Monthly Archives: September 2010
In Musharraf era an operation launched in Balochistan against the secessionist, due to the bombardment and shelling in Dera Bugti and Marria areas many people fled to other parts of Balochistan and Sindh to save their lives. These IDPs families number was in thousands and most of them still living jeopardize life in various part of country worse than refugees. Provincial and federal governments never felt responsibility to relocate these people in their native areas or provide them any health or other facilities, even non government organization hadn’t been allowed to visit or report their plight.
Similar operation had carried out in areas of Kyber Pakhtoon Khuwa in Sawat, where Taliban had occupied administration in their hand totally and implemented their Islamic system rules. They were penalizing to people and as well conferring as per their law. They had state in state. Pakistan army launched operation against Taliban and cleared Sawat from Taliban. Because of severe operation people evacuated the Swat and sheltered in different areas of country. Those IDs (Inter Displaced Persons) were provided all facilities of life, camp cities were arranged by state authorities and even education system was continued in these camp cities.
Now once again same scenario took place in country, because flood hit all provinces. Damage and lose of property, farms and life reported from all provinces and people got displaced. This time international community came for help in catastrophic. America is leading in campaign of rescuing to people. She sent many helicopters with financial and logistic aid. As well other European countries and Japan sent their helicopters by UN to rescue the people who struck in inaccessible areas because flood flash washed-away infrastructure, hence only through helicopters can be reached to helpless people. These helicopters are working different parts of country excluding Balochistan. No foreign helicopter cam in Balochistan for helping to flood affectees and displaced persons are deprived of food, medicines and other facilities from provincial and central governments.
International community helping generously during this calamity but it is disturbing that Balochistan which affected from flood worst will be overlooked like during operations here IDPs were ignored by state. With flood affectees same behavior mustn’t be repeated.
By Malik Siraj Akbar
Among all journalists that I have worked with, Shahzad Baloch of Express Tribune has got the best sense of humor. People like him are a great asset to work with as a journalist in a stressful place such as Balochistan. While living amid constant fear of dying in a bomb blast or being whisked away by some government intelligence agencies, in Balochistan we keep people like Shahzad at high esteem because they make us smile and laugh even at times of anguish.
Shahzad worked with me as a reporter at Daily Aaj Kal Quetta bureau. After every bomb blast, I’d ask if anyone claimed “responsibility” for the incident. He’d giggle and say, no.
“Why not?” I’d ask.
“Very simple,” he’d laugh and say, “Because some “irresponsible” people did it.
“So what does the government say,” I asked.
“The government says these elements won’t be “allowed” to operate again,” he added.
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“Not sure, buddy, but seems the government falsely believes that these elements really need some official approval to carry out their attacks. So next time, the government is not going to “allow” them to work,” he explained.
Trust me, working in Balochistan as a journalist may be dominated by fear and uncertainty but it also has its funny part.
Now that I hear our naive Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s new Balochistan plan, I find many things truly hilarious.
The federal minister has “super-banned” the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA). I mean how do you ban a banned organization? BLA had already been double-banned several years ago by the Pervez Musharraf as well as the British government. The ban did not make a difference as the shadowy organization continues to operate. The government believed Balach Marri controlled it but no difference was seen in BLA operations even after Balach’s assassination.
I squander a good amount of time mulling what it actually means to ban an organization. You can ban a television channel, for example, which gets itself registered with a government-controlled authority, such as the PEMRA. You can ban an NGO which obtains a non-objection certificate (NOC) from the government but how on God’s green earth are you going to ban an organization that does not recognize the law of the land (or even the land itself)?
I am sure the guys at BLA or any other organization did not seek prior approval from the interior ministry to formally launch their operations in the midst of great fanfare.
The government has also decided to freeze the bank accounts of the armed organizations.
You are kidding me.
Can you imagine BLA having a bank account somewhere at the Habib Bank or say National Bank of Pakistan?
At least I don’t know of any Standard Chartered branches in New Kahan or Qili Ismail. Where do these BLA guys have their accounts? Did the minister really freeze some accounts? This government has really starting doing jobs that we could even not visualize.
Agreed, BLA may have a current account in some bank in Chattar, I still worry how the account-holders name would look like. Mr. BLA, maybe.
How would the spokesman of Baloch Musla Defai Tanzeem (BMFT) sign his checkbook before withdrawing some money?
I can speculate. He’d write 10 liters of petrol for the bike to attack a BSO Azad rally and escape and Rs. 2000 “easy-load” to make phone calls to the newspaper offices to claim responsibility.
Malik does not understand that things are not so simple. You can’t settle Balochistan’s overriding problems merely by banning organizations and freezing their bank accounts. The government is only making fun of itself by taking such ridiculous measures. How is FC going to fix the problems when it is currently the biggest problem on the Baloch land.
Sometimes I think Balochs are very lucky. I remember when Pervez Musharraf was ousted from power, some very sober political experts told me it was going to the disadvantage of the Balochs. I asked the reasons when I expected the Balochs to take a sigh of relief from the tyranny of a military dictator. My friends said Musharraf’s brutality had truly united the Baloch people. One such friend said Musharraf’s antagonistic policies helped the Balochs travel a journey of hundreds of years only in ten years. The more he pressed the Balochs, the more united they became.
While the younger Balochs must be cursing the interior minister for his bellicose remarks, the older ones see him as a blessing for them. He is going to unite the Balochs more. Rehman Malik is perhaps an agent of promoting the Baloch movement. His aggressive stance comes at a time when there was nothing that could unite the so-called moderate parties (National Party and the Balochistan National Party) and the militant groups. Even there were reports of differences among some of the armed groups. For example, Baloch Republican Army (BRA) was not pleased with the Baloch Liberation United Front (BLUF) over threatening the International Committee of Red Cross to shut down its offices in Balochistan.
Malik is only going to help these underground groups to forget their small differences and unite against the larger enemy. It is true that the armed groups and pro-parliament parties will never get along each other even in the future, one thing is certain that they will not fight each other for the next couple of months while collectively fighting the ‘common enemy’.
The Baloch movement is so distinct. It takes the murder of its own people as a fodder. The more Balochs are killed by the security forces, the more popular the movement gets. The more an outsider annoys them by coming on their land and challenging them, the more commonalities they find among each other. They are so hard to defeat by force. They have already been killed, kidnapped, tortured but rebellion has become the distinctive feature of their blood.
Islamabad must hire some sane consultants not insult-ants like Rehman Malik to master the art of negotiating with the Balochs.
We have formed Voice for Baloch Persons for release and collecting data of Missing Person, Abdul Qadeer Reki
Interview Shaheen Baranzai
Jalil Reki Information Secretary of Balochistan Republican Party has abducted from Killi Ghulam Jan Kechibaig Sariab, Quetta, he is still missing. In previous days a discussion was arranged with Abdul Qadeer Reki he is General Secretary of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons and father of Jalil Reki, which is presented for Bolan Voice reader.
BLV: Nationalist Parties are raising voice for missing persons, then why you people formed an organization with name of Voice for Baloch Missing Person, what are main objective of this organization?
Qadeer Reki: Those Balochs who abducted by agencies in different times, their parties have much work to do in uncommon fields as well they have own program and manner of working. We are disgruntled about performance of parties for pursuance of missing issue, hence in October 2009 we laid base of an organization “Voice for Baloch Missing Person”.
BLV: What are reasons that you are displeasing of parties’ performance about missing persons?
QR: We are displeasing form parties’ performance for this that the disappeared peoples belong to different parties. If any person had been disappeared then that party only raised voice for that person but remaining were ignored by them. Then we thought that an organization is needed for hoisting voice for entire missing Balochs.
BLV: You have raised voice from plat form of Baloch Missing Persons but can you mention the achievements and how many people got release through this organization?
QR: These agencies’ are senseless that they don’t listen of anyone and comply with nothing. The using of platform of Voice for Baloch Missing means to deliver our voice to United Nation, Amnesty International and other organization of humanitarians that they hear our voice and press Pakistani authorities for violation of human rights. We struggled enough, arranged rallies, observing hunger strike camps, made strikes so on. We have long marched toward High Court and Supreme Courts. They didn’t let us to take out a rally in Islamabad and we also had been arrested there. Then Hamid Mir had invited us in GEO program. We managed a rally from National Press Club to Geo Office Islamabad.
BLV: Another organization with title of “Voice Missing Persons” existing in Islamabad, yours organization is sub-branch of that or linked with said organization?
QR: Our organization is not subordinate or branch of any party or organization, neither it is linked with someone. Voice for Baloch Missing Persons is autonomous organization and working with agenda to release of missing persons.
BLV: How many missing persons’ data you have collected?
QR: We have complete data of 1200 people, which have abducted in various occasions from different venues. In fact 12000 people are missing throughout Balochistan but we lack resources to visit far flung areas and collect data all of these. Now missing persons are being martyred and dead bodies are being thrown on different places, up till now 12 decomposed dead bodies are received. Najeeb Baloch, Faiz Baloch, Nazeer Ahmed Bangulzai, Farooq Mengal and other are including in these.
BLV: Some time ago a Judicial Inquiry Commission was arranged and it was acquiring information, and then you people rejected its provided list, what is reality this story?
QR: Fact is this that this commission has been made obliged to heed the position of missing persons’ relatives and record their evidences. But paradoxically situation is opposite from this, relatives are not being given any response. Chief Minister Asalm Raisani is witness of my son Jalil Reki abduction, he said that agency personnel arrested Reki and made disappeared. When Amena Janjowa cam here that time this incident happened. Mis. Janjowa and Nasarullah Baloch called upon to Chief Minister in Quetta after their press conference about missing persons. They inquired from Chief Minister that agency persons are disappearing people in during your government so what are reasons? He replied that these persons are made disappeared in Musharraf era instead of his government. They question that Jalil Reki and his companion are made disappeared during your government. Then he said that yes they are arrested by agency personnel, prior to this they told me that Mr. Reki was working against state interests and arrest him. I replied to agency men that I don’t have any proof about Mr. Reki that I can arrest him, and then they did themselves. These things appeared in media too. Another eye witness of my son’s abduction is Arif Reki, he alleged that secret agencies men pick him in front his eyes. They were coming back to homes after offering Juma Prayer that four vehicles came, one Vigo, one 2-D and two pickups, on twice pickups security persons were sitting while in 2-D and Vigo plain cloth wearer people were sitting. They were seeming Peshawari and Punjabi, and vehicles were not having number plates but with dark glasses. They forcefully made sit Jalil Reki in vehicle and had gone to unknown destination. I lodged a F.I.R of my son in Shalkot police station and nominated Saleem Nawaz and Brigadier Saad. I don’t expect for justice from this commission. They didn’t give any response to us then we expressed our worries. Now we relatives of missing persons like Jalil Reki, Mir Wadood Raisani, Sana Sangat Baloch, Ali Asghar Bangulzai, Mir Ghaffar Langove, Maqbool Baloch, Samee Mengal, Abdul Sattar Baloch, Dr. Din Mohammad Baloch, Safeer Baloch, Agha Abid Shah have collectively set a token hunger strike camp for unspecified period in front of Press Club. We are doing this for getting attention of United Nation and other Human Rights Organizations that they hear our voice and stress on Pakistan or knot the Pakistani aid with this human issue.
BLV: You people are sitting on hunger strike for long time, United Nations or other any Human Rights Organization took notice of this or made contact with you people in this regard, either pressed Pakistan about this issue?
QR: No, we haven’t received any response yet. Albeit two senators came here in camp for solidarity and they written their views in visitors books and assured that they will raise voice on senate forum about this issue and bring in notice of Federal Minister Rehman Malik, if they didn’t convinced they will boycott from session of senate.
BLV: Would you like to inform us that what is guilt of these people that they forcefully made disappeared and neither being produce to courts nor any information is being provided to their family members?
QR: They didn’t commit any guilt except struggling for rights. They were saying that this state is not giving us our rights, we should have control on our resources and coast, if state authorities don’t so then let us on our position and make separate to us. This is guilt for that they are being arrested and enduring in torture cells.
BLV: These missing persons belong to which party or group, only Nationalist Parties’ members are made disappeared or parties’ are also including in these?
QR: Only nationalist parties’ members are missing. We never heard of missing of other parties’ members here in Balochistan. These missing persons mostly belong to BRP, BNP, BSO-Azad, BRSO and other nationalist groups.
BLV: National Party and Balochistan National Party are being blamed that these are parliamentarian parties and supporting to government and creating hampers for Baloch Movement but here these parties’ members also disappearing, what is the matter?
QR: This is political discussion but our organization program is to pursue only and only cases of missing persons and raising voice for them. Although I would say this that these parties are including in government, if they weren’t and pressurized to it, then a solution must come out.
BLV: Your son Jalil Reki is worker of political party and his party did anything for him?
QR: No, nothing did yet.
BLV: When your son was free, while he disappeared because of supporting of freedom activities, now he is missing, and you don’t know anything about him that he is alive or not. He belonging to which party, it did nothing for his release, hence you are not hurt or regretting that why happened so?
QR: I am not hurt and regretting. Whether party do anything for him or not, because it is probable that party has such policy. But my son is consciousness political worker. I am happy for this that my son is enduring for freedom, he is sacrificing for motherland, I am proud for this even I am ready to give sacrifice of hundred sons for motherland instead of one.
Advocate Zaman Marri laid to Rest, Political parties and other organizations strongly condemn the barbaric act
By Nouroz Baloch
Baloch lawyer Zaman Khan Marri who’s severe tortured dead body found near Mastung has been laid to rest in New Kahan “Martyrs of Balochistan graveyard”. Hundreds of Baloch activists from different political parties, student organization, lawyers and residents of New Kahan and Killi Kamaloo have participated in his funeral to pay their last respects to advocated Marri. He was buried with great respect and pride, Balochistan’s flag was hoisted on his grave as a sign to let the Baloch opponents know that Shaheed Zaman Marri’s sacrifices will not go in vain.
Zaman Marri had been abducted on 19 August 2010 near his private office Jinnah Road Quetta while he was on his way home to Killi Kamaloo. Advocate Marri a resident of New Kahan was residing in Killi Kamalo, Sariad Raod. It is being believed that one of the aspects of his death could be his voluntary help for the Baloch abducted persons; as he was representing many Baloch political detainees free of charge. He was raising voice against establishment’s misdeeds against Baloch people in the legal battle ground. For his service to Baloch Nation Zaman Marri was roughly murder by unknowns.
According to eye-witnesses Zaman Marri’s body bare signs of extreme torture and there were signs of shackles around his feet and hands which clearly illustrates that he was shackled with iron chains and severely tortured before his murder by shooting him in the head. Perception
Meanwhile Baloch political parties including BNM, BRP, BSO-azaad, and the Baloch Human Rights Organization the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons have strongly condemned the inhuman and cold-blooded murder of Zaman Marri. VBMP representative has said that the state agencies are violating all international human rights laws yet the silence of UN and other International Human rights Organizations is beyond his perceptive. Vice Chairman of VBMP Qadeer Baloch has also strongly condemned dreadful murder of Zaman Marri. He said that forces have started to kill Baloch prisoners one after another and it is a matter of great concern for the Baloch. He urged the UN secretary general Mr. Ban Ki Moon to take urgent notice of the killing of Baloch political activists in the custody of forces.
BSO-azaad termed such cruel and inhuman acts of authorities as the psychological failure of the state and declared it continuation of ongoing genocide of Baloch people. The BSO-Azad central spokesperson said that occupant wanted to strengthen its occupation on Baloch land by restoring to such savageness but the Baloch are now mentally and physically ready to face the barbarism. “The state has realized that Baloch are struggling on ideological and practical basis against the occupation of their motherland, hence the state authorities are committing such gross, inhuman and uncivilized act of torture and murder to discourage Baloch people”.
Meanwhile BRP and BNM have also strongly condemned the killing Zaman Marri in their press statements. They demanded the safe and early release of the rest of the Baloch detainees.
Baloch Armed Organizations are banned; Force will be used to restore peace in Balochistan, Rehman Malik
By Shaheen Baranzai
Pakistan announced a ban on five militant groups operating in the restive province Balochistan and froze their assets, the country’s interior minister Rehman Malik said. Violence has surged this year in southwestern Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran. “Today five of them have been proscribed. They will not be allowed to undertake any activity, their offices will be closed and action will be taken against their office bearers,” Malik told reporters. The banned groups are the Balochistan Republican Party, Baloch Liberation Front, Baloch Liberation Army, Baloch Liberation Front and Defaee Tanzeem, Malik said.
Meanwhile Baloch resistance organization BLA and BLF in their separate statements vowed to continue the struggle for the Independence of Balochistan.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced that the government had decided to take stern action against miscreants in Balochistan based on the approach used to restore peace in Karachi.
Talking to reporters at the Quetta airport, Malik said the Baloch Liberation Army and Baloch Students Organization had taken the place of political parties in the province and were involved in targeted killings. He said the government would act against these groups until its writ is restored. Malik said that he had been tasked by the prime minister to revive the peace process in Balochistan based on the model applied in Karachi. “I have come here to evolve a strategy and use force where it is needed,” he added. Malik said that he had called on Baloch nationalist leader Hyrbyair Marri in London and had also talked with another nationalist leader Brahmdagh Bugti but neither had given a positive response to the government’s offer for talks to maintain peace in Balochistan.
Later, addressing a press briefing with Balochistan Home Minister Mir Zafrullah Khan Zehri at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, the interior minister said that the government was ready to accept all the legitimate demands of nationalist leaders. Malik reiterated the offer for talks, saying the government once again invites nationalist leaders to come forward to hold talks so that peace could be secured in the province.
Saying that “Balochistan is a very essential part of Pakistan, everybody owns this”, Malik said that several FC and coastguard check posts in the province had been abolished, thousands of people had been given jobs under the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package and the province had got due share in the National Finance Commission Award. Malik claimed although the removal of FC check posts had led to an increase in arms smuggling to the provincial capital, the government did not reverse its decision in view of the demands of the people of Balochistan.
Malik opined that Balochistan would gain great prosperity if the nationalists joined the mainstream and avoided targeting innocent people. “All rights of Baloch people will be given to them besides acceptance of all legitimate demands but first of all their nationalist leadership will have to shun extremism and an inflexible attitude,” he said.
Replying to a question, he said that he was ready to probe allegations about secret agencies’ hand in the disappearance of Baloch citizens. However, he said that according to his information, many people who had been reported to be missing were actually living in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
Later in the evening, Malik visited the Combined Military Hospital and inquired after those injured in a suicide bomb attack at the Al-Quds procession on Friday. He said that the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was behind the Quetta and Lahore blasts. “We have to break up the triangle of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and al Qaeda on war footing because without this, peace cannot be restored,” he said, alleging that foreign money was being used to create anarchy in Balochistan and external forces were involved in the deteriorating law and order situation in the province.
By Ahmed Khan
In human history whenever calamity or disasters took place, these have become cause of innovation for human species and human learnt much more for disasters to overcome on nature and get more benefit from these. From process of evolution human has established system for better living a life. After the rehabilitation from these disasters they found much relieve and systemized society. Human conscious have ever converted destructions for innovation and renovation of life.
Here in Pakistan rulers and common people never thought to consider these disasters as part of evolution, but consider these as reward of deeds. It is irrational that happening of something unusual is scourge of deeds. For instance to evacuate entire populace of Sindh or Balochistan but even there flood and disaster will take like happened past, or totally evacuate Kashmir but there earthquake had to occur, because these are part of nature, whether human inhabitant anywhere or not but these disasters occurs with passage of time. In different part of planet human have through political conscious and by scientific expertise controlled disasters even utilizing these for human prosperity.
Now this flood has brought a message for confederation that here powerful has right to sunk the powerless and downtrodden the national question. Balochistan was always protesting from Sindh for cut in the share of his water. But never federal government or Sindh government had given concentration to Balochistan protest; they merely followed their national and personal interests. Same thing now practiced during the flood. Balochistan’s areas of Kohlu and Sibi were affected by rains but lower areas like Jaffarabad, Jhal Magsi have sunk by Sindh’s authorities. Sindh government and influential persons for saving their lands and fields they made breach in canals and gave to water toward the Balochistan’s areas and destroyed cities and fields of Balochs but saved the Shehbaz airport where American aircrafts are parking. They valued nonliving things but devalued livings. In this way they perpetrated violation of national values. Those who are rising voice for National Question Baloch this act much strengthened their stance and Nation Question issue will grave further.
When flood entered in Balochistan and swallowing the human lives then elite class has only one thing in mind that how to save their land and fields, because they don’t have any sympathy with poor peoples. And as well they did precisely to expectations that they gave way the flood water toward cities instead of their fields and deserted areas. This thing is obvious that bourgeoisie class has only love with their feuds and wealth. Ruthlessly they punished poor peoples by flood water. Million of people with their innocent child living terrible life in different part of Balochistan and on those area’s highlands, many of them died because of hunger, fatal diseases and biting of snake and scorpions. Oppressed class always has status of fuel for elites but they their lives and bodies also valueless for them.
This time both things being observed that National Question and Class difference are problem of Balochistan people. They must realize this and eradicate these hampers through a revolution in their lives. This is genuine and an ideal time for a revolution to get dispose off from feudalism, capitalism and march for socialist revolution which provides human equal living system and can cure calamities and disaster on practicing codes of science and rational basis.
Bolan Voice Report
The governments are themselves terrorists; Baloch Nation has no eagerness to negotiate with them. Those who had blamed the Baloch for getting money from India are today compelled to spread hands in front of India for help. Nawab Bugti’s Martyrdom anniversary will be observed with great respect on 26 August across Baluchistan.
The son of Shaheed Akbar Bugti, Nawabzada Jameel Akbar Bugti has expressed these views while exclusively talking to media from Karachi. He said that Baloch Nation will observe complete strike and a Black Day on 26 August to commemorate the 4th martyrdom anniversary of Nawab Akbar Bugti, whereas; there will be Quran Khawani (a ceremony of reading the Holy Quran) in Bugti Boluk.
He said that Asif Ali Zardari says that he won’t talk to terrorists in Balochistan but we want to tell him that the government is the biggest terrorist and Baloch Nation has no excitement of appealing for mercy from the government. The government is still abducts Baloch youth, ties their hands and feet and kills them in cold blood, the government’s own created groups (wings) accept the responsibility of killing these innocent Baloch. Why the civilized societies of the world are silent on the ongoing atrocities against Baluchistan, He asked astonishingly.
He said government was only making tall claims of helping the flood victims in Balochistan. No foreign aid agencies have been allowed to help Baloch victims of flood. Government’s attitude against 2007 flood victims was the same and today also Balochistan is being ignored, he said. Commenting on the recent brutal killing of two brothers in Sailkot Punjab, he said that the issue of alleged burying women alive was raised by Pakistan everywhere but today the brutal killing of two youth in Punjab has exposed the real faces of educated Punjab. The Punjabis are killing their own people so ruthlessly imagine if they arrest Baloch youth what will they do to them, he pointed out.
He said it was on record that the foreign minister of Pakistan said “We won’t accept any charity from India”, but I want to ask him “Why once blaming Baloch for taking money from “RAW” are accepting the charity of India?” He said Bangladesh like situation are being repeated in Balochistan because in Bangladesh also the military and Jamaat Islami jointly created so called organizations like Al-Badr and Al-Shams to massacre the Bangalis. Today once again Mollah Military Alliance (The Alliance of Military and Islamic Groups) are involved in killing Baloch youth. He said Jamaat-e-Islami is crying crocodile tear over Baluchistan but it is the same party which was a part of MNA and they supported military operation in Balochistan during Musharraf era.
Commenting on Pakistan’s Home Minister, Rehman Malik’s allegations, Jameel Bugti said that Rehman Malike can easily see the resistance Organization created by Hyrbyair Marri, Brahumdagh Bugti and Javid Mengal but how come he cannot the government’s armed groups such as: Sipah-e-Shoda-e-Baluchistan, Insar-ul-Islam and Armed Defence Group? I warned the Baloch nation to stay vigilant from the groups of government agencies and their paid Baloch agents. Government wants to create mess in Balochistan with the help of these groups, he remarked.
By Sanaullah Baloch
The world watched incredulously as Pervez Musharraf declared war on Balochistan, and particularly, on Nawab Bugti. Tanks rolled into Dera Bugti and other parts in January 2005, prior to the so-called attack on Musharraf in December 2005 in Kohlu district.
In March 2005, forces began to smash Bugti’s house and the Dera Bugti town, killing dozens and leaving him besieged in a few rooms. Musharraf then came up with a plan to eliminate Bugti. His associates planned a so-called visit to Kohlu to find an excuse to escalate the military operation against the Baloch people and their leaders.
After the “attack” on Musharraf on December 14, 2005, indiscriminate bombing compelled all Dera Bugti inhabitants to flee their homes. According to an Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre report, 160,000 people were displaced during the conflict.
Bugti moved to the mountains but was killed on August 26, 2006, followed by massive anti-government protests in Pakistan and media coverage worldwide. Musharraf’s government refused to accept responsibility.
No doubt, it was a well-planned murder of a respected Baloch leader. In December 2005, Musharraf had thundered, “There are two or three tribal chiefs and feudal lords behind what’s going on in Balochistan. The past governments have made deals with them and indulged them. My government is determined to establish its writ. It will be a fight to the finish.”
Bugti devoted his life to the Baloch cause and became an undisputed martyr of the Baloch people.
Naturally, as one would expect after decades of tribal, political and public life, there are those who love him and those who criticize him, the praise and slander each creating its own version of the man. Most criticisms were manufactured.
Against overwhelming odds created overtly and covertly by the establishment, Bugti continually had to navigate the shifting sands of intrigue and sabotage.
After his son Salal was killed in June 1992, he chose to remain in Dera Bugti with his people. He was a true victim of Islamabad’s divide-and-rule policy. Instead of playing a more proactive role in unifying and strengthening its political position, Bugti was kept engaged in inter-tribal feuds for decades by the establishment.
He also tried to unite Baloch nationalist parties in 2004, calling for a single nationalist party. But Islamabad’s continued meddling in Balochistan’s affairs and engineered conspiracies and attacks at him slowed down the unification process.
Having immense experience in politics, Bugti never saw armed struggle as the solution to the Baloch question. He began negotiating with Islamabad. He prepared a set of reasonable demands in consultation with veteran Baloch leaders and nationalist parties. He appointed his representatives to the parliamentary committee on Balochistan.
It was a slow process of dialogue with little chance of getting political and economic relief for the Baloch people. For the people of Balochistan, it was a momentous occasion. Many saw the dialogue as the beginning of a new era for Baloch-Islamabad relations. But as expected by Bugti, Sardar Ataullah Mengal, Nawab Khair Bux Marri and other Baloch nationalists, Islamabad and its ruling civil-military establishment betrayed the Baloch trust.
During the talks, several political activists ‘disappeared’ and were tortured. There was no let up in intimidation and harassment by the troops. Talking to a journalist, Bugti in January 2005 said, “How can negotiations on political issues continue with the government in this situation? A military operation and negotiations cannot continue side by side. If the authorities launch an operation, with whom will they hold negotiations?”
Bugti pointed out that Nawab Marri had already made it clear that he had nothing to do with this dialogue and Sardar Mengal had also disassociated himself from the process in protest against the arrest of party workers as well as other reasons.
Musharraf and the establishment were unwilling to compromise on Balochistan’s genuine economic and political demands. Instead of addressing Baloch grievances politically, the military government resorted to the brute force. Musharraf added fuel to the fire when he declared, “Don’t push us. It isn’t the 1970s when you can hit and run and hide in the mountains. This time you won’t even know what hit you.”
Bugti was prepared for the consequences. During an interview in April 2006, he had predicted his death at the hands of the armed forces. “They have been given instructions that I and Nawabzada Balach Marri should be wiped out.”
Islamabad’s erroneous policy of suppression has proved to be a failure. The killing of Baloch leaders has dealt a bloody blow to the fragile Baloch-Islamabad relations. Four years after Bugti’s death, Balochistan’s state of affairs represents a worsening scenario. Human rights violations are growing, tensions between Islamabad and the Baloch people have mounted, economic activities are at a lifeless level and poverty has increased manifold.
As rightly pointed out by a foreign diplomat, Bugti “was a wise man. They (Islamabad) could have utilized him to reach out to the Baloch”.
By Massadique Baloch
Balochistan never have been part of this state but it had status of autonomous nation. Government of Pakistan made it her province averse to desires of Balochs. In 2004 state launched an operation in the areas of Dera Bugti and Kohlu of Balochistan to suppress the voice of Balochs but now it is being predicted in the perspective of circumstances that generations will fight this war. Present government is blaring that they are providing a package to Balochistan’s people but I think these packages can’t extinguish wrath of Balochs.
State authorities claim that being Muslim we annexed the Balochistan with Pakistan and we will live together, but one question rises in mind that other Islamic countries Afghanistan and Iran are also situated in neighbor, why they are being annexed? Because Balochistan is enriched with natural resources like minerals and coasts, hence they did so.
Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and Balach Marri went to mountains for getting control on their resources and embraced martyrdom. During the Swat operation government cared civilian population loses but in Balochistan they indiscriminately bombarded. It seems that Food, Cloth and Shelter is not demand of Balochs like in other provinces. Balochistan is rich land and it can give package to others. This government is dependent on other countries USA and others.
I salute to those who are scarifying for rights, if Baloch got control on their resources it will be like those developed countries where people go for getting employment and for better life.
Are recessions better for the left or right, asks Phil Gasper?
The most fundamental argument in favor of socialism is that capitalism is an irrational system that over the long term cannot meet the basic needs of the majority of the population because of its tendency to go into economic crisis. But what if economic crisis leads not to the growth of the left but to the rise of the far right? This is the argument of the radical economist Doug Henwood in a short article published in May on the MRzine Web site.
Henwood begins by criticizing “radicals [who] have fantasized that a serious recession—or depression—would lead to mass radicalization,” and he goes on to argue that there is empirical support for the opposite view—that economic crisis actually benefits the far right not the radical left. The evidence he cites is recent research by the economists Markus Brükner and Hans Peter Grüner. Brükner and Grüner studied sixteen European countries and discovered that between 1970 and 2002, every 1 percent decline in economic growth in these countries was associated with an increase in the vote share of far right and nationalist parties of between 1 and 2 percent.
By contrast, Brükner and Grüner found no corresponding increase in electoral support for communist parties during the same periods of economic decline. Henwood concludes that “recessions are not good for the left and are good for the right,” and that Brükner and Grüner’s research “helps explain the rise of the Tea Partiers and other strange life forms on the right.”
The first thing to note is that this is an incredibly narrow study on which to base the sweeping conclusion that “recessions are not good for the left and are good for the right.” In fact Henwood himself immediately notes one “major exception,” namely the United States during the Great Depression, when economic crisis led to a series of mass strikes, the birth of industrial unions, and the growth of the Communist Party to about 80,000 members. However, he adds that this was only because the scale of the crisis was so severe, with unemployment rates reaching 25 percent and, additionally, the “Great Depression didn’t do much for the left in Europe.”
In fact that last claim is not accurate. While the far right obviously grew as a result of the Depression, eventually seizing power in Germany, Spain, and Austria, the left also grew in many European countries, and there was nothing inevitable about its ultimate defeat. In Germany, the Social Democratic and Communist Parties had millions of supporters, and in the election of November 1932, the last genuinely free vote before Hitler took power, their combined support was several percentage points ahead of the Nazis. The tragedy was that the two left-wing parties were fatally divided and unable to agree on a common strategy to defeat the far right in the streets as well as at the ballot box. Similarly in Spain the left grew significantly. It eventually lost the civil war as a result of major conflicts between the different left-wing parties and outside support for Franco’s fascists.
Second, economic crises are a fact of life under capitalism, and one of the main arguments in favor of a different kind of economic system. Henwood instructs the left to “stop hoping for the worst,” but our hopes either way are irrelevant to how the economy actually performs, and severe recessions will periodically take place no matter what we think about them. If it were true that in such circumstances the right will grow and the left will not, there would be grounds for thoroughgoing political pessimism. During periods of economic growth and stability, the radical transformation of society would seem unnecessary, while during periods of economic crisis it would be impossible.
Henwood is certainly right about one thing—there is no automatic relationship between economic crisis and “mass radicalization.” But it is equally wrong to think that there is an automatic connection between crisis and the growth of the right. Whether or not an economic slump results in an increase in class struggle and gains for the left depends on a whole set of complex factors, including the nature of the crisis and the constellation of political forces going into it.
Perhaps no one has written about the relationship between economic booms, slumps, and political consciousness with more insight than the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky, who addressed these issues several times in the 1920s and the 1930s. In a report he wrote for the Communist International in 1921, Trotsky noted that, “there is no automatic dependence of the proletarian revolutionary movement upon a crisis. There is only a dialectical interaction. It is essential to understand this.” The example that Trotksy used to illustrate this point is worth quoting at length:
Let us look at the relations in Russia. The 1905 revolution was defeated. The workers bore great sacrifices. In 1906 and 1907 the last revolutionary flare-ups occurred and by the autumn of 1907 a great world crisis broke out. The signal for it was given by Wall Street’s Black Friday. Throughout 1907 and 1908 and 1909 the most terrible crisis reigned in Russia too. It killed the movement completely, because the workers had suffered so greatly during the struggle that this depression could act only to dishearten them. There were many disputes among us over what would lead to the revolution: a crisis or a favorable conjuncture?
At that time many of us defended the viewpoint that the Russian revolutionary movement could be regenerated only by a favorable economic conjuncture. And that is what took place. In 1910, 1911 and 1912, there was an improvement in our economic situation and a favorable conjuncture which acted to reassemble the demoralized and devitalized workers who had lost their courage. They realized again how important they were in production; and they passed over to an offensive, first in the economic field and later in the political field as well. On the eve of the war [in 1914] the working class had become so consolidated, thanks to this period of prosperity, that it was able to pass to a direct assault.
This period of class militancy was cut short by the outbreak of the First World War, when a wave of patriotism swept over the country, engulfing all but the most class-conscious workers. But as the war dragged on and Russia suffered massive casualties, patriotism gave way to cynicism and then anger, which eventually culminated in the successful revolutions of 1917.
One conclusion that Trotsky drew from examples like these was that class struggle was not simply the result of economic slump or of economic boom, but was often the result of the rapid shift from slump to boom and back again. Slumps can show the necessity for change, but they can also weaken the power of the working class as some lose their jobs and others become desperate to hang on to theirs. A return to economic growth can give workers renewed confidence to make significant demands, but if the new expansion is long-lived, the possibility for radical change will be lost until a new crisis begins. Here is Trotsky again:
Many of you will recall that Marx and Engels wrote in 1851—when the boom was at its peak—that it was necessary at that time to recognize that the Revolution of 1848 had terminated, or, at any rate, had been interrupted until the next crisis. Engels wrote that while the crisis of 1847 was the mother of revolution, the boom of 1849–51 was the mother of triumphant counter-revolution. It would, however, be very one-sided and utterly false to interpret these judgments in the sense that a crisis invariably engenders revolutionary action while a boom, on the contrary, pacifies the working class…
The irresolute and half-way Revolution of 1848 did, however, sweep away the remnants of the regime of guilds and serfdom and thereby extended the framework of capitalist development. Under these conditions and these conditions alone, the boom of 1851 marked the beginning of an entire epoch of capitalist prosperity which lasted till 1873. In citing Engels it is very dangerous to overlook these basic facts…. At issue here is not whether an improvement in the conjuncture is possible, but whether the fluctuations of the conjuncture are proceeding along an ascending or descending curve. This is the most important aspect of the whole question.
So it was the long period of capitalist expansion in the 1850s and 1860s that stabilized the system and led to a relatively low level of class struggle. By contrast, the period after the First World War, according to Trotsky, was one of long-term instability and decline, during which “upswings can only be of a superficial…character, while crises become more and more prolonged and deeper going.”
The effect of booms and slumps will thus depend in part on the underlying state of the economy—whether it is in a period of sustained expansion in which recessions are relatively minor interruptions, or whether it is in a period of decline in which the booms are short-lived and sustained growth cannot be achieved.
Today we find ourselves in a period of long-term economic instability, in which a return to sustained growth seems unlikely any time in the near future. During the past decade the U.S. economy has experienced two recessions—the most recent, the worst since the Great Depression—and low growth. Even when the economy was growing in the middle of the decade real wages continued to decline. Now the economy is growing again, but unemployment remains high (the real figure is around 15 percent) and there is a strong chance that there will soon be another recession.
Will the current period prove more favorable to the left or to the right? Over the past eighteen months we have certainly seen the growth of the right, including vicious scapegoating of immigrants and the emergence of the Tea Party, with its attacks on “big government” and the supposed socialism of the Obama administration, and its strong undercurrent of racism. Some commentators, including Noam Chomsky, are convinced that there is a real threat of fascism, with parallels to the decline of Weimar Germany and the rise of the Nazis.
There is certainly no reason to be complacent about these developments, but the comparison with Germany in the 1930s makes little sense. Far from being a mass movement, the journalists Anthony DiMaggio and Paul Street describe the Tea Party as “a top-down interest group led by national and local political officials and financed by corporate America” and “fundamentally dependent upon the Republican Party.”
While the Tea Party has been able to mobilize a few thousand people and demonstrations around the country, these have been dwarfed by recent progressive mobilizations, including hundreds of thousands demonstrating for LGBT and immigrant rights. But progressive demonstrations generally receive very little media attention, while the cable channels—particularly, of course, Fox News—have given Tea Party events a level of exposure totally disproportionate to the numbers involved.
DiMaggio and Street argue that, despite some impressive recent mobilizations, much of the left has been “significantly pacified and demobilized by Obama and the corporate Democrats, has surely failed to capitalize on the recent economic downturn, and has generally failed to establish a progressive movement in the short term.” But they also point out that “the Tea Party represents a concession from Republican Party elites that they (along with their Democratic counterparts) no longer enjoy much legitimacy among the American people. Their only way of appealing to voters is to appear as if they are not political leaders, but ‘average people’ taking part in a populist uprising against a corrupt political system.”
Opinion polls show that there has been a significant shift to the left in terms of political attitudes over the past few years. In May, a survey by the Pew Research Center found that 43 percent of people under the age of thirty in the United States view socialism favorably, exactly the same percentage as those with a favorable view of capitalism. That figure alone shows that there is a remarkable opportunity for the left to grow in the current period. We have to honestly acknowledge that organizations to the left of the Democratic Party are tiny and that the labor movement in this country is at a low ebb. But if we are serious about changing the world, now is the time to get involved and rebuild them. The left can grow in a period of economic crisis.
Phil Gasper is the editor of The Communist Manifesto: A Road Map to History’s Most Important Document (Haymarket Books, 2005).
By Yousaf Ajab Baloch
The recent rains and flood have affected entire Pakistan and series of rains is still continued, lives of the masses have been completely disturbed and countless villages have been destroyed. People are suffering in unprecedented flood and their all facilities of life have been washed away. Similar is the occurrence in Baluchistan and the entire city of Dehra Allayer District HQ of Jafferabad inundated, hence people of Naseerabad, Jal Magsi, escaped to different of Balochistan. A large number of flood victims have migrated to district Kalat and still this process is continuing. Three organization of district Kalat have arranged relief camp for affected people, they are providing them food, cash money to meet living requirements and other items but because of meager resources they can’t cover needs of thousands displaced. The IDPs (Inter Displaced Persons) of flood are living in miserable situation in the areas of Kalat, Iskalkoo, Mangocher, Toak, Kulo Chaper and in other villages of District Kalat.
Social Organizations always played a vital role to alleviate social problems and specifically they have play chief role during disasters. The organizations of district Kalat commenced their relief work on platform of KADAM (Kalat Association for Development and Motivation). KADAM is network of active and stimulated non profit social organizations consisting on Human Prosperity Organization (HPO), Harboi Development Organization and Balochistan Participatory Development Society (BPDS). Since the migration of IDPs to Kalat district organizations of KADAM organized a relief camp for flood victims and currently non food items and food packet are being provided to them twice in a week, but due to lack of resources KADAM is not able to achieve the target.
KADAM has formed team in order to register IDPs; registration is being done by volunteers at relief camp and in the living sites on flood victims .The IDPs are facing problems of food ,shelter, water ,sanitation health and medicines ,But No measures by any national or international organization have been made to support flood affected people in Kalat district. Even two of them died due to lack of health facilities Migration of flood affected people is still continued they have no shelters and living on grounds plus facing problems of water and sanitation , Most of the men and women are sick children are affected by diarrhea and pregnant women do not avail required food . The KADAM network also conducted protest against district Govt, national and international organizations those claim for support of victims and flood affected IDPs in Baluchistan but have not started any relief activity for 700 hundred families in Kalat suffering from hardships.
By B. Raman
On August 27,2010,the “New York Times” carried an article by Selig Harrison, former correspondent of the ”Washington Post” in New Delhi who now works in a Washington-based think tank, stating inter alia as follows: “While the world focuses on the flood-ravaged Indus River valley, a quiet geopolitical crisis is unfolding in the Himalayan borderlands of northern Pakistan, where Islamabad is handing over de facto control of the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region in the northwest corner of disputed Kashmir to China. The entire Pakistan-occupied western portion of Kashmir stretching from Gilgit in the north to Azad (Free) Kashmir in the south is closed to the world, in contrast to the media access that India permits in the eastern part, where it is combating a Pakistan-backed insurgency. But reports from a variety of foreign intelligence sources, Pakistani journalists and Pakistani human rights workers reveal two important new developments in Gilgit-Baltistan: a simmering rebellion against Pakistani rule and the influx of an estimated 7,000 to 11,000 soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army.”
2. Selig’s wake-up call should not have been a surprise to intelligence sources and policy-makers in India and the US. They were aware of the high level of involvement of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China and its nuclear establishment in the construction and maintenance of high-altitude roads in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). The PLA was interested in infrastructure development and maintenance in GB because of its strategic importance for possible use by the PLA in the event of another military conflict with India. China’s nuclear establishment was interested because it wanted to use the PLA-constructed Karakoram Highway (KKH) as an overland route for the movement of missiles and spare parts to Pakistan.
3. The first wake-up call that China had been using the KKH for moving missile supplies to Pakistan was sounded by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the US, which managed to take satellite photographs of such movement. On August 6 and 7, 2001, the “Washington Times” gave the following details:
* The China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corporation sent a dozen shipments of missile components to Pakistan since November, 2000, and a US spy satellite detected the latest shipment as it arrived by truck at the mountainous Chinese-Pakistani border May 1, 2001. The company supplied components for Pakistan’s Shaheen-1 and Shaheen-2 missile programmes. The consignments were sent by ship and truck.
* The missile components are being used for production of the Shaheen-1, which has an estimated range of 465 miles, and the development of the Shaheen-2, which US intelligence agencies think will have a range of up to 1,240 miles.
4. Following the disclosure by the “Washington Times, Gen. Pervez Musharraf visited Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, including GB, for four days from August 27, 2001. In an article of September 3,2001, titled MUSHARRAF’S VISIT TO POK & N.A., I wrote as follows: “The US media reports that its intelligence agencies had detected the transport of 12 consignments of Chinese missile components by sea and land since China pledged to stop such supplies in November last. The consignments sent by trucks came via the Karakoram Highway through Xinjiang and the N.A. (Northern Areas). To avoid detection of transport by sea by US satellites or by the CIA’s port-based sources, China and Pakistan had decided to move future consignments by road, which, they felt, would not be vulnerable to detection by the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) of the US. Pakistan has also sought Chinese assistance for the movements of future consignments of missiles and components from North Korea by road through the same route. The military junta had taken considerable precautions to prevent detection of the truck movements by not associating any of the officials of the NA Administration, particularly the Shias, with the arrangements for the movement. In view of this, both Islamabad and Beijing were surprised and embarrassed by the US media reports that US intelligence had detected the truck movements. Pakistani officials claim that even if US satellites had detected the trucks, they could not have known that the consignments contained missile components. They, therefore, reportedly feel that there must have been leakage to the CIA from one of the Pakistani officials associated with the movement. Moreover, following past US detection of the storage of the earlier missiles/components in Sargoda, the military junta had drawn up alternate plans for storage in Gilgit in the hope that there would be less possibility of detection there by the CIA. Before Musharraf’s arrival in the POK, Lt. Gen. Jamshed Gulzar, Corps Commander, 10 Corps based in Rawalpindi, had visited the N.A. to enquire into the leakage jointly with the Force Commander, NA, Lt-Gen Muhammad Safdar. Measures for tightening up security in N.A. was one of the subjects which figured during the discussions of Musharraf in Gilgit in which apart from senior military officers, Abbas Sarfaraz, Musharraf’s Minister for Kashmir and NA Affairs, who is also the Chief Executive of the NA, also participated.
5. When the KKH was constructed by Chinese engineers in the 1970s, China had no private construction company. All construction companies were State-owned. Only the Engineering units of the PLA had engineers with experience of construction at high altitudes. Right from the beginning, PLA engineers had been involved in the construction, maintenance and up-gradation of the KKH. As a result, there had always been a sizable presence of engineers of the PLA in GB. This number has gone up since the beginning of this year following severe damages to the KKH by two natural disasters in January and August. Regular units of the PLA have always been deployed in the GB to provide security to the Chinese engineers and humanitarian workers. It has been difficult to estimate the total number of Chinese engineers, humanitarian workers and security personnel in GB. This number will go up further when China starts the construction of a railway line through GB.
6. While information has been coming from time to time about the role of PLA engineers in infrastructure development in GB, similar details are not available about the role of engineers of the North Korean Army. Nationalist sources from the area, who have been fighting against the Pakistan Army, have been saying that North Korean military engineers have good expertise in high-altitude tunnel construction and have been helping the Pakistan Army in the construction of roads which would facilitate all-weather road movements to the Chitral area. According to them, for part of the year, the Chitral area is cut off from the rest of Pakistan by landslides. The only way of reaching Chitral is via Afghanistan. Other sources say that the engineers involved in this are from South and not North Korea. It has not been possible to verify this.
7. Thus even before Selig sounded his wake-up call, considerable details were available for over a decade on the presence and activities of the PLA and possibly North Korean military engineers in GB. Considerable details came from GB when the Government of Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee was in power from 1998 to 2004. It was during that period that the PLA presence in GB increased. His Government failed to highlight this threat to our own population and to the international community. It is not known whether we have factored this into our plans for the protection of the Ladakh-Kargil sector. Infrastructure development in our territory in the areas bordering GB has remained neglected. It is time we sit up and pay more attention to this. If we do so, Selig’s wake-up call would have served a useful purpose. Chinese and North Korean activities in GB should also figure prominently in the talks during the visit of President Barack Obama to India in November.
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: email@example.com)
Envisaging the emergence of a new Islamic identity from the ruins of old identities, the state arrogantly rejected histories, customs and values that existed before and actively tried to obliterate them.
The Pakistani state and elite have not only always turned a blind eye to the venomous hate and intolerance preached by millions of pulpits that adorn this ‘land of the pure’, but have also actively promoted it. They patronized preachers of murder and mayhem, thereby creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in which no one can object to their sinister and pernicious dogmas. Extremists have been allowed to hijack culture, morality, history, attitudes, and even the minds of people.
In stark contrast, if a Bizenjo, a G M Syed, a Badshah Khan or a Bhashani dared to demand rights for the oppressed, they were locked up and the keys thrown away. Many brave and dedicated people like Hameed Baloch, Nazeer Abbasi and Hassan Nasir perished in dungeons and on the gallows for the crime of struggling for the people’s rights. Heroes like Nawab Nauroz Khan Zarakzai and companions, who dared to resist armed aggression against their people with arms, were summarily sentenced and executed. Poets and intellectuals were ceaselessly hounded and all this gave the fundamentalists the opportunity to lay the foundations of theocracy.
The government to date remains very selective in its reaction to ideas and demands. It takes no action against cranks that instigate people to violence in the name of religion, but if someone were to ask for the independence of Balochistan, the entire state machinery would come down on him like a ton of bricks. Such bias has forced people to seek solutions through other means.
This state-initiated process of discrimination between the good Pakistani (the fundamentalist), the not-so-good Pakistani (the secularist) and the anti-Pakistani (Baloch, Bengali, Sindhi, Pashtun nationalists) has created and intensified alienation amongst the people of different nationalities from the state.
Unsurprisingly, the missing people’s list, like always, is of an almost exclusively nationalist cadre. It was only after the state fell out with certain ‘strategic assets’ that some went missing. The state persists with repression because it considers the intrinsic democratic rights of citizens and the people in general as inimical to their aim of tyrannical rule.
The elite, having been donated a country by the British, did not let history take its course but set about engineering it as an exercise in historical eugenics. They feared that the old divisions of language, culture and histories would thwart their ambitions of establishing a semi-theocratic state; they promulgated the Objectives Resolution and launched a full-fledged brainwashing exercise. They hoped Islam’s supposedly irresistibly cohesive force would somehow erase those histories and cultures. For them, apart from the Islamic period that began with Mohammad Bin Qasim, the marauders and looters of Mohammad Ghauri and Mahmood Ghaznavi’s ilk, the rest of history was rubbish. History, understandably so, often portrays August 14, 1947 as the universe’s creation point.
Envisaging the emergence of a new Islamic identity from the ruins of old identities, they arrogantly rejected histories, customs and values that existed before and actively tried to obliterate them. This warped motive was and, as of now, remains the progenitor of the intolerant fundamentalism that is rife in this ‘Fortress of Islam’. This led to the creation of not one, but thousands of Ziaul Haqs who now blight the country. The elite only succeeded in creating an intimidating atmosphere of fear and insecurity where no one dares to speak against the aggressive brands of religion and human rights violations for fear of being termed a blasphemer.
Allowing the different nations to develop independently would have meant that different national identities would have prevailed and, consequently, even the army would have remained ‘Punjab’s army’, which it still essentially is, and not the so-called army of Islam, of which it thinks it has inherited the legacy. Similarly, the people who migrated could not have unjustly acquired disproportionate power and influence at the expense of the indigenous Sindhis. The motives behind projecting and promoting Islam as the country’s ideology were patently selfish and narrow.
The 1954 One Unit plan was a tactic to achieve the strategic goal of obliterating national identities under the misleading and maliciously unjust slogan of parity and Islamic unity; it was a political extension of the religion-oriented Objectives Resolution. Surprisingly, advocates of the One Unit plan have never demanded parity since Bangladesh’s independence. The One Unit strategy, on paper, did away with nationalities and replaced them with the soulless east and west wings. Remarkably, nothing changed since its abrogation in 1970 because the rulers’ attitudes remained unchanged.
Whenever confronted with a crisis, the elite have exploited religion. The undertones of religion in the crisis of 1971 are brazenly obvious. Bangladesh’s struggle was termed pro-Indian and so, by extension, anti-Islamic; therefore, the Al-Shams and Al-Badr militias of the Jamaat-e-Islami were in the forefront to crush Bengali aspirations. Sadly, the Left too, in its eternally bookish approach to the national problem, supported the state.
The media, too, has been complicit in the crime of promoting fundamentalism by glorifying the state’s concept of Islam and Pakistani nationalism. The coverage given to conflicting views has usually been meagre because of government restrictions and the media barons’ interests. Mediums of performing arts like films and television have actively abetted in promoting the state’s policy. The only exception has been theatre, especially the Ajoka Theatre.
Ironically, the very ideology that they had hoped would provide unity and cohesion to the disparate people, cultures and histories has now proven to be the single most important factor that is unraveling their dream at breakneck speed. They had neither studied history nor even bothered to see how the Muslim world was arranged. Had Islam ever been a force strong enough to raze national identities, all Middle Eastern countries would have been a single entity because of their common language and the same ethnic denomination. They failed to understand that Islam has never succeeded in uniting disparate national sentiments. Their attempt at historical eugenics failed and created the present irresolvable problems.
Readers naturally expect enunciation of solutions; solutions are processes that take time to become effective and need careful nurturing. Had the state spent the money on education and health that it instead spent on the armed forces, had the Objectives Resolution not been passed, had the ‘strategic assets’ and ‘strategic depth’ policies not been adopted, had not merit been smothered in its infancy, and had different nationalities been allowed to flourish, this country would not have been in this situation. Readers will object to my presenting of solutions in the past tense. This I have done intentionally because I feel that these still are the solutions but no one had implemented them then and no one is going to do it now.
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Reza Hossein Borr
The world will remember Mehrnehad, the first weblog writer that was hanged in Iran. He chose freedom even though he knew it would cost his life.
Yaqoub Mehrnehad was very young when he was hanged, but added more value to the collective achievements of Baloch nation than thousands of men who have died in their homes, in accidents and in the hospitals. He was the kind of person who wanted to generate respect for the Baloch people. He thought they deserved it and had to get it at all cost. Thousands of Baloch have died without having any impact on improving their own lives or the collective life of their nation. They appear and disappear in this world without being relevant. They come in this world, suffer, witness the history of their nation’s suffering and fade away as if they have never been born.
Mehrnehad wanted to make an impact on the life of his people. He wanted to do it within the limits the government has imposed on them, but the way he displayed the imposed limitations, was not satisfactory to a regime that hated freedom, prosperity and happiness. Yaqoub Mehrnehad wanted to indicate to millions of Baloch people that they can be effective even in the worst environments. He wanted to show them that they are able to build and achieve something even against odds. He was able to persuade few of his friends to accept his idea of making major changes in the mentality of the Baloch but they were too few and few is always too vulnerable.
If we had hundreds of Yaqoub Mehrnehad, today the fate of Baloch people would be very different. Few people are always vulnerable when the majority is indifferent. If a large number of Baloch had followed his example, nobody would have been able to eliminate them. This is a great lesson. The numbers count: one is very vulnerable, ten are less vulnerable, one hundred is still vulnerable, but thousands are not; and we have millions of Baloch.
He was one, joined by few, later. With him, his organization was hanged too. Few friends he had were forced to scatter. Some still are rotting in prison. The Baloch intelligentsia witnessed his demise with the sorrow of those who have been completely overwhelmed by the fear of a ruthless government that has no limits in brutality. They prefer to continue a dog’s life rather than appear like a lion on the scene, roar loudly, fight ferociously, stand tall and look firm the way Abdol Malek Rigi.
I know that everybody loves to live but if somebody lives without dignity and prosperity, that’s not the kind of life that Mehrnehad and hundreds of young Baloch who are fighting in the worst conditions were looking for. Coming like a dog, living like a dog, and dying like a dog is not honorable. Even a dog can make a difference by showing more loyalty to the home he lives in. Mehrnehad wrote in his weblog that he knew what kind of fate he expected but he still had the courage to follow the dream of an honorable and decent life in his own homeland. He was entitled to have a free life in Balochistan and when he did not find it, he worked very hard for it and at the end, he lost his life for what Baloch aspired to have: freedom, liberty, dignity, respect, prosperity, welfare and promotion of his identity and preservation of his land.
Yaqoub’s soul is searching in the air of Balochistan to call on all Baloch people to strive to follow his way and his aspirations. He is likely to feel in his grave,” I cannot rest in peace as far as my people cannot have peace in their own land.”
By Omar Rashid
Today’s Balochistan is quite a new look Balochistan during the matter of two years. Struggling with the Balochistan’s least say in the State’s affairs at the federation level in the past and confronting with those longstanding issues of the backwardness and then the poor financial situation despite being the richest and largest area in the country, its negligible share in the NFC Award, GDS and Gas royalty, and above all, its pitiable recognition on certain issues such as its control over the resources being produced and exploited right from its land, the new look Balochistan is now progressing getting its much needed voice heard over certain issues in the federation and making it realize that the province is the most important federating unit when it comes to talk about the strategic location it has, and more importantly, the rich natural and mineral resources it possesses.
To consider that this entire miracle has happened in a short span of two years, sans human intervention and that automatically would be just mistaken, rather one must say, there has been the great role of the present coalition government of Balochistan being headed by Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani as its Chief Executive.
Nevertheless, it was a tough hard work and strenuous efforts made by him, who also happens to be a very prominent tribal chieftain and a seasoned parliamentarian and then, above all, the son of towering political and tribal personality of the province, Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Raisani.
The Nawab Aslam Raisani-led coalition government ever since coming into power over two years back had started taking strides in various sectors with the commitment to take the province to the heights of development removing its longstanding backwardness and resolving all the issues confronting it with consensus and that by taking all the stakeholders on board.
It is an obvious that Nawab Raisani’s coalition government had inherited the prevailing law and order situation in Balochistan from the former dictatorial rule as it is generally believed. However, the government started adopting concrete and effective measures to bring improvement in the situation, and of course, with the full support of Islamabad.
A sort of operation was continued in some areas of the province when the government came into power while a large number of political leaders were imprisoned on political grounds, and the province was confronting with the human issue of the disappearance of the political workers. And at the same time, the provincial government was facing the massive financial crunch. The development activities were almost lacking and the incidents of target killings were rampant with the series of the bomb blasts and rockets firing. The political defiance was also at its peak in the province.
Under the given situation, the Chief Minister Nawab Raisani adopted a balanced strategy in order to improve the situation in the province in consultation with the political parties included in the coalition government. And then the provincial government made remarkable achievements with cooperation of the federal government.
As an outcome of the strategy adopted by the government, the release of the detained political leaders could be made possible with no restriction on political activities etc. Moreover, the concrete steps were taken for recovery of the missing persons and some of the missing persons were recovered too while efforts are still on in this regard. It was a landmark achievement on part of the Nawab Raisani government when it got restored the Levies system in the province that was abolished in the past era. And then Balochistan also got much needed relief on the financial front when its overdraft of over Rs. 17 billion was waived off thanks to the sincere personal efforts made by the Chief Minister.
Similarly, the issue of National Finance Commission (NFC) Award was settled in the best interest of Balochistan and thus was given out with consensus of the provinces with the amendment made in the basic formula of distribution of the divisible resources accommodating the longstanding demand of Balochistan i.e., landmass and a province’s requirements, in addition to the population, also got priorities in the NFC Award. To be precise, it was an outcome of the good work done that Balochistan would get Rs. 42 billion as additional resources out of the NFC Award. Moreover, out of GDS issue, Balochistan would be receiving Rs. 12 billion (this year) and Rs. 3 billion out of the Uch Power Project royalty.
It was an outcome of the better economic policies and the development growth it witnessed over some time, the present government was able to present the record budget of Rs. 152 billion for the current 2010-2011 financial year showing a 96 percent increase compared to the last year’s budget with a total outlay of Rs. 26 billion for PSDP. The government, for the first time, came out with a practical approach of generating financial resources for it to sustain the development in the province by establishing Balochistan Investment Board and Balochistan Alternate Energy Board.
While despite completion of building of Gwadar sea port, operational activities could not have been started. It was because of the hectic efforts of Chief Minister that the Gwadar Port was operationalized and the process of movement and handling of the wheat and fertilizer was started at the Port with transportation of the goods they boarded, to the interior country.
It was also made possible in the present government’s era that Aghaz-e-Haqooq Balochistan Package (AHBP) was introduced and implemented. Under the Package, for the first time around 5,000 youths of the province were offered jobs. While process of employing another batch of 5,000 youth is in the pipeline.
Furthermore, under the Balochistan Package, 10,000 more youths are being provided employments in the Internship Programme.
While the present government is pursuing the approach of national reconciliation and was continuing negotiations with various political parties and groups in a bid to calm down the otherwise disruptive situation and resistance in Balochistan, and as and when it successfully passed through the transitional turbulent period, it (province) would be the most developed and prospered part of Pakistan, and no doubt, it would contribute tremendously in the country as well as the entire region’s overall development and prosperity.
By Nouroz Baloch
Lawyers boycotted proceedings of courts in Balochistan in protest against the killing of a kidnapped lawyer and demanded of the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of the case.
Advocate Zaman Marri was kidnapped on Aug 18 in Quetta and his body was found by police on Sept 6 in Mustang, some 40km south of the provincial capital.
Lawyers boycotted proceedings of the high court, sessions and civil courts in the city and courts in all other district headquarters of the province.
Addressing a joint press conference at the press club, Balochistan Bar Association President Baz Muhammad Kakar, Balochistan High Court Bar Association President Shakeel Ahmed Hadi and Supreme Court Bar Association’s Vice President Amanullah Kanrani announced that lawyers would continue their boycott on Wednesday and Thursday to express solidarity with the bereaved family.
They appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of the kidnapping and killing of Mr. Marri, demanding that killers must be brought to justice.
They said they could not rule out the role of intelligence agencies and the Frontier Corps in the murder of Mr. Marri.
They also condemned the provincial government and said the administration and law-enforcement agencies had failed in protecting lives of the people. They claimed that the law and order situation had further deteriorated in the city after the deployment of the Frontier Corps and demanded of the government to withdraw the FC personnel from the provincial capital.
They said the police, Levies and Balochistan Constabulary were primarily responsible for protecting the life and property of people. They said the FC should be sent back to barracks and police, Levies and BC should be assigned the task of controlling the law and order situation in Quetta.