Friday, 24th April 2015 | 6:30 pm
Join us at T2F for a conversation with Mama Qadeer, Farzana Baloch, Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur, Wusat Ullah Khan and Malik Siraj Akbar.
In October 2013, Mama Qadeer began a long march from Quetta to Karachi, to press authorities to release “missing Baloch political activists” and to discard their policy of “killing and dumping” missing Baloch activists. On foot, and pushing a cart with portraits of those who went missing, Qadeer and his band of unarmed followers marched first to Karachi, and then to Islamabad, to raise awareness of their lived realities in Balochistan.
Photo Credit: Syed Ali Shah (DAWN)
This march opened new avenues of discussion and debate around the issue of missing Baloch activists – some argued that the phenomenon did not exist before while others believed that there was a systematic shut down of news emanating from Balochistan. Some claimed sedition carried such punishments, others argued this was systematic murder of Baloch men and youth.
Despite the plurality of opinion, very little space seems to be given to the discussion in Pakistani mainstream media or academia; the debate seems to be shut down before it can even begin. What is the reality? Has the media been silenced on Balochistan? What makes it dangerous for us to talk about Pakistan’s largest province at one of our most celebrated universities? What constitutes national interest? Does Mama Qadeer represent separatists’ interests? What are the mechanics of reportage? Have human stories been shunned? What are the casualties on all sides? How does Chinese investment affect Balochistan and its people’s struggles?
In the spirit of academic enquiry, we invite you to an open and honest discussion about Balochistan with those who marched from Quetta to Islamabad, followed by a session on Balochistan in the media.
To make this a more inclusive discussion, we welcome all questions asked, not only at the event, but also via email. Send us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 23rd April, 2015 and we will include the ones most frequently asked.
Session 1: Q&A with the Baloch long march leaders
Session 2: Balochistan in the media
Date: Friday, 24th April 2015
Time: 6:30 pm
Entry: Free! Contribute #3K4T2F and help us keep our doors open
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
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Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.