BRUSSELS: A member the U.S. House of Representatives has called upon the Pakistan government to stop its authoritarian measures in Balochistan and to respect the right to self-determination of the Baloch people.
In a message to an event organized at the European Parliament in Brussels titled Balochistan: Destiny Denied, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who is member of the House Judiciary Committee and member of the Crime, Terror and Homeland Security Sub-Commitee, called on the Pakistan government to “cease its authoritarian operations” in Balochistan. He said, “Americans empathize with Balochistan’s call for self-determination.”
The congressman from Wisconsin added, “The Baloch people have passed for nearly seven decades to throw the yoke of Pakistani rule … Baloch activism had been met by Pakistani armor, artillery and air strikes.”
Rep. Sessenbrenner said in his statement, “I support … freedom and liberty for the Baloch people. It is their right to determine their future and how best to protect the rights of Balochistan’s citizens.”
The establishment understands quite well that without turning Gwadar and large parts of Balochistan into a joint Chinese-Pakistani cantonment, they will not be able to move an inch
Passengers are relaxed in a cruising airliner all dreaming of their cherished destination and the pleasurable environment they would be in when suddenly the captain’s anxious voice breaks the calm. He says, “Ladies and gentlemen due to unavoidable circumstances a change of plans has been necessitated and we have been diverted to an uninhabited island. However, there is good news and bad news; which do you want first?” All demanded the bad news first. He said, “The bad news is that there is nothing to eat there except horse dung but the good news is that there is plenty of it.”
The situation in Pakistan is not much different; there are horse dung islands instead of promised destinations and, above all, the good news is always that there is more of bad news. There are unending atrocities against the Baloch, loot of their resources, injustices against Sindhis, carnages against Hazaras, intensification of attacks against Shias, discrimination against Hindus and Christians, persecution of Ahmadis, neglect of displaced persons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Dera Bugti. The list is far from complete and the establishment continually not only adds to it but also increases the perniciousness of prevailing problems.
In the first five months of this year 84 people were disappeared, whereas 79 disfigured bodies were recovered from different parts of Balochistan; the toll of the dead is over 700. Whilst unabated atrocities, abductions and dumping of the Baloch persist, the establishment prepares to further antagonise them with the so-called economic projects essentially detrimental to Baloch interests because of the demographic changes and increased economic injustices these will entail and naturally be a prelude to increased state atrocities against them who naturally will resist to preserve their rights.
An ‘Open Letter’ by Dr. Allah Nazar of the Balochistan Liberation Front to Pakistan TV anchor, Hamid Mir
March 15, 2013
Dear Hamid Mir,
I am writing you this letter with the hope that perhaps the historians of the next century – standing in the witness box of history – will reveal the truth about the oppressed Baloch nation, hold the colonial powers and occupying rulers of the day accountable and examine the role and discourse of its advocates and intelligentsia. It should not be the case that today’s columnists and intellectuals are restrained by the fear of the ruler or its lust for conquest.
A century ago, British Lord B. Fell said, “We know and understand the history of Egypt far better than the Egyptians do.” Even one hundred and 25 years later these contemptuous words remain on the pages of history.
Similarly, the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, when in Garhi Khuda Baksh said, “Baloch should learn politics from us.”
His implication was that the Baloch are ignorant, illiterate and unfamiliar with statecraft–born to be slaves. There is only the gap of a century between the words of Lord B. Fell and President Zardari, but the subject and message is the same: the lesson of slavery.
Mr. Hamid Mir, you hold the leading position among contemporary intellectuals belonging to the colonial state’s electronic and print media. Many of the policies of the state are devised and executed with the counsel of your community.
But knowledge and consciousness demand to be on the side of truth. Jean-Paul Sartre, who despite being French, supported the Algerian freedom movement against the colonial system with his pen and wrote a golden chapter of history.
Like Sartre, Mr. Hamid Mir, you are an intellectual. Yet you not only support the inhumane, immoral and terrorizing conduct of the occupying state in Balochistan, you have also actively advised the state regarding how to eliminate the Baloch freedom fighters and how to perpetuate its occupation over Baloch land.
Stephen Cohen summarizes some views on the future of Pakistan.
Another Five Years: More of the Same
The most likely future for Pakistan over the next five to seven years, but less likely than it would have been five years ago, is some form of what has been called “muddling through”, and what, in 2004, I termed as an establish-
ment-dominated Pakistan. The military will play a key although not always and not necessarily central role in state and political 73 Quoted in The News (Lahore), May 31, 2009.
74 “Mapping the Global Future,” Report of the National Intelligence Council’s 2020 Project Based on consultations with nongovernmental experts around the world (Washington, DC: National Intelligence Council, December 2004), p. 21.
decisions. This scenario could also include direct military rule. As several of the Bellagio participants have noted, it has not made much difference whether the military or the civilians are in power, since both had progressive moments, but each has also contributed to the long decline in Pakistan’s integrity as both a state and a nation.
In this scenario, the political system would be bound by certain parameters: the military might take over, but only for a temporary fix; it will neither encourage nor tolerate deep reform; and civilians will be content with a limited political role. The political system would be frozen in an intermediate, gray zone between full-fledged democracy and military autocracy. The state will always be in transition, but will never arrive ….
Despite growing problem of drinking water in Gwadar, the administration is still not geared to manage the drought situation
By Naseer Memon
(The News-23rd Dec 2012)While Eastern parts of Balochistan are inundated under flood water, Southern belt of Makran coast of the same province is enduring a severe drought and people are desperately jostling for drinking water in long queues. Gwadar and adjoining areas with striking natural beauty of virgin beaches are without drinking water for several months.
If only this interview was in English the world would understand the pain of a people of Sindh & Balochistan who have lost 14,000 dead and disappeared youth at the hands of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The language of the interview is urdu (Hindi).
Courtesy: Geo Tv (Capital Talk with Hamid Mir, 27th September 2012.)
Via – Adopted from facebook » TF’s wall
The New World
By FRANK JACOBS and PARAG KHANNA
IT has been just over 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the last great additions to the world’s list of independent nations. As Russia’s satellite republics staggered onto the global stage, one could be forgiven for thinking that this was it: the end of history, the final major release of static energy in a system now moving very close to equilibrium. A few have joined the club since — Eritrea, East Timor, the former Yugoslavian states, among others — but by the beginning of the 21st century, the world map seemed pretty much complete.
Now, though, we appear on the brink of yet another nation-state baby boom. This time, the new countries will not be the product of a single political change or conflict, as was the post-Soviet proliferation, nor will they be confined to a specific region. If anything, they are linked by a single, undeniable fact: history chews up borders with the same purposeless determination that geology does, as seaside villas slide off eroding coastal cliffs. Here is a map of what could possibly be the world’s newest international borders.
Pashtunistan and Baluchistan Take a Stand
To Iran’s east, the American withdrawal leaves the “Af-Pak” region in a state of disarray reminiscent of the early 1990s. With no cohesive figure in sight to lead Afghanistan after President Hamid Karzai, and with Pakistan mired in dysfunctional sectarianism and state weakness, a greater Pashtunistan could coagulate across the Durand Line, which divides the two countries. Meanwhile the gas-rich but politically alienated Baluchis could renew their independence drive, which peaked in the 1970s.
Courtesy: The New York Times (Sunday Review)
Baloch Human Rights Council (UK) welcomes the forthcoming visit of a United Nations delegation to investigate the human rights violations being committed by the Pakistani security agencies in Balochistan. Human rights organizations and Baloch political organizations have been demanding from the international community to intervene and pressurize Pakistani authorities in order to stop gross injustices to the Baloch people. The visit of a UN delegation is a very appreciable and positive step in this regard.
Dear Secretary General,
Over the past many years, the people of Balochistan have witnessed immense and brutal measures from the State of Pakistan in response to the legitimate demands of the Baloch people for fundamental human rights of civil liberty, justice and right to self-determination for sovereign Balochistan. The Pakistani state has responded with the brutal attacks committed by its military, intelligence agencies and paramilitary forces. Thousands of innocent men, women and children have been mercilessly killed, hundreds of thousands have been displaced and thousands are missing and their whereabouts are still unknown. Pakistani govt. officials have accepted of more than 1000 missing person themselves last year and we genuinely believe that their lives are in grave danger. ….
Read more » BHRC
Islamabad—United Nations has decided to send a delegation to Pakistan for reviewing the situation in Balochistan. Foreign office has been informed in this regard. The UN authorities has written a letter to foreign ministry mentioning that seven-member UN delegation would visit Pakistan from September 10 to 20 to review the situation in Balochisatan.
The Balochistan conflict has been on and off since 1948 when the Pakistan army invaded the independent State of Kalat, assassinated its leadership and occupied it since then. Four uprisings have occurred in 1948, 58, 73 and the latest since 2006. This time the youth of Balochistan are demanding independence from Pakistan and their case has been taken up by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher who has tabled a resolution in the US House of Representatives to support the right of self-determination by the Baloch people.
Courtesy: Sun News » YouTube » Via – Twitter
Shaheed Nawab Akbar Bugti’s interview in Sindhi langauge with mix of English.
Courtesy: BBC » YouTube
Via – Twitter »TF’s tweet
NOSHKI: Unknown attackers blew up a track of Pakistan Railways in the Zangi Abad area of Noshki district on Monday.
According to Levies force, unknown men had attached an explosive device along the track which went off. However, no loss of life was reported.
The blast damaged a seven-feet-long portion of the track causing suspension of train services in the surrounding areas.
After the incident, law enforcement agencies and Levies force reached the site and cordoned off the entire area. They started an investigation to trace the suspects.
By Farrukh Khan Pitafi
Balochistan has become the ultimate test of our national conscience. The province has been betrayed by everyone including the Pakistani state, the successive provincial governments, the sardars and even the insurgents. The case of insurgents, the dissidents or sarmachars as they are often called, is the most instructive as their betrayal to their people is not widely recognised. They have repeatedly asked their Baloch brethren to die for an independence that would take them from one slavery to another. If you have any doubts, take a look at the plight of the Baloch in the neighbouring countries. The resource-rich region is far behind in human development making it a conspicuous prey for all ambitious forces in the region. That means that the province’s opportunistic elite, right now working closely with Islamabad, might get richer but the lot of the poor Baloch will not ameliorate even if the province wins independence. Meanwhile, more blood is being spilled every moment in Balochistan.
And the state’s role has been no less obnoxious. General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and his toadies managed to transform their personal dislikes into a campaign against the Baloch people. Since then, the state has not only killed its own citizens but also gathered a motley crowd of opportunists and sycophants around it that does its best to retard the prospects of peace. This class has two subsets. The one governing the province is corrupt and totally divorced from ground realities and the other, without any substantial following, resorts to aiding and abetting the alleged kidnappings and extrajudicial killings in the province. Together they have blinded the state apparatus.
The state simply sees the Baloch aspirations and their demand for rights as an obstacle to their strategic and economic plans
The Supreme Court (SC) hearings on the missing persons in Balochistan are ending inconclusively without having done anything for the majority of the missing or reducing the agony of their relatives. Moreover, it seems that these hearings may become a reason for further aggravating the already bad conditions for the Baloch because the Chief Justice’s statement ‘there is a constitutional breakdown in Balochistan’ has serious implications. It implies that a constitutional breakdown requires special and emergency measures. Already one Baig Raj, president of Punjab Forum, in a national daily demanded that the government give it serious consideration and suggested that the situation in Balochistan be normalised by initiating a massive military operation after imposing governor’s rule. The Baloch are wondering if all these hearings were for laying the groundwork for justifying just this eventuality.
These hearings have been marked by the stubborn adamancy of the Frontier Corps (FC) in rejecting what the SC terms incontrovertible evidence against it. During the last hearing, the SC ordered it to produce the missing persons, but in a written statement, the FC submitted that it had conducted “internal inquiries” and found the group of missing people “was not held in the custody of FC”, adding that in many cases, insurgents dressed in FC uniforms committed “high profile acts of terrorism and heinous crimes…thus bringing (a) bad name to this federal organisation”. Period. End of story. They do not have the missing persons; moreover, imposters dressed in FC uniforms do evil to give the ‘saintly’ FC a bad name. Surprisingly, it also sought police powers to conduct a door-to-door search for the missing as if their vast arbitrary powers were not enough. Resorting to denial helps them because here no authority has the authority to verify and disprove their bogus denials.
Ironically, the FC’s claim that insurgents don their uniforms to kidnap people belies their other claim that insurgents have no influence in Balochistan, amply showing how inefficient the FC and police actually are. These unbelievable childish fairy tales are an insult to human intelligence. Simply put, the army and the FC want to persist with the policy of repression and brutality to subdue the Baloch. It seems that all these claims and disregard of law are aimed at prompting the SC to come up with a verdict about the need to right the situation created by the constitutional breakdown. It needs to be emphasised that as far as the Baloch are concerned, they are being ruled by emergency powers that the army and FC enjoy. The ‘constitutional breakdown’ verdict may just formalise the emergency powers but these will neither bring back the missing persons nor end the frequent sectarian attacks.
KARACHI: A loud explosion was heard in Karachi’s Clifton area near the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi on Monday, DawnNews reported.
The explosion shattered the windows of buildings in the vicinity and damaged two automobiles and three motorbikes parked near the site of explosion. The bomb was fitted on a motorbike parked near the Chinese consulate area, SSP South Asif Shaikh said.
The Hazaras are being systematically killed because they are anti-Taliban
“At least 60 people belonging to Hazara community living in Quetta have been killed in targeted attacks, including suicide, remote-controlled and timer device bombings and firing,” says a report published in this newspaper, following a brutal attack on Shia pilgrims belonging to the Hazara community.
Thursday’s bomb attack in the Hazarganji area on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Balochistan was not the first such attack of the year. Not even the first of the month. The Hazara community has been targeted, with great impunity, by outlawed militant organisations on at least six occasions in the current year. While all attacks have claimed precious lives, one of worst attacks against the community came last September, when a bus carrying Hazara passengers was stopped by assailants heavily armed with rocket launchers and Kalashnikovs. They identified Hazara men, took them off the bus and slaughtered them one by one within half a kilometre from a security check post. A similar incident was repeated a few days later in Akhtarabad area of Quetta. Some unconfirmed reports say “over 800 Hazaras have been killed in 24 incidents of mass-murder and 131 targeted ambushes since 2001.”
Responsibility for most of these attacks has been claimed by outlawed group Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, who have gone as far in their hate preach as declaring the community “wajib-ul-qatl” or deserving of death in their edicts handed out in the Balochistan province. Moreover, the community has been warned that its settlements in Hazara Town and on Alamdar Road will be transformed into graveyards as the war against them continues, according to a column published in this newspaper.
The killings have received mixed reactions and analyses from government officials, politicians and Hazara community leaders. Some blame security forces and intelligence agencies for the killings. Others point the fingers at the sectarian fanatics, Taliban and land mafia while some people even suggest a complex amalgam of all the aforementioned factors.
Role of security forces
While there is little doubt that all the attacks have been unprovoked and unidirectional without any apprehensions for many years, for Hazaras, the failure of security forces to protect their community remains an unanswered question.
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama told his staff in late 2011 that Pakistan could ‘disintegrate’ and set off a scramble for its weapons, claims a new book by David E. Sanger, chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times.
Excerpts from the book, published earlier this month, were highlighted by the US media but it assumed an added importance when US officials started asking Pakistani diplomats, visiting officials, lawmakers and even journalists to read the book.
This forced senior Pakistani diplomats to have a second look at the book and some of them also asked Washington-based Pakistani journalists to read the book and share their views with them.
The book identifies Pakistan as President Obama’s “biggest single national security concern” and it quotes Mr Obama telling his senior aides that he had “the least power to prevent” a possible disintegration of this nuclear-armed country. And he also could not control the scramble for Pakistani nukes that this disintegration would cause.
Reports claim American supership USS Enterprise is in the territorial waters of Balochistan near the port city of Gwadar
Reports claim American supership USS Enterprise is in Pak territorial waters
By Shafqat Ali
US moves its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, into Pakistani territorial waters near Gwadar, media reports said.
“The US has moved its biggest aircraft carrier 65 to 70 nautical miles away from Gwadar in the second week of June”, a Pakistani television channel reported.
The USS Enterprise, which holds a crew of over 4,000, had taken part in several wars.
The move comes as relations between Pakistan and the US have touched new lows. Pakistan has refused to reopen Nato supply through infuriating the US.
The Pak-US relations have never recovered to normal since the killing of Al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad in May last year. The killing of 26 Pakistani soldiers by the Nato forces in November further dented the ties.
“After the deployment of the aircraft in Pakistani sea the country’s security agencies are now investigating into the matter. The movement apparently shows the increasing interest of the US in Balochistan province of Pakistan”, another channel reported.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Pentagon plans to soon deploy a new generation of drones the size of model planes, packing tiny explosive warheads that can be delivered with pinpoint accuracy.
The move to introduce new small drones seeks to minimize civilian casualties and collateral damage, the report said.
Errant drone strikes have been blamed for killing and injuring scores of civilians throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan, giving the US government a black eye as it targets elusive terrorist groups, the newspaper said.
The Predator and Reaper drones deployed in these regions typically carry 100-pound laser-guided Hellfire missiles or 500-pound GPS-guided smart bombs that can reduce buildings to smouldering rubble.
The new Switchblade drone, by comparison, weighs less than 6 pounds and can take out a sniper on a rooftop without blasting the building to bits. It also enables soldiers in the field to identify and destroy targets much more quickly by eliminating the need to call in a strike from large drones that may be hundreds of miles away.
“This is a precision strike weapon that causes as minimal collateral damage as possible”, said William I. Nichols, who led the Army’s testing effort of the Switchblades at Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Ala.
The Obama administration, notably the CIA, has long been lambasted by critics for its use of combat drones and carelessly killing civilians in targeted strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia.
In Islamabad, on Thursday, Foreign Office spokesman Muazzam Khan said that efforts were underway to mend the strained relationship between Pakistan and the US.
Speaking to reporters at a weekly news briefing, Mr Khan said that the decision to restore the Nato supply route would be made by the political leadership.
The FO spokesman dispelled the impression that Pakistan was raising the tariff on the supply route adding that there were several other issues involved.
“Pakistan will not allow its territory to be used as terrorist safe havens”, he added.
Courtesy: Decan Chronicle
By Amina Jilani
When former president General Pervez Musharraf decided to embark upon his politically suicidal path in March 2007, the first step was the production of a reference against the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry — a fatal move. The first item of the reference concerned the CJP’s son, Arsalan Iftikhar, a doctor, who since then has now come somewhat full circle.
Justice Chaudhry was charged with having influenced the upward mobility of his son’s career. In 1996, the son of a judge of the Balochistan High Court managed a ‘C’ grade in his intermediate examination. This being insufficient for him to gain admission to the Bolan Medical College, Quetta, the judge allegedly approached the Balochistan chief minister with the request that the son be admitted to the college, regardless of his grade and given a special or vacant seat. Apparently this was done.
Nine years later, in June 2005 (his father, by then on the Bench of the Supreme Court), the young doctor was appointed as a medical officer in Quetta’s Institute of Public Health. In July, a short time following this appointment (by this time Justice Chaudhry was chief justice of Pakistan) the Balochistan chief minister again allegedly came to the aid of Arsalan Iftikhar, ordering his promotion as a section officer in the health department.
According to the reference, in that same year, August 2005, the young man decided to redirect his career. A letter was sent by the interior ministry to the Balochistan chief secretary informing him that the FIA wished to acquire the services of Dr Iftikhar. By September 2005, the doctor had a job as an assistant director in the FIA. This was followed up in April 2006 by his promotion to the position of deputy director.
Then, Arsalan, as claimed the reference, decided he would prefer a career in the police service. So, the ministry of the interior acted again, allowing him to bypass the necessary competitive services examination and the commandant of the National Police Academy was instructed to take him and put him through a course of field training, usually exclusive to Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) officers, after which, he was scheduled to move over to the Punjab Police.
But it was not that simple. For the doctor to be admitted as a permanent employee of the PSP, an amendment would have to be made in the Police Service of Pakistan Rules, which required presidential assent, the reference alleged. The prime minister’s secretariat was requested to do the needful but apparently the desired amendment did not materialise. The reference claimed further that in October 2006, he was nominated as a non-PSP officer to attend a training course in Istanbul, interestingly enough on the subject of Combating International Terrorism and Organised crime, the only non-PSP and sole under training individual to do the course.
Well, if our press and Dr Iftikhar are to be believed, the young man has moved on considerably and is now involved in business. He has also done quite a bit of travelling — regularly to Europe, London and Monaco, that we know of. It would seem that he is either naïve or forgetful when it comes down to brass tacks. In his statement dated June 6, made in the Supreme Court, referring to his 2011 visit to London, he stated: “I do not know from whose credit card the rent of the flat, which I remotely remember was around 3,200 pounds sterling per week, was paid. Perhaps I stayed for four weeks…”
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”.
The aim of the Balochistan Series at T2F is to encourage open and informal dialogue about the Balochistan conflict, and especially to bring out voices that are generally not heard.
The first event in the series took place at T2F on Friday, 18th May, 2012 and featured BM Kutty and Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur. The session aimed to discuss the rise of Baloch nationalism and the major features of its history, and was moderated by Nazish Brohi. The language of the discussion is urdu (Hindi).
He died for his nation! Those who give their life for the Freedom and Liberation of their Motherland are immortals – they are Shaheeds, Martyrs – and theirs such hefty and tremendous sacrifices will glorify their Nation, empower their people and keep the candle of Freedom flickering brightly.
On this day, the day of his Martyrdom, at the hands of savages and brutes, my humble self and the entire nation of Sindh STAND UP and SALUTE Professor Shaheed Saba Dashtyari. This valiant and verdant son of Balochistan was brutally massacred by the savages of the deep state on 1st June 2011.
He was a brilliant teacher and a brave son of his glorious nation. He always stood for the Truth. He once remarked: “We should not be afraid of he Truth and we should face Truth! The inability of the Pakistanis to face the Truth has made them mad and now they are killing Baloch people in order to conquer Balochistan.”
A year ago Prof. Sabah Dashtiyari was assassinated by the agencies of the deep state.
YOU HAVE KILLED ME, YOU CANT KILL THE TRUTH,
YOU CANT KILL MY SOUL, TODAY MY SOUL IS LIBERATED,
TOMORROW MY PEOPLE, MY NATION WILL GET LIBERATION.
AND YOU WILL BE NO WHERE …. NO WHERE …
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, June 1, 2012
By: Ahmar Mustikhan
A politician and a journalist from Balochistan will speak at a key symposium on the future of the Afpak region at an upcoming Pentagon event in Arlington.
A former speaker of the Balochistan assembly, Waheed Baloch, and Reagan-Fascell Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, Malik Siraj Akbar, will speak at the Afghanistan-Pakistan Regional Expertise Training Program two-day event entitled Pakistan Symposium: 2014 and Beyond.
Peter Bergen, director of National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation, will be the keynote speaker June 19..
Concerns run high in the U.S. that the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence is determined to bring back the Taliban rule in Afghanistan once the U.S. draws down its troops.
Senior Pakistani generals call the U.S. and NATO troops “Chocolate Boys” and privately insist they will be roundly defeated, according to Pakistani sources.
The symposium will focus on two critical geo-political areas in Pakistan – the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan.
Ironically, the situation in Balochistan is already more akin to an emergency rule than to a democratic one
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s pronouncement that “the Constitution will take its course if the prime minister fails to take steps with immediate effect to resolve the crisis in Balochistan,” warning that imposition of emergency could be one of the options to restore sanity to the province has sparked a wave of consternation among the Baloch people. He further said, “All major political players should keep in mind that non-implementation of the Constitution had led to imposition of martial law more than once,” and added, “Why don’t we implement the Constitution before the army imposes martial law.” The Baloch are trying to fathom the real reason behind this ominous threat, which seems to be aimed at them — who are the victims of atrocities and a slow-track genocide — and not at the ‘establishment’ and its departments who are the perpetrators; obviously, this is tantamount to urging the state to impose an ‘emergency’ in Balochistan.
There is an anecdote in Sindh that most of the inhabitants of a village were going off for an extended stay at a neighbouring village for a wedding ceremony and the village idiot was the only one staying behind. As the villagers prepared to leave the village, the elders, hoping to advise the village idiot about his conduct during their absence told him, “Now, don’t you set the village on fire while we are away.” The village idiot gleefully clapped his hands and said, “Gosh! This possibility had simply escaped my mind, thank you for reminding me!” This is what this statement has served to do; it has reminded the ‘village idiot’ that he has forgotten the possibility of setting the village on fire, i.e. step up repression by suspending whatever sham fundamental rights exist in Balochistan.
The Chief Justice’s statement has puzzled even leading legal minds. Renowned jurist Justice (retd) Fakharuddin G Ibrahim expressed his surprise over the remarks, and questioning the judiciary’s powers in this regard said, “Only the executive has the authority to declare an emergency. What powers do you have? I don’t know in which direction things are moving.” Consternation among the Baloch arises from the ominous direction that these hearings about ‘missing persons’ have taken. The hearings are aimed ostensibly at the recovery of missing persons, but could be used to give the agencies authorisation to commit atrocities under an emergency. Instead of addressing their problems, the option of suspending rights is being used; but then what one can expect of a state that is interested in Balochistan simply for its resources.
A strong, independent Afghanistan is perceived as an existential threat to Pakistan
Just why is Pakistan interested in installing a friendly regime in Afghanistan? If you read books and articles written over the last couple of decades, you will come across arguments such as the need for “strategic depth” to counter India, to prevent a pro-India regime in Kabul that will result in the Indian encircling of Pakistan and, even more grandly, to create an Islamic centre of power that stretches from the shores of the Arabian Sea to the Caucasus mountains. Going by the statements of members of the Pakistani establishment and some of its commentators, these are indeed the reasons why Pakistan wants to dominate Afghanistan.
Daily Times editorial on CJP’s Strange, ominous, unconstitutional pronouncement on emergency & martial law
The Supreme Court (SC) three-member bench hearing the missing persons case in the Quetta Registry headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has been scathing in its remarks during the proceedings about the seriousness of the situation in Balochistan and the obvious lack of the federal and provincial government’s seriousness in addressing the issue. The bench has been putting civil servants, junior government officials and police personnel on the mat regarding their failure to produce the missing persons. At the last hearing, the Deputy Attorney General got so much stick from the bench that he tendered his resignation. The CJ quoted former Balochistan advocate general Salauddin Mengal to portray a situation where no Pakistani flag could fly without the protection of the guns of the security forces more than 10 miles from Quetta. In the same vein of castigating the political, administrative and law enforcement leadership at the Centre and in the province, the CJ remarked that if the prime minister was not interested in acting to salvage the situation, the constitution envisaged other means, including the declaration of an emergency. Further, the CJ warned something must be done before another martial law is imposed.
Congratulation to Sindh Chief Minister on PPP Rally.
12 May 2012: Delaware(USA), Millions of Pakistanis (estimated to be two millions) belonging to Sindh, Sarikistan, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and other areas of Pakistan gathered in Ghotki, Sindh, to express their support for democracy, in particular for the Pakistan Peoples Party and its leaders President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
Today’s public rally at Kamon Shaheed area on the Sindh-Punjab border is estimated to be one of the largest in Pakistan’s political history. The total number of people in today’s rally is estimated to be several times larger than other similar rallies organized by other political parties .
The leaders PPP USA, Shafqat Tanweer President, Mian Basharat Yousaf Chief Organizer, Shoukat Ali Bhutta Secretary General, Syed Iftikhar Zaidi Senior Vice President, Zafar Iqbal Chattha, Co ordinator Jahingeer Buttar Finance Secretary and Masood Zakria Choudhary Add’l Secretary General,PPP USA. Congratulate Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and PPP Leadership for this rally.
Jeay Bhutto, Jeay BiBi, PPP Zindabad.
By Mahvish Ahmad
ISLAMABAD, April 30: Zakir Majid Baloch was picked up from Mastung three years ago. He was on his way to a university where he was enrolled as an MA English student. Zakir had always wanted to go to Balochistan University in Quetta but it was impossible for him to get admission there. According to his sister Farzana Majid, his political activities in the Baloch Student Organization-Azad made him an unpopular pick for most academic institutions. It was most likely also the reason for his kidnapping: Farzana believes that the security agencies picked him up on June 8, 2009, to punish him for his activities.
By: Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
During the 1973-1977 army action in conflict zones, thousands of innocent people were killed, tens of thousands were internally displaced
Mr Ikram Sehgal’s “Of Empire and Army” (Newsline, March 2012) is a bundle of misinformation and bias against the Baloch. Perturbed that the media holds the security establishment solely responsible for the Balochistan crisis, he claims, “Most of our problems stem from jumping to conclusions that are based on misinformation, and then deliberately distorting those half-truths to suit mass perception.” He feels, “Disproportionate media projection of the separatist leaders encourages ethnic divisions and violence.” He probably thinks the Baloch struggle and the atrocities by the state are a figment of the media’s imagination.
The state’s brutal kill and dump policy seems justified to him. He half-heartedly admits, “No one denies the fact that targeted killings of the Baloch are taking place, that people are being picked up and that state actors are involved in the killing and the disappearances.” Then he offers a lame justification that “sons of the soil” are killing an equal number of settlers. Balochistan Home Department’s recent report said that the majority of the ones killed are ethnic Baloch.
Sehgal tells us that on December 29, 1973, as his son was being born in Karachi, his company came under heavy fire from Marri insurgents near Kahan, after the dismissal of Ataullah’s representative government. The Baloch considered them aggressors rightly, and could not be expected to throw a party. He then says, “Throughout that year, many soldiers were martyred and several injured,” and adds, “In one instance, the insurgents beheaded 19 of our soldiers.”
Well, I too was in the Marri area with the Baloch nationalists then and assuredly, the Marris never indulged in such abhorrent practices. His claim defies reason as no guerilla could possibly have time to ambush and behead soldiers. Ambushes invite response and with helicopters, jets and motorised transportation at the army’s disposal, only fools would linger after an ambush.
The columnist adds that the army could have retaliated against the Marris in kind but relented because they understood that their Sardar (tribal chief), who was living comfortably in Kabul, misguided the Marris. Incidentally, Sardar Khair Baksh Marri and other Baloch leaders, including Sardar Ataullah Mengal, were in jail until 1978. He blames the media for misinformation and distortion. During the 1973-1977 army action in conflict zones, thousands of innocent people were killed, tens of thousands were internally displaced, social and economic life was disrupted, flocks were stolen, crops destroyed, and the entire Balochistan was terrorised. Eight persons, whom I knew personally, including my dear friend, Daleep Dass, aka Johnny Dass, went missing, never to be heard of again. Sher Muhammad Aliani — a sept, an elder, a septuagenarian — was picked up because of an ambush in the vicinity of his settlement near Kahan; his brutally tortured corpse was later recovered. Murad Khan Ramkani of Tadri too was similarly killed. The valiant Asadullah Mengal and Ahmed Shah Kurd were abducted and killed in Karachi. The examples of the ‘consideration’ shown are too numerous to note.