Save Majid Ali 375


Glasgow City College student Majid Ali faces torture and death if returned to Pakistan. Majid Ali’s brother and other members of his immediate family have been taken and I am afraid very probably murdered by the Pakistani authorities as part of their relentless persecution of the Baloch people and desire to wipe out Baloch national identity. The UK Home Office intends to deport Majid. The people of Scotland must defend him.

There will be an emergency demonstration at the Scottish office, 1 Melville Crescent, Edinburgh at 13.00 tomorrow. I shall be going along. NUS Scotland are organising a letter-writing campaign to Scottish MPs to get them to put pressure on the Home Office. This is important.

It is appalling that London can seek to rip Majid from a Scottish community which values him, from a nation which respects its immigrant communities and their contribution, as part of Theresa May’s campaign to pander to the corporate media induced racism which regrettably has been introduced into many communities in England. It is a further example of why independence is essential to build a more ethical state.

The persecution of the Baloch has received little attention in the West. Peter Tatchell has done admirable work in trying to raise its profile in the UK, but with little traction. Like so many dreadful abuses, it is a direct result of wrongdoing by the British Empire. Baloch or Beluchistan was formally known as the state of Kelat, which Britain first invaded in 1839, destroying the city of Kelat in 1840 and murdering the ruler Mehrab Khan on the pretext he had given insufficient support to the British invasion of Afghanistan. Britain’s relations with Kelat thereafter were an appalling litany of broken treaties, culminating into the forceful and unwanted incorporation into Pakistan.

A few years ago I met the current Khan of Kelat at his home in exile in Wales and learnt a great deal about the dreadful persecution the Baloch suffer. In the course of my researches into British responsibility for the situation I cam across the crime of the massacre of Kotra. After the killing of Mehrab Khan, fighting continued until a truce was agreed with Mehrab’s 15 year old son Nasir. While the truce was in force, British forces silently surrounded Nasir’s mountain camp at Kotra and attacked before dawn, massacring 500. It is reminiscent of Glencoe, though this was a much larger massacre. In the National Archives of India I trembled as I held the manuscript order for the massacre in my hands.

We should do everything we can to save Majid Ali out of common decency, wherever he is from. But the knowledge of Britain’s historic responsibility for the situation should broaden and deepen our understanding of his plight.


375 thoughts on “Save Majid Ali

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  • Mary

    @ 5.43pm Habbabkuk needs to speak to Ban Ki Moon then on the UNHRC.

    He could also take this up with him.

    UN Spurns Palestinian Children. Ban Ki-moon Decides Not to Include Israel in the List of Violators of Children’s Rights
    1 hour ago

    Ban Ki-moon’s decision not to include Israel on the list of violators of children’s rights twists the knife in the heart of every Palestinian parent, making it very clear that in the eyes of the United Nations, Palestinian children’s lives don’t count.

    When a military with the most sophisticated and accurate weaponry on the planet can kill more than 500 children in cold blood with complete impunity, as Israel’s absence from the list shows, it reveals more than just the complete disregard for Palestinian lives that has become so commonplace in the halls of power. It also makes it abundantly clear that the UN, the single most important international organisation charged with protecting the lives of the most vulnerable, is failing spectacularly.

    /..
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-n-spurns-palestinian-children-ban-ki-moon-decides-not-to-include-israel-in-the-list-of-violators-of-childrens-rights/5454293

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    I don’t think I have – hope I haven’t missed anything!

  • nevermind

    Thanks for your clarifying thoughts on Baluchistans oppression, Suhayl. So what of the 19th. Baluch regiment? any chance of insurrection?

    How strong is the opposition to Pakistans ethnic cleansing, any chance that they unite with others who are under the same Yoch?

  • Mary

    Hospital bombed by Israel “back in business” but not rebuilt, says Gaza doctor
    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/listen-hospital-bombed-israel-back-business-not-rebuilt-says-gaza-doctor

    ‘In a series of airstrikes, Israeli forces completely leveled the al-Wafa rehabilitation hospital, the only one of its kind in Gaza.

    Al-Wafa serves the needs of the disabled and the elderly, many needing round-the-clock care and monitoring. Since al-Wafa was bombed to rubble, medical staff have been treating their patients in a secondary location and are raising funds to rebuild the main hospital.’

    A medic who has visited Gaza this year wrote:

    ‘Yes. Al wafa hospital is completely flat apart from two small trees in the patients’ garden.’

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Cheers, Nevermind. The thing is, Nevermind, the Pakistan Army will never be a source of salvation for the Pakistani people – it is the main problem, actually. There is no chance of such insurrection internally. if that were going to happen, it would’ve happened during the 68 years since Pakistan was created. During this time, apart from at the very start and for a brief window post-1971 (after the comprehensive defeat in the Bangladesh war of Independence when the Pakistan Army was widely discredited within Pakistan and many of its soldiers were POWs in Indian POW camps), the Army has been the de facto ruler. Zulfiqar Bhutto – intelligent, charismatic, corrupt, feudal landowning, bullying, crony rhetorical ‘socialist’, could have taken the Army out of Pakistani politics duing the 1971-73 period. But he did not want to and so did no – and of course he paid the ultimate price for that catastrophic error of judgement. But the people of Pakistan have been paying for this before and ever since.

  • Mary

    Good luck to this Spanish nun, Sister Teresa. I hopen she succeeds. The people have suffered enough.

    Homily to Catalonia: the nun entering Spain’s regional politics
    Sister Teresa Forcades hopes to change a ‘sick society’ by leading a leftwing movement that could bring together parties as diverse as Podemos and the Catalan republican left
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/07/homily-to-catalonia-nun-entering-spains-regional-politics

    ‘In 2013, she and the economist Arcadi Oliveres launched Procés Constituent, a social movement guided by a manifesto calling for an independent Catalonia, where banks and energy companies would be nationalised and all citizens would have the right to a home and a dignified wage. “From the beginning it was a project to politicise what had become something real in the streets; a social majority that wanted to stop the neoliberal politics that were happening in Spain,” she said.’

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Mary

    “UN Spurns Palestinian Children. Ban Ki-moon Decides Not to Include Israel in the List of Violators of Children’s Rights
    1 hour ago

    Ban Ki-moon’s decision not to include Israel on the list of violators of children’s rights twists the knife in the heart of every Palestinian parent, making it very clear that in the eyes of the United Nations, Palestinian children’s lives don’t count.”
    ____________________

    Firstly, Ban Ki-moon’s decision relates not to “Israel” but to the Israeli Defence Force.

    I’m sure that this error of fact by Mary’s source (the egregious and important-sounding “Global reseach” outfit) was entirely inadvertent.

    Interestingly enough, Russia Today makes the same “error”.

    Secondly : in order to be able to comment on the non-inclusion of the IDF, it would be helpful if we knew which countries and groups ARE on the list.

    Unfortunately, the “Global research” article quoted by Mary remains silent on this point.

    Perhaps this is inadvertent, perhaps deliberate, but it does make making comparisons and exercising judgement difficult.

    Since you seem interested in this particular issue, Mary, perhaps you could fond out who IS on the UN list?

    Once you’ve done that and posted your findings here, we can examine this issue further?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Mary

    You do realise, of course, that independence for Catalonia (a relatively prosperous region) would spell the end of the inter-regional financial transfers in favour of poorer regions in Spain, don’t you.

    In other words, the Catalans would get to keep all of “their” money and regions like Murcia and Estremadura would become poorer.

    +++++++++++++++++++++

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Lysias, at 7:54pm today, wrt the child abuse issue, just out today in the excellent Lobster magazine, a feature on it. The whole thing is sickening. I think the author of the piece is correct – unlike with many things, on this occasion, post-Savile et al, there is not really public hysteria about all this, there is rather a deep-seated sense of unease, a sense that something is rotten deep within the core of the state. The alleged Security Service and possible Cabinet involvement in facilitating/instrumentalising/covering-up and the threats issued to anyone who questioned it all, are particularly disturbing.

    http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster70/lob70-child-abuse-network.pdf

  • lysias

    Two recent books that I recommend on the events of 1971 in East Bengal: The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide, and Srinath Raghavan’s 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh.

  • Andrew

    Many Baluchis want independence from Pakistan and there is a Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) which is considered a “terrorist” organization by the UK (and, presumably, by Pakistan).

    In Britain, anyone “inviting support” for the BLA – or even “wearing clothes or carrying articles in public” which give rise to “reasonable suspicion” that they support the BLA – faces up to 10 years in prison !!

    http://insidetime.org/resources/RESOURCES/ListProscribedOrganisations_Feb14.pdf

    Incidentally, Pakistan and China apparently have big plans for Baluchistan, including a Chinese naval base and free trade zone, according to:

    http://balochwarna.com/2015/02/22/baloch-liberation-struggle-a-deterrent-to-china-pakistan-pact/

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, China is big on Balochistan 9and on pakistan in general – see under ‘Karakoram Highway’ for an iconic monument to this sort of special relationship). It’s always been an interesting counterweight to the USA in relation to Pakistan – not at all in the military sense, but as ever with China (think of Africa, where China actually is doing some good as it sees its own interests reside in such projects), in the business and cultural, infrastructure areas.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    But it’s important to remember also that the separatism and rivalry b/w provinces in Pakistan has always been stoked by the rulers, as a divide-and-rule tactic: Sindhis versus ‘Mohajirs’ – ‘immmigrants (from India), punjabis versus Pushtuns and so on. All self-defeating, of course.

  • lysias

    Suhayl, very interesting article. The possibility of the security services using sexual depravity (which allegedly goes as far as murder) to blackmail politicians is the most disturbing possibility.

  • RobG

    @Nevermind
    8 Jun, 2015 – 10:23 am

    With regard to Fukushima, I sometimes feel like a goldfish in a fish tank. The tank’s leaking badly and as the level goes down the water becomes more and more murky and clouded and polluted. I keep telling my fellow goldfish that things aren’t good and eventually there’ll be no liquid left in the tank. My fellow goldfish scream back at me that I’m insane, because they can still swim in water, even if it is a bit murky and makes lots of them ill; and of course the Daily Fish tells them that everything is ok and normal, and the Piscean Wars are to protect them from the really evil fish who swim in different ways, and the reason so many goldfish are dropping dead from disease is because they live long and have such wonderful lives.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/06/150605-sea-lion-deaths-stranding-california-ocean-animal-science/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

  • Mary

    I might try and FIND out who is on that UN list. It will not change the fact though that Israel has been excluded from the list.

    Nothing to say except to diss the Global Research site?
    Nothing to say on the destruction of Al Wafa hospital either?

    Facts are facts.

    Here is another.

    John Hilley has been blocked on Stephen Fry’s Twitter.

    ‘Israel has every right to resist coming to an accommodation with Palestine while it is led by Hamas’.

    ‘Complicit liberal-speak: Stephen Fry says the ‘unsayable’ about Israel’s ‘right’ over Palestinians
    8 June 2015

    In a feature at the New Statesman inviting notable figures to ‘say the unsayable’, Stephen Fry has this to say:

    ‘Israel has every right to resist coming to an accommodation with Palestine while it is led by Hamas.’

    Although a signatory to Jews for a Just Palestine, many readers will have felt deep disappointment in Fry’s comments. Given his very apparent capacity for understanding the real issues around Palestine-Israel, it seemed entirely appropriate and responsible for this writer to respond with the perfectly sayable: “Shameful words from @stephenfry”. ‘

    http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/complicit-liberal-speak-stephen-fry.html

  • RobG

    @Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)
    8 Jun, 2015 – 9:50 pm

    With regard to Catalonia, you seem to be reading the exact same script that the British Establishment came out with in the run-up to the Scottish referendum. You lot seem to run by clockwork.

    And since you love Chunky Mark so much, here’s his latest:

    Guess who the boss of SERCO is? OMG!!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5AOgsjSSwE

    Contracted private corporations charge the US military 100 bucks for a spade; but I won’t bore you with links in case it disrupts the nether nether world you inhabit as you masturbate over portraits of Margaret Thatcher, whilst dissecting small creatures with a blunt and rusty scapel that a corporation charged you fifty quid for, whilst telling you to watch Benefits Street and saying that wealth trickles down, and this won’t happen if wealthy people are made to pay any tax, etc, etc, etc.

  • OldMark

    ‘And far from being ‘a Zionist plot’, “the creation of Bangladesh in 1971″ was mostly a direct consequence of the cultural oppression of the Bengali people of East Pakistan from 1947-70 and later, in 1971, the genocidal actions of the Pakistani military junta. The USA under Nixon supported the Pakistani military junta in its actions, btw.’

    Also Kissinger, then Nixon’s National Security Advisor, was aghast at the prospect of the country winning independence in 1971, and famously predicted it would become an ‘international basket case’.

  • lysias

    RobG, They can’t have an independent Catalonia. It would be too much of an example to the Scots.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Lysias, at 10:44pm today. Thanks. I know, it’s horrifying. yet it would fit with the type of modus operandum – threats, blackmail, destroying people and so on, to protect the powerful, that people like Roderick Russell have been alleging for years.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    technicolour 8 Jun, 2015 – 1:01 pm : “Fair enough! One thing, would you be very kind and summarise a few of the salient things you’ve learnt?”
    Mainly the situation in Ukraine, and relations between the West and Russia. If it weren’t for JG and RD (and Macky), the Ukraine would have drifted off my radar. After the initial bloodshed, the MSM has studiously presented a nothing-much-to-see-here-except-Russian-empire-building narrative. But thanks to the efforts of those stalwarts, I know much about the build-up to the conflict, and that the present cease-fire is anything but.

    Here’s how the perpetual RD-JG squabble works for me: Each challenges everything the other one says. If certain facts central to the argument remain unchallenged or unconvincingly refuted, I can be fairly confident that they are true. Thus I believe that the US spent years and $billions engineering this conflict and that the leaked phone taps of Victoria Nuland are genuine and prove US involvement. Sometimes the evidence is less clear-cut in which case both sides are exhaustive in their attempts to present evidence supporting their theory. In such a case – eg who were the snipers on the rooftops – I can be fairly confident that all the relevant evidence has been made available to me and I can make my own judgement – they were probably working to a Western agenda to escalate the violence and bring about a crisis leading to a change of government.

    Me :“Still can’t make my mind up about the combine-harvester/missile launcher controversy though. Would you mind running the main points past me again, chaps?”

    Dreoilin 8 Jun, 2015 – 1:16 pm : “I didn’t think there were any points. I thought it was a satellite photograph.”
    I was joking, Dreoilin. They argued for months over that one. I thought I’d stir it up again for a laugh. However I tend to favour the combine-harvester theory on the grounds that if Russia really had moved in such large war equipment, there would be better proof of it by now than a grainy picture.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Mary
    09/06/2015 11:07pm

    “Say the unsayable” in the New Statesman? That is so sad, it’s funny. I would think any member of this forum, in five minutes, could think up half a dozen things (whether they believed them or not) which the New Statesman wouldn’t publish in a million years. In fact, there’s probably a list of things the celebrities are not allowed to say in their “say the unsayable” pieces.

    I am sorry (but unsurprised)to read about John Hilley being blocked. He’s a tremendous guy.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • The Majid Ali Test

    “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

    …except of course national security! or… distaste for swarthy immigrants, or…

    That’s how the UK is reneging on its commitment to the rock-bottom minimal legal standards of the civilized world.

    http://www.redress.org/downloads/publications/Non-refoulementUnderThreat.pdf

    The rules the UK agreed to are not abstruse:

    “1. No State Party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

    2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.”

    The UK government chisel on torture as they chisel on murder and aggression. They’ll never stop. The Scottish people are stuck in a disgraced pariah state. The question of identity is not national but moral: Who do you want to be? Do you want to be subject to blackmailed pedophiles raping, torturing, and murdering for American masters, or do you want rights and rule of law?

  • RobG

    @Lysias
    8 Jun, 2015 – 11:32 pm

    I believe the Spanish Government’s treatment of Catalonia has been far worse than that of Westminster to the Scots. Spain of course is a much larger country and has a history of invasions, not just from the Moors but also from the French.

    What’s now known as the EU was set-up to try and prevent all this murder and mayhem.

  • Rehmat

    Suhayl Saadi – Lol…. Can you enlighten the readers here, “why when someone criticizes – it’s has to be anti-Semitism?”

    What’s the difference between ‘Antisemitism’ and ‘Anti-Semitism’? The Berlin-born Jewish professor Shmuel Almog (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), has claimed that the term with hyphen and without it has different meanings. The term ‘Antisemitism’ was coined by Wilhelm Marr in the 1870s. It was applied to European Christians who hated Jews. However, when it’s written with hyphen ‘Anti-Semitism’ – it means hatred toward Semite people who are found in far greater numbers among Arab Muslims and Christians than the entire world Jewry.

    Incidently, professor Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok (University of Wales) who has authored three books on Jew-hatred (The Crucified Jew: Twenty Centuries of Christian Antisemitism and Antisemitism: A History and The Paradox of Antisemitism) has always used the term without hyphen.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/11/27/antisemitism-vs-anti-semitism/

  • Mary

    RobG Contracted private operator fouls up in US. In the UK too.

    Devonport nuclear base warned over safety
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-33051905

    ‘Babcock has been ordered “to bring the arrangements up to an acceptable standard” before the end of January 2016.

    The ONR said five other incidents broke safety rules between October and December last year.

    They were:
    ◾Radioactive coolant was mistakenly discharged into a submarine reactor compartment
    ◾Torpedo tubes on a docked submarine were found to be “configured in contravention of safety instructions aimed at keeping the boat watertight”
    ◾A nuclear evacuation alarm was tested “at the wrong time”
    ◾A forklift truck carrying oil gained “unauthorised access” to a dock
    ◾Safety maintenance of a dockside crane was delayed beyond the “maximum tolerance date”

    The ONR also reported “shortfalls in the operation of the emergency monitoring vehicles” during a nuclear submarine accident exercise.’

    Apart from the dangers to the environment, the population of Plymouth (256,000 in the last census} is put at risk. The combined population of Devon and Cornwall is 1.6 million.

    Babcock.
    Read to see what how much control they have acquired.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babcock_International#2000_to_2010
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babcock_International#2010_to_present

    Interesting names and faces inc Omand ex GCHQ and Randall ex BBC.
    http://www.babcock.co.uk/about-us/the-board/

  • Mary

    Will Ms Fairhead, chair BBC Trust, get the chop along with the 20,000 unfortunate HSBC employees?

    HSBC To Axe Thousands Of Jobs In UK
    HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, is planning to cut 20,000 jobs around the world as it refocuses its business on Asia.
    http://news.sky.com/story/1498660/hsbc-to-axe-thousands-of-jobs-in-uk

    I noticed some HSBC representation at the forthcoming Bilderberg gathering in the form of Douglas Flint, chairman and Stuart Levey, chief legal officer, HSBS Holdings plc.

    In the list I also spotted Richard Perle, of PNAC infamy, and JINSA and Henry Jackson Society too for good measure.

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