In early 2012, brothers Noordin and Bhawal Mengal decided to make a film about the ongoing human rights crisis in Balochistan, a large province in south-western Pakistan. The producers commissioned a British filmmaker, David Whitney, to make the film with their help.
After a lengthy development phase, shooting began on the “The Line of Freedom” in September 2012. The cast and crew braved high temperatures in the desert and mountains to shoot this short film at an undisclosed location.
After the production stage, editing commenced in The UK and the film was completed in late 2012.
The central character of the film is Nasir Dagaarzai who was abducted, tortured and murdered by Pakistani military as part of its “Kill and Dump” policy and Dirty War against Baloch people.
Balochistan (literally meaning Land of the Baloch) is a mountainous and arid desert region situated at the tri-juncture of the Middle East, South Asia and Central Asia. A resource rich province at the mouth of the Persian Gulf that was once an independent state, Balochistan now straddles across Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is the largest, but most backward, under-developed and strife-torn province of Pakistan.
The secular Baloch people have faced successive dismissals of elected democratic governments by Islamabad and repeated military operations by the Pakistan army, which is traditionally and predominantly Punjabi, in 1948-52, 1958-60, 1962-63, 1973-77, with the most recent military operation beginning in 2005. However, this time Pakistan misused US-supplied weapons meant to counter the Taliban and turned this arsenal on the Baloch. Once again a war is raging for the heart and soul of Balochistan, and its victims are usually innocent men, women and children.
Map showing Balochistan location relative to Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan
The distinguishing feature of this fifth insurgency in Pakistan is its battlefield. It resembles none of the previous, for this time Pakistan’s military and proxy forces wage their efforts quite literally on the bodies of Balochistan’s youth and activists. Unable to quell the movement or capture or eliminate its leaders, armed forces and intelligence agencies take out their frustration on soft and easily accessible targets—students, teachers, intellectuals, lawyers, political and human rights activists. Enforced disappearances are endemic. Young and old go missing for months or years on end and in hundreds of cases, their bullet-riddled, tortured and often unrecognizable bodies turn up on roadsides. This practice has been called Pakistan’s ‘kill and dump’ policy and both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have provided documentation of numerous cases. High levels of intimidation, harassment, arrest and torture are carried out against opposition supporters. Peaceful protestors have been suppressed, political representatives have been detained unlawfully, and freedom of expression and assembly is totally restricted for the Baloch. However, Pro-Taliban Pashtun groups that despise Baloch nationalists have complete freedom to promote their ideology with the tacit support of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies.
This unofficial practice is but one in a long string of failed official policies towards this provincial member of the Pakistan federation. Following the British division of India and the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Balochistan—then referred to as Kalat—was also recognized as an independent state, news of which was reported even in the New York Times. Pakistan, however, spent the subsequent year cajoling some Baloch tribal chiefs, making backroom deals and prying away Balochistan’s territory. After the upper and lower houses of the Baloch parliament unanimously rejected Pakistan’s proposal, Pakistan forced Balochistan’s accession at gunpoint on the 27th March, 1948, almost doubling Pakistan’s landmass.
This landmass proved rich in minerals, oil and gas, but the wealth derived from these resources has never been equitably distributed to the people of Balochistan. Baloch gas has fueled Pakistan’s most populous and dominant province of Punjab since 1953, but reaches only a handful of selected areas of Balochistan. While the first Baloch insurgency led by Abdul Karim Baloch in 1948 was sparked by the issue of political sovereignty, subsequent insurgencies embraced issues of development, rights to resources and autonomy. With the military’s killings of revered Baloch leaders Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in 2006 and Balach Marri in 2007, however, grievances evolved from talk of ‘divorce’ into a full-blown demand for independence on the part of the political groups and many within the general population.
Baloch film industry is not that much remarkable to catch the consideration and interests from the viewers worldwide in order to convey an authentic message that to be based on a real story needs to be telecasted either in English or Urdu languages. It is the first time we are seeing a film that is wholly based on balochs and its land being televised in an influential language where the transcript is related to the daily base harassment of Baloch sons but the characters are being performed by other actors which seem something new in the history of Baloch. It is the first film that relates with Baloch and its land exploitation where the human rights violation has reached to a stage very condemnable. This film of 30 minutes has been fashioned, written and directed by a Britain director David Whitney who was also the director of Qanahdar Break (a film) produced on the bases of Afghanistan cold war. The producer of this film is Nooruddin Mengal, Mir Bhawal Mengal and David Whitney.
The Line of freedom is one of the films that make a history in the film industries where it clarifies some realities after the withdrawal of British troops from sub continent.
It takes us back to the past when the British Empire withdrew from the subcontinent and the region split into two new states namely India and Pakistan after which a tumult of exploitation begin to burn off.
During this partition there came a great turmoil in the region on the bases of sectarian differences as there were living different sects and the acquisition sort of prejudice between the Muslims and Hindu kicked off at the jiffy of this heinous partition. This film which indicates towards many more realities can attract the human rights organization including the committee that claimed to resist any violation of human rights worldwide. It is deprecation for Pakistani government whose image has already gotten dusted and Pakistan well undoubtedly be getting perplexed it at which is a clear and transparent view of her intelligence and army.
The autonomous and mineral rich region of Baluchistan declared its sovereignty and independence, however after a little passage of time in 1948, Baluchistan has been overruled by Pakistan. This region has been worst target of tyranny as comprised of just minerals and a coast of nearly 700kms. Being the gate of Strait of Hormuz its importance getting very keen interests from international powers as well. This is a clear cut view of exploitation in it as well being shown bravely.
In the whole story, Gwadar port at the apex of the Arabian Sea and at the mouth of the Persian Gulf has a very great value that china in collaboration of Pakistani concerned authority has started a plane of taking it into the hands permanently. It is situated on the eastern bay of a natural hammerhead-shaped Peninsula protruding into the Arabian Sea from the coastline.
Gwadar Port is situated near the strategic Strait of Hormuz and its busy trading and oil shipping lanes. The surrounding region is home to around two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves. It is also the nearest warm-water seaport to the landlocked, but energy rich, Central Asian Republics and landlocked Afghanistan. Baluchistan is a land very genocide is being accompanied by genocide and human rights hostilities reaching to a point that is far-fetched.
Baloch needs such more documentaries be based on real tale in order to compel the international bodies taking prompt action which is much needed and worth mentioning expedition as passing a life of suppression.
Baloch nation and its insurgency claim the states hostility is to eradicate and weak the whole nation at the every norms of life that it not be able to move ahead. This is the cause and reason tried to be disclosed in the tale.
The colonial systems and exploitation of minerals and other valuable things got start over the next 60 years. The massacre against Baloch nation has already taken thousands of lives and over to six thousands people are missing. The film of 30 minutes indicates the brutalities and atrocities of Pakistan machineries from the day the region has been taken into the claws of acquisition.
The line of freedom can create a great message internationally to those all nations and organization claimed for the maintenance of human rights and to protect the atrocities and illegal acquisition and expeditions from the ruling force.
The story has been shown in this film is a true tale regards with abduction, massacre, killing and a dump polices, where the Baloch students and political activists are being abducted exceedingly.
The convincing tale of this transcript relates with a Baloch student, Nasir Ali Dagarzai who was once kidnapped along with his three friends at a home in Panjgoor. After months missing Nasir Baloch’s brutally snubbed body with a dead body of a friend found in a deserted area. Nasir was in a critical condition and taken for a treatment to Quetta where he was taken into keen sights of intelligence and observing situations the family felt it danger for Nasir but they thought as he being a student nothing happening pessimistic kept the victim in open eyes.
Resultantly after recovering from wounds he was taken to the home but unfortunately on the way to it he was again kidnapped and disappeared for months and his dumped body was found near Quetta.
States atrocities and brutalities, abduction and killings since the day of taking over the Baloch independent land getting increased day by day and this film well be the one clearing the secrets and realities of states.
It declares realities that how the students are being abducted and tortured in the prisons and what are being called in the light of religion, very shameful and the rude behaviors from the army has been disclosed in the whole story which is incredible.
What are the ways the Baloch being treated it has attempted to show it as well in the form Army behaviors to call the Baloch terrorists and non Muslim as declaring their utmost hate during custody. The killing and dump policy which has affected almost every Baloch is one of the realities shown in the film.
At all, this is a film with a very real and fascinating tale. Such sorts of brutalities and behaviors link with every individual who has born over there in the land of Balochistan and a Baloch’s home. This has as well unveiled the courageousness of baloch when they are label as terrorists or the adversary of Almighty but say they are not doing any thing wrong, if rising a finger is a offense, in order to protect or demands the basic rights so baloch are terrorists but none can eradicate the whole nation by killing and dump policies exposed in the film very conspicuously.
Hats off to my Baloch nation,I am proud to be a baloch
I am proud to be a baloch
Because i don’t fear
I am proud to be a baloch
because i am free
I am proud to be a baloch
because i am BALOCH,MY LANUGAE IS BALOCHI AND MY LAND IS BALOCHISTAN,,,,
If thousands of my baloch brothers are abducted,mutilated and torchered i swear billion times i will raise my voice and raise my voice against the brutual acts of PK army,i promise if my neck is cut,my hands are cut still i will raise the flag of my nation:
LONG LIVE BALOCHISTAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!