pocket organisations of parliamentary parties. But in 2002 Dr Allah Nazar Baloch with comrades founded BSO-Azad and become its leader as an independent student organisation. Later in 2003 BSO Estaar (Star) which was similarly seeking independence from political parties merged into BSO Azad, then the combined organisation was called as BSO Muttahida (United). BSO’ (United) called its council session in Panjgur in 2004, where Dr Imdad Baloch was elected as Chairman.
In March 2005 he was abducted along with Dr Allah Nazar Baloch and other central leaders of BSO from a flat in Karachi by Pakistani security forces. Members of BSO including Shaheed Sohrab Marri set up a hunger strike camp in Quetta for the release of their comrades. Dr Allah Nazar, Imdad and others comrades were later surfaced from Punjab and accused of petty crimes. They were brutally tortured to the extent that Allah Nazar was brought to court on a stretcher.
In December 2005 when Balochistan conflict intensified with army operations, BSO (Mengal) led by Chairman Aman Baloch and BSO (Pajjar) led by Chairman Asif Baloch also merged with BSO Muttahida and formed a United and single BSO. Single BSO Council session was held in Quetta in 2006 and Basheer Zaib Baloch was elected as the Chairman of BSO.
Baloch parliamentary political parties BNP (Balochistan National Party) and NP (National Party) lost their affiliated students wings. They knew they could not survive in Balochistan’s political spectrum without the support of students, so they started to communicate with some of the disgruntled and defeated members of BSO and formed students wings and gave them the name of “BSO”. The student wings of NP and BNP called BSO Pajjar and BSO Mengal (Muhiuddin) respectively.
The BSO was named BSO-Azad again and it followed the principles of 2002 and advocated the struggle for Balochistan’s liberation. Basheer Zaib Baloch was once again elected as BSO Azad’s Chairman in 2008 session held in Quetta. It was said to be the peak political time for BSO Azad where more than ever central councillors and zones around Balochistan and other cities joined the national council session of BSO Azad.
BSO Azad called for sabotage strike all over Balochistan when Organisation’s senior vice chairman Zakir Majeed Baloch was abducted and disappeared by Pakistani security forces from Mastung, Balochistan on 8th June 2009. He was a student of B.S English. BSO Azad organised rallies, hunger strike, protests and and did many efforts for recovery of vice chairman but Zakir did not appear and remains missing till date. From those days security forces started huge crackdown operation against BSO Azad activists. Abduction, extrajudicial killing of BSO Azad central leaders and activists is continuing to date.
Qambar Chaker central Committee member of BSO Azad was abducted on 26 November 2010 and his mutilated dead body along with BSO Azad Quetta zone member Ilyas Nazar was found from Turbat on 5th January 2011. Another central committee member Comrade Qayum Baloch was abducted on 11th December 2010, and his bullet-riddled body was found from Turbat on 1st February 2011. Organisation’s central joint secretary Shafi Baloch, who was a kidney patient, was abducted on 17 June 2010, tortured, killed and dumped, and his body was found on 23 June 2010.
In 2012 BSO Azad called its central council session after four years from the previous session, and selected Zahid Kurd aka Baloch Khan as Chairman and Raza Jahangir aka Sheh Mureed as Secretary General. On 14th August 2013 in Turbat Pakistani security forces bombarded at a house where Raza Jahangir aka Sheh Mureed and a member of BNM (Baloch National Movement) named Imdad Bohair were martyred.
Pakistani state forces and agencies have abducted, tortured and brutally killed dozens of BSO Azad central leaders and activists. The list of abducted and still missing persons of BSO Azad members is very large.
On 18 March 2013 Chairman Zahid Baloch aka Baloch Khan was abducted by security forces in presence of former Chairperson Karima Baloch and BSO CC member Latif Johar from Quetta city. Zahid Baloch is still missing and with dozens of other members and leaders of BSO Azad.
Pakistan proscribed BSO Azad in 2013 a month before the general election in Pakistan showing to the world that it is taking action against fundamentalists. State also banned three others Baloch secular Political parties and continuously supports Pakistani Punjabi Taliban and others similar terrorist groups.
BSO Azad called a council session in 2015 where Banuk Karima Baloch was elected as Organisation’s chairperson and Sanaullah Baloch aka Izzat Baloch as Secretary General. Sanaullah aka Izzat Baloch along with Naseer Baloch aka Chirag Baloch and Hassam Baloch aka Nodan were abducted by Sindh Rangers and intelligence agencies in Karachi on 17 November 2017, while central information secretary Shabeer Baloch aka Lukmeer Baloch is missing since 4th October 2016.
BSO has gone through ups and downs, and from hard to tough phases, but it has sustained the struggle and faced internal and external conspiracies. Many BSO comrades have sacrificed their lives on this hard and long journey to freedom of their country, Balochistan.
Apart from BSO Azad, there are three other BSO that are active in Balochistan, out of them two BSO are constitutionally on par with the same parliamentary parties, while the third BSO is chaired by Zarif Baloch, who left BSO Pajjar two years ago and has given itself a separate status by holding its own council session in 2018.
A recent council session of BSO Azad was held in which Abram Baloch was selected as chairman of the organization and Mehrzad Baloch as secretary general.
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.