WDF declares country-wide solidarity protests on 4 and 5 June, answering call from Bramsh Yakjehti Committee
WDF calls on all progressive political parties and organisations in Pakistan to declare country-wide solidarity protests
On Tuesday, 26 May, a militia group brutally murdered the mother, Maliknaz, shooting and injuring her four-year old girl, Bramsh, in Dannuk, Kech, Balochistan. Bramsh remains in the hospital, asking for a mother who will never return, joining thousands of others Baloch children who have been parted from their parents before their time. The militia group responsible for the murder, run by the local Sameer Sabzal, is widely suspected of being one of several “death squads” run in Turbat with the support of security and political state representatives. The violence meted out against Bramsh reflects a wider pattern of state-sanctioned violence that has been ongoing in Balochistan for decades including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial kilings, displacements, and army operations. These must must be immediately addressed: A political, not a military, solution must be sought.
In this joint statement by WDF Federal President Ismat Shahjahan, General Secretary Alya Bakhshal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Unit President Mumtaz Tajik, Balochistan Unit President Alya Bakhshal, and General Secretary Farkhanda Aslam, Sindh Unit President Marvi Latif, and Lahore Unit Convener Minerwa Tahir express their solidarity with the Bramsh Yakjehti Committee and #JusticeForBramsh campaign.
1. Declares country-wide protests through all WDF units. WDF units will join existing protests in Quetta (4 June) and Karachi (5 June) called by the Bramsh Yakjehti Committee; organise separate on-the-street protests where possible; and organise online solidarity campaigns where street protests are not possible.
2. Calls on all progressive parties to stand by little Bramsh.
WDF also supports the demands of the Bramsh Yakjehti Committee, including:
3. Arrest of Sameer Sabzal, the man who murdered Maliknaz and shot the little 4-year old, Bramsh.
4. End to state-induced forced displacement.
5. End to collective punishment.
6. End to military operations against IDPs.
7. Investigation into mass graves carried out by “death squads” (including Shafeeq Mengal, Kambar Mengal, Koni Khan, Rashid Pathan)
The WDF recognises vigilante groups like state-backed “death squads” in Balochistan as part of a broader continuum of state terror. This continuum includes “death squads” allowed to roam free by the state, an overdeveloped military state, and an imperial war machine that has funded it. The campaign to stand by Bramsh began as our black sisters and brothers march against police brutality in America. It is a reminder that police violence in America is linked to imperial violence in our region, where American wars and American backing for our militarised state is what keeps us all living under ongoing conditions of violence, from Balochistan to America.
The WDF remains concerned with the selective outrage shown by progressive organisations and individuals across Pakistan. This selective outrage reflects a “structure of feeling” which means progressives only speak up when violence is meted out against people in the cities, and in the middle and upper classes. The WDF calls for multinationalist, socialist, and feminist solidarity across all classes, nations, and genders in Pakistan, and calls for anyone who is fighting for more liberated future to join forces with the #JusticeForBramsh campaign.
As a multinationalist, socialist, and feminist organisation, the WDF supports the right of all nations, including the Baloch, to autonomously decide on their own political future through democratic means. The WDF also condemns violence against women in all its forms, whether it be in the hands of a “death squad”, a patriarchal father or brother, in the name of custom, tradition, or religion, or – as the death of a young 7-year old domestic worker in the hands of her bosses showed us – in the hands of capitalism.
Women democratic front calls upon the left and the feminist groups to stand in solidarity for #JusticeForBramsh. Protests will be held on various cities and we urge members of WDF across the country to actively take part in it so far the protest schedule is
1. Quetta 4pm on 4th June
2. Karachi 3pm on 5th June
3. Lahore 4:30 pm on 5th June
4. Nasirabad protest on 7th June
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”