Balochistan insurgency: Pakistan lets the cat out of the bag
Finally the Pakistan government has let the cat out of the bag as it has spoken up as to who is fomenting insurgency in Balochistan province of the country. Interestingly, according to a policy statement of the government in the Senate, the leader of the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) is being patronised by Hamid Karzai, the puppet of the US in Afghanistan, as he is living in a palace adjacent to that Karzai in Kabul.
The statement shows that the US is also indirectly involved in creation of trouble in Pakistan because it imposed the so-called Karzai regime in Afghanistan, paving the way for the Russo-Indian-Afghan conspiracy against Pakistan. Since long, people of Pakistan has been crying about hatching of the plots against Pakistan in Kabul but for the first time the government too spoke about the real cause of the so-called grievances of Baloch people. According to the statement, the BLA was behind a recent kidnapping of a UN official in Balochistan.
The statement of the government is an eye-opener for those who think the grievances of Baloch people are genuine because the BLA has nothing to do with the problems of Baloch people but is playing in the hands of the enemies of Pakistan and its leaders are using Baloch people to get dollars from their foreign masters.
The government on Wednesday startled the Senate by saying that Russia and India were supporting the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) in its secession bid, saying the same outfit had kidnapped UNHCR official John Solecki.
Making a policy statement while winding up the five-day debate that in fact continued for three days, excluding Saturday and Sunday, on the killing of there Baloch leaders and the deteriorating law and order in Balochistan, Adviser to Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik claimed they had proof of foreign involvement in the province.
Rehman Malik, later talking to media persons outside the Parliament House, called on India to stop its interference in Balochistan, dubbing it an open enemy of Pakistan. He noted that the proposal of reviving the ‘Sardari system’ in the province was being considered. He added the FC had been put under the chief minister and all the 36 FC checkposts had been removed.
The adviser made a revelation that the BLA chief Brahamdagh Khan Bugti lived close to Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s presidential palace in Kabul and enjoyed local support. He added thousands of Baloch students had got training in Russia and were present in Balochistan.
Rehman Malik pointed out that 4,000 to 5,000 Baloch people had got training in several centres there and added he would share more details with the legislators during the in-camera proceedings of the House, slated for Thursday at 12:30 pm.
His speech was interrupted several times by Mahabat Khan Marri, Dr Abdul Malik and Mir Hasil Bazenjo, who rejected some of his contentions, particularly about the alleged terrorist role of Sher Muhammad Baloch’, who was one of the three Baloch leaders recently murdered and their mutilated bodies found afterwards. At one stage, they staged a token walkout against the advisor’s remarks.
Malik noted that the BLA had kidnapped Solecki in order to highlight what he called their totally unjustified and uncalled for demand of freedom from Pakistan. He said he had the transcription and contact numbers, while intercepting calls during which the BLA chief was asking his people in the province about ‘the red goat’ - a code name for Solecki - and asking for his shifting to some other location, as the government had got clue of the place, where he was being kept.
“Solecki was abducted two days before UN Secretary General’s Pakistan visit to project BLA’s bid for freedom. On the basis of evidence, I met Karzai and sought his help for the repatriation of Brahamdagh or stopping him from what he was doing back in Pakistan, but he expressed his government’s ignorance about his presence there,” the adviser said.
The adviser said he also asked Karzai to stop the misuse of Afghan soil against Pakistan, as daily 45,000-50,000 people cross over to Pakistan from Bajaur, Chaman and Torkham. This was in addition to the hostile foreign agencies active against Pakistan, he added.
Then, Rehman said the government apprised the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the situation and sought his assistance. Then Ban talked to Karzai and this led to the freeing of Solecki.
About the BLA, he pointed out it was raised and funded by the then USSR and supported by India, then it went dormant and got active following the martyrdom of ex-governor Nawab Akbar Bugti. He added the BLA and some other outfits enjoyed foreign support.
The adviser noted that the BLA chief had recently himself in an interview to a local channel, conceded they were being supported by India and that he had sought UN and some other countries backing also.
Out rightly rejecting the BLA demand, Rehman made it clear that the government was ready to accept all the demands of people of Balochistan, barring independence, which did not enjoy the majority support. He talked of conspiracy of destabilising Balochistan, the NWFP and Northern Areas.
The adviser, who became a senator in March, said under a well-conceived ploy, the three Baloch leaders were murdered and then systematically 14 settlers were killed in the ensuing violence.
He questioned how those who resorted to the killings of innocent settlers managed to possess and then use hand grenades, Kalashnikovs and missiles, whereas the people of the province were peaceful and normal. But the real conspiracy was to breakdown law and order there.
He claimed that after the inception of a new government last year, no military operation in any part of Balochistan was under way. After the series of measures and steps the government had taken, the situation in the province was improving and in this connection, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani had played a very crucial role.
He proposed formation of a senators’ committee, which would oversee working of the investigations, being carried on with reference to the murder of three Baloch leaders.
Rehman noted that Iran, through a letter, had sought repatriation of Sher Muhammad for his indulgence in terrorist activities there. Sher, he said was an Iranian citizen of Chabahar, who later got Pakistani citizenship.
This led to massive agitation from some senators from Balochistan, forcing the adviser to leave the topic and offering to give an in-camera briefing. However, he said it was time to act together and make a distinction between what was insurgency and what were Balochistan’s genuine problems.
About many senators’ allegations that local spy agencies were involved in Balochistan problems, he said the government was prepared to look into it, if any one had credible evidence. He ruled out the possibility of the agencies’ role in the murder of Baloch leaders.Later, Dr Abdul Malik contended that the problems of Balochistan should not be linked to India and Russia.
Lashkari Raisani of PPP said though he belonged to the government side, but would like to say that the agencies also tend to sometime mislead the government on certain matters. He said it were the personnel of agencies, which looted his home and later set it on fire during ex-president Pervez Musharraf’s rule.
On a point of order by Mushahidullah Khan, Rehman Malik regretted that India had talked of the possibility of Taliban attack during the Indian elections, but did not respond to Pakistan’s offer of a joint effort to tackle the issue.
He complained that India had also failed to respond to 32 questions, Pakistan had forwarded to it regarding the Mumbai attacks. So much, so, the DNA results of both Kasab and Sohail were identical, which could be a possibility only if they were twins.
PPI adds: Rehman Malik said that besides the political forces representing the province in the Parliament, the government is also in contact with those who have no representation in the Parliament to seek their input in resolving the present situation.
He said the government is considering NFC award keeping in view the backwardness and area of the provinces besides the population. Rehman Malik regretted that the Afghan government did not facilitate him to have a meeting with Baloch leader Barhamdakh Bugti, who is a grandson of Nawab Akbar Bugti so that their grievances are taken care of.
Reuters adds: Rehman Malik accused Afghanistan and India of supporting ethnic Baloch separatists fighting in the resource-rich province of Balochistan.
Pakistan has in the past accused old rival India of meddling in Balochistan but Wednesday’s comments were the most explicit for years and come after a deterioration in ties over a militant attack in Mumbai.