By Sajjad Shaukat
On the one hand, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has declared 2012 the ‘Year of Balochistan’, while on the other, the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs has convened unprecedented hearing on February 8 this year, and discussed situation of Balochistan. The Committee’s hearing was attended by the supporters of Baloch separtism and American scholars including human rights activists. It was chaired by Dana Rohrabacher who said, “Balochistan is a turbulent land marred by human rights violations”, requiring urgent attention. Recently, Rohrabacher has also co-authored an article with Congressman Louie Gohmert, and favoured an independent Balochistan.
On February 9, Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said, “We have conveyed our concern to the US Embassy in Islamabad and Washington on the issue of discussion on Balochistan by US Senate Foreign Relations’s Committee and expressed our feelings.” Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Sherry Rehman has stated, “It is deeply regrettable that the legislature of a country that calls itself a friend of Pakistan should allow itself to be used as a platform by those advocating the dismemberment of Pakistan and provide justification to terrorists attempting to hold Balochistan, and Pakistan, hostage.” She elaborated that this constituted interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs—would be “detrimental to building mutual trust”, and “will add to suspicions in Pakistan about American motives.”
Although Pakistan’s security forces have successfully been coping with the Taliban militants in the tribal areas, yet situation has deteriorated in Balochistan where subversive events and human rights violations like targeted killings, abductions, sectarian violence, attacks on buildings, oil pipelines etc. have intensified. In fact, the US, India and Israel, have been supporting feudal lords (Sardars) of Balochistan to oppose country’s federation. These external elements have also been providing arms and ammunition to the Baloch separatist leaders.
Notably, on August 14, 2009, Financial Times (online) had reported “Settlers from other parts of Pakistan, especially Punjab, have been given deadlines to leave.” As a matter of fact, this is what US-led India and Israel wanted by inciting the general masses of Balochistan to openly speak against the federation of Pakistan and the Punjabis for all the injustices, created by the Baloch feudal lords who have been fighting for their own so-called status, prestige and influence, while working on the American US agenda.
In the recent past, with the backing of America, the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA), New Delhi had organised a seminar titled: South Asia 2020 in relation to Balochistan. In their speeches, various scholars and thinktanks maligned Pakistan in one or the other way. Besides the seminar, on November 5, 2009, a secret conference titled: “Pakistan is Problem in Balochistan” was organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in New Delhi. It was headed by the former secretary of RAW and Indian former chief of army staff. In that conference, three Baloch leaders, namely, Dr Wahid Baloch, Khan of Kalat and Munir Mengal also participated.
The speech of Dr. Wahid Baloch, General Secretary of the American Friends Balohistan (AFOB) is of special attention. While vocally raising false allegations in line of the Indo-US conspiracy against Pakistan, Dr. Wahid Baloch explained, “Balochistan still remains under the occupation of Pakistan and the international community should interfere in preventing atrocities on the Baloch people, being committed by Pak Army and ISI. Dr. Wahid also allegedly indicated, “Several Baloch leaders, engineers and doctors were kidnapped, tortured and killed ruthlessly through Pakistan’s state terrorism.”
In fact, the secret conference organised by the Indian officials with the direction of America itself, and participation of the Baloch leaders including anti-Pakistan elements prove that RAW, CIA and Mossad are behind all the subversive acts, being committed in Balochistan.
Baloch separatist’s foreign connections could be judged from the fact that Khan of Kalat and Munir Mengal repeated the thoughts of Dr. Wahid in the meeting held with the faculty of IDSA which assured them that India fully backs Baloch struggle. It also pledged that all future activities of Baloch movement like guidance and help will be coordinated by a US team under the sponsorship of IDSA. While, Munir Mengal also gave a presentation in which he misinterpreted the economic aspects of Gwader Port as a threat to international community, opposing proposed China’s naval base at Gwader.
In this regard, on November 21, 2009, with the consent of the Baloch national leader Mir Hyrbyair Marri, Laurie Deamer who is active member of the Independence American Friends of Balochistan read out the resolution in the first international conference at the Nation Press Club in Washington DC. The resolution also raised same allegations regarding Pak Army and state terrorism by implicating Islamabad and Tehran, emphasising the necessity of an independent Balochistan. While taking the breaking of Pakistan as inevitable and in the interests of the international community, especially the Baloch people and the United States, the conference called upon the US government and its affiliated departments to talk directly about Baloch independence, sending American leaders in Balochistan and abroad.
Particularly, America has secretly been propagating in Balochistan that if Baloch people want to get freedom, they will have to intensify their struggle. They must forget their differences immediately and get united. In this context, they emphasised that well-maintained political conscious and motivated guerrilla force can defeat the Pak Army. For this purpose, every tribal chief should provide man power—10,000 men for the battle field. If they have 25,000 men, they can occupy every village of Balochistan within six months. They also suggested that all tribes must collect funds for running guerrilla warfare, while each fighter will be paid Rs. 8000/- per month.
It is noteworthy that the agents of CIA-led RAW and Mosssad are well-penetrated in various NGOs and human rights organisations which are being used for vile propaganda against Pakistan’s security forces. In this respect, on July 31, 2011, a rally was organized by Baloch Human Rights Council in UK, in front of the US Embassy in London, which raised false accusations such as inhuman torture and extrajudicial murder of the Baloch intellectuals by the Pakistani army and ISI. Some human rights groups and Human Rights Watch (HRW) also raised similar allegtions.
On August 3, 2011, ISPR spokesman, Maj-Gen Athar Abbas, while rejecting human rights groups’ reports about Balochistan as a conspiracy against Pakistan, called for probing the funding of these organisations as this could be traced back to those forces which want to destabilise Pakistan.
Actually, the instability started in Balochistan when various projects were undertaken by the previous government to develop the backward regions. The Baloch Sardars (Feudal lords) who have been backed by US and India, opposed all the developmental projects. These Sardars who were running their own private jails and farrari camps, resisted the government plans as they did not want to give up the old system of feudal lords.
It is mentionable that America which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008, intends to make India a mini-super power of Asia to contain China and destablise Pakistan as well as Iran. Balochistan where China has invested billion of dollars to develop Gwadar seaport irritates both Washington and New Delhi.
It is notable that Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and an another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of the province gets logistic support from RAW and CIA, and are also trying to sabotage Pakistan’s relationship with China and Iran. In the past few years, their militants kidnapped and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan. Jundollah also arranged a number of suicide attacks in Iran, while Tehran had directly named CIA for supporting those terrorist attacks.
This is also owing to the mineral resources of Balochistan—particularly gold and copper that US-led India and Israel have accelerated their subversive acts in Balochistan.
Nonetheless, the year of 2012 must prove very positive for Balochistan. This is the right time for the government that its announced policy for political, social and economic reforms should be implemented so as to remove sense of deprivation among the Balochis. At the same time, our political and religious leaders and media must convince the people, especially the youth that their Sardars want to restore old system of feudalism in the province and are playing in the hands of foreign enemies, especially the US. These are the anti-state elements which incite the Balochis against the federation and the security forces in order to separate the province so as to fulfill the American secret strategic designs against Pakistan, China and Iran.
No doubt, hearing on Balochistan by the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs has clearly exposed the US support to the Baloch separatists.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations