Connections of Baloch Leader Akhtar Mengal
By Sajjad Shaukat
After passing years of self-imposed exile in London, President of the Balochistan National Party (BNA), Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal who returned to Pakistan has external and internal connections with the anti-state elements of the country.
During the hearing in the Supreme Court of Pakistan in relation to the case of missing persons and deteriorating law and order situation in the province of Balochistan on September 27, Sardar Akhtar Mengal distorted the facts in his statement, while adding similar allegations against the security agencies of the country, which have continuously been leveling by the anti-Pakistan elements.
Giving a six-point solution to the Balochistan issue, Sardar Akhtar Mengal suggested to the Supreme Court that all death squads operating under the supervision of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) or Military Intelligence (MI) in the province should be disbanded. He said that all missing persons which are under the custody of intelligence agencies should be produced before a court of law, and Baloch political parties should be allowed to resume their political activities without any interference from these agencies. Mengal explained that those responsible for torture, killing and dumping of bodies of Baloch political leaders and activists should be brought to justice. He further stated that military operation should be stopped in the province and measures should be taken for the displaced Balochis.
The federal government and the armed forces in a joint statement to the Supreme Court on September 28 rejected assertions of Baloch leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal, saying armed forces are neither conducting any military operation in Balochistan nor are there any death squads of intelligences agencies. The statement clearly mentioned that no missing person is in the custody of the secret agencies and every political party in Balochistan is free to work. Notably, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik has also expressed similar views in his latest statement.
In fact, we can not see baseless accusations of Akhtar Mengal as mentioned in his six-point solution of Balochistan situation in isolation because these are part of a deliberate propaganda which has been accelerated by the foreign-based NGOs, human rights groups and media. With the secret support of American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mosssad which are well-penetrated in these external entities and Pakistani media are being used to implicate Pak Army and ISI including Frontier Corps (FC) regarding the human rights violations and disappeared persons.
In this regard, with the help of Baloch separatist leaders who have taken refuge in western countries, these hostile entities are perennially launching false campaign about human rights violations in Balochistan to obtain the secret strategic designs of US, India and Israel. In this respect, on February 8, 2012, the hearing of the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Dana Rohrabacher discussed target killings and human rights violations in Balochistan, blaming Pakistan Army and country’s intelligence agencies for extra-judicial killings. He also favoured an independent Balochistan. Earlier Dana Rohrabacher arranged a meeting in which Baloch separatist leaders participated along with the anti-Pakistan NGOs.
On July 31, 2011, a rally was organised by Baloch Human Rights Council in UK in front of the US Embassy in London, which raised false allegations such as inhuman torture and extrajudicial murder of the Baloch intellectuals by the Pakistan’s security agencies.
Besides, a demonstration was held outside the United Nations in Genva on the occasion of the 19th Session of UN Human Rights Council to condemn the human rights violations in Balochistan. The demonstrators accused the Pakistan’s security and intelligence agencies of extrajudicial killings. Apperently, the demonstration was organised and led by Mehran Baloch, Balochistan’s representative at the United Nations and Noordin Mengal, but in fact, it was arranged by anti-Pakistan NGOs, human rights groups and Indo-Israeli and American lobbies.
On all these occasions, Sardar Akhtar Mengal who is speaking in the tone of these foreign elements, played a key role secretly. It shows his covert liaison with US high officials and CIA.
Recently, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced Disappearances visited Pakistan in connection with the missing persons, especially focusing on the Province of Balochistan. In this context, during hearing, the Supreme Court has questioned on September 19, this year that when the case of missing persons is subjudice as to why the UN delegation has been invited to Pakistan.
The delegation of the UN Working Group also held meetings with the leaders of various nationalist parities to know about human rights violations and situation of missing persons, particularly of Balochistan. As the UN is under the influence of the US-led major countries, so it also raised similar allegations against Pakistan’s security agencies.
Particularly, Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is taking personal interest about the missing persons and law and order situation of Balochistan. And impressed by the foreign elements in this respect, Pakistan’s political parties and media have also been following the blame game of the US-led entities. By taking note of these phenomena, US and other anti-Pakistan elements decided to send Sardar Akhtar Mengal to Pakistan so that the aggravated situation of the province could further be internationalised.
Regrettably, Nawaz Sharif, leader of (PML-N), Syed Munawar Hasan, Ameer of Jamaat-i-Islami and Chairman Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf who have met Akhtar Mengal encouraged him in maligning country’s key security institutes in order to increase their vote bank at the cost of Pakistan’s integrity. Akhtar Mengal also seeks to take the place of Nawab Akbar Bugti by manipulating the circumstances of Balochistan.
Besides some other political figures, Akhtar Mengal also met media anchors who helped him in providing false information to misguide the general masses about the situation of Balochistan through TV channels. In fact, some of our electronic media anchors and journalists are working on the payroll of the foreign elements and thus they are creating misperceptions about Balochistan.
Reliable reports suggest that these media commentators and Baloch separatist elements including Sardar Akhtar Mengal have intermittently been invited by the US officials and participated in their secret meetings in Pakistan so as to intensify propaganda against Balochistan as part of conspiracy against the country.
Pakistan’s internal elements, especially political parties should know that the reality behind the worsening circumstances and the missing people of Balochistan is that secret agencies like CIA, RAW and Mossad which have well-established their collective network in Afghanistan are in collusion, and have perennial been supporting bomb blasts, suicide attacks, abductions, target killings, ethnic and sectarian violence in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups such as Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundollah (God’s soldiers), Balochistan National Party led by Sardar Akhtar Mengal and other Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) to dismember Pakistan and Iran.
These foreign-backed insurgent groups are responsible for target killings of Punjabis, Pushtuns, people of Hazara community and patriot Balochis including Pakistani and Iranian Shias. Their subversive activities have resulted in missing persons in Balochistan.
In this connection, Pakistan’s Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik disclosed in his recent statements that he also showed proof about training camps being run in Afghanistan, and supply of arms and ammunition by the Afghan government inside Balochistan. Malik explained that separatist outfits have owned 299 terror attacks in the province in which more than 170 personnel of the FC were martyred.
Nevertheless, all these foreign-backed subversive activities indicate that situation of Balochistan cannot be improved so easily, that is why, Baloch leader Akhtar Mengal has recommended separation of the province, if his six points were not going to be implemented. These are also his pre-conditions to have dialogue with the government. In the past, he has rejected a number of offers, presented by the government to have peace talks to improve the deteriorated law and order situation of Balochistan.
Nonetheless, external and internal connections of Sardar Akhtar Mengal will further aggravate the problems of a majority of Balochis who do not want independence of Balochistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations