Saturday, April 16, 2005

Balochistan: skirting the core issue

Balochistan: skirting the core issue


4 arrested for Quetta bombing

Staff Report

QUETTA: Four militants have been arrested for bombing the shrine of a Shia saint last month that killed 43 people, police said on Friday.

The men were detained two days after the March 19 attack on Dargah Khel Shah Fatehpur Gandawaha close to Naseerabad after a bomb-making accident in the same region that injured one of them, said Balochistan police chief Chaudhry Yaqub at a press conference.

“Police arrested Maulvi Abdul Hakim, Muhammad Aslam, Abdullah and Abdul Hakim who masterminded the attack, from a local mosque. They belong to the banned militant group Sipah-e-Sahaba. They were very clever people. They kept changing their statements during investigations, but now they have confessed to masterminding and carrying out the bomb attack near Naseerabad,” said Yaqub. He said the suspects had trained at camps in Afghanistan during the Taliban’s tenure, but he would not say whether they were involved in previous sectarian attacks.

“They are terrorists and their trial will be held very soon,” he said. The suspects and their lawyers were not available for comment. All four have been in police custody for the past month.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_16-4-2005_pg1_6



Balochistan: skirting the core issue



By M. Abul Fazal



The political solution of the Balochistan problem on the lines it is being sought by the federal government, addresses every question except the core issue - the structural crisis in the province.

The fact is that the so-called sardari system has long outlived whatever usefulness it may have had. Now it is a fetter on the economic progress of the people of Balochistan and an obstacle to their political evolution.

The government's attempt to skirt this core issue in its effort to resolve the crisis there is as inane as its hope to bring about economic development of the country without land reforms.

The sardari system has been engendered by the backwardness of the province - a backwardness that it owes both to nature and to history. But the system's present shape is the result of the British policy under which Balochistan was entirely a strategic question, subordinated to imperial military needs. The survival of the sardari system up to the present times, in turn, holds back change.

Balochistan, the largest province in Pakistan, covers almost 350,000 square kilometres. But only six per cent of its area is under cultivation. The agricultural productivity is low due to aridity, except in the irrigated areas of Kacchi. This forces the rest of the population to depend upon pastoralism, auxiliary work, etc., which naturally contributes to the survival of tribalism.

Tribalism can express itself in a number of pre-capitalist modes of production. But it seems to survive best with a pastoral one, because this mode is not only the product of the extreme poverty of land, it is able to achieve a stable equilibrium at a low level of productivity. Pastoralism thus most often appears as the principal branch of production in a tribal society.

The pastoral mode of production has two means of production - land and cattle (including sheep, goat, etc.). The first is usually communal, though access to it can, in certain circumstances, be controlled by the tribal chief. The second is owned by individuals.

There is a contradiction between the two kinds of ownership. But the poor quality of the land and the backwardness of the tools of production required by pastoralism do not permit the growth of productivity to a stage where a dominant exploiting class can arise within the tribe.

This is the origin of the claim of equality of all members of the tribe, as well as of the sentiment of loyalty to it. Secondly, in a pastoral economy, cattle is both the "capital" and the product. But its growth does not depend on the quality of the tools. It requires more intensive labour, which means that a larger family can have a bigger herd, though a limit is imposed upon the herd's expansion by the amount of pasturage available. This is usually circumscribed by the total amount of land owned by the tribe and the manner of its use by it.

On the other hand, more land does not necessarily lead to a bigger herd due to the insurmountable limits to the yield of labour in this branch of production, which is another barrier to differentiation within the tribe and the emergence of an exploiting stratum in it.

True, in spite of low productivity, some surplus can be accumulated by a small stratum engaged in trade with the city. However, this stratum is unable to turn into an exploiting class because of insufficient monetization and the lack of motivation for production in a subsistence economy.

Lastly, even where pastoralism exists in symbiosis with sedentary agriculture, as in some parts of Balochistan, it never synthesizes with it. Thus the two kinds of activity do not play the role that differentiation plays within the economy to carry it up.

Furthermore, since pastoralism prevents a division of labour between physical and mental work, it does not promote literacy. The common Balochs, thus kept outside the threshold of science, are paternistically referred to by the chiefs as "the simple folk of Balochistan", by which they mean naive and a people which resents progress.

In short, pastoralism is not capable of engendering the kind of inner tension which breaks the equilibrium in other modes of production, enabling them to move to a higher mode.

The tribal chief was needed originally not to rule the tribe but to organize its defence against outsiders and generally look after its interests in dealings with the outside world.

Low productivity precludes his material existence being much above that of others in the tribe, though he may levy contributions upon the tribe, mainly in the form of unpaid labour or cattle-heads.

His income can rise visibly higher only through an infusion of money from outside the pastoral or tribal economy e.g. subsidy, royalty, tribute or illegal activities on the national frontiers. Thus, the pastoral socio-economic formation, bound to a subsistence level of production, is like a primitive biological organism, endowed with longevity but incapable of evolving.

Balochistan's modern history can be said to have begun in the seventeenth century when a tribal confederation was created there, led by Ahmed Khan of Kalat. His descendant, Nasir Khan, was able to bring all the tribal chiefs in the province under his hegemony in the next century.

However, tension persisted between the Khans of Kalat and the tribal chiefs, who, while recognizing him as suzerain, kept tugging at the central power. And it was these chiefs who, while accepting payments from Sir Robert Sandeman, the British officer, joined him in forcing the Khan of Kalat to submit to British supremacy though the treaty of 1854.

Under it, Kalat gave control of its foreign relations to the British in return for an annual subsidy of Rs 50,000. Then, the various tribal chiefs or sardars gradually began to receive subsidies directly from the British, in fact, becoming British agents for their tribes. Thus laid the basis of the sardari system which, in spite of its formal abolition in 1976, is still with us.

As independence approached, Kalat claimed that it was different from other "native states" of British India as it had accepted British control only of its foreign relations and not British paramountcy.

Thus it declared "independence" two days before Pakistan's independence and, at one stage, even attempted to join India on certain terms but the attempt was rebuffed by Nehru.

The Quaid-i-Azam advised the Khan of Kalat to accede to Pakistan but the Khan demanded a guarantee that no change would be made in "the historic traditions and customs of the Baloch without their consent".

This simply meant that the tribal organization, with all its oppression and stubborn backwardness, would be left undisturbed. The Quaid, of course, refused. Meanwhile, Makran, Kharan and Lasbela acceded to Pakistan.

Kalat did so in March, 1948 only under the threat of police action by the federal government. Abdus Samad Khan Achakzai, the leader of the Pakhtuns, who inhabited northern Balochistan, too opposed the accession of the Baloch states to Pakistan.

Following independence, various tribal chiefs entered politics on the basis of the strength of their tribes. They joined parties like the National Awami Party (NAP), which stood for maximum "provincial autonomy" which was really a programme to render the federal government incapable of leading the country's economic development.

This, in spite of the fact that a backward country, buffeted by the forces of the world capitalist market, cannot industrialize its economy without centralized accumulation, which only a strong central government can undertake.

Powerful tribal leaders like Akbar Bugti, Khair Bux Marri and Ataullah Mengal, together with Ghaus Bux Bizenjo, held sway in Baloch politics till the seventies. The first three were heads of their tribes, while the last one rose on his political merit and, moreover, brought young, educated Balochs into politics.

At the same time, a middle class, independent of tribes and tribalism, made its appearance. However, it was weak and thus unable to present itself as an independent alternative to the tribal leaders. Therefore, its politics had to take the route of Baloch "nationalism" which by its nature is based on class collaboration.

The tribal leaders added some socialist slogans to the programme of the NAP, to which they belonged, to give it a "progressive" touch and to keep the support of the young middle class intellectuals.

Thus, Lenin seems to have come in handy to all sorts of people. Z.A. Bhutto saved the feudal class, while destroying the industrial bourgeoisie, the hope of our future, under a socialist slogan. The tribal leaders caught hold of his theory of national self-determination to try to protect the most backward features of Baloch society.

In the elections of 1970, the NAP captured all the three National Assembly seats from Balochistan and also formed the provincial government in Quetta. Power has the merit of revealing the class character of a party. It did not fail to do so in this case.

The young middle class Balochs, who had worked ardently for the electoral success of the NAP, discovered, not for the first (and certainly not the last) time, that every nationalism's class alliance serves the interest exclusively of the exploiting class; the petit bourgeois was again confronted with the fact that the resolution of contradictions between classes inside his head is not the same as their resolution in reality. Thus the contradiction between the Baloch Students Organization and the NAP was complete by the time Bhutto dismissed the latter's government in Balochistan

Now the sardars took to armed resistance to the federal government's efforts to improve the infrastructure in the province, terming it neo-colonialism. However, their leftist posture was now meaningless as they moved steadily towards cooperation with the post-Bhutto military regime in Islamabad.

What was important for them were not slogans like, "free" Balochistan, the confederation or Baloch "rights" within the federation, but the protection of their power and privileges within the tribal structure. These were now sought to be secured through deals with Islamabad.

The sardars had originally dreamt of an independent Balochistan, as the province was said to be rich in many minerals, including oil. An independent Balochistan could therefore become a rentier state, whose mineral wealth would be exploited by multinationals paying huge royalties to the Baloch rulers - a sort of out-sized Qatar or Abu Dhabi. As the Pakistan state proved too powerful to be subdued, the sardars moved to attain their objective within Pakistan.

Now they demand "royalty" from any enterprise in Balochistan, whether Pakistani or foreign - a royalty which should be due to the federal government. And they want a share in road-building contracts that they earlier denounced as neo-colonial.

How can anyone reject the right of the government of Pakistan to decide about where to station armed forces units within the country? Or its right, indeed the duty, to promote development? But the federal government has reduced its choice of action to either military operation or bargaining with the tribal chiefs. Incidentally, this too was the policy of the British rulers because Balochistan was of no economic interest to them. It was only of military interest to them.

But how can this be the policy of Islamabad? Hence, there is a contradiction in the federal government's perception of considering Balochistan as one of the federating units of the country having an equal status, on the one hand, and its preference to strike deals with its tribal chiefs, on the other.

No one expects the government to be promoting a class struggle in the province. But it has to take into account the full spectrum of the political forces there, specially since the middles class forces, not to talk of the working class, are growing, while the traditional power-brokers are weakening. Hence, the need for the tribal forces to use force and make a nuisance of themselves.

The government has to stand firm against war lordism and draw the emerging bourgeoisie and the lower middle class into politics. It has to isolate the sardars, as the relics of the past, and not treat them as its sole interlocutors in Balochistan.



http://www.dawn.com/weekly/encounter/encounter.htm#1



PONMSA to boycott Balochistan University convocation

By our correspondent

QUETTA: The office-bearers of the Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement Students Alliance (PONMSA) on Friday announced to boycott the 5th annual convocation of the Balochistan University to be held on Saturday (today) against the arrests of activists of a students organisation.

Addressing a news conference, central leader of PONM student alliance Khalil Baloch said the activists of the student organisations would stage a protest demonstration in front of Quetta Press Club during their ongoing protest movement against the arrests of over a dozen activists of the students organisation on the same day.

Giving details about their protest campaign, he said protest demonstrations would be staged in front of Balochistan Assembly on April 21. Similarly, the demonstrations would also be staged in Loralai district on April 23 and in Mastung on April 26.

He added that a public meeting would be held on April 30 in front of the QPC to protest against the police action in the university and deployment of the police force in the campus. He alleged that the government had turned the educational institutions into police stations by deploying police force there.

He said that the police had arrested Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, Ahmed Jan, Dr Imdad and other office-bearers of the student organisations without any justification. He claimed that students were being punished for their affiliation with nationalists' political parties of the province.

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



Rocket fire in Dalbandin

By our correspondent

QUETTA: Unknown armed men fired two rockets at the microwave station in Dalbandin area of district on Friday Chaghai, damaging the boundary wall of the station. Levies officials told The News that there was no loss of life in the firing.

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



Sardar Hasani joins PML

By our correspondent

QUETTA: Former provincial president of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Sardar Fateh Muhammad Hasani has announced to join the Pakistan Muslim League, expressing his confidence over the PML leadership. He said this in the presence of Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Muhammad Yousuf at the Chief Minister Secretariat here on Friday. Sardar Fateh Muhammad Hasni said the PML played an important role in the development of the country, especially Balochistan. He said he decided to join the PML because of the policies of the present government as well as the efforts made by the Muslim League for restoring democracy in the country.

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

Friday, April 15, 2005

Baloch Women Organisation

By Baloch Women Organisation


The BALOCH people are facing the worse situation under the state terrorism of Pakistan. The Marri Balochs are in habitant in New Kahan western by pass Quetta after arrival from Afghanistan. These people are/were earning their livelihood by working at different places as daily wage to nourish their kids. These poor people don’t have any facilities of life in this 21st century like electricity and gas even they buy the water in the city of Quetta from BWASA. The homes of all the population are made up of mud. It is significant to state here that all the mentioned facilities are available to the merchants just opposite to the road in the vegetable market and the transporters.

The Police and paramilitary forces attacked the New Kahan on 26th February 2005 at 4 pm and they started searching each and every house of these Marri Balochs. They were failed to get any arms or any thing which is prohibited by the law then they demolished/bulldoze most of the houses. During the search operation the police officers have looted the community on gunpoint. The police have taken all the money, which was saved by the women, they did not only take the money but the traditional jewels which were wore by that women taken away by the police. When the women tried to stop all this illegal and inhuman activities they were brutally beaten by the police, the picture of a woman who was hit by the police on head is attached here.

Then police used their own arms and showed on the media that these all belong to them (Marri). A person who is not in a position to nourish their kids how could they keep these much expensive arms with them?


It is a question mark for the police also. The police have broken all the records of the terror by beating women and small kids. A boy 2 years was taken from the lap of his mother and was tried to be crushed under the boots of a police officer, he has got the injuries on the lower lip and his picture is also attached. And the police while throwing them on the fire burned three kids.

Moreover the guesthouse (castle) of all Marri elders (where they would gather and solve their problems according to balochi tradition) was occupied by police force and developed as a police station in the centre of the area.

It is very strange (racist) action of the police to put (wave) the flag of Pakistan on this guesthouse. It seems like the police have conquered the Castle of Khyber from the Kuffar, we wonder whether it is an occupied area or what?????

This is very terrifying for these people who get the firewood from the mountains, buy water and live in darkness gifted by this state (Pakistan). The police have took blankets, and every those things which has any worth. Nearly 56 people were arrested at that night but still their family members don’t know whether they are alive or died. At the same day the police have arrested three women also, these three women were thrown out of an on going vehicles and one woman is seriously injured.

The people who are arrested then denied by the police and still kept at unknown places are, and the last five persons were arrested on 11th March. Their names are listed below.

1 Hassan s/o Abdul Rehman
2 Abdul Rehman s/o Biag Mohammad
3 Hashim s/o Abdul Kareem
4 Haji Meyan Khan s/o Shah Hussain
5 Baz mohammed s/o Wazir
6 Amer Mohammed s/o unknown (this man is mute and he can't speak)
7, Hayat Khan s/o Dil Shad
8, Shafi Hamd s/o Gull Hamd
9, Shah dost s/o Mwar Han
10, Chor Baig s/o Jafar Khan
11, Samad Khan s/o Haji Raheem
12, Shair khan s/o Mir Dost
13, Ali Dad s/o Shah Gull
14, Mahbat khan s/o Pandhi
15, Per Bakhsh s/o Hazoorro
16, Jara Khan s/o Kahor Khan,
17, Per Jan s/o Ali Han
18, Kalo s/o Sher Ali
19, Nazar Ali s/o Haji Raheem
20, Jangehan s/o Khair Mohammad
21, Mir Ahmad s/o Bangar
22, Wazir Ahmad s/o Shah Gull
23, Roz Gul s/o Allah Yar
24, Nabi Bakhsh s/o Dil Shad
25, Shahan s/o Jamir Khan,
26, Mir Dost s/o Haji Gull Hamd
27, Mohammad Gull s/o Karrimo
28, Gull Khan s/o Kmal Khan
29,Gull Jan s/o Sorat Khan
30,Lal Gull s/o Shahoo
31,Kmal Khan s/o Hoombo
32, Nazaroo s/o Sher Han
33,Bengaw s/o Meran
34,Shahdad s/o Karimo
35,Tako s/o Dolat KHan
,36, Ali Ahmad s/o Dlaan
37,Sobha Khan s/o Gamar Khan
38, Jan Ali s/o Walya
39 Ashraf s/o Moran
40, Neyaz Hamd s/o Shah Mir ,
41,Umar Bakhsh s/o Murad Khan
42, Bakhtyar s/o Per Han ,
43, Jano Khan s/o Kala Khan
44, Shareef s/o Haji Mando ,
45, Bashko KHan s/o Dunya KHan ,
46 Zafar s/o Shado
47, Abdul Kareem s/o Kamees ,
48, Khudaidad s/o Bulend Khan
49, Abdul Majeed s/o Sahoo
50, Hasil Khan s/o Gzi
51, Shakar Khan s/o Haji Mando
52, Gull Baig s/o Allah Yar ,
53, Shah Baig s/o Geeshtri
54, Gull Dad s/o Ado
55, Asad Khan s/o Kahoor Khan
56, Rakya s/o Shahoo,
57 Noor Mohammed
58 Bazmohammed
59 rasulo
60 panzuli
61 Hazar Mohamme
62 Karam Ali

It is reminded that from the above list the last five people were arrested from their shops as the police have raided their shops. The failed and confused Pakistani police have started raiding people’s works places, shops and issued false arrest warrants to some Marri student. We call it a very unwise and unlawful action of police, it shows that the police are forcing people to close down their business and forcing students to leave their Education uncompleted. In one hand the government blame the Baloch leader and tribal Sardars as anti education and anti development, on the other hand the government it self is forcing people to shut down their shops and forcing students to leave school. We never heard any Baloch leader has burnt a school or threaten a child from going to school.

Closing down the wati primary school,threatining it's students and teachers not to go back to school,otherwise they face state terrorism and burning the govt girls’ school by police shows that the government is pushing the people of Balochistan towards darkness. We term these actions as anti development and anti education steps by the government.

The police have burnt the Govt School on 11th March 05 at about 11:00 am Then on 14th march 05 at 11:45 am police again attacked on NEW KAHAN and searched the houses of innocent people.

Women and children have tried to stop the police from entering the house but police have fired in air to terrify minor kids and women and used tear gas to make them unconscious. Because of the tear gas 9 women and 14 children were unconscious.


In the light of the entire above stated situation we want all NGOs, Human loving, those who claim to be peace keepers and all Free born people to help and raise the voice of these vulnerable and helpless Marri BALOCH who are facing the worse atrocious attitude of the Pakistani police and the paramilitary.

Sroce :http://www.balouch.com/forum/viewmessages.cfm?forum=1&topic=2478

Agreement with Akbar Bugti being implemented: Shujaat

Agreement with Akbar Bugti being implemented: Shujaat

* PML president says government will raise gas royalty to Balochistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League (PML) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain told a news conference on Thursday that implementation of the agreement with Nawab Akbar Bugt had started.

Shujaat said the government had agreed to increase the annual gas royalty for Balochistan. He praised President General Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Jamhoori Watan Party chief Nawab Akbar Bugti for helping the Parliamentary Committee on Balochistan to settle the area’s problems after the events of March 17.

Committee members visited Dera Bugti three times and settled the issue, Shujaat said but did not disclose other details of the agreement with Bugti.

He said that all the check posts and pickets set up against the backdrop of March 17 events were closed and “only a few check posts remain for the protection of Nawab Akbar Bugti and national installations.” The PML president also spoke about the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) welcome preparations, saying that Asif Ali Zardari’s return would not make a difference to the political scenario.

He warned the PPP to stop spreading misconceptions about a “so-called deal” with the government otherwise the concessions given to Zardari would be withdrawn.Talking about PML Sindh’s political situa tion, Shujaat said the Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission had submitted its report and a decision in this regard would be taken after the return of Arbab Ghulam Rahim from his foreign tour. “According to the commission’s report, corruption allegations against Imtiaz Sheikh were unsubstantiated,” he said. Rahim ousted Imtiaz from the Sindh cabinet on corruption charges.

In Quetta, militant tribesmen and paramilitary troops ended a month-long standoff over a key road near a town where a gun battle had killed 60 people. Frontier Corps soldiers removed bunkers from the 48-kilometre road and hilltops between the main gas fields of Sui and Dera Bugti in Balochistan, said local administration official Raziq Bugti, adding that the tribesmen had also left most of their posts along the desert highway. “The road is now open and people have started returning to their homes,” said Nawab Akbar Bugti. He said that his men had vacated a number of their posts along the road.

The Baloch nationalist leader also demanded an independent commission to investigate the killings in Dera Bugti last month. Sher Ali Mazari has left for Islamabad to present a report to Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Mushahid Hussain Sayyed. agencies

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_15-4-2005_pg7_46



Opp boycotts Balochistan committee meeting

* Government members not informed about Bugti’s demands

ISLAMABAD: Not even a single member from the opposition parties were at the Parliamentary Committee on Balochistan’s meeting that discussed Senator Dilawar Abbas’ formula of increasing gas royalty and share of the small provinces in next National Finance Commission (NFC) award.

The Pakistan People’s Party-Parliamentarians (PPP-P) boycotted the meeting because of a recent spate of arrests of its members in Lahore. The committee meeting lasted for two hours.

Senator Raza Muhammad Raza, the Pakhtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) leader, was the only representative of the opposition, but he too boycotted the proceedings when his request to adjourn the meeting was not accepted by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, the chairman of the committee.

Because the meeting was hurriedly called, representatives of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) could not reach Islamabad.

In the absence of the opposition parties, Chaudhry Shujaat and Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed briefed the MPs about their recent visits to Dera Bugti and dialogue with Nawab Akbar Bugti. They claimed the situation in Dera Bugti and Sui improved because of timely intervention of the government. They said the situation would come to normal in that part of Balochistan, in near future.

Sources privy to the meeting said the two leaders did not divulge any information about what Akbar Bugti had demanded or what the government had offered him to normalise the situation in the area.

Senator Raza told Daily Times that he had suggested to the committee’s chairman to postpone the meeting owing to the opposition’s absence. It was a very important meeting and required full participation by the members.

Senator Mohim Khan Baloch, a treasury member, also demanded the meeting should be postponed because of the opposition’s absence. shahzad raza

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_15-4-2005_pg7_49



SECOND OPINION: Are our politicians wiser now? —Khaled Ahmed Urdu Press Review

An optimistic gloss on self-criticism would say that our politicians are moving towards maturity. In parliament, Khwaja Asif has also confessed to cooking up cases against Zardari. But tragically the rhetoric among political rivals is still very sharp and scary

There is some evidence that our politicians have become wiser after being in the wilderness since 1999. Some of them have expressed their sorrow over the way they behaved with each other when they were alternating in power in the 1990s.

Leader of PMLN, Javed Hashmi was quoted by Khabrain (February 10, 2005) as saying that Nawaz Sharif was a man of great patience and observation but did not believe in consulting people before taking decisions. That was why so many of his PML colleagues made the principled decision to leave him and join Musharraf. Mr Hashmi said he had supported the appointment of General Musharraf as COAS but he was sure that had General Ziauddin of the ISI taken over he too would have deposed Nawaz Sharif.

Makhdoom Javed Hashmi has always been a firebrand in the PMLN and least likely to make self-damaging confessions. This is a commentary on his leadership that can’t easily be ignored. An optimistic gloss on it would say that our politicians are moving towards maturity. In parliament, Khwaja Asif has repeated the gesture of mea culpa vis à vis Asif Zardari. Tragically the rhetoric among the political rivals is still very sharp and scary.

According to Khabrain (February 10, 2005) General Zia had told the Muslim League politicians that if they accepted his 8th Amendment powers, he would announce the taking off of his uniform during his address to the joint session of parliament. After the politicians allowed him to take the powers, he addressed the parliament but would not announce his retirement from the army. On this, Haji Saifullah and others passed him a chit saying he should fulfil his pledge but the general ignored the chit and put it in his pocket.

Zia had imposed martial law and Islam. That was his base of power, supplemented no doubt by the international support he was getting for his Afghan jihad. Generals coming after him will not have his kind of leverage inside or outside Pakistan; they won’t even be able to impose martial law.

Daily Nawa-e-Waqt (February 11, 2005) editorialised that the people of Pakistan were greatly incensed at the project of Iranian gas pipeline transiting through Pakistan to India. The paper said it was folly on the part of the petroleum minister Jadoon to welcome the Indian request to discuss the pipeline for increasing its diameter from 20 inches to 40 inches. The editorial said that Pakistan should not betray its Kashmir policy for the fee of $500 million that it expected to get from the transit pipeline. Pakistan should think of Kashmir which the Indians were unwilling to discuss and the dams they were building to make Pakistan go dry. The pipeline would allow India to become prosperous while Pakistan would get only $500 million.

It is amazing how the attitudes have changed in Pakistan. When the pipeline was first mooted, everybody and his uncle said no to it, giving the excuses given above. Today, Pakistan is itself in an energy crunch like India. Finally the warriors will be persuaded to favour the economy.

According to Nawa-e-Waqt (February 12, 2005) the Quetta DIG held a press conference saying that the police had arrested one Hassan Marri and caught him with 120 kg of explosive powder. He also had a bank account with Rs 35 million in it. His bag contained letters written to and for Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). The man was one of the bodyguards of Nawab Khair Baksh Marri and had many photographs snapped with the Nawab. The DIG said that the BLA was no bigger than a couple of dozen men who were being organised internally and helped by a power outside which could not yet be named. Hassan Marri was caught inside Marri territory living in a castle-like house.

The BLA is small and funded no doubt by a couple of sardars, but the real trouble in Balochistan is that the Baloch youth and the Baloch in general include the Sardars, and what they do, in their sub-nationalism. Such nationalisms fall apart after succeeding, if they do succeed.

Reported by Jang, (February 13, 2005) Pakistan’s foremost film star actress Mira was receiving death threats from various quarters for acting in a ‘shameless’ manner in an Indian film. She was acting in Mahesh Bhatt’s film titled Nazar and had to dance around with a Hindu actor named Patel. While dancing she was also shown becoming quite intimate with the Hindu actor. The threats to her were based on Islamic objections. Mira requested Bhatt to cut out the intimate scenes but he refused. Mira does routine intimate scenes with Muslim actors. According to Khabrain, dancer Nargis failed to appear in a court in Gujranwala to hear charges of fahashi (obscenity) and was issued warrants for arrest by the magistrate. Nawa-e-Waqt wrote that Mira doing compromising scenes with Patel had married twice while her mother was about to announce her fifth marriage. Mira had divorced twice but pretended to be a virgin.

Pakistan is inclined to attacking culture as fahashi unless the rulers realise what they are allowing the people to do. There is no criterion in this madness. Take a look at the Pakistani movies and you will see the fahashi there as well. Why go after Mira? After you are done with her, there will of course be others.

Columnist Irshad Haqqani quoted a former Sibi commissioner in Jang (February 13, 2005) as saying that Balochistan received Rs 5 billion as royalty for gas which went straight into the Provincial Consolidated Fund and did not go to any tribe or sardar. On the other hand, the gas company PPL was paying for the use of the land where it had its machines and pipes spread around in hundreds of kilometres. Dera Bugti had the following areas covered by the PPL assets: Uchch, Pirkoh and Loi. The Bugti tribes who received this rental annually were: Raeja, Pirozani, Chandarani, Notani, etc. (Nawab Akbar Bugti belongs to the Raeja sub-tribe.) The money reaching the ordinary tribal was not much.

The royalty of course has to be increased. The matter of Sui can be resolved by ensuring that the rental is reasonable and that the affected tribes get the welfare funding that is theirs by right.

Writing in Jang, (February 14, 2005) Javed Qureshi stated that Gwadar was being built in Pakistan by the Chinese. For their own reasons, India and America did not want the port to be built. Both feared that China’s influence in Balochistan would increase as a result. America had also started another campaign in tandem with this: it had accused AQ Khan of more illegal contacts among the Arab states.

American firms (and Scandinavian) looking for contracts on the free market principle might have protested with official help, but there is no official ‘strategic’ objection from Washington. As for India, military officers of rank have ‘opined’ about Gwadar as being dangerous, just as they have objected to the KKH in the past. Now that China is about to become India’s strategic partner, Gwadar may become less ‘dangerous’. AQ Khan has done what AQ Khan has done. The non-proliferationists will do what they can do. *

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_15-4-2005_pg3_3



Increase in Balochistan gas royalty suggested



By Amir Wasim


ISLAMABAD, April 14: The Parliamentary Committee on Balochistan has recommended an increase of around Rs1.48 billion in the gas royalty being paid to the province by the centre, a source told Dawn here on Thursday.

The source said the committee, which met here on Thursday with the president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML), Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, in chair, discussed the formula of increase in gas royalty presented by Senator Syed Dilawar Abbas.

The source said Senator Abbas had suggested that the federal government should increase the well-head price of the gas from the existing Rs26 per unit to Rs70 per unit. After this increase, the gas royalty of Balochistan would be increased from Rs6.32 billion to Rs7.80 billion, he said.

The source said the opposition members had boycotted the parliamentary committee meeting owing to various reasons. Some of the opposition members complained that they had not been informed about the time of the meeting while the People's Party Parliamentarians (PPP) members Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Raza Rabbani informed the committee chairman that they were boycotting the meeting to protest the arrest of a large number of party activists by the government to stop them from receiving Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday.

Later, briefing reporters, PML chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said as a result of his "successful meetings" with Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief Nawab Akbar Bugti, roads and markets in Dera Bugti and Sui had been opened and people were busy in normal activities in the areas.

He said it had been decided that all unnecessary checkpoints would be removed from Dera Bugti. Chaudhry Shujaat praised President Gen Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Nawab Akbar Bugti and FC men for extending cooperation to him during his visits to Balochistan, and said all of them gave importance to the national cause.

The PML chief said the committee had been successful in resolving the issues of Sui and Dera Bugti and the issue of gas royalty would also be resolved soon. He said Senator Dilawar Abbas had presented a formula on gas royalty which would be taken to parliament.

About the opposition's boycott, the PML chief said some of the members had objections over the committee's composition. As far as the PPP was concerned, he said, they were busy in preparations of a "Dhamal" (dance) in Lahore.

Mr Hussain said the arrival of Asif Zardari had no link with the ongoing reconciliation process in the country. He said the PPP wanted to give an impression that Mr Zardari was arriving in the country as a result of any understanding with the government, which was wrong. He said the government would not allow Mr Zardari to use the shoulders of others to fulfil his dreams of becoming a leader.

The PML chief, however, said that he did not have any hard feelings for the PPP. He said it was because of his soft corner for the PPP that he had offered Makhdoom Amin Fahim a share in the Sindh government.

He again invited all the opposition parties to hold negotiations on different issues with the government. He said that he had recently contacted opposition leader Maulana Fazlur Rahman and asked him to attend the National Security Council meeting.

Replying to a question, the PML president said that according to initial report of the inquiry commission, corruption charges had not been proved against former Sindh revenue minister Imtiaz Sheikh. He said the ongoing political crisis in Sindh would be resolved once Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim returned from the UK.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/15/top6.htm



Owais stresses talks to resolve all issues



By Our Staff Correspondent


QUETTA, April 14: Balochistan Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani said on Thursday that the Dera Bugti issue had been resolved as a result of the government's desire to solve all problems through negotiation and conciliation.

Talking to newsmen after the oath-taking ceremony of Balochistan Ombudsman Fazalur Rehman at Governor's House, he said: "It is the government's policy to give preference to conciliation and political dialogue to find solution of all political issues instead of using force."

He said the resolution of the Dera Bugti issue through negotiation had negated the propaganda about a military operation in Balochistan. "It was a wrong impression that the government wanted to launch a military operation in the province," he said.

He said the issue had been resolved without use of force and Jamhoori Watan Party chief Nawab Mohammad Akbar Khan Bugti was also responding positively. He said it depended on both the parties to jointly move ahead.

He said the government was making all possible efforts to address the longstanding issues and demands of Balochistan and a lot of work had been done in this connection. He said the parliamentary committee set up by the government would also come up with important results and recommendations.

"Negotiation is in progress on all longstanding problems of the province and it is now incumbent on each of us to create a conducive atmosphere so that the parliamentary committee can work smoothly," the governor said.

He said the parliamentary committee would resume its work in a day or two. Replying to a question, he said those involved in the kidnapping and manhandling of National Party leaders had been identified that they belonged to a three-member gang of car lifters. "Two of them belong to the Ghaibzai tribe while the third is a local Baloch," he said, adding that they would be arrested soon.

Responding to a question, the governor said strict measures were being taken to check smuggling of weapons into the province. Referring to the agitation launched by students against the arrest of some of their leaders from the Balochistan University, he said there should not be any political activity on the premises of educational institutions. "The government has decided not to allow any politics in the educational institutions," he said.

The governor said he had talked to leaders, including Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Dr Abdul Hayee, in this regard and they had assured him of their support regarding the ban. Earlier, the governor administered oath to the new ombudsman.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/15/nat15.htm



QUETTA: Monument planned in Dera Bugti



By Our Staff Correspondent


QUETTA, April 14: Jamhoori Watan Party chief Nawab Akbar Bugti has announced that a monument will be built in Dera Bugti in memory of people who lost their lives in the March 17 incident.

In a statement issued on re-opening of the Sui-Dera Bugti road, he said a memorial tower would be built and names of the 'martyrs' of Dera Bugti would be inscribed, so that the coming generations would remember them as heroes of national rights.

He said the closure or the re-opening of a road was not important; "it is mere reorganization of the front keeping in view the objective conditions. It should not be of any help to the enemy but to tighten the cordon around him.

It will widen the area of struggle; it is a change of tactics, making every house and area of the Baloch, instead of a particular place or tribe, dangerous for the enemy. No-one should consider the Baloch an easy prey." He said 70 Bugtis were killed in the incident.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/15/local18.htm



Conflict in Dera Bugti



This has reference to Prof Anwar Syed's article "Conflict in Dera Bugti" (April 10). I appreciate his effort for initiating a healthy debate on this issue. He has discussed the overall scenario prevailing around Dera Bugti, proving the demands by Nawab Akbar Bugti as illegal and illegitimate in the light of Articles 24 and 172.

He has also held Nawab Akbar Bugti responsible for lawlessness, supported the establishment and criticized those who support a dialogue process. His views seem to be based on published government material.

Balochistan was annexed to Pakistan through an instrument of accession signed by the then Khan of Kalat, Ahmed Yar Khan, dated March 27, 1948 (under debatable circumstances) and accepted by Quadi-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, dated March 31, 1948.

Since Mr Syed has questioned the Baloch people's claims on the their resources in the light of Articles 24 and 172 of the Constitution, it will not be out of place to bring to light Article 6 of the Instrument of Accession which says: "Nothing in this Instrument shall empower the Dominion Legislature (Pakistan) to make any law for this state (Kalat or Balochistan), authorizing the compulsory acquisition of land for any purpose, but I hereby undertake that should the Dominion for the purpose of a Dominion law which applies to this state deem it necessary to acquire any land, I will at their request acquire the land at their expense or if the land belongs to me transfer it to them on such terms as may be agreed, or, in default of agreement, determined by arbitrator to be appointed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

"The terms of this my Instrument of Accession should not be varied by any amendment unless such amendment is accepted by me by instrument supplementary to this Instrument."

Baloch nationalists claim that after exploration of the natural gas at Sui in 1952, the Constitution was amended overnight without their consent, wherein natural resources were taken as federal government property.

Balochistan demanded the due share from the natural gas for the development of local area according to the provisions of the Indian Mining Act 1935 in vogue at that time, but no one listened to them.

In addition, it is not an issue limited to Dera Bugti. It is a sense of deprivation all over Balochistan that has caused the furore. It is probably arrogance on our part that researchers, political scientists, sociologists and strategists have adapted a sort of a rock mentality and are not ready to see the other side of the picture.

Balochistan deserves serious attention of scholars like Prof Syed and others to diagnose the situation through in-depth research. One-sided contention will only add insult to the injury.

NIZAMUDDIN NIZAMANI

Via email



http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/15/letted.htm#1



A welcome development

CH Shujaat Hussain's mediation mission has finally borne fruit. The road between Dera Bugti and Sui, closed since March 17, has been opened for traffic. This would allow food, medicines and other essentials to reach Dera Bugti after more than three weeks, and encourage those who had been forced to leave the city, both common people and government employees, to return. A number of posts set up by the FC and armed Bugtis have also been removed. The lifting of the siege of the FC fort by tribesmen would enable the government to dispatch provisions, which were being airlifted, by road. The peaceful resolution of the issue proves that negotiation is the most efficient and least costly way of sorting out disputes. Both the federal government and Nawab Akbar Bugti deserve credit for displaying statesmanship, as do the two committee members who shuttled between Islamabad and Dera Bugti for their perseverance.
However, what must not be lost sight of is that the opening of the road is only the first step towards a distant goal and that the path leading to it is full of pitfalls. There is a perception that if those negotiating with Nawab Bugti were allowed to take decisions on their own, the tragic encounter between the Bugtis and the FC, for which both sides are still swapping blame, could have been avoided. The JWP has now demanded an independent enquiry into the incident, and even presented a list of 15 persons from all over the country for the government to choose any three to constitute the commission. As the number of casualties from both sides has been significant, 70 allegedly dead on the Bugti side and eight FC personnel, the demand is by no means unreasonable. Unless an independent commission finds out the truth and makes recommendations aimed at stopping the recurrence of such incidents, accusations and counter-accusations will go on vitiating the atmosphere. This could even introduce another complication in the volatile situation in Balochistan.
The dismantling of checkposts and trenches should restore trust among the two sides and encourage them to resolve the remaining disputes pertaining to Sui and Dera Bugti. The government understandably gives priority to the security of the gas installations for which it has decided to build a cantonment. The Bugtis on the other hand oppose this, suspecting it is meant to control them. The issue can be resolved by ensuring a fair share to the province from gas income, which would be responsible for ensuring that the people of the area are duly benefited. If the Bugti tribe is then willing to guarantee the security of the installations, there should be no need for a cantonment in an area far off from the border. It is time the parliamentary committee headed by Ch Shujaat Hussain is re-activated. The Mushahid sub-committee should recommend measures to allay fears about mega-projects and new cantonments, redress widespread grievances related to the FC and Coast Guards and suggest concrete steps to bring Balochistan at par with other provinces. The Sajjad sub-committee should urgently give final shape to constitutional amendments aimed at enhancing provincial autonomy.



http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/apr-2005/15/editorials1.php

Young Baloch American Writes to His (Michican) Senator

(The folloing is a copy of a young Baloch American,Omar Towghi, sent directly to a powerful American senator, Carl Levin who is one of the two directly elected senators from Michigan State in the US Senate. MT)

http://www.radiobalochi.org/OmarTowghi.htm


To: Senator Carl Levin

Our alliance with Musharraf and the Military who he governs through is akin
to our support of Saddam Hussein and his Baath party Thirty years ago. Only
difference being in that Pakistan actually has Weapons of mass Destruction
in form of a Nuclear Bomb.



I would like to take a brief moment of your time to point out a few
irregularities with the Pakistani government and that of its president
Musharraf, specifically with its conduct in the south western part the
country known generally as Baluchistan.



First, as you know, President Musharraf came to power by way of a military
coup and the democratic process has not led to elections for several years
nor does it look very likely in the near future. We have dealt with
dictators in the past that may have been convenient initially, Saddam
Hussein to keep Iran in check during the 80's, but once that threat no
longer existed the burden of holding a close relation with a despot was soon
or later going to become a problem. We need Musharraf right now in our war
on terror and he, I believe, knows that. Just as a Saddam knew that in
using chemical weapons on the Kurds and on the Iranians during the war
between those countries would not bring an outcry from the rest of the world
Musharraf believes he can conduct himself as he pleases in disregarding any
due process or diplomatic solution to problems that exist at this time in
Baluchistan. Even the government branches that have no real power have
attempted to restrain the "President" from going into an all out war with
the Baluchis. The rape of a female Dr. by Pakistani Military officer and the
subsequent handling of the crime, which was to relocate the Dr. for 2 weeks
and scurry off the officer to another region, is what triggered the latest
confrontation between the Military and the Baluchis. But the problem lies
deeper attached is a recent article that gives a good summery from the BBC.



January 17 2005



The Pakistani military is already embroiled in what many analysts call a
"war without an end" against foreign militants and local supporters in
Waziristan near the Afghan border.

Now the Pakistan government risks a new battlefront against an adversary of
an entirely different nature.

The venue is Balochistan, Pakistan's troubled western province where
nationalists have been fighting pitched battles against security forces for
well over a year.

Their demands include more autonomy for the province and an end to military
cantonments and huge development projects that they feel may marginalise the
local Baloch population.

Guerrilla-style attacks

In 2004 this conflict assumed serious proportions as rebels stepped up their
attacks, killing more than 30 soldiers and paramilitary personnel.




The government should be asking why so many people in Balochistan support
the BLA


Former chief minister Nawab Akbar Bugti

Government troops and installations across the province came under rocket
attacks and bombings throughout the year, including the Sui gas complex.

More important was the emergence of a new militant group calling itself the
Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

It is this group, say government officials, which is fuelling the current
unrest. The BLA says it carried out several attacks over the last year.

"The question is not whether what the BLA is doing is right or not. The
government should be asking why so many people in Balochistan support the
BLA," says Nawab Akbar Bugti, former Balochistan chief minister and the last
of the major tribal chiefs still resident in the province.




Mr Bugti argues that the BLA's agenda clearly strikes a chord with the
Baloch population.

The BLA, for its part, says it is fighting "Punjabi domination" - the sense
that Balochistan's natural resources are being exploited by a state
apparatus dominated by people from the province of Punjab.

This, they say, results in the "marginalisation of the Baloch population
through mega-development projects".

Doorway to Central Asia

One of the BLA's immediate targets is the city of Gwadar, once a tiny town
on the Makran coastline that constitutes the southern boundary of
Balochistan.


Paramilitary soldier guarding Sui gas complex

A paramilitary soldier guarding the Sui gas complex

The federal government intends to turn it into a major international route
for sea traffic in the region, projecting it as the world's doorway to
Central Asia.

"Fifty years ago, Karachi had half a million people, all of them locals,"
says Sardar Ataullah Mengal, one of the three major tribal chiefs in
Balochistan who recently ended his 18-year exile in London and is now living
outside Balochistan in Karachi.

"Today, Karachi has 14 million people, 90% of them outsiders."

Mr Mengal says that the government is trying to turn Gwadar into another
Karachi.

"Balochistan has a population of about five million. If they turn it into
another Karachi, the Baloch will become a minority in their own province."

Such fears are compounded by the Pakistan army's plans for establishing new
garrisons in the province. Senior military officials in Islamabad say that
the garrisons, or cantonments, are necessary because of the increased
security needs of the area.




Quetta was the last major Pakistani city to be connected to the national Sui
gas grid


Ghizain Baloch
Baloch Students' Organisation

With the fall of Pakistan's former ally, the Taleban, in Afghanistan, army
officials argue that Pakistan has lost the "strategic depth" in Balochistan
which shares a 600-mile border with Afghanistan.

And with India continuing to increase its presence in the southern Afghan
city of Kandahar, they say, Pakistan has no choice but to secure Balochistan
against external threats by building additional cantonments in the area.

The military also argues that the cantonments bring windfall gains in terms
of development and that anyone resisting the creation of new cantonments
"cannot be sincere to Pakistan".

Poor development

Locals scoff at this argument. "They have had a cantonment in Quetta [the
provincial capital] since before partition," counters Ghizain Baloch, a
leader of the Baloch Students' Organisation, which is sympathetic to the
BLA's agenda.

"But Quetta was the last major Pakistani city to be connected to the
national Sui gas grid."

Indeed, Balochistan's development record is not something that any Pakistani
government can be proud of.

Covering nearly 350,000 square kilometres, it is by far the largest province
in the country but houses less than 7% of Pakistan's population.

Basic quality of life indicators are abysmal.

Tapped drinking water is available to less than 5% of the population. The
female literacy rate is under 15%.

Over the decades, consistent degradation of the province's water supply
system has turned Balochistan into an arid wasteland, adding to local
resentment.


Baluch people migrate from the Sui area

Baluch people leaving the Sui area

The province is also an administrative nightmare. More than 80% of
Balochistan, designated as tribal area, is governed through special laws
that locals complain are hugely discriminatory.

The police are ill-equipped and poorly staffed and banditry is a major means
of making a living in the province.

The Balochistan-Afghanistan border was once the principal drug smuggling
route from Afghanistan to the western world.

It is currently a human trafficking hub, with an estimated 40,000 people
finding their way to the Middle East via the Makran coastline every year.

According to local analysts, the traditional tribal chiefs have steadily
lost their clout over the years. However, they say the ensuing power vacuum
has not been filled either by an effective administration or the kind of
political activity that connects people to the mainstream of Pakistani
society.

The Balochistan legislative assembly is by far the most fragmented house
amongst the four provincial assemblies in the country.

What this means, say analysts, is that an entire population of young men,
who have no jobs and no hope of a better future, is running around
leaderless and directionless.

And it is these people who have decided to take on what they call "Punjabi
domination". The army is generally seen as a Punjabi-dominated institution
in Pakistan's smaller provinces.

Way back in the mid-1970s, an armed uprising in Balochistan was brutally
quelled by the army with help from the Iranian military. Some 30 years
later, many fear that the province seems poised to repeat its past.



We recently rewarded Mr. Musharraf with the sale of F-16's no strings
attached. That is fine as long as he is in power but once he is gone then
what. We go in and fight against our own aircrafts? The solution is to
pressure the Pakistani government to resume talks with intention of
addressing key issues that must be resolved. Let's not wait until thousands
of innocents civilians are killed, so far several hundred have already been
killed, before we take action.



Sincerely Yours

Omar Towghi

2304 Hickory Pt. Drive North

Portage Michigan 49024

Worthless man stirring trouble in Sui’

Worthless man stirring trouble in Sui’

* President says government will ‘deal with’ anyone who attacks national installations

Staff Report

KASUR: President Pervez Musharraf said on Monday that there was no problem in Sui and that “only one worthless man” was trying to protect his sardari in the area.

Addressing a public meeting at Kasur, the president said a record number of development projects had been started and completed in Balochistan province over the last four years, but anti-social elements did not want a developed province and wanted to keep the masses backward.

President Musharraf said the government wanted to resolve the Balochistan issue by political dialogue, but pot shots taken at the army or national installations would be answered with bullets. The government would safeguard its installations and the army at all cost, the president added.

The Frontier Constabulary (FC) recently clashed with Bugti tribesmen in Dera Bugti and Sui, resulting in casualties on both sides. Bugti tribesmen had also besieged an FC fort. Bugti chief Nawab Akbar Bugti had claimed that FC shelling had killed several civilians, but the FC refuted the claim, saying it were the Bugti tribesmen who had misdirected their fire and killed the civilians. The FC said it fired in the area from where it was taking fire.

The government then sent its representatives to meet Akbar Bugti and both parties formed a committee to resolve the situation, with Pakistan Muslim League Secretary General Mushahid Hussain being a part of it.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_12-4-2005_pg1_2



Bugti says he trusts Mazari

DERA BUGTI: Nawab Akbar Bugti has said he trusts Sher Ali Mazari, but that he (Bugti) had not named him (Mazari) to the three-member committee.

Praising Mazari, Akbar Bugti said he had been trying to bring the government and the Bugti tribe closer for many years.

“I have complete faith in him (Mazari) and I have blood relations with him as well,” Akbar Bugti said, adding that the Jamhoori Watan Party viewed Mazari’s reconciliation efforts with appreciation and acknowledged the positive role he had played in resolving government-Bugti issues. Akbar Bugti also reiterated that the press had misquoted him and that the statement that he had no trust in Mazari was wrongly attributed to him. “I had only said that Mazari was not named to the three-member monitoring committee,” he added. online

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_12-4-2005_pg7_4



Two rockets fired at Panjgur airport



By Our Staff Correspondent


QUETTA, April 11: Two rockets were fired at the Panjgur Airport and a tower of Quetta-Sibi transmission line was blown up in the Bolan area, some 115km from here, early on Monday.

Sources said that one of the rockets landed and exploded in the open area of the airport while the other hit a wall. However, official sources said, flights between Turbat and Panjgur remained unaffected.

In the other incident, culprits blew up the high power transmission line tower near Bibi Nani area of the Bolan district. "Power supply was not disrupted to any area," a spokesman for the Quetta Electricity Supply Company told Dawn.

Meanwhile, a person identifying himself as Colonel Doda Khan called the Quetta Press Club and claimed that the Baloch Liberation Army was responsible for the rocket attack.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/12/top11.htm



JWP leader lashes out at Rashid: Dera Bugti settlement



By Our Correspondent


QUETTA, April 11: Jamhoori Watan Party's secretary-general Agha Shahid Hasan Bugti has accused the federal information minister of trying to sabotage the efforts being made to peacefully resolve the Dera Bugti issue and criticized what he called the insulting remarks made by him against the Baloch leadership.

Mr Shahid Bugti said in a statement issued here on Monday that Sheikh Rashid's alarming statement about the so-called recovery of weapons from Killi Geo in Quetta was aimed at preparing grounds for military operation in Balochistan.

He said that Sheikh Rashid's statements would in no way help the efforts being made to settle the Dera Bugti issue, adding that whenever Pakistan Muslim League leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Mushahid Hussain visited Dera Bugti to improve the situation the federal minister issued statements to vitiate the atmosphere.

He accused police of staging a drama of recovery of weapons and arresting two persons dubbing them terrorists. Mr Shahid Bugti said that one of the arrested persons was a grade four employee and the other a student.

He demanded immediate release of people arrested from New Kahan, Killi Qamrani and Killi Geo, and said that implicating innocent people in false cases would widen the gulf between the Baloch masses and the government.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/12/nat8.htm



QUETTA: Three miners killed



By Our Staff Correspondent


QUETTA, April 11: Three miners were killed and two injured when the roof of a coal mine in Sur Ranj area caved in on Sunday.

"The incident took place because the roof was not properly built," Deputy Chief Inspector of Mines Malik Abdul Aziz said. He said the mine had been closed and an inquiry ordered into the incident.

"The three workers - Fazal Ehsan, Safdar Ali and Javed Hussain - died on the spot as they received fatal head injuries," sources said. The bodies were recovered on Monday morning. The injured were admitted to the civil hospital here. The bodies were dispatched to the victims' village in Swat district

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/12/local25.htm



Body formed to make rules for allotment: Gwadar zone



By Our Staff Correspondent


QUETTA, April 11: The Balochistan government has constituted a committee with a task to make rules and regulations for allotment of plots in the proposed Gwadar industrial zone.

A high-level meeting held in Hub on Monday with Chief Minister Jam Yusuf Mir in the chair, also decided to set up a development authority for the industrial zone. The authority would be provided Rs5 million to complete development work in the zone as soon as possible and ensure provision of electricity, water and all other basic facilities.

It was informed in the meeting that industrialists from all over the country were taking interest for establishing industries in the Gwadar industrial zone and so far 200 applications had been received by the provincial government.

The meeting also approved the appointment of consultants for the development of the industrial zone and ensured that the interests of the investors would be protected. The proposed zone would be made the country's best industrial zone offering more incentives and all necessary facilities to the industrialists to attract investment.

Meanwhile, the chief minister chairing a separate meeting also held in Hub on Monday approved the development of Singhar Housing Scheme and allotment of plots in the phase-5 of the scheme.

The meeting reviewed the affairs of the housing scheme and approved transfer of plots and directed the concerned authorities to ensure collection of transfer fee. It also sanctioned Rs2 million for laying of transmission line for the scheme.

The chief minister on the occasion directed the concerned officials to ensure provision of all required facilities in the housing scheme as early as possible so that the owners could start construction of their plots.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/12/ebr8.htm







Army to stay in Balochistan: Musharraf

By Mubashir Hassan
LAHORE - Emphasising the need for a political solution to the Balochistan issue, President Pervez Musharraf Monday warned that saboteurs launching attacks on Sui fields would be eliminated forever.
“Nobody would be allowed to attack Sui fields,” the President said in categorical terms while addressing a mammoth public rally at Kasur.
The President announced Rs 550 million development package for Kasur District for the provision of gas, electricity and construction of roads.
He also unveiled the plaque of Lahore-Gandasingh Road project that would be completed within a year at a cost of Rs. 2 billion. The President performed this ceremony at the venue of public meeting at the KPS School due to security reasons.
Musharraf said this route would be opened after resolution of all disputes with India.
Punjab Chief Minister, Ch. Pervaiz Elahi and Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri also addressed the gathering while Punjab Governor, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Khalid Maqbool, Defence Minister, Rao Skinder Iqbal, District Nazim Kasur, Rana Imtiaz, President PML, Kasur, Sardar Muhammad Tufail and members of Punjab cabinet were also present on the occasion.
Musharraf said the government was in favour of political solution to Balochistan, but at the same time, no one would be allowed to fire even a single shot in Sui area. Whosoever dared to do so would be eliminated, he added.
He said army has been stationed in the troubled areas, and would remain there till normalcy returns. Musharraf, however, said no military operation was going on in Balochistan.
He said Pakistan was created for the Muslims, and whosoever tried to damage its integrity it, would be eliminated.
The President reiterated that country was facing danger from the inner elements and not from outside.
He said the government had done a lot for Balochistan uplift, but certain elements did not want prosperity of the people there. They were, instead, interested in their own well being, he added.
Criticising Baloch Sardars, Musharraf said: “We have asked them to tell us their requirements with regard to gas, electricity and road network, but they don’t want all this”, he maintained, adding “they don’t represent the Baloch people because their representatives are sitting in the government’.
In an indirect reference to Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the President said one person with little standing in the area, was bent upon destroying peace in the province.
He said Pushtoons account for half of Balochistan’s population, and the government was trying that both Baloch and Pushtoon equally benefit from development programmes.
He also termed overall law and order situation in the country as satisfactory, as, according to him, foreign terrorists have been wiped out from its soil.
While exhorting upon the people not to support the extremist forces, President Musharraf said extremism was highly dangerous for the country.
“I cannot guarantee country’s security, if extremism continues to flourish unabated”, he warned, adding “if you vote for extremists, it is tantamount to voting for Pakistan’s destruction”.
“We have to stop extremism because it would lead the country towards destruction”, he said, and added that “people spreading hatred using mosques, loudspeakers, proactive literature and pamphlets were paving the way for country’s destruction”.
Musharraf dispelled the impression that government had initiated the process of national reconciliation under the US pressure, saying “we don’t take dictation from that country”.
“Neither Pakistan sent its forces to Iraq nor did it vote in the UN Security Council as per its desires”, he asserted.
In an implicit reference to Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, the President said certain people sitting outside the country were bent upon defaming the country.
“They don’t want that credit of country’s development should go to the present government”.
Musharraf said Pakistan has acquired a respectable status in the comity of nations, especially among the Muslim Ummah owing to its vibrant foreign policy, and the credit goes to Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri.
He said Pakistan has taken lead in unifying the Muslim Ummah by activating the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). The next meeting in this regard, he said, would be held at Islamabad.
After hectic efforts by the Pakistan Government, he said, the draft agreement aiming at re-structuring of the OIC would be approved soon at Makka with the signatures of member countries of the organisation.
Lauding the diplomatic skills of Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, Pervez Musharraf said, he (Kasuri) has done a great job for Pakistan at the international level.
“I know to which extent the country has benefited from the abilities of Mr. Kasuri’, the President said, and asked the people to elect him in the next general elections.
Musharraf announced that 10 to 12 thousand new gas connections would be provided to the adjoining towns of Kasur including Allabad, Usmanwala, and Kanganpur, for which Rs 280 million have been allocated. He said the demand of the residents of Mustafabad in this regard, would also considered.
He also announced allocation of Rs 40 crores for construction of Kasur Ring Road, farm-to-market roads, rehabilitation of Rohi Nala and provision of safe drinking water to the residents of Kasur.
Musharraf, on this occasion, made mention of the economic development made by the country in the last five years.
Talking about various ongoing development projects, he said, coastal highway and Gawader projects were nearing completion apart from so many other development schemes that were in the pipeline. Brick lining of water channels across the country was also going on at a cost of Rs. 66 billion, he told.
He said for the first time in country’s history, the level of poverty and un-employment has gone down, and it would continue to rescind in the coming years.
Musharraf, however, said he had no ‘magic wand’ to end poverty overnight.
About price-hike, he said, “I have asked the PM and the four CMs to take adequate measures to bring down the prices’. He attributed the soaring prices of various commodities to sharp rise in the prices of petroleum products at the international level.
Highlighting country’s foreign policy achievements, Foreign Minister, Khurshid Kasuri said that, “we have developed strategic relationship with countries like US and China’.
Taking about Kashmir issue, he said it would be resolved when both countries show equal flexibility.
Gandasingh border would be opened only after normalisation of relations with India, he said.
Kasuri on this occasion presented a box containing miniature of Bullay Shah’s poetic work to President Musharraf.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister Ch Pervaiz Elahi said ‘adequate arrangements’ have been made to ‘deal’ with a PPP-P man when he arrives at Lahore on April 16.
“We have already successfully dealt with a PML (N) man who was packed and sent back to Saudi Arabia from the Lahore Airport,” he said.
“We would also deal with PPP-P man in an appropriate manner”, he added.
Without naming Benazir and Nawaz Sharif, Pervaiz Elahi said, they were sending “testers” in Punjab to gauge their popularity.
He highly criticised the PPP-P leadership for calling Asif Zardari “a Nelson Mandela of Pakistan”.
“How could a person be compared with Nelson Mandela when he was under trial on charges of corruption and murder”, the CM questioned.
“Please for God sake don’t desecrate the name of Mandela”, he asked PPP leaders.
Again, without naming the exiled leaders of the PPP-P and the PML (N), Pervaiz Elahi asked on what agenda the two have now joined hands.
“While sitting abroad, they don’t want to see the country on the path of development”, he asserted.
Criticising the MMA for launching protest movement against the government, Pervaiz Ealhi said, “they would themselves get jammed while trying to jam the wheel of country’s development”.
He said the 30 MMA detained workers, who attacked the participants of Gujranwala race, have been identified, and out of them only two were locals. The rest 28 belonged to NWFP districts of Bannu, Wana and Lakimarwat, he further told.



http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/apr-2005/12/index1.php



Govt responsible for Dera Bugti crisis: JWP

Says restoration of 1973 Constitution, due share in gas royalty only solution to issue

By our correspondent

SHEIKHUPURA: The restoration of 1973 Constitution in letter and spirit and due share in Sui gas royalty is the only solution to Balochistan issue.

This was stated by Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) Deputy Secretary-General Sardar Abdul Rauf Khan Sasoli at a press conference here on Monday. He said the Baloch nation was true Pakistani and patriotic. "They would not hesitate even to sacrifice their lives to safeguard and protect the solidarity and integrity of the country," he added. He refuted the government claims that the Balochis were destroying or damaging the gas pipelines and other sensitive installations in the province. He said they were the protectors and defenders of the installations since 1954. "Therefore, the government allegations in this connection are baseless and fabricated," he added.

Abdul Rauf held the government responsible for the disruption and disturbance prevailing now-a-days in Balochistan. The government is intending to capture the natural resources of the province only to please its foreign masters, he said.

He said the government was hatching conspiracy to rehabilitate about 3.5 million people from other parts of the country in Balochistan to outnumber 5.5 million Balochis. He warned the government to refrain from taking such steps, as it would further aggregate the situation, the JWP leader said. He said the government was not sincere in resolving the Balochistan issue. "If the government really wants to resolve the issue, it should withdraw security forces from Balochistan and also abolish trenches set up in Dera Bugti and Sui areas," he added.

Replying to a question about the resent meeting of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain with JWP chief Nawab Akbar Bugti, he said that as such no implementation took place, which were decided in the meeting.

The PPP district president Altaf Hussain Virk, who was also present on this occasion, told journalists that the General Musharaf regime was creating such circumstances, which had caused East Pakistan debacle in 1971. The problems could only be resolved through negotiation and not by power, he added. Asif said that on the arrival of Asif Ali Zardari at the Lahore airport on April 16, he would be accorded red-carpet welcome.

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

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Appeal from Dr Jumma Khan Marri , Chairman Baloch Unity Organisation

Stop crying stand up and fight.


Dear friends,



First of all we strongly condemn the unwarranted illegal arrest of Baloch political leaders we condemn all types of atrocities committed by Pakistani state agencies against an individual or against whole Nations like Baloch and Sindhis.



The arrest of Imdad Baloch and his friends should not be a surprise for any one, we are unfortunate to live in a country where there are no laws, all laws are for only few individuals who can dictate their power to all the rest, and those individuals are not hiding to any one they are in Military uniform.



They use their power against any one who goes against their will they need total obedience from the masses they need slaves and all of us under their rule have become slaves if we speak they do exactly the way they did with Imdad Baloch the way they did in Marri camp they way they did in Sui and Dera Bugti.



What Baloch nationalist parties can do they are helpless; people demonstrate in democracies and the democratically elected governments notice those demonstrations because they will seek their votes for reelections.



But in Pakistan Govts are not afraid from their public opinions because they do not need their opinions as they can frame elections according to their own wishes the so called elections in Pakistan is known as selection, so they do not need us and our opinions.



Nevertheless, we are living in a police state where no opposition is accepted by state all the so called laws are blocked by generals and state police what we see is just fraction the real injustices are hidden from public.



My request to BSO is that, do not cry and blame Baloch nationalists parties or any other organisations, students organisations around the world are and were leading forces to bring changes.



Create unity among your ranks stop this divisions between BSO and fight for your rights along with other healthy forces of Baloch nationalist movements then only we can achieve our rights.



Baloch unity assures you their full help and support ready to go with you in any length to fight and achieve Baloch national rights, we shall stop the war of wards but be more practical then we see the difference I call for action, action right now.



In our view their can be no justice and there was never any with out a fight all these so called negotiations are tactics to dived and brake Baloch unity and create hurdles in our path to prolong their time to built more army cantonments and built new settlements on Baloch lands for Punjabi and Muhajir land grabbers.



We all know all these facts yet we look here and there and we listen and write different slogans for what it is time to declare war on Baloch enemies.



Yet many Baloch prefer negotiations will it give any results, I assure you it might satisfy few individuals or groups of people but will never meet Baloch grievances in general.



We are losing our young generations in an undeclared war; this war has been declared by Paki state long before they are destroying our youth in preplanned way.



They are targeting our youth with deadly weapons, which leave no smoke, and sound that is drugs.



They are almost freely and openly available in Baloch towns and cities and our youth is helped by agencies to get these drugs almost free and Baloch youth having no jobs and are left with no purposes to live are getting addicted with drugs to kill their pain and close their eyes from their helplessness.



They look around no where to go and with depression not only they kill their own future but they kill Baloch national future along with themselves we must fight to stop this madness and brake this great conspiracy against our nation time is less and we must be in hurry.



Drugs are almost unheard in Punjab but they are freely available for Baloch and Sindhi youth.



Today due to lack of jobs, the biggest numbers of Baloch youth in south and western parts of Balochistan are getting addicted in drugs lawlessness is big problem in Karachi especially in Baloch localities.



Baloch youth today are leaving Balochistan in great numbers in search of jobs to survive and are being recruited by drug lords where their lives are just hanging on piece of thread.



Baloch are discriminated in every sphere of life there is no need to count in which fields there is absolute discrimination never heave I seen any where in world.



Pakistani ISI is very active in Balochistan and hunts down any body who opens mouth to say give our rights they are given special task to deal with mostly very vocal people and bring them in their folds what ever the coast.



The way they kidnapped Imdad Baloch is proof of that, I am sure they will first try to buy him if unsuccessful they will blackmail him to surrender even they failed in their blackmail they will simply articulate some false case against him and put him behind bars.



It looks like that govt is having some success in their efforts to dived Baloch Nationalist forces today they are dealing with Mr. Bugti to cut a deal with him about the problems only in Sui and Dera Bugti area.



Then tomorrow with mediations of Akbar Bugti they might cut a deal with Khair Bux Marri about the problems in Marri lands and then with Attaullah Mengal and so on.



I wish I could be wrong but I am afraid the main Baloch issues will be neglected and forgotten with such a selected way of resolving Baloch national problems.



Baloch should be in no illusions that through negotiations with dictators and one nation hegemony shall we resolve our burning problems.



The only way to get our freedom is fighting and only through hard and dedicated struggle, we can and should get our right. No crying and requests will give us our rights.



Many Baloch say that by fighting, we will lose many Baloch lives I reply even if we lose half of Baloch population that is worth fighting it is better less but free blood is renewable but freedom lost might never come again.



Look at the history of all great nations, they all came out of ruins from great battles had they surrendered they would lose and would be history.



Russian lost more then 25 million people in second world war only should they surrendered today than 1/5 of the worlds land mass would not be under them the Japanese and Germans would have divided her among themselves.



Baloch already lost and got their country divided among three countries if we keep on our struggle in this way tomorrow we will lose the rest also this time forever and legally as we are busy selling our lands to immigrants for profits.



The aliens will settle on the best parts of our lands and control all our resources through international cooperative companies.



Then we will have to struggle not only with Punjabi settlers but also with legal international companies who invested their money on our row materials for their factories and companies, these international companies can easily force their govt’s to back their business interests and Baloch will be thrown out again this time by these international corporatives companies.



It is better to stand together and fight the honourable war as stated by the great Tipu Sultan,

It is better to live like a lion one day then to live like a fox hundred years.



Baloch unity on its part has taken this understanding that there can be no peace and negotiations we have chosen the path of freedom, freedom can be achieved only through sacrifices and we are ready along with other Baloch nationalist force to fight for it, if we find any body with any kind of under table settlements we will reject such deals and ask all Baloch leaders to be sincere with Baloch cause if other wise Baloch will severely punish those who sell out Baloch national interests.



I call upon Baloch to stand up and fight as your survival is at stake!



Sincerely yours,



Dr Jumma Khan Marri.



Chairman Baloch Unity Organisation

Release BSO leaders and All other political activists of Balochistan

Release BSO leaders

and

All other political activists of Balochistan

http://www.radiobalochi.org/release_bso_leaders.htm
http://www.radiobalochi.org/balochistan_rights_watch.htm


It has been over a week that several prominent political activists of Balochistan disappeared in Karachi. Dr Imdad Baloch the Chairman of United Baloch Student Organisation along with Dr Alah-Nizar Baloch the former Chairman of BSO­­(united), Dr Yosouf Baloch and Mr Mohd Naseem were abducted by some unknown people in Karachi.



They earlier days actively participated in a demonstration to raise awareness on tense situation in Balochistan in front of Press Club in Karachi. They vehemently expressed their opposition to any military intervention and operation in Balochistan and demanded the full and complete withdrawal of military from Balochistan so that a politically negotiated solution on the democratic rights of Balochistan could be found. They as prominent member of the BSO­(united) protested and rallied against the arrest of several Baloch students, and demanded their immediate and unconditional release as the student were arrested merely for expression of thoughts.



There is no evidence that their disappearance is related to criminals as no ransom demand has been made. There is every indication that the Pakistani secret service agencies are behind there disappearance. It is a common practice by these Pakistani agencies to commit such illegal action as they have been doing abduction of political activists throughout Balochistan in the past few months to silence the Baloch activists and democratic cry of people of Balochistan. The government of Pakistan has a policy of denial in this respect, but several Baloch activists after months of disappearance ended up in ‘Koli camp’ in Quetta. There are several people being held under tortutre and degrading conditions in Koli with no trial. To name few, Mr Tariq Nami and Mr Saleh-Mohd Gowhram Nami from Turbat after nine moths of detention are still being interrogated by army special agents without trial.



To patronise the people of Balochistan and suppress the democratic movement in Balochistan, the Musharraf government had given sweeping powers to police and army in Balochistan whereas the elected Nazims (mayors) of Balochistan had been made powerless. To this effect recently police issued arrest warrants on Mir Wahdood Raisani, chief of Raisani Qaumi Ittehad, for taking part in a demonstration in front of Balochistan Assembly on March 18 against the killing of 62 innocent people in Dera Bugti. The police had raided houses in Marri Camp and Killi Qamrani, insulting women and pressuring them into quitting the Balochistan National Movement.



The kidnapping of National Party President Dr Hayee, former education minister and member of central committee of NP Dr Abdulmaalik Baloch and another prominent leader of NP last month is a prime example of Pakistani agencies action and approach towards the Baloch activists and the problem of Balochistan as a whole. The Musharraf’s government and the Pakistani army are resorting to their so called mighty force to deal with issues in Balochistan.

Openly though they talk of a political solution, but repeatedly act to the contrary. That is the reason for the marked surge of arbitrary arrest and disappearance of political activists in Balochistan. Many of activists are also being detained in Gwadar and Khuzdar.



Balochistan Rights Watch is extremely concerned on the plight of BSO’s chairman Dr Imdad Baloch and his colleagues and other disappeared Baloch activist. BRW holds the Pakistani government and its army solely responsible for their illegal acts and unreservedly deplores the suppression of freedom and expression of thought in Balochistan by the Pakistani intelligence agencies. Expression of thoughts and freedom are universal rights enshrined in the Declaration of Human Rights, hence Baloch people and activists will defend their fundamental rights and no act of sabotage by Musharraf and his mighty power from military could dishearten their courageous and firm stand for justice and their democratic rights.



BRW demands the immediate and unconditional release of all political detainees of Balochistan as well as in all Pakistan. BRW is committed to work for the rights of Balochistan and shall use its role in presenting a fair picture of situation in Balochistan, and onerously make efforts to expose the atrocities and unjust approaches of Pakistani rulers for this matter in Balochistan.





Balochistan Rights Watch

April 2005

balochwatch@yahoo.com

Balochistan Rights Watch

Balochistan Rights Watch



Balochistan Rights Watch is formed to work for the democratic rights of Balochistan. The current tense political situation in Balochistan demands that this body shall take concerted steps to bring the issues of Balochistan to the open and highlight them in international community. The authorities of Pakistan and Iran have been depicting the issues of Balochistan as of tribal and narcotic nature to deviate attentions from the core problems that people of Balochistan are facing.



It is the aim of the Balochistan Rights Watch to defend the rights of Balochistan.



Balochistan Rights Watch’s formation is an effort alongside with other groups, bodies and parties in Balochistan and worldwide to work for the rights of Balochistan and prosperity of Balochistan. The Balochistan Rights Watch’s task is to present the real issues of Balochistan and pacify the unsubstantiated allegations of Pakistani and Iranian authorities on people of Balochistan throughout the international community by lobbying and writing on issues of Balochistan to United Nations, heads of states, non-governmental organisations and other relevant bodies.



Balochistan Rights Watch appeals to every activist to help us in achieving our aim by providing only reliable and honest information on Balochistan. Articles on history, cultural and socio-economic issues, demography, political activities, historical facts and data are of indispensable value to make our commitment tangible and relevant to the rights of Balochistan. Therefore Balochistan Rights Watch’s task is largely depends on contribution of Baloch intelligentsia and activists from every walks of life in Balochistan and throughout the world.



Balochistan Rights Watch earnestly seeks media’s attention and collaboration as it is vital to the success of our efforts.

April 2005

balochwatch@yahoo.com

Four rockets hit Kohlu ,Musharraf wants more autonomy for Balochistan

Four rockets hit Kohlu

QUETTA: Four rockets slammed into Kohlu on Wednesday, shattering windows at several homes, an official said. No one was reported injured in the attack.

Two rockets landed in a field near the homes of Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) workers in Kohlu, said Frontier Corps Lt Col Rizwan Malik. The two other rockets hit a wall around the houses. The blasts shattered windows but no one was injured, he added.

No one claimed responsibility and Lt Col Malik would not speculate who might be behind the attack.

Separately, saboteurs destroyed four power transformers by shooting at them in the Nushki area on Wednesday, resulting in a complete power blackout. The saboteurs managed to escape.

Concerned authorities are working to restore electricity to the area. ap

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_7-4-2005_pg7_6



JAC seminar slams army role in Balochistan

Staff Report

LAHORE: Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday condemned the establishment of cantonments in Balochistan and military operations in the province.

The people of Balochistan have been denied their rights for many years, said IA Rehman, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan director, at the seminar titled ‘Balochistan issue and our responsibilities’. He said that the tribal system in Balochistan was a non-issue. He said the government was making lame excuses and the issue was really about provincial autonomy and human rights.

The seminar was arranged by the Joint Action Committee for Peoples’ Rights at the Dorab Patel Auditorium of the HRCP.

Meanwhile, a statement issued on Wednesday by the HRCP recounted recent instances in which leaders of opposition parties, including parliamentarians in Sindh and Punjab, had been booked under terrorism laws and said that it was “deeply disturbed” by the information. The statement said, “The HRCP believes that the draconian law is being used in an attempt to intimidate members of the political opposition and prevent them from participating in public rallies. Reports that threats have also been made that anyone participating in a protest will be tried under Anti Terrorism Act provisions add to our concern.”

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_7-4-2005_pg7_14



Musharraf wants more autonomy for Balochistan’

* Shujaat says decision on Sindh’s political crisis in 48 hours

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League (PML) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said on Wednesday that the government would not allow anyone to commit excesses against the people of Balochistan.

“President Pervez Musharraf is in favour of giving more autonomy to Balochistan apart from its due share of rights,” Chaudhry Shujaat told Sher Ali Mazari, Nawab Akbar Bugti’s nominee for the three-member Bugti-government committee set up to implement the recommendations of the parliamentary committee on Balochistan, on Wednesday.

Recalling his meeting with Akbar Bugti, Chaudhry Shujaat said all three rounds were successful and “we have agreed to move the process forward”. He also reiterated that the government had given priority to developing Pakistan’s largest federating unit in comparison to the other three provinces.

“No efforts will be spared to remove the deprivations of the Balochis. However, the objections and suspicions of some circles of our efforts to tackle Balochistan’s problems are regrettable,” he added.

The government was taking all steps to settle Balochistan and the opposition should not politicise the issue for political gain, he said, adding that Balochistan would be prioritised in future development projects and the province’s people would not be ignored.

He also made it clear that national installations countrywide including in Sui would be protected at all cost. Chaudhry Shujaat and PML Secretary General Mushahid Hussain called on President Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday. They briefed the president about their tour of India and their meetings with Indian leaders in New Delhi. They also told the president about the progress of the parliamentary committee’s political consultations on Balochistan.

A decision regarding Sindh’s political crisis would be announced within the next forty-eight hours, PML president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain told a 300-member delegation of the PML’s Karachi chapter at Punjab House in Islamabad on Wednesday.

About PML Karachi’s president Bostan Ali Hoti and general secretary Aman Paracha’s resignation, Shujaat told activists not to be disappointed and the central leadership would take decisions on its workers’ problems on priority.

He praised the party’s “coordination at grass root level in Karachi” as a historical achievement, adding that the centre would sponsor Karachi division at all levels. Disciplinary action would be taken against anyone trying to raise a parallel party organisation, he warned.

PML general secretary Mushahid Hussain Sayyed said that a decision had been taken about Sindh’s political standoff, adding, “ A Karachi organisation has been established with the consultation of the centre.” He said the delegation was ample evidence that PML Karachi served as role model in party organisation. agencies

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_7-4-2005_pg7_39



No compromise on Baloch rights: Bugti

ISLAMABAD: Nawab Akbar Bugti, Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) president, on Wednesday said he would not compromise on the rights of Balochis despite continuing talks with Pakistan Muslim League (PML) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and PML Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Syed. Bugti told BBC that a monitoring and implementation committee had been set up to resolve the crisis, but he would not disclose the details so that no one could derail the process. He said the committee led by Mushahid Hussain had started work and would review the proposals before making a final decision. Mushahid Hussain, while talking to BBC, also refused to reveal the details of the five-hour talks he and Chaudhry Shujaat held with Bugti for the third time. However, he said they had decided to form a three-member committee which would implement the decisions taken during the negotiations. Mushahid said Sher Ali Mazari would represent Bugti on the committee while the deputy inspector general of the Frontier Corps would represent the government. The third member of the committee will be the person whom both parties trust, he added. Mushahid, who is also a senator of the ruling PML, said both sides – the government and Bugti – had decided not to make their discussions public unless all issues related to the situation in Dera Bugti and Sui had been finalised. He said the general public was anxious to know if the tension in Balochistan had been defused and peace had been restored in the province. “All these things are happening. There was a crisis but it has been averted,” Mushahid added. sana

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_7-4-2005_pg7_40



Biggest gas terminal in Quetta planned



By Saleem Shahid


QUETTA, April 6: The biggest gas terminal of the country is being established in Quetta for supplying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to the rest of the country after finalizing a gas import project with Turkmenistan.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Mir Mohammad Yousuf disclosed this during a meeting with the director general, National Logistic Cell (NLC), Major Gen Khalid Zaheer Akhtar, here on Wednesday.

He said that with the establishment of a gas terminal in Quetta over 1,500 local people would get jobs while LPG would be sent all over the country through NLC tankers. He said that the NLC would also launch container service for sending goods from Gwadar port to the Central Asian States.

The provincial chief minister said that Balochistan would prove to be the hub of economic and business activities in future and would also play an important role in boosting international trade due to its geographic importance.

He said that boosting of international trade from Gwadar to Taftan and Chaman was an important project of the country and for this purpose trade stations and warehouses would be constructed at various points on the Taftan-Quetta and Gwadar-Quetta highways.

"Around 3,000 jobs would be available with the establishment of trade stations and warehouses in Balochistan," Jam Yousuf said in the meeting. He said that trade centres would also be set up in Chaman and Taftan, and he added that land had been acquired in the border town of Chaman for establishing a trade centre and soon construction work on it would start.

He said that the federal government would provide funds and the provincial government would acquire land for these trade centres. The Balochistan chief minister said that Quetta would be the hub of trade and business activities as trade would be increased with neighbouring countries after completion of the Gwadar port and import of LPG from Turkmenistan.

He said that the government was also taking steps for constructing and repairing important national highways in the province so that trade activities could be boosted. The director general, NLC, briefed the meeting about its projects being launched in the province.

The additional chief secretary, Planning and Development, Major (retd) Nadir Ali; the senior member, Board of Revenue; the secretary, Communication, and other officials concerned also attended the meeting.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/07/top10.htm



Rehabilitation project for Balochistan planned: Areas facing problems because of refugees



By Our Staff Correspondent


QUETTA, April 6: Federal Minister for States and Frontier Region (Safron) Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind has said a rehabilitation programme will soon be launched in areas which have faced problems because of Afghan refugees.

He was talking to newsmen on Wednesday at the ceremony of handing over 200 tents by UNHCR Pakistan Chief Guenete Guebre Christos donated for flood affected people of Dhadar area of Balochistan.

The minister said the government was making all out efforts for the early repatriation of Afghan refugees to their homeland. He said the influx of Afghan refugees had put a great burden on the economy and had increased the problems of local people.

"Residential areas were badly affected because of the presence of Afghan refugees in various cities and towns of Pakistan for the last 25 years," Sardar Rind said, adding that the UNHCR has for the first time promised to extend financial assistance and cooperation to the government for the rehabilitation of local population.

He said that other international donors would also join hands with the UNHCR in the rehabilitation work and soon a conference would be organized in Islamabad. Earlier, the UNHCR country chief said that the UN organization would provide all possible help for the rehabilitation of the people affected by the presence of Afghan refugees. He said the UNHCR would also cooperate in the completion of two water projects in Bolan district.

VIOLATION: The Balochistan Bar Association has demanded that the government should strictly implement the verdict of Supreme Court in the elevation of judges for the apex court in order to uphold the merit of seniority list.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday Mohammad Wasay Tareen president of the BBA said that government should respect the Supreme Court's unanimous judgment of 1996 in Al-Jihad trust judges case that has determined the appointment in the apex court.

"The government in violation of the judgment of Supreme Court has elevated two judges from NWFP and Sindh that deprived the senior most Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court to be promoted as judge in the Supreme Court," Mr Wasay claimed.

He said that President Musharraf and other high officials of the federal government have verbally committed to allay the deprivation in Balochistan but in practice the government negates its promises while referring to recent promotions in Supreme Court.

The president of BBA claimed that violation of the seniority list in elevation of judges would badly affect the junior judges of BHC to be promoted as chief justice in the court.

He also regretted over the remarks expressed by the chief justice of Supreme Court and senior most judge of the court in today's newspapers on the elevation of judges stating that government and judges should honour the verdict of the court in judges case.

POLICEMAN KILLED: A police constable was killed and another injured when unknown armed men opened indiscriminate fire on them near Nawan Killi area, late Tuesday night.

According to police sources, constables Habibullah and Tariq Javed caught from Bashirbad area involved in motorcycle snatching. When the policemen were taking the accused to airport police station two armed men intercepted them near Nawan Killi and opened fire with automatic weapons, injuring the policemen seriously.

The armed men fled. The senior police officers took both the injured policemen to civil hospital where Habibullah died. The condition of constable Tariq Javed is also serious.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/07/nat10.htm

Recovery of Baloch activists demanded



By Our Staff Reporter


KARACHI, April 6: The Balochistan Yekjehti Committee has appealed to the chief justice of Sindh High Court to take suo moto notice for the recovery of Dr Imdad Baloch, chairman, Balochistan Students Organization (Muttahida), and his colleagues

Imdad Baloch and Yusuf Baloch, Ghulam Rasool Allah Nazar, Naseem Baloch, Nawaz Ali, Akhtar Nadeem and others were arrested by the law-enforcement on the night between March 24 and 25 from Gulistan-i-Jauhar and were shifted to unknown place.

The committee, comprising Jamhoori Watan Party, National Workers Party, Communist Mazdoor Kisan Party, Communist Party of Pakistan, Labour Party, Mazdoor Kisan Party, Baloch National Movement, Baloch Rights Council, BSO Alliance, and Christian Democratic Union, pointed out that even after 13 days of their arrest, their whereabouts are still unknown and they have not been produced in any court.

Speaking at a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Wednesday, BYC leaders Ghulam Mohammad, Mohammad Salem Baloch, Omar Baloch, Salem Akhtar, Alta Ahmad, and Afar Galician said they were being threatened by agencies.

They made an appeal to the people to take up the Balochistan issue seriously and expose the repression of the people of Balochistan as it was no more an issue of Dera Bugti alone, but of entire of Pakistan.

On one side, the government was holding talks with Baloch leaders and on the other, their colleagues were being kidnapped. Terming the recovery of arms of Rs 50 million and siege of 350 soldiers in Dera as a conspiracy to pit Pakistani people against each other, they said the conscientious people of Pakistan would not be hoodwinked by the government.

They said that recent army action in Dera Bugti, where army had been brought during last two and half years, 67 people were killed including 32 Hindus. Accusing the government of unleashing state sponsored terrorism, they held the government responsible for the situation in Dera Bugti while Baloch people had so far adopted positive attitude.

"The government has been preparing for invasion by blocking supply of food and other eatable items in Kohlu and Kahan area. Those who were arrested on the eve of PONM strike on March 31 were yet to be released while launching army operation in Kali Qambrani, Misri camps women and children were being harassed and dozens of labourers were arrested.

These actions of the administration had created a new wave of unrest in Balochistan." They warned that construction of cantonments, Gwadar Port and so-called development projects the people of Balochistan were being forced to launch their resistance movement for attainment of their rights.

They said people of Balochistan did not need more cantonments as they wanted that instead of spending billions of rupees on mega projects, these should be utilized for providing basic amenities to the people who were more in need of roads, potable water, health and education facilities.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/07/nat11.htm

Arrest of Ponam workers criticized



By Bureau report


PESHAWAR, April 6: The Awami National Party has condemned the arrests of political workers during the strike called by the Pakistan Oppressed Nations' Movement on March 31.

According to a press release issued here on Wednesday, ANP's provincial organizing secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain alleged that the operators of secret agencies had ransacked private property on the University Road on the strike day.

He claimed that agencies' operators on purpose tried to make the event unsuccessful. He said the ANP took part in the strike "just for the goodwill of the poor masses". He paid tribute to volunteers who had "made the strike successful".

He said the government failed in its duty to provide security to the people. Raising voice for their demands was the basic right of the poor people, who were the main victims of price hike, he said. Suppressing the voice of people was an undemocratic act, he added. He demanded immediate release of all the detained activists.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/07/nat12.htm

KARACHI: Writ of law in Lyari demanded



By Our Staff Reporter


KARACHI, April 6: Speakers at a conference urged the government to take effective measures for the restoration of peaceful conditions in Lyari Town.

Entitled Peace and Lyari, the conference was organized by the Sindh National Council and chaired by its leader Dr Dodo Mehri.

The speakers attributed the ongoing gang-war and lawlessness in Lyari to the 'crime mafias' indulged in promoting drug trafficking. At the same time, they argued, the government could not absolve itself from the responsibility to establish it's writ. They said that the recurring incidents of killings and lawlessness had forced many families to move out of the area.

They regretted that the image of the locality was being tarnished and a false impression was being created that "it is a haven for criminal elements." In fact, they said, the locality had always been an 'island of peace' which had produced great personalities like Sir Haji Abdullah Haroon and Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi.

After the Partition also, Lyari had played a significant role in the struggle of democracy and towards achieving national rights for Sindh and Balochistan. The speakers criticized the role of political parties which, they said, had failed to perform their duties. They stressed the need for unity among people to foil conspiracies being hatched by vested interests to pit them against each other.

They were of the view that the performance of elected representatives was not up to the mark, and claimed that they were merely interested in minting money and seeking privileges while their constituencies still lacking essential basic facilities like water and power.

Those who spoke at the conference included Hussain Bakhsh Thebo, Bagh Ali Bughio and Lal Bakhsh Rind alias Comrade Lala Rind. In his concluding remarks, Dr Dodo Mehri highlighted the importance of Lyari Town and role of its people in the freedom movement and struggle for democracy.

He observed that crime mafias had hatched a conspiracy to destroy peaceful conditions in Lyari so that people of the locality could not play any role in the struggle of Sindh and Balochistan for their rights.

He urged youth of the locality to come forward and expose anti- people conspiracies by holding peace rallies in the area. The conference also adopted a number of resolutions demanding effective measures against unemployment among the youth and water shortage in Lyari. It also opposed the division of Hyderabad into four districts and urged people foil conspiracies against Sindh with full unity.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/07/local4.htm

QUETTA: ATC sends 35 PMAP men to jail



By Our Correspondent


QUETTA, April 6: The Anti-Terrorism Court No1 has sent 35 members of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) on judicial remand to jail for creating chaos on the streets during the wheel-jam strike in Pishin.

The police submitted the charge sheet against 38 people and 35 of them were produced before the court on Wednesday. The judge, Muhammad Shaukat Rakshani, declared the remaining three people nominated in the case as proclaimed offenders for not appearing before the court.

The Pishin police had arrested PMAP activists on March 31 on the charges that they attempted to block the road when the governor was going to Yaro to inaugurate the foundation of a private university.

Meanwhile, the Quetta police the other day released 31 workers of the Balochistan National Party (Mengal) who had been arrested on the day of the wheel-jam strike from Sariab for burning tyres on the road and pelting stones on vehicles.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/04/07/local23.htm

The master mediator

AZIZ-UD-DIN AHMAD
Ch Shujaat Hussain has made a third visit to Dera Bugti. A fortnight back, he had announced he would continue to hold daily sessions of the Senate committee on Balochistan till its report was finalized. Next day, he left for India leaving the committee high and dry. Instead of calling the committee meeting on his return, he again embarked on his shuttle diplomacy. Whatever results it has produced so far continue to be secret on his insistence.
Ch Shujaat might think he can resolve the China-Taiwan conflict during his forthcoming visit to Beijing, but he is likely to discover soon that he has lost credibility even with his late father's benefactor Nawab Akbar Bugti. The way the Chaudhry has been treated by those who matter in Islamabad has made him lose face a number of times and few think he is capable of delivering anything as far as Balochistan is concerned.
As Bugti has himself put it, the PML chief is sincere but does not have authority. The most recent example of his lack of leverage with those ruling from Islamabad is the failure to stop the ongoing friendly fire in Sindh. The threats to strip both Arbab Rahim and Sheikh Imtiaz from their party positions have turned out to be empty. The Arbab who enjoys the support of powerful quarters has continued with registering cases against the party president's protégé, who has found out that Ch Shujaat is a big cipher.
Over-the last few years the Chaudhry from Gujrat has tried to resolve political disputes in his favourite way of secret negotiations with a number of parties including the MQM, MMA, PPP, PML(N) and various factions of Muslim League.
The impression he has invariably conveyed is that he has little understanding of issues involved and no influence among those who send him for talks. The MMA was led to believe by him that General Musharraf would leave the military office by December 31 provided it supported the 17th Amendment. The alliance, which was desperately looking for some face saving device to continue to enjoy the government's favours readily agreed. It soon found it had been outmaneouvred by the wily general. Finally it concluded that the Chaudhry was no more than a decoy and broke off relations with him.
The master negotiator's attempts to rope in the PPP soon after the elections failed because the party thought it was no use talking to agents when it could directly bargain with the principals. It is indicative of his plight that while the regime has maintained contacts with the PPP over the last several years, it has not cared to take the PML president into confidence. That explains why he was taken by surprise when Sh Rashid maintained that talks had been held with Ms Bhuto's party for seats adjustment in the next election. First he denied this, then said perhaps the government was involved in the dialogue but the PPP leadership will have to talk to the PML before anything is finalized, little realizing that the role assigned to his party is to obediently follow the decisions made elsewhere.
Well briefed by the Indian Foreign Office about his real worth, the Congress leadership which had invited him did not care to send any party official to receive the PML delegation at Delhi airport. Another rebuff awaited him on his return to Pakistan. He told the press, as he had presumably told the Indians that he met, that clinging to UN resolution on Kashmir by Pakistan was sheer hypocrisy. Pat came the FO response: Pakistan's position on the core issue is still based on the UN resolutions and there could be no compromise on the basic position. This was an egg on his face.
He sometimes mumbles about the parliamentary committee headed by him not being allowed to work independently. Hidden hands, sometime in Islamabad, sometime in Balochistan have foiled whatever progress it had made. Secret diplomacy, which he considers his forte has however restrained him from disclosing their identity or the a committee's ground-breaking recommendations. Many think any recommendation not favoured by those who matter will always remain secret while those made public might be rejected by the nationalist parties in Balochistan. Mr Bugti might soon find he had been taken along the garden path much like the MMA.
Every meeting between Ch Shujaat and Bugti has been described as a breakthrough by the former. Little concrete however has so far emerged from the unending talks. Despite two sessions of parleys over the last two weeks and subsequent claims that the deadlock is over, the FC and the armed tribesmen face each other in eyeball to eyeball confrontation.
The Chaudhry says he has been given free hand by the President to work out a package. On several occasions he has promised like a potentate that Balochistan would get more than its people dream of. He has claimed his proposals have been accepted by the President and a surprise package is about to be announced. Four months have passed since the deadline given to his committee to finalize the recommendations elapsed. The people of Balochistan have been fed on promises without a single grievance having been redressed. In the meanwhile secret diplomacy continues.
The empty promises have added to the unrest in the province, which expresses itself both in militant acts and peaceful protests. Rail tracks and gas pipelines are being blown up, power transmission set up blasted, and rockets fired on FC posts. There is hardly a town in the province, which has not seen strikes and processions.
The opening ceremony of the Gwadar port, the government's showpiece in Balochistan, scheduled during the Chinese Premier recent visit has been postponed because of the precarious security situation in the area. The President says Bugti is only the chief of his tribe and has no right to speak on behalf of Balochistan. The Nawab retorts that the general has no business outside the GHQ.
Blissfully unaffected by all this Ch Shujaat continues his secret mission. He reports to the President what Bugti says and conveys to Bugti what General Musharraf wants. The arrangement suits those in control of Islamabad as this allows them time to create dissension in Balochistan, between tribal chiefs, nationalist parties and ethnic groups in order to continue to deny the province its rights. Many think he is no more than a letter box
E-mail: azizuddin@nation.com.pk

http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/apr-2005/7/columns3.php

Hail Chaudhry Sahib!

INAYATULLAH
Where does power reside? In Dera Bugti or in Islamabad? Who should know better than Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain!
Chaudhry Sahib, a known patriot as he is, has been keen to settle the unrest in Balochistan. If this meant seeking an audience with the Bugti chief, he was ready for it. But the trouble was that the Nawab wouldn't agree to receive him. Why, because he was skeptical of his credibility. That he lacked authority. Later when the situation got worse and a bloody clash had occurred between Bugti warriors and the semi-military forces and a parliamentary group had called on him, Mr Bugti agreed to meet Shujaat Sahib along with Mushahid Hussain.
Now Shujaat Sahib has already made three visits to the Dera, which reportedly have resulted in some sort of an agreement. The terms of the deal have been kept secret as these have yet to be cleared by the "boss". Bugti has also desired that as a part of the agreement, a monitoring team would also be appointed to ensure that the government of Pakistan keeps its word.
Amazing to see how the mighty government of Pakistan has had to stoop so low to see that its writs runs in a small part of the country. It is now an old story the way the rape incident was allowed to linger on, how the provincial government more or less remained a mere spectator (although law and order is essentially a provincial subject). Where did the government go wrong? It let things drift from bad to worse because power is concentrated in the hands of practically one man.
Neither the Prime Minister nor the parliament can take any significant decisions on their own. And the provincial government as I said is in no position to make any meaningful contribution to a problem, which is constitutionally within its bailiwick. Does it behove the top leader of the ruling party to shuttle back and forth between Dera Bugti and Islamabad and act virtually as a go-between creating an impression that a local lord is as (if not more) powerful as the combined governments of Pakistan and Balochistan. Obviously something is very wrong with the kingdom of "Denmark" as Shakespeare put it.
If this episode was indicative of a come down on the part of Mr Shujaat, his recent yatra to New Delhi projected him a larger than life politician. It was interesting to see him assume the posture of a mature politician commanding a lot of weight and prestige. We all know what his position is, how much authority he really enjoys and how he is authorized to take a stand on matters of importance. And yet he spoke in India with great confidence on matters of high policy. Here I will focus on his observations on the Kashmir issue.
Chaudhry Sahib stated that Pakistan should give up its "hypocrisy" about the United Nations Resolutions on Kashmir. By saying so, wasn't he speaking India's language on the issue? After all what is the basis of Pakistan's case on Kashmir? If you take out the UN Security Council's resolutions, what are you left with? Our whole justification for our involvement with the fate and future of Kashmiris springs from our internationally recognized position as a legitimate party to the dispute relating to the occupied state.
Only someone ignorant of this hard fact can even hint at doing away with the UN resolutions. What more would Indian like to have in the matter from a Pakistani leader? If we wash our hands off our locus standi, why should India talk to us at all. On what grounds? India already considers Kashmir its internal matter. I wonder if Shujaat Sahib is even remotely cognizant of the damage he unwittingly has done to Pakistan's case on Kashmir.
This is not all. Our great leader went one step further. While the Indian leaders he met were telling him to stop the alleged cross-border terrorism he was hasty enough to respond with the remark, at a reception in New Delhi that we, both Indians and Pakistanis should not be afraid of terrorists. By implication conceding that those struggling for freedom in Kashmir are terrorists.
This must have been music to Indian ears. It appears that Ali Shah Geelani's plaints expressed during his meeting with the Q league leader fell flat on him. Does Mr Shujaat know what is presently going on in the occupied state? Is he aware of the fact that India has stepped up the brutal repression in Kashmir? Iftikhar Gilani, a credible journalist writing in a Pakistan weekly has given a graphic account of the increase in the atrocities perpetrated by the Indian troops there.
The excitement about the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Bus Service, he writes, has been dampened with the return of search operations and crackdowns in many parts of the state. And the new mopping up operations have started even though according to the state home minister, incidents of violations have decreased by 50% since 2002. India has also, reports Iftikhar, begun hunting political leaders.
According to him a list of 5000 people has been prepared for arresting them under PSA - the Public Safety Act. Ali Shah Geelani's frustration was not without reason. He has cause to be aggrieved at the unending atrocities and the arrests of his close colleagues. No wonder he stayed away from the reception at the Pakistan Embassy on March 23.
Chaudhry Shujaat while talking to senior journalists in Lahore on return from Delhi has said that he was very much impressed by the fact that on vital issues of national interest, the entire Indian elite - the government and the opposition "are united and speak with one voice", while "we lack such unity and consensus".
A good point but have you Chaudhry Sahib, ever done some thinking as to why it is so? Why in the face of intransigence and inflexibility on the part of Indian leadership did you unnecessarily show flexibility on issues of vital national importance? Do you think you were voicing the feelings of the people of Pakistan when you were dropping broad hints of abdicating our historic and vital stand on Kashmir flowing from unanimous UN Security Council Resolutions?
Was it politic on your part to echo the Indian position on the struggle going on in Kashmir? Did you realize that the government and the opposition in India have launched a vigorous and vicious campaign to keep us militarily weak by pressuring Washington not to sell F-16s to us?
Did you tell the Indians to be reasonable about the Baglihar dam and show some flexibility and not to go ahead with yet another dam on Kishan Ganga? Was it necessary for you to request Mr L K Advani to lay the foundation stone of a temple in Lahore while the Indians wouldn't even allow us to avail of the Quaid-i-Azam's Bombay house for the Pakistan consulate?
Let us have peace and normalisation with India by all means, Chaudhry Sahib but not entirely on India's terms and not at the expense of the poor Kashmiris and our vital national interests.
E-mail: pacade@brain.net.pk

http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/apr-2005/7/columns1.php

Balochs should not be deprived of their rights’

By Our Correspondent

HUMAN Rights Commission of Pakistan Director IA Rehman said there was a dire need to provide a sigh of relief to the people of Balochistan by allowing them to live a life of their own choice instead of depriving them of their basic rights.

He said this while addressing a seminar on ‘Balochistan’s situation and our responsibilities’ Wednesday under the auspices of Joint Action Committee for Peoples’ Rights.

He said necessary steps are yet to be taken to stop atrocities being perpetrated on the people of Balochistan.

Mazhar Leghari, programme officer South Asia Paternership, said in the wake of 27 large housing schemes being planned and built, the locals are not only being displaced from the Gwadar town but from the adjoining areas of Sur Bandar as well.

Gwadar Port Trust run by the uniformed people has cancelled the New Town housing scheme, the only scheme introduced by the district government for the fishermen. He said the old fish harbour has been evacuated and the fishermen have no place to park their boats and off load catch.

Deep-sea fishing rights have been contracted out solely to the trawlers mafia associated with the retired and working military officers.

Fishermen operating individually are barred from fishing into deep sea. Since last four years, fishermen have been restricted to fish within the limits of 12 nautical miles, he further maintained.

The population of Gwadar has increased from 52,000 to 100,000. The newcomers were mostly non-Baloch. The entire local population will be displaced as the projects allied to the port will be undertaken in the couple of years. There was no rehabilitation plan for those displaced.

He said estimates suggest the port city will attract million outsiders during the coming decade and in the following decade Gwadar will be a city of 5 million people mostly outsiders. He said this kind of development was giving rise to the perception among locals that they will be systematically turned into a minority in their own homeland just in one go.

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