Disappearances & Indian propaganda
S M Hali


Ever since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared Indiaís support for the liberation of Balochistan, Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan, Indian media has gone berserk in promoting the supposed cause of the people of these areas.

Indian TV and Print Media are promoting scores of hypothetical insurgencies. Since Indian electronic media outlets do not have a place in the bouquets of TV Channels offered by Pakistani Cable network, one would remain oblivious of the Indian propaganda. The fact this scribe is invited to various Indian TV Channels, where forged visuals of alleged human rights abuses by Pakistani law enforcing agencies, choreographed and well rehearsed mysterious female figures, fully veiled hurl accusations at Pakistani armed forces and allege being victims of chemical weapons and physical abuse. Nondescript Baloch leaders are brought on the show, presumably from Brussels or other European capitals, charge-sheeting Pakistan. Trumped up figures of disappearances are presented as evidence. The debates on Indian TV Channels, instead of being an intellectual discourse, turns into a fish market, with each participant trying to cow down the opponent in a loud and boisterous manner. One can take the Indian criticism with a pinch of salt. Like its Prime Minister, National Security Adviser and the inner coterie comprising the Defence Minister, Home Minister et-al, who are members of the Hindu extremist and militant organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Indian media emulates its leaders and on every debate on Pakistan, tries to triumph over the Pakistani participants, hurling abuses in a jingoistic style. It even takes sadistic pleasure in airing videos of Taliban desecrating the corpses of martyred Pakistani soldiers. The sad part is that some Pakistani human rights activists and columnists have taken up the cudgel on behalf of the Indian propagandists on the issue of disappearances. August 30 was observed as the International Day for Victims of Enforced Disappearances. Columns appeared in various dailies, while rallies were taken out demanding that the Pakistan government immediately ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. One commentator opined that since March 2011, the government has left the second Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (CoIoED) to grapple with this huge issue. Appreciating the stance, the commentator stated that the one good thing the commission does is that it files monthly performance reports with the federal and provincial authorities. He demanded that the organisation is inept and does not have the capacity to deal with the mammoth problem; hence it should be provided teeth to deal with the prickly issue. Pakistani security agencies have repeatedly denied they have forcibly sequestered, tortured and killed people in the name of counterterrorism although the fact is Pakistan has been combating terrorism for over a decade and more than 65,000 precious lives have been lost. Without adequate intelligence garnered and gleaned from the abettors and facilitators of the terror mongers, it is virtually impossible to enforce counterterrorism. Despite the official denials, Pakistanís Supreme Court has acknowledged, and human rights groups have documented, evidence of the involvement of state institutions in the abuses in the name of counterterrorism. The government-appointed inquiry commission has been investigating the complaints since March 2011. Of the more than 3,500 cases it had received as of July this year, around 2,100 have been disposed of. The remaining nearly 1,400 include 500 cases the commission has received in the past seven months, according to officials. One would expect the torch bearers of the human rights abuses to be objective and enable the law enforcing agencies to filter the wheat from the chaff and nip the terror attacks in the bud, rather than parroting the Indian propaganda. As far as India is concerned, with the growing frustration on IHK (Indian Held Kashmir) situation resulting in mounting pressure on BJP led Indian Government, Mr. Modi has chosen launching offensive Psychological Operations against Pakistan. It is being manifested through all tools of Non Kinetic Warfare (NKW), mainly media and diplomacy. Since Indian NKW apparatus is quite effective within and outside India, Pakistan must expect this tirade to gain momentum in the coming days. Since India is trying to internationalise the fabricated issues of Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, there is a need to develop a response at international level as well. The decision taken by the government to send 22 Parliamentarians as special envoys to various capitals is appreciable but not enough. Opinion builders like analysts and articulate media persons should be taken on board. The government must provide a guideline to media practitioners. Firstly, to launch Pakistanís offensive in exposing the heinous Indian agenda, secondly, to deny space to Indiaís sympathisers in own media. Pakistani opinion builders need to be cognisant of the fact that Indian tirade in Balochistan is in violation of the UN charter and an outright fabrication. The drama being staged by Indian media, using proxies and some well known Pakistani origin India sympathisers like Tariq Fateh, Ahmar Musti Khan and Hussain Haqqani. Their agenda of appeasing India and self aggrandisement needs to be exposed. Indian method in the madness needs to be understood and necessary steps taken to counter it. Modiís admittance of intervention in neighbouring Pakistan during East Pakistan crisis (1970-71) while addressing the Bangladesh Parliament and now a blatant attempt to internationalise Baluchistan should be exploited. Pakistanís future lies in a happy and prosperous Balochistan. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be a game changer in the region and bring prosperity to the erstwhile strife torn province. Appreciating the seriousness of the progenitors of CPEC, most of the once led astray leaders of the Balochistan issue are now willing to return to Pakistan and reap the benefits that CPEC is offering. Their grouse that Baluchistan was being neglected is being taken care of and the lives of the ordinary Baloch are likely to be changed for the better. The erstwhile angry Baloch leaders are being pragmatic in rejoining mainstream politics. CPEC and the development of the port of Gawadar are very painful for India. It is wary of the strategic location of the deep sea port and also does not relish the idea of Pakistanís economy getting traction and becoming upward mobile. The major projects within Balochistan soil which will get boost as a result of CPEC include the port of Gawadar, an international airport there, construction of oil and gas refineries, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and commercial centers being established there. India is actually working against the interests and the future of people of Balochistan. Indian proxies are furthering its heinous agenda and people who even pay lip sympathy to the Indian propaganda, must delve deeper into their conscience and see the negative aspects of their commissions. Balochistan has made tremendous progress in the last three decades and is opening up through infrastructural developments and major industrial projects. Gawadar Deep sea port, Kasa Marble, Chamalang Coal Mines, Saindak Copper Mines, Reko Diq Gold Mines, Coastal Highway to Gawadar, Quetta-Gawadar Road and numerous other projects have placed Gawadar on a path of strategic development. It is heartening to note that Pakistan Army has made tremendous contributions for Baluchistan in the shape of FWO and NLC. Pakistan is paying due attention to Human resource development in Balochistan with active participation of the Army, Navy and Air Force. These include CMH Quetta Medical College, host of new Cadet Colleges like Sui, Ormara, Gawadar Technical Institute, FC Public schools, Balochistan University of Information, Science and technology (BUITMS), BITE etc. Baloch officers are joining Pakistan Defence forces in large numbers. The recent celebration of Independence Day across all areas within Baluchistan (despite RAWís effort to sabotage it through Quetta attack) is a clear manifestation of the fact that Baloch people are with Pakistan. Within Baloch population only a few angry brothers remain disgruntled, which are part of the so called BLA and BRA, That is not even .02% of the entire population of Baluchistan. It is hoped that they too will soon see the light of the day and jump on the bandwagon of peace, progress and development. As highlighted by Brahamdagh Bugti, there are indicators that Bollywood would make a Blockbuster on Nawab Akbar Bugti; this could have major consequences for war of perception within Pakistan. Time has come to ruthlessly curb Indian Media ingress within Pakistan; we can start by banning Bollywood in Pakistan as well as ban Indian Advertisements and Cultural Exchanges within Indian and Pakistani academia.