Ban on books: in perspective of Balochista. Written by, Abid Mir

sangar publication

 - 13 Jan, 2020 at 7:37 pm

Translation, Almaas Baloch.

Some ten years ago, there was a newspaper in Balochistan, namely daily Asap. With the government’s intervention it halted in 2000. The newspaper decided that a selection of articles and opinions once published in the editorial pages on the issues of Balochistan should get published in the form of booklets in concerns with the publications based a decade back. I was the editor of the editorial page in those days.This task was also assigned to me. The ten-year selection was compiled in the form of somehow sixty books. Each book was comprised of two hundred pages. Only thirty to thirty three of them get published but the newspaper primarily and later the institution inhaled the last breath.

Well, it happened that when the first eight books were compiled, our editor-in-chief (the well-known Baloch intellectual and former bureaucrat Jan Mohammad Dashti Sahib), who had been writing in English for a certain time of period, was enthusiastic that some of the selected articles would be translated into English so that the Baloch case reaches to the foreigner readers as well. The task was then entrusted to his brother Dr. Naseer Dashti, who has returned from London having done his PhD in Health. He selected twenty to twenty five articles and translated them into English, which appeared in compilation of two books.
It was the period 2008. The province was ruled by the People’s Party tenure. A few months after the books were published, the government imposed ban on them. One of our contemporary journalist friends, Malik Siraj Akbar, interviewed Dr. Naseer Dashti for the newspaper “Aaj Kal”. Dr. Naseer dashti laughed over a question of him and narrated, “It’s a weird spectacle that the articles of this book were published in a newspaper years ago.” These articles are available at the market in Urdu also in the format of books for certain period of time. To ban the English translations of those books indicate the government either doesn’t read or is intimidated of it access to the foreigner reader of the Baloch case.

Later, keeping the ban an authentic justification, Dr. Naseer Dashti moved to London to seek political asylum.

Recently, the prominent novelist Mohammed Hanif’s book, a famous English book which was published eleven years ago, the Urdu translation got banned, while hearing the ban this incident i remembered. However, it is astonishing that English translations of such books in Urdu are readily accessible in Pakistan, while the copies of original English novels are still easily available in this market. On the other hand, English translation of Urdu writings in Balochistan become banned. However, those Urdu books of the english ones are still available today.

Well, what did this prove?
Nevertheless, it has proved that the attitude of the government gets fluctuate and varied in concerns of Balochistan. In Pakistan, they only want to keep the alternative commentary and critical point of view out of the reach of the reader abroad.
Why?
This is because most of the people in Pakistan view the Balochistan’s problems as the dominant power of Pakistan.
(Remember, the same Muhammad Hanif who has wrote his first document on the missing persons of Balochistan, which was translated into Urdu by Wassatullah Khan titled “Gaibistan Main Baloch, Baloch in the Missingistan,” which was even not considered to be banned). Pakistan’s mainstream media likewise narrates the narration of authorized power in concerns especially with Balochistan and endurable case.

In Balochistan, if anyone screams, shouts intensively and cries either in Urdu or Baluchi, then first considered it the situation of a jungle where who could have seen a peacock dancing.
At the second hand, if anyone screams, agitates and shouts angrily then it seems to be not much difficult to shut him off. However, it reminds everyone that just be curious, this sound should not get out of the boundaries of country.

So that you will see, the alternate narrators in Balochistan in regard of English version will either get out of the country, or go abroad. If you stay longer in the country you will be gone missing, if remained alive or saved will be put into the lists of declared traitors or agents.

And of course there are signs for the wise.