Various times history of Baloch cameleers in Australia has been identified but very few updated themselves with the achievements of Overseas Pakistani-Baloch. Unfortunately, most of the news mediums are busy reporting on politics therefore any positive news gets neglected.
Miss Rida Aleem Khan belongs to a Nutkani-Tangwani Baloch clan with roots to Dera Ghazi Khan. Her grandfather Dr. Ghulam Fareed Khan was a graduate of Aligarh Muslim University and the first doctor of not just D.G Khan but nearby villages. Dr. Ghulam Fareed Khan was born in Hairo, and very few people know that back in the day, Hairo had high literacy rate and today we have a town called “Harrow” in Australia, the namesake of Hairo.
Rida’s childhood was a mix of visiting her farmland in Fareedabad, living in the staff colony of Bahauddin Zakariya University as her father Prof. Dr. Aleem Ahmed Khan was an employee and now the current Pro-Vice Chancellor of the university. She ended up living in Japan and growing up in rural Australia with other descendants of the Baloch cameleers.
“Living in different cultures taught me to celebrate multiculturalism. It was the only way to fight against discrimination based on race and religion,” said Rida.
“Having a Baloch father and Punjabi mother made me a proud Pakistani. However, the Balochi-speaking separatists in Australia made fun of me taunting me that what kind of a Baloch I am if I do not speak Balochi even though I spoke Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese and far better English and Urdu than them.”
In mid-2020, while we were all struggling during COVID19 lockdown in Victoria, I received immense amount of online abuse from Baloch separatists leading to a nervous breakdown and I have been on counselling since.”
“A video was put up online by Baloch separatists calling me a Saraiki girl, another put crosses all over my pictures of holding a Pakistani flag supporting our cricket team at the Marvel Stadium and further crossed a picture of me with Fatima Jinnah’s portrait. If you do not support Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and call yourself a proud Pakistani-Baloch, you get abused daily by separatists.
During this time, I saw an opportunity to participate in Miss South Asia Australia pageant to help boost self-esteem and decided to join Blue Knot Foundation as a Multicultural Ambassador, an organisation that helps adult survivors of complex trauma.”
“I am a proud Pakistani-Australian-Muslim-Baloch girl and I am resilient. I will continue to spread love instead of hatred. I will continue to unite everyone under the umbrella of multiculturalism and stand against separatism”said Rida
To learn more about Rida’s work, visit: https://ridaaleemkhan.com
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