Apparently, a tweet has started it all.
Last month, when a young Baloch activist had asked the US Department of State a question on its official Twitter page about the plight of Baloch people and the ‘genocide’ perpetrated by Pakistan, people in Balochistan had barely thought they would see this momentous day when their plight would be heard in the world’s most powerful capital — Washington D.C.
The young activist’s endeavor, along with that of many other Balochs’ who have been advocating for their cause and letting the word out of Balochistan, paid off.
First, when Victoria Nuland, spokesperson of the department answered a Baloch tweeter’s question, acknowledging the fact that there are human rights violations in Balochistan.
“The United States is deeply concerned about the ongoing violence in Balochistan, especially targeted killings, disappearances and other human rights abuses,” Nuland had said.
And today, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs had a hearing on Balochistan situation. Chaired by Dana Rohrabacher — a Republican congressman from California — the committee’s hour-long hearing was nothing short of a victory for a people who had this feeling, up until today, that the world had observed a mum over their miseries. They had got disappeared, tortured, maimed and killed, but there was no one whom they could turn to.
Today’s congressional hearing at least has given hope to the families of all those Balochs who were killed, brutally, by Pakistan’s military that the sacrifices of their loved ones have not gone unnoticed. It also gives some optimism to families of hundreds of Balochs wh are still languishing in illegal detention.
But these are not the only feelings they have; fear and trepidation are quite rife. They fear that given Islamabad’s sensitivities towards Balochistan, talk of their plight at such a forum could lead to more miseries for them and their loved ones. It could possibly jeopardize the lives of all those activists who have actively been campaigning for their cause on Facebook, Twitter and on different other blogs.
Click here to watch the video of the hearing.