May 29, 2013

Balochistan: Complete Strike Observed In Commemoration Of Nuclear Explosions

Fifteen years ago, Balochistan witnessed nuclear tests on its territory leading to grave consequences. A “Black Day” was held to commemorate this, with Balochistan observing a complete strike.

Below is an article published by The Nation:

Black day and a complete shutter-down strike was observed in parts of Balochistan on Tuesday against May 28, 1998 nuclear tests in Chagai district.

Unlike other parts of the country where May 28 was observed as ‘Youm-e-Takbeer’, the day was observed as ‘black day’ in many parts of Balochistan.

Balochistan National Front had called for observing May 28 as black day. The call was backed by Baloch Warna Tehreek and other parties who termed the 1998 nuclear explosions a disaster for the people of Balochistan. They alleged that explosions inflicted untold miseries and healthcare issues on the people of Balochistan.

A complete strike was observed in Kech, Gwadar, Panjgur, Awaran, Kharan, Hub and other Baloch dominated areas of Balochistan. Traffic remained off roads and roads presented a deserted look. All major markets and businesss centres remained closed during the day.
Reportedly the nuclear explosions had resulted in outbreak of diseases and deaths of countless cattle head in the districts affected by their radiation effects. In these districts, livestock had been the main source of livelihood of the people.
Much to the dismay of locals, health facilities in these districts of Balochistan are negligible and due to lack of attention by successive governments, the experts believe the rays, emitted as a result of the explosion, proved to be a catalyst for pushing many numbers of people to death.

Many research studies have been produced since. These claim many congenital diseases in children in Chagai district and adjacent areas, including mal-formation of limbs or their loss in the later segments of their age. Undoubtedly, the explosions provided nuclear deterrence to the nation and made its security impregnable yet the issues of the people, who had been suffering as a result of them, need attention on war-footing.