English News


Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future takes up Baloch cause, says resources leading to colonialism

Fridays For Future says that Baloch resources are being exploited and its communities have been "militarised" (Photo: IANS)

International organisation, Fridays for Future (FFF), initiated by environmental youth activist Greta Thunberg has raised the issue of occupation and colonisation of Balochistan by Pakistan. In a series of tweets, Fridays For Future says that Balochistan's resources are being exploited and its vulnerable communities have been "militarised".

Highlighting the exploitation of the Balch communities with the hashtag "ChagiBleeds", the organisation tweeted: "We stand in solidarity with the people of Balochistan against the oppression, colonialism & the exploitation of their natural resources which resulted in huge human rights violation and led people to suffer, many Indigenous communities have been internally displaced".

FFF launched its Balochistan campaign just before the Earth Day on March 22. It is not just highlighting the economic exploitation of the mineral-rich region, but has also focused on the brazen human rights violations by Pakistani military and intelligence forces. Pakistan has been castigated internationally for running its "death squads" in Balochistan which indulge in wanton killings, kidnappings and crime.

Another tweet by the FFF says: "Pakistan is commiting mass human rights violation in Balochistan by bombing civilians, displacing indigenous communities, burning their homes and killing and abducting activists". Another tweet adds: "The media cannot visit the region without the permission of the Pakistani Army and political activism is completely banned. Dozens of local journalists have been brutally murdered by the army since 2010 because they reported on human rights violation in the region".

The youth-led environmental group said that indigenous communities have been internally displaced and what the Baloch people are fighting is actually Balochistan’s fight for climate justice.

FFF has surprisingly highlighted almost all causes that are dear to the Baloch people–right from its independent history to its invasion and the "violent military offences" led by the Pakistani army. It also talks about the mass graves of Baloch people. The organisation has highlighted the role of Pakistani security forces including "the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Frontier Corps as perpetrators."

It says: “Pakistan is committing mass human rights violations in Balochistan by bombing civilians, displacing indigenous communities, burning their homes and abducting activists,” adding that despite all its mineral wealth, "the Baloch people, are the poorest, underdeveloped, and most exploited group of people in the region”, as the people do not have access to it.

Geopolitical activist Mark Kinra says: "It seems that the cries of the people in Chagai after their extreme brutality by the Pakistan Army have reached the Western world. This is the first time that Greta Thunberg's youth-led NGO has tweeted about the colonisation of Baluchistan. This support by FFF will surely give a huge thumbs up to the Balochistan freedom struggle, which has been fighting this long war for 75 years".

The youth-led organisation has shone the spotlight on Baloch nationalism at a time when the world has been caught up in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the spread of the deadly coronavirus infection.

The Baloch people in the large south-western region of Pakistan had laid seige to the strategic port city of Gwadar over shortage of water and other basic amenities last year. The agitation continued for months till the governments of Pakistan and Balochistan arrived at a settlement with the people to provide basic amenities and create opportunities for livelihoods for the local people.

Almost a month back, the Pakistani Minister for Water Resources, Moonis Elahi had blamed climate change, increasing population and water mismanagement for the decline in water resources in the country.