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A New Year, The Same Old Tale Of Fear!

Enter 2021, I took a sip of my coffee Monday morning, hoping it would just be another day. In seconds, I had forgotten all about my coffee, as my eyes fell on the news and saw the incident that took place in Mach on Sunday. It was only the third day of the new year…How we had prayed and hoped that we would not be hearing such news. But alas, it was not to be. The new year wishes hadn’t quite subsided yet, and Balochistan already mourned a new tragedy.

The terrorist attack on the coal mines workers in Mach claimed the lives of 11 people! Many were injured.

The cowardly attackers opened fire on innocent souls, who had nothing to do with them, no reason to incite their anger, no cause of revenge, or whatever justification there be. The poor coal workers were simply there to work to feed their families. Most of them were the only source of income of their family. They were tortured and sent prematurely to their graves; their lives cut short so abruptly.

The news made the memory of all such previous cowardly actions flash before my eyes. One by one, I remembered all the violent events that occurred in my province. The pain we suffered, the blood that this land observed and the tears of mothers, we remember it all.

It’s been over a decade since Balochistan has been suffering from such incidents. Bomb blasts in universities’ buses, targeted sectarian killings of both Shia and Sunni, the blast on lawyers on August 8 – these are only a few of the many atrocities we have been suffering at the hands of terrorists for so many years.

Whenever we in Balochistan dare to hope for peace, they attack us. Whenever we think its over, they come back with even worse and more terrible violence than before. As they keep killing our people, we protest, cry, get featured in media, and then government officials give their statements and their assurance. Security gets tightened and other measures are taken until it all suddenly vanishes again, as if nothing had happened.

We live in dread. We the masses, living in this unfortunate region called Balochistan, always know that something else is coming, another tragedy is surely on its way, more critical and more brutal. We have simply been conditioned that way.

We do not care who the terrorists were, we do not claim that they were from Afghanistan or India or that they belonged to this or another banned religious organization. We just want it to end. We are so done with having to suffer from incidents like these on daily, weekly, monthly and yearly bases, and we are terrified, terrified for our lives and the lives of our families and friends. All we want, all we pray for, is peace. Peace is the only thing this region demands, needs.

My generation, the young generation of the province, has already seen so much blood in Quetta, Mach, Turbat, Pashin and Chaman. Who in the world would want such a future for their younger generation? We don’t. In our colleges and schools, we have never experienced the likeness of mental peace that students all over the world enjoy. We simply don’t have that privilege.

All we care for, what we ask from you, the reader, is to hold our hands and let us keep demanding for peace together, until we achieve it. Let us rise above the fault lines that feed divisiveness. As John Lennon imagined:

Imagine there are no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion, too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace …

You may say I am a dreamer

But I am not the only one!

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Naya Daur