Monthly Archives: February 2012

Barrohistan or Balluchistan ?

By Naveed Tajammal

The Barrohi of Kalat had been keen rivals of the Kalhora of Khuda-abad ,for influence and power from the Muhgal and in the subsequent struggle between Mughal-Safavid  over Qandhar Province, after its fall in 1649 AD to the Safavid’s. Here what most forget is, that the Administrative boundaries as given in the Ain e Akbari  had ceased, as laid in the old administrative setup after the fall, as an ongoing war resulted for re-possession of Qandhar.

The boundaries were more or less the same that on which the Durand line later was made, as is evident from the records, it was only after the Fall of Dehli in 1739.

Nadir Shah, keeping in view the rivalry between the two i.e The Barrohi and Kalhora, and using the old principle of Divide and Rule, so divided  the Eastern parts of his newly acquired regions in portions, which technically later landed in the lap of Ahmed Shah Abdali. All grants given remained, as long as the tribute was timely sent, a failure brought in a plundering army, from the west.

The onslaught of the British in the region came with various treaties. First was signed between the Kalhora and the British in 1758 AD, commencing with the establishment of English Factories in Thatta & Shah-Bunder the sea port. Later with Kalat from 1839 AD onwards.

Subject to ”performs good service’ etc.the British created geographic boundaries, to meet their own strategic, administrative and economic requirements. The present cry of the immigrant Balluchi, for a state, in the lands where they came  as nomads, and that only in the recent past is ludicrous. It is from Iran and Afghanistan, that they should seek redress of their grievances and certainly not from the host who gave them refuge in the days of their wanderings.

From the Napoleonic era to the Czarist Russia, for its access to the warm waters, a series of buffer areas were created, it was in continuation of which emerged the entity called Afghanistan, made from the old Khurassan and so we lost our Wakhan, for the creation of an hedge between the Czar and the Crown of the British Empire. Earlier it had been the same concept which resulted in the Kashmir Hindu Dogra state in 1846 AD.

A reference to my earlier article on the subject can interest a reader interested in more details:

The objective of the British was to block all the Gates which lead into their Empire from its north north west, north west and the west. The empty quarters of west were ideal where the newly created Aristocracy of Sardars well endowed with liberal grants and privileges and perks would be the hindrance to any invading force.

It is sad that after 1947 the Writ of the State was never imposed and old fabric never revived, the poor Barrohi, the old masters of the regional politics, left rudderless, have joined the new Balluchi confederacy of tribes and lack of insight in their own past, has made them merge into an entity which has no past, compared,to their own Mehrgarh being(7500BC),and their old Language a testimony, a shining example right in front of them.

The writer has 28 years of experience in historical investigative journalism.


Post mortem of grievances of Balochistan

Asif Haroon Raja

When East Pakistan was part of Pakistan, it was much smaller in size than West Pakistan but was more populated. Common complaint of the Bengalis was that they being in majority were deprived of political empowerment and economic benefits and that West Pakistan was prospering at the cost of East Pakistan, which was rich in jute. Federal government and Punjab were projected as the villains who had made East Pakistan its colony. In March 1971, when full blown insurgency erupted, the Army was demonized and termed as an occupation Army involved in genocide and rapes. Bengali leadership sought Indian help to gain independence December 1971.
After four decades of that catastrophe, Balochis in Balochistan are now complaining that irrespective of the fact that the population of their province is the lowest as compared to other three provinces, it is the largest province and given a raw deal since budget allocation is done on the basis of population and not on area. Dissident Sardars keep referring to East Pakistan to convey their future designs. Federal government, Punjab and Army (mischievously called as Punjabi Army) are held responsible for their woes and demonized. Ongoing insurgency is in continuation of earlier insurgencies in Balochistan. It is raging since 2005 and is graver than the earlier ones since the three major Baloch tribes together with several nationalist Baloch leaders are taking part and it is supported by several countries. Wrath of the dissident Baloch is falling upon the unarmed innocent non-locals settled in Balochistan since ages.
Grievances of Baloch nationalists and dissidents have revolved around political and economic deprivation, provincial autonomy, control over natural resources, detention of political workers, bigger share in NFC, special quota in federal jobs, enhancement of royalty for gas, taking back decision to build cantonments in interior Balochistan, reducing Army’s presence, curtailing intelligence agencies role, attrition of Baloch identity and Balochis being reduced to minority due to heavy influx of outsiders. Later on, emphasis shifted towards missing persons, mutilated bodies and trial of Musharraf. Encouraged by foreign powers, the fugitive Baloch leaders are now demanding independence.
Economic and political deprivations, poverty, lack of education and justice because of exploitative rich class are common to all developing countries and are present even among the developed world. If interior Balochistan is a backward and neglected region, so is rural Sindh, southern Punjab, FATA, parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir. Punjab with a better industrial base, communication network and business opportunities at the time of partition was better placed to make rapid progress as compared to other under developed provinces. Central Punjab is relatively more prosperous not because it is eating up major share of the federal budget but because Punjab is blessed with five rivers, agriculture is its backbone because of fertile land and people are very industrious. This dissimilarity is there in India as well as in all other developing countries. Poverty in some of the eastern states of India where insurgencies are raging because of the discriminative attitude of the Brahman rulers is far greater. Even in the economically and militarily strongest country USA, there are 99% poor and only 1% rich.
In Bangladesh, the poor segment of Bengalis that was poor in 1971 has gone poorer while the rich have grown richer. Most of the grievances aired by Mujibur Rahman and his cohorts proved to be perceived and false. Only 9% of Bengalis had sought independence while the rest were terrorised and quietened. Once they realized that they had been duped and had falsely been promised moon, and also saw the real face of India, they killed Mujib and his entire family and buried the whole lot in an unmarked mass grave. Hasina Wajid survived because she was abroad. Today, over 70% of the Bengalis are pro-Pakistan. Their love for Pakistan and hatred for India can be seen on the occasions of cricket matches taking place in Dacca, or when interactions take place. We in Pakistan do not curse them for treachery but understand that they had been misled and we love them and wish them well.
If Balochistan is backward and the Balochis cannot qualify in competitive exams, fault is of their own leaders who have intentionally kept the province backward and the people uneducated. Why so much of hullabaloo on Balochistan where the Sardars are tyrannical, repressive and averse to development? Isn’t it true that the Baloch Sardars are real exploiters and oppressors of Baloch people? I may like to remind Khan of Kalat Daood Sulemen Khan in exile that historically Khans of Kalat are Ahmadzai Pathans and not Baloch or Brahvis. Kalat was awarded by Ahmad Shah Abdali to Khan of Kalat in exchange for commitment to provide 9,000 troops for his Army. Later on, when the British captured India, they created Nawabs and Sardars all over the occupied country including the four states of Balochistan called Turan, which went under their suzerainty in 1854 through a pact for Rs 50,000. The titles were given to enable them to keep their respective tribes in control. Present day Balochistan came into being in 1970 after the breakup of One-Unit Scheme by Gen Yahya’s regime. Quetta and Kalat divisions were merged and named Balochistan.
All chief ministers of Balochistan have been/are Baloch Sardars? What have they done for the uplift of Balochistan? Have they not been receiving development budgets and gas royalty every year? Rs 250 million are being allocated to each minister in Balochistan Ministry for development each year. Where has all the money vanished? Nawab Akbar Bugti used to receive Rs 9 crores annually from the government but he didn’t spend a penny on his tribe. Isn’t it true that the Sui Gas Company employed 2000 Bugti tribesmen on paper and their salary including fake medical bills used to be pocketed by Akbar Bugti?  He had shunted out Mastoi tribe from Dera Bugti since it had defied his oppressive policies. Long ordeal of the Mastois ended in 2007-08 when they were brought back and rehabilitated. None can deny that the Sardars and Nawabs are at the centre of the problem. They have been usurping development funds and kept their respective tribes illiterate and backward to keep them dependent upon them and to maintain Sardari system. They maintain private armies and jails to keep the people terrorised.
Power hungry and greedy Sardars instead of developing the province have remained engaged in inter-tribal war since ages. The most powerful tribes of Bugtis, Marris and Mengals were daggers drawn till as late as 2003. The US brought the warring Sardars together and made them turn their guns of hostility towards Pak security forces. Morally corrupt Sardars accepted the US offer to betray their country after they learnt that the US had made up its mind to convert Afghanistan into a permanent military station and had evinced keen interest in Balochistan. They sold their souls to the highest bidder in the hope of sharing the riches of the province with the US and its allies.
Why the uproar when there is general acceptance of neglect by the rulers and efforts are in hand to gradually remove the inequities of the province? Isn’t it a fact that with only 4.7% of Pakistan population, it is receiving 9% of the total federal budget? Haven’t Balochistan got the best share in NFC Award at the cost of Punjab? Isn’t the socio-economic package in the form of Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan a good beginning to address their inequities? Aren’t the Army, FC and Navy wholeheartedly engaged in bettering the lives of the rural Balochistan and inducting thousands of Baloch youth in armed forces and paramilitary forces? So how is it given a raw deal? Given the internal and external challenges faced by Pakistan, state of economy which is virtually on the verge of collapse because of the US imposed war on terror, sense of deprivations in several parts of Pakistan, it is humanly not possible to change the fortunes of Balochistan overnight, particularly when law and order situation in that province has almost broken down and performance of provincial government as well as of federal government is deplorable. How can worthwhile development works take place when a handful of insurgents working on foreign agenda have made the peace of Balochistan hostage to their acts of terror?
If the Baloch are complaining about military operation, the fact is that Gen Musharraf had ordered an Army operation in 2006 when the writ of the provincial government had been challenged and law and order had got seriously disturbed. The operation lasted for six months after which the Army withdrew and ever since the Frontier Corps assisted by Frontier Constabulary and Police have been assigned the task of maintaining law and order. The Army has no role to play in their employment. The Army is engaged in development and welfare jobs only. The FC is undertaking security duties and hardly a day passes without a skirmish with armed Baloch militants in interior Balochistan and its men getting killed or injured in the process. Foreign trained and equipped Baloch militants are involved in laying ambushes, attacking security check posts, laying explosive devices, abductions and target killings.
Military operations in actuality are being conducted by the Army in FATA and PATA since 2003 without a pause. The responsibility of security of FATA and other disturbed regions has been handed over by the federal government entirely to the Army. The rebellious tribesmen are fighting the security forces but are not demanding separation, or openly inviting foreigners to come to their rescue and make FATA independent. In Swat, the locals assisted the security forces in freeing the tourist resort from the clutches of terrorists. Operations in Balochistan were carried out in the past in response to open rebellion against the state and foreign powers had got involved. Isn’t it true that the history of Baloch is replete with treachery against the state? Haven’t they been hobnobbing with foreign powers and seeking their support to harm the interests of Pakistan? Moreover, the big question is who started the trouble in Balochistan in 2004? Haven’t the Baloch rebels been sabotaging gas pipelines, electric grids, railway lines and other installations causing loss of billions of dollars to Pakistan? Wasn’t Sui gas pipeline sabotaged 273 times causing loss of billions of dollars to Pakistan? Which government in the world would tolerate mutiny against the state and that too supported by foreign powers?
The other complaint is about target killings. It is not specific to Balochistan. Karachi has become notorious for target killings and not a single target killer has so far been punished. About the issue of mutilated bodies, phenomenon of dead bodies wrapped in jute sacks has remained in vogue in Karachi since 1986. Trend of abductions and missing persons is common to all provinces. Who started the process of ethnic cleansing of settlers and Hazaras? Haven’t the BLA, BRA and BLF been ruthlessly target killing non-local doctors, teachers, professors, businessmen, bankers and other professionals in the name of Baloch nationalism? BLA, BRA and Brahamdagh Bugti himself have been proudly claiming to have killed Punjabis. None including our partisan media talk of the horrors faced by the non-locals. Is blood of the non-locals thinner than the Baloch?
Hypothetically, if we accept that the FC or ISI is involved in murdering anti-state Baloch, the question is why they should mutilate the bodies and then dump them on the roadside for the public to see and fill their hearts with revulsion? It is like showing a red rag to the enraged bull and creating more problems for themselves. Logically, should they not be getting rid of the poison secretly and burying the dead in inaccessible areas? Public display of bodies and that too in mutilated form is done by those vested groups who want to rouse up emotions of the public and instil deep-seated hatred even among neutral and patriotic elements. There is no denying the fact that this grisly practice is the handiwork of foreign agencies with ulterior motives, or BLA/BRA. Vested interests are killing two birds with one stone by terrorizing the militants desiring to give up militancy and arousing Baloch nationalism by blaming security forces and agencies.
Concerning military cantonments, it is a fact that these help in bringing prosperity as in the case of cantonments in interior Sindh. Pannu Aqil Cantonment is a case in point. Quetta city, Hannah and Urak picnic spots owe their prosperity to Quetta Cantonment, and so does Sibi city to military garrison. Planned military cantonments in Sui and Kahan were not meant to benefit the Army but to remove sense of deprivation of those backward regions and also deter foreign adventurers. The plan has been abandoned and now Sui and Kahan are being developed as education cities by the Army. The suggestion to withdraw FC from undertaking counter insurgency is preposterous and mischievous. Have the rebellious Baloch leaders shown any flexibility or softness from their agenda of separation or agreed to talk? If not, why Balochistan should be handed over in a platter to the small band of separatists?
If the rebellious Sardars are daydreaming that the US would happily hand over the riches of Balochistan to them, they are sadly mistaken. So far there is not a single instance to quote where imperialist powers benefited the colluding traitors. They take away the lions share and leave the crumbs to the loyalists to chew at and in most cases they get rid of them and induct fresh lot of loyalists. Like the parasitical Sardars in Balochistan, Waderas in Sindh, Chaudhris in Punjab and Maliks in KP and FATA are also blood suckers. While Maliks and Chaudhris have to a large extent been bridled by the middle class, absence of this class in Sindh and Balochistan has enabled the Waderas and Sardars to retain their exploitative hold over the poor.
Apart from wholesome socio-politico-economic package directed towards uplift of the province to address genuine grievances of the Baloch, the foremost requirement is to break the cycle of insurgency. The first is to effectively seal all routes of supplies to insurgents from Afghanistan, India and Iran and their sources of funding dried up. Diplomatic pressure should be exerted on countries providing safe havens to Baloch leaders involved in terrorism to either extradite them or restrain them from indulging in anti-Pakistan propaganda. As long as funds and weapons keep pouring in, insurgency will not die down. From among patriotic Baloch which are in majority, nationalistic leaders should be lionized and through them the disgruntled Baloch leaders discredited. Urgent steps should be taken to abolish Sardari system. I am surprised as to why our media is only encouraging dissident Baloch leaders to explain their anti-Pakistan agenda in TV talk shows and not inviting patriotic Baloch which are in majority. From among the three million Baloch living inside Balochistan the rebellious elements are not more than 2500. Why no opinion has ever been gathered from 3 million Baloch living in Balochistan and 14 million Baloch residing in Punjab and Sindh by so many organisations like Transparency International, Pew etc? The great majority of Baloch, who are highly patriotic and honourable people, must be given all what they want, while the disgruntled elements should be sidelined with the help of patriots. Media will have to step forward and play its nationalistic role rather than playing to the tunes of foreign powers. If our federal and Balochistan governments have failed to expose involvement of foreign agencies, the media should do so. The police should be depoliticised and held responsible for allowing the target killers to play havoc and for failing to collect enough incriminating material and witnesses to get the arrested terrorists convicted by law courts.
The perception among the Baloch that Gen Musharraf had murdered their hero Nawab Akbar Bugti has sunk deep into their psyche. A murder case has been registered against him in Balochistan High Court and nothing short of his trial will satisfy them. Musharraf who disagrees with the charge should voluntarily appear before the court to clear his position. A fair and free trial will help in removing the misperceptions and mollifying the high tempers of the Baloch. It may be recalled that the Baloch insurgents had given up violence in 1978 after ZA Bhutto was unseated by Gen Ziaul Haq and charged with murder of Ahmad Raza Kasuri, and socio-economic uplift programs were initiated in Balochistan. We will have to find another Gen Rahimuddin type honest and dedicated administrator to sort out the mess of Balochistan.
Aslam Raisani and his corrupt and inefficient team members are involved in massive corruption, nepotism, car lifting and kidnappings and have no time to tackle the problems of the province for which they had been elected. Balochistan government’s apathy can be gauged from the fact that so far it has not passed a resolution to condemn the US Congress controversial bill seeking right of self-determination for the Baloch people. It is part of the problem and not the solution.
The writer is a freelance columnist and a historian.

Seething lava of Balochistan

Asif Haroon Raja

During the British rule of India, the rulers had demarcated the provinces not on ethnic lines but suiting their administrative convenience. Balochistan, which is an arid mountainous region in southwest Asia, consisted of two entities; one comprising of princely states of Kalat, Mekran, Kharan and Lasbela in the south and west, and the other in north and east inhabited by various Pashtun and other tribes. Large numbers of Baloch got settled in Sindh and Punjab. At the time of creation of Pakistan in August 1947, except for Khan of Kalat Mir Ahmad Yar Khan heading Kalat National Party who openly advocated independence of Balochistan, all the Baloch and Brohi tribal leaders supported accession to Pakistan. They reminded him ‘that both on grounds of geographic contiguity as well as wishes of 3000,000 Balochis’, Kalat should accede to Pakistan.
Despite giving his pledge to Jinnah during his visit to Sibi in February 1948 that Kalat would accede to Pakistan subject to approval by State Legislature, he reneged from his word of honour. The rulers of Mekran, Kharan and Lasbela formally applied for accession to Pakistan on March 17, 1948. Since the stance of Khan of Kalat was not representative of the Baloch sentiment, Pak government took control of administration of Kalat on April 15, 1948.
On May 16, 1948, younger brother of Yar, Prince Abdul Karim who had formed a political organisation called Ustaman Gal, decided to lead the rebellion. He declared revolt against Pak Army and invited Kalat State National Party, Baloch League, Baloch National Workers Party to join him for the struggle of creation of ‘Greater Balochistan’. Failing to solicit response from others he fled and took refuge in Afghanistan. Later on, when he returned to Balochistan, he was arrested, tried and sentenced to 10 years jail. A stage had however been set for the spate of insurgencies that followed in the later years.
In mid 1950s, Nawab Nauroz Khan hobnobbed with India, Iran and Afghanistan and besides fuelling idea of ‘Greater Balochistan’, he vied to declare Kalat as an independent state. On October 6, 1958, Pak Army had to be moved in to arrest him and his uncle who had been seeking help from Afghanistan and were planning a full scale Baloch rebellion. Nauroz surrendered and later on he was executed.
The persisting centralized policies of the central government kept nationalistic feelings alive in Balochistan. Among seventy Baloch tribes, Bugti tribe led by Nawab Akbar Bugti, Marri tribe by Khair Bux Marri and Mengal tribe by Akhtar Mengal are the largest tribes. Bugti tribe dominate Dera Bugti, Sui, Kahan areas, Marris Kohlu region and Mengals are predominant in Chaghai, Khuzdar, Kharan districts. Its leaders instead of bettering their respective regions remained at war with each other, each vying to overawe the other. As a policy the Sardras kept their tribes backward and uneducated so as to have readily available labour force. Gas royalties and development funds paid to the Sardars each year never filtered down to the poor of their areas. The money received was spent on personal luxuries or in maintaining private armies and jails and in inter-tribal wars.
While Sardari system was abolished by ZA Bhutto, on ground it has remained in vogue and subsequent governments kept the Sardars appeased. Their personal demands were promptly met and their corrupt practices and disdain for developing the province ignored. Notwithstanding the failings of the successive federal governments, the Baloch Sardars who have all along been in power are equally responsible for keeping Balochistan backward and neglected. They have been pilfering the funds meant to develop the province. As a consequence, all the Sardars are dirty rich; most have second residences in Karachi, Islamabad or abroad and lead a royal life, while their tribes reeling in absolute poverty live a slave life. Armed gangs of the Sardars keep them terrorized and suppressed. During the 2006 military operation scores of private jails were unearthed where some of the chained decade old detainees in horrible condition were set free.
Out of total population of 7 million in Balochistan, the Baloch are 3 million out of which about 30% are Brahvis. The Brahvis who are now being considered as Baloch speak their own language and are concentrated in Sohrab, Killi Shawani, Mastung, Kalat and Dalbaldin. There are 8 million Baloch settled in Punjab and 6 million in Sindh. That way the Baloch settled in Punjab and Sindh are almost five times more than the inhabitants of Balochistan. Sistan, which is a province of Iran, is inhabited by Baloch. The province is also inhabited by Hazaras who are Shias and speak Persian and are in small minority concentrated in Quetta. Settlers from other provinces, mostly Punjabis are in sizeable numbers, but now after their ethnic cleansing by Baloch rebels, their presence has been considerably reduced. Nearly 80% of the population of the capital city Quetta used to be of settlers, which has now dropped to 40%. Being more educated and skilled, they have played a dominant role in running the business, education, banking and management affairs.
East of Panjgur right up to Zhob and Tanai is the Pashtun belt which is relatively peaceful and is not linked with Baloch separatists, but has affiliations with neighbouring Pashtuns in South Waziristan. From among the Pathans, Samad Achakzai founded a pro-Indian Congress Anjuman Watan Party, which preached splitting up Balochistan on linguistic basis and creating Pakhtunistan province. It worked in harmony with Ustaman Gal and their objective remained common. He was arrested and his party declared unlawful.
Today, the ratio of Baloch and Pathans in Balochistan is near parity particularly after the influx of 406000 Afghan refugees in the early 1980s who have got permanently settled. One reason for the Pashtuns of Balochistan to be peaceful is that they are more educated and enterprising and are engaged in trade, business and transportation activities. Mahmood Achakzai who boycotted 2008 elections is their political leader.
In the aftermath of separation of East Pakistan in 1971, while the PPP formed a government in the centre and in Punjab, National Awami Party (NAP) led by Ghaus Bux Bizenjo, Sardar Ataullah Mengal, Gul Khan Nasir, Khair Bux Marri, Nawab Akbar Bugti, Khan Wali Khan together with JUI dominated Balochistan and NWFP provinces.  They demanded provincial autonomy in return for approving 1973 consensus constitution. Sacking of NAP-JUI coalition government in Balochistan in February 1973, arrest of three main Baloch nationalist leaders as well as Wali Khan and banning of NAP by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto sparked Baloch insurgency in 1973. The insurgency was spearheaded by Marri and Mengal tribes and Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) and led by Mir Hazar Khan. Intelligence about secret smuggling of weapons by Balochistan government and arming of dissidents through Iraq Embassy in Islamabad was given by Akbar Bugti, based on which the accused were charged under act of treason and Hyderabad Tribunal was formed. Mir Hazar managed to flee to Afghanistan.
Akbar Bugti was rewarded by replacing Ghaus Bux Bizenjo as Governor of Balochistan and the Army was brought in to launch counter insurgency operation. He was looked down upon by other Sardars and seen as a traitor and an establishment man since besides governorship, he also held the appointment of chief minister of the province and never supported the cause of separatists. Nexus of KGB-KHAD-RAW coupled with Iraq was fully involved in supporting Baloch insurgency. Iran helped Pakistan by providing 30 Cobra helicopters. 3300 Pak soldiers embraced Shahadat but after killing 5500 militants.
Insurgents came down from the hills in 1978 after Gen Ziaul Haq took over and Governor Rahimuddin desensitized the alienated Baloch and Pashtun separatist leadership by a multi-faceted strategy. As a consequence to well-thought out development program to uplift the province, ‘Greater Balochistan’ movement melted away. Ouster of Bhutto, his trial and death sentence combined with heavy economic dozes were contributory factors which took the steam out of insurgency. 1978-84 was the most stable period of Balochistan. Most people of Balochistan desired greater autonomy and very few Balochis favoured the idea of ‘greater Balochistan’. In fact, the whole lot of Brahvis and Pathans were hostile to the idea of separate Balochistan.
Balochistan was once again heated up by foreign powers after 9/11. This time the sponsors of Baloch insurgency were USA, Britain, Israel, India and Afghanistan. Intelligence agencies of the five countries got actively involved in Balochistan from 2002 onwards. Learning from history, the schemers concluded that without the participation of largest Bugti tribe, insurgency may not achieve desired results. Akbar Bugti was therefore induced to gang up with Marris and Mengals and lead the insurgency. He was in return promised all out financial, weapons and equipment support as well as guidance and training facilities for the fighters. He was led up the garden path by promising him full control over tapped and untapped mineral resources of the province and kingdom of Balochistan. He got easily lured since his demand to increase gas royalty had been turned down by Musharraf regime on the basis that instead of uplifting his region, he had been devouring allotted funds and royalties.
Once the three main tribes as well as Baloch nationalist leaders were taken on board in 2002, RAW set up 26 training centres in Afghanistan along western border of Pakistan where Indian military trainers and RAW officials imparted training to Chechens, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Afghans, Arabs, dissidents from Balochistan. No sooner the insurgency gained momentum in 2005 in Dera Bugti, Sui, Kahan, Kohlu areas, over 60 Farari camps were established in interior Balochistan where trainers from Indian and Afghan Armies imparted training to the rebels. Refugee camps for Balochistan dissidents were established in Kandahar, Spin Boldak, Helmand, Nimroz. Supply routes were marked, one emanating from Spin Boldak in the west and the other from Shahgarh via Ubaro in the east.
When all possible efforts to pacify incensed Akbar Bugti, who had moved to the mountains to conduct guerrilla war, failed and law and order situation kept worsening, a military operation had to be launched in rebel infested regions in interior Balochistan in summer of 2006.  After the death of Akbar Bugti in August 2006 as a result of caving in of the cave in which he was hiding, the planners in Kabul transformed him into a hero of Baloch nation and started inculcating hatred against Pak Army and federal government.  Insurgency became more widespread.
After Akbar Bugti, the leadership came in the hands of absconder Balach Marri based in Kandahar. Several shady terrorist groups suddenly that were active in 1973 insurgency resurfaced from nowhere such as Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Republican Army (BRA) and BSO. Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) and some more were new additions. After Balach was killed in 2007 in Afghanistan by unknown gunmen for unknown reasons, Brahamdagh Bugti, grandson of Akbar Bugti took over the command setup in Kandahar. In early 2011, he shifted to Switzerland since he felt unsafe in Kandahar. Helped by his patrons, he coordinates the activities of BRA, while Harbyar Marri, son of Khair Bux supervises the activities of BLA from London. Dr Allah Nazir heading BLF is based in Mashkai. He operates in western Balochistan between Panjgur, Mand and Turbat. Another rebel leader from Kalat Mir Suleman Daood Khan is in exile in London, while Akhtar Mengal is in exile in UAE and Dr Wahid Baloch is based in Washington. These and some other self-exiled Baloch leaders are actively working on a separatist agenda and foreign powers with vested interests in Balochistan are giving them all out assistance to espouse their cause.
Foreign hands are continuously pouring oil to further fuel insurgency and to inculcate hatred against the Army, FC and ISI and to alienate the Baloch people. Recent killing of wife (sister of Brahamdagh) and daughter of Bakhtiar Khan Domki in Karachi as well as mutilation of dead bodies of Baloch nationalists are the handiwork of RAW to accentuate alienation of Balochis. India is investing lot of money on the absconding Baloch leaders to make them sing songs of independence of Balochistan and to continue with their diatribe against Pak security forces and ISI. In fact they have become hostage in the hands of several foreign intelligence agencies and are in no position to change their stance or return to Pakistan. Money, comfortable living and coercive grip of the patrons keep them compliant. To expect that they would abandon their high life and free themselves from the clutches of their benefactors and return to Balochistan in response to the call of amnesty is wishful.
I remember the general amnesty announced in former East Pakistan for all the runaways after law and order had been restored in June 1971 and reception centres had been set up to welcome them. I recall how Governor Tikka Khan followed by Abdul Malik as well as Gen Yahya’s regime had beseeched the exiled Bengali leaders based in India to return to Dacca. Messages were sent through the US and UN channels to the Bangladesh government in exile, but none was allowed by India to go back. Even the refugees languishing in dilapidated Indian camps were not permitted to return to their homes. This time it is not only India but USA and Israel blocking the way of exiled Baloch leaders. Likewise, the rebellious Baloch fighters are also stuck up in the mountains and are not in a position to give up violence and return home. All those showing inclination to give up militancy are killed and their bodies mutilated and dumped in public places in interior Balochistan and the responsibility pasted on the ISI and FC. The seething lava of Balochistan has reached the stage of bursting. Some novel ways will have to be found expeditiously to defuse the lava.
The writer is a retired Brig and a defence analyst.

The Sardars of Balluchistan : Are they Balluch?

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By: Naveed Tajammal

In 1910a Scottish-American Andrew Carnegie made his fortune in the ‘Steel Industry.’ He left a $10 million Endowment for international peace-which is the fore-runner of other Carnegie related ventures, However, whatever his intentions had been, and whatever the Endowment ended up creating  are two different aspects, The Carnegie Journalist program was launched in 1974,though with an outward image to anticipate ‘Near-Horizon’ problems, but, in reality it was to induct journalists from world over to create a hype and to keep a check on the Soviets (USSR) global moves. However, the area of influence expanded to include areas where the Americans wanted a hype created.

Hence started the ‘Awareness of the Baluchistan issue’. To quote one example only, Selig Harrison was appointed to Head the Journalistic programme & the first book” In Afghanistan’s Shadow, Baluch Nationalism & Soviet Temptations” published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace by Selig Harrison in 1981 .

The British legacy had left their created Sardars, who while retaining their feudalistic powers wanted to gain the political legitimacy as well. They followed the policy of what is mine is mine and what is yours( of the people of their tribes) is also mine! The royalties taken as concessions technically for the welfare of the people, within the tribal setups, but spent by the Sardars as their own bounty, while the poor people had no recourse but move in a exodus, from the regions, as is seen in the last over 100 years, to seek a living elsewhere.

The tribes of the Sindh Valley Basin have been in a constant state of movement for the last 1600 years or so. Natural calamities, plagues and wars took their toll. The transformation from one major tribal setup to another had been a question of survival.

The geographic boundaries which Pakistan was thrust with were legacy of our past rulers, though with reference to region under study its bulk area came affiliated with either old Alor or Multan Administrative boundaries, Even in the Jam Nizam ud din Nandah period,(1461-1508). In the west, till Bolan inclusive of the Kaachi Plains was the part of the throne of Sindh. As were the Tal-Chotiali, Chacha,and Barkhan regions, wherein come the present Mari and Bugti areas. It was in Akbar’s time that Qandhar province limits were extended till Duki. Rest being part of Multan Subah ,as was Bolan and Kaachi areas .

The areas were well populated and fertile, with Sareiki speaking people, when Naseer Khan Barrohi was given these areas in 1740, for the services rendered. He pushed out the old people and transplanted them with people of his own Confederacy, the Eastern passes of the Roh- e -Suleiman Range that  had been gateways of Trade, since Ancient Times, In the Mughal era with opening of Khyber pass, the majority of Trade routes suffered, the cause, being the Movements of Bayazids , Ansari, heretics and expansion of Safavid’s in the East.

This brings us to the most pertinent question : is the present head of Bugti tribe and its clans actually Baluchi ???

For that a study of the Notes on the Balluchi , Barrohi and the Sindhi tribes should suffice.

Immediately after the creation of Baluchistan entity by the British, the Government ordered that the data be made of the Ethnic composition of various tribes of the region and inter-related ones, all the Mukhtiars and Mahalkars, in the revenue departments of the districts concerned were ordered.

(Members of Bugti tribe chant slogans in favor of their demands during a protest demonstration at Karachi press club-PPi). Picture published:

The reports compiled was from the communications histories, manuscripts, and the popular oral accounts which also covered profession of various tribes, matrimonial and other related customs, were submitted to Dr. U. M. Daudpota, Member Sindh Public Service Commission, and published in 1901.

The excerpts of the report state (p-26/27),covering the Bugti tribe in January 1890,on the recommendation of Robert Sandeman; Shahbaz Khan was conferred with the title of a Nawab. He was also later given a large tract of land on the Jamrau Canal for rendering assistance during the outbreak of the HUR in 1896/1897.Here without going in the details of the 24 Sept or clans of Bugti Confederacy, the report states, that the Chief of the tribe is Nawab Shahbaz Khan Rahejo Bugti, son of Ghulam Murtaza Khan Rahejo Bugti, A popular account says that Rahejo or more commonly called Rahuja, are from the Major Sindhi tribal set up of the ‘Samma’,to which the great ancestor of the present Bugti Chief belonged and that by Association with the Baluchi’s and settlement in the old Bugti hills and streams his descendants became Bugti Baluch. If we study the Samma,tribal Sept’s/clans which number in all 766,we find Raheja, very much so part of their entity (pages-44 to 53,and for more details in minor off shoots, pages 89 to 97 ).

The writer has 28 years of experience in investigative historical research.

Rohrabacher’s Pressler moment

By Fahd Husain

Dana Rohrabacher has just become a meddlesome villain. But is he a lone ranger, or is something more sinister cooking in Washington DC?

The resolution that Rohrabacher has introduced in the US House of Representatives calling upon Pakistan to recognise the Baloch right of self-determination is an outrageous act of provocation. It is shocking in content, and deliberately insensitive in wording. And it will wreck the atmosphere prior to the debate on the new rules of engagement that Pakistan has put together to deal with the United States.

But clearly there is more to it than a US politician looking to back an issue which can guarantee him headlines. Rohrabacher would like nothing more than to grab centre-stage in the volatile arena of Pakistan-US relations. Remember Larry Pressler? He was a random US politician who introduced an amendment in the 1980’s calling for US aid to be cut to Pakistan if the US president certified that Pakistan had crossed the nuclear threshold. The piece of legislation came to be known as the Pressler Amendment, and it kicked into effect when George Bush the Elder decided it was time to squeeze Pakistan. The Pressler Amendment, and its author, single-handedly soiled Pakistan-US ties for almost a decade. Rohrabacher is now donning the Pressler mantle. But the repercussions of his mischief have the potential to be far more damaging than Pressler’s. He is, in fact, reinforcing the widely-held impression that the US is out to destroy Pakistan.

Let’s not use the word ‘destroy’ lightly. It conjures up images of what the Americans did in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. It paints a picture of bombing sorties, burnt out cities, tens of thousands killed and a country reduced to a wasteland. Transplant these images on to Pakistan and it send shivers down your spine. This is the worst case scenario.

What is possible though is the triggering of a series of events which can snowball into unpredictable situations. In fact, the unthinkable has already started: a very public and a very acrimonious debate on the demand for an independent Balochistan. As long as such a debate was confined to private conversation, or a limited section of the very local and regional press, it could be ignored. Such a debate, based on such demands, never reached a stage where it could be taken seriously. Yes Baloch have genuine grievances, yes they had suffered from criminal neglect, and yes their alienation from Islamabad was never really seriously addressed, but the simmering situation remained on the fringes of our national discourse.

Not anymore. By plucking this issue from the fringes and placing it bang centre in Washington DC, Rohrabacher has transformed the dynamics of the entire issue within a month. The resolution he has just introduced will ensure that this debate gains traction, both in the American and Pakistani media.

What do we do? Issuing condemnations is not enough. Our outrage at this blatant interference in our affairs should be heard loud and clear. The US government will try and distance itself from Rohrabacher and mouth the usual statements. Our parliament will probably pass a counter-resolution and pile pressure on the hapless Gilani government to rake Washington over coals. This is all for public consumption, and there isn’t much wrong in doing so.

But the real task is two-fold: First, get our facts clear on Rohrabacher, his resolution, and what’s happening at his back. If ever, a deep behind-the-scenes information on what’s cooking in Washington DC was ever required, it is now. Our new ambassador has a huge challenge on her hands. Second, and more important, is for us to get a grip on the situation in Balochistan, which is spiralling out of control with each passing day. Killing and counter-killings now seem locked in a vicious cycle which no one is able to stop. Despite extreme positions, the door to dialogue needs to open. Rules of engagement need to be spelt out, and the Establishment needs to change tack.

Rohrabacher is indulging in villainy because we are providing him fodder. He is exploiting our weakness. Let’s condemn him for what he is doing, but at the same time douse the flames that we have lit ourselves.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2012.

The Impostors That Now Threaten Balluchistan!

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By: Naveed Tajammal

A small group of secessionists are being given a hype, a wide coverage, by out pseudo intellectuals and vested interest media, jeopardizing the national security of Pakistan.

The roots of the system of Sardari in Balluchistan needs a closer scrutiny. The petty sardars were technically abolished by the Presidential Ordinance of 1976,which was focused on Abolition of the ‘Sardari  system in Balluchistan’.

Under Naseer Khan Barrohi, the Nizamate of Kalat was divided in 4 political entities. This Nizamate was the creation of Nadir Shah, to teach a lesson to the Kalhora for not paying the tribute in 1740 AD.

Naseer khan was a successful administrator and a brave warrior.

His administrative areas were;

1) Sarawan, the plateau from Nushki till Sibi, inclusive of present Mari & Bugti region.

2) Jhalawan, the lowlands from Surab to the boundaries of Las Bela.

3) Makuran under the Ghicki Chief, but subservient to the Khan.

4) Kaachi, extending till Harrand-Dajjal,(later, DG Khan district). This region was awarded in lieu of Naseer Khan’s help to Abdali’s in the third Battle of Panipat against the Mahratta intruders. The point to appreciate and understand here is the system of Naseer Khan.

Regarding his dealings with tribal chiefs :

” The powers of the Sardars or feudal lords were limited in the Barrohi tenure of rule, till the British jumped in. These Sardars held a consultative position in the matters of importance and in deciding tribal cases. They were as a sort of Conciliatory commission. Their Duty was that of an Arbitrator of peace between the contending parties. In case they failed, the matter was referred to the Khan-the Supreme Power-who in return forwarded it to the Qazi-ul-Quzzat (chief judge) for the final decision. Such was the position of the Sardars in the Criminal cases, while civil cases were directly dealt by the Qazi. The Khan was the Court of Appeal in all matters concerning the tribes of the conquered areas. The Sardars (tribal chiefs) were given jagirs by the Khan, and consequently they supplied the Khan with men and material in emergencies. Failing to produce specified quota of men, their jagirs were confiscated. Regarding internal affairs, the Khan acted quite independently in making laws and various other changes in the administrative spheres. While in his dealings with external matters, the feudal lords acted as a sort of Advisory Council. It was Naseer Khan, who had appointed tribal chiefs through General Elections of the tribe, by the headmen. Seniority in age and personal distinction were the deciding factors in the nomination of the tribal chief.( page 85,History of Baluch race, by Muhammad Sardar Baluch.1958).

When the British came and started setting up their new class orders, they met with problems in the Nazimate regions/ Sir Robert Sandeman was of the view owing to the democratic setup found amongst the tribes, the Head-men (Tumandars) if unsupported could not enforce Authority over the unruly spirits and in order to preserve what influence they possessed, they were compelled to follow the path where the unruly spirits lead (unruly being those who opposed the British).But the balance of power was turned, when the Tumandars were given the means to entertain armed servants of their own, and when supported by suitable allowances and the prestige of connection with ”OUR’ power. They then can exert themselves successfully, to keep their tribes in order.(p-304,Sir Robert Sandeman by T.H.Thornton.1895).

Though as we see the British created a new class, to quote just two examples Mihrullah Khan Marri and Shahbaz Khan Bugti were made Nawabs in January 1890,by the British Government of India.

But what most miss; the conditions attached with all these titles and grants .

They were all subject to 7 terms which were as under:

1) To be continued to a single ‘Designate’ heir.

2) And Conditionally on the Government pleasure.

3) Heir to be chosen by the Government.

4) Information services to be provided during the term in office.

5) Subject to good behavior while in service to the Government.

6) For service and position.

7) Government services to be rendered on call, with the retainers.

(PRAP(R) feb 1896).

Keeping all these strict rules which lasted till 1947,it should have been the moral duty of those ICS and later CSP cadre lot to enforce them . These old bureaucrats, in league with these elements never really enforced the writ of the land. Later the capital moved to Islamabad but more pressing needs kept the matters under the carpet. Today, we find ourselves  at an impasse.

It should be borne in mind that creation of Balluchistan entity ,was a  British geographic solution, in order to implement their forward policies, The Barrohi is Not a Balluch, by any yardstick, neither ethnically nor linguistically do they interrelate to each other.

As to the Etymological meaning of the word, Balluchi, it means:

Bal signifies : The Land tract’.

Lu  signifies: The People.

Chi signifies:  Of the.

The ‘Lu’ and Chi are Turkish terms .Bal-Lu-Chi means, ”Of the people of Bal”.

The original tract of Bal-yus’ was the present Qandhar region but in Bal-yus

entity it compromised Qandhar till Farrah and down to Qilla e Bust.

(On Balyus,kindly read,page- 1018note,Tabakat e Nasiri,of Maulana

Minhaj Ud din Abu Umar Usman translation by H.G Raverty,vol ii,1881).

With the passage of time, the Balluch identity is lost to those who were imposed on them to serve the interests of the British. Today, these very imposters forms a pressure group that threatens the very fabric of our nation hood!

The writer is a historical investigative journalist with research of 28 years. He is based in Lahore & has written many historical investigative papers.

Baluchistan: Inside Crosshair

Jawad Raza Khan          

 Years of investment by global and regional actors have been ripe and ready for its harvest. What all expected from the leaders of Pakistan, as

per the wishes of wicked actors, unfortunately, Pakistan proceeded just like that. The stories of insurgencies in Baluchistan which were tamed and restricted to two or three districts of vast Baluchistan, are now picked up, as was in the case of Arab spring. The narrative is now clearer, concise and comprehensive with all well planned executions unfolding one by one. This article is not at all an endeavour to rewrite “Baluchistan’s Greater Game” or something which is easily sellable like a “conspiracy theory”. For a change, this will look into Pakistan, how it reacted and what should be done now, to counter all this in the optics of own interest.

State of Pakistan since its inception has remained on high alerts during most of its history. The debacle of Dacca, law and order in Karachi, TTP in Kyberpakhtoon khwa and disturbances in Baluchistan all have become part and parcel of our daily life. The two in between (Karachi and KhyberPakhtoonkhwa) are indeed a little different from the case of extremes (Dacca and Baluchistan). The said “little difference” is “The Political Vacuum” which is certainly capable of making a big difference if not catered for on war footing.

History reveals that may it be a case of law and order in Karachi, or a full-fledged militarized insurgency in the Northern Province; the events have been taken care off through political and military muscle (in combination). The only reason for existence of at-least minimal controls in the said areas is non-existence of political vacuum in these areas of Pakistan. Before MQM, Jamaat-i-Islami was there in Karachi and when MMA is not in attendance ANP fills up the vacuum. This has always disallowed any armed faction, a continuous maintenance of unchallengeable control in areas with effective political dominion. This point can also be proved if we compare counterinsurgency operation in Swat and FATA. Political activity through political agents (failed system) in FATA and concrete political dynamics of Swat have also shown something to notice, with Swat in front of us “back to life”, and on the other hand a bogged up Pakistani Military in FATA, with militants in control of resistance pockets here and there.  So the conclusion is “the best way to fight is to fight with comprehensive political and military will”. Swat operation can indeed be termed as a classical joint political and military operation, but with some very acute flaws in it “The judicial mopping up”, which is completely absent to-date. This silent absence has not been touched or taken up by media as well (strangely), which is now raising many eye brows especially amongst the people of Pakistan who were directly affected because of uncountable terrorist attacks over civilian population. The whole good done will be zeroed if now media and judiciary does not play their part at-least from now on.

Coming back to Baluchistan, the “calming down” phase can only be triggered through comprehensive handshake between Political and Military forces (in light of counterinsurgency operations mentioned above), before proceeding any further. With complete Political vacuum in Baluchistan, and most of the MNAs and MPAs involved in criminal activities including abduction and killings the scene is most horrifying. Attendance of parliamentarians during sessions of Baluchistan Assembly can easily prove the point of disinterested local leadership in the assembly. This has certainly eroded the possibility of the required handshake between Political and Military leadership.

Sadly, we are still suppressing common baloch following the footsteps of our masters (The Englishmen). They use to give power and money to notables and in turn use to effectively purchase their loyalty; completely disregarding the common Baloch.

This will take you as surprise “Baluchistan for the purpose of Law and Order is divided into “A” areas and “B” areas. “A” area (5% of Baluchistan)) is the one which is under police and FC and “B” area (95% of Baluchistan) is under respective tribal control”. During the era of last Government through a notification almost all of Baluchistan was declared “A” area, but astonishingly the decision was reversed soon after the takeover of present Government (Political wisdom at its peaks). So, now again the fate of common Baloch is in the hands of uneducated, greedy and cruel.  This also must not go unnoticed, that a project like Kacchi Canal was dumped soon after the revival of so called democracy in Pakistan. Details of this project are worth mentioning here. Kacchi canal was an important plank of green revolution plan, costing over Rs 31 billion.  This could have been an important plank of Pakistan’s roadmap for bringing green revolution in province of Balochistan. Kacchi canal a giant project for the development of the province would have brought 0.7 million acres of barren land of Balochistan under cultivation after its completion. The said project was supposed to provide 6000 cusecs of water to Balochistan under Indus River System Treaty. The construction of Kacchi canal was part of WAPDA’s vision 2025.The project was inaugurated on October 4, 2002, and was to be completed by the end 2010.
Now what could be expected! Present government capped it for indefinite period; again the beneficiaries were the powerful Sardars and common balochs were yet again betrayed by Islamabad. All was done to favour Sardars like Shahzain Bugti and I sincerely hope that my readers have not forgotten the drama of Nawab Sahib Bugti, smuggling arms and ammunition of worth Rs 46 million from Afghanistan to Quetta. The incident was fortunately covered by Media as well. Guess what happened next! He was bailed out by our powerful and free judicial system within weeks of red handed apprehension in front of so called free media. We can easily imagine the ill fate of common Baloch now, especially after setting free a criminal like Shahzain Bugti. The legal presence of Bramdad Bugti and Harbiyar Marri in London and Switzerland controlling all operation against security forces in Baluchistan clearly indicates towards the planned rampage of West against Pakistan. Furthermore, nearly two hours of telephonic contact between US Embassy and Shahzain Bugti during the standoff involving him and FC authorities need no further elaboration.

The question now arises that “how to go about it now”?

“Own house in order is the order of the day”

Situation is certainly complex and warrants immediate actions to be done with force, precision and determination. The policy of 3Es is strongly recommended to ensure that foreign players of the game are resisted in a logical, systematic and a comprehensive manner. Firstly, Education sector need to target the youth of Balochistan as soon as possible. Young Balochs must be given education in renowned institutes all over Pakistan to dig them out of the suffocated environment of Sardari system. Immediate up gradation of all universities and colleges all across Baluchistan be taken up as a matter of high priority. This all is needed to be done before they pick up arms for so called Nawabs and Sardars against Pakistan. Secondly, Economy, this will ultimately fall in the lap of law and order. Immediately all B areas should be converted back to A areas for effective writ of the Government. Judicial machinery should be oiled up extensively to look into criminal proceedings on top priority. Projects like Kaachi Canal and M-8 road network must be resumed for desired expeditious economic activity. Lastly, fresh general elections under independent Chief Election Commission with rectified electoral rolls should be carried out for digging last nail in the coffin of foreign actors responsible for creating disharmony in this all important province of Pakistan.

To do all this and to stop wicked plans of foreign players in Baluchistan all institutions need to provide a joint front. Political leadership, the military muscle, an efficient judiciary and lastly an honest and a patriotic media is an orthodox definition of the said united front.

God Bless Pakistan  .

+ The writer is a political commentator based in Rawalpindi.


Uncle Sam Meddling in Baluchistan: Back Off!

By Yasmeen Ali

Pakistan Parliamentarians must table a resolution to carve New Mexico away from it’s affiliation in USA and restore it to its pre-geographical entity of the Mexican-American War (1846-48). With New Mexico’s population boasting the highest rate of Hispanics (estimated 46% in 2010), including descendents of Spanish Colonialists and recent immigrants from Latin America, US rule on New Mexico may rightly be deemed as alien rule. The majority of Hispanics claim a Spanish ancestry, especially in the northern part of the state.

Of course, this will be out rightly rejected by USA who never believed in the motto ,”What’s sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander”. In complete disregard for this idiom, USA has acted, much like an elephant in a China Shop, causing destruction in the name of democracy, human rights and other similar big sounding slogans. Except, this destruction has been completely selective! Not when it effects America’s own interest. Or those of her “friends”.

Alan Hart, commenting on US’s veto of Russia and China, in his recent article  states,” …how do we explain the fact that all the governments of the Western world, led by America, are on the wrong side of it because of their support for the Zionist state of Israel right or wrong – unending occupation, on-going ethnic cleansing and all? There is a one-word answer. Hypocrisy.”  He rightfully questions if is it good policy only if a nation agrees with Uncle Sam & bad policy if it does not?

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who recently expressed support for an independent Baluchistan in an article, is to chair a meeting of the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs to deliberate upon Baluchistan, today. “Perhaps we should even consider support for a Baluchistan carved out of Pakistan to diminish radical power there (in Pakistan),” Rohrabacher had written in his article.

There are signs that London-led project to separate Baluchistan from Pakistan has been given an impetus.” The objectives are many. To name a few: It would weaken a belligerent Pakistan, create a buffer between Pakistan and Afghanistan; secure a strong foothold along the southeastern borders of Iran; and undo China’s long-term plan to link up the Karakoram Highway in the north to the Arabian Sea, by a land bridge running through Baluchistan,” says Ramtanu Maitra in his article “Balochistan: Is US backing London’s plan to dismember Pakistan?


Selig Harrison, in his article for The National Interest of 3rd Feb 2011, considered to be an expert on Baluchistan for the US, states that an independent Baluchistan must be supported since Pakistan has given Gwader in heart of Baluchistan to China, and therefore, an independent Baluchistan would support USA’ s regional interests and counter Islamist forces . Exactly how the Islamist forces will be countered by an independent Baluchistan is unclear.,+writing+for+The+National+Interest,+Feb.+1,+2011&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=pk


Obama Administration has identified two enemies; China and Iran. The latter, is being perceived as a threat with Iran going nuclear(another perception erected with no facts to back it), leading to  imposing resulting sanctions, isolating Iran etc.Whereas USA has opened dialogues with Taliban composed of Wahabis, thereby avowed opponents of majority Shia’ite Iran, to counter this threat. Taliban could not have opened office in Qatar without a nod from UK. A Taliban government in Kabul ensures an opposing force to Iran. However, the question as to how a nuclear Israel is not a threat to the world and a nuclear Iran is, remains unclear and unanswered.

Baluchistan plays a strong role in China’s future development as a Regional Super Power, rising to a World Super Power. Pakistan minus Baluchistan pulls the rug out from under China’s feet!

In an article carried exclusively by pakpotpourri2,by  Brigadier Shaukat Qadir® ,titled  “Another Conspiracy Theory”, quotes a person he simply states as X  who he corresponded with regarding the role & involvement in US in Pakistan,writes, “The US has concluded that the Pakistan army is part of the problem, not the solution; and that the interests of the Pakistan army are not identical with those of Pakistan. Consequently, the US has decided that the Pakistan army has to be cut to size and, if in the process of doing so, the Pakistan army is destroyed, so be it. And, I agree”. The article was in context with what came to be known as the Memogate scandal.

USA has her own interests in the Region. Of that, there is no doubt.

The elephant is planning to gate crash into another China Shop. The elephant must be stopped. It is a completely incorrect view that by virtue of being a “Super Power”, USA has the right to act “Super Bully”.

(The writer is  lawyer based in Lahore, professor in a University & can be contacted on


US Iran Policy in ‘Lockstep’ with Israel?

President Obama Risks Becoming a Major-League War Criminal

By Dave Lindorff


It’s a relief to know that President Obama’s “preferred” solution to dealing with disagreements with Iran is diplomacy, as he said yesterday in an interview on NBC TV, but at the same time, it’s profoundly disturbing that he is simultaneously saying that, as an AP report on the interview put it: he would “not take options off the table to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”


Equally disturbing are the president’s mutually contradictory statements that, on the one hand, he feels that “Any kind of additional military activity inside the Gulf is disruptive and has a big effect on us,” and that on the other, he will “make sure that we work in lockstep” with Israel in dealing with Iran and its nuclear program.


Lockstep? With Israel?


Didn’t the US just send Gen.Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Israel to tell that country’s leaders that the US does not want Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. And wasn’t Israel also told that the US would not support it in any attack on Iran, at least if the US was not warned well in advance? Israel, of course, is continuing to threaten to attack Iran — using the very planes and bombs that the US provides it with. So how exactly is opposing an attack by Israel and having Israel continuously threatening to attack in any way to be construed as working in “lockstep”?


And anyhow, what kind of a country moves in “lockstep” with any other country, except for a puppet regime?


The US does not have a treaty with Israel requiring the US to go to war when Israel goes to war. It doesn’t even have a treaty to go to Israel’s defense if Israel is attacked. There is a treaty like that with Taiwan, but not with Israel. US interests are clearly not congruent with Israeli interests, especially where Iran is concerned (just ask any veteran of the USS Liberty about how congruent US and Israeli policy really is).


There were other problems with the president’s interview on television yesterday too. The biggest one is that his own military chief, Leon Panetta, has stated that the US does not have evidence that the Iranians are building a bomb.


As well, there have been many statements from US intelligence and military sources making it clear that no attack on Iran’s widely dispersed and increasingly hidden and hardened nuclear fuel processing operations could successfully derail any future effort to build a bomb. In fact, many have said that such an attack would increase the likelihood that the Iranians would work to obtain nuclear weapons, either by making them on their own, or by buying them — for example from Pakistan or North Korea.


The president’s position as stated yesterday is a hodgepodge of confusion and self-contradiction.


It is also the expression of a criminal mentality. The president himself said in his interview that he does not believe Iran has either the “intention or the capability” to attack the U.S. Yet he implies the US is contemplating such an attack on Iran. And make no mistake: An attack by the US on Iran would be a war crime of the highest order — the crime of aggressive war and a fundamental violation of the Nuremberg Charter drawn up at the end of World War II. Leaders of countries that launch wars of aggression against countries that do no pose an imminent threat to the aggressor nation are war criminals. President George W. Bush was and remains a war criminal for his unprovoked invasion of Iraq, and President Obama, if he launches a war against Iran, will be just as much of a war criminal.


In fact, even threatening such a war is a war crime, and the president has come pretty close to doing that with his “no options off the table” rhetoric.


What is truly sick about all this saber-rattling is that even sane Israeli leaders admit that they don’t think Iran, if it obtained or created a nuclear weapon, would actually launch an attack on Israel. That claim of Iran’s being a mortal danger to Israel is a red herring. The Israelis, who after all have some 300 nuclear weapons themselves and are the only nuclear power in the middle east, simply don’t want Iran with a nuke because it would limit Israel’s power in dealing with Arab states bordering it, and in dealing with Hezbollah and Hamas. That’s a far cry from an existential threat.


Also sick is the American public — sick of pointless wars that is. Polls make it clear that despite a massive propaganda campaign run by the US government and broadcast by a colluding corporate media, only a small minority of Americans are buying the notion that Iran poses any kind of threat to the US, despite the best efforts of National Intelligence Director James Clapper to push the fear button. That kind of public sentiment is supposed to mean something in a democracy. It’s also supposed to be one of the lessons learned from the Vietnam War: Don’t go to war without the public’s solid support.


War crime aside, even the idea that President Obama would even think of going to war against Iran, a country of 74 million people (more than two times the size of Iraq or Afghanistan), when this country has already blown some $3 trillion on two pointless wars that have both been lost and that have both created disastrous chaos in the countries the US invaded, and when the US economy, hugely in debt, is still mired in recession, is truly appalling.


But surely the most appalling thing of all was hearing the US president say on national TV that he is operating US policy towards Iran in “lockstep” with the pipsqueak nation of Israel–an apartheid country currently being run by a bunch of corrupt, neofascist, genocidal war-mongers and religious fanatics. To tie the fortunes of the US rigidly and unthinkingly to such lunacy and to allow such lunatics to drag the US into yet another disastrous and wholly unnecessary war should be seen as an act of lunacy itself, and certainly should in itself disqualify Obama for the office of president of the United States.

+The writer wrote this piece for his blog This Can’t Be Happening : where it originally ran.

F-16s For Pakistan: Again

Exclusively running on Pakpotpourri2:

Javed Helali is a known political commentator based in Plugerville, USA. 

In the 1990s the US sold a number of F-16s (Fighting Falcons) to Pakistan for about $463 millions. But Pakistan never received them due to an amendment in the US Congress known as the Pressler Amendment by ex senator Larry Pressler who is on record as saying “ I am one of the Americans who are hooked to India”. He is also a member of the board of directors in an Indian technological company. The amendment, basically was that Pakistan should be punished because of its nuclear programme. The planes were never delivered. The amount refunded was $140 million less than the amount paid by Pakistan. Part of it was considered “service charge” by the supplying company and the rest was supposed to be fobbed off with “gifts” in kind like white wheat! I wonder why Pakistan did not go to court against the supplier and asked for interest on the $463 million it had already paid and was deprived of its use for 8 years while the money lay outside its control.

Now the US is selling 18 new and 26 old F-16s to Pakistan  at a total cost of about $3 billion. It will also upgrade about 34 old F-16s that Pakistan already has. Lockheed Martin, the builder of F-16s and other principal contractors like Boeing CO., Raytheon Co., Northrop-Grumman Corp., and General Electric Corp. are the main beneficiaries of the deal signed at Rawalpindi, the Military Headquarters of Pakistan.

Several reasons come to mind. One. Pakistan is now grudgingly accepted as a member of the Nuclear Club (albeit, unofficially) by the western nuclear powers. Two. It helps mitigate the insult caused by the earlier shoddy behavior of the 1990s sale. Taking money and not delivering and the goods was definitely bad business and much worse foreign policy. Three. The US thinks that  selling the planes now will further empower its ally in the person of President Musharraf, promote trust, and undermine anti-Americanism in Pakistan etc. Four. It also shows that the US may have learnt from its mistake of abandoning Pakistan in the 1990s and is now trying to build a long-term relationship. Five. The US may be hoping that this sale might help Pakistan to democratize and modernize and make it a better neighbor to India and transform the Pak-India relationship into something mutually constructive. Six. It may reduce Pakistan’s doubts about US willingness to and ability to sustain a beneficial relationship between the two countries. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it may prove to the Pakistani military (specially) and people that cooperation with the US brings benefits and that the US understands Pakistan’s security concerns.

Strings attached: A statement issued by the Pakistan Air force does not mention the conditions set by the US on the use and maintenance of the planes. The air Force is apparently interested in acquiring the “toys” irrespective of its eventual beneficial use.

The US has sought unusual guarantees (and apparently got them) to prevent the technology of these very advance planes from falling into the hands of countries such as China with whom Pakistan has good military relationship. The Russian MiG-29s that India has and will start mass-producing them soon is equally advanced and in some respects supposed to be even better. The recently concluded Indo-US military exercises might throw more light on the above.

The strings or conditions are as follows:

The US government must approve all F-16 flights outside of Pakistani air space, including for exercises with other countries. Question of sovereignty arises here.

The US is withholding unspecified F-16 technologies so that it could not be used in any “offensive” way to penetrate air space of another country. India, I presume.

Pakistan’s F-16 fleet and munitions would be segregated from aircraft supplied by other countries so that third country/unauthorized engineers could not get access to the planes. China, I presume.

US personnel would carry out inventories and their associated systems every six months. A very important question of sovereignty arises again.
From the above it seems that if Pakistan is to abide by all the US safeguards, it will be against its national interest to buy these planes. Nothing much can be said except that if lawmakers had a say in the affairs of the country, this expenditure would probably have not taken place. Pakistan’s known “enemy” is India. If the planes cannot be used against them if and when necessary then what is the use of buying them (without the guarantee of delivery in any case)? Also, India is vastly superior to Pakistan in military numbers. What would a handful of F-16s do in the case of a prolonged war if, God forbid, it ever happens? Wouldn’t the $3billion be more useful if spent on uplifting the socio-economic welfare of the country?