Water Scarcity: Misguiding the Bloch People

By Sajjad Shaukat

Foreign powers which have been supporting the Baloch Sub-Nationalists (BSNs) as part of their unfinished agenda against Pakistan and its Armed Forces leave no stone unturned in misguiding the Baloch people by manipulating one after another issue.

In this regard, in the recent past, water scarcity and low rain-falls in the far flung areas of Balochistan province has contaminated water sources particularly in Awaran District, leading to water borne diseases and deaths. Frontier Constabulary (FC) has initiated timely response by establishing medical camps in the affected areas. While, newly commissioned officers of the Pakistan Army from the drought-hit regions are being temporarily attached with these camps to instill confidence amongst the local population.

At present, almost the whole world faces an acute dearth of water due to global warming—the problem which remains on the agenda of the Western countries.

But, this natural calamity is being propagated by the BSNs as a deliberate effort by Pakistan’s Armed Forces to eject locals from villages in order to deny support to the BSNs in their strong holds. However, this propaganda cannot be seen in isolation, as it is part of perennial campaign against Pakistan.

Recall, when during the Musharraf regime, with the Chinese assistance, Pakistan initiated the construction of Gwadar deep-seaport in the Balochistan province in March 2002; sirens went off in the capitals of foreign countries, especially the US, India and Israel who took it as a threat to their global and regional plans.

Balochistan’s ideal strategic location, its abundant mineral resources like gas, coal and gold, entailing Pakistan’s close ties with China already pinched the eyes of the US, India, Israel and some Western countries like the UK which have been destabilizing Pakistan for their collective aims. But, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which infuriates them has become their special target.

While, India was openly opposing the CPEC and China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, the US also joined India. In this regard, on October 3, 2017, US Defence Secretary James Mattis told the Lawmakers, “The United States has reiterated its support for India’s opposition to China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative…the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a part of which traverses Pakistan-Kashmir.”

America’s support for India’s opposition to the Chinese project was first reflected in the joint statement, issued by the two countries after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with President Donald Trump in June, last year.

Pakistan strongly dismissed the statement from the American defence chief that the multibillion-dollar road and rail network CPEC which is part of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, passes through a disputed territory, urging the international community to focus on blatant human rights violations and ‘heinous crimes’ committed by Indian occupation forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), and reminded the US that Washington had also participated in an OBOR summit.”

Earlier, a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry also dismissed Mattis’ statement, saying that the OBOR initiative was backed by the United Nations and that CPEC was an economic cooperation initiative.

In fact, being the only nuclear country in the Islamic World, Pakistan was already on the hit-list of the US-led India and Israel, including some Western countries. But, after the shift of the Great Game from Central Asia to Pakistan’s province of Balochistan, American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad, including British MI6 have been supporting target killings, suicide attacks, hostage-takings, sectarian and ethnic violence in various cities of the country, while backing separatist elements in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan provinces. As part of the double game, based in Afghanistan, these secret agencies which have well-established their covert networks there and are well-penetrated in the terrorist outfits like the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and their affiliated Taliban groups are using their terrorists to destabilize Tibetan regions of China, Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan and Pakistan’s Balochistan by arranging the subversive activities.

While, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad which have also been extended to other parts of the country, including Balochistan province. Army and top intelligence agency ISI have broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of terror attempts. Peace has been restored in various regions of Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan.

But, these external elements have, again, started terror attacks in Balochistan in particular and other regions of the country in general, which show that the US-led India, Afghanistan and Israel want to weaken Pakistan and to damage the CPEC.

Overtly, American high officials remark that they seek stability in Pakistan, but covertly, they continue to destabilize it, especially with the assistance of India.

In this respect, terror attacks coincide with a continued propaganda campaign against Pakistan. Indo-Israeli lobbies which are well-penetrated in the US administration and Europe, research centers, think tanks, universities and so-called human rights groups leave no stone unturned in continuing their endless propaganda against Pakistan, especially Balochistan. Particularly, RAW is availing the opportunity of the US-led organized propaganda campaign against Pakistan.

In connivance with Washington and Tel Aviv, New Delhi has been using every possible tactic to create unrest in Pakistan in general and Balochistan in particular to obstruct the CPEC project. In collaboration with CIA and Mossad, RAW has been involved in acts of sabotage, being conducted in Balochistan through Baloch Sub-Nationalists and other terrorists groups to hamper the progress of the Gwadar port which is the central point of the CPEC.
It is noteworthy that on March 24, 2016, Pakistan’s security forces disclosed that they arrested the serving agent of RAW in Balochistan. During investigation and in video, shown on Pakistan’s TV channels, RAW agent Kulbushan Yadav confessed that “he was the agent of RAW” and “during his stay, he contacted various Baloch separatist leaders and insurgents, including Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, to execute the task to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” project.

In the recent past, Indian former Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly admitted that during his tenure, he supervised special army unit, Tactical Support Division (TSD) on the instructions of the then defence minister to sponsor subversive acts in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan.

With the help of the US-led entities like parliamentarians, media anchors, scholars and human rights groups, India exploits the petty matters and local rivalries in Balochistan.

As regards, Balochistan, in the recent past, posters reading “Free Balochistan” appeared on vehicles in London. In this context, a statement released by the Pakistan’s Foreign Office said, “Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua summoned British High Commissioner in Pakistan Thomas Drew on November 3, 2017 over slogans displayed on London cabs, saying, “That directly attack Pakistan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty…the high commissioner was informed that Pakistan, in line with the United Nations Charter, rejects actions and advertisements with malicious content that impinge on our sovereignty and territorial integrity…the “issue was also being raised with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by our High Commissioner in London.”

In September last year, Islamabad had also summoned Swiss ambassador over the public display of anti-Pakistan posters by a group in Switzerland. A Foreign Office statement had said that a strong protest had been lodged with the ambassador over Swiss authorities, permitting the use of its territory for propaganda by elements linked with the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a ‘terrorist organisation perpetrating terrorism and violence in Pakistan’. It pointed out, “Any notion of ‘Free Baluchistan’ is a flagrant attack on [the] sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan.”

It is mentionable that as a result of the general elections 2013, the government led by the nationalist leader Chief Minister Balochistan Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch was established in Balochistan, while on December 7, 2013; local bodies elections were largely held in a peaceful manner in the province. These elections proved that majority of the Baloch are loyal to the federation, and have rejected the case of separatists, being projected by foreign forces which are destabilizing Pakistan by assisting the anti-state elements in Balochistan.

It is notable that in the recent years, Pak Army has made strenuous efforts to develop the infrastructure in Balochistan by providing the people employment opportunities to bring the Baloch people in the mainstream of the country. For the purpose, army has not only established schools and colleges in Balochistan, but also set up technical and industrial institutes in the province, besides giving military training to the youth.

In this connection, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Major General Asif Ghafoor pointed out that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on November 23, 2017 launched the ‘Khush Hal [Prosperous] Balochistan’ project in Quetta, which is aimed at ensuring stability through socio-economic development and security…the Army chief eloborated the 10-year package for Balochistan…provision of natural gas, electricity, and water to the inhabitants.”

In 2011, I had visited Balochistan along with other journalists. I saw a number of institutes, set up by army, and these were providing especially technical training to thousands of Balochis. I had also a trip to far-flung areas of the province and witnessed various mega projects and mineral sites. I was greatly surprised that no military operation is going on in Balochistan as propagated by the foreign elements. People told me that some subversive events are taking place by the minority separatist elements so as to create instability in the province.

It is worth-mentioning that Balochistan had been hit in the past by some phenomenally devastating calamities like floods of 1950, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1992, 2000, 2010, 2011 and 2012, drought of 2000 and cyclone of 2007. The real saviors of people of Balochistan were Armed Forces and FC which quickly responded to the call of duty by extending helping hand to fellow countrymen, conducted exceptionally dangerous rescue missions and provided relief to the victims. Similarly, on September 24, 2013, Awaran district of Balochistan was affected by an earthquake. Pakistan Army and FC promptly acted as asked for by the government. Although FC personnel located in the area were equally struck by the earthquake, yet they were the first ones to respond to the situation. And the Army units hastily moved from Khuzdar and Karachi.

It is of particular attention that besides some foreign elements and the BSNs, some provincial leaders are also misleading the Baloch. For example, in June, 2016, talking to the Radio Ashna, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, chairman of Balochistan’s Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, who is very close to the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and was also present in his recent procession at Abbottabad had stirred up a controversy by saying that “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa [KP] belongs to Afghans and they can live there without fear and irritation…If Afghans are harassed in other parts of Pakistan, they should come here to the KP province, where no one can ask them for refugee cards, because it also belongs to them,” Achakzai further stated, “Kabul and Islamabad should exercise extreme caution to resolve Torkham crossing conflict. Otherwise, they should leave the issue to the US and China, and they would resolve it within two weeks.” Later, he allegedly added that his party would put up resistance if Afghan refugees were harassed.

It is noteworthy 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, peace has been restored in the province.

Taking cognizance of the international conspiracy and external threat of terrorism, Pakistan Army and Navy have ensured the security of Gwadar Port which has gained great importance and is vital for the success of CPEC.

No doubt, army’s progressive role through numerous schemes and projects for the development of Balochistan is rapidly changing the fortune of the Baloch people, which is likely to castigate the foreign conspiracy against the province. But, it is misfortune that some external and internal entities are still misguiding the Baloch people in order to fulfill the secret agenda of the US-led India, Israel and some Western powers. In these terms, manipulation of the water scarcity in Balochistan is also part of the same scheme to misguide the Baloch people, especially against the Armed Forces of Pakistan.

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