Friday, 12 September 2008

Violation of human rights continues in Baluchistan, Iran

Reza Hossein Borr

Following the arrest of 5 Baloch human rights activists on Sunday, 7 September, two more civil society campaigners were arrested today, 10th of September. Mohammad Hussain Khalili and Mohammad Reza Rakhshani who run a cultural society were violently arrested and taken to an unknown location.

This new round of arrests began after the Islamic Republic of Iran demolished a Sunni mosque and school in Baluchistan on 27 August 2008. The Iranian authorities have ruthlessly violated the human rights in Baluchistan in spite of universal of Declaration of Human Rights Charter as the article 18 states,
"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."
The human rights activists condemned widely the demolition of the school in which 800 students were studying. The school and mosque were completely financed by the people. The buildings were donated to the school by the people.

The reports suggested the human rights activists who criticised the demolition of Sunni mosque were identified and arrested. According to Baluchistan Human Rights Watch and, the following human rights activists have been arrested.
1. Abdoulrahman Shahbakhsh (The brother of Moulavi Hafez Mohammad Ali, the Headmaster of Imam Abuhanifa sunni religious school).
2. Noor Mohammad Shahbakhsh (The brother of Moulavi Hafez Mohammad Ali, the Headmaster of Imam Abuhanifa sunni religious school).
3. Abdoulkarim (The nephew of Moulavi Hafez Mohammad Ali, the Headmaster of Imam Abuhanifa sunni religious school).
4. Abdoulghader Naroui
5. Azizullah Naroui
6. Mohammad Hossein Khalili
7. Mohammad Reza Rakhshani
In addition to these activists whose identities have been disclosed, dozens of more Baluch people have been arrested in the last few days. The Isna news Agency reported that 26 Baluch have been arrested last week. Mowlavi Ahmad Narouee, a prominent religious leader and a lecturer was arrested about a month ago and nobody knows what has happened to him.

The families of those who have been arrested were not informed of their charges or the location of the prison. These human rights activists have been arrested in breach of article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Charter as it states:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

The crackdown on Baluch political movement and human rights activities is in response to Baluch People's demands for full participation in the political process of Iran and participation in the government as the article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Charter clearly indicates that every citizen of a country is entitled to have a part in the government of his country. Since the Baluch people have been completely deprived of their legal rights of participation in the government of Iran, they began to demonstrate their grievances against the central government of Iran and demanded the implementation of the declaration of human rights charter.

Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

Every time the Baluch people demand justice and implementation of United Nations Charters and Conventions, the Islamic Republic of Iran reacts with violent and ruthless measures which further violates the human rights of the Baluch people. Furthermore, the Iranian authorities have prohibited cultural activities of Baluch people who have a v distinct and rich cultural heritage despite of the article 27 that sasys,
"(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits."

The Baluch people strive to restore their dignity and respect and secure their religious and political rights. Baluchistan is the most backward province in Iran while a United Nations research proved that the children in Baluchistan had the highest IQ in the country. The Iranian government is continuously repressing the most talented people of Iran. The international community and human rights organizations must condemn the violations of human rights in Baluchistan and pressurise the government to respect the rights of its citizens and facilitate their full participation in political, economic and cultural activities.

Reza Hossein Borr is an NLP Master Trainer and a leadership consultant and the creator of 150 CDs and 14 Change management models. He is also the author of Manual Success, Manual of Coaching and Mentoring, Motivational Stories that Can Change Your Life, and a New Vision for the Islamic World. He can be contacted by email:

Why Zardari has been so much vilified?

Reza Hossein Borr

Corruption in Pakistan is widespread. There is no sense of shame and guilt about it. Political leaders, civil servants, army generals, security forces, businessmen, and even ordinary people have been so much corrupted that there is hardly any high ranking person in Pakistan who has not been involved in some kind of corruption. Corruption has become popular, acceptable and recognised by all people and all Pakistani institutions. All of them accuse each other of corruption and all of them claim to be clean and descent people with a great sense of integrity. All of them dismiss allegations of corruption. So far it has been very difficult to prove any claim of corruption against any senior politician, senior businessman, or an army general. While everybody talks of corruption the judiciary has not proved anything.

The fact of the matter is that there is corruption at large scale but it is done so immaculately that it is hard to detect it and even harder to prove it.

While corruption is so widespread and all politicians and senior civil servants and businessmen have been accused of it, why Zardari has been more accused of the same thing that the accusers have done themselves in possibly bigger ways? The accusations against Nawaz Sharif are more fundamental. Accusations against General Musharaf and other military rulers of Pakistan are even more evident but why Zardari has been vilified so much?

The ruling elite come from the top families in Pakistan. Those who become president, prime minister, chief minister, governor and minister are usually selected from top feudal landlords, top religious families and top businessmen. When another person from a lower rank of feudalism joins the government or gets involved in corruption, he will be very quickly vilified and exposed. Corruption is monopolized by the top elite. They have nearly impunity. They know how to neutralise corruption allegations. If other people go into monopolies of power and corruption they will be vilified ruthlessly. Pakistani establishment is extremely protective, closed and corrupt. They protect each other and they do not admit newcomers quite easily. Asif Ali Zardari was such a person, a newcomer and he had to take the blame for whatever his wife, Benazir Bhutto, did or was alleged to have done. The establishment could not discredit one senior member of their own and therefore, they had to look for a scapegoat who was more vulnerable and less defendable. Asif Ali Zardari is a frank and straightforward man. He is from a lesser families. His competitors could not see him as the husband of the First Lady of Pakistan. The allegations that everybody wanted to throw at Benazir Bhutto, were thrown at Zardari.

Zardari family is a feudal family but a third-class in the hierarchy of ranks of feudal classes in Sindh, Pakistan. The Bhutto family was a second-class feudal family in Sindh before the ascendancy of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the hierarchy of social classes. At the top were Jatoai and Talpour, two Baloch families that ruled Sindh. Pakistan like India is a classed based society. The feudals have enormous influence, wealth, land, authority and prestige in Pakistan. The political positions change from one feudal family to another feudal family. Most of these feudal families inherited the British system of culture. They send their children to best universities and establish connections with established families in UK and throughout the world. These connections help them internationally.

Education in the best universities accompanied by their family backgrounds give them privileged positions in politics, civil service and army. There is a huge competition among the feudal families of different ranks. They try to discredit each other but they never go to war to destroy each other. They are aware of their class privileges and they know that they can compete for different ranks and positions but they must not destroy each other. They may put each other in prison or they may be put in prison by army and security forces but they always are respected even in prison. They have specially prison privileges. They would not be treated like other criminals. They see each other regularly; they attend each other's weddings and ceremonies.

When the British captured Sindh, the ruling families of Sindh and a large part of Punjab were Jatouai and Talpour families, two Baluch families. These two families retained their positions and privileges during the British rule. When the British left, they were regularly elected in Pakistan national assembly and senate. There has been hardly any government in Pakistan that did not have a minister from these two families. All Sindhi governments were also dominated by these two families.

When Zulfikar Ali Bhutto began his political activities he managed to attract the attention of the army, civil service and Pakistani security forces. He was a talented man and therefore, he managed to form Pakistan People's Party with a Socialist agenda. After the disintegration of Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh, Bhutto won the general elections and became the Prime Minister of the country. He managed to pass the first democratic constitution of Pakistan in which it was recognised as a Federation. With his gradual of upward moving, the Bhutto family superseded the importance in the hierarchy of feudal rank and became number one. Jatouai and Talpour families accepted his leadership and joined his government. Thus Bhutto family became the first family of Pakistan. Z. Bhutto was educated in Oxford University. His daughter Benazir Bhutto was also educated in the same university. They had numerous friends in high places all over the world.

Zardari family was one rank lower than the Bhutto family before the ascendancy of Z. Bhutto. When Bhutto family ascended to the first family of Pakistan, the Zardari family remained in its own original rank. The distance between the two families widened enormously. The two Baluch families who ruled Sindh became the second after the Bhutto family. Zardari and Bhutto families are both Shia families. The other important families in Sindh and Pakistan were Sunnis. Although Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, the absolute majority of its people are secular and therefore they elect their representatives according to their qualifications and political manifestoes, not according to their religion. But yet, they prefer to arrange their marriages within their own religious sect.

Asif Ali Zardari's father, Hakem Ali Zardari Baloch was a member of Sindh Assembly when Z. Bhutto was the Prime Minister. He was a landlord and he was respected in Sindh. He told me that when the Shah of Iran went to Pakistan, he was part of Bhutto delegation who welcomed the Shah at the airport. The Shah talked to him in Farsi and asking him, "Chetoureed aghaye Zardari?" Hakem Ali responded, "Zardari hastam, amma Zadar nistam." The translation goes something like that. "How are you Mr Zardari?" Asked the shah of Iran. "My name is money keeper but I don't have money." He responded. He had enough wealth but he was not among the top landlords. He was not a highly educated person and therefore, he never assumed a high ranking position in Pakistan.

When Z. Bhutto was overthrown and arrested, the old friends who surrounded him for money, job and power abandoned the family. When the army consolidated its hold on the country, Zia hanged him. A large number of his friends were put in prison. Some others escaped the country. Benazir Bhutto stayed with her father until the end. The conditions were tough for Bhutto family. It was in such tough conditions, that the Zardari clan stayed firmly behind the Bhutto family. Asif and Benazir got married. As soon as the news of marriage was published, the rumours against Asif Ali Zardari began to circulate in Pakistan. There were a lot of manufactured rumours by establishment to destroy him. When Benazir became the Prime Minister, the allegations of fraud, corruption, criminal activities against Asif Ali Zardari began in earnest. He was put in prison but no evidence was produced. He and his supporters claimed that the rumours of corruption and crime were politically motivated as nothing was proved in the court. His opponents claimed that the corruption charges were true but somehow he got away with it.

Today Asif Ali Zardari is the president of Pakistan. He has a unique opportunity to prove that the rumours of corruption were baseless. He has the opportunity to demonstrate a high level of integrity and decency in the government. Nobody can clean the Pakistan establishment. It is beyond any major reform. But Zardari can display his skills in management and leadership. He can give real autonomy to the members of Federation. He must be aware that he has not a good reputation. He must also know that Nawaz Sharif has accused him of breach of promise at least in three occasions. Breach of promise is despised in Baluch culture. His political skills accompanied by breach of promise landed him the job of president but these skills cannot help him retain the job.

In my seminars, I teach a new model which is about how to manage your success successfully. The strategies for managing and retaining success are fundamentally different from the strategies that made somebody successful. The strategy for becoming successful is what Zardari has displayed in the last few months. But the strategy for retaining his success is completely dependent fully on how much he can deliver on the promises that he has given or his wife had given before him. This is the time for Peak Performance. Those political leaders that are elected can only retain their success through delivering the results and these results must be fully felt and sensed by individuals and masses. This is a historical moment for him. In an open letter that I wrote him few weeks ago I advised him to avoid becoming the president of Pakistan as I argued that he would face the same painful fate that the previous presidents and prime ministers of Pakistan have encountered. The establishment of Pakistan is so corrupt and inefficient that it can dissolve the most competent leaders and managers. The establishment would not give him a chance to succeed. They would do everything to prepare the ground for his failure. His failure will be more celebrated. The masses may celebrate his success as they would be the beneficiary of his success. But so far no Prime Minister or president in Pakistan has succeeded. All of them have disgracefully failed. I will be surprised if he can make himself an exception. But in history, like in life, everything is possible by leaders of exceptional visions and skills.

He's not the first Baluch to become the president but he is the first Baluch that have been welcomed by the Baluch people. The Baluch fighters have announced a ceasefire to give him a chance. What the Baluch people want is the respect for the original agreement that was signed by the head of state of Baluchistan and the head of state of Pakistan. They signed an agreement for the union of two sovereign states in a confederation format by which the two states preserve their sovereignty but manage jointly the foreign affairs, currency and army. According to this agreement these issues must be jointly administered. They were not supposed to be solely in the hands of the state of Pakistan. Some of the Baloch fighters want full independence; some others want Baluchistan to be recognised as a sovereign state in a union with Pakistan like European Union. If president Zardari succeeds in restoring this agreement and if he can provide complete autonomy for the four units of the Federation, he will go in history as a man of high integrity and great political courage.

The Pakistani establishment must encourage him to restore the supremacy of Parliament, the independence of judiciary and the full autonomy of the four states as these measures can guarantee the existence of Pakistan. Pakistan has reached a crossroad. If anybody is interested in sustaining Pakistan, he must be interested in the will and welfare of the people who constitute Pakistan. The people of Pakistan want full autonomy. If they get full autonomy they will retain Pakistan. If they do not get full autonomy they will break it. It is the establishment which is responsible for making or breaking of Pakistan. It must be remembered that if there is no Pakistan, there is no Pakistani establishment. The Pakistanis establishment would enjoy its privileges if the people of Pakistan fulfill their aspirations. The establishment is living on the people of Pakistan and if the people are not living well there would not be a Pakistan establishment.

Nobody has been so much suspected as Zardari. Nobody has been so discredited and vilified as him. If he has any talent it is time to use this opportunity to manifest integrity beyond doubts and clean himself before that time that he becomes another victim of Pakistan politics.

Reza Hossein Borr is an NLP Master Trainer and a leadership consultant and the creator of 150 CDs and 14 Change management models. He is also the author of Manual Success, Manual of Coaching and Mentoring, Motivational Stories that Can Change Your Life, and a New Vision for the Islamic World. He can be contacted by email:

A list of some of the arrested Baloch in Iran (between 2006-2008)

A list of some of the arrested Baloch in Iran (between 2006-2008)
By Balochistan Human Rights Watch / Radio Balochi FM
111. 37,unknown
110. Mahmud Galeh Bache
109. Mohammad Omar Baloch
108. Yusuf Esmailzahi
107. Abdoulrazagh Berahoui
106. Mohammad Reza Rakhshani
105. Mohammad Hossein Khalili
104. Azizullah Naroui
103. Abdoulghader Naroui
102. Abdoulkarim
101. Noor Mohammad Shahbakhsh
100. Abdoulrahman Shahbakhsh
99. 26,unknown
98. 20,unknown
97. Molawi Ahmad Naroei
9. ??,unknown
95. 2, unknown
94. 12, unknown
93. 4022, unknown ( in 5 last months)
92. 22, unknown
91. Abdoulbaset Vatankhah
90. Abdoulhalim Vatankhah
89. Khalilulrahman Bahramzahi
88. 7 , unknown
87 . Mehdi Mahmudi (male)
86. Sayad Bagher Sajadi (male)
85. Hassan Shahbakhsh (male 15 )
84. 155 persons , unknown
83. Naim Kalbalai (male 15)
82. Ahmad Nourzahi (male 12)
81. Khodamorad Shahmazi (male 17)
80. Omid Sarani (male 17)
79. Abdollah Salarzahi (Released now!)
78. Asadullah Shahbakhsh (Released now!)
77. Ebrahim Mehrnehad (male 16)
76. Yaghub Mehrnehad (male 28) EXCUTED 04.08.2008
75.Fazlulah Chehras (male 16)
74. 8 persons , unknown (male)
73. Abdoullah Kalkali (male 25)
72. Eshagh (Isaq) Kalkali (male 27)
71. Amin Damani (male 23)
70. Taj Mohammad Kalkali (male 23)
69. 6 persons , unknown (male)
68. One person , unknown (male)
67. 3 persons , unknown (male)
66. 2 persons , unknown (male)
65. 3 persons , unknown (male)
64. One person , unknown (male)
63. Gholamhaidar Raisani (The regim said that the real name of this person is Abdolhamid Rigi) (male 29)
62. 20 ,unknown
61. One , unknown
60. One person , unknown (male)
59. Ali Alizahi (male)
58. Saeed R (male)
57. Abdolghader
56. Jawad R
55. 2 , unknown
54. One , unknown
53. 9 , unknown ( They were 15 but 2 of them excuted , 4 released - It means 9 of them are still in Jail)
52. 2 , unknown
51. Mohammad Ebrahim Roudini (male) -( Released , but it is not confirmed!)
50. Davood Mozaffari (male)- ( Released , but it is not confirmed!)
49. 89 , unknown
48. 44 , unknown
47. Mehdi (Father name Ashur from Chabehar)
46. Hashom
45. Mostafa
44. 2 , unknown
43. 2 , unknown
42. 5 , unknown
41. 9 , unknown
40. Nader A
39. 3 , unknown
38. One , unknown
37. 2 , unknown
36. Molawi Nasir Ahmad
35. ?? , unknown
34. One , unknown
33. 2 , unknown
32. 7 , unknown
31. ?? , unknown
30. 4 , unknown
29. 17 , unknown
28. 3 , unknown
27. Mohamad Amin Shirani
26. Hoshang Shahnawazi
25. Masoud Nosratzahi
24. Jawad Naroei
23. Yahya Sohrabzahi
22. Abdolbek Kahrazahi
21. 2 , unknown
20. Hamid M
19. 2 , unknown
18. 2 , unknown
17. 65 , unknown
16. 14 , unknown
15. Mohamad Jamshidzahi
14. Hamid Jamshizahi
13. 20 , unknown
12. 8 , unknown
11. 15 , unknown
10. 3 , unknown
9. Mohamad Yusuf Naroei
8. Jalil Rigi
7. 2 , unknown
6. 8 , unknown
5. Abid Gowharmzhai
4. Hafiz Salahoudin Gowhramzahi 3. Moulevi Khalil Zarai
2. Moulevi Abdul Majid Salahzahi
1. Oubid Zardkohi

Attention: This list has send by "Balochistan Human Rights Watch" to Amnesty International , Human rights organisations , UN and....
Balochistan Human Rights Watch / Radio Balochi FM
Thanks to our reporters Mr. "S.S." , Mr. Mehdi , Mr."A . B." and other friends who have helped us to create this list!
Balochistan Human Rights Watch / Radio Balochi FM