Wholesome approach for Balochistan
Dr. Raja Muhammad Khan
In an astounding revelation, Major General Obaidullah Khan, the Inspector General Frontier Corps Balochistan has said that there are approximately twenty foreign spying agencies actively involved in the destabilization of Balochistan.
General Obaid revealed these facts on June 2, 2012, in a Press Conference held in FC Headquarters, Quetta. Indeed, Pakistan has been expressing its concern over the involvement of the foreign intelligence network in its geographically biggest Province since many years.
In 2009, Pakistan formally protested with India over the involvement of its intelligence agency RAW in the destabilization of Balochistan by supporting and provoking sub-nationalist elements through Afghanistan and other neighbouring countries of Pakistan.
Beside RAW; CIA, Mossad, MI-6 and many others spying networks are cooperating to destabilize Balochistan. Indeed, the main cause of the mistrust between Pakistan and its ally US is the covert role of the later to create instability in Pakistan, particularly, Balochistan and FATA, through its sponsored terrorists.
In fact, in the garb of friendship, US has proved as the most dangerous enemy of Pakistan. General Obaid also disclosed that, there are over 50 farari (fugitive) camps, training the militants in the province. All these camps are funded and supported by these foreign spying agencies.
Like a professional soldier, General Obaid, however, expressed his determination to fight back all these conspiracies. He said that, "We are determined to foil all conspiracies hatched by anti-Pakistan elements." Since military action is not the ultimate solution of all the issue and Baloch masses (except few foreign agents) are very loyal Pakistani, therefore, this farsighted General, who was considered most suitable for the job, he is performing, considers that issue needs a political approach. He said, "Efforts should be made to find a political solution because use of force has never succeeded in resolving any issue."
The General is cognizant of the fact that, it is through a deliberate campaign FC and intelligence agencies of Pakistan are being targeted and defamed. The aim is that these national forces should be pulled out, leaving the space wide open for the foreign spying networks and forces to operate freely in the length and breath of the province. Nevertheless, the General has expressed his determination by saying that, although "The FC has been physically and psychologically targeted for quite some time, but, "Our morale is high and it cannot be weakened through such conspiracies."
Definitely, securing the border and stopping insurgency is the task of FC. However, it is difficult to secure 1200 km porous border with Afghanistan. Moreover, arms and ammunition in Balochistan is not only smuggled through one route, but through a combination of many. For promoting insurgency in the province, the external forces are indeed spending billion of dollars. Gen Khattak also indicated 121 insurgent training facilities to train the locals. There have occurred 550 terrorist' incidents in the province during the current years. Unfortunately, owing to the lack of evidence, most of the militants, FC hands over to police for trial in the court are released. As an estimate, so far over 100,000 people have migrated from the province, owing to the worsening law and order situation in the province.
Just a few days back, Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Ch, while closing the discussion on the Balochistan situation, said that, "The entire province is on fire but those at the helm of affairs seem to be insensitive and nobody is showing any interest in arresting the situation." The court also directed Mr Khushnood Lashari, the Principal Secretary to PM to consult Dfence and Interior secretaries and come up with a clear statement "about the rising number of incidents involving disappearances, kidnapping for ransom and recovery of dead bodies in the province."
Perhaps in the light of the SC directive, Prime Minister, Gilani chaired a high level meeting on Balochistan with key persons of his cabinet and Balochistan Assembly. He also decided to visit Balochistan, starting from Sunday, June 3, 2012. It is yet not clear whether; PM would only meet the political leadership and those responsible for the law and order in the province or has the plans to meet the aggrieved Baloch masses.
Nevertheless, it would be most appropriate if Mr Gilani could meet the masses and real representatives of the province during this visit; otherwise, Balochistan Chief Minister along with his key ministers mostly remains in Balochistan House in Islamabad.
PM should visit the remote areas, particularly the disturbed one. This would have a grater impact on the people, who have been misdirected and being misused by anti-state elements under the direction of foreign spying agencies.
Prime Minister Gilani has announced some cosmetic measures, apparently to improve the law and order situation in the province. Apart from ceasing the Rahdaris in the province, vehicles with fake number plates or without authorized documents will also be disallowed to ply in the province, a task impossible in Balochistan. PM also directs "extraordinary vigilant of inimical forces which are creating disturbances in the province." A realistic assessment of these so-called additional directives would reveal that, Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) should have these as their routine duties and responsibilities to perform. There is nothing new, which this high-level meeting could suggest. Probably, it was in the response of the Supreme Court orders and to show it to the Baloch masses that political government is doing a lot for them. Premier also called for a new legislation for the recovery of the missing persons in the Balochistan province, as if no law exists currently.
There is no denying the fact that the incumbent Government has given maximum funds to the province in last four years, in the form of Aaghaaz-a-Haqooq Balochistan Package and redistribution of resources in the NFC award. But, the Government could not ensure the implementation of these packages and resultant improvement in the social well being of the people of Balochistan. Those administrating the province, gets Rs 250 million as the discretionary funds of the each MPAs, but not spent a single penny on the development of their respective constituencies. Thus, the retaliation of the locals under such a situation on the call of sub-nationalists on provocation of foreign spying agencies is natural. The question is; after all, why Federal Government failed to have a check and balance in the affairs of Balochistan, while knowing fully the capabilities of Balochistan Government. These half hearted acts of the Government raise the doubts about its seriousness towards resolving the national issues of great concern.
As decided by political and military leadership of the country in the last week of May 2012, the issue needs a political tackling; there is a need to get serious about the situation in the province. Whereas, the FC and intelligence agencies deny their involvement in the case of missing persons and killing of the Baloch masses, why cannot the leadership trace the other avenues, like global conspiracies against the Province and the country, as highlighted by IG FC? Just imagine, who would be the beneficiary of the missing persons, torture and killings; FC and intelligence agencies or the external element, determined to destabilize Pakistan.
Whereas, the employment and deployment of FC Balochistan is now given to the Chief Minister of the province, we have to see, whether the incumbent CM is capable of doing that in the best national interest of Pakistan and the Province. His mental state and stability mostly remains questionable and who would guarantee that this force would not be used against the political opponents of the CM or Home Minister in the tribal society of Balochistan.
Indeed, those at the helm of affairs must ensure timely decisions and their implementations. Nevertheless, there is a requirement of the maturity of the decisions too. Political leadership should not pass the time by taking ill-advised and short-term decisions. At this trying time of the history of Pakistan, just allotment of funds and formulation of committees and commissions would not resolve the problem. Money and political packages are short-term measures. Ultimately, it is political will and determination, free of politics that may lead towards permanent solution of the issue. Nevertheless, the implementation on ground would really matter a lot.
An indiscriminate socio-economic development of the province in this regard would play a major role. There is a need that representatives of the federal and provincial governments (both elected and potentials) along with responsible bureaucracy must visit the province physically to know the real problems and to address their grievances on spot. These visits should not be restricted to Quetta, but at least at the level of tehsils and sub-divisions.
These groups should have a mandate to decide things on ground and later in consultation with the respective governments should initiate long-term projects. The youth of the province, irrespective of their academic level and political affiliation should be given jobs to absorb them in the larger Pakistani society. In fact, the rapidly deteriorating situation of the Balochistan demands an immediate action plan. Rather a blame-game, the situation warrants a consensus political solution.