A network for women by women

Interviews & Winners

Girl in frost

When hope is the only lead…

Early Wednesday morning Sikandar Baloch enters Bloomsbury Coffee House with a hustle, trying to hide from the torrential rain. He smiles at the waitress and she seems to already know he wants the caramel latte, being a regular customer. “I could stay here for hours”, laughs Sikandar.

He found himself wondering around Kings Cross Station after he got off the train in London for the first time in 2011. Barely understanding the native language and shivering from the cold, he spotted Bloomsbury Coffee House that became a shelter from the world around him ever since he left Baluchistan.

“I still feel lost and confused, even though I am safe”, whispers Sikandar in deep tone remembering his past. He survived two years of nightmares, while arrested and imprisoned in Central Jail in Khuzdar. “I was tortured for 8 months with sleeping deprivation and they released mosquitos in to the cell, which was one of the many torture methods they used”, says Sikandar.

 Sikandar Baloch was a political activist (BSO Azad) in his country for an ongoing political conflict with Pakistan, which started in 1948. He was travelling around the globe, organising seminars and appealing to the United Nations and other international communities to take action against Pakistan for its crimes against humanity. “I was ignored a lot; however, words spread of my actions all over Baluchistan and after a few months they started looking for me”, says Sikandar.

 His father, S. Agham Baloch, was arrested six months prior to his son’s return, in order to gain information in regards to the current whereabouts of Sikandar. The rest of the family were left with no income and the youngest children were taken away from their mother, who was reduced to skin and bones. “This is what I saw when I looked at my mother on my first day back. She was devastated”, remembers Sikandar.

 He did not wait any longer and went to Central Jail in Khuzdar and voluntarily got himself arrested; in return, his father and younger brothers were released. “It was my last time seeing them”, sighed Sikandar. “I know I had to make a decision of what I valued more, their life or mine”.

 Sikandar continues with his activities and was recently chosen as a Deputy organiser of London. Additional financial help is provided from certain sources, on the Queen’s behalf, to involve contemporary media to take action against Pakistan by way of raising awareness of an ongoing conflict worldwide. “I am sure you can ask any stranger if he knows where Baluchistan is. No one would know. The world is far too modern to bother about it.”

Sikandar is also trying to get more support, through his travels around the world, for an ongoing protest to recapture Gwadar port, which belonged to Baluchistan. “Nothing will stop me. I am doing it for my family and younger brothers”.

Current news of Baluchistan does not predict any successful changes for the time being as its Government is not receiving any support from other countries. “Massacre is one of the present issues eliminating the most important Baluchistan politicians this way preventing terror reduction, so you can imagine what a desperate situation is it. My country is in fair.”

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