Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Rocket attack injures three soldiers

Web posted at: 3/27/2005 2:32:36

Source ::: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Three Pakistani paramilitary soldiers were injured in a rocket attack overnight at their camp in the troubled southwestern province of Balochistan, a rebel group said yesterday.

Several rockets hit the paramilitary camp located at Barkhan, some 280km southeast of the provincial capital Quetta, the latest in a series of attacks int the resource-rich province plagued by tribal revolt.

The troops retaliated but it was not known whether the assailants suffered any casualties, they said.

A clandestine group calling itself Baluchistan Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a telephone call to a media club in Quetta late on Friday, the spokesman of the group, which says it is fighting for the political and economic rights of the ethnic Baluch community, said it carried out the raid.

“We fired four rockets on Frontier Corps camp and inflicted heavy loss of lives and property, and we are doing so to achieve our rights”, said spokesman Azad Baluch.

The group has previously claimed responsibility for other attacks in the prvince.

The incident came amid continuing confrontation between security forces and tribal chieftain Nawab Akbar’s Bugti in the Dera Bugti region, which is near the country’s largest gas installations at Sui.

Last week some 70 people including eight paramilitary soldiers were killed in a fierce gunbattle between security forces and insurgent Bugti tribesmen.



Use of force in Balochistan may split country: Altaf

Use of force in Balochistan may split country: Altaf

By Our Reporter

KARACHI, March 28: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief, Altaf Hussain, has warned that use of force in Balochistan and elsewhere could split the country into many independent units and vehemently opposed the alleged conspiracy to separate Karachi from rest of Sindh.

Addressing party activists, who had gathered in London in connection with 21st founding day of the party, Mr Hussain stressed that Pakistan's salvation lay in complete provincial autonomy and resolution of contentious issues among provinces through dialogue.

Altaf Hussain said that the Muttahida was the first political party to raise voice against the use of force in dealing with the present crisis and resolving the issue through dialogue. He reiterated his party's stand on the issue and said that the Muttahida was with the people of Balochistan who were demanding equal rights.

While demanding peaceful resolution of the crisis, Mr Hussain said that federating units should be given complete provincial autonomy including the right to maintain their own paramilitary force.

Recognizing that Pakistan is passing through the most critical phase of its history, Mr Hussain said that all the federating units must be treated as equals and the federation should retain foreign affairs, defence and currency while other subjects must be left to the federating units who should be free to run their affairs.

Addressing military generals and civil and military bureaucrats, he emphasized the need for learning lessons from the East Pakistan debacle and called for desisting from the use of forces in any part of the country. If force was used, he feared that not one but many independent states would come into existence.

Mr Hussain dealt at length with the Balochistan situation and the evolving political developments in the country. He said that as a concerned Pakistani he had talked to Gen Pervez Musharraf and had stressed the need for a negotiated settlement of the crisis.

With reference to Shujaat-Bugti talks and claims of its success on media, Mr Hussain expressed doubts about such claims. He claimed that at this critical juncture, the establishment had been divided in two schools of thought.

One stood for peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue while the other favoured pacification through use of brute force. The first group he claimed was less powerful than the one that favoured use of force, he claimed.

Altaf Hussain also declared that Gwadar had become controversial and warned that if the rulers adopted confrontationist policy in this regard it would not be in the interest of the country. He warned that use of force against the countrymen was not in the national interest, whether they were Muslims or not.

He said that China was a nuclear power since long but during the past 58 years it had not resolved the Taiwan question. It considered Taiwan its integral part while Taiwan claimed otherwise.

He asked why after so many years Chinese parliament felt it necessary to adopt a resolution claiming sovereignty over Taiwan and why the US and the European Union criticized the resolution?

With regard to the Gwadar port being built by China, he raised questions about the attitude of Iran, India and the US. "Would they tolerate China's control over this project?" he asked.

Mr Hussain said that the US tilt was towards India despite Pakistan's frontline role in war on international terrorism. He said that even those who had considered the US as Pakistan's most dependable friend, were criticizing that country for supplying weapons to India.

Referring to a report by an American institution in which it was stated that in future central government's authority would be confined to northern Punjab and Karachi, Mr Hussain warned against any conspiracy of separating Karachi from rest of Sindh.

He stressed the need for treating everyone as equal and criticized the policy of not giving due share to the provinces in the revenue generated from the natural resources extracted from their territory.

He said that people of Sindh, Balochistan, the NWFP, Punjab and Seraiki belt should have freedom to manage their affairs within the ambit of Pakistan otherwise the provinces would be compelled to chart their own course.

JI's advice to resolve Balochistan crisis

By Our Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 28: Jamaat-i-Islami deputy secretary-general MNA Farid Piracha proposes certain measures to resolve the Balochistan crisis. Speaking at a press conference here on Monday, he feared a 1971 like tragedy if a military solution to the Balochistan crisis was sought.

The JI leader, who toured the troubled areas as a member of the parliamentary committee on March 22, said any provisional measures or patchwork would only worsen the situation. He said a commission comprising high court judges should be appointed to hold a probe into the March 17 Dera Bugti incident.

He demanded payment of substantial compensation to the heirs of the deceased through the tribal jirga. Land reforms, he said, should be enforced in letter and spirit in Balochistan besides provision of interest-free agricultural loans and installation of tube wells on a large scale by the government.

'Issues to be resolved through talks'

By Our Correspondent

QUETTA, March 28: Balochistan Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani said on Monday that all issues in the province would be resolved through negotiations and the government would continue to follow a policy of patience and tolerance.

Speaking to Nazims and tribal elders of Jafarabad district in Dera Allahyar, he said the government was making efforts for the continuation of the political and democratic process to strengthen the elected institutions at district, provincial and national levels.

He emphasized that political issues should be settled politically and said provincial issues would be resolved in the province. He urged people to maintain unity and solidarity to overcome their problems through mutual understanding and cooperation.

The governor said the government was determined not only to ensure continuation of the uplift programme but also to accelerate the completion of development schemes. He asked people to take part in the local bodies' election enthusiastically to take forward the district government system.

The governor visited the flood-affected areas in Nasirabad with former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali and provincial ministers. He was told that 5,676 houses and crops over 56,000 acres were damaged in Dera Murad Jamali, Tambu and Chatter tehsils and food packets were distributed among 1,000 affected families during the flood.

EDITORIAL: A good beginning on Balochistan

The parleys between the federal government and the Baloch sardar Akbar Bugti to defuse the tension in the Sui-Dera Bugti area of Balochistan seem to have gone well. The federal government was represented by Chaudhry Shujaat Husain, president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q, and Mushahid Hussain, the party’s general-secretary.

As the situation stands, the two sides have agreed to set up a committee comprising three members, one of whom will represent Mr Bugti and the government respectively, while the third will be a neutral member agreeable to both sides. This committee will recommend measures to bring the situation back to normalcy in light of the two meetings between Mr Bugti and Mr Hussain in the space of 72 hours.

So far so good. Indeed, this is an urgent requirement in view of the tense standoff between the paramilitary forces and Bugti tribesmen. It will enable the situation on the ground to be diffused in order to avoid a potential conflict which could have led to further trouble and complications. However, the committee has its task cut out for it. While life will not return to normal in Dera Bugti in a hurry, at least further bloodshed will be avoided.

The important thing to note is that the present modus vivendi does not address certain critical aspects of the Centre-Balochistan confrontation. Mr Bugti might have tried to expand a local problem and enlarge it as a symbol of the Centre-Balochistan contradiction but the fact is that there are other forces in Balochistan that go beyond Mr Bugti — just as there are problems that lie outside the situation in Dera Bugti.

The bigger question is whether Islamabad has agreed to the current dialogue arrangement as a holding operation or whether it intends to broaden the dialogue to discuss the problem in its entirety. The answer to that question will determine the real success or failure of the current process.

In fact, in some ways Mr Bugti may be the easiest among the three contending sardars with whom to cut a deal. He has always been closer to Islamabad than the Marri and Mengal actors. Meanwhile, it is clear that the current deal does not appear to extend to issues like the development of Gwadar port and establishing cantonments in that province that are a bugbear for the Baloch nationalists. While the dialogue mode itself is important and shows that the federal government is more amenable to talking itself out of its troubles than using force, the success of the process depends on two sets of responses: the short-term and the long-term. The short-term strategy is expected to deal with the situation on the ground and institute confidence-building measures. The long-term deals with the entire problem of Centre-Province relations, the 1973 constitution, consensus on the nature of development and equitable distribution of resources and, finally, civil-military relations themselves. Whether this committee or those dialoguing from Islamabad’s side have the mandate to cover this large ground is still not clear.

Balochistan definitely needs a serious effort at resolving issues. That is why a holding operation may not last long; indeed, it could result in a more troublesome second phase. This is something that Islamabad has to remember when it goes about tackling the short-term problem in the long-term context. *

Government will implement my decisions: Bugti

DERA BUGTI: Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief Nawab Akbar Bugti said on Monday that he would decide about the matters discussed in a recent meeting with Pakistan Muslim League (PML) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and the government would implement his decisions.

He told BBC that situation in Dera Bugti was discussed in the meeting with PML leaders, but he refused to give details, saying that Chaudhry Shujaat did not want him to do so.

He added that Bugti tribesmen trusted him and they would be informed about the deliberations of the meeting on an appropriate time.

Bugti said he and Sardar Ataullah Mengal had presented an amendment bill including 15 proposals on the Balochistan issue which was shelved.

The JWP chief said that he still had reservations about the establishment of garrisons and the construction of Gwadar Port in Balochistan. online

Bombs damage Zahedan-Quetta train track

QUETTA: Two bombs exploded on a railway line linking Pakistan with Iran, but no injuries were reported, an official said on Monday.

The blasts happened late on Sunday, damaging a section of the track linking Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, with the Iranian border town of Zahedan, said Shoaib Ahmed, the controller of traffic for Pakistan Railways.

He said no one had claimed responsibility for the blasts at Ahmadwal, a village about 150 kilometres southwest of Quetta, and that engineers had gone to the area to repair the track. Ahmed said no train had been due to travel on the line at the time of the explosions.

Meanwhile, police arrested a man in connection with the bomb blast in Noshki a couple of days ago. Sources said that Muhammad Noor Sumalani was being investigated. ap/app

Only tangible steps can resolve Balochistan issue: Altaf

Staff Report

KARACHI: Leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Altaf Hussain has said the federal government should take such tangible measures to resolve the Balochistan as can satisfy the Baloch people, otherwise talks between Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain and Akbar Bugti are unlikely to give any positive result.

He was addressing MQM workers and leaders on the 21st founding day of the party at London on Saturday night.

The founding day was also attended by party activists from Pakistan, the US, Belgium, and other European countries. Acting convener of the MQM coordination committee Tariq Jawed, members of the coordination committee Mohammed Anwar, Tariq Mir, in charge of the coordination committee Pakistan Anwar Alam and joint in charge Abdul Haseeb also spoke on the occasion. “The establishment of Pakistan is divided as to how to sort out the issue of Balochistan, as one group favours peaceful resolution of the issue through dialogue with nationalist parties of the province and the other group, which commands more influence in the corridors of power, believes in crushing the voice of dissent by force,” he claimed.

Hussain warned the rulers to refrain from using force to resolve the Balochistan issue and continue the dialogue process with representatives and leaders of nationalist parties. He said the use of forces could pose grave dangers to the integrity of the country. He said Pakistan as a country could survive as a country only if complete autonomy was granted to the provinces.

Describing the construction of Gwadar port as a controversial issue, he said since the port was being built with the help of China, “it is objectionable to the Iran, India and US governments as they are averse to the control of China over the port.” “Punjab being the big brother should display generosity and open heartedness to three smaller provinces of Pakistan and refrain from snatching their rights,” he emphasised. He urged the government to ensure due rights of provinces in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award and not to make population the only criterion for the NFC award as it would be gross injustice.

“Most natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals are in Sindh and Balochistan and they benefit the entire country, but for distribution of financial resources only population is taken into account. This should not be done,” he said.

Referring to a report of a US-based organisation that in future control of the federal government would be restricted to only upper Punjab and Karachi, Hussain claimed in 1995 he had raised the lid from the conspiracy of greater Punjab that was aimed at separation of Karachi from Sindh. “The people of Sindh regard Karachi not only as capital of the province, but also an integral part of their motherland, so they would never allow separation of Karachi from Sindh,” he said.

Balochistan crisis will soon be resolved

ISLAMABAD: The Balochistan crises will soon be resolved because the deadlock on the conflict in Dera Bugti has ended, said PML secretary general Mushahid Hussain. “The end of the deadlock is a good omen for Dera Bugti, Balochistan and the country,” Mr Hussain told a private television channel. He said that at his meeting with Baloch chief Nawab Akbar Bugti he discussed ways to normalise the situation in Dera Bugti and Sui through negotiations and mutual consultation. He said a three-member monitoring team would be set up to implement decisions in the province. Online

Talks only on Sui, Dera: Bugti

JAMHOORI Watan Party (JWP) chief and tribal chieftain Nawab Muhammad Akbar Khan Bugti has said his talks with PML (Q) President Ch Shujaat Hussain are purely focusing on the situation in Dera Bugti and Sui and have nothing to do with entire Balochistan issue.
“We have so far not reached any conclusion. We are still discussing ways and means to seek a solution of problems as well as de-escalate the situation in Dera Bugti and Sui,” Nawab Akbar Bugti told the VoA while responding to a question about his talks with the government representatives - Ch Shujaat Hussain and Senator Mushahid Hussain.
To another question, he said a three-member committee has been formed to monitor the implementation of the decisions taken by the two sides to solve the problems, adding “I have recommended Senator Mushahid’s name as a neutral third member of the body. “I have full confidence in him until otherwise proven.”
The JWP chief said he is confident that Mushahid will come up to his expectations and that’s why he has showed his confidence in him (Mushahid).
He explained that the three-member committee is not a decision-making body, adding “it will only monitor the implementation of decisions taken by us to settle the matters.”
Asked as to why the proposals being discussed to settle the disputes and defusing the tension in Dera Bugti are being kept so secret, he replied: “I am doing so on the request of Ch Shujaat.
He is of the view that when details are disclosed, some members will try to sabotage the ongoing process of negotiations and it is better to remain silent in this regard,” he added.
“I have told him that I have no objection over this and will not reveal the proposals being taken up in the negotiations,” he stated.
Nawab Akbar Bugti clarified that his talks with the government representatives are purely concentrating on the situation in Dera Bugti and Sui and not on the whole Balochistan issue.
“It is purely a Bugti-related matter as only the Bugti’s suffered loss of life and property in the FC firing on them. The dialogue is being held in this context and not in the background of entire Balochistan,” he stated.
He made it clear that when the dialogue is held on the entire Balochistan issue, other Baloch leaders will also be taken into confidence and will take part in that process as well.
Asked whether he has taken other Baloch leaders into confidence or is in contact with them, he replied: “I have no particular links with them because it is a purely Bugti matter, as the Bugtis, and not the Baloch, have suffered loss of life and property.
Meanwhile, talking to the BBC, Nawab Akbar Bugti said when Ch Shujaat and Senator Mushahid again come to Dera Bugti in the next few days, they will make public their decisions to resolve the Dear Bugti and Sui problems.
“It is purely a Bugti matter and if any Baloch leader or Sardar comes to assist us, he will be most welcome,” he sad. “I can’t ever dare represent whole Balochistan because I do not have anyone’s mandate to do this.”
To a query, he said he turned down a request by PML (Q) President Ch Shujaat Hussain for also taking up the entire Balochistan issue in their talks, adding “he asked to discuss the entire Balochistan issue but my response was ‘absolutely not’.”
To another query, he said as far as the entire Balochistan issue is concerned, his party has already presented 15 proposals, including amendment to the Constitution, to the government. Sardar Ataullah Khan Mengal has also submitted 10 points on this issue but these have so far not been implement by the government.
The JWP chief strongly dispelled the impression that he has given up his opposition to the construction of Gwadar port and army garrison in Sui.
Asked this question is still under discussion, he replied: “Yes.”
Asked whether he has put any conditions in this regard, he replied: “Time for this has so far not come.”

Bugti-Musharraf meeting on the cards

By Tariq Butt

ISLAMABAD: Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief Nawab Akbar Bugti’s meeting with President Pervez Musharraf is on the cards in the wake of a breakthrough in talks between the tribal chieftain and government.

"I think Bugti will come to Islamabad for a meeting with the president after another couple of meetings of PML chief Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain and Secretary-General Mushahid Hussain Syed in Dera Bugti," a senior official told The News.

However, he said both the parties were yet to take a number of measures as agreed between the two sides through Shujaat and Mushahid. The PML is trying hard to sustain the congenial atmosphere created by talks with Bugti lest it is marred by any untoward incident in or around Dera Bugti or Sui.

The official said that if Bugti is largely satisfied with the steps taken by the government accepting his demands, he would not be averse to meeting Musharraf.

However, such a meeting would take place only after significant harmony between Bugti and the government on most contentious issues, the official said. Musharraf recently declared that Bugti would have to come to Islamabad for a meeting with him. In any case, the president is unlikely to go all the way to Dera Bugti to have a session with him.

Well before the situation deteriorated in his native town in January this year, Bugti had confined himself to Dera Bugti. He has not even been travelling to Quetta. However, age does not seem to be an impediment as he is mentally and physically as alert and sharp as ever.

The main worry of the government is the purported private army - numbering 5,000 according to Musharraf - that Bugti has, which it wants to disarmed and disbanded because "we can’t allow a state within a state" - in the words of the official.

According to the president, two other defiant tribal leaders, Nawab Khair Bukhsh Marri and Ataullah Mengal, also have their own private armies, with nearly 11,000 men. Musharraf also alleged that the tribal chiefs arrange arms for their armies.

The official said Shujaat and Mushahid had conveyed to Bugti paramount concerns of the president and asked him to redress them if he wanted his demands to be accepted. He said these concerns would gradually be removed when significant progress is made in improvement of relations between Bugti and the government and after both sides have taken measures to build confidence.

JI for probe into on Dera Bugti killings

By our correspondent

LAHORE: Jamaat-e-Islami Deputy Secretary-General Farid Ahmad Piracha on Monday called upon the government to set up an commission, comprising high court judges to investigate into the March 17 incident in Dera Bugti. Addressing a press conference, he also demanded compensations to the bereaved families through tribal Jirga.

Slaughtered girls buried amid protest

By our correspondent

QUETTA: Two teenaged girls, who were slaughtered on Sunday last in Dalbandin, were buried on Monday in a graveyard, amidst strong protest of the town’s citizens against the killings. Businesses remained closed there as a mark of protest. The decomposed bodies of 15 and 13 years’ old girls were found from the main roundabout of Dalbandin on Sunday morning with their heads and eyebrows shaved. Meanwhile, a vehicle believed to have been used in the killings was recovered by the police from Dawoodabad area here. Tension prevailed in the city, as the police launched a massive manhunt.

Farid demands commission on Dera Bugti killings

By Our Correspondent

JAMAAT-e-Islami Deputy Secretary-General MNA Farid Ahmad Piracha said the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal was the first to draw the public attention towards the Dera Bugti clash in the National Assembly.

Speaking at a press conference Monday, he said that a parliamentary delegation had visited Sui on March 22 which was briefed by General Shujaat Dar and Brigadier Salim of the Frontier Constabulary. "The delegation observed the March 17 incident was not the result of any planning but an accident occurred due to anxiety on both sides," he added.

Farid charged that General Shujaat Dar had briefed the delegation in an authoritative manner and did not express his concern over the deaths of 62 innocents civilians.

He said that the 62 people killed at Dera Bugti were innocent and they were not a party to the clash. "The unnecessary operation by some FC officers was behind the killings," he said and feared that there was a possibility of a bigger incident due to the prevailing tension in Dera Bugti.

He called upon the government to set up an investigation commission comprising high court judges to investigate the March 17 incident. He also demanded compensations to the bereaved families through tribal Jirga.

Hope over Balochistan

Even though it has a dominant official colour to it, the news from Balochistan raises hope of peace. According to the two-member team of the Pakistan Muslim League, Nawab Akbar Bugti has agreed to a dialogue to resolve the biggest issue the country is faced with today. Mushahid Hussain, PML secretary-general who called on Nawab Bugti in Dera Bugti on Sunday along with party chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, says that an agreement was discussed, but details cannot yet be divulged.

Even the generally frank Information Minister Sheikh Rashid will only say that the problem is nearing a 'logical solution' and is reluctant to share details of the package offered to Nawab Bugti. What we know is that a committee headed by Mushahid Hussain, including a nominee each of the government and Nawab Bugti, is to be formed. The government has already named its representative, a brigadier.

It is not difficult to guess what agitates Bugti: royalty on gas; jobs for locals; the setting up of cantonments in the province. Everyone will be hoping that the solution is long lasting and addresses the real causes behind the current unrest; that it will contain no element of blackmail, and what is most difficult for a region as diverse as Balochistan, that it will not generate acrimony among other players who have their own demands to make of the government.

It is significant that two men from Punjab, and from the oft maligned clan of the politicians at that, successfully initiated talks with the angry Baloch sardar. It is too early to say whether the Mushahid-Shujaat thrust for normality in Balochistan can rid our politicians' or Punjab of the unenviable reputation of being selfish. This will be determined by how fairly the committee works and what conclusions it reaches, and how many measures based on these conclusions are acceptable to the military establishment. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Wronged Souls don’t vanish

Wronged Souls don’t vanish

By: Mir Mohammed Ali Talpur

The carnage in Dera Bugti coincided with the departure of Sui rape victim along with her husband for foreign lands after she had seconded the government version of events of that fateful night in Sui on which she was violated in soul and body by those very persons who were supposed to protect her. The President had pronounced Capt.Hammad as not guilty even before any lawful court had given its judgment and closed the doors of justice for the victim forever and ensured that no question of bringing the guilty to trial arises. Attempt has been made to sweep another injustice against the weaker sections of society under the rug by making her leave the country. The possibility of her telling the entire story remains remote because those who wanted to keep this entire shameful episode under wraps must have exacted guarantees that the truth never comes to see the light of the day.

Dr.Shazia’s case revives the Tando Bhawal case memories for the people of Sindh where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had declared the innocent victims as terrorists. Even after the reality was exposed the perpetrator of that carnage was reluctantly given the prescribed sentence only when the relative of victims immolated herself in public. All this reinforces the belief that the guilty in the Army are above law, whether they fail to protect those they are supposed to protect in Sui or choose to gun down innocents in Tando Bhawal in order to usurp the lands for their friends or they mow down women and children in Dera Bugti in name of maintaining the writ of the State. This state of affairs is surely not going to help the Establishment gain the much needed confidence of the people of minority Provinces who already are groaning under the real or perceived injustices of past and present. If any confidence building measures are needed they are needed here in the minority provinces because it seems the Chaudry Pervaiz Elahi and Sardar Armmandir Singh are doing a pretty good job of building bridges between the two sub-continental rivals. In the passing it is interesting to note that not all Sardars are considered persona non grata or war-lords by the present government.

In stark contrast Mukhtaran Mai is given audience by none other than the Prime Minister himself and her civilian violators were re- arrested although the High Court had ordered their release for reasons best known to it. Surprisingly the government thought nothing of the judgment of the Court when it suited it to disregard it. No one grudges justice being provided to Mukhtaran Mai but providing justice for political mileage with mentors in USA negates the very concept of justice. Dr.Shazia deserved equal attention if not more because she was violated within the compounds of Sui installations which is ruled by the DSG and no, repeat, NO unauthorized outsider is allowed entry in those compounds. Justice for Dr.Shazia would have meant pain and very bad PR for the sacrosanct as had the carrying out of sentence on the perpetrator of Tando Bhawal’s carnage. Could her being from a minority province also have played a part in her being dealt a different hand from Mukhtaran Mai? That is what the people of this province are saying and it is difficult to convince them otherwise as they see everything being done at their cost and expense to appease and benefit the majority province be it the Greater Thal Canal or the Kalabagh Dam.

Crimes against the weaker sections of society be they women and children or the peasants or workers are rife and rampant here for of two reasons, one being the very low worth and value given to human life, dignity and honour here in this country, the second being the impunity with which the powerful and moneyed sections of society can commit crimes. Those with clout can and do get away with anything. The powerful can even transgress against the State Institutions with impunity as is exemplified by the mob attack against the Supreme Court during the tenure of Justice Sajjad Ali Shah. Many leading lights of the present enlightenedly moderate government had led the mob and were a party to the rowdiness that followed, all of which was recorded on the CCTV but no one was ever prosecuted; so much for the sanctity of courts. The shady dealings of Dr.AQ Khan would have continued nationally as his forcibly taking over of the IBS from those who made it. His selling of nuclear technology to nations and persons willing to pay the right price would not have stopped had he not stepped on the toes of the biggest bully. The numerous violations against the Constitution here have been explained away by the Doctrine of Necessity. It seems that whatever the powerful decide to do in the end come to be termed in the interest of national integrity. Funny logic, but then this a funny country where clowns pose as Statesman and are accepted as such by the loyalty changing stalwarts of the country’s political elite. Politicians of easy virtue are a bane for any country.

Where does the buck for the Government of ‘Enlightened Moderation’ stop is quite difficult to say, we have the likes of Faisal Saleh Hayat, Aftab Ahmed Sherpao, Liaqat Jatoi, Mushahid Hussain in very important Cabinet and party positions though not long ago they were sought by the NAB or were in its custody. Salma Ahmad was kept in a lock-up in pathetic conditions; she must have ruffled the feathers of some truly powerful personalities in her recently released book inviting such wrath and anger from a toothless body like NAB. It has an attractive acronym which doesn’t represent its track record. It dare not touch those who are held in favor by the powers that be. There must be someone there other than Sheikh Rashid who could explain why Dr.Shazia’s plight wasn’t considered of equal importance as that of Mukhtaran Mai.The entire set up becomes culpable if there is no logical reason for sweeping under the rug a case which may cause distress to certain sections while the other is high-lighted and given special attention to appease some.

The people of Sindh and Baluchistan resent the attitude of the government towards them and their problems, the miscarriage of justice involving Dr.Shazia has reinforced their belief that they will never get justice from a system geared to serve special interests and regions. This government of Enlightened Moderation, what ever that is supposed to mean and represent, the PPL and DSG people and those responsible for DSG at Sui installation will have to live with the ghost of crime against Dr.Shazia which will forever haunt them and this country.

The inherently flawed system which has held sway here and has resurfaced under different guises or under the excuse of preserving national integrity or under the Doctrine of Necessity and perpetuated systemic injustice and denied the common masses their rights is bound to crumble sooner or later under the cumulative weight of the its injustices and its acts of omission and commission as “Wronged Souls don’t vanish”

Baloch Rights or Sardars Rights?

Baloch Rights or Sardars Rights?

The land of Balochistan is exceedingly inhospitable; geologists have even compared the landscape with Mars. A Pakhtu _expression, reflecting on ethnic relations as well as on geography, describes Balochistan as "the dump where Allah shot the rubbish of creation."(1)

With a prolonged army rule and the federal governments efforts to centralize power in Pakistan, provincial autonomy and national rights have been vital issues for the small provinces. Balochistan despite being the smallest in population is usually in front of the provincial and national rights movement.
From the day one when Pakistan became an independent country, relations between the federal government and Balochistan remained contentious. The Khan of Qalat, like many other rulers in the undivided India, was hoping that he and the Baloch would be able to inherit a semi, if not fully, independent Balochistan when British left India. The Pakistan movement and the Muslim League never really had any influence in the tribal Balochistan. Baloch never warmed up to the ideals of Pakistan before or right after the Partition. The Baloch Sardars were more interested in their own fiefdoms rather than becoming a part of overall Pakistani structure.

The federal Government in Pakistan, mindful of the initial resistance from Khan of Qalat to accede to Pakistan in 1947, did not waste time in forcing the annexation on Balochistan. Once the tribal resistance was broken, the federal government, then in Karachi, totally forgot about Balochistan until the discovery of natural gas in 1952. From 1948 to 1956, Balochistan was an administrative unit ran by a commissioner sitting in Quetta. Most of the Baloch Sardars from the British days were on a stipend from the federal government and were never considered to have enough political muscle to attract busy central politicians and political parties in Pakistan. During this period, neither the Baloch nor the Baloch Sardars had any representation at any level of politics in Pakistan.

This neglect by the central government further provoked a sense of isolation and alienation that later developed into a full-blown distrust of the central governments.

Mir Ghous Bux Bizenjo, (not a Sardar) emerged as a prominent political leader in Balochistan. He was a well-known figure in Quetta and one of the few Baloch to have attended college. He enjoyed tremendous respect amongst the Baloch Sardars. Before the 1956 One Unit, he had already started guiding the Baloch Sardars to the Azad Pakistan party and then its successors, National Awami Party. These parties consisted of remnants of the Indian National Congress cadre in Pakistan.

In 1958, the first dispute about the gas royalties emerged. The Central government wanted to give a minimum amount to the Bugti tribe and although other Baloch Sardars were not going to share anything in the royalty, they still supported the Bugtis in negotiations. In 1958, the Pak army for the first time took over the reins in Pakistan instead of operating from behind the scenes. The army tried to strong arm the Baloch, Sardars defied the army with armed resistance. Some Baloch Sardars including Sardar Nauroz Khan were arrested. Sardar Nauroz Khan, a 90 years old man died in captivity. The Pakistan army hanged his son and five others. (2)

The National Awami Party all over Pakistan, especially in Sindh and NWFP, organized several political rallies to inform people of Balochistan turmoil. The Army immediately pounced on the National Awami Party (NAP) and murdered one of its leaders, Hasan Nasir in Lahore fort. Hasan Nasir actually belonged to the Pakistan Communist Party. The Pakistan Communist Party was a part of an alliance of various political groups within the NAP.

Throughout the Gen. Ayub regime, only the NAP and the Baloch kept fighting the army in Pakistan on different fronts.

After the 1970 elections, the NAP emerged as the largest political party in Balochistan as it captured all National Assembly and all Baloch area Provincial Assembly seats. Mir Bizenjo, Sardar Khair Bux Marri, and Dr. Abdul Hai Baloch were elected to the Pak National Assembly. Dr. Adbul Hai Baloch was the president of Baloch Students Organization (BSO) student wing of the NAP but reportedly under the influence of the Communist Party.

The Iran Connection

The alliance between the Baloch and the communists became a thorn in the side of the Shah of Iran and his intelligence agency, the infamous SAVAK. The situation was further aggravated when the members of the Tudeh Party (Iranian Communist Party) started taking refuge in Balochistan and Karachi whenever they were on the run from SAVAK. Both Quetta and Karachi have small Iranian ex-pat communities, mostly Bahai, and hiding theses Irani communists was not difficult in Pakistan. This irked the Shah and SAVAK and they insisted that National Awami Party sever its relations with the Pakistan communist Party before they were to be given power in Balochistan. In 1973, before becoming governor of Balochistan, Mir Bizenjo had to spend two weeks in Iran listening to lot of threats and lectures from SAVAK and other Iranian officials.

This was not the only issue that Iran had with the Baloch; there was another more important problem. Iran also had a restive Baloch population and a brewing political turmoil in its hands. The Irani Baloch looked to the Pakistani Baloch to provide leadership. Extensive contacts were developed and both the Pakistan army and the Shah of Iran felt that this Baloch alliance might result in the forming of an independent Baloch state carved from areas in both Pakistan and Iran. For both Pakistan and Iran, this was an intolerable situation.

Zulfiqar Bhutto needed NAP support to get the constitution passed in the assembly. Once accomplished, under pressure from the Pak Army and the Shah of Iran, he moved to dismiss the NAP government in Balochistan and arrested several Baloch Sardars and Baloch students. Incidentally, the Pak government engineered an Iraq connection to dismiss the Baloch government. The central government claimed that the Iraqi government had sent arms through its embassy in Islamabad for distribution to Baloch in Khazdar and Kohlu (Marri tribe area). The whole thing was so ridiculous that no sane person would have believed a word of it. But the Pakistani press was under government control and the ZAB government got away with blatant lies.

Emergence of Baloch National Rights

It is always hard to distinguish where Baloch Sardar rights end and Baloch peoples rights begin. From the very beginning, the issue was never the Baloch rights but rather Sardars' rights, as the Khan of Qalat and his fellow Sardars wanted autonomy or semi autonomy for them in governing Balochistan without any interference whatsoever from Pakistan. In exchange, they were willing to stay within the Pakistan federation. Baloch Sardars were always quick to assert their right to self-rule but were also steadfastly against sharing power with their own subjects.

Sardars opposed opening schools in areas under their control. Some Sardars even opposed electrification in their area. Girls schools are still non-existent and there are few educated Baloch girls from the tribal areas.(3)

A small Baloch middle class emerged as some Baloch from the coastal areas moved to Karachi for employment and were able to educate their children. During the Election campaign in 1970, Sardars would not allow Baloch students to travel to their areas for campaigning. Baloch students ended up campaigning for Dr. Hai Baloch who defeated son of the Khan of Qalat in the 1970 Election.

Three Sardars

For Sardar Bugti the issue is always royalty from Sui. There are four gas wells in Bugti area but only one is actually located in Sui. In the early days, Sardar Bugti was able to collect all royalty for himself but now other sub tribes of Bugti, where the other three wells are located demand their share. A controversial figure in the Baloch politics, some of his actions in Baloch politics border on treachery. After the dismissal of the Baloch Govt. and the army action in 1973, he became the all-powerful governor of Balochistan. While other Baloch were fighting the army, he was enjoying his newfound love with the Pakistan Army. His links with the army go far back though. He was the only Baloch Sardar in a federal Ministry for a brief period before 1958 as a Minister of State for Defense. And, he was the only Baloch Sardar to welcome the Gen Zias army takeover in 1977.

Sardar Khair Bux Marri-- a legendary figure in all the Baloch rights struggles, heads the militant Marri tribe. His tribe bore the brunt of the Pak army onslaught on Baloch and many of the Marri tribe went up in the mountains to continue with the armed struggle, which eventually petered out in 1975. He self exiled himself to Kabul and London and then came back after working a deal with the Zia regime in early 1980s. He mostly kept to himself after his return. But recently, he was indicted in the murder of Balochistan High Court Justice Khuda Bux Marri. It was rumored that his son Mir Ballach Marri actually pulled the trigger in the elder Marris presence. His son is now hiding in the Marri tribal area and supposedly leading the current resistance from that area.

Sardar Attaulllah Mengal was the first Chief Minister of Balochistan. Though he was somewhat of a hardliner in fighting for Baloch rights, his government took a strange decision when it declared Urdu as the official language of Balochistan. That surprised and alienated many Baloch. He has never explained his reason for doing that. Later, during the first Nawaz government, his son Akhtar Mengal became the Chief Minister of Balochistan. Stories abound that his current struggle is more about getting back in power than any thing else.

Baloch National Rights

In Pakistan, the struggle between the center and the provinces is about the control of resources. Punjab, the largest province and the main provider of the armed forces has ostensibly wrested control of resources - via the central government - that should always be under provincial control. The Pakistani constitution - barely recognizable now - provides more autonomy and control of local resources to provinces than the Indian constitution delegates to Indian states/provinces. The lack of respect of the constitution by the Pak army, civil bureaucracy and generally the ruling elite from Punjab, has deprived the small provinces the means of legal and constitutional struggle for control of even the resources that duly fall within the provincial or concurrent list in the constitution.

The contentious issues may be the natural gas in Balochistan or the taxes/revenue generated in Karachi; while the center takes a lions share and the provinces, which should have the surplus revenue, end up meeting their budget needs through subsidies doled by the center. The Pak Army being the dominating political force in Pakistan, cannot afford to relinquish control of resources, as doing so would force a reduction in the defense budget as well as in the entrenched central government bureaucracy.

Balochistan situation is different from Sindh or NWFP. There the only revenue source is natural gas. The central government pays barely one to two percent royalty and that too ends up with Sardar Bugti, as there is no system for equitable distribution of the royalty. The Balochistan provincial government has to rely on huge federal subsidies to meet its needs.

The basic element of Baloch National rights is the control of natural resources. Baloch nationalists on the surface support that the increased royalty/revenue from the natural gas be given to the Balochistan government but the dominance of Sardar Bugti in the Baloch nationalist politics splits this into an ambiguous stand as Sardar Bugti is unwilling to share the royalty or revenue with any other group in Balochistan.
The Current Crisis

The last 20 years of the 20th century saw Pakistani politics dominated by the Afghan crisis. The Pak army-sponsored mujahideen and their brand of fundamentalism was an intimidating force. The national rights movements in the smaller provinces were overshadowed by a strong surge in religion-based politics, the Afghan war and refugees, army-orchestrated swift changes in the civilian governments, and finally the army coup in Islamabad. The uncertainties at the center stagnated the national rights movements and in Balochistan, the nationalists split into three or more parties after the National Awami Party folded in the Zia Regime. Both Sardar Akber Bugti and Sardar Attullah Mengal have their own political parties and Dr. Abdul Hai Baloch leads a third.

The current crisis still revolves around the royalty issue. However, there are several other important issues wrapped up in the grim tale of Baloch history.
The emergence of a left leaning government in Afghanistan, then the Taliban, and now the US presence, has influenced the Baloch politics immensely. The burden of the Afghan refugees and resultant huge arms trade, where the Baloch coast was the major port of disembarkation of all kinds of legal and illegal arms have created new economic realities in Balochistan. The development of the Gwadar port has opened the possibility of an emerging free port in Balochistan, which would create a massive economic windfall for the province. The Baloch Sardars and the tiny middle class would like to share the booty instead of losing all benefits to Karachi investors and the Punjabi bureaucracy. Hence, all Sardars are clamoring to pressure the federal government as much as they can now in order to grab their share.
With the US army in the vicinity and increased likelihood of major turmoil in the area, Balochistan presents a good prospect for permanent US bases in the area. The Pak army is more than willing to oblige the US, and in the guise of setting up bases for the Pak Army, it is earmarking the areas that will eventually serve as US military bases. This too provides an opportunity for Baloch Sardars to extract some financial benefits.

The proud and militaristic Baloch are in for difficult times. The leadership that held them together on nationalist rights has now become too entrenched with its own interests and monetary gains. The chapter of final deception by the Baloch Sardars is about to be written and the poor Baloch, who still dont have a choice in Baloch leadership, have to rely on Sardars to deal with the central government, are in for a surprise that may change Balochistan for good.

3. for details about Balochistan education and other info

Baluchistan Freedom Statement

Baluchistan Freedom Statement

Senior Baluch military leaders of BLA and BLF and other freedom groups are believed to have turned sharply to start invading Pakistan to overthrow Pervez Musharraf, and have started to gain the upper hand in persuading the International Community that such a mission should not be postponed, preferably indefinitely.

The joint chiefs of staff have assured the International Community their forces could successfully invade Pakistan if instructed. But others have warned that such an invasion would be extremely fraught, given the Baluch National resources depleted by the war in the 1960 and 1970s with Pakistan.

One of the factors most alarming the generals is the possibility that their troops could be drawn into street fighting in Rawalpendi and Islamabad, without support from the local population, leading to heavy Baluch casualties. This ties in with long-standing fears that Musharraf might use such a moment to unleash biological or chemical weapons or attack us and indian forces with nuclear weapons. Anything is possible from such fraudulent corrupt backward people of Pakistani establishment.

Their instinctive caution has been strengthened by Operation on Baluchistan Freedom, a highly secret war game recently played by senior officials, details of whichhave begun to leak out. It revealed that shortages of equipment could seriously hamper the operation and endanger the lives of Baluch Solders and Punjabi civilians.

The truth this that "The Baluch, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtoon people hate Pervez Musharraf," the cost of Baluch military ambitions is already starting to look for a way of to rebuild its declared policy of "regime change" in Pakistan.

Some military sources believe that, even though special forces are now thinly stretched, the Baluch and some internal loyal's of Musharraf Army will switch to covert operations to try to loosen Musharraf's grip on power.

Pervez Musharraf's military of militant recruits is a major threat to the International community. We've studied the way the Dictator of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf has continued to mastermind the international community. It is very clear the Musharraf has gone to furthermost extent with all his abilities to make sure his crimes are not unmasked and has convinced himself that he perhaps has done that and the rest of the world is just going to fall back and for get about it.

General Pervez Musharraf history from September 11 until now is very clear in each and every news statement we see that he is pushing for something as if he is trying to hide something. I have noticed during these times China, Iran, North Korea and Syria have gotten better and better relations with Pakistan and the activities of chinese intelligence has grown to a maximum in the area to study the area further in fears of an American interference perhaps the Chinese are preparing for a war?

The only thing one could imagine is could there be a possible allied war against the western and India in the region?. The more we observe it and when we go further to explain to try to unmask the secrets of such establishments we notice that plans change and these masterminds reroute their plans to different directions.

I have come to realize despite anything; we are going to issue this ultimatum to the Pakistan establishment to withdrawal and remove its illegal forces out of Baluchistan. The forces of Punjab have been violating international Unite Nations treaties and have crossed international borders into Baluchistan since 1958. We do not welcome these forces in Baluchistan and if they are killed they are killed as trespassers.

Pakistan can expect to get attacked from every angle possible from here-on as it has decided to continue to harm the safety and security of our people in Baluchistan leaving us no choice but to respond. Pakistan has refused every peaceful resolution to work things out and share power between Baluchistan and Punjab and we simply do not want to be part of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The Democratic State of Baluchistan will continue to proceed through.
Message to the President of Pakistan.

General Musharraf this is not the 60 and 70 where you can do anything and everything and get away with it. The next talks will be held internationally to resolve the issue of the illegal forces of your establishment in Baluchistan. It has been your every attempt with the help of Iranian Ayatollahs to crush any formations. Baluch Nation is clearly indicating that the road map is to end slavery and move more toward democracy and freedom.

I can not help but wonder when you use the term "Nation" in almost all of you speech's. Who do you call a "Nation" the Pakistan that we know of and understand is a formulation of Baluch Nation, Sindhi Nation, Pashtoon's and Punjabis" do you formulate the term nation as "Islamic Nation" or "Punjabi Nation"; as far as the international community knows and the rest of the people in the so-called Pakistan the Baluch Nation has never been part of Pakistan.

Pervez Musharraf's ISI is actively searching and blowing up Shiite Mosques to root conflict between certain groups; for the Musharraf Army to continue trouble free with missions in Kashmir, NWFP, Sindh and Baluchistan.

The Baluchistan National Party BNP has opposed and will continue through with operation to halt evil plans of Pakistani establishments terrorist activities in Baluchistan. BNP the most powerful has to further continue to investigate the evil aims and objectives to better serve Baluch Nation and we would only know further details if we'd speak directly with leaders of Baluchistan BNP.

In Baluchistan, sindh, NWFP and Punjab other minor Parties have actively worked their way through to support the cause of uprooting the terrorist establishment of Musharraf system in the last few months and will continue operations at a wide range.

The Government of Baluchistan in Exile is to eliminate the enemy of Peace and Freedom. Pakistan's Islamic Nuclear bombs are a major security risk and furthermore we will continue to notice that Pervez Musharraf's government is collapsing daily. Who will safe guard those Islamic Nuclear bombs and biological weapons of mass destruction?.

General Pervez Musharraf still has not withdrawn his forces from so-called Azad Kashmir to had it over to the legitimate leadership of India on a peaceful resolution. Let us not forget since 1946 these people have been in dispute with each other over religion and as observed; General Pervez Musharraf continues to pose major security threats to the Kashmir's and Baluch Nation in Baluchistan after reading this article and will continue to test more missiles and other submission of such nature are common policy to expect from a Dictator.

Resolution is to uproot Pakistan within the next 2 years. Experts say it is possible and we are confident that it is only alternative to resolve the issues that reflect us. The homeland of Baluch Nation has no place for the "Axe of Evil" which is Pakistan and every effort is underway to uproot the Pakistani establishment.

Malek Rend (The Messenger)
Date: March 22, 2005

Journalists find Balochistan 'war zone

Journalists find Balochistan 'war zone'
By Zaffar Abbas
BBC News, Dera Bugti

Nawab Bugti says he has no solutions to offer the government
"They have killed 62 of my people. They may kill 200 or 400. They may even kill me," said the ageing Nawab.

"But they cannot kill the entire Baloch nation."

Tribal chief Nawab Akbar Bugti was angry, condescending and at times even humiliating - and not only towards the Pakistan governing party legislators in the parliamentary delegation.

The MPs had travelled to meet him in Balochistan Province to discuss ways of ending a tense standoff between troops and tribesmen seeking greater autonomy.

But the 15-strong delegation, which included opposition members, should have expected little else - given the potentially explosive situation in the remote town of Dera Bugti where hundreds of heavily armed tribesmen have surrounded 300 paramilitary troops.

The delegation was supposed to discuss with Mr Bugti possible solutions to the five-day stand-off, but was curtly told that the solution could only come from the government.

"It is my land. They have no right to be here," Mr Bugti said, referring to the increased presence of paramilitary troops since January this year.

The government moved additional troops to the Dera Bugti area following the rape of a doctor which triggered bloody clashes between Bugti tribesmen and paramilitary forces. Eight people were killed in those clashes and the area has remained tense since then.


A few of the opposition legislators tried to calm him down, saying they had nothing to do with the government and had agreed to be part of the delegation only to help the two sides reach some kind of compromise.

But Mr Bugti was in no mood to offer one.

He called Pakistan's parliament "impotent" and said President Musharraf, who also heads the army, was responsible for "the murder of my men".

"They [the military-backed government] were nothing but exploiters," he said. "Why should I talk to them."

The tension in Mr Bugti's tone was well reflected in the environment around him.

The town of Dera Bugti was completely deserted by civilians - all one could see were hundreds of heavily armed Bugti tribesmen.

Other than that, there were only signs of the heavy ordnance used - perhaps from both sides - in the shape of shrapnel and spent rocket shells.

All the shops were shut and if one could somehow erase the Bugti tribesmen from the scene, it would surely look like a ghost town. Or a war zone.

The Hindu residential locality that is close to Mr Bugti's fortress-like house was particularly badly hit. Mr Bugti says 32 Hindus were killed by firing from the government side in exchanges that followed an attack on a government convoy last Thursday.

Government officials acknowledge there might have been some collateral damage, but they are not willing to talk in terms of specific figures.

A denial would be impossible, given the heavy weapons in evidence.

Road blocks

Along the 60km (40-mile) road from the town of Sui to Dera Bugti, one could easily see hundreds of Baloch tribesmen armed with rocket launchers and machine guns on either side. Most were well dug in, looking more than ready for battle.

Nawab Bugti wants the security forces out of "his land"
Pickets and road blocks set up by the Bugti tribesmen had been removed to let the visiting delegation through. They appeared to be conscious of the fact that this was an important moment and trying to stop the delegation was not going to help their case.

Earlier in Sui, a group of journalists accompanying the delegation was briefed by military spokesman Brig Salim Nawaz Khan and the inspector general of the Frontier Corps, Maj Gen Shujaat Zamir Dar.

The 17 March clash in which eight paramilitary troops died was started by Bugti tribesmen, they said.

The exact number of civilians who also lost their lives remains disputed.

The area has been under constant "aggressive patrolling" - a term used to explain patrols constituting large convoys - from both sides since the clashes in January this year. On 17 March, two such patrols from either side came face to face, leading to a harsh exchange of words.

It is perhaps more indicative of the tension prevalent in the area than anything else that the exchange instantly turned into a fire fight as someone - it is not clear from which side - fired. It will perhaps never be known how many died in the subsequent violence.

If one is to look for a glimmer of hope in such a desperate situation, one cannot ignore the fact that at least the Sui-Dera Bugti road is now back in use.

Not even the Frontier Corps personnel had been able to use that road over the last week.

Besides, a group of journalists representing the national and international media has managed to enter the Bugti area, perhaps for the first time in many months.

That may not be as insignificant as it seems, given how tense and desperate the situation is.

Monday, March 21, 2005

SANA supports Long March; condemns military action in Balochistan, forced exile of rape victm

SANA supports Long March; condemns military action in
Balochistan, forced exile of rape victm

Sindhi Association of North America, SANA, has
expressed solidarity with the struggle in Sindh,
including the Long March being carried out presently
from Sukkur to Karachi, against Kalabagh Dam, Greater
Thal Canal and other mega water projects. In a
resolution adopted at the annual dinner hosted by the
organization’s Houston, TX chapter, SANA called for
a halt to any dams on Indus River and just
distribution of water.

SANA also condemned military operation in Balochistan
and urged the government to pull out troops from the
area, release the activists and hold meaningful
dialogue with political leadership to resolve the
issue peacefully.

In other resolutions, SANA called for autonomy to the
federating units, transferring ownership of the
resources to the provinces and restoring democracy in
the country.

SANA criticized the announcement made by the
handpicked Prime Minister to issue national ID cards
to illegal aliens. It urged the government to
repatriate all the illegal aliens to their countries
of origin.

SANA condemned the virtual house arrest, abduction and
forced exile of the Sui rape victim and her spouse. It
demanded that justice should be done to the victim and
the culprits should be arrested and brought to the

Aziz Narejo
President, SANA

Government preparing for army operation in Balochistan

Two bomb blasts in Quetta and two Punjab bond trains blown up, BLA said it in in reprisal of Dera Bugti operation

Government preparing for army operation in Balochistan, murder cases against Nawab Bugti

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Pakistani Punjabis attacked Dera Bugti and Nawab Akbar Bugti

FC and tribes battle in Dera Bugti

* 5 FC personnel killed, 19 injured
* Akbar Bugti claims 50 civilians killed by FC firing
* 40 FC personnel surrounded by Bugti tribesmen
* Army called in from Quetta, Sui
* FC IG, Balochistan home minister say FC defending itself

By Azizullah Khan

QUETTA: The Frontier Corps (FC) and Bugti tribesmen battled each other near Sangsela in Dera Bugti on Thursday with Bugti chief Nawab Akbar Bugti claiming that 50 civilians including women and children were killed by FC shooting while an FC spokesman said five FC personnel were killed and at least 19 were injured.

Government officials did not confirm the FC death toll, but said at least five FC personnel were injured and that Bugti tribesmen had laid siege to about 40 FC personnel including Bhambhor Rifles Commandant Col Rafaqat and Dera Bugti District Coordination Officer Abdul Samad Lasi.

Sources said the FC called in gunship helicopters for support and used heavy weapons against the tribesmen. The FC spokesman also said regular army personnel had been called in to help rescue the besieged personnel. He said the gunships had returned after being shot at during the battle. He also expressed ignorance about the claims made by Akbar Bugti on the number of civilian casualties.

Sources also said the FC targeted localities including the Hindu Mohalla (neighbourhood) and it was feared that the number of casualties would increase. Nothing could be confirmed yet because communications in the area had been severed a couple of weeks ago. Sui’s telephone exchange had also been razed to the ground two weeks ago and not repaired.

Akbar Bugti claimed that a rocket hit one of his rooms in the morning. He said the FC was targeting civilian areas in the city and he feared many had been killed and injured. He also said he had information of regular army personnel being moved from Quetta and Sui to the area. He said the FC had targeted Hindu Mohalla, where the Hindu community lived, and many people were reportedly killed. The government had started a full-fledged military operation in Balochistan, Akbar Bugti added. “They’ve started and we’ll see who’ll finish this game,” he said by satellite phone from Dera Bugti.

Intelligence sources reported at least 16 Bugti tribesmen were killed in clashes, but officials said they could not immediately confirm the casualties as fighting was continuing. FC Col Rizwan Malik said the fighting began after Bugti tribesmen shot at pickup trucks carrying FC personnel in the mountains of Sangsela near Dera Bugti, injuring four troops.

Security officials said about 40 paramilitary forces were surrounded by the tribesmen at Sangsela and helicopter gunships and regular army personnel had been deployed to rescue them. Col Malik said five more soldiers were injured when a convoy of the reinforcements came under attack, and two rescue helicopters were unable to land. Four of the injured soldiers were in serious condition, he added.

Meanwhile, a base housing troops in Dera Bugti town came under heavy rocket and mortar fire, reportedly triggering fighting between tribesmen and soldiers inside the town, and causing fatalities.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Yousaf told the Balochistan Assembly that the fighting started at 9:30am when Bugti tribesmen fired at an FC convoy. He played down the fighting, saying firing had stopped and FC personnel had secured the area.

Reports from the province stated that the army had been put on high alert and a major operation was likely to start soon.

Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said no military action was going on in the Dera Bugti area and that the government was not planning to start such an operation.

Meanwhile, FC Inspector General Shujaat Zameer Dar and Balochistan Home Minister Shoaib Nausherwani told a press conference that there was no military operation happening in Dera Bugti and that the FC was only defending itself against indiscriminate fire.

The FC IG said an FC convoy was attacked, killing three and injuring nine personnel. The FC then retaliated, shooting in the direction from where the attack originated, he said when asked why the FC shot at civilians. The FC had thrice asked the tribesmen to cease fire, but they did not respond, he said, adding that even tribal representatives were asked to stop the shooting, but they might have lacked a communications network. He claimed that a ceasefire came into place by about 8:00pm. Shoaib Nausherwani said it attack was planned by people wanting to sabotage the negotiation process.



By Malek Towghi, Ph.D.

Our struggle for the restoration of Baloch human,
civic and national rights has entered a crucial stage.
The regional and international players are less
obstructive, and the Punjabi-Urdu-Persian-speaking
tyrants of Islamabad and Tehran are more demoralized
than ever before. If our representative political
leadership plays all the cards well, we may be able to
catch the train this time ... the train which we
missed in the late 1940s and again in the early 1970s.

The international situation is less problematic for us
now than it was during the Cold War period. The United
Sates of America and other Western Powers have less
excuses for continuing their immoral flirtations with
the tyrants of Islamabad and Tehran, and also have
less excuses for disregarding our basic human, civic
and national rights as well as the UN and their own
principles and declarations which oblige them to help
and defend us against tyranny.

The tragedy of 9/11 and the discovery of Qadeer Khans
have made them realize that during the Cold War they
had put their eggs in the wrong baskets in the Islamic
World. The world is now well aware of the links
between the Qadeer Khans and Bin Ladins on one side
and Islamabad rulers and the most dangerous circles of
the Islamic world on the other side. The West, India
and the whole civilized world will sooner or later be
convinced that a Pakistan ruled by the
Punjabi-Urdu-speaking mulla-military-bureaucratic
complex is incorrigible, and that the only solution is
first to denuclearize the "Islamic Republic" and then
to allow the Baloch, Sindhis, Saraikis and the
Pashtoons to have their own Free Republics which may
voluntarily form a new South-Central Asian
Confederation (S.C.A.C.) or a South-Central Asian
Economic Union (SCAEU), friendly to the West as well
as India. This will leave the present Punjab province
of Pakistan minus the Saraiki lands, i.e., less than
15% area of the entity called Pakistan to be the last
and permanent (!) Pakistan. Such a landlocked "Islamic
Republic of the Land of the Pure" will be contained
and unable to play its blackmailing dangerous games
against the civilized world, consequently forced to
behave or perish in the dustbin of history.

Western as well as Indian think tanks have realized
that in order to protect their genuine interests in
South-Central & West Asia, particularly against the
al-Qaida madness, Persian-Sheite as well as Turkish &
Arab chauvinism, adventurism and blackmail .... and
against the dangerous Chinese intrusions above all, a
redrawing of some existing international boundaries
imposed on many oppressed nations within the Muslim
world will be necessary. We know that redrawing of
some international boundaries after the great wars of
our time has generally served the cause of freedom,
peace and prosperity.

More and more observers of developments in
South-Central-West Asia are realizing that the
emergence of a united free and sovereign Balochistan
flanked by the three free Republics of Sindh, Saraikia
and united Pashtunistan, comprising together 85% of
the land along with resources and 100% of the coast of
the entity now called Pakistan will be a plus for the
civilized world including the US, India and Japan.
These observers are realizing that almost all of the
Baloch, Sindhi, Saraiki and nationalist Pashtun
political and opinion leaders are eager to maintain
friendly relations with the West, India and their
allies. They also know that compared to the existing
Pakistan, the Four Free Republics of United
Balochistan, Sindh, Saraikia and United Pashtunistan
(or their voluntary Confederation) will be more
dependable and financially less burdensome.

It is so because the post 9/11 observations indicate
that within Islamic societies, the Baloch, Sindhi,
Saraiki and nationalist Pashtun psyche (like that of
the Kurds, Berbers, Azaris, Gilanis, Lors, Qashqais
and others) is more open to modern rational and
secular tendencies and much less infected by (perhaps
the last) major dangerous mental sickness of our time,
i.e., Islamic obscurantism and fundamentalism which
inevitably lead to backwardness, religious cum
national/ethnic chauvinism and eventually violence and

We are talking about circumstances favorable to our
national struggle. Internally within the rogue, failed
and illegitimate entity called Pakistan .... and in
Iran and Afghanistan as well .... , the situation is
more fluid and chaotic in our favor.

Let us thank God that the idea of a multi-nation
single federal secular state based on a voluntarily
and mutually agreed-upon social contract is as alien
to the ruling Punjabi-Urdu speaking
mulla-military-bureaucratic complex as it always has
been after the death of Mr. Jinah. HAM BHIY KUCH KHUSH
KIY, as Fayz has said. That the Punjabi-Urdu speaking
tyrants will ever apologize for their crimes committed
against the Bengalis, Sindhis, the Baloch, Saraikis
and the Pashtuns, for their repeated and ongoing
violations of the Social Contract based on the
Pakistan/Lahore Resolution of 1940 and several other
historic statements and documents uttered and signed
by the founding fathers of Pakistan, and for their
outright occupation of Balochistan and Pashtunistan
(NWFP+) by force and fraud .... that the Punjabis and
Urdu speakers particularly Musharraf, Altaf and his
MQM will ever apologize for these crimes will be a
miracle! That the Punjabi-Urdu-Persian-Turkish-Arabic
speaking Muslim rulers and a majority of their
intellectuals and opinion leaders will ever accept and
digest ideas such as those of social contract,
federalism, secularism etc. will be a bigger miracle.
Such miracles do not happen in the Islamic world of
its four core ruling groups: the Punjabi-Urdu speakers
of South Asia, the Persians, the Turks of Turkey, and
most of the Arabs. So, we the Baloch, the Sindhis, the
Saraikis, the Pashtun, the Kurds, the Azaris, the
Ahwazis, and others have no other choice but to have
our free sovereign nation states, first.

Another Good News: Both in Pakistan and Iran ... and
to some extent in Afghanistan ... Baloch nationalist
struggle is no longer isolated and limited to certain
pockets of the Baloch regions and communities. In
Pakistan, Sindhi, Saraiki and Pashtun nationalist
movements have matured and emerged more clearly and
more boldly. The four nations have more or less their
own armed resistance direct action forces. There are
signs of increasing mutual understanding, solidarity,
cooperation and coordination among the political,
intellectual, student and direct action cadres of the
four sister Baloch, Sindhi, Saraiki and Pashtun
nations against the common Punjabi-Urdu speaking

Within the entity called Iran, all non-Persian nations
(=60+% of the Iranian population and area), i.e., the
Azaris, Kurds, Baloch, al-Ahwazis, Gilanis, Dari
speaking Khurasanis, Lors, Qashqais, Torkamans,
Sahilis and others have become more conscious of their
deprivations, of the Persian exploitations, cruelties
and particularly of the Persian cultural chauvinism.
Meanwhile, these non-Persian nations are now more
proudly conscious of their own rich and unique
historical, cultural, linguistic and national heritage
and identities. All these non-Persian nations have now
clearly realized that no mutually agreed-upon social
contract exists that obliges them to remain under the
yoke of the Persian political, military and cultural

There are no signs indicating that the Persian
Mulla-Shahi will be more open to the idea of
multi-nation federalism based on a new mutually
agreed-upon social contract than the Persian Pahlavi
Shahi was. The mullas have continued the Pahlavi
policy of annexing parts of the historical Baloch land
to other provinces/ustans, of settling more and more
Persians within the Baloch lands aimed at transforming
the Baloch into a helpless minority, of not allowing
the Baloch to take actions aimed at preserving their
cultural, linguistic and literary heritage, of
Persianizing the names of places and persons in the
Baloch land and ... and ... . Other non-Persian
nations of Iran also continue to suffer from Persian
chauvinism in similar ways as they were during the
tyrannical Pahlavi regime. The non-Persian response is
common crystallizing in this demand: DISINTEGRATION OF
AGREED-UPON SOCIAL CONTRACT. This slogan is becoming
louder and louder among all circles of the oppressed
non-Persian nations of the entity called Iran.

The existing ruling clique of Tehran is isolated and
besieged internationally. It has also alienated its
own tradional (Persian-Shiite) constituencies within
Iran and abroad. Its outposts in Iraq, Syria and
Lebanon are falling apart. The Iranian as well as the
international Left that flirted naively for a long
time with the anti-American 'revolutionary Shiite
mullas' is distancing itself from them.

The most important good news is this: Our masses and
intellectuals have realized that for various reasons a
United Free Balochistan is not only economically
viable but has the capacity to become one of the
richest and most prosperous countries of Asia and
Africa in which there will be more than enough for all
classes of the Baloch nation.

Taking full advantage of these favorable national,
regional and international circumstances is the
responsibility of our representative political
leadership, i.e., the leadership of the Jamhoori Watan
Party (JWP) led by Waajah Akbar Khan Bugti, the
national Party (NP) headed by Waajah Dr. Abdul Hayy,
the Balochistan National Party (BNP) led by Waajah
Ataullah Mengal and of what i call the Khyrbakhs
Forces led by waajah Khayrbakhs Mari. We are happy
that these four groups have formed a 4-party Alliance
to lead the national struggle jointly. Along with the
Baloch masses and an overwhelming majority of Baloch
intellectuals and opinion leaders, we wish that this
4-party alliance will soon evolve into a single Baloch
Nationalist party with a single
organizational-leadership cadre on all levels. (I call
these four parties "representative" for obvious
reasons: Together and under different names in the
past, they have gained the majority votes in Baloch
constituencies whenever there were free or semi-free
elections since 1946.)

The success of these Baloch-based nationalist parties
to maintain their popularity among the Baloch masses,
intellectuals, students and Direct Action / Resistance
forces depends on several things which I may detail in
one or more future postings. One thing is very
obvious: all of us want the 4-Party Alliance to evolve
into a single party as I mentioned above. Until then
however, each of these four parties may take steps
which enable them to meet the challenge of taking full
advantage of the national, regional and international
circumstances in an effective and impressive way. At
this time, i have a particular suggestion for the
National Party.

The National Party is fortunate to have inherited the
Middle & Lower class-based organizational structure
and cadres of what was BNM. It however needs a more
dynamic and charismatic top leadership particularly in
this crucial stage of our national struggle. As the
Secretary General of the party, Waajah Hasil Khan
Bizanjo is the most appropriate personality. he should
continue to hold this post. Hasil has time and
capacity to grow and be a worthy heir to his great
father, Mir Ghaws Bakhsh Bizanjo.

In my humble opinion, the National Party needs a
change of guards at the top. Waajah Dr. Abdul Hayyy,
the President of the party , has reached the point of
diminishing returns far as intellectual growth,
political maturity, nationalistic zeal and popular
charisma are concerned. There are other points which I
do not want to discuss here. In any case, Dr. Hayy
should be thanked for his services and requested
politely to retire from the presidentship of the
National Party. It will be good for the Party, for the
Alliance and for the nation.

The National Party is fortunate to have more than one
able and appropriate leading member to replace Dr.
Abdul Hayy as president of the party. Any one of the
following will be a fine President of the party at
this time : Waajah Dr. Abdul Malik. Waajah Kachkol
Ali. Waajah Akram Baloch. Waajah Aslam Bulaidai.
Waajah Sanaullah Zahri. Waajah Dr. Ishaque Baloch.
Waajah Mawlaabakhsh Dashti. I am sure there are others
whom I do not remember or know. Considering many
factors and needs and knowing that the NP can have
only one president, I would have voted for Dr. Abdul
Malik, had I been a member of the NP !

Shah Latif Bhitai Says:


A Humble baloch,

Malek Towghi

Friday, March 11, 2005

QUETTA: BSO warns govt over land deals

QUETTA: BSO warns govt over land deals

By Our Correspondent

QUETTA, March 7: The Baloch Students Organization (BSO) has warned the government that all agreements relating to Baloch land would be of no practical value. Similarly, no one could guarantee the gas pipeline between Iran and India until the Balochistan issue was resolved peacefully.

Speaking at a conference in the press club on Monday, the chairman of BSO, Amanullah Baloch, stated that the executive committee of the organization had decided to write a letter to the United Nations secretary general to take notice of the centre's violence against the Baloch people.

He alleged that the government's atrocities and victimization policy has forced the BSO to approach the UN secretary general requesting him to intervene and stop excesses against the Baloch.

He said that the UN secretary general should play his role to settle the Balochistan problem. He blamed the rulers for denying national and political rights to the Baloch during the last five decades saying that usurpers always used state apparatus whenever the inhabitants of the land raised their voice against the looting of Balochistan's resources.

The BSO chairman claimed that relations between the federation and the Baloch had been tense from the very beginning as the former was interested in the exploitation of resources whereas the latter had been resisting victimization by the centre which developed complications for restoration of normal ties.

Blast hits telephone facility in Kalat

Blast hits telephone facility in Kalat

By our correspondent

QUETTA: A powerful bomb exploded near a telephone cabinet in Kalat district, some 150 kms from here, while two successive explosive devices went off in the provincial capital late on Thursday. Kalat police officials told The News by telephone that unknown terrorists planted a powerful bomb near a telephone cabinet in Roh area. Over 400 telephone connections in the area went off line because of the blast they said. Meanwhile, two explosive devices went off in Quetta but caused no loss of life and property. The first explosion took place near office of the Balochistan Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) on the Sammungli Road. Half an hour, another blast occurred in the same vicinity.

Quetta police arrest bomber

By our correspondent

QUETTA: Police on Thursday said they arrested a man involved in the December 10, 2004 bomb blast at Mazen Chowk here, which claimed 12 lives.

Rafi Pervez Bhatti, Quetta Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), told The News that accused Hassan Marri was arrested in a recent raid on Marri camp and added that he had confessed to his involvement in the incident.

"Hassan Marri had disclosed that he and his three other accomplices, Aslam, Arif and Sorto Marri, were involved in the Mezan Chowk bomb blast.

The CCPO said that Hassan had also disclosed that they used a remote-controlled device in that explosion.

Aslam Marri and Arif are hiding in Kahan area of Kohlu district, Bhatti added.

Baloch leaders demand release of ‘political’ activists

By our correspondent

QUETTA: Demanding immediate release of all the arrested "political activists and innocent people", the alliance of four Baloch nationalist parties on Thursday asked the government to halt "the victimisation of the Baloch people" in the province.

Senator Sana Baloch, MNA Abdul Rauf Mengal, MPA Akhtar Hussain Lango, Opposition Leader in Balochistan Assembly Mir Kachkol Ali Baloch and others Baloch leaders alleged in a press conference here that the rulers were responsible for
the present situation of the province.

They regretted that the government agencies were working against the aspirations, interests and sentiments of the people.

They charged that several persons were arrested from various parts of the province and they were being tortured for the crime, they never committed.

They said that the Baloch leadership intended to resolve the present crisis through
political process and negotiation but the government was victimising the political workers and the people through arbitrary arrests. They also said that after the Marri camp, another operation had been launched in Killi Kambrani from where several persons had been arrested,
while a number of them were missing. Referring Dr Shazia case, they said that the victim lady doctor was being pressurised to save the DSG personnel and there was a threat to her life.

Senator threatens to quit Balochistan body

Blames PML for causing un-necessary

delay in finalising report

Naveed Ahmad

ISLAMABAD: A senior opposition senator has threatened to quit the Parliamentary Committee on Balochistan due to "un-necessary delay" in finalising its report.

The News learnt that the senator has written to committee Chairman Ch Shujaat Hussain expressing serious concerns over the situation in the province and indifference on the part of the ruling coalition.

He noted in his letter that the sub-committee, headed by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayyed, had completed its report in early January 2005 while the report of the other committee is still awaited after the passage of about half a year against the prescribed time-span of three month.

Sources said the senator claimed to have taken up the issue with Senator Mushahid and told him that "a very timely and important initiative is being frustrated because of delay".

The senator wrote to the PML president and parliamentary committee chief: "Dark shadows of some new unfortunate events have further aggravated this tangled issue."

The opposition leader also took strong exception to Shujaat’s remarks before the press as well as in the National Assembly that General Musharraf has cleared almost 75 per cent of the recommendations. "While seeking clearance from the authorities in an informal manner could be regarded as a part of the political process, any public announcement in this respect is in violation of all principles of the committee work," the upset senator observed.

Shujaat Hussain’s remarks came while the sub-committee and the parliamentary committee have not adopted the recommendations of the drafting committee of the sub-committee on political issues.

According to the senator, "before these (recommendations) are approved by the committee and presented before Parliament these must be treated as property of the committee and cannot be divulged to outsiders and announced in public statements or speeches." He believed that Ch Shujaat Hussain has acted against the accepted code of conduct and borders on violation of the privilege of a parliamentary committee.

He vowed to respect rules of the game and not use recommendations or thinking of the committee, which have multi-party dimension. The senator warned the ruling coalition against projecting the leaders of one party in the committee. "I am happy that our committees had been working in bi-partisan spirit, but some of declarations now being made by the leaders of the PML-Q are impinging on the sensitivity involved," the senator wrote.

He reminded the PML leadership that two members of the committee have already withdrawn for whatever reasons they thought to be important. "But the way the matters are being handled, others may also have to review the usefulness of their association," he said, hinting at quitting the body.

The opposition senator said too much time has been wasted and now the parliamentary committee should meet as early as possible to finalize its report for submission in Parliament without further delay.

Thursday, March 03, 2005



We the BALOCH are having a history on which we are pride that we always gave respect to our ladies. It is also true the BALOCH always gave esteem and honour to their ladies as well as the ladies of the other tribes even the women of enemies.

The BALOCH history is evident that if a person kills another person and if the women of the accused go to the house of the defendant the murder will be forgiven in the regard of the women. We have a bright history in this regard. Whether in the shape of the Mayee Bibo sister of Ahemed Khan, who was a great warrior, or Mayee Janthi for her camels the rind and lashr fought for 30 years or whether she is the wife of Malik Khathi, who in the absence of her husband given shelter to Humayun Mughal and his wife Begum Hameeda.

In the light of this graceful history now today our heads are turned down with shame when the Punjabi police with their drama, attacked the New Kahan in Quetta on Western bypass 26th February 2005. The police attacked on Marri Balochs at that time when their most of the persons were captured by this police before and the rest of the men were out of their homes for the purpose to earn something for their kiths and keens. Every Marri Baloch’s home had mostly the women, the children with old age men. The raid started at the time of 2:00 am when the weather was so cold and temperature was below –8 c0 and it was raining in the city of Shal all day and night. The vulnerable, hopeless, feeble and helpless Marri Baloch women and children were forced (by the police and army personals) to sit on the ground all night and their homes were looted by the officials of the Punjabi police and paramilitary.

Their household belongings and demotic animals were taken away, like their goats and sheep, hens and the police plundered even the grains, which were dumped on the floor. They did not stop here the women were brutally beaten who tried to stop all these happenings on the name of law. The police took three Baloch women after beating and torturing them brutally in their vans. When the vehicle was on its way the women were thrown out of the ongoing vans. The women were wounded and other five women are also injured. One of the women among them is very seriously injured. Their children were grabbed by their shirt coalers and thrown away, because of this brutal action of police one of the boys aged 8-10, has received injuries and his hand is fractured. The Marri women and the children recorded their agitation in front of the Quetta Press club on 28th Feb. The women and the Baloch Marri children themselves told the entire happenings and the miseries to the journalists.

According to the police they found many arms from this area but the reality is something else. The police claimed that so many guns, rockets and magazines and bullet (rounds) were seized. But here the question arises that if these poor and helpless Marri Baloch have the arms of more then Rs.3 to 4 lacks then why their women and children are far behind of good education, health facilities, and good schools even the nutrition? The answer is one that what ever was produced by the napaki police is just a drama and all the arms and ammunitions belong to the Govt itself. It is on record that in a case by the name of Atha Mohammad V/s Govt the police officer told the entire story that we (police) take the ammunitions from Taftan and dump them in Dashat and on the second day we with a big police and paramilitary troops dig those out and caught many Baloch. A boy of 11 was asked by the press that did u have any arms in your possession at your home. He said, “Yes! We had a knife, which we use for cutting vegetables but the police has taken that away and later on, on their state run TVs showed it as a Gun. Now we don’t even have any knives for cutting vegetables”. We think the words of this little boy are a big slap on the face of this ruthless and cruel Govt. It also proves that how the state run media in Punjabi Pakistan exaggerates knives into guns and make fool the whole world.

It is third day of the operation in New Kahan but these senseless and irrational nationalists are on fast (roza) in which speaking is forbidden. At this position when our women were dishonoured by the police, they just forgotten the respect of CHADER & CHAR DIWARI now it is our responsibility to remind them and get revenge of this not only from Napaki police but from each and every person who is the part and parcel of this Punjabi nation.

We are being forced to take the arms in the hands with a clear vision that we have to finish this illogic, illegal and so called Islamic nation not from the map only but from of the world. We should try to give them all what we received from them plus with the interest.




By:Major General Ahsan Ahmed (Retd)

It may not be common knowledge to majority of Pakistanis that in the pre-partition era, Kalat was one of the two princely states out of over four hundred in the subcontinent, whose ruler was authorised to communicate directly with the Viceroy on all government matters without going through Council for Princely States.

In that period, the state of kalat extended up to Quetta & Pishin & its ruler was authorised to collect taxes from a large area even beyond its boundaries. At the time of partition, Khan of kalat was not keen to join Pakistan unless this privileged status was to be continued in the newborn state. This was not to be. Sensing the hesitation on the part of the Khan, the central government threatened military action leaving no chance for him but to accede to Pakistan. This state of attitude continues since.

This largest province of the country was not given the status of a province till 1970 when General Yahya Khan broke one unit, the only good deed he ever did during his despotic rule.

Huge resources of natural gas were discovered in Sui in early 50s & an agreement was signed regarding payment of royalty, rent for the land & compensation for other facilities to be used by the central government for installation of gas plant & its accessory structures etc. Gas was later discovered in other provinces after a lapse of about two decades or so. The new agreements signed with these provinces had the rates of royalty etc much higher than what was being given to Balochistan at that point in time. In spite of strong & consistent protests by the Baloch, this disparity continues.

To add insult to injury, gas from Sui was taken to every nook & corner of the country, the sole exception being Balochistan including its provincial capital ignoring the pleas & protests of Balochistan’s population who continued to use coal to keep warm during severe cold season after season. Quetta got its first gas connection in 1985. This “favour” was granted only after enough quantity of gas was discovered in other parts of the country.

The highhanded attitude of the Centre in Pakistan always gains new heights during military regimes as compared to civilian governments. The provincial government was not consulted on the mega project of construction of deep-sea port at Gwadar neither in the planning stage nor on beginning of implementation. Compare this to projects like Northern Bye Pass, Lyari Expressway etc in Karachi where not only the provincial government but also the local government is fully involved.

The training of local people to contribute towards operating the port should have started simultaneously with the implementation of the project. This would have enabled the locals to get jobs not only as peons & labourers but also in the upper & technical strata especially when thousands of educated youth are jobless in the province. This was not done for reasons best known to the rulers.

The Baloch population experienced the change in the demography of the province in the 80s subsequent to the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugee’s majority of whom purchased properties & businesses & settled down for good, bribing their way to the government offices to get national identity cards etc. The start of construction of Gwadar port was marked by the mad rush to purchase thousands of acres of adjacent lands at throw away prices by the entrepreneurs from other provinces exploiting the poverty & ignorance of locals.

It is a recognised fact that a port city always grows faster than other cities. The fears of local population about becoming a minority in their own province should not, therefore, be dismissed casually but need to be looked into on priority & solutions sought especially about the voting rights of these newcomers. This problem is specific to Balochistan being the least populated of all provinces in the country. Any comparison with the two ports at Karachi and large migration of people in that mega metropolis would be irrelevant & malafide.

The controversy about building cantonments in the province could have been avoided by showing a little bit of grace by the military government. Even if it is agreed that construction of new cantonments could be a strategic requirement, why the Khakis should push it down the throats of the Baloch? This is because the military has never been able to read the mind, psyche & cultural attitudes of its own people whom they have been governing for most of the period after independence.

Statements like the ones from DG ISPR that “army will build cantonments where ever it likes”, smacks of the attitude of an occupying force and not like a national force like Pak Army. Considering the particular case of Sui gas installations, a force of not more than one battalion is enough to guard these. A military base could be in place for this purpose, leaving the cantonment for the time being.

This was done in Chore (Sindh), where a military base remained in place for a considerable period before a cantonment was built. Since the present rulers take all their decisions “in supreme national interests”, including the rigging of elections, keeping the parliament under their thumb etc etc why not this decision as well?

As regards the demand for provincial autonomy, this is not limited to Balochistan alone. This demand was raised at the time of framing as well as signing of ’73 constitution & it was agreed that the concurrent list would be transferred to the provinces after ten years. In view of the breach of this promise & the continued sufferings at the hands of the Centre for last so many decades, it is not surprising that Baloch leaders are not only demanding the subjects given in the concurrent list but also some more presently under Islamabad.

The record of the present government in this case is worst in the history of Pakistan. The devolution of power instead of starting from the centre & moving downwards surprisingly started in the middle of the line of power. The devolution of power started at the level of the provincial capitals & moved to the district. Conversely, the provincial capital got nothing devolved to it from the Centre. Later, in a shrewd way with malafide intentions, the local governments were practically brought under Islamabad these are the ways a military government works because it does not have a popular power base at the grass root level. The earlier this problem is solved the better for the federation.

There have been numerous occasions in the past where military personnel have been involved with the civilians in brawls & what not. An example that immediately comes to mind is the Tando Bahawal case in Sindh when late General Asif Nawaz Janjua the then Chief of Army Staff took spontaneous action, arrested the army personnel including officers who were court martialled & punished well & proper.

If my memory is right, one officer of the rank of Major was given capital punishment. Every section of populace was satisfied. In contrast, the tragic case of Dr Shazia has become a public relation disaster for Pak army the blame for which goes right to the top. No one has the power or the right to announce that Captain Hammad is not guilty when the process to find this very fact or otherwise is still in motion.

No one in Pakistan believed anyway that justice would be done to the victim even before General Musharraf blared out his own verdict. In the first place, the FIR was registered after an unexplainable delay. Further the PPL authorities did not let the local police to do their duty. When after a lot of public hue & cry, the police did arrest the two senior doctors & locked them up in the police station, the place was raided by DSG & FC personnel & the two doctors were taken away but not before thrashing the police officials so thoroughly that they had to run & took refuge in Sindh.

The main accused instead of being arrested after the lodging of FIR, was produced on TV claiming his innocence. How many of such accused persons have had this unique privilege in the history of this unfortunate nation? Dr Shazia, on the other hand, was drugged making it impossible to record her statement & later without the knowledge of local police, was shifted to Karachi where she is virtually under house arrest in the name of her security.

All this has happened for the first time in the recorded history of the Baloch including the unprecedented incident of a procession of women coming out in the streets of Dera Bugti to demand justice for the woman who had come to their land as a working guest.

The usual theory of involvement of a foreign hand in the present upheaval in Balochistan has to be looked into keeping the geo-political scenario in mind. Bomb blasts, destruction of railway tracks etc have been occurring in this part of the country for quite some time now. It is only the increase in frequency of such incidents in the recent days & the claiming of their credit by the clandestine “Balochistan Liberation Army” which has reached an alarming proportion.

As far as the involvement of the foreign countries is concerned, Iran has been pushed against the wall on the issue of its nuclear programme. The mega project of gas pipeline from Iran to India through a safe & sound Pakistan is very much in her interest. Most significantly, a liberation movement in Pakistani Balochistan is bound to engulf Iranian Balochistan as well. However, it may not be too far fetched to think that an independent Balochistan may fit in the American strategic plans to keep a vigil on the Central Asian Republics rich with natural resources at one end & the Middle East on the other with a deep sea port at Gwadar sitting on the mouth of the most important oil supply line to the western world.

This can be done by neutralising Afghanistan, Pakistan & Iran with India as the declared strategic partner acting as the local policeman of the region. The big question is even if the seed has been thrown in the field from outside, who prepared the soil to nurture this seed?

The only contribution of the government to solve this multifaceted problem of national scale has been to form two committees consisting of Senators & MNAs. Even the most optimistic from amongst us know the worth of our members of parliament vice vie the decision-making exercise of this military government.

Our military rulers have to understand the fact that they cannot run a country of 150 million people like they run GHQ. Responding to a volatile situation by retorting, “This is not 1970. They would not know what hit them,” is a response akin to that of a child who has been pushed down to the ground by schoolmates. Such arrogance shown by a totalitarian ruler can throw the country in an avoidable catastrophe.

If the government does the folly of launching a military operation in Balochistan, the terrain is so vast & difficult & the Bloch are so much used to the gorilla warfare in their homeland, the conflict would suck in more & more troops as happened in Occupied Kashmir. Above all this would be the beginning of the end of this federation, this country & this nation. By the way, did Raza Shah Pahlavi, General Pinochet, George Fernandez etc know what hit them?

A parting unsolicited advice to whom it may concern. Don’t push the Baloch over the cliff or into the Arabian Sea. These people know how to climb back to the top of the hills & can swim with ease in the deep sea. They too have come a long way since 1970.

The writer is Pakistan’s Former Director General Health, Former Minister Health & Population Welfare Sindh& Former Pro-Chancellor Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences, Sindh. He is author of two books.