Gwahram Baloch, the spokesperson of Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), issued a policy statement at the end of the ultimatum to the media in Balochistan. He said, BLF had given October 24, 2017 ultimatum to curb the media in Balochistan. Now the organization is obligated to launch its operations against journalists, media houses, TV cable operators and all the companies related to the journalism industry across Balochistan.
The BLF leadership is determined to shut down state’s biased media outlets in Balochistan as they are playing a key role to cover up Balochistan's real situation, state forces’ abuses and human rights violations and consequently, misleading the world.
The organization has clarified that the media, which is on the soil of Balochistan, is hand in glove with the state and forms opinion to exploit Balochistan’s resources yet calls itself free and peoples’ voice then Balochistan and Baloch society absolutely doesn't need such a hypocritical media.
He further said the organization has formulated a strategy to root out Pakistani media from Baloch soil. All the regional commanders and fighters have been issued instructions in this regard. Various teams have been formed and sent to various areas, which will begin their operations against the persons and institutions associated with Pakistani print and electronic media industry in Balochistan. And BLF’s campaign includes allied organizations: BLA, UBA will work together in this joint venture.
The organization gave 20 days’ ultimatum to the biased media against shunning the voices in Balochistan. Some journalists demanded an extension, henceforth it was extended to October 24th.
Meanwhile, we distributed pamphlets throughout Balochistan and contacted Baloch and the people responsible for the newspaper circulation, local transporters and hawkers that they should support us against the media prejudice meted out to the Baloch people. We also contacted the owners of the media houses to bring about changes in their policy and code of conduct. But our pleas went unheard by the owners of media houses and they are often seen only interested in securing advertisements and privileges that the state grants rather than the principles of journalism.
Furthermore, there are journalists across Balochistan who are working as state agents. We warn them to be on the right path and do their job without being a party to any particular line of thinking in order to abandon questionable policies.
The media boycott ultimatum expired on October 24. If the newspapers, hawkers, transporters, cable operators, distributors, bookstalls and other shopkeepers, that are part of the circulation network, do not cooperate with our call then they will be considered the accessories to the state’s crimes against humanity. And they themselves will be responsible for their financial and physical loss.
For a long time we have not adopted any strict policy towards media and kept patience due to the international laws and norms; hoping that these institutions would fulfill their responsibilities in accordance to the international laws and norms. But the Baloch nation is met with an escalated and systematic genocide instead and the media as a partner in Pakistani forces’ war crimes. Therefore, no one is aware about it outside of Balochistan.
We assure the world that we have taken such drastic measures to counter the ongoing genocide, human rights violations and war crimes of Pakistan in Balochistan as a last resort. We hope that the entire world will support us in this endeavor.