Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Bugti warns of armed uprising

Victims can pardon rapists, says Bugti

DERA BUGTI/KARACHI: Nawab Akbar Bugti, the chief of the Bugti tribe and former Balochistan chief minister, has said the Baloch will pardon Captain Hammad, the man accused of raping a female doctor, only if the victim forgives him, Online reported.

Talking to a private TV, he said in line with Baloch and Sindhi traditions, the rapists would have to go to the victim to seek her mercy, and if she forgave them, they would have no objection to her decision.

Staff report adds: At a telephone press conference on Tuesday, Bugti warned that there could be armed resistance if the government decided on military action in the area. “The situation in Balochistan is alarming and there could be an armed resistance if a military option is opted, which I can see coming soon,” he said.

VIEW: The real challenge in Balochistan —Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Sardar Ataullah Mengal was wrong in saying that only Akbar Bugti could speak for Sui. Every Baloch has a right in this respect equal to Akbar Bugti. Abandoning this principle will amount to replacing one set of autocrats with another

The recent events in Sui are a manifestation of what afflicts the country’s ruling classes. They are also an _expression of a people’s outrage at the rulers’ arrogance and their utter disregard of their rights. The people were outraged not only at the rape of a female doctor who had agreed to serve in the wilderness but also at the continued rape of their rights and resources since the very inception of Pakistan. They indicate what the future is going to be like if the rulers persist in their belief that overwhelming firepower is the panacea for all their problems.

The BLA is certainly not a figment of some fertile imagination. This is apparent from the scale of its activity. Since 2003, 1,529 rockets have been fired and 113 bombs exploded in Balochistan. Despite Baloch leaders’ reluctance to directly answer questions about its existence and the government’s attempt to minimise its significance, it cannot be wished away. Theories about its sponsors abound. The oddest one suggests that it is being helped by the USA which is not happy with China’s role in Balochistan. Fingers have also been pointed at Iran. But does not Iran oppress its own Baloch population? One thing is certain: there are people out there determined enough and having adequate resources to sustain the attacks. The BLA’s activities may not be an adequate _expression of the deep and pervasive popular resentment but they are an _expression nonetheless.

For a peep into the mindset that caused past problems look at the following statement of one Lt Col Mazhar Masood reported by Dawn on January 27 (under the headline ‘Cantonment to be built in Sui: Army’). Said Col Masood: “We have come here and taken over 400 acres of land allotted to the Pakistan Army. We will soon build a cantonment (garrison) here which is the need of the area.” For icing on the cake he added: “You can see only sand dunes here, but within a very short time a cantonment will be built and the sand dunes will be turned into green land.”

No one doubts your ability, Col Masood, to turn the sand dunes of Sui into green land. In fact, this ability of the ruling classes is the real cause of concern for the people of Balochistan. The cantonments and the areas where mega development projects are built become islands of green in the otherwise barren landscape of the province. Your statements maybe reassuring to the investors but they frighten the common man.

Unfortunately, the indifference of the Establishment is not limited to Balochistan. It treats Sindh and the NWFP with equal contempt. On this count all governments have been even-handed. The present government, too, is interested mostly in the greening of the Punjab, the mega-projects, the cantonments and the Defence Housing Societies to the utter disregard of the wishes of those affected by process.

During a recent visit to Lahore I was surprised to see huge billboards inviting people there to Gwadar — the new El Dorado, asking them to “invest in the land of promise and opportunities”. This is what causes concern in the minds of the people of Balochistan and creates resentment and anger at the injustices that found a partial _expression in Sui.

Promising people jobs as peons and watchmen never was and never will be the solution to the problem. At issue is their right to the resources. Until and unless there is progress on this sticking point, there can be no peace in the province. Let me attempt an analogy at the risk of being widely condemned. Had the people of Arab Emirates agreed to be content with menial jobs and not asserted their rights to the resources, would there ever have been the prosperity and the social development we now see there? The unmistakable lesson is that there can be no social and economic progress — that the government claims to favour — until and unless the people are made the masters of their destiny. Without this, no projects, including Gwadar, can change people’s lives.

Also, the attempts to improve security by relocating people from Sui, or other envisaged cantonments sites, will never be of any value as ‘soft targets’ abound. The solution lies in respecting people’s rights in Sui and elsewhere in Balochistan rather than in trying to create buffer zones to protect installations.

There have been talks between some Baloch leaders and representatives of the government. A parliamentary committee, too, has been formed to help find a solution. But not much headway seems to have been made. The two sides hold diametrically opposite points of view. This is a gulf that cannot be bridged until and unless there is a radical departure from the basic premise by one of the sides. To me, it appears to be impossible.

Some among the Sardars may decide to compromise but this will only postpone the confrontation. The people of Balochistan will not abdicate their rights even if some of their leaders do an about turn. After all no single leader has the exclusive right to speak for the people in his area of influence. Sardar Ataullah Mengal was thus wrong in saying that only Akbar Bugti could speak for Sui. Every Baloch has a right in this respect equal to Akbar Bugti. Abandoning this principle will amount to replacing one set of autocrats with another.

For a meaningful understanding the wishes of the majority of the Baloch people have to be respected. The government should learn a lesson from the American experience. The USA thought Iraq would be a piece of cake but it has become a quagmire and can eventually cause its downfall. Just as the Iraq war can prove the first of the great social and political tsunamis of the century that will change the world order the confrontation in Balochistan can herald changes in this country as well as the entire region.

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to early 1970s

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_23-2-2005_pg3_6



Sattar Masti Khan passes away

KARACHI: Waja Abdul Sattar Masti Khan, one of the pioneers of the Pakistan Movement, passed away at the Civil Hospital here on Tuesday. He was 79. He had been suffering from cancer for the past some years. He was buried at Mewa Shah Graveyard. The deceased left a son and three daughters. Veteran politician Yousuf Haroon, former governor of Balochistan Abdul Qadir Baloch, secretary-general of the National Party Mir Hasil Bezinjo, MNA Nabil Gabol, former Balochistan minister Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, and senior politician Hussain Haroon attended the funeral. The soyem will be held at Yousuf Masti Khan’s residence on Thursday in PECH Society. Abdul Sattar Masti Khan had been playing a positive role in the Baloch nationalist politics since the inception of the country. staff report



Government policies may create anarchy

DERA MURAD JAMALI: The unjust policies of the present government may create anarchy in the country, said Sardar Attaullah Khan Mengal, Balochistan National Party (BNP) chief. Talking to a private TV channel on Tuesday, Mengal said the federal government was developing other provinces at the expense of Balochistan. He said the government’s plan to impound Balochistan’s resources by installing cantonments in the province would not be fulfilled. “It is wishful thinking on the part of the government that they will confiscate Baloch resources while starting a military operation in the province”, he said. He noted that the problems facing Balochistan could be addressed if the provincial government was given autonomy. Online



Akbar Bugti threatens armed resistance

KARACHI: Jamhoori Wattan Party chief Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti threatened armed resistance on Tuesday if the government uses force to tame tribesmen amid an "alarming" situation in Balochistan.

"The situation in Balochistan is alarming and there could be an armed resistance if a military option is opted, which I can see coming soon," Bugti told a telephonic press conference from Dera Bugti.

"Balochi people may die in large number but there can be casualties on the other side as well," he told reporters at the Karachi Press Club. Regular and paramilitary forces have moved into the area and Bugti said the large Army presence around Sui indicated "an Army operation is possible".

Bugti said Dr Shazia rape case had "ruined" considerable efforts made for settling Balochistan issue and now, unless culprits behind this heinous act were punished, the matter could not be resolved.

"Considerable progress was made for settling Balochistan issue prior to misfortune with Dr Shazia Khalid. But now, it has become a matter of honour for the Baloch people and unless culprits involved in the criminal act are punished, the Baloch people will not be satisfied," he said. Bugti said sincere efforts were required to resolve issues facing Balochistan and on top of that was justice to Dr Shazia Khalid, who was subjected to inhuman act and disgraced.

Denying charges levelled against him regarding receiving Rs 120 million annually from the Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), he demanded formation of a fact-finding committee, comprising journalists Ayaz Amir, Irshad Ahmed Haqqani and Mushahid Hussain, to probe into the allegations. "If the said committee finds me responsible for taking money from the PPL or the government, I’m ready to face any punishment recommended by it or anybody else," he added.

Commenting on use of foreign arms and money for unrest in Balochistan, Bugti said the United States and other countries were giving arms and funds to the government. "Everybody knows that only rulers receive arms and foreign funds for suppressing their own people," he said. He said the Baloch nationalist leaders at a recent meeting with US ambassador to Pakistan informed him that weapons provided by the US in Afghanistan were being used in Balochistan.

Responding to a question, Bugti said that without removing impediments, such as justice to Dr Shazia Khalid, meeting with ruling PML President Chaudhry Shujaat and party’s Secretary-General Mushahid Hussain Sayed would be meaningless. "I have no reluctance in meeting with these two (leaders) but without assurance of solution to Balochistan issue, it would be meaningless," he said. -Agencies

Muhammad Ejaz Khan adds from Quetta: Balochistan police on Tuesday claimed to have arrested three alleged terrorists and recovered three rockets from their possession in a raid conducted in Marri camp in the provincial capital.

"The police were tipped off about the presence of the three terrorists in Marri," DIG Police Rafi Pervez Bhatti said, adding that a special police team was constituted to arrest the terrorists. The police team raided the house of one Abdul Rehman and recovered three rockets, he said.

Bhatti said the accused Abdul Rehman was wanted to police in various cases of terrorism. The police party also arrested another two "terrorists" whose identification is yet to be established, he added.

According to Bhatti the accused were involved in rockets firing, bomb explosions and other terrorist acts in Quetta and other parts of the province. "Further investigations are in progress," he added.

http://jang.com.pk/thenews/



Centre may cede 36 subjects to provinces

By Shakil Shaikh

ISLAMABAD: The concurrent legislative list, the most important constitutional framework of areas concurrently falling under the jurisdiction of the Centre and provinces, would be reduced from 47 to merely 11 articles, ensureing greater provincial autonomy.

"We have identified only 11 articles to remain on the concurrent legislative list and the remaining 36 articles or their subject matters would be assigned to the provinces for greater provincial autonomy in the federation," said a member of the parliamentary committee, which was assigned the task to prepare recommendations for provincial autonomy. The committee on provincial autonomy is headed by Leader of the House in Senate, Barrister Wasim Sajjad and included many stalwarts.

The parliamentary committee, said the member, has recommended that following 11 articles, out of total 47, should remain on the concurrent list thus the Centre handles these affairs: Article 1 of the Concurrent Legislative List (criminal law, including all matters included in the PPC on the commencing day, but excluding offences against laws with respect to any of the matters specified in the federal legislative list and excluding the use of naval, military and air forces in aid of civil power);

Article 2 (criminal procedure, including all matters included in the code of criminal procedure, on the commending day); Article 3 (civil procedure including the law of limitation and all matters included in the code of civil procedure on the commending day; the recovery in a province or the federal capital of claims in respect of taxes and other public demands, including arrears of land revenue and sums recoverable as such, arising, outside that province);

Article 7 (bankruptcy and insolvency, administrators-general and official trustees); Article 9 (contracts, including partnership, agency, contracts or carriage, and other special forms of contracts, but not including contracts relating to agricultural land); Article 26 (welfare of labour; conditions of labour, provident funds; employees’ liability and workmen’s compensation, health insurance including invalidity pensions, old age pensions);

Article 32 (shipping and navigation on inland waterways as regards mechanically propelled vessels and the rule of the road on such waterways; carriage of passengers and goods on inland waterways); Article 34 (electricity); Article 36 (newspapers, books and printing presses); Article 38 (curriculum, syllabus, planning, policy, centres of excellence and standards of education); and Article 39 (Islamic education);

Remaining subjects, said the member, are recommended to be put under the authority of the respective provinces as they exclusively deal with it, thus, enhancing provincial autonomy and working without much interference from the Centre. The committee, it is said, has also been working to introduce changes in the federal legislative list, which contained 59 articles. The committee is also likely to recommend for discussing and approving money bill by the Senate as in the case of the National Assembly. "It would make the Upper House more potent and vibrant with input from the provincial representatives in their capacity as Senators," said the committee member. However, if the President finally agrees to these proposals and recommendations, the government would introduce a constitutional amendment bill.

http://jang.com.pk/thenews/



Statement of witness recorded in Dr Shazia case

By our correspondent

QUETTA: The Tribunal, headed by judge of Balochistan High Court (BHC) Justice Ahmed Khan Lashari, recorded the statement of another witness on Tuesday in connection with Dr Shazia case. ASI Special Branch Sui Police Muhammad Khurshid appeared before the tribunal and recorded his statement. The Tribunal has issued notices to two employees of PPL Sui, Pir Bukhsh and Noor Ahmed, to record their statement on February 28. So far, 14 witnesses have recorded their statements.



CJ BHC takes oath as acting governor

By our correspondent

QUETTA: Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court (BHC), Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed, was sworn in as the acting governor of Balochistan here on Tuesday. Senior BHC judge Justice Amanullah Khan administered the oath at a ceremony at the Governor’s House. Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed would serve as the acting governor of the province because Governor Owais Ghani has proceeded for Iran along with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on a three-day official visit. Later, the acting governor administered oath of the acting chief justice BHC to Justice Amanullah Khan. The judges of the BHC, provincial ministers and senior officials attended the oath taking ceremony.



Four die in Kalat accident

By our correspondent

QUETTA: Four passengers were killed and 13 others sustained injuries in a road accident in Kalat district, some 150-km off here, on Tuesday. A passenger coach was heading to Karachi from Quetta when it reached in Mal Shawri area of Kalat it rammed into a pick-up parked along the road and overturned, killing four passengers instantly and injuring 13 others. The dead were identified as Adeel, Afzal, Jahan Maseih and Baba Kala.

http://jang.com.pk/thenews/



Govt discussing political future with PPP: Rashid - Governor's rule in Sindh & Balochistan ruled out



By Amir Wasim


ISLAMABAD, Feb 22: Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has again claimed that the government is in contact with the People's Party Parliamentarians and the two sides are discussing the 'political future' of the country.

Talking to Dawn here on Tuesday, the minister refused to elaborate the nature of the contact, saying it could damage the process. He said that although the government was busy in reconciliation with the PPP, there was no place for the party in the present set-up. "The PPP has no role in the present set-up and talks are being held only on future politics in an effort to bring stability to the country," he said.

Replying to a question, he categorically ruled out the possibility of general elections in the country this year, a major demand of the PPP. However, the minister hinted that the issue of fresh elections was being discussed between the two sides. "Yes, the PPP wants elections in 2005 and the government is insisting on 2007."

NO GOVERNOR's RULE: Earlier, speaking at a religious conference in Rawalpindi, Sheikh Rashid said political stability and reconciliation in the country was essential in the prevailing regional and international scenario and the government was in contact with the PPP to achieve this objective.

He said there was no possibility of governor's rule either in Sindh or in Balochistan. The minister refuted reports that there were serious differences in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League, and claimed that the PML was united under the leadership of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

He called upon all schools of thought to play their role for achieving religious harmony and brotherhood in the country. The minister asked the participants of the conference to present Islam as a religion of responsibility, civility and patience.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/02/23/



MMA criticizes plan for new cantonments



By Our Staff Correspondent


QUETTA, Feb 22: MMA leader Syed Munawar Hasan has alleged that the government wanted to establish military cantonments in Balochistan to provide bases to the United States.

Speaking at a press conference here on Tuesday, he said the MMA was against new cantonments in Balochistan, adding that the government was executing the US agenda. He said there was no justification for setting up cantonments in Sui, Kohlu and Gwadar because the area had no border with any other country.

"The US would use these cantonments when it would launch an attack on Iran," he said. He also alleged that the government conducted a military operation in South Waziristan at the behest of the US in which Pakistani troops killed their own people. The operation had created a gulf between army and people of the area which could not be easily bridged.

Referring to the issue of Balochistan, the MMA leader said that the government had failed to meet the needs of the people of the province although it had a very small population.

He said that the mega projects of President Gen Pervez Musharraf in the province would be of no benefit to the local people. He said that Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain had set up two committees on Balochistan, but reports of the committees were yet to be made public.

Referring to the MMA's proposed million-men march and anti-government movement, he said the alliance aimed to send the army back to barracks and end its role in national politics. "If the march does not succeed in sending the army back to barracks, the MMA and other opposition parties would stage a sit-in in Islamabad," he said.

ACCIDENT: Four Wapda employees were killed and 17 other people were injured when a Gwadar-bound pick-up collided with a speeding coach in the Kalat area on Thursday.

According to levies sources, the pick-up, which was carrying a Wapda team, was on its way to Gwadar from Sibi when it was hit by the coach, near Malshawri, some 40 kms from Kalat. Four Wapda employees were killed on the spot while three passengers of the coach and 14 other people were injured. The coach driver ran away after the accident.

OATH: The chief justice of the Balochistan High Court, Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed, took over as acting governor of the province on Tuesday. Senior Judge of the Balochistan High Court Justice Amanullah Khan Yasinzai administered the oath office to the acting governor at a ceremony at the Governor House.

Justice Ahmed will be acting governor in the absence of Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani, who is accompanying Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on a visit to Iran. The judges of the Balochistan High Court, provincial ministers and senior officials of the provincial government attended the oath-taking ceremony.



MQM accused of dividing people on ethnic lines



By Bureau Report


HYDERABAD, Feb 22: Leaders of a number of political, nationalist, religious and social organizations have termed the proposed division of the district a move to divide people by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and stressed the need for coexistence.

They warned that any move to bifurcate the district to please one ethnic group would be strongly resisted. They were speaking at a seminar on "division of Hyderabad on ethnic basis" organized by the Sindh National Party at the press club on Tuesday.

SNP chairman Ameer Bhambhro said that those who were trying to divide the district were not friends of Sindh. He said the SNP party was not against the Urdu-speaking people but against some elements who were trying to divide Sindh.

He said the MQM was only paying a lip service to the cause of Sindh and added that they had never come out on the roads against the Kalabagh dam and greater Thal canal. He accused the ethnic group of hatching a conspiracy to divide Sindh on the lingual basis.

Mr Bhambhro said that if any attempt was made to divide the district, the move would be resisted and the ethnic group would be held responsible for post-division consequences.

He announced that all roads of the district would be closed by political and nationalist parties in protest against the bifurcation of the district. PPP leader Maula Bux Chandio said the people living in Sindh were Sindhis but the rulers were trying to create ethnic riots to prolong their rule.

He said the MQM loudly proclaimed that they were Sindhis but they had not made any announcement that they would leave the government if the Kalabagh dam was constructed.

He said the bifurcation of Hyderabad district would be resisted and warned that the people of Sindh would not allow division of districts and handing them over to "terrorists" and Jagirdars.

MPA Zahid Bhurgari and MPA Farheen Mughal said the MQM was trying to divide the district by black-mailing Arbab Ghulam Rahim. The elected representatives said that Sindh was not any one's fief that it should be divided into pieces and handed over to "terrorists".

They said that they would raise their voice on the issue in the Sindh Assembly on Feb 25. Jamaat-i-Islami leader Maulana Abdul Waheed Qureshi said that the bifurcation of Hyderabad district would not be accepted on ethnic basis.

Stand off continues in Sui, says Bugti



By Our Staff Reporter


KARACHI, Feb 22: Jamhoori Watan Party chief Nawab Mohammad Akbar Khan Bugti said on Tuesday that there was no improvement in the Sui situation as the stand off continued.

Expressing concern over what he called large scale deployment of troops in the area, Nawab Bugti said it appeared that the government was planning an army operation and in that case Baloch people would have no option but to resist with full force.

The JWP chief, who heads the Bugti tribe, said he was fully aware of the 'heavy price' the Baloch would have to pay in such a conflict because they would suffer more than the troops who were better equipped.

In his first telephonic address to journalists gathered at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday afternoon, he described the situation as tense and uncertain and said that more than a division of troops including paramilitary personnel had been deployed in Sui. Moreover, he added, helicopters and surveillance planes were seen hovering regularly which indicated that the government was not sincere in pursuing political dialogue.

When his attention was drawn to mediation efforts of PML leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Husain and Mushahid Hussain Syed, the JWP chief said he valued their efforts and would never doubt their intentions. However, he warned that there were 'other forces' who were creating hindrances.

The veteran Baloch leader pointed out that the mediation efforts initiated by the PML leaders in August last year were stalled because of the tragic Sui incident. He said that the Baloch people were justified in their reaction to the shameful assault on a lady doctor because such acts were not permissible in the Baloch society.

Regretting the attitude of the government, the Nawab said that the 'highly influential' principal accused in the case had not been arrested and efforts were being made to hush up the case.

In reply to a question, he said he was not against the mediation efforts and he had suggested the names of three intellectuals whose integrity could no one doubt, Mushahid Hussain, Irshad Ahmed Haqqani and Ayaz Mir. Nawab Bugti held the government responsible for the current impasse and said it had created a deadlock by not arresting the rape case culprits.

He ridiculed assertions that arms were being smuggled into Balochistan, claiming that the arms and ammunition being used in Pakistan were from the lot which had once been supplied to Afghan militants by the US in their fight against former Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

The JWP leader denied a charge levelled against him by an intelligence officer and reiterating his readiness to face it if any evidence was produced against him.

He said the PPL did not have any welfare budget and there was no question of its disbursement. He accused the government of pursuing the policy of defaming its opponents with continuous dis information and negative propaganda.

About the Karachi meeting of Baloch leaders with the US ambassador, Nawab Bugti said Sardar Ataullah Mengal had told the ambassador that the arms used in Balochistan were the same which the US had supplied to Pakistan for Afghan militants.

Answering a question about the MMA's movement, Nawab Bugti said the leaders of the alliance should themselves be clear about the movement, because there was talk of long marches and also reports of secret dealings.

He said: "We are carefully watching the situation and will take a decision whenever we are assured that the MMA leadership is serious about launching a movement against the government."

When asked what would be his reaction if President Gen Pervez Musharraf decided to come to Dera Bugti to hold direct talks with him, the JWP chief said he was not against holding meaningful dialogue. But dialogue needs a congenial atmosphere and removal of all irritants. JWP leaders Shahid Bugti, Abdul Rauf Sasuli and Saleem Baloch also attended the press conference.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/02/23/nat11.htm




'Balochistani'



Well done, Zobaida Jalal, federal minister for social welfare and special education, for claiming to speak as a "Balochistani" and not a 'Baloch' at her press conference, as reported in PTV news at 9pm on Jan 27.

A native of Sindh is Sindhi and of Punjab, a Punjabi. In the German language, one's origin is derived by adding "er" to the name of the place of origin. The most famous proclamation is that of the late US president Kennedy at the now-demolished Berlin Wall: "Ich bin ein Berliner".

For the remaining two provinces of Pakistan such an easy rule is not available. The principal of a well-known school in Quetta wanted to tell his audience in a children's TV programme that he was the first local to be principal of that school. He was a Pathan. He got over the difficulty by calling himself "Balochistani" and consequently becoming, to my knowledge, the first Balochistani.

The province of Balochistan was not created through a political process. Hence the lack of political understanding by its people and leaders. It was born as a result of a military decree, breaking up One Unit. It was then known as Baluchistan which Akbar Bugti changed to Balochistan. Its natives, however, remained without a clear identity.

Also, there is a longstanding demand for the change of the name of the NWFP. The most suitable names for the two provinces would be Bolan and Abasian, based on natural physical features.

H.A. HAJI

Karachi



http://www.dawn.com/2005/02/23/letted.htm#4


Bugti warns of armed uprising

QUETTA (AFP) - Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief Nawab Akbar Bugti on Tuesday threatened armed resistance if the government uses force to tame rebel tribesmen amid an ‘alarming’ situation in Balochistan.
Tribesmen have been fighting for years for a bigger cut of the natural resources from barren Balochistan but unrest flared last month after the gangrape of a woman doctor at a state-owned gas plant in the province.
“The situation in Balochistan is alarming and there could be an armed resistance if a military option is opted, which I can see coming soon,” Akbar Bugti told a telephone Press conference from an unknown location.
“Balochi people may die in large number but there can be casualties on the other side as well,” he told reporters at Karachi Press club.
His warning came as suspected tribesmen blew up an electricity pylon near Sibi, 110 kilometres southeast of the provincial capital Quetta on Monday, officials said. The powerline was not broken.
Four rockets also landed near a paramilitary camp in Kohlu district 230 kilometres east of Quetta on Monday but there were no casualties or damage, according to police.
Meanwhile, paramilitary troops seized four rockets, four bombs, detonators, fuses and 27 kilograms of explosives southwest of Quetta Monday night, an official of the Frontier Corps said.
No one claimed responsibility for the latest attacks.
A shadowy group linked to the tribesmen called the Balochistan Liberation Army has previously said it carried out a string of offensives.
Among them was a rocket attack in January on Pakistan’s largest gas plant at Sui in Balochistan, where the doctor worked, which left eight people dead and disrupted supplies to millions of consumers.
Authorities said the Bugti tribe, headed by Nawab Bugti, was also involved in the attack.
Regular and paramilitary forces have moved into the area and Bugti said the large army presence around Sui indicated ‘an army operation is possible’.
However, the government has repeatedly said it has no such plans and was trying to resolve the problem in Balochistan through political dialogue.
Bugti reiterated his demand for the arrest of an army officer allegedly involved in the rape of the doctor.
“The army is trying to protect their man, because he is related to an army general, but he is a key suspect and should be arrested,” he said.
At least three people have already been arrested in connection with the rape, according to officials.
http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/feb-2005/23/index12.php

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Pakistan Army Captain Declared Not Guilty of Rape in Dubious DNA Test

Pakistan Army Captain Declared Not Guilty of Rape in Dubious DNA Test

By Declan Walsh

KARACHI, February 22: Visitors are not welcome at the house in Karachi where Dr. Shazia Khalid is living; not even with an invitation. A police team is posted at the gate and army rangers prowl the grounds inside. "You need the permission from the bosses at the top," says a moustached officer firmly. "The very top." Hours later Dr Shazia picks up the phone inside.

Her strained voice crumbles into sobs. "We are very scared," she says, her husband at her side. "In Pakistan there is no law, no protection, nothing. Who can we trust? Nobody."

She has good reason to worry. Until six weeks ago the 31-year-old was a company doctor at the Sui gas plant, at the farthest reaches of remote Baluchistan province. On January 3 she was raped in her bed.

Normally in Pakistan, where crimes against women are rife, such an act would barely raise an eyebrow. In her case, it nearly started a war.

Members of the local Bugti clan saw a rape in their heartland as being a breach of their code of honor - especially when the alleged rapist was a captain in the despised national army. They attacked the gas field with rockets, mortars and thousands of AK-47 rounds.

President Pervez Musharraf sent an uncompromising response: tanks, helicopters and an extra 4,500 soldiers to guard the installation. If the tribesmen failed to stop shooting, he warned on television, "they will not know what hit them".

But the guerrilla attacks have escalated, propelling a long-ignored province into the headlines and threatening civil war. Every day sees a new attack on military and government targets across the province. Insurgents have blown up railway tracks, toppled pylons and fired rockets into army camps. Sui supplies 45% of Pakistan's gas, so supplies to Karachi, Lahore and other cities have been cut.

The fighting is motivated by more than the rape. For decades the Baluch tribes have demanded a greater share of profits from their resource-rich but cash-poor province. The Islamabad government ignored them, and a year ago Baluch nationalists started bombing police stations, courthouses and checkpoints.

Since the violence sparked by the rape, their demands are being taken more seriously. President Musharraf's belligerence has given way to softer political promises. Envoys have been dispatched, and there is talk of increased profit-sharing and greater autonomy. But tension remains high.

Government officials accuse Iran and India of helping to arm the rebels. They say there are about 50 training camps, each with between 20 and 200 militants, in the province. The army has announced plans to establish a permanent garrison in Sui. The attacks continue.

The Bugti leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti, says the question of Dr Shazia's rape comes first. "As long as the perpetrators of this heinous crime are not dealt with, there can be no talks," he said.

The explosive case is a matter of extreme sensitivity for the government. Only a handful of family visitors may enter the house where Dr Shazia and her husband are living. A senior police officer said: "You have to understand that in this matter we answer to the president."

That is small consolation to the confused and frightened couple. Speaking publicly for the first time since the rape, Dr Shazia told the Guardian that officials from Pakistan Petroleum (PPL), which runs the plant, at first drugged her to cover up the case.

"Before the police came to take a statement, the [company's] chief medical officer said: 'Don't give them any information.' Then they injected me with a tranquillizer that made me drowsy," she said.

At the time PPL officials said Dr Shazia was unable to file a statement because she was unconscious. Despite her injuries, Dr Shazia was offered no medical treatment by PPL and she had no contact with her family for two days. Then the company flew her to Karachi and checked her into a private psychiatric hospital.

Three PPL doctors have since been arrested on charges of obstructing justice. But despite weeks of police investigation, Dr Shazia's rapist remains at large.

She said she did not know his identity. "He tied my hands with a telephone wire and blindfolded me with a dupatta [scarf]. But I could feel that he had a moustache and curly hair. And I know his voice."

Early this week President Musharraf's spokesman said an army captain was "under investigation" but had not been arrested. Meanwhile Baluch police have re-interviewed Dr Shazia - this time insinuating she was engaged in prostitution.

"They asked me where I got the 25,000 rupees [£225] that was stolen and when I wore my jewellery. And they said that a cleaner had found used condoms in my room," she said.

Since then the police have announced that DNA tests on the main suspect did not match that found at the scene, heightening fears of a cover-up.

Weeks ago Dr Shazia's husband's grandfather said the rape had rendered her kari - a disgrace to the family honor - and so she must be divorced, and preferably killed. Such "honor killings" remain common in rural Pakistan.

But her husband, a pipeline engineer, says he is standing by his wife. His grandfather, he said, "is just a bad man, and this has made my wife even more scared. She cannot sleep at night, so I sit by her bed to take care of her."

For human rights campaigners, the kari rubs salt in the wound of a case combining politics, violence and regressive traditions.

"In this country a woman has no status," said Shershah Syed, of the Pakistan Medical Association. "She is an object, like a cow or a bucket."

Having lost their jobs and fearing for their lives, the couple want to leave Pakistan.

"They are politicizing this issue, the whole country, everyone," Dr Shazia said through tears before hanging up. "How can I face anyone any more? We have to get out."

Down with Urdu cultural Imperialism

Do you know that in Pakistani schools, colleges and universities
students are taught almost exclusively about the literary and
lingustic heritage of Urdu speaking regions which are in India
instead of the great literary and linguistic heritage of those lands
which form Pakistan??

We ask our Punjabi brothers, sisters, intellectuals and opinion
leaders to join us (the Baloch, Sindhis, Saraikis and Pashtuns) to
demand that only Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtu, Saraiki and Balochi should
be declared as national languages and media of primary and middle
instruction and that Saraiki should immediately replace Urdu as the
inter-provincial contact language / lingua franca.

There is no other country in the world except Pakistan where the
mother tongue of a very small minority (Urdu speakers) is declared as
the only 'national' lanuage and as the only or most preferred medium
of instruction and communication. Also remember that this small
minority is composed of the refugees (panahgirs) who came from the
Urdu speaking regions of India after the creation of Pakistan.

Dear Punjabis, join us to get rid of Udrdu cultural imperialism.

Malek Towghi

Small commentary from Dr Jumma Khan Marri

Small commentary from Dr Jumma Khan Marri



We would like to remind Dr Sadia Nasir, that your generals had always tried to stabilize Balochistan under the yoke of constant military operations since the creation of so called Islamic republic of Pakistan, such stabilisation are the key for destabilisation.



While you carry on the title of a doctor which shows that you have some educational level and from your article one feels that this article was written not by a doctor but a military general who always look blind and carry on with their blindfold ness until they have to raise their hands for surrender.



Although we Baloch also blame our Sardars for every misery but here you crossed us double fold by saying that Mr. Akbar is taking Money from the lands which he rents Govt that is right of every individual if he rents a house or a piece of his lands but it is duty of govt to look after the people from where the sources energy comes, yes if there is an agreement between govt and Akbar Bugti that Govt pays this particular amount for the public welfare then it should have been brought to notice of locals and Mr. Akbar should have been hold accountable for not giving the local people their due share.



Why under the haven it was kept secret for last 50 + years and now that Mr. Akbar Bugtis severices are needed which he refuses to render he became villain and the generals are so good they were giving benefits to the local people but Mr. Bugti took them for his personal use. Why such things were not made public before? And why the state thought for these poor people now where were they before during the last 57 years?



In this case under all international laws people have to hold the Govt responsible for their miserable plight not Mr. Bugti.



We would like to ask the army advocate Dr Sadia Nasir you blame few sardars that they did not allow in their areas any developments but where is the development in other areas of Balochistan where these sardars have no influences places like Makran Lasbela and all other places where Baloch sardars were behaving like lap dogs why those areas are still backwards.



Leave Balochistan aside, inside Punjab the Baloch populated regions are some of the most backwards areas in the world even though only few kilometers away from Baloch areas inside Punjabi populated areas the differences is striking then how would you explain this contracts do not fool yourself you know perfectly very well the reasons of Baloch deprivations and do not try to throw dust in our eyes Baloch are not blind but are weak politically yet but they are gaining the strength and they will one day explain your generals and autocrats who was steeling and robbing them into these miseries.



So far your already made Mega projects have given us only sufferings in the form of dam bursting and man made floods, what is in the end of the other mega projects we can only judge some thing like total invalidation of Baloch population in their ancestral lands.


Stabilising Balochistan!


By: DR SADIA NASIR



Sabotage activities in Balochistan have gained momentum for past few months. Important installations have been targeted leading to insecurity and problems for people. Such as the early February blast of two high-tension towers of the single circuit 220 KV Uch Sibi transmission line near Sibi, which badly affected 17 of the 26 districts of Balochistan, resulted in 40 percent lesser electricity supply than the total demand of the province.
The disruption of power supply also resulted in a shortage of water in many areas.



Meanwhile, a railway track linking Quetta with Zahidan was also blown. Many such incidents have taken place, disrupting the normal life of common man. Even though the government has not launched any military operation against the so-called nationalists, however, since the rocket attacks on the gas purification plant in early January, the government had to take security measures to protect the Sui installations, which are among vital national assets and had to install security forces at these installations.



The installation of security guards has helped government in multi-dimensional ways by not only safeguarding the strategic national installations, but the security forces have also confiscated a massive amount of illegally smuggled arms and ammunitions from Afghanistan into Balochistan. The instability in Balochistan has been exploited by the foreign elements as well.



According to the official estimates the amount of money spent on those weapons in the past 10 months or so and the logistic support given to certain elements came to roughly about half a billion rupees, and these weapons are provided by the foreign elements, to deepen the chaos. The development of Gwadar port and other development projects could affect the economic, trade and other interests of some neighbouring states and also some of the regional powers, besides the vested interest of certain local tribal chieftains. Hence, the situation needs to be tactfully dealt with, so that the national interests and security is ensured and the situation makes it essential to keep security forces in this sensitive area to protect the installations and also to keep eye on anti-state activities supported by the foreign hand.



The government has done well to realise the reservations of the province and its deprived people and taken the right step by constituting parliamentary body to look into the matter and recommend the measures to improve the situation. The committee has been formed on the demand of Baloch leaders, some of whom have resigned from the committee even before reaching a final consensus. Such an attitude by the Baloch leaders exhibits their lack of will to cooperate with the government in searching for an applicable and just resolution of current impasse.



The Sardars as the head of tribes enjoy many perks and privileges however these privileges are not used in the uplift of people or to improve the quality of life of the common man. The Sardars, it appears, have become anxious to retain their freedom and privileges but the attacks on the national assets and other anti-state activities cannot be justified under any pretext.



For instance, Akbar Bugti owns land where Sui gas fields are located and he is being paid a handsome amount for the use of his land, but this money is not used for the people, he and his two like-minded Sardars have been exploiting. Over the period of time these Sardars have emerged as a warlord like Dostum in Afghanistan.



Some of them are maintaining their own lashkars, who have been armed with heavy armaments and are known to have despicable designs with the backing from a foreign country.



The irony is that these leaders, who claim to represent and speak for people, have never tried to improve people’s lot in the areas where they have authority. Instead whenever any development plans have been undertaken in their areas, these few Sardars have resisted the efforts fearing, that it might lead to loosening of their shackles over the masses.



The absence of political leadership has strengthened Sardars as Baloch spokesmen and the little political leadership that exists, has no influence among the common people. If this ongoing trend of warlordism and keeping of private armies is introduced, the country, God forbid, can face the same situation like that of Afghanistan.



Despite government’s initiative and efforts to hold negotiation, nationalist leaders’ especially Bugti’s tone is alarming and he has virtually declared war on federation. The government has shown flexibility and has gone to the extent of establishing a direct and indirect contact with Sardar Bugti, to resolve the matter peacefully and to avoid resorting to any military option, while ignoring the fact that Bugti is among the primary leaders accentuating and encouraging the anti-state activities in the province.



Although there is status quo in the province, and the rain-flood toll has diverted the attention, but the coming weeks are very important as the proposed constitutional package is in line with the parliamentary body’s recommendations, to resolve Sui and other issues, will be given final shape before the forthcoming National Assembly session.



Hats off for the President who wasted no time while rushing to the flood-hit areas and moving army and navy forces to the rescue of thousands of people there. The announced package would increase the quantum of provincial autonomy to redress the sense of deprivation among smaller provinces. It is to deal with the issues such as gas royalties, economic uplift, presence of security forces and safeguards against political exploitation of the developmental work in Gwadar. A political consensus should be developed on the measures that can be undertaken in this context and how the concurrent list should be revised.



There are no quick fixes available for Balochistan situation. The problem in Balochistan can only be resolved through political and economic means, not through violent means adopted by militants. The government is striving to find political solution to the province’s problems and has accelerated the pace of development work.



There is no relevance of the arguments being advanced by a handful of nationalists in opposing the mega projects including the Gwadar deep-sea port in the province. The developmental work on Sabakzai and Mirani dam projects as well as Gwadar port and Quetta-Zhob-D.I.Khan road linking Balochistan with NWFP is underway and will bring multiple benefits for the province. The government is also considering constitutional changes to give greater provincial autonomy.



Although it is moving in the right direction by paying due attention to the grievances of the Baloch people but they should be assured that the Baloch people will be the first to benefit in all fields of development. It will be helpful if government extends the much denied basic facilities like health, education and employment to the Baloch people and also should encourage indigenous Baloch leadership, independent of Sardars to emerge. This would also loosen stranglehold of the Sardars and will give greater autonomy to the common man.



E-mail: sadia_ir@yahoo.com



http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/feb-2005/22/columns5.php

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Academic claims 65 percent of Baloch favour armed struggle

Academic claims 65 percent of Baloch favour armed struggle

By Khalid Hasan

Washington: A Pakistani academic told a meeting here on Friday that according to a recent survey taken in Balochistan, 65 percent of those polled favoured “armed struggle” for the achievement of their objectives.

Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, currently doing a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Centre, said this while reading a paper on Balochistan at the Johns Hopkins University. She said only 26.6 percent of the population was literate and civic facilities were lacking. Tracing the history of the province, she said Balochistan alone had resisted the acquisition of its land by the army. She described the present situation is one of “complete chaos and mayhem”. She was sceptical about the state claiming that it retained control of the situation. There were fears, she added, of the country’s break-up as happened in 1971.Pakistan, she said, is a “troubled state under siege” and hence there was greater use of authority being witnessed. She was quick to add that the Pakistani state had far more resilience today than it had in 1971 and was not “unravelling.” Nevertheless, what was happening in Balochistan today could not be ignored because it was going to define the future of Pakistan.

Dr Siddiqa, who is working on a book detailing the commercial and entrepreneurial side of the Pakistan army, warned that Balochistan would prove a “major catalyst” and if the state continued to pretend that all was well and under control, it would be faced with a few surprises. It was her view that because of what was taking place in Balochistan, federal-provincial relations would have to change. The situation could also change the “dynamics of key organisations such as the army”. How the top management of the Pakistan army handles the situation, she added, would determine the course of events. How the crisis was managed would affect the future of the federation. The main grouse of the people of Balochistan is, she explained, that their resources are bringing disproportionate benefit to others not to them. There are “multiple faultlines,” she said, in Balochistan, some of them real, some of them “created” ones. The Balochis fear that they are going to be turned into a minority. She said secession was a “lesser possibility”. She was of the opinion that the “divide and rule” policy followed by the federal government can no longer work.

She said the situation had become more complicated because of the induction of religious and extremist elements. Another factor was the Baloch-Pushtun divide. There were also accusations of foreign intervention and India and Iran had been named as being responsible for that.

The Pakistani academic stressed that Balochistan today was a “high-stake area” and quite different from what it was in the 1970s. The development of the Gwadar port and the intended establishment of two cantonments at Sui and the new port were highly divisive issues. The Balochis were distrustful of the intentions of the government and saw the cantonments as intended to militarise the province. The government argued back that the cantonments were necessary for security and the protection of Sui installations and the Gwadar port. Real estate values had shot up steeply, and that had become another cause of local grievance. The federal government viewed Gwadar as a “future Dubai”. She added that Balochistan is too precious for Pakistan to be allowed to go away. She called Pakistan a “masculine state” which had used force in the past, and which was likely to use it in the future. She said it should be appreciated that the Balochi nationalists were asking for their share and it should be given to them on a fair basis. They were not about to opt out of the country but there was need today to change the structure of the basic institutions of the state. She said Balochis did not have proper representation in the army but provided no figures to prove the point.

Dr Siddiqa said the state was handling the situation in Balochistan in a “bureaucratic way” which would not work. Its offerings to the Balochis were “tactical rather than strategic”. A few development schemes were not the answer, nor was interaction with different actors at different times. There were three options before the government: to strike militarily, to negotiate with multiple actors, and to renegotiate the present relationship between the strategic establishment and the province. She was in favour of the last option.

During the question-answer session, it was pointed out by a journalist that Dr Siddiqa had held forth on Balochistan without even mentioning feudalism and the Sardari system. She was told, “How can you even begin to talk about Balochistan without mentioning the exploitative and outdated Sardari system that may lie at the heart of the problem.” She did not respond with an adequate or convincing response to the criticism.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_20-2-2005_pg7_46

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Pictures of London demonstration

No Pakistan , No Terrorism !
Pakistan is a terrorist state !

http://balochpr.blogspirit.com/images/Picture_014.jpg

http://balochpr.blogspirit.com/images/Picture_024.jpg

left to right; Zamoran Marri (SBF), Khaled Lango (NP) and Samad Baloch (BNP)

http://balochpr.blogspirit.com/images/Picture_018.jpg

Facts about the crisis in Balochistan

Explosion kills one in Quetta, injures five

Staff Report

QUETTA: A boy of 14 was killed and at least five others were injured in an explosion near a barber’s shop on Friday morning.

Conflicting reports appeared about the explosion. IG Chaudhry Yaqub and DIG Pervez Rafi Bhatti said it was a gas explosion and police had found no evidence of a rocket. However, witnesses said they saw a rocket hit the building in Duraniabad, where two rooms of house collapsed and shops were badly damaged. Witness Nazar Muhammad said he saw a rocket hit the shop.

The boy was killed and at least five were injured, though some reports said seven people had been hurt.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_19-2-2005_pg7_10

Balochistan issue be addressed locally, demands PTI

KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has termed the situation in Balochistan an internal matter of Pakistan and demanded of the government to adopt a flexible attitude towards the problem. In a press statement issued here on Friday by the Sindh Secretariat of the party, the PTI’s provincial president, Mirza Jahangir Rahman said any dialogue with foreign powers over the sensitive issue would breach the sovereignty and freedom of the country. He called Pakistan as the most vital component of the Muslim Ummah, and said that its integrity and solidarity would help strengthen the whole Islamic world.Mr Rahman demanded of the rulers to allow equal rights to the people of all provinces in line with the 1973 Constitution and ensure that their genuine grievances were redressed. staff report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_19-2-2005_pg10_3





Infrastructure in Balochistan ruined, says Sherpao


KARACHI, Feb 18: The interior minister, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, has expressed concern over the extensive damage done to the infrastructure in Balochistan due to the recent flash floods , adding that Balochistan being a backward area required special attention.

Speaking at a news conference at the Karachi Airport after a visit to the affected areas of Balochistan on Friday evening, he said that focus was on restoration of the damage infrastructure on priority basis so that life could return to normal as early as possible there.

The minister had paid a visit to Pasni, Khuzdar and Gawadar to assess damages due to the flash floods in Balochistan, besides overseeing the relief work there.

He said that relief operations in rain affected areas of Balochistan were in full swing, pointing out that relief goods amounting to billions of rupees had been made available to the people in the affected areas in Balochistan as well as in the Northern Areas. However, Mr Sherpao said there was not much loss to human lives in Balochistan.

Speaking of law and order in Balochistan, Mr Sherpao said that elements who were bent upon creating tension there and inflicting damage to installations of vital national importance cannot be friends of the province.

He said four arrests had been made from the Sui area and two from Quetta, adding that a cache of arms and ammunition had also been recovered from them. Referring to the incidents in Sui, in which lives were lost and the gas plant affected, the minister said the plant remained shut for many days, which made an impact not only on industry but also caused inconvenience to domestic gas consumers.

Besides, Mr Sherpao said there had been missile attacks, explosions on railway lines, damage to electricity and telecommunication towers in Quetta, Sui, D.G. Khan tri-junction.

He said that an attempt was being made to create an impression that a number of incidents were occurring in Balochistan, and in the way involved elements wanted to exert pressure. -APP

http://www.dawn.com/2005/02/19/local2.htm



QUETTA: Temperature in Kalat drops to minus 11



By Our Staff Correspondent


QUETTA, Feb 18: Residents of Quetta and Kalat experienced the coldest night of the season on Thursday. Mercury in Kalat dropped to minus 11 Centigrade while in Quetta it was minus 9 Celsius.

Chilly Siberian winds lashing Quetta and other parts of Balochistan for the past four days continued on Friday, paralysing normal life and keeping people indoors. Water supply to various parts of the city was suspended after pipelines burst.

Streets in Quetta were deserted as markets and shopping centres were closed. Traffic on roads was thin. Reports of severe cold were also received from Ziarat, Tuba Achakzai, Tuba Kakari, Kan Mehtarzai, Muslim Bagh and Khanozai

http://www.dawn.com/2005/02/19/local31.htm



Facts about the crisis in Balochistan



By Qazi Faez Isa



Agreements abound which detail how the Khan of Kalat, the Jams of Lasbela, the Bugti and Marri Tumandars and other sardars sold bits and pieces of Balochistan to the British.

For instance, the agreement between the British government and Sardar Mehrullah Khan Marri executed on October 24, 1885 states: "I, Sardar Mehrullah Khan, son of Nur Muhammad Khan, Bahawalanzi Guzni Marri, do hereby, in consideration of receiving from the British government an allowance in the form of service to the amount of Rs.300 to be increased to Rs.500 per mensem... cede in perpetuity to the said government the exclusive right to all petroleum or other mineral oil whatsoever found or which may hereafter be found at Khatan or in any other part of the Marri country with full liberty for the said government to extract and remove such petroleum or other oil in any manner and by any way that it may seem fit."

A telegraph Agreement with the Jam of Beyla, dated 21st December 1861 says: "Jam Meer Khan, Chief of Lus Beyla...for a sum of Rs.10,000 yearly paid by the Political Agent at Khelat" permitted setting up of telegraph lines, with the stipulation, that, "obstruction or injury to the line may cause revocation of this agreement on the part of government at any time".

An agreement entered into by the Khan of Kalat Mir Khudadad Khan executed at the Dasht Plain on June 8, 1883 states: "Mir Khudadad Khan of Kelat on behalf of himself and his heirs and successors hereby makes over and entrusts the entire management of the Quetta District and Niabat absolutely and with all the rights and privileges as well as full revenue, civil and criminal jurisdiction...with effect from 1st April, 1883," for an annual payment of Rs 25,000. The British also paid an allowance of "Rs.5,520, to the Bugtis, who had behaved themselves".

In 1947 the people of Balochistan wholeheartedly endorsed the vision of Pakistan. The message of independence was welcomed and brought the hope of emancipation from the sardari yolk.

Significantly, no sardar was in the forefront of the Pakistan movement. Economic vibrancy, agricultural self-sufficiency and the peoples' penchant for education started to progressively transform the province.

Later, every political party in the National Assembly voted in favour of the Constitution adopted in 1973 and the regionalist or factionalists (mistakenly referred to as nationalists) stood rejected.

The hangman of an elected prime minister however reopened settled issues. General Zia feared retribution and his self-preservation instinct made him undermine the PPP and the entire political process.

The interest of the generals and the state of Pakistan started to diverge. Pursuant to a depoliticization policy non-party elections were held. The people were encouraged to vote for ethnic and tribal considerations. In Balochistan this policy gave a boost to the sardari system that was dying a slow and natural death.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had directly come up against the intransigent ways of the Sardars in Balochistan when he wanted to build roads, schools and hospitals in areas where the sardar exercised influence.

The sardar realized that development and education would result in the weakening of their control over the people. The National Assembly passed the System of Sardari (Abolition) Act in 1976 which prescribed punishment of three years imprisonment for anyone exercising any right of sardari, or being "in possession of, or derive any benefit from, any land belonging to a tribe".

This law stated that sardari "is the worst remnant of the oppressive feudal and tribal system which, being derogatory to human dignity and freedom, is repugnant to the spirit of democracy and equality as enunciated by Islam and enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and opposed to economic advancement of the people".

The Marri and Mengal sardars raised the nature and scale of revolt; they never forgave Bhutto for trying to complete the pre-independence work of the Muslim League in liberating the people of Balochistan.

Zia's coup was rapturously applauded by the sardars of Balochistan, and a partnership was forged between the generals and the sardars. The sardars were pampered and handed state largesse and provided unstinted support by the agencies. The generals effectively revived the sardari system by violating the law.

The sardari clan draws deep into the resources of Balochistan and ensures that the people remain subjugated so that they cannot object. Balochistan has had the misfortune of a succession of sardars as its chief ministers, senior ministers and governors. The sardars of the Mengal, Bugti, Marri, Raisani and Jams of Lasbela; a kaleidoscope of Baloch and Brohi sardars have wielded power since Zia's days.

When the Mengal sardar's government was dismissed in Balochistan the beneficiary was another sardar, Akbar Bugti. However, now Attaullah Mengal supports Akbar Bugti wholeheartedly.

The sardari interest transcends any other. The 'unionized' bond of sardars never permits the mantle of power to slip from their hands. The province once again has a sardar in the chief minister's seat.

The people of Balochistan are unlikely to see development as long as the preferred choice of the agencies for the post of chief minister remains the sardar. Of the development amount earmarked in the last budget for Balochistan only 30 per cent has been spent by the provincial government headed by a sardar, confirming that sardars do not want Balochistan to develop.

With Zia's exit and the revival of the political process the sardari system again came under pressure. The sardars of the Mengal went to sojourn in London and of the Marri to Afghanistan. There were no longer any safe seats in elections.

The larger Bijrani group of the Marri tribe openly rebelled against the Marri sardar. Shairoo Marri ('General Shroff') declared that the sardari system has brought nothing but misery to the Marri people and that henceforth no one be considered a sardar amongst the Marri.

With the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the fall of Kabul the Marri sardar became a hostage to the Taliban, but not for long. Generals came forward again to resuscitate a sardar. A Pakistan Air Force plane was flown to retrieve the Marri sardar and bring him and his family safely back to Pakistan.

On the return of the Marri sardar the ubiquitous agencies decided to put together a cache of money for the 'rehabilitation of the Marri' of which the common Marri did not see a single rupee.

Generals have been emulating the British practice of purchasing sardars under the mistaken belief that they represent the tribe. The British documented purchased loyalties: their successors in uniform struck secret deals. Money is doled out to the sardars from 'secret funds'.

No questions, no accountability, no transparency. This largesse helps the sardar in his weaponization programme. No sardar dares go into his own area without the security of his heavily armed lashkar.

Bugtis also rebelled against the Tumandar of their tribe. From amongst them Mir Hamza had the audacity to stand against the nominee of the sardar in an election. Mir Hamza was murdered, but his father, the eccentric Khan Muhammad, promised to avenge his death.

The murder of Salal Bugti followed. Akbar Bugti, with all his might, could not contain his own people. Khan Muhammad and his entire clan were removed to Multan and the Bugti Tumandar given a free hand by those whose duty is to uphold the law.

Those convicted of Salal Bugti's murder filed an appeal in the Balochistan High Court. No local dared accept the brief and Advocate Talib Rizvi was flown in from Lahore, but he could not represent his clients as he was shot at the gate of the high court. The agencies are still working out who shot Talib Rizvi.

Today, Suleman, the self-proclaimed Khan of Kalat, is waxing eloquent about the Balochistan Liberation Army. However, his uncle adorned General's Zia's federal cabinet. Suleman also forgets to enlighten us how he managed to beat the murder charge against him as an absconder.

During the Marri sardar's absence the common Marri started to prosper. Mohammad Nawaz Marri, a local of Kohlu town in the Marri heartland, became a high court judge and was in line to become the chief justice of Balochistan. He would refer to the sardars of Balochistan as 'evergreens' and joked about their strong 'trade union'.

To a sardar such a man is an anathema. He was mercilessly gunned down in the cantonment area of Quetta on his way to the high court - the first murder of a high court judge in the history of Pakistan and it happened during General Musharraf's time.

The sardars, their fathers and their children, despite having never worked, have ample money; live princely lives, in a flurry of land cruisers and a retinue of armed guards, while their people are in utter poverty. Today there is no writ of the government in Balochistan.

The sardars directly or impliedly admit blowing up telegraph and electricity lines, gas pipelines and railway tracks under the bogey of the Balochistan Liberation Army.

Having removed all opposition from within their own tribes with the help of the generals and having been permitted to maintain their private lashkars, their 'trade union' is all set to renegotiate the wages of blackmail.

The three members of the government who are going to resolve the 'Balochistan issue' hail from Punjab, had supported Gen Zia, and have displayed flexible loyalties. They have not so far met a single lawyer, teacher, doctor or businessman of the province.

Before this trio gets busy tampering with the Constitution, again, they should ensure implementation of the existing laws such as the System of Sardari (Abolition) Act, and "private armies forbidden" (Article 256 of the Constitution).

The people of Balochistan want disclosure of the amounts paid by the agencies to the sardars and seek justice for their slain. They want the federal and Balochistan governments to realize that the resources of Balochistan belong to its people, and not the sardars.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/02/19/op.htm#4

Rockets fired on Kohlu, Nushki

By Our Staff Correspondent


QUETTA, Feb 14: Nushki and Kohlu were rocked on Monday when unknown men fired rockets targeting Frontier Corps checkpoints. In Kohlu, five rockets exploded at different places near residential area.

Frontier Corps personnel fired back in the direction from which the attack had been launched.

In Nushki, unknown men fired four rockets towards an FC checkpoint. One of the rockets exploded near the checkpoint and slightly damaged an official vehicle.

Baloch leaders meet US envoy


KARACHI, Feb 14: US Ambassador Ryan Crocker had talks here on Monday with prominent Baloch leaders, including chief of the Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement Sardar Attaullah Mengal, Sardar Sherbaz Mazari , leader of opposition in the Balochistan Assembly Kachkool Ali Baloch, Jamhoori Watan Party leader Shahid Bugti and Pakistan Muslim League leader Jaffar Mandokhel on the situation in the province, recent attacks on the Sui gas installations and the incident of criminal assault on a woman doctor.

The talks, held at the residence of US Consul General Douglas Rohn, lasted for three hours. -PPI

http://www.dawn.com/2005/02/15/top4.htm

Cantonments in Balochistan aimed against Iran: CPP



By Our Staff Reporter


KARACHI, Feb 14: The Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) has opposed the planned military operation in Balochistan and accused the rulers of pursuing the policy of US imperialism.

Speaking at a press conference here on Monday, Secretary General of the party Khadim Thahim said that after the forcible occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the US had now planned to capture Iran for which it wanted to establish military bases in Gwadar and Pasni.

He said that the military leadership's move to set up cantonments in Khulu, Sui and Gwadar were the first part of the "US game" aimed at establishing its hegemony in the whole region.

The CPP leader was of the view that Washington had decided to impose its self-designed system on Iran. He referred to the stationing of US troops in Jacobabad and claimed that while the base had been used to facilitate US military action in Afghanistan, the bases in Balochistan would be used to facilitate a military operation in Iran.

Criticizing Islamabad's economic policies, he alleged that the rulers had been pursuing a US agenda and ignoring the national interest. Mr Thahim also criticized the role of major parties in the country and accused leadership of the PPP and PML-N of betraying masses by, what he called, 'entering into secret deals with the rulers'.

Maintaining that the 1973 constitution had failed to protect rights of citizens, he called for a new constitution that could guarantee safety, security and rights of each and every citizen.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/02/15/nat18.htm



Statements recorded in Sui assault case



By Our Staff Correspondent


QUETTA, Feb 14: The judicial tribunal investigating the Sui assault case recorded statements of more officials on Monday.

The Chief Medical Officer of the Pakistan Petroleum Limited hospital in Sui, Dr Mohammad Usman, Medical Officer Dr Mohammad Ali and Head Constable Mohammad Younas of the local police station, who were summoned by the judge, appeared before the tribunal comprising Justice Ahmed Khan Lashari.

The tribunal adjourned its proceedings till Tuesday after recording the statements. The acting manager of PPL Sui plant, Pervez Jamboola, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sui, Abdul Karim, and Station House Officer, Sui, Mohammad Ilyas, will record their statements about the incident on Tuesday.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Demonstration in London Saturday 19th February

http://Freebaloch.blogspot.com
Baloch Freedom Movement

Dr.Abdul Raisani
email : drraisani@yahoo.com




Another Demonstration Is Due To Be Held In London On Saturday 19th February 2005 . The Demonstration Is Being Organized By The Baluch/sindhi Association In Protest To The Current Military Operations In Baluchistan . All Baluch/sindhi Brothers And Sisters Are Requested To Attend .


DATE: SATURDAY 19th FEBUARY 2005

TIME: 13.00 TO 16.00

VENUE: OPPOSITE 10 DOWNING STREET, NEAR TO RICHMOND TERRACE.

NEAREST TUBE STATIONS: WESTMINISTER (CIRCLE LINE)

CHARRING CROSS (JUBILEE LINE)



Power pylons blown up in Balochistan

By Saleem Shahid
QUETTA, Feb 16: Saboteurs fired rockets and blew up two high-tension towers of a 132 KV transmission line in Barkhan area of Balochistan, close to the border with Punjab in a rocket attack early on Wednesday morning.
The entire area of Barkhan and Kohlu districts plunged into darkness as power supply was disrupted, a spokesman of the Quetta Electricity Supply Company (Qesco) said.
According to sources, four rockets were fired at around 1.30 am targeting the huge towers of the transmission line coming from Dera Ghazi Khan in the Esani area, some 25 km off Barkhan. Two towers were blown up.
"There is no power supply from 132 KV transmission line from Barkhan to Kohlu area," Qesco sources said, adding that teams of Wapda engineers had been sent to the area for repairing the damaged towers. However, he said that complete restoration of power supply in the affected area would take at least a week.
Meanwhile, power supply from the 220 KV double-circuit Guddu-Sibi transmission line has been fully restored after two high-tension towers were replaced and two others, in Chetar area of Nasirabad district, repaired. The towers had been blown up on January 29 causing disruption of electricity supply to almost two-thirds of Balochistan.

Two power towers blown up in Balochistan
By our correspondent

QUETTA: Two power supply towers of 132 KV transmission line were blown up on Wednesday in Eshani area of Rakhani Tehsil in district Barkhan, some 325 kms off here.
Levies officials told The News that unknown saboteurs planted heavy explosive material near the power supply towers in Eshani area, which ripped through the towers in the wee hours of Wednesday, disrupting power supply to Barkhan and Kohlu districts.
Residents claimed that they heard five successive explosions and subsequently power supply disrupted in the district. Official of Levies and district administration rushed to the spot and started investigation.

Confirming the incident, a spokesman for the Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) said the towers number 90 and 91 were blown up and power supply was suspended in district Barkhan, Mekhtar area and district Kohlu. "It will take many days to restore power supply as new towers are being dispatched to Eshani for replacement of the damaged ones," he added. A Qesco team has already proceeded to Barkhan to replace the towers. Separately, 12-year-old Dilawar Khan was injured when he accidentally trampled a land-mine laid there by unknown saboteurs.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Rulers playing double game in Balochistan

Rulers playing double game in Balochistan

By Raja Riaz
LAHORE - Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Maulana Fazlur Rehman has warned the rulers against becoming part of US designs in the region otherwise the country would lose its present geographical shape.
Speaking at a special sitting Sunday, he told ‘The Nation’ that US wanted to divide Afghanistan on ethnic basis; it was not possible in Taliban government.
The USA used 9/11 incident to topple that regime. America and the United Kingdom are interested in establishing Pashtoon government there.
The installation of Karzai is also a part of that scheme. The West and USA used all resources and their influence to induct him into the office.
Think for a movement; if Pashtoon take control of the one part of Afghanistan, could we stop the Pashtoon in Pakistan to go close to them when ‘Durand Line’ is already a controversial issue, he posed a question?
Maulana Fazlur Rhman said most of the time rulers ‘faked incident’ to launch some operation. See the situation of Balochistan! The government strengthened the hold of tribal chiefs.
There was no force, as the will of the Sardar is the rule and his word is the law. It is a province where two governments run simultaneously-the Chief Minister runs the affairs in some areas and the governor, representative of the Centre, runs affairs in several areas. The only force that counters the tribal chiefs, waderas and fuedals is the Jamiat Ulemae Islam (JUI)-we have created dents in their strength with our people-friendly policies; the government has launched operations in Waziristan, Northern borders and Balochistan; they tried to make ulema, mulla, people with turban their rivals; they wanted to give message to the remaining parts of the country that mulla is responsible for the disintegration of the country. According to him, the al-Qaeda does not exist in tribal areas and the arrested people in those areas are Pakistanis. The resistance in those areas was offered only by the ulema. He said the religious leadership conveyed messages to its followers, advising them not to involve themselves in Afghanistan: Solve the dispute through Jirgas and give importance to the tribal leaders of the area. The people understood the message and the government and America could not get the desired results.
The Maulana asserted that government was playing double game there: The Corps Commander says that he paid several million rupees to different people to stop war. What message he is spreading-fight with the government and get money? Fazlur Rehman said the religious alliance had always opposed operation in any part of the country since 1974: We never supported military action and advised the government again to solve the Balochistan issue through dialogue; do not become part of the American game - if US succeeds in dividing Afghanistan Pakistan would not exist in its present geographical form. He said: I am using this forum to invite the attention of my countrymen towards this burning issue and ask them to play their role.
He said the issue of Balochistan and NWFP should be seen in the perspective of international developments - see the situation in Iran, Iraq and Kashmir and judge what do the West and America want to do in the region?
Talking about the current political scenario in the country and anti-Musharraf drive, Secretary General of the MMA said the religious alliance did not take the matters to the point of no return. The MMA played the role of Opposition and opposed the wrong policies of the government but also kept the door of dialogue open: We never tried to destabilise the system. That is the reason we provided safe exist to General Pervez Musharraf. But the government betrayed the MMA and did not act upon the agreement. Chaudhary Shujat and the PML-Q should think over it, as they are the signatory of the accord.
To a question about launching joint struggle against the government alongwith the ARD he said the MMA had always responded positively and the withdrawal of its candidates in two bye-elections was the proof of it. But both the component parties of the ARD fielded their candidates in Malakand bye polls. The MMA offered unconditional support for anti-government drive and was still waiting for the meeting with Amin Fahim and Raja Zafrul Haq - members of the committee constituted by the ARD to hold dialogue with the MMA.
He said the MMA had always indicated positive attitude but the ARD did not support its candidate for the office of the Prime Minister. Had the ARD supported MMA candidate for the office the government could be defeated at the day one, he said.
‘Yeh Tumhari Talkhnawaian Koi Aur She Key Dekhaye Tu-Yeh Jo Mujh main Tum Main Nibah Hay Meray Hoslay Ka Kamal Hay’, Fazlur Rehman said.
Talking about the future of the MMA he said the religious forces would contest next election jointly under the same banner.



http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/feb-2005/14/index8.php



Balochistan CM may go

BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
LAHORE - In view of the current situation in Balochistan, the government has decided to remove the Chief Minister of the province from office in a few days.
Sources say that President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz have come up with two options that would be available after removal of the CM and had called Balochistan Governor Awais Ghani to Islamabad and given him necessary directions. The Governor has been active carrying out the directions for the past few days.
Sources said that the Balochistan CM is being sacked because of the rising violence in the province and that the provincial assembly would probably be suspended with imposition of the Governor’s rule, in the first phase.
The provincial assembly would be reinstated in the second phase and a chief minister would be elected from among Mir Jan Jamali, Sardar Zulfiqar Magsi and Sanaullah Zahri, sources said.
Sources further said all preparations had been made to cater to change in government in the province and an official announcement was expected any time.
The first phase of implementation of the Federal Government’s new decision would be completed during the President’s tour of Quetta, The Nation learnt.
Sources said that steps previously taken to restore peace in the province had some major flaws and now the Governor would run the province assisted by the Corps Commander and other officials. The Chief Secretary, Inspector General of Police and other top officials are also in line for transfer, according to the second phase, sources added.
The Federal Government’s decision not to give in to traditional pressure of local Sardars to keep control of the situation in Sui and the whole province in general would definitely have far-reaching consequences, sources said.
The Federal Government has, meanwhile, begun taking steps for provision of its Rs. 10-billion special relief package for affectees of rain floods in Balochistan, The Nation learned.



http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/feb-2005/14/index9.php



Dam collapse raises many questions: Bugti

QUETTA (NNI) - Baloch nationalist leader and JWP chief Nawab Akbar Bugti has said torrential rains, floods and snowstorms have killed hundreds of people, left thousands homeless and thousands of cattle have swept away in the flood water in the country including Balochistan in general and Pasni and Makran Division in particular.
He said this natural calamity has also caused huge loss of property. He said thousands in Makran Coastal and adjoining areas are spending nights in open sky in miserable conditions.
These areas have been cut off with rest of the country and aid can only be airlifted there, he said.
The Baloch nationalist leader alleged that collapse of Shadi Kur Dam, which caused irreparable loss to the local population, speaks ‘criminal negligence’ on part of the government.
He added that the collapse of the Dam, only two days ahead of February 12 when the nationalist observed strike in Balochistan, has raised doubts and suspicions, particularly when the provincial chief minister, chief secretary and concerned elected members could not reach the site on time due to communication links’ cut-off.
But the Corps Commander and Governor of Balochistan reached the spot on time, which raises numerous questions that they may have prior knowledge about the incident, he maintained.
Accusing President Gen Pervez Musharraf of using the natural calamity for political purposes, he said: “The General should have prayed to Almighty Allah and sought His mercy and help to deal with this natural calamity instead of scoring points and criticising his opponents.”
Nawab Akbar Bugti said the successful province-wide shutter down protest on February 12 proved a referendum against the construction of army garrisons.



http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/feb-2005/14/index16.php



Grab the opportunity

General Musharraf’s dash to Balochistan to inspect relief operation in Pasni villages washed away by the Shadikaur dam burst following torrential rains, killing around 200 persons, shows his concern for the loss of human lives. Credit goes to the army and navy personnel for rescuing 1500 people and shifting the local population to safer places anticipating damage to other small dams in the area. There is no denying that our brave soldiers have always been at the forefront to assist the civil administrations at the time of such calamities. But as Ms Benazir Bhutto has rightly asserted the government should immediately order a thorough investigation into the bursting of the aforesaid dam constructed only two years ago. And those found guilty must be punished sooner rather than later to avoid such disasters caused by negligence and corruption of the concerned departments. This is important in the wake of expected damage to other reservoirs in the area: the death toll further rose on Saturday after two more dams burst in Pasni and Turbat following persistent rains.
The rescue operation must have mitigated the sense of alienation among the people of Balochistan. It might also have cleared doubts in the minds of the local population genuinely concerned about deployment of troops in Sui as well as the federal government’s plan to establish new cantonments in the province. There is no reason to disbelieve the President when he says that no military operation has been launched in Balochistan. But now that his visit to the flood-hit area has created some goodwill the government could take it as an opportunity to allay the fears of the local population by engaging the nationalist forces in constructive talks rather than resorting to the use of force to overcome the quasi-insurgency there. Ch Shujaat, who sounded optimistic that he would able to resolve the Balochistan crisis soon, has got to put his foot down and stop the powers that be from taking any military action in that province on one pretext or the other. And he needs to keep reminding the establishment the old axiom that political crises can only be resolved through political means. The belated arrest of Captain Hammad, the main accused of Dr Shazia gangrape, along with five other accomplices provides him an opportunity to meet Nawab Akbar Bugti and other agitated Baloch Sardars and listen to their grievances. But what is more important than finalising its recommendations is that the Parliamentary Committee must dispel this impression that it had no mandate to make any commitment for resolving the prevalent crisis.
At the same time the Baloch Sardars are also expected to show flexibility and offer help to the government in finding a political solution to the prevalent unrest in their province. After having seen the troops carrying out relief operations in the flood-hit areas of Balochistan they should realise that not everyone in the army is like the accused captain who feel no qualms in disgracing civilians. Time to prevent the situation from further deterioration is now. Both the government and Baluch Sardars must give up their maximalist positions and start a dialogue.



http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/feb-2005/14/editorials1.php

Friday, February 11, 2005

Rape Victim Seeks Justice: Please sign petition

Dear friends,

SANA Human Rights Committee has created the following
petition to send to the UN Commissioner for Human
Rights and various human rights organizations the
world over. Please sign the petition at:

http://www.petitiononline.com/SuiRape/petition.html

(A.N.)

Gang Rape of a Lady Doctor and the cover up by the
Pakistan Military regime

Military regimes in Pakistan have a long history of
suppressing minority groups and women by violating
their basic human rights. The present military
dominated government is acting no different despite
its pretensions to the so-called enlightened
moderation. It is presently engaged in the most
despicable attempts to cover up a rape case in which
military personnel are reported to be involved.

According to the news reports, a Captain and his
accomplices belonging to the Defense Security Group
gang-raped Dr Shazia Khalid on the night of 2-3
January 2005 at Sui in Balochistan, the Southwestern
province of Pakistan. The victim lady doctor was hit,
beaten, tortured, threatened to be burned to death and
then repeatedly gang-raped. Afterwards she was kept
unconscious for three days by giving her tranquilizers
so that she could not report or speak about the
incident to the police. Later, instead of conducting a
medical examination and allowing her to register a
case, she was involuntarily moved out of the province
and admitted in a psychiatric clinic in Karachi,
Sindh.

After a public furor, the Police officers of Dera
Bugti pursued the probe into the case and gathered
evidence that proved the occurrence of the heinous
crime. Pakistan Petroleum Company (PPL), the employer
of the doctor however continued to stonewall the
investigations under the Army pressure. Documents of
Police investigations and the cover-up were made
available to the South Asia Tribune, an Internet
newspaper, recently. They included a five page
detailed report sent on Jan 7, 2005 by the Deputy
Superintendent Police, Dera Bugti Circle to the
District Nazim of the area, the administrative head.

Khalid Aman, the victim's husband in an interview with
daily Dawn on Thursday, Feb 03, stated that he and his
family were being pressurized to keep silent on the
issue. He further said, "We now feel insecure, we need
justice, and want the man responsible to be arrested
and punished in accordance with law."

The UN tribunals have recently declared institutional,
systematic rape a crime against humanity. The
International Criminal Court (ICC) Statute, commonly
referred as the Rome Statute, unequivocally declares
rape as a crime against humanity under its Article 7,
paragraph 2(f).

We therefore appeal the international community and
the human rights organizations to condemn the rapists
and their supporters. We also request the
international community and the human rights
organizations including the United Nations
Commissioner for Human rights to pressurize Pakistan
Military Regime to bring the culprits of this heinous
crime against humanity to the courts of law to be
punished according to the international Statute and
also to provide security to the gang-rape victim lady
doctor and her family who need to be relieved of the
pain and torture caused by the threats and the denial
of justice from the military backed government of
Pakistan.

SANA Human Rights Committee

Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) is the
largest democratic, representative community
organization of Sindhis living in North America. For
further information, please visit: www.sanalist.org

Rape Victim Seeks Justice: Please sign petition

Dear friends,

SANA Human Rights Committee has created the following
petition to send to the UN Commissioner for Human
Rights and various human rights organizations the
world over. Please sign the petition at:

http://www.petitiononline.com/SuiRape/petition.html

(A.N.)

Gang Rape of a Lady Doctor and the cover up by the
Pakistan Military regime

Military regimes in Pakistan have a long history of
suppressing minority groups and women by violating
their basic human rights. The present military
dominated government is acting no different despite
its pretensions to the so-called enlightened
moderation. It is presently engaged in the most
despicable attempts to cover up a rape case in which
military personnel are reported to be involved.

According to the news reports, a Captain and his
accomplices belonging to the Defense Security Group
gang-raped Dr Shazia Khalid on the night of 2-3
January 2005 at Sui in Balochistan, the Southwestern
province of Pakistan. The victim lady doctor was hit,
beaten, tortured, threatened to be burned to death and
then repeatedly gang-raped. Afterwards she was kept
unconscious for three days by giving her tranquilizers
so that she could not report or speak about the
incident to the police. Later, instead of conducting a
medical examination and allowing her to register a
case, she was involuntarily moved out of the province
and admitted in a psychiatric clinic in Karachi,
Sindh.

After a public furor, the Police officers of Dera
Bugti pursued the probe into the case and gathered
evidence that proved the occurrence of the heinous
crime. Pakistan Petroleum Company (PPL), the employer
of the doctor however continued to stonewall the
investigations under the Army pressure. Documents of
Police investigations and the cover-up were made
available to the South Asia Tribune, an Internet
newspaper, recently. They included a five page
detailed report sent on Jan 7, 2005 by the Deputy
Superintendent Police, Dera Bugti Circle to the
District Nazim of the area, the administrative head.

Khalid Aman, the victim's husband in an interview with
daily Dawn on Thursday, Feb 03, stated that he and his
family were being pressurized to keep silent on the
issue. He further said, "We now feel insecure, we need
justice, and want the man responsible to be arrested
and punished in accordance with law."

The UN tribunals have recently declared institutional,
systematic rape a crime against humanity. The
International Criminal Court (ICC) Statute, commonly
referred as the Rome Statute, unequivocally declares
rape as a crime against humanity under its Article 7,
paragraph 2(f).

We therefore appeal the international community and
the human rights organizations to condemn the rapists
and their supporters. We also request the
international community and the human rights
organizations including the United Nations
Commissioner for Human rights to pressurize Pakistan
Military Regime to bring the culprits of this heinous
crime against humanity to the courts of law to be
punished according to the international Statute and
also to provide security to the gang-rape victim lady
doctor and her family who need to be relieved of the
pain and torture caused by the threats and the denial
of justice from the military backed government of
Pakistan.

SANA Human Rights Committee

Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) is the
largest democratic, representative community
organization of Sindhis living in North America. For
further information, please visit: www.sanalist.org