Balochi residents will soon be able to see their gravesite.
But in the meantime, the Nanda Ghat cemetery is keeping a guard of honor to keep the gates open for visitors.
The gates of the Nandi Ghat, which sits on the banks of the River Bagh in Baluchistan, have been shut since a landslide in October.
Residents of the village of Kacha have been waiting for months for the gates to be opened.
The gates of Nandi were reopened only in January.
“I was expecting them to open.
I was happy,” says a villager.
“But now I have no hope,” says another villager, who also wants to see his father’s grave.
The Nand gates were opened in December, but the gates of Kajab Khan, where a family is buried, have remained closed since December 2016.
Balochistan authorities have said that they are planning to reopen the gates at the beginning of March.
But residents say the government should do it sooner rather than later.
“The authorities should have opened the gates in January,” says an elderly woman.
We are here to celebrate their lives,” she says. “
We are here for our father, our grandfather and our great grandfather.
We are here to celebrate their lives,” she says.
“We have been expecting the gates for a long time,” she adds.
“Our father was a labourer who worked in Khashmir.
We all hope that the gates will open soon.”
“We have a history of people who were killed in this area,” says the elderly woman who was waiting in line.
“I hope that we can go back to our homes,” she added.
Balochis, who number about 3.5 million people, are a predominantly Shia Muslim community and face discrimination and harassment at the hands of the government.
The Balochis have faced discrimination from both the security forces and the Pakistani military in recent years.
Pakistan’s military said in 2015 that the Balochs were being “terrorized” by the Taliban, but Baloch villagers say that the same military forces are targeting their land.
According to the Baluch Times, the Baluchestan Government has blamed the “foreign elements” for the “terrorism.”
Baloch officials and residents blame the Pakistani government for the rising tensions in the region, saying that Pakistan has failed to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 498, which calls for the establishment of an independent and impartial Baloch State.
In August 2016, Baloch people were outraged when a group of Pakistani troops, supported by the US, invaded Baloch-majority Kashmir and began firing on them in the disputed territory.
A UN Security Report released in 2017 found that the Pakistani troops “have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, including violations of the laws of war and international humanitarian norms,” and were committing war crimes.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, responded to the UN report in a statement in October 2017, calling it “a false and baseless report.”
The Baluchis, however, claim that Pakistan and the US have been “destroying our country for many years,” and have “sabotaged Baloch and other ethnic minorities.”
The Baluch people are also facing “extensive” discrimination at the border with Afghanistan.
This past December, Baluch activists staged a sit-in in front of the border gates of Kandahar to demand the release of their brother and sister, who are still held in Afghanistan.