While doing research for my trip to Iraq in 2007, I came across an article written by independent Basque journalist Karlos Zurutuza. He was one of the very few sources I could find who’d been there recently and did so alone, not in uniform. Since then, he’s continued to travel to places that make this blogger, and surely our Coming Anarchy readers, rather jealous. Like us, he is drawn to conflict zones and approaches them with the preparation, research and sense of adventure that we do. Two of his recent articles (and especially photos) are worth reading.
The first involves Balochistan, a region that has been overlooked and wrongly so. He spent some time with separatists and has a fantastic article and pictures to show for it.
PAKISTAN’S OTHER INSURGENTS
A Day in the Desert With Baloch Guerrillas
Just a few of the Baloch soldiers who patrol one of the most inhospitable deserts in the world. From left: Umit, two unidentified fighters, Girok, and Mir. The departure point was in Pakistani Balochistan. Our hosts, a patrol of Baloch guerrillas, requested that we be no more specific than that.
The driver and his passenger had their faces wrapped tightly so that only their eyes showed. Before we began the trip deep into the desert, Said (my contact) and I were blindfolded for “security reasons.” For two hours we rode like this, our eyes covered, in a 4×4 with tinted windows. “Paadha, Baloch,” a popular tune, hissed on the car stereo the entire time: “Wake up, Baloch, we’re at war!”
Second, he writes about a little known Christian section of Quetta.
Meet Quetta’s ‘Untouchable’ Christians
They embraced the religion of their invaders to escape the caste system that had condemned them to a miserable existence. But Karlos Zurutuza reports on how, centuries later, Christians in the Taliban stronghold of Quetta are once again becoming ‘untouchables.’
Dubbed ‘Little London’ when still under British rule, Quetta, in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province, was levelled to the ground by an earthquake in 1935. Yet, although the physical evidence of the city’s colonial heritage was lost in the temblor, reminders remain of the British legacy–locals still add milk to their tea, for example, and when they take to the roads they drive (nominally at least) on the left.
Read the rest here.