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BALOCHISTAN A Victim of Negative Perceptions
by Humera Karim

Balochistan, the resource rich province of Pakistan has always been an attraction for international power players. Often these powers have been playing negative role in planting and nourishing unrest in the province. A small segment of the society who do not fully represent the people of Balochistan, assisted these powers and turned the smoke into fire.

'Sarmachars', as the armed militants are called in the local language, have always been given special space and attention by most of the mainstream media of Pakistan, probably to secure sympathies of different segments of society. But the 'indigenous' people of the province do understand the fact that these separatists only constitute 1 - 2 % of the total population, and this is a well known fact that the foreign hand is at their back. Human rights organizations and media have been mourning together for miscreants but no one bothered to raise the voice for those who have been martyred by these miscreants as if they were not humans hence deserve no consideration. In fact, these few people have been made hostage the entire population of Balochistan.

Baloch areas, specifically few parts of Awaran had become 'no go area' in the past wherein the state had almost lost its writ. At places people were left with no option but to suffer the barbarism by the miscreants who had even established their own writ. The poor political will and lack of courage handed-over all the powers to these militants. Whoever tried to raise his voice was threatened, and in case of any non cooperation, was targeted by these miscreants.

Many people paid with their lives for chanting slogans of their love for Pakistan. They are the real Pakistani heroes who remain unknown to our media and are not being given the due coverage. Majority of Baloch people celebrate 14th August, demonstrate their loyalty and love to Pakistan by taking personal risks, but still stay unworthy for media coverage. These miscreants usually presented as 'angry Baloch brothers' in media domain have apparently free hand to kill anyone. Not a big deal ! These cruel people don't spare anyone: labourers, hair-dressers, teachers, doctors, settlers and even local Baloch people. They are assassinating innocent people everyday but there is hardly any voice to expose their cruelties, and this has created an environment of fear in the province. Local people fearing that their misery may never end often subdue to the nefarious designs of these terrorists. Why only so many voices for 'missing persons' an maligning of LEAs, and no voice for these 'living persons' whose only crime is love for Pakistan and desire to live peacefully. Do they not deserve our attention, care and sympathy, too?

This scenario has become more clear after Awaran was hit by an earthquake on 24 September 2013 measuring 7.7 on the richter scale with five aftershocks after few days on 28 September. Awaran is one of the most underdeveloped districts of Balochsitan and as stated above, is an abode of militants. Government of Balochistan requested Pakistan Army to carryout the relief work and help the people in trouble. Pak Army and FC immediately responded to the call and started with the rescue and relief activities with full force. However, these separatists made full use of the opportunity and repeatedly attacked the security forces personnel busy in relief work. They started negative propaganda of a military operation in the area and were scared that their barbarism would be challenged. They clearly showed their reservations that Army is gathering information about the militants from the residents of Awaran.

The next question arises here that would any sovereign country allow the militants to create state within state? Could there be any logical reason to leave citizens on the mercy of criminal armed groups? Would US, UK or any other state tolerate this to happen in their country the way Pakistan has been tolerating this? It has been recently reported in media that US is spying each and every US citizen for state security concerns. But in Pakistan, militants are given sympathetic air by few human rights organizations, foreign media and a segment of domestic media.

It is reported in some newspapers that people were forced not to accept relief supplies and all such items were either set on fire or kept out of their homes. But in fact, the relief supplies kept out of their doors were later on collected by the insurgents themselves. Rescue and relief teams are under attack by these outlaws, which is in contradiction with Baloch traditions and any standards of humanity. These hooligans have neither helped anyone nor allowing others to help, too. They have looted many trucks carrying relief supplies. Does this attitude towards the poor and helpless qualifies them to be called 'angry Baloch youth?'

Mashke is center of Dr. Allah Nazar led guerrilla group Baloch Liberation United Front (BLUF). This group attacked security forces so as not to allow rescue and relief activities to reach Mashkey and different areas of Awaran. They are constantly demanding international NGOs for relief work. Isn't it clear who is making them to demand this? Who would be reaping the benefits of presence of international NGOs inside Balochsitan? In the aftermath of 2005 earthquake in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, a host of foreign NGOs were given access to the affected areas. What were the consequences? Some recently published books e.g. The Command: Deep Inside the President's Secret Army by Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady, and The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth by Mark Mazzeetti, and several articles published in The Telegraph and Foreign Policy have revealed that Raymond Davis like CIA secret agents were pushed into Pakistan posing as the aid and construction workers in 2005. These publications state that so many Americans were operating inside Pakistan under both legitimate and false identities that even the U.S. embassy in Pakistan did not have accurate records to keep track of their identities and whereabouts. Mark Mazzetti mentioned at page 164 of his book The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth about exploitation of earthquake catastrophe by the USA in 2005, and writes, "The Americans were not just on a mercy mission. In the months after the earthquake, the CIA used the relief effort in Kashmir to slip covert officers into the country without the 'ISI's knowledge. The American spies adopted covers of various civilian professions. ISI officials suspected that the aid mission might be a Trojan Horse to get more CIA officers into Pakistan, but amid the devastation in Kashmir and the urgent need to maintain the stream of humanitarian relief, Pakistani military and intelligence officers were not in a position to challenge the credentials of all the Americans arriving in Pakistan". He also mentioned at page 261 of the same book: "In early 2011, so many Americans were operating inside Pakistan under both legitimate and false identities that even the U.S. embassy in Pakistan didn't have accurate records to keep track of their identities and whereabouts". There are many reports about involvement of India and Afghanistan in worsening the law and order situation in Balochistan. The traces of involvement of other regional players are also often visible on Balochistan scene. After all, the leadership of these miscreants has been safely and freely living in foreign countries for very long.

What if the above mentioned practices are repeated in guise of helping earthquake victims of Balochistan? Balochistan, which has already turned into an important square on the geo-strategic chessboard of South Asia, would surely be no exception. These examples have been given to highlight the 'penetration strategy' of foreign powers. The universal consciousness is awakening against the New World Order (NWO) where new states have to be emerged. Many voices are being raised against it in the West and the US itself. The map of NWO was released long time ago and in that map, Balochistan is a independent state consisting of Baloch areas of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Hair Biyar Marri, the leader of BLA, is also demanding the same boundaries for Balochistan. He is sitting among his masters and speaking their hearts.

In short, our policy makers need to be vigilant enough to stand these conspiracies and never allow access to such elements in Balochistan and the rest of Pakistan. People of Pakistan are trying to assist their troubled Baloch brothers in earthquake areas. The aid must reach to the destination - to the poor people. The militants are trying to keep the poor Baloch as hostages and use them as human shield. Our message should be clear: 1) to poor Baloch that we love them as they love Pakistan, and 2) to the militants that they must shun violence, stop targeting poor Baloch and stop playing in the hands of enemies of Pakistan.

We can still change the misfortune to an opportunity by removing the perceptions and addressing the real causes of unrest in the province. The patriotic Baloch deserve a special treatment!

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The writer works for a private TV Channel.
[email protected]

 (Courtesy Hilal Magazine)