Balochistan is the largest province in Pakistan and one of the richest in natural resources such as natural gas, oil, and copper. Even so, unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of its value. Despite its plentiful resources, Balochistan is the least developed among the four provinces of Pakistan. For decades the people of Balochistan have been fighting to end the many atrocities imposed on them. Keyya Baloch is a Baloch refugee fighting for the freedom of fellow Balochistans and a better future for his homeland.
Keyya was born and raised in Balochistan, and later moved to the Netherlands to seek asylum. He’s working with BalochistanTimes and Zrumbesh which the media cell of Baloch National Movement (BNM), as well as an activist with the Human Rights Council of Balochistan.
Growing up at a time when there were a series of insurgencies, Keyya Baloch is familiar with the struggles the people of Balochistan are going through. Motivated to end the injustices happening to fellow Balochistans, Keyya took part in his first-ever peaceful protest in the early 2000s. This was a very eye-opening experience, as he realized winning this fight required much more than he had ever imagined. Even so, he did not give up. Undismayed, Keyya Baloch is on a mission with the goal of achieving freedom for the people of Balochistan.
It’s heartbreaking to see people lose their lives each passing day, says Keyya. The people of Balochistan live in constant fear despite being in their homeland. No one is certain of what tomorrow has in store for them. They might either make it home to their family or end up as another victim of these injustices.
As a media personality, Keyya has interviewed several Balochistan natives. One thing that stands out from all these interviews is the undying need for freedom by the Balochi people.
“I once interviewed a man who walked for over 2,000 kilometers for the rights of Baloch,” said Keyya Baloch. “What’s more saddening is even after all that sacrifice, there is no change. Our people are tired of the brutal killings and the sudden abductions of their family members.”
Speaking of the challenges he has encountered as an activist, Keyya notes the lack of freedom of the press as well as constant threats to journalists and human rights activists. Ranked among the riskiest countries to practice journalism, Pakistan’s lack of a free press is alarming. Keyya adds that this affects not only journalists but the citizens of Balochistan as well, since they have limited platforms to air their grievances. Some even are reluctant to do interviews as they fear for their safety, says Keyya.
Currently into the fifth wave of national insurgency, there still seems to be lesser hope for the people of Balochistan. While there have been a series of talks, what’s left of those negotiations are empty promises, mistrust, and more injustices.
Before it was annexed into newborn Pakistan, Balochistan was once an independent nation. Although freedom seems like a faraway dream for the people of Balochistan, ultimately, not all hope is lost, especially with credible journalists like Keyya Baloch voicing the current situation.