Posted by Belharvi
While terror-acts still keep on going in Balochistan, but without grasping reality, some politicians, human rights activists, and media persons of Pakistan have been propagating against Pak Army, Frontier Constabulary (FC), country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI). It seems ridiculous when some of them allegedly say that security agencies are behind terrorist activities in Balochistan.
Notably, India, US and Israel have been internationalizing the Balochistan issue in accordance with their covert agenda. In this respect, in connivance with the Baloch separatist leaders who have taken refuge in Switzerland, Sweden, US and London, these external elements use media, various NGOs and human rights organisations for false propaganda against Pak Army, FC and ISI in relation to extrajudicial killings, mutilated bodies and the missing persons. It is regrettable that while speaking in the tone of their foreign masters, some internal entities of our country also implicate Pak army, FC and intelligence agencies, and they totally ignore their services in Balochistan.
Unfortunately, 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 hit 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.
Despondently, the relief efforts have been politicized and militarized to the disadvantage of affected populace. The foreign-backed militants and their foreign collaborators opposed relief activities by Army and FC in Balochistan. The separatist elements repeatedly attacked the security forces during relief work. Media projection of Army relief activities remained at low ebb, while miscreants were vindicated as their activities were well-projected. It seemed as if certain media houses and their associated analysts were outsourced by the miscreants. In this context, an article titled, “Fear and Loathing in Awaran” by Naziha Syed Ali, published in the daily Dawn on November 26, 2013 is a case in point. The author has totally projected the cause of separatists, while bashing the security establishment for having failed to win over the hearts and minds of people in Awaran district of Balochistan.
As a journalist, she did not bother to investigate the under currents of Awaran, and collected views of only those who represented the banned outfits and therefore missed the real truth. In fact, Baloch insurgents have created a coercive atmosphere in the area where public feels awfully frightened and in order to avoid a backlash from these militants, people have refrained from issuing media statements. Hence, Naziha Syed Ali’s self-created argument that no one spoke to her—vouching for the charities—doing any relief work in the area, lacks strength of credibility and truthfulness.
Balochistan environment envisages that social scientists must be bold enough to act as participant-observers to find out the real pulse of people who cannot even express their real ordeal. To know the inner feelings of people who have been provided by the Pak Army with food, shelter, clothes, medicine, hospital facilities and psychological warmth—enhancing their self-esteem, media analysts must spend more time with victims rather than blowing out unnecessary views of insurgents. Besides, while advancing the foreign propaganda, Naziha Syed Ali shows her misperceptions about the missing persons of Balochistan. She wrote in her article, “The term refers to individuals—abducted by agents of the state including the FC and intelligence personnel. Most remain untraced while many are murdered and dumped…rights groups estimate that thousands of people have been kidnapped and detained in secret prisons by security forces.”
As regards the missing persons, everyone knows that Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and their affiliated outfits including another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of the province gets logistic support from American CIA and Indian RAW—these militants kidnapped and killed many innocent people and the security personnel in the province. They also massacred many persons through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence.
Therefore, they are responsible for dumped bodies and extrajudicial killings in the province. On a number of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their subversive acts. Besides, several missing persons went to Afghanistan and India as they were serving their external secret agents. Some of them were murdered by external secret agencies to malign Pak Army, FC and ISI. Notably, since 2001, a majority of Pakistanis also left for Afghanistan for Jehad purposes, without informing their families, while many people joined the Jahadi groups. A majority of the disappeared individuals are also in the detention centers (Farrari Camps) which are being run by Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) who want to continue old system of feudalism in the province.
So, Nazia Syed needs to grasp ground realties in relation to the disappeared persons instead of following misleading approach of the external entities and that of the judicial activism. Now, a majority of the Baloch persons has understood that Balochistan’s mineral resources and geo-strategic location with deep Gwadar seaport, connecting rest of the world with Central Asia have annoyed the US and India because China has already invested billion of dollars to develop this seaport. It is due to multiple strategic designs that the US which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008 seeks to dismember both Pakistan and Iran. Meanwhile, by rejecting US growing pressure, on March 11, 2013 Pakistan’s former President Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the gas pipeline project with Iran. Islamabad also handed over the control of Gwader seaport to China.
During his trip to Beijing, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang signed eight agreements on July 5, 2013 in various fields. The most important one envisages the establishment of an Economic Corridor between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the historic Silk Road city in western regions-Xinjiang of China. Beijing has also offered to build an international airport in Gwadar which would be connected with the communication network of rest of the country to facilitate transportation of goods. A day before Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Islamabad; Chinese engineers being driven through Clifton Block-1 in Karachi escaped a major bomb attack. Afterwards, Baloch separatist elements targeted Chinese engineers, working at Gwader. In fact, entrenched in Afghanistan secret agencies like CIA, RAW and Mossad have perennially been assisting subversive acts in Balochistan to fulfill the secret strategic designs of US, India and Israel at the cost of Pakistan, China and Iran.
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 co-authored an article, favoring an independent Balochistan. It has exposed external support to the Baloch separatists. But, a Gallup survey of the UK official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, 2012, disclosed that the vast majority of the Baloch people oppose the idea of an independent Balochistan.
As regards the positive role of Army, in 2011, I had visited Balochistan along with other journalists. I saw a number of institutes, set up by army, and these were providing education, especially technical training to thousands of Balochis. Besides other developments works, Pak Army was also imparting army training to the Baloch youth. So, the purpose of army is to uplift of the Baloch people with creation of jobs and to bring them in the mainstream of the country. However, I had also a trip to far-flung areas of the province and witnessed various mega projects and mineral sites, protected by the Armed Forces. People also told me that subversive events are being arranged by the minority separatist elements to create chaotic situation in the province, and no military operation is being conducting in the province.
Nevertheless, our print and electronic media must play positive role in guiding the general masses by projecting the relief activities of Army and FC in earthquake-hit areas in wake of worst challenges and disruptions caused by the miscreants. Instead of misguiding the Baloch people, media must appreciate Army’s humanitarian role and indicate that no army operation is being conducted in earthquake-affected areas, as the false propaganda is being conducted by the militant groups and some Pakistani analysts who are following foreign agenda, therefore they will not be allowed to hurt Pakistan’s interests.
It should also be made known to the separatists that they will never succeed in their designs to damage Pakistan. It is in their own interests to lay down their arms and stop making trouble in the province. Their survival and well-being lies only in united Pakistan. So, stop the filthy game and let the people of Awaran have their relief goods and get settled.
By showing the other side of Balochistan unrest, media must also point out that foreign masters of our internal entities are the enemies of Pakistan and are using them as tools for distorting the image of Pakistan, its Army and FC.(By Sajjad Shaukat)