The Baloch Land is Known as Balochistan. It is larger in size than France. The Baloch people are living in their natural geographical boundaries. Balochistan was intentionally divided up with pieces going to three countries: Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Pakistan again, this Nation is cut into three pieces: Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan, and in Iran also Baloch land is divided into Khorasan, Hormozgan and Sistan va Baluchistan provinces. Freedom is the basic right of every nation.
Some of the 22 teachers were killed by Lashkar-i Jhangavi and Sunni radicals, who have nothing to do with the Baloch freedom fighters, but a first read of the report shows the HRW nonetheless try to pin the blame on Baloch freedom fighters or sarmachars.
"It appears that the report was prepared with the help of Pakistan government functionaries and intelligence agencies who have given their version of the situation," one highly respected baloch educationist said on a condition of not being named. "As far as the killing of teachers and bombing of schools is concerned there are no reports that Baloch insurgent groups have ever taken any such actions, except for rare cases where they have targeted government informers and those who have been working as spies within the education institutions against the interest of the people of Balochistan," he adds
The educationist said most of those spies killed were putting the lives of Baloch students and political workers at risk with their activities as secret agents of government agencies and murderous occupation forces.
The situation pertaining to Punjabi teachers in Balochistan is not simple.
Presently there are about 100 out of about 500 teachers in the University of Balochistan who come from Punjab and are serving at different levels at the University. These teachers were directly recruited at the university not because Balochistan lacks qualified candidates, but because doors to government jobs, and especially university and college teaching jobs, are closed for the Baloch. local teachers in Balochistan say.
Baloch candidates, some of them gold medal-winners and others who obtained first class first roam around in Balochistan with their degrees from Pakistan's prestigious universities such as Quaid-e Azam University in Islamabad in their hands but barely succeed in getting a job as lecturer at the University of Balochistan.
In contrast, candidates from Punjab and Khyber Pashtunkhwa are immediately inducted just because Baloch have no say how affairs are run in the University of Balochistan.
At this time out of 500, only 60 ethnic Baloch are employed as teachers at the Balochistan University. Of them, 30 teach at the departments of Balochi and Brahui languages, where a non-Baloch can not get a job anyways.
Insider sources say a Punjabi-Pashtun mafia have been running the affairs of the Balochistan University as equal partners for many years now, but in recent years the Pashtun lobby has started harassing and threatening the Punjabi lobby to force them to run away so that they can occupy their positions.
"Baloch are not in a position to compete with the Pashtuns simply because Pashtuns are holding all key positions, it is in the interest of the Pashtuns that Punjabi teachers flee Balochistan and leave the positions vacant for them,” said the senior Baloch educationist.
Another reason why Punjabi teachers leaving Balochistan is purely economics.
For example, at present 80 Punjabi and Urdu-speaking teachers have applied for deputation outside Balochistan on an excuse that their lives are under threat in Balochistan. All of these 80 teachers have got their PhDs with scholarships from the University of Balochistan and UoB has spent an average 100,000 dollars on each one of them -- full scholarship, return ticket once a year, plus the full salary back home.
"Most of them are dull teachers who were appointed on the basis of their ethnicity and not because of their qualifications. They are often sent for short term diploma courses to foreign countries. Their diplomas are turned to Masters, Masters to Master of Philosophy and then MPhils to PhDs. As such they spend about seven to 10 years in foreign places at the expense of the University of Balochistan, while Baloch teachers are deprived of any such benefits," the Baloch educationis said.
After getting their degrees and joining the University of Balochistan, they begin getting offers from private universities in Punjab, Sind and Khyber Pashtunkhwa, with perks and high salaries. As the University of Balochistan has spent tens of thousands on each of these professors it doesn’t want to let them go.
“Using security risk as an excuse, the university authorities allow them to go on deputation so that their pension is secured from the University of Balochistan and they join private universities in other provinces of Pakistan and enjoy good salaries, and keep their job at the University of Balochistan at the same time for getting pension after retirement,” the Baloch educationist said.
Observers say the irony of the situation is that while university authorities are allowing senior professors force to leave the province for security reasons, new lecturers from Punjab are joining the university and occupying positions on daily basis in spite of the alleged security threats.
"Now, one can ask if there is a security risk for the Punjabis in Balochistan then it is the same for young Punjabis, but it seems that young Punjabis have no security problems," said the Baloch educationist. "They get positions at the university, then get scholarships in one or two years. Once they get their higher degrees and qualification, they repeat the old drama that their life is not safe and they ask for being sent on deputation to other parts of the country."
Most non-Baloch senior professors have availed four or five post-doctoratal grants in Europe and America as once they get their PhDs then a series of post-doctoral grants are given to them every year in the West. As there is no dissertation or assignment writing involved in post-doctoral leaves, they enjoy both huge grants abroad and confirmed salaries back home.
"All this is prohibited to the Baloch who have no rights of any kind at the University of Balochistan,” said the Baloch educationist.
During the recent past the Government of Pakistan announced a project of calling back qualified
teachers of Pakistani origin who are teaching in Europe and America.
Three highly qualified Baloch Phds responded to the program: Dr. Inayat Baloch, Dr. Badal Khan Baloch and Dr. Taj Mohammed Breseeg applied at University of Balochistan, but none of the three were taken under this program or as professors.
Of the three, Dr Badal Khan was appointed as Pro-Vice Chancellor but refused a position as professor on different excuses forcing him to return to Italy and join the Italian university in Naples where he is an assistant professor.
Observers point out that is adequately qualified for professorship in Europe and has also taught at one of the USA's largest Ohio State University in Columbus as a visiting professor, how come Badal Khan couldn’t qualify for professorship at the University of Balochistan.
Dr. Taj Breseeg was given only a six-month contract and he knocked at the doors of all political parties and concerned bodies to get his contract extended for six more months without success, while Dr. Inayat Baloch was bluntly refused even a contract at the University of balochistan.
Non-Baloch teachers use similar tactics in the Baloch hinterland. They first get themselves appointed at some college in interior Balochistan, join the college and just after a few days of their joining return back to Quetta and refuse to go to there on an excuse they won't be safe there.
“Now the situation is there are 30 professors of physics at Government Science College in Quetta while none for any government college in interior of Balochistan,” said the Baloch educationist.
Baloch students have no teachers in most of the colleges in the countryside, while non-Baloch teachers enjoy a relaxed time in Quetta while receiving their salaries from colleges in the interior.
A big tragedy for Balochistan is that the present minister of education, Tahir Khan, is a Punjabi petty merchant and has nothing to do with teaching or education.
"His elder brother, Shafique Ahmed Khan, also a petty merchant and Pakistan Peoples Party member, was killed and he inherited his seat in the assembly and his ministry. So he became the minister by chance and never bothers visiting interior of Balochistan. The real sufferers are Baloch," the Quetta educationist said.
Balochistan has one general and four technical universities but, ironically, all have Pashtun Vice Chancellors. Only the Women University has a Baloch educationist posted as vice chancellor.
Some academics are speaking out openly against the injustices.
“The common practice in Quetta is that all higher educational institutions are headed by Pashtuns and their sub-ordinates are Baloch. Mind you they are sub-ordinates and not second-in-command,," Dr Badal Khan Baloch who worked at the University of Balochistan for two years as the pro-vice chancellor, told this scribe from Naples, Italy.
"The Baloch have no voice, no share, no rights and no place at the university of Balochistan and in other higher educational institutions," confirms Dr Badal Khan. He says he is treated far better in Europe and America than in Balochistan that is why he returned to Italy.