The establishment and its intellectuals’ priority has never been the rights of the Baloch and Sindhis
The envisaged Gwadar-Khunjrab-Kashgar railway and oil pipeline, for which a feasibility report was completed by Chinese engineers before Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s 2010 visit to Pakistan, bodes evil for the Baloch people’s rights. This is but a part of the larger strategy aimed at ensuring that Balochistan becomes the Tibet and Xinjiang of Pakistan. Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, had then stated, “We support China’s policy on Tibet, Xinjiang and human rights.” China-Pakistan relations are based on mutual support for human rights violations.
This is amply proved by the fact that during the 23rd regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s general debate in Geneva on June 7, 2013, when Balochistan’s representative to the UN Mehran Marri spoke about Pakistan’s continuing human rights abuses and recent farcical elections in Balochistan, the Pakistani delegate objected, and was supported by the Chinese and Cuban delegates. However, much to their chagrin, the US and UK representatives taking strong exception to their objections, supported Marri and called on the session chair to allow him to complete his statement and be allowed on record. Ironically, the Cuban representative said it was unacceptable for an NGO, conveniently forgetting that they too were once an NGO (pun intended), to attack the territorial integrity and independence of a sovereign state.
The continuing Afghan influx has already changed the demographic balance in parts of Balochistan. This proposed railway will help Pakistan usher in engineered demographic changes to turn the Baloch into a minority in their own land. The recently installed extremely pliable government in Quetta — whose titular chief minister cannot even name a cabinet without Nawaz Sharif’s consent — fully supports these sham mega-projects to bring about required demographic changes. The systematic engineered demographic changes combined with the brutal killings of Baloch activists and ordinary people suspected of sympathies with the Sarmachars (insurgents) are the two-pronged attacks that the Pakistani establishment has unleashed on the Baloch people. The demography issue is a life and death issue as the Baloch people’s destiny hinges on it and the resistance they can muster.
The Pashtuns too are suffering because of the harebrained dreams of strategic depth, which the deep state refuses to abandon in the hope of becoming the arbiter of Afghanistan’s fate and the hope to keep India on the back foot with its non-state actors. This ludicrous policy also sustains sectarian terror.
Sindhis have had the worst of both worlds and are rapidly turning into a minority in Sindh. Once again demands for shifting Biharis there are being made. This does not mean that they have not been coming in slowly, steadily and surreptitiously; where even mechanics can get blue passports at a price, getting an NIC is not a big deal. Thousands of Afghans refugees are bona fide citizens of Sindh; an Afghan colony is slowly taking shape near Bhit Shah and may well become a Sohrab Goth.
By: Murtaza Ali Shah
LONDON: Britain and America shocked Pakistan and its allies at the 23rd regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s general debate in Geneva on 7 June when the two countries clearly supported nationalist leader Mehran Marri, Balochistan’s representative to the UN, who spoke against the recent elections and alleged that Pakistan was committing rights abuses in Balochistan.
Pakistan is likely to lodge protest with both the countries for taking a hostile position towards Pakistan by intervening on behalf of Mehran Marri who alleged that the recent elections exposed the “farce that the Pakistani establishment wanted to present as democracy”. The support by the two powerful countries to a Baloch separatist leader will give strength to the view of those who suspect that there are elements within the US and the UK who have sympathies for Baloch nationalist factions for their own regional and strategic objectives.
Marri, the youngest son of Karachi-based veteran leader Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, said that the Baloch didn’t take part in the election “charade” as participating the elections would have legitimised the “injustices against the Baloch people since 7th March 1948 when Pakistan forcibly annexed Balochistan”.
Mehran Marri told the session that one of the provincial assembly member was elected with 544 votes, on a 1.18 percent voters turnout. Pakistani delegate objected to the remarks made by Marri and said that Pakistan is fully conscious of its obligations to protects the human rights of its citizens.
The 1973-77 struggle for rights had proved to the Baloch people, and to the world, that the struggle for their rights could bear fruit with tenacious dedication and perseverance. The Baloch have not been cowed down by the ever-increasing presence of the army and have stood up for their rights, which no government here is ready to concede or even listen to. The Baloch have resorted to the use of arms only because their rights have been trampled upon and all other avenues of redress have been blocked.
by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
The Baloch resistance to the unwarranted and unjust military operations, after the equally illegal and unfair dismissal of Sardar Ataullah Mengal’s government in February 1973, only 10 months after being sworn in, was the most protracted, pervasive and forceful struggle which demonstrated the determination and resilience of the Baloch when faced with overwhelming odds.
The Mengal government was sworn in on May 1, 1972 amid hope and expectations, but from the first day, the Federal government created hurdles and problems. The Federal government among other things created a law and order situation in Lasbela by making supporters of Jam Ghulam Qadir take up arms against the provincial government alleging persecution. Mengal government had to raise a Levies force to quell the trouble as Federal government refused to send help. Jam Ghulam Qadir, the Jam of Lasbela, later became the Chief Minister after Mengal government dismissal.
Rift in leadership of Balochistan nationalist movement. Bothers Mehran & Hyrbyar Marri split over Freedom Charter
By: Murtaza Ali Shah
LONDON: A year after Baloch leader Hyrbyair Marri presented the ‘Freedom Charter’ for consultations to unite the Baloch nationalists on a single platform, key Baloch stakeholders have either opposed the document or expressed reservations about it.
Exiled leaders Mehran Baloch, Hyrbyar’s younger brother and Balochistan’s representative in the United Nations, Brahumdagh Bugti, self-exiled leader of the Balochistan Republican Party, Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Dawood and Balochistan National Party (BNP) leader Akhtar Mengal have publicly distanced themselves from the ‘Freedom Charter’ and have alleged that the points in the charter are unrealistic and don’t correspond to the ground realities of the Baloch struggle.
The fact that the Baloch too have widely mourned his sad demise is a credit to him and his idealism. His was a life worth celebrating
Taimur Rahman, nephew of my friend Chakar Khan, broke the news: “Asad chachu has passed away. I thought you should know. Love, Taimur.” Stunned, I recalled October 29, 1971 when I first met Chakar Khan in the Marri Hills. I had reached camp late in the evening with Batay Khan Marri, now deceased, and Shafi Mohammad Marri, who was disappeared in 1975, and is among the first ones to be disappeared by the Pakistani state. Had he not spoken to me in English, I would have assumed he was a Marri. He in his few months’ stay had learnt the Balochi language well and merged perfectly with the Baloch people. Ahmed Rashed (Balaach) too I met for the first time there; Duleep Dass aka Dali came a month later. Mohammad Bhabha (Murad) was the only one I knew.
It would be an understatement to say that life in the mountains is difficult. It demands a robust, rugged physique and an indomitable mental frame of mind. Mountains rigorously test them both individually and jointly. Terrain, a literal obstacle course, is as varied and taxing as it can get uphill, downhill with precipices and dry riverbeds. Then there is a near total isolation; moreover, there are stark cultural differences and if you are not mentally and physically up to that, you succumb to defeatism and abandon ship. The outsiders who survive in the mountains for a month should be given credit; staying and struggling for years speaks for itself.
Baloch tribesmen are not easily impressed; you have to be either as good as them or possess skills they find useful. Chakar Khan — CK for us — was as good as any Baloch in the difficult terrain and had an absolutely wonderful sense of orientation. Finding your way in the mountains is never easy; moonless nights make it doubly difficult and these problems are compounded in the unmarked plains. Once there was a rendezvous with urban friends near Talli on the Sibi plains; the meeting over, we started back but it soon became apparent we were off the track. The group’s old hands and experienced persons too seemed clueless; it was Chakar who told us to follow him and after a paced 90-minute march, we reached the camp and were deservedly applauded. More importantly, he never lost his ideological orientation, and till the very end remained committed to the cause of the downtrodden whereas I have seen many a person bid ideologies goodbye for a meagre material advantage.
CK’s leadership of Baloch guerrilla groups was inspirational; they trusted him with their lives. The fighters had the utmost confidence in his abilities and accepted his instructions willingly, which in fact meant placing their lives in his hands because a wrong decision meant annihilation of the group. He led up front in the most dangerous of situations, and once in a skirmish, a bullet grazed his forehead but he was undaunted. Once while his group was in the Shak area of the Marri hills, the army conducted a huge sweep to net them. The only option was to seek refuge in the out of the way caves and they remained there for two days. Out of food and water, they decided to make a break at night. Knowing the terrain well, they safely left the danger zone.
There were numerous dangerous close calls but CK remained undeterred and continued fighting for the rights of the oppressed, which he considered as his prime duty to humanity. His trait of fearlessness and dedication, a hallmark of exceptional persons, never deserted him and even after returning he continually fought for the rights of all those who did not stand a chance in this dog-eat-dog world. He was an intrepid leader who inspired confidence even in circumstances where the spectre of death always followed you. His intrinsic leadership qualities saw him become the executive director of Sungi later.
Baloch leader, Hyrbyair Marri said the brutal killing of Pashtun laborer at a time when the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntarily Disappearances is investigating Pakistan’s crimes against humanity is a clear indication that the state forces want to divert the attention of UN team from their crimes in Balochistan.
Comrade Asifa Rizvi passed away today. Asifa remained with left students organisation Sindh National Students Federation as vice president and member central committee, president of Karachi chapter also. She was jailed in Pat Feeder Peasants movement and some other occasions.
She worked with Nazeer Abbasi Shaheed, Sarfraz Memon, Taj Marri, Ahmed Khan Jamali, Sohail Sangi, Ghanghro sisters in Sindh National Studnets Federation in seventies. She also worked with Great lady Aapa Mumtaz Noorani and Jam Saqi.
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 14 July, 2012.
By: Mahvish Ahmad
QUETTA: The state sees them as unruly men serving power-hungry sardars, but the six 20-something Baloch Student Organisation-Azad (BSO-Azad) members sitting cross-legged on the floor of their dorm room come across as more diligent than unruly, and more revolutionary than submissive.
As active sympathisers of a rebellion calling for outright independence, they embody a new kind of Baloch freedom fighter – or sarmachar.
And a new kind of victim of the kill-and-dump policy practised, they claim, by the Frontier Core (FC) and intelligence agencies.
These six young men are urbanised, middle-class, educated, and typically allied as equals rather than serving as underlings to the separatist Bugti and Marri sardars of Balochistan.
“We are united in our call for an independent Balochistan. And we have sacrificed our lives for our cause. Ninety-five members of BSO-Azad have been picked up, tortured and brutally murdered by the establishment. Many of them were students at educational institutions like Balochistan University,” says Khalid, an office-holder in BSO-Azad.
Malik Siraj Akbar, the editor of the online newspaper, Baloch Hal, which has been banned in Pakistan, agrees. “Today’s Baloch movement is headed not solely by [...] tribal chiefs, but [by] educated middle class youth,” says Malik in the introduction to his book, “The Redefined Dimensions of the Baloch Nationalist Movement”.
In the wake of the first anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s killing by American elite troops, DW takes a closer look at Pakistan’s “other” war in a rare interview with a prominent Baloch leader.
Hyrbyar Marri is the fifth son of Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, a veteran national leader and the head of the largest Baloch clan. In the late 1990s Hyrbar Marri went into exile in Britain. In 2007, he was arrested under a warrant issued by former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and held in Belmarsh – a maximum security prison in southeast London. Prominent British human rights advocates such as Peter Thatchell campaigned for Marri and accused the British executive of collaborating with Musharraf’s regime. Marri was eventually acquitted in 2008 by a British jury and remains in Britain where he has recently been granted asylum.
DW: What’s the current situation in Pakistani-controlled Balochistan?
Three abducted youths killed under military custody and four Marri Baloch presented before Chief Justice today have again been disappeared.
Three more abducted Baloch youths killed under military custody,as Chief Justice of Pakistan arrived in Balochistan. According to reports three mutilated bodies were found in the Kanak area of Mastung, and Peer Soohri Darbar of Dera Bugti, on Thursday and Friday respectively.
According to an official of the Balochistan Levies, some passers-by spotted two bodies dumped in a deserted location in Kanak – the electoral constituency of Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Khan Raisani – and informed the Levies Station.
The bodies were initially taken to a nearby state-run hospital in Mastung and later shifted to Provincial Sandeman Hospital Quetta for autospy. Where the bodies were identified as of Abdul Manan s/o Abdul Samad Perkani and Rahees Raisani. Both were abducted by Pakistani security forces.
Separately, on Thursday (05-04-2012) the body of Sabzal S/O Hayrdad Bugti’s was recovered in Dera Bugti area of peer Soohri darbar. Mr Bugti was abducted during a raid on his house from PeerKoh area of Dera Bugti. ….
Read more » balochJohd
Dialogue only on Freedom Agenda, Pakistan is an Occupier, Intervention Continuing Since 1948! Hyrbeyar Marri & Khan Kalat
Baloch national leader Waja HyrBeyar Marri said that there would be no dialogue on anything except freedom, speaking in a private TV program, the patriotic Baloch leader said that foreign interference in Balochistan started the day one when Pakistan occupied it! Pakistan is the occupier! On a desperate remark of the anchorperson that Zardari would not give you
Freedom, HyrBeyar said that they would knock every door of international community for support, and pledge that every Baloch would work hard to regain the freedom!
HyrBeyar Marri, exiled in London, said that the name of Islam is manipulated to serve morbid interests. He said that the attitude of Punjabi elite has never been friendly, he added that Pakistani oligarch has always plundered and looted Balochistan.
Read more » http://www.twitlonger.com/show/gnsdep
27 March I celebrate or I cry with the Baloch? – by Salma Jafar
Today the Baloch nation is observing black day to mark its annexation to Pakistan. For me it is not a black day it is a day I want to celebrate. I want to celebrate because it gave me the occasion to grow up with these lovely people known as the Baloch. I want to celebrate my Baloch friends, my Baloch students, my Baloch relatives and many of them are my Baloch family. Had it not been for 27th March I wouldn’t have been a part of the Baloch culture, the Baloch music, the Baloch valour, the Baloch courage and the Baloch tolerance that when combined with the culture and valour of my own nation Pashtuns becomes the most beautiful combination ever. We have lived together, suffered togther hoped together, despaired together, dreamed together, and at times have been nasty to each other too – in this Baloch-Pashtun land. Well I would never want to live without them. So I don’t support Baloch independence for this very selfish reason of mine.
But yet the bitter-bitter truth is that for Baloch this is not a day of celebration it is a black day; by definition a day when something really bad and unpleasant has happened. They are observing it as a black day for being a part of Pakistan. They are angry and estranged and want freedom but why? Am not going to delve into the theory of forced annexation here but would share how Baloch have been treated, (I will today not say Balochistan as that covers Pashtun areas also and despite that Pashtuns have suffered equally but today is not our day) they have been treated as slaves (I hate to use this word but this is what Baloch think and feel) who should only obey the orders of their masters; in this case of course Punjab who has been running the shots. Unfortunately they didn’t understand the Baloch psychology they are not born to take orders or take dictations it is not in them. And that too not for any welfare but to usurp rights and carry out injustice. Balochistan is a dismal picture of social injustice all over. But if you visit the Baloch areas which I have; your definition of poverty and misery will change. People are subjugated to primitive lives with no development whatsoever.
But the Baloch did not ask you to give them anything; all they demanded is their right to their own resources. As if denying them that right and pushing them into abject poverty, illiteracy and disease was not enough the atrocious state bombarded them if they asked for controlling their own resources and controlling their own destinies, this is all they asked for; and bombarded them again and again and again. Trying new tactic to subjugate them further for last several years started the kill and dump policy, where young activists are picked up and after some time their dead mutilated bodies are found. There has been no end to this horrific game whereby hundreds of Baloch have been killed and dumped, many of them target killed and thousands are still missing; the internally displaced persons as a result of this conflict are mere refugees as the state has not granted them a refugee status to access humanitarian response; only cause they are Baloch. Raising voice for the Baloch is considered treachery by those in power; yes camouflaged as democrats.
What adds insult to injury is that amidst this very dreadful background Balochistan discourse remains as an economic and political discourse for most. There is a violent and ferocious insurgency going on in Balochistan; the Baloch are being shut up by killing them and they are killing in return too – their demand is now independence.
The wounds and scars of the Baloch are deep and the pain and agony are hard to touch – their silent screams I can hear; and a tear I shed with a prayer for their pain to end.
By Pervez Musharraf
There is no doubt that Balochistan is the most backward and most deprived province of Pakistan. Successive governments since our independence are responsible for their share of the neglect suffered by Balochistan. But unfortunately the sardars themselves did not favour development in their areas. Notably Akbar Bugti, who despite having been chief minister and governor of the province, hardly did anything for Balochistan, or even for Dera Bugti. An anti-Pakistan, anti-army and anti-FC sentiment was planted and gradually nourished, especially among the Bugtis, Marris and Mengals, by their sardars. Some efforts made in the 1970s to open up the area through the establishment of a communication infrastructure were strongly opposed and rejected by the Marris.
Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch, leader of the Balochistan Independence movement, on the US Congressional Hearing
Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch delivers a speech to Baloch freedom fighters on February 9, 2012 with reference to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Investigations Sub-Committee Hearing on Balochistan held on February 8, 2012.
Everywhere, when the war for national independence breaks out, it is fought with national strength. And when the Baloch nation began its war for national independence, its basis was national enslavement. Whenever, if there is a nation that has a homeland, has a language, has a culture, that has been stolen, its national history is being wiped out, then that nation begins its war for national independence. War is not necessarily to be fought with the gun. However, the gun is the means for that war, is the means for that politics.
BY AAMIR MAJEED
KARACHI – Taking strength from the Baloch freedom movement, the Sindhi separatists have also started their own struggle for the eventual separation of Sindh province from Pakistan, starting off by planting several bombs along the railway tracks in the province.
Railway tracks at around 14 different locations across Sindh were damaged in a series of bomb blasts in the wee hours of Saturday by presumably politically motivated miscreants.
When a team of Pakistan Railways engineering department arrived at the Bin Qasim Railway Station to repair the tracks damaged by two minor blasts, they found a pamphlet from the site.
The paper printed on both sides, carried the name of “Sindhu Desh Liberation Army (SDLA)” at the top. The pamphlet was later forwarded to the Pakistan Railways Karachi Division SSP Muzzaffar Sheikh.
Talking with Pakistan Today, Sheikh said the pamphlet was issued by SDLA Chief Commander Darya Khan Marri. …..
….. “Marri claims that the Centre was exploiting the natural resources of Sindh against a very low royalty to facilitate Punjab,” the SSP said, adding that the government’s pro-Punjab policies have also been criticised.
“Terming the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) as ‘opportunists’, the SDLA blamed the party for using the Sindh card for attaining power, trying to impress upon the nationalists that Sindh is the country’s most poor province,” Sheikh said. “In the pamphlet, the SDLA has requested the Sindhis to stand up against the government, Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Intelligence.”…..
Read more » Pakistan Today
After US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s sudden attention to Balochistan, the Pakistani media went bonkers to protect the proverbial ‘sovereignty’ of our country — a cause championed by the security establishment and most of its mouthpieces in the media as well as political circles and civil society. Emerging from the fathoms of near oblivion to almost a dozen Op-Eds in the mainstream press daily, Balochistan is now the darling of the prime time TV cupola as well.
If the anchors and columnists want to sound more profound, and if they run out of words to express the imperiousness of the US Congress for interfering in Pakistan’s internal matters, they would endlessly repeat almost clichéd references to 1971 with emphasis on giving ‘due importance to the Baloch problem’. The umpteen ‘political analysts’ and ‘Balochistan experts’ religiously recount the current government’s failure to address the issue despite the latter’s trumpeted mantra of ‘democracy, the greatest revenge’. Such talk would be garnished with admonishing the ‘irresponsibility’ of the Baloch nationalists in attacking innocent citizens of ethnicities other than the Baloch.
What goes completely missing from this narrative is the origins of the conflict, the response of the state to the centrifugal nature of Baloch nationalism and the ever deteriorating civil-military relations in Balochistan, which now seem to have reached the point of no return. The way Balochistan was made to accede to Pakistan goes missing from the textbooks alongside any reference to the military operations carried out in 1948, 1958-59, 1962-68, 1973-77 and the current surge starting from 2002 to date. The result is a general apathy towards Balochistan in the rest of the country with almost no understanding of the surges in historically seeded ethno-nationalism in Balochistan, described as ‘Baloch insurgencies’ in the mainstream media. The same media gives prime space to opinion makers who describe Taliban insurgents as ‘freedom fighters’. No wonder one finds so many people in upper Punjab and Islamabad who take Baloch nationalists as ‘traitors’, while the Taliban militants as flag bearers of Muslim nationalism. ….
Read more » Daily Times
The ignored Baloch
By: Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
As always, too little too late
Rehman Malik has announced the withdrawal of cases against the Baloch militant leaders driven to the mountains or forced into exile by what they call the brutality of the security forces. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani wants to convene an All Parties Conference on Balochistan.
Had these cases been withdrawn four years back and a genuine reconciliation process initiated, this could have led to talks and arrested the situation from reaching a point of no return.
There was enough goodwill in Balochistan for the PPP-led government when it took over in 2008. There were also hopes that parliament would act forcefully and the courts would exert their authority to end the atrocities initiated by the Musharraf regime.
The PPP government simply failed to pursue the peace process meaningfully. Instead, it willingly agreed to follow the policy being pursued under Musharraf. This meant continuing the military-cum-FC operations in Balochistan that displaced thousands of people, allowing forced disappearances and the torture, killing and dumping of the disfigured corpses on roadside.
In June 2008, Senator Sanauallah Baloch who had returned from exile after the restoration of democracy resigned from the House after a speech that moved the entire Senate. Soon after Baloch leaders rejected the move by the government for an All Parties Conference. They instead demanded direct talks on issues highlighted by leaders like Akhtar Mengal that included end to operations in the province, tracing persons forcibly taken away and the ownership of Balochistabn’s resources by the Balochis.
Month after month, there were peaceful protests all over Balochistan to press for their demands. There were calls by nationalist parties for shutter down closures, hunger strikes, and hoisting of black flags. Baloch representatives in parliament underlined the dangers if no measures were taken to improve the situation. Year after year, the government continued to look the other way.
Raisani complained of being powerless and accused FC of running a parallel government that was harming the process of reconciliation. Gilani, however, failed to take any notice as the federal government had decided to follow the policy formulated under Musharraf. It was willing, as before, to bribe the tribal leaders in the provincial assembly and offer crumbs to the population. It was not willing to concede what Baloch considered their rights.
On August 15, 1947, the New York Times carried a front page story on what it called “Two Indian States emerge on the World Scene.” The map clearly showed Balochisatn as an independent state while the caption read, “Pakistan recognized Independence of Kalat, on the Arabian Sea.”
Read more » Scribd
Via – TK’s facebook page
As the Islamist nightmare envelops Pakistan, the Obama administration ponders what the United States should do. But the bitter reality is that the United States is already doing too much in Pakistan. It is the American shadow everywhere, the Pakistani feeling of being smothered by the U.S. embrace, that gives the Islamists their principal rallying cry.
Evidence is everywhere of what the Economist calls “a rising tide of anti-American passion.” The leading spokesman of traditional Muslim theology, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), opposes the “war on terror” because “it is an American war” and blames a U.S. plot for the recent assassination of the moderate Punjab governor, Salman Taseer.
The endless procession of U.S. leaders paying goodwill visits to Islamabad, most recently Vice President Joe Biden, evokes sneers and ridicule in the Urdu-language press, accompanied by cartoons showing Pakistanis scratching fleas crawling over their bodies. The late special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, liked free-swinging encounters with Pakistani journalists that left a trail of bitterness expressed in the Urdu media, but this did not deter Holbrooke and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from return visits.
To calm the situation down, the United States should start by phasing out drone attacks in the Pashtun border areas with their massive civilian casualties and should end the $1 billion plus in annual subsidies to the armed forces that make them look like American puppets. At the same time, less visible education and development aid provided by the Kerry-Lugar bill should be continued, together with the International Monetary Fund credits that keep the Pakistani state afloat, and access to U.S. markets for Pakistani textile exports should be increased.
Instead of publicly prodding the Punjabi-dominated armed forces to step up their offensive against Pashtun tribal militants in the Afghan border areas, the United States should recognize that Islamabad is afraid of stirring up Pashtun ethnic sentiment there that could break up the fragile multi ethnic Pakistani federation.
The Pashtuns of the former–Northwest Frontier Province (now called Kyber Pakhtunkhwa) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have an ancient history of resisting Punjabi incursions, but the Army did not come into direct conflict with the Pashtuns following the creation of Pakistan until July 2002, when, at the behest of the United States, it sent a division into FATA to attack al-Qaeda and Taliban forces at key transit points on the Afghan border. Heavy casualties resulted, displacing some fifty thousand people. This was a historic break with the autonomy agreements negotiated by the British with FATA tribes and honored until then by Pakistan. As the “war on terror” has proceeded, the FATA Pashtuns have been politicized and radicalized as never before.
The underlying reason that Pakistan’s U.S. links are so unpopular and make such a tempting target for the Islamists is that America is perceived as anti-Muslim.
The Islamists focus not only on Muslim casualties in next door Afghanistan, but above all on U.S. support for Israel and on the American military presence throughout the Arabian Sea , the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf in areas near Pakistan.
Why does the United States keep pouring aid into Pakistan despite its active support for the Taliban in Afghanistan at the expense of U.S.-NATO forces and its inability or unwillingness to help the United States root out al-Qaeda from its mountain sanctuaries?
American officials point to its arsenal of seventy to ninety nuclear weapons, arguing that a tight U.S. embrace of the Pakistani military and intelligence elite is necessary to make sure that another nuclear-proliferation racket does not emerge like the one organized by nuclear czar A. Q. Khan.
This is an understandable concern because many of the same generals who colluded with Khan are still in high places. But the larger danger to the United States is that the nuclear arsenal will fall into the hands of the Islamist sympathizers inside the nuclear establishment, or that the Islamists will completely take over the armed forces, branding current military leaders as U.S. stooges.
The genocide in Balochistan committed by the Pakistani Army is finally coming to light. Independence is a matter of time!
WASHINGTON: A resolution moved by a group of US Congressmen calling for right to self-determination for the Baloch people has driven Pakistan to hysteria, with its leaders from the Prime Minister down questioning Washington’s commitment to the country’s sovereignty.
LONDON: Baloch nationalist leader Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri has called on the leader of Balochistan Republican Party (BRP) Nawabzada Brahamdagh Bugti in Switzerland to express his condolences on the murder of his sister and niece in Karachi.
According to details, on February 11, Hyrbyair Marri along with Dr Mostafa Baloch visited Brahamdagh Bugti in Geneva to condole the death of his sister and niece who were shot dead in Karachi on January 31. It must be noted that several Baloch women and children have been killed during military operations.
Hyrbyair and Dr Mostafa once again met Brahamdagh Bugti on February 12 to present him the Balochistan Freedom Charter, which is under making. Both leaders exchanged views about the deteriorating security situation of Balochistan and other political issues. They also discussed the Freedom Charter, and Marri informed Brahamdagh about the work done so far on the charter and sought his comments and suggestions.
The Baloch leaders, while talking about the importance of the Freedom Charter, said that it would help unite Baloch people and further organise the Baloch freedom movement. Both the leaders emphasised and agreed that unity was crucial for Baloch people. They further said that the enemy is indiscriminately killing Baloch activists and doing anti-Baloch propaganda at all levels. Hence, it is important that Balochs must also unite and strengthen Baloch freedom struggle on scientific basis.
Hyrbyair and Brahamdagh said, “We need to galvanise the struggle and explain the purpose of Baloch freedom movement to international community and convince the international powers that independent Balochistan will guarantee stability in the region and peace in world. “We will have friendly relations and mutual understanding with all civilised nations,” they said.
The statement further said that Hyrbyair would soon meet other important Baloch leaders to discuss the issue of Baloch unity and freedom of Balochistan. He will also present the Freedom Charter to other Baloch leaders for their suggestions and comments. pr
Courtesy: Daily Times
Baloch politicians and leaders share their vision of self-determination and freedom from Pakistani rule.
By Al Jazeera
In the rugged mountains of southwest Pakistan lies the country’s largest province of Balochistan. Far from the bustling cities of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, this remote region has been the battleground for a 60-year-long insurgency by the Baloch ethnic minority.
“The Baloch people now live in a state of war. Every day, they face injustice. The army and intelligence agents kidnap our young, and we know nothing about them for years. The Baloch people live in a state of war. We will not accept any offers until we regain control over this land. They burn down our homes and then ask us for peace? We are not stupid.” – Baloch Khan, Baloch rebel leader
The ongoing conflict is often called Pakistan’s dirty war, because of the rising numbers of people who have disappeared or have been killed on both sides.
But the uprising against Pakistan’s government has received little attention worldwide, in part because most eyes have been focused on the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in other areas of Pakistan. …
Read more » al Jazeera
BBC Urdu on Baloch missing persons. Families protesting for the recovery of their loved ones. Pakistan’s security forces instead of releasing Baloch missing persons continues to abduct more and more people from Balochistan.
Courtesy: BBC urdu » YouTube
ISLAMABAD: A senior Baloch nationalist leader warned that Balochistan would not “remain with” Pakistan if extra-judicial killings and excesses by security forces in the restive province were not stopped immediately.
If steps were not taken immediately to halt the extra-judicial killing of Baloch nationalists and to engage them in a dialogue, then “Balochistan will not remain with you” (Pakistan), said Sardar Ataullah Mengal, a senior leader of the Balochistan National Party.
He made the remarks while addressing a televised news conference with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif in Karachi. Sharif said he met Mengal to discuss ways to address the grievances of the Baloch people and to strengthen democracy in the province.
In unusually blunt remarks, Mengal said the violence and killings by security forces had taken “Balochistan to the point of no return” and steps have to be taken to engage youths “who have been driven into the mountains by the army“.
Criticising the powerful Pakistan Army, Mengal question why the security forces only acted in response to killings and political violence in Balochistan and not in places like Karachi and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
“I don’t understand why our beloved army doesn’t react to killings in those places as it does in Balochistan,” he said. “This army only takes up the issues of Punjabis. This is Punjab’s army and not Pakistan’s army,” he said. ….
Read more » TOI
by Murtaza Ali Shah
LONDON: Baloch leader Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri has held Interior Minister Rehman Malik for being behind the recent wave of “kill and dump policy” in Balochistan.
Marri said Rehman Malik has been openly threatening to “crush” Baloch political parties and student organizations.Marri told The News that Malik had become hostile after his repeated requests made to Mr Marri to endorse the government package failed.
Speaking at a public meeting here, Marri said the special committee to probe the gruesome killings of five Chechens in Kharotabad is a whitewash and there is no chance the culprits will be brought to justice.
Speaking at a public meeting here, Nawabzada Marri, who lives in exile in London, said the killing of unarmed foreigners by FC in Kharotabad, Quetta on May 17 was an act of barbarism on the part of law-enforcement agencies. He said the killings exposed once again how the rule of law had vanished from the Balochistan province, leading to human rights violations on daily basis.
“Those responsible for the killings of women and children, professionals and intellectuals and the local people act with impunity. They have no regard for the rule of law,” Marri said, adding that no commission was formed to probe the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti and hundreds of Balochs killed so far. …
Read more: The News
- Armed groups of Balochs in southwest Pakistan are gaining momentum at a critical point for the country’s future. Deutsche Welle looks at the phenomenon which presents yet another problem in the troubled region.
A province marked by floods and images of burned-out NATO tankers, Balochistan is the land of the Baloch, who today see their country in southwest Asia divided by the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Balochistan is the size of France and boasts enormous reserves of gas, gold and copper, as well as untapped sources of oil and uranium. The exploitation of these natural resources in combination with repressive and discriminatory state-run policies have led to armed uprisings in the region.
In his book “Descent into Chaos,” best-selling writer and renowned Afghanistan commentator, Ahmed Rashid, says that the Baloch have instigated five insurgent uprisings to date. These insurgents take shelter in the rugged mountains of southern Pakistan and across the border, in Afghanistan.
The Baloch insurgents in Pakistan are fragmented into several groups: the BLA (Baloch Liberation Army), the BRA (Baloch Republican Army), the BLF (Baloch Liberation Front) and Lashkar-e Balochistan (Balochistan’s army). Several analysts say this fragmentation reflects the tribal element among the Baloch. Accordingly, the BLA, BRA and Lashkar-e Balochistan are led by the local main clans of the Marris, the Bugtis and the Mengals respectively, while the BLF is a more heterogeneous movement.
Despite the apparent fracture, all these groups are markedly secular movements – at odds with the Taliban – who share a common agenda focusing on the independence of Balochistan. They organize their actions around guerrilla attacks, primarily against military targets and government infrastructures like gas pipelines.
“Given that parliamentary politics is a fake option for us, we are forced to make politics with weapons. Since the partition of India in 1947, we have had to chose between slavery and death,” Khair Bux Marri told Deutsche Welle from his residence in Karachi. The 90-year old Marri is the leader of the biggest Baloch tribe. His life-long struggle against Pakistan has taken him from years of exile in Afghanistan to terms in Pakistani prisons.
His son, Balaach Marri, led the BLA and was killed in 2007 by the Pakistani army. The portrait of this guerrilla leader, wearing a Baloch cap and holding an assault rifle, is almost ubiquitous in Pakistani-controlled Balochistan and can often be spotted alongside Hayrbyar’s, his younger brother, also considered to be a “national hero” by many Baloch.
From his London exile, Hayrbyar Marri calls for the independence of Balochistan and defends the right of “self defence” by his people. When asked about a possible dialogue with Islamabad, he is categorical. “There’s only one thing to negotiate with Islamabad and that’s the immediate pull-out of their occupation troops,” he told Deutsche Welle from his house in London. ….
… Harrison also said that the Baloch insurgency in Pakistan enjoys sympathies in the neighboring Sindh province which, according to the journalist, “has brought back the ancient dream of a state or a Sindhi-Balochistan federation extending along the Arabian Sea, from Iran to India.”
Read more: Deutsche Welle