Sunday, June 12, 2005

Statements of Baloch nationslists on the arrest of Durfishan Baloch

Baloch unity strongly condemns the arrests of BSO activists.

We all are deeply shocked and concerned with the news of the arrests of Durfishan Baloch and many other BSO activists in Quetta by Pakistani state agencies. We strongly condemn these arrests. And request the world community to condemn these illegal arrests and demand their immediate and unconditional release. We assure our BSO (united) that you are not alone in this long struggle and that we are all with you. Baloch unity and Baloch community from around the world demand unconditional and immediate release of all BSO leaders and political activists, who are being held illegally in secret locations By Pakistani Government agencies and are being tortured.

Dr Jumma Khan Marri
Baloch Unity

We all are deeply shocked and concerend with the news of
the arrest of Durfishan Baloch and other BSO activits in Quetta by Paki police. we condemn these arrests in the strongest terms possibl. Please let the BSO(united) know that you all are not alone in this struggle and that we are all with you . Baloch Society Of North America (BSO-NA) demands unconditional and immediate release all BSO leaders and political activists, who are being held illegally in secret locations By Paki Govt and are being tortured. Dr. Wahid Baloch, (BSO_NA), USA.

Allah Nazar wrote:
joint Secretary durufshan baloch and other many workers of BSO(united) arrested
According to the Central press release of BSO united today in the shatter down strike of BSO (united) Pakistani police arrested the joint Secretary of BSO and many other members of the Baloch Students Organization from SHALL(Quetta) , BSO strongly can dams the arrest of BSO leadership it is the chain of arresting BSO leadership just on 24march Central leadership was kidnapped and still 3 central leaders of BSO are missing these arrest cant stop Baloch Students Organization from the struggle for the right of self determination of Baluchistan

Baloch Students Organization

PAKISTAN - The Social Meltdown

The Social Meltdown

By: Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

The Dayaks of Borneo are famous for their head-hunting and shrinking the head which they used to display as coveted trophies. Considered primitive and uncivilized for their head hunting their violence was not the wanton violence that we today witness on the streets of Karachi and other Pakistani cities where worshipping places, shrines, Ulemas, political leaders and innocent people all become the victims of violence perpetrated by deranged minds who are certainly exhorted on to that sort of violence by even more remarkably warped ideologies and minds.

A Dayak head hunter considered it immoral to kill someone he didn’t know or didn’t have a score to settle with. The Dayaks were baffled when they learnt how the supposedly civilized people used bombs and other weaponry to kill and maim each other, killing of strangers and consequently the innocents with whom they had no feud with was something reprehensible and revolting to them because the wanton violence as practiced by the supposedly civilized societies had no place even in their primitive society. The so called uncivilized Dayaks were a lot more civil and refined in their violence than the people residing within the boundaries of this Islamic Republic. Here the violence is as wanton as it is senseless and immoral. We need to learn from the Dayaks.

What we are witnessing and experiencing in the this country is a sign of the deep rooted social malady afflicting this country, in fact it is the Social Meltdown that we are undergoing. Things are going to get a lot more worse before they start getting better, that is, if they ever start getting better here considering the shortsightedness of the ruling elite and their desire to cling to the power at any cost, compounded by the connivance and complicity of the political parties blinded by their urge and desire to be a party to the loot and plunder unleashed upon this blighted country. Politicians of easy virtue are a bane for any country and here we have them in excess. Unfortunately it also seems that the people having become disenchanted with their political and religious leaders have abdicated their right to resist the injustices and excesses perpetrated by the governments or the religious or political outfits. It wouldn’t be farfetched if someone were to assert that these regions have been in social regression since the times of Mohen Jo Daro and Harrapa civilizations.

Acts of indiscriminate violence do take place in other countries of this region but as exceptions and not the rule. Apart from the destruction of peace and unnecessary loss of life and property here it gives Islam and the Muslims a very bad image the world over because most if not all of the violence here is motivated by religious hatred and bigotry. The suicide bombing of Bari Imam Shrine or the Madinataul Ilm Mosque, which incidentally came after the qualified condemnation of suicide bombing by some Ulemas, and the resulting violence in Karachi which saw the death of six innocent employees of a restaurant and the torching of petrol pumps and numerous vehicles were a part of the pattern that has seen considerable increase in the recent years and becomes increasingly vicious with each passing incident. Recent years have seen an increase in the sectarian violence and its back lash, neither sect can be absolved of the crimes and outrages committed in the name of religion.

This kind of violence will certainly not be the last here because as long as there people here who not only have warped belief systems but also have the opportunity to preach and propagate their views to people who are disenchanted with life due to the miseries of economic and social hardships and are forced to seek salvation in the other world. The government has not only failed in providing a peaceful environment to its citizens but has also been guilty of willfully promoting violence due to its outdated laws and flawed policing system. It will be interesting to note that there has been not a single case of prosecution of those who are involved in acts of violence or of those who exhort them to violence. The breeding grounds of this wanton violence continue to prosper and flourish. Such violence gains impetus and momentum when the government of Enlightened Moderation backtracks on issues like Hudood Ordinances and the president calls people demanding rights for the people a ‘liberal minority’.

The Government and its various agencies preach and practice violence. In front of me is the Metropolitan section of the Dawn newspaper of 2nd June 2005 and in it is a picture under the news “22 held in Malir disturbances”. The image is reminiscent of the Israeli occupation of Al Quds, some eight blindfolded half stripped youth are sprawled on the road one of the Ranger is stomping on a youth , the scowling and sneering Rangers personnel in no way seem to be of the same country or the nation as of the youth sprawled on the road. This image vividly portrays the attitude of the government towards its people. Violence begets violence, when these youth will get a chance to get even they’ll try to destroy, maim or kill anyone without any compunction and discrimination because they themselves were victims of indiscriminate violence. The journalists and the Human Rights activists recently were victims of governmental violence just because someone thought they were getting too big for their boots and needed to be cut down to size lest they became over enthusiastic in their demands for rights for the people and too blatant in their criticism of the government.

A sense of total alienation prevails among the people who think that they do not have a stake in this country or that the assets of the community are their own, so it is little wonder that whenever there are opportunities the people go on a rampage destroying and vandalizing without discrimination. It will be of interest to note that the violence is always at its worst in the areas which were slums not very long ago. It seems the physical appearance of these areas has changed but the social environment remains the same. People who are economically insecure carry a grudge and resentment against the society as they have nothing to lose. Population living below the poverty line in this country has risen considerably in spite of the claims to the contrary by the government and the more the poverty grinds the people the more violence there will be. Poverty reduction programmes are taking us nowhere as the sums earmarked are parceled out between different quarters and very little trickles down to the intended level. The ground realities belie the growth figures that the government occasionally state in favour of their contentions.

The unbridled urbanization has led to a social vacuum and aggravated the problems of poverty. This urbanization has seen the disappearance of all social checks and balances which are needed to keep the social fabric intact. The basic social unit, the family has suffered the most and that is the reason for the mayhem that we see and experience in our daily life here. Where the writ of the government ends the writ of the family or the social system takes over but here in present day Pakistan neither there is the governmental writ nor there is the writ of social system or the family and this has led to the breakdown of the social order. The existing systems have been condemned and put into disuse with nothing to replace them with the consequence that there is no check on the activity of the members of society who then readily adopt belief systems which stand contrary to once accepted norms and basis of civil society . Moral condemnation of acts violence and dishonesty by the family and the community had an effective deterrent value but of late it has vanished as a factor. This has led to social and moral meltdown the consequences of which we are witnessing today in form of this senseless violence and brazenly glorified corruption prevalent here.

The rural communities too have seen a breakdown of the society and its checks and balances but not to the extent that we see it in urban areas and there is still a spirit of tolerance prevailing in those communities due to which there has hardly been any violence that has come to be identified with the urban centres here. Gradually the foundations of the existing norms and conventions which have helped maintain peace there are crumbling away diminishing the hopes of everlasting peace there. The erosion of the conventions is being speeded up by the increasing economic difficulties and the aggressive thrust of preachers and propagators of religious bigotry there. Once mayhem and violence takes a foothold in the peaceful rural communities of this country the social meltdown will be complete and that will spell doom for this blighted country.

For this country to survive as a socially, politically and economically viable state it is imperative that the rulers awaken from their somnambulant state and give back the people their right to live a dignified life without fear of police or LEAs repression and the fear of destitution. The people need to given a sense of participation and involvement in well being of this country to ensure that warped belief systems do not become the norm. But then I maybe asking too much of the pampered, protected and self-righteous rulers who consider themselves as God given gifts to the people, those who spend millions of scarce and hard earned money on their junkets, on their favourite toys like bullet proof Mercedes and the near obsolete and strategically worthless F16s to have any feelings or compassion for the wretched masses of this blighted country.

Mr. Jamali woke up at last he needs a cup of tea to keep him fresh as we noticed these people wake up only when they are out of power, we expect similar awakening from our Baloch leady Zubaida Jalal, but only when she is out of her ministerial job.

Not bad but could be more batter.

Have your say about these awakenings

Baloch Unity

Jamali blasts govt on privatisation, NFC, imports

ISLAMABAD - In a rare display of independence, former PM Mir Zafarullah Jamali Saturday disregarded party line as he criticised the government over NFC Award delay, privatisation of profit-earning departments, and import of food items from India in National Assembly Saturday.
Jamali, who took intermittent sips of water during his speech, said the budget his government had presented last year with Shaukat as then Finance Minister, has not been fully implemented. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, who was in the house during Jamali’s outburst, listened with his head down - busy taking notes or sometimes murmuring with the lawmakers sitting beside him.
After having made his forthright comments, Jamali said it was his right to criticise the government but he also extends his cooperation to Shaukat Aziz if he needs any advice from him.
About his resignation from the PM office, he said he did it in the best interest of parliament and democracy. “There would have been neither the present Parliament nor the Prime Minister had I refused to quit as PM,” he said.
Jamali also talked about Balochistan crisis as well as political rights and warned the champions of democracy sitting in the government against political victimisation of the opponents.
As soon Jamali ended his speech, State Minister Ishaq Khakwani questioned consumption of Rs 1.5 billion funds by Jamali in his Naseerabad constituency.
In response to Khakwani’s objections, Jamali asked him to change the habit of opposition for the sake of opposition.
When Khakwani said that the former PM should be punished for this injustice, Jamali said that he is ready to explain if government holds an inquiry into the matter.
However, Health Minister Naseer Khan and MNA Riaz Pirzada rescued Jamali when they asked Khakwani not to be arrogant, saying he (Jamali) is a senior parliamentarian and PML leader hence he must be given due respect.
The PPP-P lawmaker Aitzaz Ahsan during his composed and articulate speech on budget questioned the huge allocation for defence and stressed the need for balancing the budgetary grants for defence and social welfare.
He rejected the justification that the past governments have made defence allocations in same fashion, adding that the same army threw out all those democratic rulers who made such allocations.
He said that his party has great respect for army, but its interest should not be in clash with the interest of the country. He said only those countries survived, which have social welfare system while those with strong defence but poor social indicators have vanished from the world scene.
Taking part in the budget debate Jamali, who resigned soon after his government present the budget, expressed his displeasure over the small allocation for agriculture sector that has played crucial role in GDP growth during this fiscal year. About the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, he called for early consensus over it and asked the government to give due share in the award to Balochistan and NWFP for poverty alleviation and development projects.
He criticised the government policy of privatising the profit-oriented institutions and said the relevant ministers are being pushed to do this for reasons not known to them.
“I questioned a minister the reason for privatisation of an institution under his jurisdiction,” Jamali told the house while talking about privatisation of the PTCL that has prompted countrywide protests by the company’s workers.
“I am being compelled to do so,” was his reply, Jamali added.
Jamli also criticised the government’s decision to import food items including onion, meat, and wheat from India. Though, he said, efforts for easing Indo-Pak relations, for which he while in PM office had been part of this process, are commendable, he opposed the government decision to import food items from India.
Instead of giving incentives to growers here, the government is planning to import foodstuff from India, he maintained.
Jamali urged the Opposition Leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman to play his due political role and remove differences within Mutahidda Majlis-e-Amal.
About his ouster from the PM office, he said that he was not forced to quit but he had himself resigned. He termed President Musharraf as his benefactor, who approved his ascendancy to the PM office, and thanked the PML leadership and allied components, which had elected him as Leader of the House.
“One should not complain against the benefactors,” he said while lauding Musharraf’s efforts for steering the country out of crisis.
Jamali talked about the political victimisation that has been a practice of every government against its opponents and urged the champions of democracy in the government to stop punishing the opposition members.
Rai Mansab, State Minister Amin Aslam, Maulana Abdul Malik, Maulana Ghafoor Haideri, Abid Omang, Maulana Amanullah, Shagufta Jumani, Anwar Bhutto, Akbar Chitrali, Hizbullah Bhuggio, and others also spoke on the occasion.
National Assembly Speaker adjourned the session in the evening after allowing scores of parliamentarians to speak on the proposed budget for 2005-06. The House will resume its proceeding on Monday afternoon.

Iran, India upbeat on gas pipeline project

TEHRAN: Energy ministers from Iran and India voiced hope on Saturday that negotiations would be wrapped up soon on a proposed multi-billion dollar pipeline between the two countries that will run across Pakistan.

Iran’s Bijan Namdar Zanghaneh and his Indian counterpart Mani Shankar Aiyar also discussed a deal for Tehran to deliver gas to India and plans for an Indian role in developing oil and gas fields in Iran, news agencies reported.

"Negotiations are progressing well on developing oil cooperation between the two countries," Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the ISNA student news agency.

"The two ministers voiced hope that these negotiations (on the Iran-India pipeline) will be finalised in the near future," the agency added.

The 2,600-kilometre overland gas pipeline project with an estimated cost of about $4.5 billion has been strongly opposed by the United States because of its concern about Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Negotiations for the pipeline began in 1994 but made little headway because of tensions between Pakistan and India. But since January 2004, the two countries have been engaged in a peace process and relations are at their best for years. The pipeline will supply gas from the massive South Pars offshore fields in the Gulf.

These border posts are only built only to harass and harm our Baloch people who live in both sides of dived Balochistan. We know these posts are officially called to enhance business between two countries but we know their purpose and know the realities they are meant to control and register the movements of our people and spy on us.

Baloch are already tired from these nets of army posts but these are in further violation against our rights.

Now having these posts we will have more hungry Punjabis or Muhajirs to feed as they will search out every belonging you carry between our eastern and western borders, they will not allow any objects to pass until you pay them bribes.

Baloch have bitter experiences in the past when they stop people who were carrying flours for cooking they called these flours as heroin but if you pay bribes then quickly these flours bags were renamed as simple flour bags, we remember recent out brakes of demonstrations through out Balochistan against these types of posts.

They are built to collect more illegal taxes from already poor people but Baloch must reject them and continue their life as before let them tax the caravan of ANTS.

We know Baloch know how to avoid these posts and Baloch shall carry on their daily retinues without fearing these posts.

Baloch Unity.

More border posts to boost Pak-Iran trade: Owais

By our correspondent

QUETTA: Balochistan Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani has said that besides Taftan, the bordering posts of Radek, Chadgai and Gabad in Mekran area would be opened to boost trade between Pakistan and Iran.

These posts to be opened in Mand, Punjgur and Gwadar areas and all possible facilities, including those related to Customs, would also be provided at the posts, said the governor while talking to people during his visit to Pak-Iran bordering areas of Radek and Chadgai on Saturday.

An Iranian delegation, led by Tamandar of Iranian City Sarawan, Engineer Ali Ahmed Mujtaba, was also present in Chadgai.

The governor said the Pakistan government was keen to eliminate smuggling.

Owais said he had discussed the matter in detail during the visit of Governor of Seistan-Balochistan of Iran Hussain Amini and later during the visit of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to Iran in this regard.

Owais also said it was decided to establish Customs House at three new bordering places and provide all possible trade facilities there. In order to promote legal border trade, the Pakistan government has reduced taxes and duties on various goods, he said, adding that taxes and duties would be reduced further and other facilities were also being provided.

The governor urged the people to extend cooperation to the government and play their role in eliminating smuggling. He warned that no relaxation would be given to any smuggler and they would be dealt with sternly.

The governor thanked Iran for providing 30 megawatt electricity for various bordering areas of Mekran. He said the governor of Seistan-Balochistan had also made assurance to provide 20 mega watt more electricity to the border areas. Power supply lines are being laid for the purpose, he added. Owais said the two countries enjoyed traditional, historical, cultural and religious relations and these friendly ties would be strengthened further.

Addressing on the occasion, the Iranian representative, Engineer Ahmed Ali Mujtaba, said the traders of both the countries would benefit from the legal trade facilities. "It will also help prevent illegal trade," he added. The area people also apprised the governor of the problems they are facing. Owais assured them to resolve the problems. He also inspected the border areas.

In civilized countries kids go to schools but not sweeping generals and autocrats houses but in Pakistan the life is different because the rulers are different they only think of their own welfare not that of poor people, had they spent the money which they spend on weapons and building new one, the life of these kids would be different.

Baloch unity.

Every fourth house in Pakistan plagued with child labour: ILO

By Waqar Gillani

LAHORE: A rapid assessment (RA) on child domestic workers (CDWs) shows that about 26 percent of the households in Pakistan have at least one CDW (between the ages of 6 to 14). The RA has been conducted by the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) with technical assistance from the International Labour Organisation (ILO)-International Programme on the Elimination of Child labour (IPEC).

The employment rate of CDWs is highest in Karachi where almost every third house has a CDW, followed by Lahore with 28.4 percent, Islamabad 26.3 percent, Quetta 22.0 percent and Peshawar 21.7 percent.

The majority of the children in the survey came from poor families who worked in houses to assist their low-salaried parents to meet the family’s living expenses. The study has recommended four legislative controls; compulsory education, skills enhancement opportunities, awareness raising and poverty alleviation

The results also show that these children were also subjected to abusive and discriminatory attitude of employers. According to the assessment, 55 percent of the male CDWs reported verbal abuse and eight percent reported physical punishment. About 1.3 percent female CDWs said that they were violently thrashed. About 41.8 percent of the CDWs were between 11–14 years of age while 27.2 percent were between 6-10 years of age. It was found that every fourth house in Pakistan employed a child domestic worker.

The study showed that the majority of CDWs were girls (between 6 to 14 years age group) who were from poor rural families who had migrated to urban areas in search of livelihood. When families migrate, the pressure of urban life compels them to send their children to work in order to supplement household incomes. Girls who are already at a disadvantage with little or no education and hardly any skills end up as cheap labour in urban homes. The rural areas lack adequate education, health, development infrastructure and employment opportunities for economic advancement so the provincial capital city becomes a major destination point for rural migrants.

The survey reveals that the majority of child domestic workers (CDWs) in Peshawar and Quetta were males, i.e., 13.3 percent and 12.3 percent respectively versus 9.4 percent and 8.7 percent females. The picture is completely opposite in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad/Rawalpindi which have a very high incidence of girls as CDWs. This difference can be attributed to the strong cultural and tribal traditions in the NWFP and Balochistan provinces that place high value on family honour which is inextricably connected to the female family members. Therefore families from these two provinces restrict females from working outside their homes.

However, in this context the paradox arises that on one hand girls are protected from exploitative situations and on the other their access to education and economic empowerment is restricted. Interventions designed to change the
situation of domestic child workers

Mr. Altaf is right in his words but his demands are not for Sindhis but for his Muhajirs

Pakistan existence is due to Sindh, says Altaf Hussain

LONDON: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder and leader Altaf Hussain claimed on Saturday that the existence of Pakistan was because of Sindh. He said that Sindh contributes 70 percent of the total revenue received by the national exchequer and demanded of the president and prime minister to do justice with Sindh by providing the province its due share through the National Finance Commission Award (NFC) and to refrain from implementing projects about which the people of Sindh had apprehensions and concerns. ppi

Mr. Musharraf got 10 huge plots in Gwadar

Mr. Musharraf got 10 huge plots inside the residential area of Gwadar so he in his personal bases is also in hurry, but the main ideology is that, to bring in more biharies and Muhajirs and Punjabies in Balochistan for their permanent over taking Baloch lands, as their bacterial multiplication in Punjab and Sindh reduces their space they need more space and resources for their bacterial multiplication.

President for completing Gwadar port by June 2006

Warns against obstruction to Balochistan projects

ISLAMABAD: President Gen Pervez Musharraf has said the government is committed to develop Balochistan, however, it would not tolerate moves opposed to progress and welfare of the province.

Chairing a high-level meeting called to review progress on Gwadar development project at Army House in Rawalpindi on Friday, the president said Gwadar was the biggest developmental project in country’s history and it would contribute to ongoing endeavours meant for strengthening economy and elevating common man’s living standards.

He directed the authorities concerned to make available all required infrastructure facilities at Gwadar port before June 2006. The president said with the completion of Gwadar port project, Pakistan would become hub of economic activities in the entire region.

He asked the authorities concerned to expedite work on linking Gwadar with the country’s other main highways and providing water, power, housing and communication facilities there at the earliest. He also directed them to accelerate work on plan meant for linking Gwadar with Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asian states and China by road.

The president said the completion of Gwadar project would usher in the new era of development and prosperity in Pakistan and would generate enormous economic activity. This would also create immense employment opportunities, reduce poverty and attract huge investments both from within the country and abroad, he said. Musharraf said Gwadar port completion would also increase Pakistan’s trade with Central Asian states, adding progress of the project would be reviewed after every three months.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, on the occasion, said the centre would make available every possible financial resources for the timely completion of Gwadar port. He, however, made it clear that no compromise over the quality work on the project would be made.

Chairman Gwadar Port Implementation Authority Akbar Ali Pesnani informed the guests that highest standards are being observed in dredging of the port, which would enable it to harbour larger ships. He said the deepening of the channel to 14.5 m started in January 2005 and would be completed by June 2006. He also updated the participants about the state of civil work at the port, including administrative block, residences, access road etc.

Director-General Gwadar Development Authority, Ahmed Bakhsh Lehri, said that the authority aims at developing a modern city, furnished with state-of-the-art facilities and utilities.

Chairman National Highway Authority Maj-Gen Farrukh Javed informed the participants that a strict check is in place to ensure high quality of roads. He apprised the participants of the progress on linking Gwadar through road infrastructure with the rest of the country.

Later, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Muhammad Yousuf told newsmen that the completion of the Gwadar seaport and introduction of modern facilities would usher in massive socio-economic development in Balochistan. He said a large hospital has already started serving the people and technical training institutes are being set up to groom local youth into skilled professionals. Minister for Ports and Shipping Babar Khan Ghauri and Communications Minister Muhammad Shamim Siddiqui said they would strive to meet the targets and complete the projects in time.

‘Arrest of would-be suicide bombers removed major threat’

ISLAMABAD: The arrest of two sisters, who allegedly trained to become suicide bombers, has removed a major threat to the country, amid a renewed wave of sectarian bloodshed, officials said on Friday.

Police had spent a year hunting for the female militants, who were named as Arifa and Habiba and said by officials to be the well-educated daughters of a wealthy bank executive. Security officials said that, while on the run, the pair had each married a top member of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group.

"It removes a major threat because such an unusual attack using female suicide bombers would have caused a lot of damage," said a senior official, involved in the fight against sectarian terrorism. "It would have set an example for others to follow."

However, the women’s mother insisted her daughters, the first women ever to be arrested on charges of being suicide bombers in Pakistan, were innocent. "My daughters are educated and religious," she told AFP by telephone from the family home in Karachi. "They have performed Hajj. But they are not suicide bombers."

She would not give her name, but her husband Sher Baloch Muhammad is a senior officer at a bank in Karachi. "They went to a relative’s house last year and have been missing since," the mother added. "We searched and searched but only today we came to know that they have been arrested.

"How can I accept this? Now we can only pray for their release. Everybody is pointing fingers towards our family, and we can only pray that peace returns to our family and our innocent daughters get released."

Investigators said the sisters were brainwashed by their uncle, Gul Hasan, who was sentenced to death last week for killing 45 people in two suicide attacks on Imambargahs in Karachi in 2004.

Police sources said they suspected the two girls had stayed away from the family after Hasan was arrested in June last year, fearing their own arrest. The women were arrested as they walked along a road near Swat along with one of Lashkar’s most wanted militants, identified as Saifullah Bilal, security officials said.

Bilal, said to be the head of the group’s operations in the North West Frontier Province, near the Afghan border, was married to one of the sisters, but it was not clear which one, they said.

The other militant said to have wedded one of the women, identified as alleged key suicide attack planner Asif Choto, was still at large, police said. Police say they suspect the group was behind a suicide bombing on a shrine in Islamabad on May 27, which killed 21 people, and an attack on a mosque in Karachi three days later in which five died. Police first drew attention to the two women in July 2004 when security forces were placed on high alert and told to look out for the pair.

Six hurt in Quetta bazaar blaze

By our correspondent

QUETTA: At least six persons sustained burn injuries in a fire that erupted in Segi Bazaar Gulistan, some 75km away from the provincial capital on Friday. According to reports reaching here, 12 shops were gutted when an explosive material went off in a shop of the Segi Bazaar. The nearby shops also caught fire and it could not be extinguished because of non-availability of fire brigade there. Residents put out the fire in four hours on self-help basis. Some six persons received burns injuries in their bid to douse the fire. The injured were shifted to a local hospital where their condition is stated to be stable.

Two killed over Karo-Kari

By our correspondent

JACOBABAD: Two people were killed on the pretext of Karo- Kari near Naseerabad in Balochistan on Friday. The District Police Officer, Naseerabad, Ghulam Mahmood Dogar, said one Noor Ahmed gunned down his wife, Ladoo Khatoon, and Azad Khan at village Mukhtiar Khan Buledi in the jurisdiction of Manjhoo Shoree police station of the Naseerabad district.

The American must be convinced that the money they provide to Pakistan for social and economical uplifts are being used for wrong purposes and no relief to ordinary people.

They are being used to buy more weapons and development and tests for these weapons.

Such aid should directed directly to poop peoples uplifts etc.

Baloch unity.

US to give $200m budget support

By Our Reporter

ISLAMABAD, June 10: The United States will provide Pakistan an additional $200 million to support the social and economic investments envisaged in the budget.

An agreement to this effect was signed by US Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Director Lisa Chiles, Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and Economic Affairs Secretary Khalid Saeed here on Friday.

US officials said the additional funding was the first instalment of budget support from the $3 billion five-year assistance package that President George Bush pledged to Pakistan during his June 2003 meeting with President Gen Pervez Musharraf.

It brings US grant, budget support and reimbursements to Pakistan during the current fiscal year to more than $1 billion, according to the officials.

The funds would expand health care coverage, increase access to quality education, improve water supply and sanitation and expand farm-to-market roads, they said.

Ambassador Crocker said: “Pakistan is amongst only a handful of countries in the world selected to receive this type of flexible budget.”

“These funds respond to priorities identified by the Pakistani government in response to the expressed needs of the Pakistani people,” he said.

The funding is in addition to the $147.6 million in development assistance provided by USAID for similar purpose last month. It brings total USAID support to the country during the current fiscal year to $347.6 million.

Call for release of BSO leaders

By Our Correspondent

QUETTA, Jan 10: Baloch Students Organization leaders Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, Ali Nawaz Gohar and Akhtar Nadeem Baloch have called upon the government to release their members arrested in Karachi on March 24.

Speaking at a press conference, they said that if the arrested persons were alive then they should be produced before a court of law and if killed then their bodies should be handed over to them.

They said a Sindh High Court bench had on June 4 directed the home secretary of the Sindh government to produce the detainees in the court and demanded compliance with the court’s directive.

Those who spoke at the press conference included the elder brother of Dr Nazar and Mr Gohar, Safar Khan Baloch, and father of Mr Nadeem, Lal Bakhsh Baloch.

They said they would never bow before rulers to beg for release of their children and added that they only wanted that the government should tell them the truth. They stated that seven members of the BSO were arrested in Karachi on March 24 but four of them were released after two months.

Postponement of interviews criticized

By Our Correspondent

QUETTA, June 10: The Balochistan Unemployed Agriculture Graduates Association on Friday criticized the postponement of interviews for appointments in the water management project.

Speaking at a news conference at the press club, the association’s representatives claimed that 1,400 candidates from different areas in the province had arrived here for the interviews scheduled for Friday but the selection committee refused to take interviews on the pretext its members were busy.

They said posts of grades 16 and 17 were advertised in newspapers and it was notified that the interviews would be held on Friday.

They said the candidates occupied the building in protest when the selection committee’s members refused to hold the interviews.

They said representatives of the protesting candidates were invited by committee to resolve the issue after the occupation but the talks remained fruitless because of after they termed irresponsible behaviour of Balochistan Health Minister Hafiz Hamadullah.

They said the association would react strongly if the laid down procedure was violated during the selection.

We were always afraid from Punjabi, Muhajirs tabligi groups activities in Baloch communities, we agree that Punjabis want to make money on their lose war on terrorism we must be very careful from these people,

They want to link Baloch freedom fighters to al qaudia and want to destroy our freedom movement.

Take care.

Long live Baloch freedom fighters.

Baloch unity.

Brainwashed sisters

IT is horrifying to know that two sisters, both college students, were preparing to become suicide bombers. If they had succeeded in carrying out their fiendish deed, they would have been Pakistan’s first females to kill and maim people in the name of religion. Aged 18 and 20, the sisters were trained in this killing art by their uncle, who himself has been sentenced to death for his involvement in suicide attacks. The uncle belonged to the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. The ban seems to have had no chastening effect on the Lashkar members, for it was this Lashkar which struck at Madinatul Ilm mosque in Karachi late last month. Driven underground, it has managed to survive and continue with its activities. However, the most pernicious of its activities is the way it is able to indoctrinate young people with its murderous philosophy.

Those who poison young minds may not necessarily be suicide-bombers or terrorist themselves; they are “ideologues” quietly working for various sectarian outfits. It is they who are far more lethal than the terrorists in the field. Activists and commandos are born because they are won over to the cause by these preachers, who impart a perverted concept of religion to the people. The fact that two college girls should have fallen into their trap shows their power over youth. The two girls are not the only ones infected with a dose of a perverted philosophy being pedalled as Islam; there are a large number of others who are regularly brainwashed into becoming blind followers of the preachers of hatred. They do not think for themselves and are utterly devoid of any human values that any civilized society cherishes. The only concept they have of religion is a totalitarian ideology which believes in the physical elimination of those who disagree with them. Governmental measures have evidently failed to curb the activities of the Lashkar and other sectarian outfits. Basically, it is for the ulema and the enlightened sections of society to counter this challenge to the very foundations of our society. Religious extremism has done enormous harm to Pakistan. It has not only given a bad image to the country; it stands in the way of the country’s development on liberal, democratic lines.

US vigorously opposed to Iran, Pak, India gas pipe line,

Every body is welcome to have their say on this issue.

Baloch unity.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

NFC allocations hit Balochistan badly

NFC allocations hit Balochistan badly

By Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD: The population-based old controversial formula of National Finance Commission (NFC) allocation has once again badly hit both the backward provinces — Balochistan and NWFP — who will jointly get only Rs 54 billion against Rs 229 billion by the Punjab and Sindh in 2005-06 budget.

In the new budget, an amount of Rs 284 billion would be given to the four provinces under the NFC award with the Punjab getting lion’s share of Rs 143 billion, followed by Sindh Rs 86 billion, Rs 34 billion by NWFP and Rs 20 billion by Balochistan.

This is the third national budget of present parliament that is being laid before the House without announcing the new NFC. The new NFC award was due in 2002 but till date it is being delayed as the provinces do not agree on the formula of resource distribution.

The major hurdle in the way of the new NFC award is the central government’s refusal to reduce its share from the divisible pool. Provinces, too, have certain basic differences on the distribution of resources. The Punjab is insisting on continuation of the old formula based on population, Sindh demands distribution on the basis of revenue generation, Balochistan seeks a new formula on the basis of backwardness and area, while NWFP demands consideration of backwardness and natural resources.

Despite several efforts during the last three years, the government has failed to develop a consensus among the provinces, which are not ready to show any sign of compromise on the vital issue of distribution of funds.

Balochistan was also widely ignored in the allocation of additional amount of Rs 6 billion to the provinces in 2004-05 as the province got only Rs 200 million. A meagre raise in the share of Balochistan in the NFC is likely to touch the raw nerve of Baloch nationalists, who are already raising a hue and cry over the issue of lack of resources.

NWFP and Balochistan suffered yet another loss on account of fresh raise given to the provinces against their last year’s allocations under the NFC award. In the new fiscal year, NWFP has been given a raise of Rs 5 billion. A province producing hydropower will get Rs 34 billion in 2005-06 against Rs 29 billion in 2004-05. Balochistan has got a minimum raise of Rs 3 billion in the new budget as it will receive Rs 20 billion against last year’s Rs 17 billion.

However, the Punjab once again will get a big raise of Rs 21 billion — Rs143 billion in 2005-06 against Rs 122 billion of 2004-05. Sindh, too, has got a reasonable raise of Rs 11 billion in the new budget under the NFC as the province will get Rs 86 billion in 2005-06 against Rs 75 billion last year.

The budget document also showed that the provinces got Rs 6 billion in addition to their actual allocation in 2004-05. A total of Rs 239 billion was envisaged to be given to the provinces under the NFC. But, revised figures of actual releases of the amounts in last year showed that a total of Rs 245 billion were actually paid to the four provinces.

Out of Rs 6 billion given to the provinces over and above their allocation under NFC last year, the Punjab got an additional amount of Rs 2 billion, Sindh Rs 3 billion, NWFP Rs 2 billion and Balochistan Rs 200 million.

We are proud for our brave and courageous Senator Sanaullah Baloch.

Whose budget is it anyway?

Sharp reaction to missing NFC award

By Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD: Ugly scenes were witnessed in the Senate on Monday when budget for 2005-06 was tabled in the House, as senators from Balochistan threw the budget documents on the floor of the house after tearing it into pieces and terming it a "Punjab budget."

Many verbal clashes between Baloch and Pakhtoon nationalist senators and treasury benches followed the tearing of the budget documents. The situation got so tense in the Upper House that, at one stage, all the opposition members walked out of the House chanting slogans against the government for its failure to announce the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, and fiscal bill was presented when the opposition benches were empty.

As Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Sher Afgan rose to table the bill in the Upper House after being referred from the Lower House, the opposition walked out.

The senators from Balochistan also accused General Pervez Musharraf of deliberately protecting interests of Punjab, and claimed: "General is only returning favours to the mighty province for giving him votes during his presidential referendum."

However, they claimed, Balochistan and NWFP are being punished by General Musharraf for not giving him votes. However, Chairman Senate Mohammadmian Soomro exercised patience in the face of provocative speeches by the Baloch and Pakhtoon senators. Instead of taking some drastic steps as demanded by the treasury benches, he remained calm and averted any major showdown in the House.

The treasury benches and Dr Sher Afgan praised the chairman for showing democratic spirit.

Earlier, leader of opposition in the Senate Raza Rabbani delivered a hard-hitting speech and accused the government of violating the constitution. He questioned tabling of the budget in the House without formally announcing the new NFC award as required under the law. Secondly, he said, the president’s refusal to address the joint sitting of the parliament was also a violation of the constitution.

Senator Ishaq Dar also lashed out at the government for not announcing the NFC award, and pointed out "many serious constitutional violations" by the government. Pakhtoon Senator Raza Khan Raza, too, was very critical of the government, and alleged that Balochistan was being exploited by Punjab. He claimed that the "depressed nationalities" were being exploited by the Centre, and provinces were not being given their due rights. He lamented that the Balochistan government lacked funds for payment of salaries to employees, and the chief minister had to beg from the centre or borrow from the provinces. He also branded it a "Punjab budget."

Senator Sanaullah Baloch was also very harsh in his speech, as he not only tore the budget documents during his speech but also threw them on floor of the House that led to strong uproar from treasury benches. Even the Senate chairman remarked that act of Sanaullah amounted to "insult of Upper House."

However, Senator Baloch lashed out at Punjab, and alleged that it was bent upon "naked exploitation and aggression" against the smaller provinces. He alleged that Balochistan was being "plundered" by Punjab and "President Musharraf was only helping the bigger province to exploit resources of Balochistan."

Senator Kamil Ali protested against attitude of Sanaullah Baloch, and said he was dishonouring the House. Senator Nighat Agha also objected to Senator Baloch’s act of throwing the budget documents. The chairman remarked that Baloch had hurt feelings of the members of the House.

Senator Mohim Khan Baloch from the treasury benches also protested against non-announcement of the NFC award, and said it would badly hit the poverty-stricken Balochistan. At this stage, opposition walked out of the House.

Senator Pari Gul Agha condemned the act of Sanaullah Baloch, and said he had actually shown disrespect to the names of God written on the documents. Her views were also shared by other woman senators who too criticised Sanaullah Baloch for throwing the documents on floor of the House.

LG Ordinance amended

QUETTA: The Local Government Ordinance was amended after the approval by the competent authority, the Balochistan Local Government Board announced here on Monday. The amended ordinance came into force with immediate effect. According to the department, amendments were aimed at increasing the writ of the provincial government, increase supervision, powers to issue direction to Nazims and improve working relations between provincial government and DCO. The care-taker Nazims would be appointed by the chief secretary soon after the announcement of election schedule, the announcement said.

Balochistan Bar Council polls results announced

QUETTA: Ali Ahmed Kurd, Kamran Mumtaz, Malik Mumtaz Mehfooz and Muhammad Hashim Kakar were elected from four seats of group I of Baclochistan Bar Council here Sunday. The group 1 comprised Quetta, Chagai, Nushki, Pishin and Qilla Abdullah Divisions. According to results of the Bar council,Abdullah Khan Kakar won from group II comprising Zhob, Loralai, Killa Saifullah, Ziarat, Musa Khail and Barckhan. Muhammad Noor Miskanzai was declared elected in Group III comprising Kech, Panjgur, Gawadar and Lasbella while Sardar Ahmed Nawaz was elected from group IV comprising Kalat, Khuzdar, Mustung, Kharan and Awaran. Amanullah Kanrani, Senator was elected from Group V comprising Sibi, Nasirabad Division.

BUDGET ALLOCATIONS: Health budget up by 26.9%, Rs 4.13b allocated

ISLAMABAD: A sum of Rs 4.13 billion has been allocated to health for 2005-2006, which is up 26.9 percent compared to last year’s allocation. The government has allocated Rs 40 million for medical products, appliances and equipments compared to Rs 32 million last year. It also allocated Rs 3.36 billion to be spent on hospital services compared to Rs 2.65 billion last year. Similarly, the government will spend Rs 283 million on public health services in 2005-2006 compared to Rs 227 million last year. The government has also reduced budgetary allocations for research and development in health from Rs 3 million to Rs 2 million in the present budget. The government has allocated Rs 447 million for health administration compared to Rs 371 million last year. In the budget announced on Monday by Shaukat Aziz’s government, allocations for all health sector categories except research and development have been increased in the budget 2005-06 compared to the budget 2004-05. mohammad kamran

BUDGET REACTIONS: Increased defence budget will harm peace process: Lawyers

LAHORE: The increase in the defence spending of nuclear neighbours India and Pakistan are enough to deflate the balloon of friendship, said lawyers while expressing their disappointment on the budget speech on Monday. “On one hand, we say that the borders are being made secure with our foreign policy, but on the other, more money is being allocated to acquire weapons. This act belies our claim. The money would have been better spent solving people’s woes and making their lives easier,” they said. “The roots of the government have weakened immensely and in order to prevent a violent reaction from the public, it has played around with statistics to disguise the erosion of Pakistan’s economy.” The legal fraternity said that ten percent inflation because of the federal budget of 2005-06 was “bound to multiply the miseries of the downtrodden masses” and called the budget a packing of words and figures to cover up the government’s economic failure. “It (the budget) is a document to deceive the masses,” they said. “Event though there is no increase in the electricity tariff or petroleum prices, it will not remain so for a whole year. Mini budgets will follow this budget, and increase the sufferings of the people. The government is calling it a tax-free budget, but the promises made in the budget will create frustration, not relief for the masses. “Budgets are not annual allocations of funds in Pakistan, they are a necessary evil for June. The real changes and adjustments are implemented the following year. The government is bound to increase utility tariffs because it has made firm commitments to international donors to pay back their loans.” “In the face of Pakistan’s gigantic inflation rate, a fifteen percent increase in the salaries of government employees is an eyewash. staff report

India must know that this gas pipe line will have to cross All over Balochistan and then Sindh, Until the real problems of Baloch and Sindhi are not addressed in their satisfaction all Punjab and Muhajirs give security promises are nothing more then dreams, and ploy to trap India into another battle field this time not J&K but Balochistan and Sindh.

There for all Paki given security guarantees are irrelevant and unlawful; our hands are free to protect our National interests the same way as any other proud nation does.

Baloch unity.

Pakistan, India form joint group to help launch pipeline plan

By Our Reporter

ISLAMABAD, June 6: Islamabad and New Delhi on Monday formed a joint working group to get the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project “off the ground” early next year.

Indian Oil Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said at a press conference after a meeting with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz that the group would initiate interaction between officials and technical, financial and legal experts of the two countries to take the project to the implementation stage by early next year.

In reply to a question, he said the three sides would think over the formation of a trilateral steering committee.

There was no difference in the strategies of Pakistan, India and Iran regarding the pipeline, he said.

He said the India-Iran joint group had held six technical and three ministerial meetings over the past six months and the Pakistan-India group would also organize as many meetings in the next six months. He said the Pakistan-India group would start functioning next month.

Mr Aiyar said he had invited his Pakistani counterpart Amanullah Khan Jadoon to visit India by the end of August and he would return here in October or November to take the dialogue process forward.

He said Pakistan had also invited Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.

In reply to a question, he said Pakistan had not taken up the matter of including China in the project but there were no technical hurdles in this regard. He said any country could become part of any project in the process of contacts of South Asia with West, East and Central Asia in the hydrocarbon sector.

He said the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline could be expanded to include India and Uzbekistan.

He said he had requested Pakistan to invite him through the Asian Development Bank in the next meeting of the steering committee on the project in Turkmenistan.

He rejected an impression that the United States was pressing Pakistan and India to focus on the Turkmenistan pipeline instead of the one from Iran because of its deteriorated diplomatic relations with Tehran.

He said there was no pressure and both the countries would take a decision which was in their best interests and in accordance with their future energy requirements.

He said the available technical information showed that both the projects were feasible but there was need to know whether there were enough reserves in the Turkmenistan gas fields.

He said Pakistan had assured India of providing best security to the pipeline and New Delhi trusted Islamabad’s sincerity on the issue.

Mr Aiyar said there would be no hurdles in getting financial assistance for the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. He said Pakistan and India were economically sound now and international donors would never hesitate in investing in projects from which they could get returns.

He said both the countries needed to meet their future energy demands to sustain their current growth rates.

Terming his meeting with Mr Aziz ‘historic’, Mr Aiyar said he shared the view of the prime minister that the project should be implemented according to the best international practices.

Jawed Naqvi adds from New Delhi: The official Indian account of Petroleum Minister Aiyar’s talks in Pakistan indicated that the various proposed sources of piped gas to India through Pakistan were additions rather than alternatives to the Iranian project.

An official Indian statement quoted Mr Aiyar as saying that India was keen that the pipeline project got off the ground by the end of the current year.

The two petroleum ministers are expected to exchange visits in the next six months to review the progress made by the joint working group.

The statement quoted Mr Aiyar as saying in Islamabad that the group would “intensify interaction between the two countries regarding the technical, commercial, legal and other related aspects with regard to the proposed gas pipeline project from Iran through Pakistan to India.” A joint communique on the talks is expected on Tuesday.

We know that the health care centers in Pakistan kill more people then any other battle fields, those who proposed this budget does not live in Pakistan, their children attend foreign schools and universities, they go abroad for their medical check ups so why should not they pass such hate full budgets.

If they care for the nation they should have done things rather differently, that is defence budget for education and health, the present education budget for defence then we would feel their love for country.

Pakistan spends 80 % of national budget on defence and on their secret agencies and mandling in the internal affairs of her neighbours

Baloch Unity.

Rs9.4 billion earmarked for health projects

By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, June 6: The government has earmarked Rs9.4 billion for the development of health sector in the budget for 2005-06, a 68 per cent increase over the allocation of Rs5.5 billion in the outgoing year. Of the budget for the sector under the Public Sector Development Programme, Rs8.4 billion will be met from domestic resources and Rs1 billion will be foreign assistance.

“Priority will be given to health programmes like prevention and control of blindness and hepatitis and women’s health at the lowest level,” said Minister of State for Finance Omar Ayub Khan in his budget speech.

The estimated cost of the 66 projects under the PSDP for the sector, including 27 new plans, is Rs57.2 billion, on which Rs8.9 billion has been spent and Rs4.8 billion carried forward.

The government has earmarked Rs4 billion for the National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Health Care. The estimated cost of the programme is Rs21.5 billion and Rs5.8 billion have been spent on it.

An amount of Rs1.1 billion has been earmarked for the Expanded Programme of Immunization. The cost of the project is Rs1.14 billion.

The allocation for the Enhanced HIV/Aids Control Programme is Rs253 million. The cost of the project is Rs2.8 billion, of which Rs220 million has been spent.

The total cost of the 27 new schemes is Rs13.243 billion and Rs1.9 billion has been earmarked for those in 2005-06.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has already announced that Rs2.5 billion will be spent on prevention and control of hepatitis, including Rs300 million during 2005-06.

The National Programme for Prevention and Control of Blindness will receive Rs310 million. The cost of the project is Rs2.77 billion.

Allocations for new projects under the PSDP include: Rs297 million for 400-bed women’s and chest diseases hospital in Rawalpindi with a total cost of Rs1.3 billion; Rs250 million for establishment of an accident, emergency and ancillary services complex at Civil Hospital, Karachi, with total cost of Rs1.43 billion; Rs100 million to provide MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (computed tomography) scanner for Civil Hospital, Karachi, Chandka Medical College, Larkana, People’s Medical College, Nawabshah, and Liaquat University Hospital, Hyderabad/Jamshoro, with total cost of Rs564 million; Rs100 million for strengthening of Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences with total cost of Rs587.4 million; and Rs50 million each for construction of buildings for Gomal Medical College, Dera Ismail Khan, improvement and standardization of district headquarters hospital, Nowshera, and Institute of Cardiology, Peshawar.

An amount of Rs32 million would be spend under the PSDP 2005-06 for the purchase of an MRI machine for the National Institute if Child Health, Karachi, and Rs50 million each to buy the machines for the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, and the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical College (JPMC), Karachi. An amount of Rs10 million has been earmarked for modernization of diagnostic and therapeutic services at the JPMC.

Presidency’s expenses increase by 179pc

By Arshad Sharif

ISLAMABAD, June 6: The financial allocations for the presidency increased by 179 per cent to Rs261.61 million in the budget for 2005-06 as compared to Rs93.5 million in 1999-2000. During the year 2005-06, the government allocated Rs261.61 million for “staff household and allowances of the President” as charged expenditure. In the 1999-2000 budget, Rs93.56 million was allocated under the same head.

The documents showed that presidency’s budget shot up by Rs15 million during 2004-05 from an estimated Rs212.14 million to revised estimates of Rs227.17 million. For the year 2005-06, Rs107 million was allocated for employee-related expenditure of the presidency as compared to Rs86 million during 2004-05.

PRIME MINISTER’S SECRETARIAT: In the budget 2005-06, Rs234 million was allocated for the prime minister’s secretariat, showing an increase of 44 per cent as compared to 1999-2000. In 1999-2000, Rs162 million was allocated for the prime minister’s office.

For the financial year 2004-05, Rs226.5 million was allocated for the prime minister’s secretariat. However, the revised estimates showed that the expenses of the PM’s secretariat increased by Rs40 million in 2004-05 to Rs266.1 million.

The budgetary allocations for the PM’s secretariat were decreased by 13.7 per cent in 2005-06 to Rs234 million from the revised estimates of Rs266 million in 2004-05.

NAB: For the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the government allocated Rs752 million in 2005-06. The budget allocation for NAB in 2005-06 showed an increase of 37 per cent as compared to the original allocation of Rs467 million. In 2004-05, the NAB’s budget was revised upwards to Rs691 million.

The major increase in NAB’s budget was for employee related expenses of Rs284 million and operating expenses of Rs425 million, besides other expenses. In the previous financial year (2004-05) the employee related expenses were estimated to be Rs172 million and later revised upwards to Rs215 million. Similarly, the operating expenses of NAB increased from estimated Rs279 million to Rs409 million in 2004-05.

NRB: The National Reconstruction Bureau had its budget revised upwards to Rs79.5 million in 2005-06 from the Rs74 million allocations in 2004-05.

PM INSPECTION COMMISSION: The budget for the Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission was decreased to Rs17 million in 2005-06 as compared to allocations of Rs25.8 million in 2004-05.

Recovered child jockey still in govt custody

By Tariq Saeed Birmani

DERA GHAZI KHAN, June 6: A child jockey recovered from Abu Dhabi, whose brother had died during a camel race there, is still in the government custody despite passage of six months. The parents of the recovered boy, Murtaza, have approached Mr Ansar Burni, a rights activist, to seek his help for the recovery of their son on Monday.

Murtaza’s brother Kaleem had died during a camel race in Abu Dhabi, whose body was brought back to Pakistan on October 13, 2004

Soon after, Murtaza was also brought back by the Pakistan government and Federal Minister Tariq Azeem claimed credit for his safe return appearing on state television, but even after passing of six months the boy could not be handed over to his parents in Dera Ghazi Khan.

Mr Burni assured the couple that the boy would be soon recovered from the government’s custody or he would move the court for the purpose.

Talking to Dawn Mr Burni claimed that his welfare trust had helped recover at least 250 Pakistani children from Abu Dhabi from the custody of Sheikhs, who used them in camel races as jockeys. Now these children were living at a rehabilitation centre of the ABWTI in Dubai and would start arriving here from June 16, he added.

He claimed that at least 6,000 children were being used as jockeys in Abu Dhabi, most of whom belonged to Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Ongoing Baluch Insurgency in Pakistan

Source : Jamestown Foundation
By Tarique Niazi

On May 14, four bombs went off in Gwadar, a coastal town in Pakistan’s western province of Baluchistan, where around 500 Chinese engineers and workers are busy building a deep-sea port. [1] On May 3, 2003, a bomb blast at the same site killed three Chinese engineers and wounded nine of their compatriots. Pakistan has since assured Beijing that it will take stringent measures to improve security. Yet threats to port and personal security are far from over. The menace has in fact grown too strong for the Pakistani government to combat it effectively. It was in the midst of this worsening security situation that Islamabad indefinitely postponed the port’s planned inauguration by the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who was scheduled to open it during his recent visit to Islamabad on April 5-7. [2] Since the Chinese government approved its feasibility study in May 2002, Baluch nationalists have been voicing their opposition to the port with violence. Each May, they rock the port area with bombs to express their rejection of it. The May 14 bombing was part of this “anniversary violence.” Baluch nationalists believe that Islamabad is selling them out to regional or global powers in exchange for securing Punjab, where the overwhelming majority of the ruling class comes from.

Nationalist Violence in Baluchistan

The violence that was set off by the building of the port has now spread all across the province. It is, however, largely concentrated, besides Gwadar, in naturally endowed areas of Khuzdar, Kohlu, and Dera Bugti. Last August, five soldiers from the Pakistan Army were killed in Khuzdar. Months later (on December 10), a military truck was bombed in the capital city of Quetta, killing 11 people including two soldiers. Of all the places, the Dera Bugti area has seen the worst of the violence, where 20,000 troops are stationed to fend off Baluch tribesmen. In March this year, 8 soldiers and 50 tribesmen were killed in a clash between the members of the Bugti tribe and government troops. [3]

Gwadar occupies strategic waterways that connect energy-rich Central Asia with the rest of the world. Khuzdar, Kohlu, and Dera Bugti sit on the largest chunk of Pakistan’s 24 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas reserves. [4] Dera Bugti is Pakistan’s energy capital, the three gasfields – Sui, Uch, and Pir Koh – together account for almost half of the nation’s total annual production of 0.875 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which is valued at $3 billion. [5] All four areas are divided among as many major tribes: Gichkis (Gwadar), Mengals (Khuzdar), Marris (Kohlu), and Bugtis (Dera Bugti). They are all united in their resistance to what they claim is colonization of their land and its resources.

The federal government, wittingly or unwittingly, is fanning the flames of resistance by unsuccessfully attempting to crush it with violence. It is pushing hard for setting up garrisons in Khuzdar, Kolu, and Dera Bugti. Gwadar is already a garrison area, which the government has officially designated as “the most sensitive defense zone.” In addition, Pakistan Navy has built a naval base at Ormara, Baluchistan, which became operational in 2001. Another airbase at Pasni, Baluchistan, was leased to the U.S. during its invasion of Afghanistan in November 2003.

This militarization of the province reprises Baluch memories of a shared past that is filled with their colonizers’ failed attempts at their subjugation and expropriation of their natural wealth. Last in the long string of such colonizers were the British who wisely chose to leave them alone. Under their almost two-hundred-year colonial rule, Baluchs remained a free nation. They flaunt their four thousand year history of struggle and freedom and throw it at their latter-day “colonizers” – namely the Punjab-dominated government in Pakistan.

The resistance is being led by several insurgent groups that have emerged throughout the province to defend their land. The three most important are: the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), the Baluchistan Liberation Front (BLF), and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The BLA is the deadliest of all, and it specializes in targeting military posts, telecommunication lines, energy infrastructure, civil servants, and police chiefs. It was the BLA that killed and wounded 12 Chinese in May 2003. Again, it was the BLA that claimed responsibility for the Quetta bombing of a military truck in December 2004.

Religious Militancy

In an ironic twist, nationalist violence is being reinforced by religious violence. Although Baluch nationalists are secular to the core, they share with religious militants a common enemy: the Pakistani government. Baluch nationalists, for instance, are opposed to the Chinese government for advancing its strategic goals at the expense of their freedom and autonomy. [6] But several religiously inspired groups are opposed to the Chinese government for its putative persecution of the Uigher Muslim minority in the autonomous region of Xinjiang. Many members of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), including its chief, Hasan Mahsum, were given quarters in South Waziristan in northwestern Pakistan. On Beijing’s prodding, Pakistani troops killed Hasan Mahsum on October 2, 2004. [7] Seven days later, Abullah Mehsud, a veteran of the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, avenged the killing of Mahsum by kidnapping two Chinese engineers, who were working on a water dam in the area. One of the hostages was killed on October 14 in a botched military operation.

Also, religious militants inadvertently help Baluch nationalists by keeping tens of thousands of troops engaged away from the latter’s strongholds in Baluchistan. In South Waziristan alone, 70,000 Pakistani troops are on the trail of foreign terrorists. These troops outnumber all the foreign and native military forces in Afghanistan. When tribesmen or religious militants are pressed too hard in their hideouts in northwestern Pakistan, they run to southwestern Pakistan – i.e., Baluchistan. Here they feel far safer because of the immense vastness of the area as compared to South or North Waziristan. Baluchistan, which in territorial terms comprises almost half of Pakistan, is draped with high and rolling mountainous ranges. It is these ranges that have been Baluchs’ natural defense against foreign powers for centuries. In the 1973-1977 Baluch insurgency they defended their territory from their mountain hideouts and eventually brought the Pakistani military to its knees.


Baluch nationalists are also benefiting from the situation in post-9/11 Afghanistan. Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Pakistan has placed almost one-third of its forces along its western border with Afghanistan, which had never been its concern before. Despite committing tens of thousands of troops along the Afghan-Pakistan border, Islamabad has been complaining of “saboteurs” crossing from Afghanistan into Baluchistan. [8] Most recently Pakistan has accused Kabul of having been the shipping point for an arms cache worth 500 million Pakistani rupees (around $8.3 million) to carry out subversion in Baluchistan.


Pakistan is equally challenged on its southwestern border with Iran, which has been blaming Pakistan for cross-border infiltration. The Iranian government accuses al-Qaeda-linked Sunni militant groups, such as Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and its spin-off Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, for their forays into Iran’s Sunni-dominated province of Sistan-Baluchistan. This extreme southeastern Iranian province is awash with lethal arms and illicit drugs. The more extreme eastern fringes of Iranian Baluchistan are effectively lawless land, and thus attractive to both religious militants and Baluch nationalists. The illicit trade of “drugs for arms” between Iranian and Pakistani Baluchistan goes on with impunity. The Pakistani government is now raising a 16,000-man paramilitary force to choke off the trading routes for drugs and arms shipments. Most recently the two provinces have been twinned into a “sisterhood.” The Governor-General of Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan, Hussain Amini, during his visit to Quetta last year, signed an agreement to this effect on November 23.

These elevated links helps both Baluch nationalists and Sunni militants. Just as Pakistani Baluchs complain of “Punjabization” of their province, the Iranian Baluchs speak of “Persianization” of theirs. On the other hand, Pakistani Sunni militants, many of whom are suspected of having links with al-Qaeda, see in Iranian Baluchs a Sunni minority persecuted by the Shiite majority. Consequently, they are keen to exploit this constituency in their sectarian war with the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian government, however, seems to have changed its stance towards Pakistani Baluchistan from an “oppressor” under the Shah and a “neutral neighbor” under the early period of the Islamic revolution to an “active sympathizer” in the 21st century. This change reflects Iran’s lack of faith in Pakistan’s integrity as a nation, and its suspicion of Pakistan’s amenability to foreign influences that are unfriendly to Tehran. Unlike the 1970s when the Shah of Iran supplied Pakistan with gunship helicopters to crush the Baluch insurgency, today’s Iran will play a different role should such an occasion arise. Pakistan is aware of Iranian calculations, but its government is overly cautious in pointing an accusing finger at Tehran as instinctively as it does at Kabul. The Pakistan Army, which is the ultimate power base of General Pervez Musharraf, is officered and manned with both hardcore Sunnis and Shiites. Sunnis are already after Musharraf. Thus, he cannot afford to provoke Shiites by speaking his mind on Tehran, which Pakistani and other non-Iranian Shiites view as the “Vatican” of Shiism. Disaffected Shiites at home could be far more lethal for the General as they were to his predecessor General Zia ul-Haq, who died in a mid-air crash in August 1988, which is widely blamed on his two Shiite pilots.


Pakistan’s military initiatives in Baluchistan are at best ill-timed. Unlike the past, Baluch nationalists are now far better armed both diplomatically and militarily. For the past two years, they have been dominating the national news. They have rapidly won the masses and classes to their cause of “Justice for Baluchistan”. Their diplomatic and military successes at home have caught the world’s attention as well. The neighboring countries, stretching from south to central to western Asia, are potential allies of the Baluch resistance. At the same time, the Pakistani government is still struggling to contain religious militancy in various regions of the country. In South Waziristan alone, the government has lost almost one soldier for every militant it has killed. To be exact, 251 officers and men died in South Waziristan as compared to 306 Baluchs. [9] In the middle of this fierce war, opening a new front lacks wisdom. Pakistan needs to revisit its view of the Baluch resistance and use economic and political diplomacy first to defuse it.


1. “Four Blasts Rock Gwadar.” The Dawn, Karachi (Pakistan), May 15, 2005.

2. “A New Chapter in Relations” (Editorial). The Dawn, Karachi (Pakistan), April 7, 2005.

3. “Gunbattle in Dera Bugti.” The Nation, Lahore (Pakistan), March 18, 2005.

4. Bashar, Amanullah (2005). “Natural Gas-Coal, Leading Players of the Future.” Pakistan Economist, Feb 25-March 10, 2002.

5. cit opp

6. “Baloch To Go To Any Length for Rights: Khan of Kalat.” The Dawn, Karachi (Pakistan), November 8, 2004.

7. “Two Chinese Engineers Kidnapped in Pakistan.” China Daily, October 9, 2004.

8. “80 Foreign Terrorists Still in Waziristan.” The Nation, Lahore (Pakistan), May 21, 2005.

9. “306 Terrorists Killed in Army Operations.” The Dawn, Karachi (Pakistan), May 22, 2005.