BALOCHISTAN (MUST READ)

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Jaago
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BALOCHISTAN (MUST READ)

Post by Jaago » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:30 pm

(Balochistan has an area of 347,190 sq. km comprising 43% of Pakistan’s landmass. The population is 7,914,000 (4.5% of Pakistani population) with density of 23/ sq. km. The literacy rate is 19%).Balochistan is hot news these days. The stage for the present conflict was set in 2004. The trigger was human rights violations in the province pushed in the US Congress by Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher in 2012. The US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation under the Chairman Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher discussed Balochistan’ human rights issue (Syed, Wajid Ali. Hearing at last. The News Encore. February 19, 2012). This is American retaliation against Iran-Pak gas pipeline agreement. Balochistan issue has been now pushed into the open.The force behind Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher pushing Baloch agenda is 35th leader of Kalat Royal Family Suleiman Daud Khan who is supplying funds and information. Dr Wahid Baloch also known as Dostin W Baloch is the person lobbying for Balochistan freedom. His group was established in 2005 and has 100 members. There is American Friends of Balochistan headed by Ahmer Mustikhan, which is one-man show. There is also Balochistan National Party, US Chapter headed by Dr Tara Chand a former provincial minister. Also associated are Waheed Baloch and Akram Balch who were once politically active (Syed, Wajid Ali. The Baloch doctor behind the US push. The News. February 23, 2012).The media in Balochistan is under tight control of paramilitary Frontier Crop (FC) (60,000 soldiers) which monitors and censors news. The militants also threat violence against reporters, if they do not present their side of news (Cheema, Umar. Report highlights pathetic plight of the media in Balochistan. The News. February 27, 2012). In response to media interview with separatist leaders Harbyar Marri and Baramdagh Bugti the government is trying to put curbs on the media under the garb of national security (Hyat, Kamila. The long silence must be broken. The News. March 1, 2012). With news blackout we know very little of what is happening there. Is this going to East Pakistan again.Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani claims that separatists are not ready for talks and want independence. This would lead to civil war and disaster for the province. He also talked about ‘foreign hand’ behind the unrest (Shahid, Saleem. Secession to compound problem, says Raisani. Dawn. February 28, 2012).In response to Balochistan ‘emergency’ Interior Minister Rehman Malik prematurely declared immunity to Baloch leadership. Brahmandagh Bugti and Harbyar Marri rejected this. This is not the first time that Malik has been dishing out immunity to Baloch leaders. In any case later Rehman Malik partially retracted his statement.There is marked difference of statistics of violence of the government and Baloch opposition. Vice president of National Party Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo claimed that so far 360 bullet ridden bodies have been found and many more are missing. This should be stopped and people responsible should be brought to justice before any meaningful dialogue. Balochistan National Party president Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Mir Israrullah Zahri of Balochistan National Party (Awami) also rejected Rehman Malik’s offer. The exiled Baloch leaders claim that thousands of Baloch have disappeared allegedly by secret agencies and FC. They claimed that all this movement was due to the recent resolution for independence for Balochistan in the US Congress (Shahid, Saleem. Baloch leaders reject Malik’s off to quash cases. Dawn. February 25, 2012). Now after four years in power President Zardari sitting with the governor Balochistan Magsi admits wrong doings in the past. He wants to meet the Baloch leaders. Baloch rightly complain that their resources are being used elsewhere. The Sui Gas and Gawadar Port headquarters are in Karachi. With building of Gawadar Port and exploitation of mineral wealth the Bloch fear that they shall end up as a minority in their own country. The simmering unrest in Balochistan could be heard even in peaceful times. Other provinces are no better in corruption and uplift of the poor. Rulers have looted all provinces and not made Pakistan a better place for its people.Historical Baloch Resistance MovementsBalochistan was originally Kalat State (including Gawadar and Mekran). The Khan of Kalat came into contact with the British when the Indian Army crossed over the Bolan Pass into Afghanistan in 1838. The treaty of 1876 was crucial for Kalat whereby foreign affairs and defence was given over to the British. However Agent to the Governor General with his appointees Political Agents to other parts of the country held absolute power and made the Khan of Kalat a mere spectator in his own so called free country. The India Act of 1935 treated Kalat as any other Indian state with representation in the Federal Legislature (Rahman, SA. Balochistan’s accession to Pakistan. The Post. June 20, 2006).Balochistan has had a unique history during the British times. On 21st December 1861 Jam of Bela made an agreement with the British via a telegram allowing establishment of telegraph line for Rs 10,000 annually. The Khan of Kalat Mir Khudadad Khan on June 8, 1883 handed over Quetta and Niabat districts to the British for an annual payment of Rs 25,000. Sardar Mehrullah Khan Marri on 24th October, 1885 sold petroleum and other mineral rights to the British for Rs 300 to be increased to Rs 500 in perpetuity in the Marri area (Isa, QF. Facts about the crisis in Balochistan. Dawn. February 19, 2005).On May 24, 1946 a British Mission was sent to Khan of Kalat to prepare the case of Kalat impending termination of British rule in India. Quaid was the legal adviser to Kalat State. The Memorandum made Kalat a sovereign state. Kalat was to be an independent state with other Baloch regions such as Kharan, Lasbela, Marri, and Bugti as part of Kalat State. Kalat State reverted to pre 1838 and 1841 treaties with the British. The final agreement was held on August 4, 1947 at a round table conference in Delhi signed between Kalat and Pakistan. In this agreement Kalat was to be an independent state. A Standstill Agreement was also signed on August 11, 1947 by Pakistan and Kalat whereby Pakistan shall uphold all previous agreements with the British between 1838 and 1947. Kalat made declaration of independence on August 15, 1947 (Rahman, SA. Balochistan’s status at independence. The Post. May 22, 2006).On August 4, 1947 Baloch Kalat leadership handed over the territories to Pakistan. Prince Agha Abdul Karim Khan (b 1919) trained at Military Academy Dehra Dun in 1946 was the younger brother of Khan of Kalat and Governor of Mekran revolted in 1948 and asked for Greater Balochistan. He was also the adjutant in Kalat State Forces. In a deal with Pakistan the Sardar Mirbai Gichki of Mekran opted for Pakistan and Prince Karim was dismissed without any notice. This upset Karim who moved to Afghanistan and started a movement for free or autonomous Balochistan. He did manage to recruit 1,500-2,000 people (called Baloch Mujahedeen) in his lashkar. However he did not get support from the Khan of Kalat and soon Afghanistan also resented his activities on its soil and was asked to leave. His brother invited him back to Kalat. Karim retired to the mountains of Harboi near the Kalat city to wage guerrilla warfare. Maj Gen Akbar Khan (of Kashmir fame) was dispatched with 7th Baloch Regiment with paramilitary force. Karim with his 142 followers were captured. Prince Karim was first sent to Sibi jail then to Haripur jail. Abdul Gaffar Khan was also in jail there. He was sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 5,000 (Kundi, MA. First Baloch insurgency. Cutting Edge. April 28-May 5, 2006).But the upsetting time for Balochistan was when Pakistan declared ‘One Unit’ during the time of General Iskandar Mirza. This was the second uprising. A meeting of Iskandar Mirza with the Baloch Sardars was held on October 8, 1957 where various issues were discussed. The Baloch wanted that ‘One Unit’ should not be applied in Balochistan and their culture should continue with gradual change. The talks continued till October 1958 when Martial Law was proclaimed. On October 6, 1958 one brigade was moved into Kalat and no resistance was offered. It must be remembered that oil exploration was started in Sui in 1952 and large gas reserved were found in 1954. Akbar Bugti wanted the government to spend 5% of its earning in the Baloch uplift according to India Mining Act which was operative at that time. The government changed the rules and no money was allocated for the uplift. In 1959 Balochistan Underground Group was created to oppose ‘One Unit’. The leaders were Sher Mohammad Marri, Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, Sardar Attaullah Mangal, Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo, Abdul Wahid Kurd and Gul Khan Naseer. The 90 years old Nawab Naurose Khan Chief of Sarawan tribes retreated to the mountains. The army sent in Brigadier Tikka Khan (later known as Butcher of East Pakistan) to subdue the tribes. On May 15, 1959 it was agreed on the Koran by the government and Naurose to surrendered along with 150 followers in exchange for immunity. They were immediately jailed. On July 15, 1960 six of his nephews were executed. Naurose an old man died in detention in 1964. The military operation continued between 1963-69 in the Marri and Bugti areas. This was the third Baloch uprising led by Sher Mohammad Bijrani Marri to force Pakistan to share revenue form Sui gas exploitation. The uprising was ruthlessly curbed by the army and with Gen Yahya in power ‘One Unit’ was abolished and Balochistan recognised as the 4th province in 1970 (Wikipedia, 2012).The 4th Baloch uprising took place following Bangladesh breakaway in 1971. In the 1970 elections Baloch joined National Awami Party (NAP). NAP formed governments in NWFP and Balochistan. In February 1973 Bhutto dismissed the Baloch government of Attaullah Mengal (and the KP government) on trumpeted up charges of sedation and treason and in protest NAP government resigned. The PPP government installed Nawab Akbar Bugti’s government. Army was sent in to Marri-Bizenjo area, Kalat, Khuzdar, and Bugti areas. Between May 1973 and July1977 there was a civil war in Balochistan. Baloch fighters were led by Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri. The army lost 7,000 troops and Baloch civil losses were reported as 15,000. The Baloch resistance lost 160 men. In this war Shah of Iran gave moral and military support to Pakistan. NAP leadership and some 55 nationalist politicians were arrested along with student leaders in 1973. Subsequent insurgency was dealt with unleashing the army (Rahman, SA. Balochistan today. The Post. June 26, 2006).On March 1, 1976 Bhutto government abolished Sardari system and the National Assembly passed the System of Sardari (Abolition) Act. This was to finish Sardari system in Balochistan but in reality nothing changed. The insurgency continued till Gen Ziaul Haq overthrew ZA Bhutto in 1977. Gen Zia and his generals to promote their own political agenda revived the Sardari system. ‘Secret funds’ were used in buying the loyalties of the Sardars and the Sardars eliminated opposition through targeted killing. At the same time the Sardars and their dependents lived life of luxury at home and abroad (Isa, QF. Facts about the crisis in Balochistan. Dawn. February 19, 2005). The then martial law administrator Gen Rahimuddin declared amnesty to the Baloch leaders and dropped Hyderabad Conspiracy case. The army was withdrawn in 1978 and the insurgency immediately stopped. Rahimuddin was also responsible for economic uplift of the poor in the province. This brought peace in the area (Khan, Roedad. Our descent into chaos. The News. February 29, 2012). In response to hanging of ZA Bhutto by Gen Zia the simmering Sindhi nationalism was given a new life. Separation of Sindhudesh became an issue.Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri was brought to me at Mayo Hospital for medical check up from the jail. He repeatedly claimed that ZA Bhutto was a liar. In secret he was offering high positions to the jailed leaders but in public he condemned them as traitors.To maintain law and order and curb smuggling a force was raised in Balochistan. The Frontier Constabulary (FC) was created with the introduction of Sandeman system in 1877. This force was to assist civilian administration against the tribes. In 1947 FC comprised of Zhob Militia, Chagai and Mekran Rifles under the command of Inspector General FC in NWFP. In 1968 the strength was increased and made independent under the command of a Major General who was appointed by the GHQ. Presently Balochistan has 14 corps each with 3,000 to 4,000 men. Recently Dalbadin Rifles, Panjgur Rifles and Bolan Scouts have been raised through Kharan Rifles and Pishin and Mekran Scouts. Most men and officers recruited are from Punjab and NWFP. Five corps Chagai Militia, Zhob Militia, Pishin Scouts, Panjgur Rifles, Kharan and Mehran Rifles are essentially on border duty mainly stopping smuggling. For the border area Baloch smuggling is the only source of survival and people are allowed to import certain items not more than Rs 3,000. The FC is claimed to be highhanded in this respect (Kundi, MA. Controversial role of the FC in Balochistan. Cutting Edge. January 19-25, 2006).2004 Baloch uprising (5th)The recent conflict started in August 1, 2004 led by Nawab Akbar Bugti and Mir Balach Marri demanding greater autonomy in a 15 point demands (Hasan, Burhanuddin. Balochistan erupts again. The News. August 18, 2004). The Baloch Prime Minister Jamali was soon removed (Klasra, Rauf. Jamali bitter on his ouster from office. The News. August 18, 2004). On August 12, 2009 Mir Suleiman Dawood the Khan of Kalat declared himself as the ruler of independent Balochistan which also included the Iranian Balochistan but left out the Afghan Baloch area. The conflict is on going.In his interview on PTV (16th August, 2004) General Musharraf claimed that there was no army action in Balochistan. This was only action against miscreants by FC assisting the provincial government. He also defended establishment of three cantonments in Balochistan since it would provide employment to locals. This is a strange argument but not very convincing. We face no threat from Iran or Afghanistan yet. At the same time the newspapers were asking for a dialogue with the Baloch leadership (Balochistan: importance of a dialogue. Editorial; Hasan, B. Balochistan erupts again. The News. August 18, 2004). It seems that new Kohlu cantonment has been handed over to FC. The claim of no army presence in Balochistan has been repeated through to 2012.The source of Baloch retaliation given by the government sources is blaming a ‘foreign hand’. Jan Mohammad Yousaf Chief Minister of Balochistan claimed (30.8.04) that the unrest in the province was due to Indian Research and Intelligence Wing (RAW) operating camps in the country and Afghanistan. Al Qaeda was claimed to be not involved in the movement. The motive behind alleged Indian involvement is the Gawadar port and establishment of cantonments in the province (Causes of terrorism in Balochistan? Editorial. The News. September 1, 2004).To make matters worse incidence in Sui added fire to Baloch rage. On January 2, 2005 a lady doctor was raped was raped in her room at Sui hospital by Defence Security Guard personnel. She was later whisked away to Karachi. The details of the incidence were published in the Herald (Hasan, SS and Sabir, A. Selective justice. Herald 36: 59-60 (2005)). In reaction to this the BLA launched an attack at Sui instillations on January 7, 2005. Eight people were killed including three Defence Security Guards and 33 wounded in this operation. Official sources claim that between January 7 and 17, 2005 more than 450 rockets had been fired from both sides. Unofficially the figure was much higher. The provincial government of Balochistan called in the army and paramilitary force to ensure safety of gas supply. On January 15th Sui Southern Gas Company announced closure of the damaged gas purification plant, which led to load shedding in some major cities of Sindh and Balochistan (FAQs about Balochistan and the state. Editorial. The Friday Times. January 21-27, 2005; Khan, ME. Fires of Sui. The News Encore. January 21, 2005) and also Punjab.The already inflammable situation was worsened. Musharraf in his interview with Geo TV Channel (January 2005) openly threatened Baloch opposition by saying that they should relent or ‘they would not know what hit them’. There was an on-going tussle between the Baloch tribal leader of Bugti tribe (later joined by Marri tribe) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) regarding royalty from Sui. The Balochistan problem goes further back. In early 70s Bhutto sent in the army to put down Baloch nationalism but this had settled down. During the 2002 elections the army made sure that the religious parties win and the nationalists were put in the back seat. The Balochistan Liberation Army became the main resistance force against the army. There is severe resentment among the Balochi in the form of Gawadar Port Project and building of cantonments in Balochistan. These are federal projects, which would not help the Balochi out of abject poverty. It was claimed that only 2% of the people in Balochistan had gas connection. Meanwhile attacks on the gas facilities had produced load shedding in rest of Pakistan (FAQs about Balochistan and the state. Editorial. The Friday Times. January 21-27, 2005).On 20th January 2005 the paramilitary followed by the army moved into Sui tehsil of Dera Bugti district to flush out ‘militants’ and had arrested 80 suspects and demolished houses of ‘insurgents’. The army claimed that they were moving in to protect gas supplies from Sui. Jamhori Wattan Party (JWP) denounced the military invasion (Khan, ME. 80 arrested in Sui operation. The News. January 21, 2005). Besides JWP other nationalist parties are also in uproar such as National Party, Balochistan National Party and Baloch Haq Tawar.In May 2005 Parliamentary Committee on Balochistan headed by Senator Mushahid Hussain and Constitutional Committee chaired by Senator Wasim Sajjad presented their reports to PML-Q president Shujaat Hussain. It was recommended that the government should pay Balochistan government Rs 6 billion arrears in oil and gas royalties and also generate jobs for the people. Fifteen per cent of the amount would be spent on the socio-economic uplift of the people (Shalkh, S. Royalty, investment, jobs for Balochistan. The News. May 3, 2005). Mushahid later told that 30 recommendations were made for reconciliation but the army shot these down (Balochistan peace moves scuttled by hawks: Mushahid. Our Staff Reporter. Dawn. June 7, 2008). The inquiry was never made public.On December 13, 2005 the BLA fired two rockets in Quetta garrison, which was followed, by eight rockets at the Maiwand Rifles headquarters while Musharraf was addressing a jirga. Next day helicopter carrying Maj Gen Shujaat Zamir Dar and Deputy Inspector General Brig Salim Nawaz was fired up and both were injured. Both were hospitalised in CMH Quetta. The FC camp at Kohlu also came under rocket attack. This infuriated Gen Musharraf and his army. Musharraf’s risk taking behaviour kicked in. In response helicopter gunships and paramilitary force was used in Marri and some parts of Bugti areas. The tribal leaders claimed that 50 people were killed and 150 injured. But according to government sources the forces attacked ‘hideouts and camps of outlaws’. This terminology is now being used in Fata operation. Habib Jalib Bloch of BNP (Mengal), Agha Shahid Hasan Bugti (JWP) and Dr Ishaq Baloch of National Party claimed that artillery along with helicopter gunships were firing for the two days at Tali, Jandran, Bambhoor and Kohlu areas killing people who were innocent. They also said that Balochistan was attacked by the Pakistan Army in 1948, 1958, 1965 and 1973 but could not conquer (Shahid, S and Kasi, A. Paramilitary action in Kohlu continues. Dawn. December 20, 2005; Sajidi, A. Up the blind alley. Herald. January 2006).In 2006 government spokesman Lt Col Naeem Masood addressed a press conference at Maiwand Rifles headquarters claimed that there are over 41 ‘farari’ (fugitive) camps in Balochistan. These camps were 14 in Tehsil Kahan of Kohlu, 15 in Dera Bugti, 6 Sibi and 6 in other areas. The spokesperson claimed that 11 camps located in Kohlu and Dera Bugti had been destroyed (11 camps destroyed in Kohlu, Dera Bugti. APP. The News. January 22, 2006).In his address to the nation (July 20, 2006) Gen Musharraf said that out of 77 Sardars only three were out of line and they shall be ‘fixed’. These Sardars were anti development, anti democracy, anti government and anti Pakistan. Meanwhile the Baloch dissidents were shown to be depositing their arms in hundreds.Killing of Akbar Bugti was not only senseless but a source of further unrest in Balochistan. It is believed that the true story of Bugti’s death has not been told. He was living in a sandstone outcrop in a tent and not a cave. Bugti was suffering from multiple boils and could not walk. The FC and the army surrounded his cave. He realised that he had no option but surrender and try to save his people. Non-Bugti tribesman from the Kalpar tribe was sent in to negotiate his surrender. He recognised the man as his enemy so he asked that someone else to negotiate with. Two other Kalpars were sent and he agreed to surrender. Bugti had pushed out the Kalpar tribe 15 years ago and had been brought back by Musharraf in 2005. Three army officers were sent in. At this time he made a phone call on his satellite phone to his friend regarding his surrender. This made the Americans localise him and they sent in a drone to destroy his place killing many people including army officers. Why were the Americans keen on killing him? In an interview with NDTV of India Musharraf claimed that Bugti had a well-armed force of 6,000. There was no way to deal with him politically and hence was killed (Naqvi, J. There was no way to deal politically with Bugti: Musharraf. Dawn. December 9, 2006).Former Chief Minister Akhtar Mengal President of Balochistan National Movement was arrested on December 24, 2006 and in January 2007 he was presented to the Anti Terrorist Court. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan lodged a protest with the government regarding facilities provided to Mengal in Karachi Central Jail where he was held in an iron cage (HRCP says Mengal kept in iron cage. Our Staff Reporter. Dawn. January 9, 2007). The background of the arrest is interesting. On April 5, 2006 while dropping his nephew to school he noticed two motorcyclists trailing his car. On his way back he stopped and asked the two as to their identity themselves but they refused. His guards took the two to his house where they admitted to be army personnel. Soon a raid took place by Law Enforcement Agencies and the two were taken by these people. Akhtar was put under house arrest, which was withdrawn later. Later Qurban Hussain an army personal filed an FIR in the Anti Terrorist Court against Akhtar’s four guards. A counter FIR was not registered. Meanwhile the Sindh High Court put a restraining order on ATC but the four guards were convicted and fined. On November 28 Akhtar and 14 of his party members were arrested and taken to Lassi Farm House. The 14 party members whereabouts is not known while Akhtar’s trail was moved to Central Jail. Iqbal Haider Secretary General of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan was allowed into the trail where he found Akhtar in an iron cage away form his lawyer (Cowasjee, 2007). Later he was given ‘Class B’ facilities (Cowasjee, A. The man in the iron cage. Dawn. January 14, 2007; Syed A. Akhtar Mengal and his BNP. Dawn. January 27, 2007).Talking to doctors from Balochistan in Karachi (February 25, 2007) it seemed that the province was out of control and the army was in command but no one was safe nor the government was running. The people in power were all corrupt and the government promoted and protected corruption. In fact there is no writ of the state. When asked as to who was behind all the conflicts he was clear that it was India via Afghanistan and Iran through its Baloch population. This has also been said by National Party President Dr Abdul Hai Baloch who claimed that the country was fragmenting (Govt has lost its writ in Balochistan, says NP leader. Bureau Report. Dawn. February 25, 2007).Human rights activist Asma Jahangir claimed that Balochistan was on the edge and required immediate action. People were being disappeared by intelligence agencies and security forces. The Hazara tribe had lost 250 men in secretarian violence supported by government agencies since 2004. Decision-making was still done by the army. We need to stop all army operations and sit in dialogue with the people (Shahid, Saleem. HRCP seeks end to army operation in Balochistan. Dawn. October 12, 2009). According to HRCP the provincial government had no writ in Balochistan. The death toll was: 34 killed in 19 terror attacks, 278 in 3100 target killings, 35 policemen killed and 95 injured in 64 target killings and 35 FC officials killed and 138 injured in 53 target killings. A total of 30 missing persons had been identified (HRCP sees no writ in Balochistan. Online. The News. October 12, 2009).Musharraf was in denial during his tenure. In an interview with ARY TV (October 10, 2007) Gen Musharraf claimed that of more than 60 ‘Farrari camps’ in Balochistan only two remain and they shall be removed soon. He claimed that there was complete peace in the province. Visitors from Balochistan had a different story to tell. The people living in the Cantonment were not allowed to go out. There was a feeling of living in war zone. The local population is also disgruntled.Gen Musharraf former president of Pakistan now in exile in UK in a TV talk show (Feb 26, 2012) claimed that he had nothing to do with Bugti killing in in August 2006. According to him the operation was carried out by FC on the instruction of Balochistan Government. When four army officers went to meet him in the cave an explosion killed Bugti and the officers. This he claims was perhaps a suicide explosion or a rocket attack. He also said that now Baloch champion Talal Bugti was disowned by Akbar Bugti. The ‘insiders’ claim that Mushi sent in his commandos who killed Bugti outside the cave and then put the body in the cave and exploded it. Still others claim that Bugti invited the army team of 2nd Commandos for negotiations and then blew the cave killing all of them including him. Musharraf had a strong risk-taking streak and jumped in to militarily solve political issues of Pakistan. In 2004 Musharraf had launched the army into South Waziristan and Balochistan with disastrous results. Unfortunately the present government in the last four years has made pious statements but no real progress has been made.Since 2004 the Pakistan army has repeatedly claimed that it is not involved militarily in Balochistan. The provincial government claims that the situation is not in their hands since FC is calling the shots. FC is supposedly under the provincial government but in actual fact it is an arm of the military commanded by regular army officers. The Federal Government wants the provincial government to act. It is a ‘circular debt’ phenomena (Saleem, Farrukh. Army has no solution for Balochistan. The News. February 21, 2012). Meanwhile resolution tabled in US Congress demanding self-determination in Balochistan Shahzain Bugti support it. Bugti presented his 9 point plan in a press conference in Lahore (Shahzain Bugti doesn’t object to US resolution. OC. The News. February 21, 2012).A major game was being played in Balochistan. The interested parties are the America, China, India, Iran and Baloch nationalists. The Americans do not want Chinese in Balochistan. The Chinese are interested in Gawadar port facilities for export of their goods and of gas. The Indians also want to see a destabilised Balochistan. Iranians see Gawadar as a threat to their economy in the region.Post Musharraf BalochistanIn 2008 President Asif Zardari apologised on behalf of PPP for neglecting Balochistan in the past. The Balochistan National Party and its factions accepted the apology. BNP leader Mir Israrullah Zahri who got 5 seats in the assembly and BLP-Mengal leader Nahila Qadri welcomed the move (Kasi, Amanullah. BNP factions welcome PPP’s apology. Dawn. February 26, 2008). However Sardar Attaullah Mengal was not satisfied with the apology calling it as insufficient. The National Awami Party secretary-general Mir Hasil Bizenjo was also not happy with the apology since it does not define the time period (Baloch, Latif. Baloch leaders unimpressed by PPP apology. Dawn. February 26, 2008). From January 1, 2001 and August 31, 2009 there have been 301 incidences of target killings in which 280 people were killed and 672 injured. Hazara people claim that 270 of their people have been killed so far. A total of 35 policemen have been killed and 91 injured while the FC have lost 31 soldiers and 38 were injured (Khan, Mohammad Ijaz. Settler’s plight. The News Special Report. October 18, 2009). These killings and disappearing of people is still going on 2012.Chief of Balochistan National Party Sardar Akhtar Mengal was finally released from Central Jail, Karachi after two years of imprisonment (Khan, Mohammad Ejaz. Sardar Akhtar Mengal released. The News. May 10, 2008).Speaking in the NA Rehman Malik claimed that BLA was launched with the help of Russia and is now supported by Afghanistan and India. About 4,000 to 5,000 Baloch were under training in Afghanistan. Of the three leaders recently assassinated he accused Sher Mohammad being an Iranian national who recently acquired Pakistani nationality. Ghulam Mohammad was wanted by Iran for his terrorist activities. It was claimed that BLA chief Brahmandagh Bugti was living near Karzai palace. One thousand Baloch students were studying in Russia. BLA was also involved in kidnapping of Solecki (John Solecki head of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was kidnapped by gunmen as he came out of his office in Quetta. His driver was killed (Gunmen kidnap UN agency official in Quetta. Dawn Report. Dawn. February 3, 2009)). The Baloch legislators walked out in protest. About the missing persons he claimed that ‘only’ 831 were missing while 200 had been returned. There was a proposal that Sardari system should be revived (Hassan, Ahmed. Afghanistan and India behind BLA: adviser. Dawn. April 23, 2009). In a closed-door Senate session Malik again blamed unrest in Balochistan on Russia, India and Afghanistan (Raza, Syed Irfan. Malik presents ‘proof of Indian hand in unrest’. Dawn. April 24, 2009). This was again dubbed as ‘foreign hand’ in other words not our fault.To find a political solution the PPP appointed ‘Balochistan Package Committee’ headed by Senator Raza Rabbani to frame recommendations for Balochistan. Rabbani stated that Balochistan should have police cover. At the moment out of 29 districts only 14 have police cover. The Levies should be converted into police. The oil companies should spend 5% of their earnings on the local people. The report was approved by the PM and the President (Police system across Balochistan proposed. Our Staff Reporter. Dawn. August 14, 2009). ‘Balochistan Package’ was prepared taking in account the Mushahid Hussain committee and Benazir Bhutto committee reports (Yasin, Asim. Balochistan package may be tabled before joint session. The News. September 21, 2009).‘Balochistan Promotional Package’ (Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan) came under discussion in the joint session of NA and Senate and passed on November 18th (Yasin, Asim. Balochistan at centre stage, 62 years later. The News. November 19, 2009). The nationalists rejected the package. ‘Balochistan Promotional Package’ was passed by the Joint Session (Yasin, Asim. Balochistan at centre stage, 62 years later. The News. November 19, 2009). After 18 months since President Zardari apologised to the Baloch people the Package had come rather late. However the severe alienation with the past experiences the Bloch people find it difficult that the Package shall be implemented. It seems that the military is still strong and is calling the shots behind the scene (Akhtar, Aasim Sajjad. The only way forward. The News Political Economy. November 29, 2009). It is interesting that BPP was presented before in-depth discussions with the Baloch leadership. The Package calls for halt for the ‘time being’ construction of cantonments at Kohlu and Sui. The government has not given blanket immunity to all Baloch exiles (Jafar, Iqbal. A package of promises. Dawn. December 2, 2009). The Baloch National Front and Jamhori Wattan Party demonstrated against the Balochistan Package. Baloch people were struggling for rights and not charity. People are still being picked up by intelligence agencies (Balochistan package rejected. Our Correspondent. December 19, 2009).In Balochistan there are more cantonments than universities, more soldiers than teachers more naval bases than science and research institutions. The Balochistan home minister said the Rs140 million was paid to FC for performing their duties and million were outstanding dues. Rural poverty had increased by 21% since 1999. Prominent Baloch leaders had been killed (Akbar Bugti 2006, Balach Marri 2007, Zahid Baloch 2008, Jan Mohammad Dashti 2009, Ghulam Mohammad 2009, Sher Mohammad 2009 and Lala Munir Baloch. Many have disappeared (Sanaullah Baloch. Islamabad’s ‘gunboat’ policy. Dawn. February 1, 2010).Large number of Baloch separatist’s leader and workers (8,000 claimed by BSO and more than 100 by rights body) allegedly killed or disappeared by the agencies is the core problem today. The rights organisations claim some 300 Baloch missing while the Shia Hazara community claim 260 missing persons. The security agencies as in E Pakistan are linked with Punjab and hence attacks on Punjabis. In the last six years 3000 non-Baloch (Punjabi and Urdu speaking) have been killed. Even the poor Punjabis such as barbers and labourers are targeted. There is a large-scale transfer of non-Baloch teachers and the Balochistan University remains closed for the last three years. The moderate voices of BNP (Mengal) and BSO (Malik) are not asking for separation but want their rights. Mir Hasil Bizenjo, Prince Mohiuddin of Kalat royal family, Abdul Hayee Baloch, and others are moderates but in the current situation have become irrelevant (Adil, Adnan. Alienated, misunderstood. The News Encore. October 18, 2009). From January 1, 2001 and August 31, 2009 there have been 301 incidences of target killings in which 280 people were killed and 672 injured. Hazara people claim that 270 of their people have been killed so far. By 2009 a total of 35 policemen had been killed and 91 injured while the FC had lost 31 soldiers and 38 were injured (Khan, Mohammad Ijaz. Settler’s plight. The News Special Report. October 18, 2009).Since 1999 an estimated 422 Hazaras have been killed in Balochistan. The killings were headed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) commander Usman Saifullah Kurd who was arrested in 2006 but escaped from Quetta jail in 2008. Hazaras form third largest community in Afghanistan and are mainly in the central part of the country. Lot of them moved to Pakistan after Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Recent release by SC of killer LeJ Malik Mohammad Ishaq has tipped the balance of recent killing spree (Mir, Amir. Why are Hazaras being killed? The News. October 6, 2011).Today in Balochistan there are many interest groups pushing and pulling in different directions. There is a serious problem of Shia-Sunni conflict. The Hazaras being Shia are prime target of the majority Sunni groups. Again as in former East Pakistan Punjabi settlers or workers, mostly in the education sector, are a target where the perception is of Punjabi dominated army-committing atrocities against the Baloch people.Some of the Baloch groups today are as follows (Wikipedia, 2012):Parties and Student Groups; Balochistan National Party, Jamhori Wattan Party, National Party, Baloch National Movement, Baloch Republican Party, Baloch National Front, Baloch Students Organisation, Baloch Students Organisation (Awami), Balochistan People’s Party, Kalat State National Party.Militant Groups: Balochistan Liberation Army, Baloch Liberation Front, Baloch People’s Liberation Front, Popular Front for Armed Resistance, Balochi Liberation Front, Balochi Autonomist Movement, Partisans of National Liberation of Afghanistan, Baloch Republican Army, Balochistan Liberation United Front, Farrari Jundallah (Source Wikipedia 2012).We are also told that with all the mineral wealth and other resources Baloch people are not getting their rights. But then are people of other provinces have rights? Balochistan has large reserves of uranium, copper, gold and other minerals, which need to be exploited for a better Pakistan.People who have served in Balochistan give an entirely different view of Balochistan situation. They claim that the civil servants are totally ineffective and leadership is chronically corrupt. Non-Baloch teachers run education system. Baloch Sardars rule their area with their private armies with an iron hand. They do not have any plan to uplift the poor of their area. Some of the second and third generation Sardars have criminal cases against them and most of them are corrupt to the core.About the elected representatives in the assemblies less said the better. Of the 40 Provincial Assembly members except for one all are government ministers enjoying various perks. They have no plan to make life of poor Baloch better. If the FC is carrying out illegal arrests and killings then the fault lies with the government since legally the FC is acting under the will of the provincial government.I remember in Zia times when he felt powerless to control corruption in Balochistan. Bolan Medical College is a prime example. Poor quality land for the institution was sold to the government at an exaggerated price. It took decades to build the institution and every year more money was pumped into it. Similarly miles of roads were built only on paper and money gulped by the local construction firms. This was a form of bribery to maintain peace in Balochistan.The Baloch separatists want independence for ‘Greater Balochistan’, which stretches west across into Iran and in the north, it takes in southern Afghanistan (see map 1). Both these countries are unlikely to agree for an independent Balochistan. The situation is similar to Kurd independence which effects Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. None of these countries want independent state of Kurdistan. There is also a sizeable Pakhtun population in north western Balochistan. There are also ancient non-Baloch people called Brahui who inhabit the same area. We also have settlers from other provinces. There are Baloch settlers in Punjab and Sindh. Ethnicity as the basis of separation will lead to many more problems.We are also facing an American angle to Balochistan. It is claimed that Quetta Shura is carrying out attacks into southern Afghanistan against Nato forces, which Pakistan is reluctant to stop. For the Iranians Jundallah organisation carry out attacks into Iran allegedly armed by the Americans and Israeli secret services so as to destabilise Iran. There is also the issue of gas pipeline from Iran, which the Americans want to discourage and hence pressure is put on Pakistan to cancel the deal. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned Pakistan to face American sanctions if it goes ahead with gas pipeline deal with Iran. Some promised $1 billion for 2013 would be put in jeopardy (Hillary warns Pakistan over Iran gas pipeline. Monitoring Report. The News. March 1, 2012). Interestingly Pakistan is already importing 70MV electricity from Iran to meet the demands of Mekran Division.Pakistan has faced separatist movement since its inception with demands of Pakhtunistan, Bangladesh, Greater Balochistan and Sindhudesh. For the religious parties Balochistan separatist movement is allegedly supported financially and materially by India, Israel and America so as to destabilise Pakistan. This is the famous ‘foreign hand’, which these organisations want to crush militarily. In this narrow view they absolve the rulers of any blame and still cling to the view that Islam is a unifying force in Pakistan.This brings me to giving rights, justice to the people and elimination of poverty in Balochistan. This should not be limited to Baloch people. The Pakistan government policies since 1947 have been pro rich and anti poor. We have made the rich richer and the poor struggling to survive. The services, which were supposed to serve the poor, are only taking orders from the rich. During the 2005 earthquake in Azad Kashmir and KP and the floods of 2010 and 2011 it became apparent that there was no governance in the country. It also showed abject poverty in whole of Pakistan when people emerged with their total belonging in a small suitcase. The education and health system collapsed long time back but the rich do not need their services. The policy makers over the years made Pakistan a security state where most of our resources are channelled into our armed forces that determine Pakistan’s polices. We are not told how much of our resources are pumped into our army nor we are told where it is spent. The 1863 report of Punjab Administration gives expenditure of each regiment during its campaign. We don’t know how much did we spend during various futile wars with India or in Fata or Swat or Siachin or Balochistan. Pakistani nation has a right to know.It is not just Balochistan, which is demanding its rights and justice. Other provinces also need to follow Balochistan. Band Aids are not going to work this time. The time is not far when Punjab would demand independence.
"NEVER GIVE UP"


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