Social movements and representatives of regional networks based in the Philippines held a peaceful demonstration today in front of the Pakistani Embassy in Makati City, Philippines, calling for the immediate release of detained Pakistani leader Saeed Baloch, of Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF).
Mr. Saeed has been working for the rights of the fisher folk and challenging/confronting a number of state policies and those of the Fisherman’s Cooperative Society (FCS). The FCS has become notorious for its fund embezzlement and human trafficking, organized crimes in connivance with the Pakistan Rangers. Mr. Saeed has time and again raised his voice against the corruption which resulted in his arrest.
Pakistan must release Mr. Saeed Baloch immediately. Mr. Baloch was arrested on 16 January by the Pakistan Rangers, who works under the command of the Pakistan Army.
Mr. Baloch is a Human Rights activist since the 1980'ies. He was associated with the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), that works to protect the socioeconomic and political rights of the indigenous fisherfolk communities in the country, since its inception. Baloch is also one of the senior members of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
The tenth Ministerial Conference (MC10) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) concluded today, a day after its scheduled duration. Those of us who were in Nairobi, however are still contemplating how it is possible to have a successful outcome despite the fundamental differences among members on crucial issues. How come the MC10 which was at one point on the verge of collapse sailed through? Why a country like India with a 1.2 billion population was silenced and forced to accept a BAD deal compromising its policy space and above all its sovereignty?
Afsar Jafri, Focus on the Global South, Nairobi, 17th December 2015:
This new edition of Nyeleni focuses on why and how "Forests, elds, hill/mountain slopes, wetlands and water bodies — which include rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and seas--are integral to the lives, cultures and economies of rural communities all over the world. They are crucial repositories of biodiversity and literally sustain life...and as spaces for knowledge and education..."-- from Shalmali Guttal's editorial. Ms Guttal, Executive Director of Focus, is the issue editor.
By Afsar Jafri
Text and Photos by Joseph Purugganan