Balouchistan belongs to Balouch

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 E-Mail this article to a friend Printer Friendly Version

A FEW WORDS: Balochistan belongs to the Baloch —Dr Qaisar Rashid\17\story_17-4-2013_pg3_3

One thing is very clear: for the peace and stability of Balochistan the forthcoming elections are going to be vital

The history of Balochistan has entered the next phase characterised by two events: first, general (retired) Pervez Musharraf is back in Pakistan; and second, general elections are round the corner.

Musharraf is the most hated person amongst the Baloch who consider him responsible for the assassination of the late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the face of Balochistan. Musharraf used to claim his popularity amongst certain Baloch tribes but he avoided filing his nomination papers with the Election Commission (EC) to contest the elections from any constituency in Balochistan. That is the difference between bragging on TV talk shows about one’s popularity and the reality on the ground. Musharraf, who landed in Karachi, discovered later that Chitral was the area that appreciated his talent most. It is now obvious that not Pakistan but Chitral may be in need of Musharraf. The question is this: how the rest of Pakistan will view the slogan expectedly raised by Musharraf: ‘Chitral first’ (sab sey pehley Chitral)?

The disgruntled Baloch should consider this point that the reason for making the EC independent through the 18th and 20th Constitutional Amendments was not only to save the electoral process from politicians who could exploit the process to their advantage but also to rule out manipulation done by any intelligence agency to affect the results of the elections. Musharraf had to find electoral solace in Chitral is one manifestation of the independence of the EC. Musharraf is still guilty of abrogating the Constitution on November 03, 2007. Constitutionally, to hold him accountable on that account is the job of the parliament and not of the Supreme Court. The disgruntled Baloch leaders, including Brahamdagh Bugti and Harbiyar Marri, can think of a scenario in which they take part in the elections, join assemblies and hold Musharraf accountable for his deeds.

Sardar Akhtar Mengal is right in implying that the preferred method to secure rights for the Baloch is by adopting a political (democratic) means. The armed struggle launched by the discontented Baloch leaders may not gain popularity in Pakistan owing to two main reasons: first, the people of this country believe in democracy; and second, the country was obtained through a political (democratic) process. Had Pakistan been a product of an armed struggle, the armed struggle launched by the Baloch would have been appreciated. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, was so concerned about Balochistan that he demanded legislative reforms in Balochistan in his famous Fourteen Points in 1929 when there were no signs of the Second World War. It is the country’s yearning for democracy that has ostracised and cornered Musharraf. The discontented Baloch leaders should rethink their strategy of finding the rights of the Baloch through the armed struggle. Civil society and the media will appreciate their effort if it is passes through a democratic process.

The intelligence agencies of Pakistan should also revisit their policy of dealing with the Baloch nationalists in a coercive way. Is it honourable for the intelligence agencies that they are being blamed for the assassination of the Baloch nationalists? By using proxies to punish the Baloch dissidents, the intelligence agencies can escape the clutches of law but their role is detested. The incidents of abducting the Baloch nationalists, and later dumping their dead bodies have brought disgrace to all Pakistanis. How to live with this shame is not known. Pakistan cannot run in this way. The harmony in society cannot be created by resorting to coercive measures. Three points need elaboration: first, the Pakistan Army is not the sole custodian of national interests; second, a Pakistani who is not in uniform is not a lesser or an unpatriotic Pakistani; and third, Pakistan is not a product of any army’s adventure.

The Balochistan package indicates two main points: first, it is recognition of the fact that Balochistan was kept deprived; and second, Balochistan belongs to the Baloch. If the government of Pakistan has itself acknowledged its faults, why do the intelligence agencies misbehave with the Baloch of any hue? Apparently, the Pakistan army and its allied departments including intelligence agencies such as the ISI are not trained rationally to deal with (ethnic) nationalists. At the Staff College Quetta, at least three chapters should be taught to trainee officers: first, how to tackle an ethnic nationalist struggle in a federation?; second, what is the role of the intelligence agencies in a country which is ethnically not a nation state?; and thirdly, to what extent should it be realistically expected from a Baloch to be as flexible and adaptive as a Punjabi is?

The Balochistan of today needs to return to the national political mainstream. Boycotting the elections of 2008 made the Baloch nationalist parties languish and frustrated. In the forthcoming elections, there is an opening for them to enter the assemblies, make their voice heard and safeguard their interests. The attitude of Awami National Party (ANP) is a best example in this regard. The ANP launched a political struggle, got mandate of introducing reforms in the province and got the name of the province changed.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) should be appreciated for acknowledging its past mistakes of the removal of Akhtar Mengal’s government in 1998, and looking for possibilities for seat adjustment with Mengal’s party, the Balochistan National Party-Mengal. Caretaker Prime Minister, Justice (retired) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso should also shoulder his responsibility for persuading the Baloch nationalists to take part in the elections, offering them equal opportunities for conducting their election campaign.

One thing is very clear: for the peace and stability of Balochistan the forthcoming elections are going to be vital. All should make efforts that this opportunity should not be squandered. All Pakistanis, whether they are in uniform or not, should assure the Baloch that Balochistan belongs to the Baloch. Give the Baloch the sense of security, participation and belonging, the Baloch nationalist movement will abate automatically.

The writer is a freelance columnist and can be reached at

Balouch STORY so far = Its India and Enemy AFGHANS Winning Pak Government says

Interior minister says Afghan president provided 500 Kalashnikov rifles to Brahamdagh Bugti’s deputy <<< Read the END of this Page ::

Our BALOUCH leaders say ::
“Former dictator General Pervez Musharraf had only orphaned Balochistan, but the current democratic government had turned it into a graveyard,” he said in a telephonic conversation with reporters.

BNP rejects Rehman Malik’s claims on Balochistan unrest

 Akhtar Mengal holds agencies, establishment responsible 

Says real political leaders in province replaced with dummies

By Safiullah\story_4-8-2012_pg7_11

QUETTA: Senior politician and Balochistan National Party (BNP) leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal on Friday rejected the claims of Interior Minister Rehman Malik regarding unrest in Balochistan, saying the secret agencies, establishment and security forces were responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in the province.
“Former dictator General Pervez Musharraf had only orphaned Balochistan, but the current democratic government had turned it into a graveyard,” he said in a telephonic conversation with reporters.
Mengal said the forces at the helm of affairs had pushed aside the real political leaders and had replaced them with dummy political leaders who had thrown Balochistan into a chasm of sectarian violence, tribal feuds, kidnappings for ransom, insecurity and uncertainty.
The BNP leader said the interior minister had strongly criticised Baloch organisations in his speech but shied away when it came to pointing out the organisation that had been formed and had been acting on commands of the Frontier Corps (FC) and other agencies.
“Rehman Malik is in the good books of FC and other security agencies which are responsible for all the atrocities inflicted on the Baloch, including the mutilated bodies of Baloch youth, and that is why he has been again appointed interior minister,” he said.
He said it looked as if he had got the Interior Ministry in inheritance as despite the issue of his dual nationality, he had again got the ministry.
Mengal said he seconded Malik’s statement regarding presence of Taliban in Balochistan, adding that Taliban were a religious group and all the world knew where they had trained.
He said that Balochistan was in a state of war and that lawlessness, anarchy, and insecurity had cast their shadows in every nook and corner of the province. Baloch armed groups had not sworn an oath of allegiance to the constitution of Pakistan and therefore, demanding loyalty from them was “insane”, he said. Whereas, the security agencies, which had taken such an oath, least cared about the orders of the Supreme Court and injunctions of the constitution, he added.

Both ‘friends’ and ‘foes’ involved in Balochistan: Malik\story_4-8-2012_pg7_1

Interior minister says Afghan president provided 500 Kalashnikov rifles to Brahamdagh Bugti’s deputy

By Ijaz Kakakhel 

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday told the Upper House that 14 organisations are operating in Balochistan and both friends and enemies of Pakistan were financing and encouraging them for uprising.
The House decided that the minister would give an in-camera briefing to the senators, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and other security agencies about the facts. Date of the session would be finalised later.
Malik said, “Give me an opportunity and let me tell you what our friends are doing with us. Let our enemies be aside but I have astonishing facts about the friends.”
In continuation of his yesterday’s speech delivered to wind up discussion on Balochistan situation, Malik unveiled evidence on links among the Baloch dissidents and neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan and India. He, however, avoided naming the friendly countries and once again requested for an in-camera briefing.
He also showed proof about training camps being run in Afghanistan and a number of official letters written by the Afghan government to its departments to provide funds, visas, passports and arms and ammunition to Brahamdagh Bugti and his operators inside Balochistan.
He also unveiled proof about Pakistani insurgents getting training in Kandahar and other areas. He also mentioned strong links of dissident leaders with Afghanistan and India. The minister claimed that there were 24 training camps for terrorists in Kandahar alone.
The minister requested nationalist parties to support the government, before it was too late. He made it clear that no compromise would be made on the national interest and all decisions would be taken in this regard.
To a point of order raised by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri‚ Malik said the memorandum of understanding singed for restoration of NATO supplies would be made public. He said, “Our stand regarding the implementation of parliamentary recommendations is same as it was earlier.”
To another point of order raised by MQM Senator Tahir Mashhadi regarding law and order in Karachi‚ the minister said security arrangements in the city have been improved and sectarian and ethnic polarisation had been reduced to a great extent.
Malik said certain elements were playing in the hands of enemies and trying to balkanise Balochistan. He said the Baloch loved Pakistan but some people were getting support from their foreign masters.
Foreign countries extended their full support to Riaz Gul, the deputy commander of Brahamdagh Bugti. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, through an official letter, provided 500 Kalashnikov rifles to Gul. The minister said more details about Gul would be provided to parliamentarians during the in-camera briefing.
Opposition leader in the Senate Ishaq Dar said, “We all know these problems and involvement of foreign hands in Balochistan unrest, but we required a roadmap and an action plan to stop such criminal activities in the province.”