Internationalisation of Balochistan Issue
By Sajjad Shaukat
Recently, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances visited Pakistan in connection with the missing persons, especially focusing on the Province of Balochistan. In this regard, 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.
However, the delegation of the UN Working Group not only met with the government officials, families of the missing persons, but also held meetings with the leaders of various nationalist parities to know about human rights violations and situation of missing persons, particularly of Balochistan. It will present its report to the UN Commission on Human Rights.
In fact, we cannot see the visit of this delegation in isolation because its main aim is to internationalise the issue of Balochistan in accordance with the agenda of some anti-Pakistan powers. Notably, UN is under the influence of the US-led major countries.
It is notable that 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’s security agencies. He also favoured an independent Balochistan. It has exposed US backing to the Baloch separatists who are responsible for the missing persons.
In this respect, with the help of Baloch separatist leaders who have taken refuge in western countries, US-led entities are launching false campaign to distort the image of Islamabad and its security agencies.
It is mentionable that the agents of American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mosssad are well-penetrated in the foreign and Pakistani media, various NGOs and human rights organisations which are being used for vile propaganda against Pak Army and country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) including Frontier Corps (FC) in relation to the disappeared persons. In this context, 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 lobbies with the cladestine assistance of America. On the other side, while taking note of the deteriorating law and order situation, the civil government and the Supreme Court of Pakistan have continuously been focusing on Balochistan in order to redress the grievances of the Baloch people, while paying attention on the missing persons.
In this regard, federal and provincial governments are making strenuous efforts to restore peace and order in the province. For this purpose, a paramilitary committee has also been formed by the ruling party to hold negotiations with the disgruntled elements including other such options. But, on the direction of some foreign elements, Baloch separatist leaders have flatly refused the offer of the government for dialogue, while emphasising the independence of Balochistan.
It is noteworthy that America which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008, intends to make India a mini-super power of Asia to contain China and destablise Pakistan as well as Iran. Balochistan where China has invested billion of dollars to develop Gwadar seaport is considered a greater threat by Washington, New Delhi and Tel Aviv.
Facts 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), and Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) in order to fulfill their secret strategic designs so as 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.
Especially, 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 to Baloch leader Brahamdagh Bugti and his operators inside Balochistan. Malik explained that BLA has owned 299 terror attacks in the province in which more than 170 personnel of the FC were martyred.
Earlier, Inspector General of the FC Maj-Gen. Obaidullah Khan Khattak disclosed that teachers, doctors and many civilians have fallen prey to targeted killings. He elaborated that foreign powers had their eyes on the province as part of a well-planned conspiracy, hatched for propaganda against the FC and intelligence agencies.
During his visit to Balochistan, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, while hinting towards US, India and Israel including insurgent groups said on July 13, that there were some external and internal forces involved in creating unrest in the province.
Nevertheless, BLA and Jundollah which have been fighting for secession of the province gets logistic support from CIA, Mossad and RAW and are also working against the cordial relationship of Pakistan with China and Iran. In the past few years, their militants kidnapped and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan. Besides Pakistan nationals, these foreign citizens also fall in the category of the disappeared people.
On a number of occasions, BLA claimed responsibility for various acts of sabotage, forced abductions and killing of non-Balochis, while Jundollah did the same in case of Shias of Pakistani and Iranian origin.
It is regrettable that without grasping the facts, external elements and some of Pakistan’s internal entities have been distorting the image of Pak Army and country’s intelligence agencies, particularly ISI regarding human rights violations in Balachistan.
As regards the services of Pak Army, on May 29, this year, former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani chaired a high-level meeting about missing persons and law and order situation in Balochistan. Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani who also attended the meeting said that Army backs political solution to Balochistan, and assured full cooperation of the armed forces and FC in relation to the disappeared people. He elaborated, “not a single solider of army is involved in any military operation in the province.”
On October 11, last year, while addressing, the passing-out parade in Quetta, Prime Minister Gilani appreciated various efforts of the Pak Army in alleviating the people of Balochistan for ensuring best possible training to bring the youth into the national mainstream.
In fact, Pak Army set up a number of schools, colleges and institutes of technical training so as to provide thousands of Balochis with job opportunities, and to eliminate their sense of deprivation.
But, the Baloch feudal lords who have been fighting for their own so-called status, prestige and influence do not want to give up the old system of feudalism. With the assistance of US-led India and Israel, they incite the Baloch separatist elements for independence of the province, while a majority of Baloch people does not favour separation of Balochistan. No doubt, these foreign-supported elements are behind missing persons in Balaochistan. While, US-backed entities including UN seek to internationalise the Balochistan issue.
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