Mainstreaming the Estranged Baloch Leaders
By Sajjad Shaukat
Dr. Marri suggested Pakistan government to put forward the issue and demand UK to stop providing the safe haven to the commander of Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) Hyrbyar Marri and also emphasized for preparations to be made to raise the issue in UN.
The meeting between Chief Minister of Balochistan and Dr. Marri is the step in the right direction. Pakistan needs to accelerate its efforts to bring other drifted Baloch leaders in the main stream of the country and use them for its advantage and progress.
Sincere Baloch leaders from inside and from abroad have started expressing their concerns about Indian sponsored insurgency in Balochistan. In this regard, Dr. Jumma Khan Marri, is one such example, who parted ways from foreign-backed Baloch separatist leaders such as Brahamgagh Bugti, Hyrbyar Marri and Mehran Marri, accusing them of being completely controlled by Indian intelligence agency RAW.
It is notable that safe havens hideout of BLA, Baloch Republican Army (BRA), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JA), LeJ Al-Alami (LJ-A) in Afghanistan are also a cause of concern for Balochistan. If these safe havens continue to operate from Afghan soil, with the support of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS) and RAW which are in collaboration, law and order situation in the province of Balachistan cannot improve.
Besides, some hundreds of individuals were misguided by propaganda and fell in the trap of foreign hostile intelligence agencies, who exploited the existing grievances of the local population of the province.
It is of particular attention that armed forces of Pakistan have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the successful military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad which have also been extended to other parts of the country, including Balochistan province. And Pakistan’s primarily intelligence agency, ISI has broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of terror attempts. But, in the recent past and during the election-campaign of 2019, blasts in Balochistan and other regions of the country showed that the US-led India, Afghanistan and Israel have again started acts of sabotage especially to weaken Pakistan and to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is part of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative or BRI. Washington and New Delhi has already opposed this project.
It is mentionable that foiled terror attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi on November 23, last year was part of the same scheme. In another terror-related incident, on the same day, at least 35 people were killed and 50 wounded in a blast in Kalaya area of lower Orakzai district in Hangu (Pakistan).
It is noteworthy that the separatist group of the Balochistan, BLA claimed responsibility of the failed terror attempt on the Chinese consulate in Karachi through a tweet.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s media and reliable sources revealed that in a major development pertaining to attack on Chinese consulate in Karachi, Pakistan’s Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) on November 24, 2018 learned that attack was funded by India’s notorious RAW and Afghanistan’s NDS. Earlier, LEAs arrested three alleged facilitators in connection with assault on Chinese Consulate in Karachi.
Sources privy to LEAs disclosed that local facilitators had assisted the BLA’s terrorists in carrying out the appalling attack. The attack was “planned by banned BLA commander Aslam alias Achhu who is currently under treatment at Max Hospital in New Delhi, after being injured in an operation by Pakistani security forces near Sibi…Achhu had several times travelled to India from Afghanistan on fake passport. His sister was arrested while crossing border last year.”
Undoubtedly, it shows the connections of the Indian RAW with NDS in relation to the foiled attempt at the Chinese consulate of Karachi.
Notably, India’s main objective is to undermine Pakistan’s legitimate economic and security interests in Afghanistan. India is attempting to poison Afghan people against Pakistan by carrying out negative propaganda and actions to destroy Pakistan’s age old socio-economic and trade related links with Afghanistan and to impede Pakistan’s trade with Central Asia. India blames Pakistan for terrorist events occurring in Afghanistan to build a case that the freedom struggle in Jammu and Kashmir is also being backed by Pakistan. New Delhi’s objective in doing so is to denude the people of Jammu and Kashmir for the political and moral support of Pakistan. India is also using Afghan soil to destabilize Balochistan to slow down the growth of the CPEC and pulling Afghanistan away from joining the CPEC.
In this regard, propaganda of external entities, followed by meetings and arranging protests against the integrity of Pakistan is also part of the same campaign to destabilize the country.
In this respect, RAW and CIA arrange a meeting of Baloch Sub-Nationalists, SSNs (Sindhi-Sub- Nationalists) and the USNs (Uyghur Sub-Nationalists of China) on the termination of 35th Session of Human Rights Counsel in Geneva from 12-14 June 2017. The agenda was; planning against the CPEC/Pak-China’s interests in the region. Mehran Marri attended the conference and delivered a speech (reportedly prepared by RAW) alleging CPEC as exploitation projects and Baloch cultural genocide by Pakistan and China. Represents of World Sindh Congress (WSC) attended the said forum as well. Uyghur human rights activists, Rebiya Kadeer and Dolikun Aeysa were also present in the said conference.
Promotion of Sub-Nationalists groups (in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Azad & Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan) along with establishment of “Ansar-ul-Shariah” (reportedly Al-Qaeda based) in Karachi and projecting the issue at international forums through foreign base Sub-Nationalists are reflective of multi-prong, well-orchestrated strategic of hostile intelligence agencies.
Similarly, Ahmar Masti Khan’s ‘American Friends of Balochistan’ organized an event at National Press Club in Washington, DC August 2017. The speakers included, Hussain Haqqani, Former Ambassador of Pakistan, Nawab Brahumdagh Bugti, President of Baloch Liberation Army (via skpye from Switzerland), Nawab Mehran Marri, Chief of Marri Tribe & President of the Balochistan House, Hammal Haider, International spokesperson for the Balochistan National Movement, Banuk Kareema Baluch, President Baloch Students Organization (Azad).
They promoted the self-created theory that Pak Army and China had ill-intentions towards CPEC, Gwadar and Balochistan’s natural resources.
However, mainstream US media and credible organizations in USA do not take Ahmar Masti Khan seriously. The aim of Ahmar Masti Khan is to malign Pakistan’s Armed Forces and China.
Meanwhile, a seminar was organized by All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) at Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway in the recent past. The address and Question-and-answer (Q&A) session were interrupted by Pakistani Diaspora and BSNs (Baloch Sub-Nationalists). Later, Nobel Peace Center management issued a press release, clarifying that the said Centre was hired by APML for holding of their programme and Nobel Peace Center had nothing to do with the act. So, Norway shut down an event midway. Subsequently, a similar seminar was also canceled by University of London due to fears of protest by Pakistani students.
Interruption of such activities and cancellation of programs by various international institutions due to fear of protest by vested groups exposes the so-called freedom of right of expression, propagated by the West.
Similarly, on the eve of Chinese National Day on 30 Sep 2017, Free Balochistan Movement (FBM) headed by Harbyar, organized a protest rally in Gottingen, Germany. This has been done on the Indian sponsored false propaganda about China’s new colonialism and human rights violations in Balochistan. It was said in their statements that China and Pakistan nexus is aimed to turn Baloch demography into a minority.
Nevertheless, unlike the past, protest/rallies by Baloch insurgent groups abroad have increased in order to project Balochistan issue on international forums. Baloch Student Organization-Azad (BSO) also organized a demonstration outside British Prime Minister’s residence in London on Oct 1, 2017 against alleged Pakistan war crimes in Balochistan.
Although foreign intelligence agencies such as CIA, RAW and Mossad have continued supporting various types of intrigues against Pakistan and China, yet Balochistan has become their special target and these secret agencies have accelerated their aggressive campaign, especially to harm the CPEC project.
In this connection, with the help of Baloch nationalist leaders who have taken refuge in western countries; these hostile elements have launched a false propaganda campaign by spreading disinformation about natural resources, progressive works and the CPEC. Thus, they are misleading the Baloch people.
The agents of CIA, RAW and Mossad are well-penetrated in various NGOs and human rights organizations which are being used for a malicious propaganda against Pakistan’s security forces. In this respect, on July 31, 2011, with the help of external elements, a rally was organised by Baloch Human Rights Council in UK, in front of the US Embassy in London, which raised false accusations such as inhuman torture and extrajudicial murder of the Baloch intellectuals by the inhuman actions of the Pakistani army.
On August 3, 2011, the then ISPR spokesman, Maj-Gen Athar Abbas, while rejecting human rights groups’ reports about Balochistan as a conspiracy against Pakistan, called for probing the funding of these organizations, as “this could be traced back to those forces which want to destabilize Pakistan.”
Besides rallies in some western countries, in 2012, a demonstration was held outside the United Nations in Geneva on the occasion of the 19th Session of UN Human Rights Council to condemn the human rights violations in Balochistan. The demonstrators accused Pakistan’s security and intelligence agencies of extrajudicial killings. Apparently, the demonstration was organized and led by Mehran Baloch, Balochistans representative at the UN and Noordin Mengal, but, in fact, it was arranged by the anti-Pakistan NGOs, human rights groups and Indo-Israeli lobbies with American covert help.
It is of particular attention that on September 6, 2017, in a letter to Ambassador Valentin Zellweger-the permanent representative of the Swiss government at the United Nations (UN), Ambassador Farukh Amil-the permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN has taken up the matter of posters, raised in the area around Rio de Ferney in Grand Sacconex, Geneva—mentioned the name of Balochistan House (BH) as a sponsor—terming the incident as a belligerent attack on the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan” by giving calls for ‘free Balochistan’.
According to the ambassador, a car “remained parked near [the digital poster] and seemed to be guarding [it].”
According to the letter, the BH, “the apparent sponsor of these posters is an affiliate of the BLA, which is a “listed terrorist organisation under the laws of Pakistan and other countries, including the United Kingdom.”
The letter reads, “The fact that terrorists or elements linked with terrorists operate openly for their propaganda campaigns in the peaceful and serene city of Geneva, capital of the United Nations, is a matter of grave concern…The use of Swiss soil by terrorists and violent secessionists for nefarious designs against Pakistan and its 200 million people is totally unacceptable.” The envoy demanded that “the incident is fully investigated with a view to blocking its recurrence in the future.”
And in 2006, the federal government had exercised its powers under Section 11 (b) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, to declare the BLA a terrorist organisation. The decision was made after the government cancelled the arms licenses issued earlier to main nationalist leaders in Balochistan.
At the time, the federal government’s investigation had said that the BLA was involved in sabotage activities, including rocket attacks on national installations, civilian population and security forces. It was also accused of laying landmines in various parts of the province.
It is also of particular attention that patriot Baloch people have come to know the foreign conspiracy against the integration of Pakistan. They know that Pak Army has not only been successful in uprooting the anti-state elements, but also contributed a lot in socio-economic development of Balochistan. While protecting mega projects, and promoting other development works, Army set up a number of institutes in Balochistan, which have been providing particularly technical training to thousands of Balochis. Army has also been imparting military training to the Baloch youth. The purpose is to bring them in the mainstream of the country.
In fact, Army’s positive steps are increasing income of the Baloch youth and reducing their dependence on the feudal lords (Sardars), while external-backed insurgency has hampered the growth and development of the province.
It is worth-mentioning that since the government of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as part of reconciliation process, many insurgents and their leaders have surrendered their arms and decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province by including the mainstream of the country, and peace has been restored in the province.
But, it is misfortune that some external and internal entities have still been misleading the Baloch people in order to fulfill the hidden agenda of some powers who have converted Balochistan into a hub of international conspiracy.
However, the overwhelming majority of people residing in Balochistan remained loyal to Pakistan, and disowned any group who resorted to violent means against the state.
Those still playing in the hands of especially RAW, whose core is largely decimated in Balochistan, need to throw down their weapons and pick up the stance of unity like Dr. Jumma Khan. The government of Pakistan needs to play a special role in bringing the estranged Baloch leaders to the mainstream of the country.
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