Balochistan: A Prey to “Uniformed Terrorists”

By Amjad Hussain

The turbulent north-western Balochistan provice of Pakistan has been on the boil for the last couple of years. The escalating feeling of insecurity among the populace and the government operatives’ inability to ensure safety to public life and properties have compelled hundreds of thousands of the vulnerables – amongst them the Hazaras and the settlers being the worst affectees – to leave their ancestral lands and settle down in other safe places.

The province fell a prey to current violence and turmoil after the military take over in 1999. The military-led government headed by the then Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf waged a new war against the Baloch natioanlists for demanding their rights and seeking control over their resources which culminated in death of the 89-year old veteran Baloch politician and highly-regarded tribal chieftain, Nawab Akbar Bugti, in August 2006. Nawab Bugti’s assassination by the “Uniformed Terrorists” proved a turning point in Baloch struggle for their rights. Baloch armed resistance sprang up with full intensity and for the first time the slogan of “Independent Balochistan” echoed across the lawless province. Pakistani flags were removed from a number of public and private buildings and singining of the national anthem was banned in schools in the Baloch-dominated areas of the province.

Filled with wrath, the Baloch nationalists declined to carry on further negotiations with the government and a new demand for solution of the Baloch issue out of Pakistani constitutions ambit was raised. Baloch separatist movement got a new lease of life and eleventh of August was declared as “Independent Balochistan Day” in 2009.

Keeping in view the exacerbating situation in Balochistan, Islamabad came forward with multiple soothing packages with Aghaz-i-Huqooq-i-Balochistan being the most promminent one to pacify the billigerent Baloch. The Baloch armed groups reciporacated the civilian government’s appeasing advances with a three-month unilateral ceasefire. The military top brass, however, could not put up with this progress towards peace in Balochistan and came up with a new “kill and dump” strategy which, thereby, flared up the Baloch anger once again.

There is no blinking the fact that the onus for the crises currently confronting Balochistan fall on none, but, the “Uniformed Terrorists” who are playing a dirty game in the region to achieve their own ulterior motives. It has always been the same nasty uniformed group which sabotaged the peace deals negotiated every time between the civilian government and the Baloch nationalists. Though claiming itself the guardian of Pakistan’s integrity and consolidation the deeds of the this most treacherous army of the world have always been the opposite. Raising armed outfits to kill its own innocent citizens, pitching one nationality against the other, fanning sectarianism, extending support to so-called jihadi organizations, churning out terrorists and suicide bombars, minting money from drug trafficking and toppling down elected civilian governments are some fo the specialities which make Pakistan Army stand out among all the armed forces of the world.

Another obnoxious act which Pakistan military is frequently carrying out in Balochistan and which has brought it ample notoriety across the world is the subjection of its ideological dissidents and political rivals to forced disappearances. Thousands of Baloch political activists have been whisked away by the military intelligence operatives over the past couple of years in Balochistan. They have either been excruciated to death or are still in extra-constitutional military detention. The Zardari – Gilani duo and the so-called custodian of justice in Pakistan have proved executive and judicial eunuchs in front of the military operatives as they have failed to deliver their commitments to the affected Baloch families regarding recovery of their missing loved ones.

Evidences show that in many incidents of targeted killings of innocent citizens and blowing up of national installations in Balochistan the “Uniformed Terrorists” were themselves involved. Such acts are carried out to score diplomatic point against India on international level and to justify its interference in Indian-held Kashmir. Pakistan has been blaming India for backing the Baloch separatists and interfering in Balochistan, but, interestingly, no evidence in this regard has ever been disclosed to media by the authorities up to date.

The pogram of minority Shia Hazaras in Quetta by a handful of religious terrorists trained by Pakistan Army as a tool of “Strategic Depth” is also a military strategy. Ironically, to military operatives, the genocide of a hapless nationality which has rendered innumerable sacrifices and even laid their lives for Pakistan and which is making a considerable contribution to country’s foreign exhcange is also a service to national cause.

It has been the policy of Pakistani military Generals to always be at loggerheads with the neighbouring countries to keep themselves alive and to ensure drawing lion’s share form the national budget which, otherwise, is meant for uplift of the impoverished masses. It is the cost of the ill-intended military adventures which the poor people of Pakistan in general and of Balochistan in particular are paying at the moment.

Its about time the Pakistani military reviewed its strategy towards the neighbouring countries to provide peace with an opportunity to prevail in the most backward province and performed the actual obligations it has been tasked with as under the constitution to ensure Pakistan’s stability and integrity.

Amjad Hussain is a senior journalist and a regular contributor to The Baloch Hal. Read more articles by Mr. Hussain 

Published in The Baloch Hal on May 19, 2012