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    Sheikh Asad Rehman, leftist activist and Baloch rights advocate, passes away



    Obituary: Farewell Comrade Chakar Khan





    Added by Malik Siraj Akbar on October 31, 2012.
    Saved under Malik Siraj Akbar, OPINION, Showcase
    Tags: Asad Rahman, Asad Rahman in Balochistan, London Group, Malik Siraj Akbar, Sungi Development Foundation, The Baloch Hal
    By Malik Siraj Akbar


    What do people normally do after finishing a contemporary history book? Here is what I normally: I question myself how many of the lead characters in the book are still alive and where they currently live. In the same fashion, I, some years back, wondered how many members of the London Group still lived after reading a couple of books on Balochistan. In the summer of 2008, I read a passionate interview of Asad Rahman in The News on Sunday. ”Their [of Baloch people] backs against the wall, they’ve no option but to fight’, the headline read. I kept on reading the fascinating interview. I was struck by two things. One, Asad was open to talk to the media and, secondly, he impressed me with his knowledge and understanding of Balochistan.



    There began my search for Asad Rahman, the wonderful friend of Balochistan who departed from this world on October 29th in Lahore. R.I.P. The search for him was over only one year later in October 2009 when the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and Sungi Development Foundation brought two different delegations to Quetta to investigate the causes and implications of Balochistan conflict. friend, Faisal Mengal, who worked for Strengthening Participatory Organization (S.P.O.) and was subsequently killed in Karachi two years later, called. “There is a man you must meet,” he recommended, “Asad Rahman is in town and you should speak to him.”


    When I met Asad at Quetta’s Sarena Hotel, I thought my Google search was sufficient to recognize him in the first meeting. When I walked at him, I suddenly stopped. Not because he was talking to someone else but because he was speaking in fluent Balochi. I thought I had spotted the wrong person. To end my confusion, Faisal said the bearded man was indeed Asad Rahman. I introduced myself and requested for an interview, he agreed and suggested I visit him the next day at S.P.O. office in Jinnah Town.


    ———————————————–


    “I am ready to give you an interview,” he said, “but no one will publish it.”


    I said I was more interested to dig out all information from him about his participation in the Balochistan movement. So, I was planning to speak in detail with him, without being sure how much he would trust me to open his heart. I wanted the interview to straighten important facts about Balochistan’s history instead of only getting it published in a newspaper. Thus, we agreed to publish the interview on my blog. We spoke for two-long days. Before publishing the interview, I asked him time and again, “are you sure you want this to go on record?” . Most of the time, he said if I wanted his interview to be a part of the history then I should publish it without editing most of the contents even if they are critical of some people.


    The interview was published.



    There were four immediate reactions.


    First, it annoyed some members of the London Group. They thought Asad was too outspoken and did not utter good words for some members of the Group. I offered to interview the irked members of the London Group who objected to Asad’s remarks. No one agreed.


    Second, members of the London Group also thought the interview was too self-serving. One man who fought in Balochistan said, “It was all actually collective work. We all worked together.”


    Third, the interview became super-popular with young Baloch readers. It became a major motivator even for those who did not have an interest in Balochistan’s politics.

    For instance, one day I met a friend, a senior Baloch bureaucrat currently working at the Chief Minister Secretariat, with nearly a dozen books: All on Balochistan’s history. ”Are you planning to write a book on Balochistan?” I asked sarcastically. “No,” he said, “I read your interview with Asad Rahman and was left motionless when he said Balochs should read and write their own history. I had never thought of reading my own history but Asad’s interview has compelled me to read the true history of Balochistan.” In the coming days, I met so many Baloch and non-Baloch, both from and outside Balochsitan, who said the interview had instilled an interest to read more about Balochistan. Daily Tawar, an Urdu language newspaper, published the interview in Urdu, Balochi and Bhravi languages. The interview, on October 30th, remained my most-read piece a in a single day throughout my blogging career.


    Fourth, the interview was read by a lot of old people who had retired and shifted outside Balochistan or Pakistan. We received an enormous number of emails and phone calls from old friends and class fellows of the London Group. One gentleman, who had remained a class fellow of Dilip Dass, the member of the group how was killed during the Balochistan resistance battle, even sent us a picture from the school days which we exclusively published in the Baloch Hal. We eventually took the picture down on the sender’s request who feared coming under limelight.


    ———————————————–


    It is a cliche to say Asad was a friend of Balochistan. A “unique friend” is probably the right term to describe him. There have been very few people, and Asad was among them, who tried to help Balochistan with guns, conferences, signature campaigns, interviews and newspaper articles.

    On June 11th and 12, 2010, Sungi Development Foundation, where he directed programs, organized a major conference on Balochistan. He wanted to bring all stakeholders in Balochistan at the conference. He invited powerful authorities like the Governor of Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi and Senator Raza Rabbani to tell them that the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-Balochistan Package had not helped to resolve the conflict in Balochistan.

    Asad launched a massive signature campaign across Pakistan to express solidarity with the Baloch people. He was a brave man. He lived in Islamabad but never hesitated in publicly stating that he supported the Baloch right to self-determination.


    In an email the Summer of 2011, he wrote to me, “I think you understand my commitment to the resolution of the Balochistan issue. I am trying my best, holding conferences and press conferences. The problem is the civilian government both at the federal and provincial level. They are both dictated to by the Khakis and are not able to shake off their hold.”


    ———————————————–

    Asad shared three dreams with me.


    One, he always wanted the Balochs to be united. I was surprised to see him to go to everyone’s home in Balochistan. His friends and contacts included pro-independence leaders, pro-autonomy parties and Baloch bureaucrats, doctors and journalists. He spoke to all and urged them to unite. He tired hard to bring them together on minimum points.


    Two, he wished the Balochs educated their children. In every meeting, he’d say Balochs should sit down and write their own history. He never trusted Pakistani journalists and writers’ account on Balochistan. He considered most of them ignorant of and dishonest toward Balochistan.


    Three, he wanted his children and nephews to neither forget Balochistan nor break up the relationship with the Baloch people. He often used to visit Balochistan with the family kids. He once told me he had taught his children Balochi language and wanted them to remain acquainted with the land their father loved so much.


    ———————————————–

    If The Baloch Hal was my baby, Asad was the uncle.


    “How is the Hal doing?” was his frequent question.


    He was excited when we launched this newspaper in November 2010. He often offered to make personal donations to sustain the newspaper as he said “this work is very important’. He was working on his autobiography and had almost completed it. One day he shared the sad news, though: “My laptop has been stolen,” he wrote in an email, “I have lost the book manuscript. I will have to rewrite it.” I am not sure he ever got the time to work his autobiography. What a loss if he did not. His family can confirm the fate of the book.


    Asad was in fact the only senior contributor for the Baloch Hal who agreed to give his exclusive articles and research papers to us for publication. We apologized that we did not have the funds to pay him for his writings. He said it was never an issue.


    “Keep going,” he advised.

    Published in The Baloch Hal on October 31, 2012


    Asad Rahman, aka Chakar Khan, 62, Passes Away

    Added by FB_1661948314 on October 30, 2012.
    Saved under Showcase, Today in News, Top Headlines
    Tags: Asad Rahman, Chakar Khan, London Group Balochistan, Shiek Asad Rehman
    The Baloch Hal NewsQUETTA: Asad Rahman, 62, a renowned intellectual, social activist and ardent supporter of Baloch movement, passed away on Tuesday, media report.Son of a former chief justice of Pakistan Supreme Court, Mr. Rahman had advocated for Baloch rights throughout his life. In 1970s, Mr. Rahman was part of the London Group, a study circle in England that later left their comfort life and education to join Baloch fighters in Marri hills, confronting a fierce military operation.Other prominent members of the London Group were Najam Sethi, Ahmed Rashid, Rashid Rahman and Dilip Dass. Another prominent figure, Mohammad Ali Talpur, joined the group a year later.In early September, Mr. Rahman, along with his 30-year-old son, were manhandled by Punjab Police in front of their residence in Lahore after they had tried to save life of a rickshaw driver who had sustained injury in a road accident. According to a report in the Daily Times, a liberal English daily edited by Mr. Ramhan’s elder brother, Rashid Rahman, both father and son had badly been injured by the Punjab Police.An activist on Facebook alleged that Mr. Rahman couldn’t bear the humiliation and ill-treatment by Punjab Police and had fallen ill in the wake of the police beating.His funeral prayers will be offered tomorrow in Lahore.


    Last edited by M Ali Khan; 31-Oct-2012 at 12:34 PM.
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    Re: Sheikh Asad Rehman, leftist activist and Baloch rights advocate, passes away

    Being Punjabi like Asad



    Harris Khalique
    Wednesday, October 31, 2012
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-New...jabi-like-Asad


    Sheikh Asad Rahman breathed his last in an Islamabad hospital on the night of Monday, October 29. He developed a severe heart condition about two weeks ago and struggled under a ventilator before his body systems finally failed him. I had met Asad a day before his heart attack. Appearing fighting fit, he was in his true element, when speaking of human rights movements in Pakistan, reflective when deliberating on development challenges faced by communities in the length and breadth of the country, and passionate while tracing the history of the struggle for the rights of the Baloch people.


    Asad worked as a journalist and community development practitioner with a number of institutions before finally becoming executive director of Sungi Development Foundation. For over 40 years he worked and campaigned in various capacities for the realisation of people’s rights. He continued writing for newspapers as well, offering succinct political comment. His contribution to the social, labour, women’s, minority and cultural movements was consistent all along. But his cause for life since his student days was singular-the cause of the Baloch people and realisation of their inalienable economic, political and social rights. He was fondly called “Chakar Khan” by the Baloch with whom he worked closely in the 1970s.

    The year 1971 saw him in the mountains of the Marri tribal region. He was accused of ambushing military convoys and securing ammunition for the fighters. Caught, he was jailed and charged with treason. Even after his release he remained fearless and vociferous in his criticism of the policies pursued by the establishment and the marginalisation of the Baloch from mainstream national politics.


    What was probably his last column, published in a Lahore newspaper on October 9, Asad wrote: “The 1948, 1958, 1962-68, 1973-77 [periods] and the ongoing violence and civil war were not only expressions of the Baloch resistance to imposition of an alien culture and politico-administrative structure, but a very emphatic movement for their fundamental, human, cultural, social, political and economic rights. Balochistan’s political elite have been continuously excluded from policy and decision-making forums, or [are] under-represented due to the population basis used for electing political representation in the National Assembly. While the Senate has equal representation for all provinces, it is not the final policy/decision-making forum as it has no fiscal or political decision-making powers.” Further, he argued that it is in the last ten years that the movement for rights within the federation in accordance with the 1940 Lahore Resolution has become a secession movement in Balochistan. The tactics used by the Pakistani establishment, the military and its agencies has brought about this change. Balochistan is seen as a tract of land for strategic and exploitative purposes, a testing ground for nuclear devices and an area rich in mineral ores. It should rather be seen as a land inhabited by our own people with equal rights. Referring to the East Pakistan debacle in his writings, he lamented that the powers that be are incapable of learning from their past mistakes. Or perhaps they do not even have the capability to understand that they committed and continue to commit blunders.

    Asad gave credit to his parents for shaping his social and political views. His father, Justice S A Rahman, retired as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1968. Soon after, Justice Rahman was appointed chairman of the commission that tried Sheikh Mujibur Rehman in the Agartala Conspiracy Case. He was also the chief election commissioner for the 1970 elections, the fairest elections we ever had. It is said that when Sheikh Mujib was finally released, the first person he visited was Justice Rahman. Mujib told him that if her were not its chairman, the tribunal would have hanged him. Asad’s mother was a social worker who served women and children from disadvantaged groups until her death. In an interview given to Malik Siraj Akbar three years ago, he said, “I would not describe myself as someone from the elite. In the first place, you have to understand when I went to Balochistan; it was my commitment to work with the poorest, marginalised and disfranchised population of Pakistan...”

    By far, Sheikh Asad Rahman was not a self-hating Punjabi. His passion for the Baloch people, fighting for them because he believed they are waging a just struggle and raising his voice for their cause, did not mean he denied his roots. While being bitterly critical of the state dominated by the Punjabi elite and its lopsided policies, he loved the Punjabi people, their culture, their language, and the simple life a common Punjabi leads. He supported the cause of all Pakistani languages and thought that all children have the right to get primary education in their mother tongues. When it came to his community development work, he would want training to be imparted, meetings to be held, and material to be developed in Urdu, rather than in English. It goes without saying that Asad had full command over English. He was sent to the best of schools and colleges of his time by his parents, both in Pakistan and the UK. But he was among those who are against the use of a language for exclusion and perpetuating the power of one small class over all the others. It was not prejudice of one against the other but humanity at large that inspired him.

    Today I see that young people from Punjab, particularly those belonging to its elite and affluent middle classes, have so much to learn from people like Sheikh Asad Rahman. Politically, he represented a different Punjab from what we witness now-a pre-Unionist, pre-Muslim League, pre-1947 Punjab. Culturally, he represented a people’s Punjab. Politically, the Punjab he belonged to was conscientious, just and pluralistic. A Punjab that would side with Guru Gobind Singh and Dara Shikoh against Aurangzeb Alamgir, a Punjab that would produce Dulla Bhatti and Bhagat Singh. Culturally, the Punjab he belonged to was rich, warm and colourful. While it is also a reflection on the universality and humanity embodied in art vis-a-vis matters of mundane politics, it must also give a sense of pride to Punjabis today that their culture was so inclusive that the family of the greatest hero of Punjabi films, Sultan Rahi, belonged to Saharanpur, UP. The greatest villain, Mustafa Qureshi, is from Hyderabad, Sindh. The first Punjabi film to be released in Pakistan, Neeli, had Santosh Kumar as its hero: the actor came from Lucknow. Punjab produced some of the greatest poets and writers in Urdu, from Iqbal, Manto and Bedi to Noon Meem Rashid, Majeed Amjad and Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Top writers and artists from all over India came and settled in Punjab much before Partition. Just to name a few, Mohammad Hussain Azad, Akhtar Sheerani, Imtiaz Ali Taj and Patras Bukhari had either come to Lahore themselves or their parents moved there. Agha Hashr Kashmiri, the pioneer of Urdu theatre, settled for Amritsar after travelling across the subcontinent, from his native Benares to Bombay.

    The life and struggle of Sheikh Asad Rahman reminds us that a politically conscious Punjabi must shun the antics of its own elite-dominated establishment. Remember Habib Jalib singing his poem some years ago: Jaag meray Punjab ke Pakistan chala. (Wake up from slumber, o my Punjab, or else Pakistan is done with.)

    The writer is a poet and author based in Islamabad. Email: [email protected]
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    Re: Sheikh Asad Rehman, leftist activist and Baloch rights advocate, passes away

    Anti Pakistani person, like Malik Siraj...


    "London Group" openly admitted they involved in anti State activities and attacks on Pakistan army in Balochistan..

    Najem sethi and Ahmed Rasheed were also the member of London Group!!
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    Re: Sheikh Asad Rehman, leftist activist and Baloch rights advocate, passes away

    Originally Posted by hamzabaloch View Post
    Anti Pakistani person, like Malik Siraj...


    "London Group" openly admitted they involved in anti State activities and attacks on Pakistan army in Balochistan..

    Najem sethi and Ahmed Rasheed were also the member of London Group!!
    calling Asad Rehman 'anti-Pakistan' would be a bit unfair. He raised his voice against political oppression by our Fauji elites and did not hesitate to fight them.

    Sure many of his ideas and views would ruffle many feathers among our 'mard-e-momin' patriots who have grown up blindly worshipping the men in uniform like some cult and regard anyone critical of their past and present blunders as 'traitors'.

    But if you want to seek betterment of all Pakistan and Pakistanis, one has to listen and consider dissenting points of view. Otherwise legit criticism and real facts will be ignored for a false reality that is nothing but a cruel joke on the rest!
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    Re: Sheikh Asad Rehman, leftist activist and Baloch rights advocate, passes away

    Originally Posted by M Ali Khan View Post
    calling Asad Rehman 'anti-Pakistan' would be a bit unfair. He raised his voice against political oppression by our Fauji elites and did not hesitate to fight them.

    Sure many of his ideas and views would ruffle many feathers among our 'mard-e-momin' patriots who have grown up blindly worshipping the men in uniform like some cult and regard anyone critical of their past and present blunders as 'traitors'.

    But if you want to seek betterment of all Pakistan and Pakistanis, one has to listen and consider dissenting points of view. Otherwise legit criticism and real facts will be ignored for a false reality that is nothing but a cruel joke on the rest!
    In his interview he admitted that he used riffle in attack against army.

    I a m not supporting army operation, but using weapons against start is a crime, not matter what kind of army it is.

    Political and democratic ways are the solutions, rather than using illegal acts in response of illegal acts!!
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    Re: Sheikh Asad Rehman, leftist activist and Baloch rights advocate, passes away

    Originally Posted by hamzabaloch View Post

    Political and democratic ways are the solutions, rather than using illegal acts in response of illegal acts!!
    Fully agreed!
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    Re: Sheikh Asad Rehman, leftist activist and Baloch rights advocate, passes away

    Originally Posted by M Ali Khan View Post
    calling Asad Rehman 'anti-Pakistan' would be a bit unfair. [HI]He raised his voice against political oppression by our Fauji elites[/HI] and [HI]did not hesitate to fight them.[/HI]

    Sure many of his ideas and views would ruffle many feathers among our [HI]'mard-e-momin' patriots who have grown up blindly worshipping the men in uniform[/HI] like some cult and regard anyone critical of their past and present blunders as 'traitors'.

    But if you want to seek betterment of all Pakistan and Pakistanis, one has to listen and consider dissenting points of view. Otherwise legit criticism and real facts will be ignored for a false reality that is nothing but a cruel joke on the rest!

    Anyone in this forum knows I am no friend of the Faujis.

    But,The 1970 Balochistan Operation was purely Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto fault when he dismissed the elected provincial assembly in 1973 and decided to call open season on Balochis using the Shah of Iran weapons, not "Fauji" Elites as you falsely claim.
    Your perpetual Boggy man Zia ul Haq within an year stopped it when Lt Gen Rahimuddin declared an open amnesty to Marri tribesmen.

    Zulfis pointless conflict caused the Loss of life of at least 10,000 Baloch (5300 being Rebels, rest civilians) 3300 Pak Army troops and paramilitaries.


    As for the so called "London Group".
    They just used the Baloch cause as a prop to further themselves.
    Onlythe "naive" Dilip Daas put his mouth where the money is, and died for his beliefs.
    Rest of the charlatans either were sitting pretty in Lahore (Najam Shitty) or went across the border to enjoy the Hospitality in a KGB safehouse with the cheap vodka and women (Ahmed Rashid).
    When USSR was no more they shifted effortlessly to the next Patron.They did not blink an eye.
    There ideals and ideology always a sham and a useful ruse much like the that of
    Ex Parchamis and Khaliqis running the Karzai Kabul kleptocracy.
    Last edited by zhohaq; 31-Oct-2012 at 04:45 PM.
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    Re: Sheikh Asad Rehman, leftist activist and Baloch rights advocate, passes away

    Originally Posted by gotti View Post
    I am a supporter of Baluch rights and an unconditional one at that...

    which is why my heart also goes out to the Irani Baluch brothers who had been subjugated since the time of the Shah and Bhutto on this side of the border

    When the Persian wife of Bhutto, oops, I mean Shah came to Pakistan, she requested that Baluch nationalism be stopped from this side of the border.

    Within days the Bizenjo government was dismissed...oh, the irony
    I've read Selig S Harrison's fascinating book "In Afghanistan's Shadow: Baluch Nationalism & Soviet Temptations" that he wrote back in 1981, and trust me the Iranians have been FAR MORE BRUTAL on their Baloch citizens than Pakistan has ever been!

    And lets not forget the NAP dismissal came at the heels of Iraqi support to Baloch rebel groups to counter Iranian support to Kurdish rebels that went throughout much of the 1960s and 1970s. Shah regime was exceptionally totalitarian and mistrusted the Baloch, deliberately denied them education, development, and empowerment.

    The revolution gave some hope as the Khomeinists had an alliance with nationalists and secularists but the mullahcracy prevailed and the hopes of Baloch remained crushed.

    That book is a MUST READ for everyone! But unfortunately its been out of print for years now, and finding an ebook is next to impossible! (trust me, I tried!).

    I saw a copy in some library many years ago and decided to immediately photocopy it.
    Last edited by M Ali Khan; 31-Oct-2012 at 09:32 PM.
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    Re: Sheikh Asad Rehman, leftist activist and Baloch rights advocate, passes away

    Originally Posted by zhohaq View Post
    Anyone in this forum knows I am no friend of the Faujis.

    But,The 1970 Balochistan Operation was purely Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto fault when he dismissed the elected provincial assembly in 1973 and decided to call open season on Balochis using the Shah of Iran weapons, not "Fauji" Elites as you falsely claim.
    Your perpetual Boggy man Zia ul Haq within an year stopped it when Lt Gen Rahimuddin declared an open amnesty to Marri tribesmen.

    Zulfis pointless conflict caused the Loss of life of at least 10,000 Baloch (5300 being Rebels, rest civilians) 3300 Pak Army troops and paramilitaries.


    As for the so called "London Group".
    They just used the Baloch cause as a prop to further themselves.
    Onlythe "naive" Dilip Daas put his mouth where the money is, and died for his beliefs.
    Rest of the charlatans either were sitting pretty in Lahore (Najam Shitty) or went across the border to enjoy the Hospitality in a KGB safehouse with the cheap vodka and women (Ahmed Rashid).
    When USSR was no more they shifted effortlessly to the next Patron.They did not blink an eye.
    There ideals and ideology always a sham and a useful ruse much like the that of
    Ex Parchamis and Khaliqis running the Karzai Kabul kleptocracy.
    you are absolutely right. It was Bhutto's blunder in 1970s, but now its Musharraf blunder of 2005 onwards!
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    Re: Sheikh Asad Rehman, leftist activist and Baloch rights advocate, passes away

    Originally Posted by M Ali Khan View Post
    I've read Selig S Harrison's fascinating book "In Afghanistan's Shadow: Baluch Nationalism & Soviet Temptations" that he wrote back in 1981, and trust me the Iranians have been FAR MORE BRUTAL on their Baloch citizens than Pakistan has ever been!
    [HI]
    And lets not forget the NAP dismissal came at the heels of Iraqi support to Baloch rebel groups to counter Iranian support to Kurdish rebels that went throughout much of the 1960s and 1970s.[/HI]

    That book is a MUST READ for everyone! But unfortunately its been out of print for years now, and finding an ebook is next to impossible! (trust me, I tried!).

    I saw a copy in some library many years ago and decided to immediately photocopy it.
    Is there any proof for this assertion or ever was?
    Bhutto was nothing if not a brilliant liar, so his word wont do, ....

    Besides why didnt the Iraqis reactivate the card during the Iran-Iraq war,79 onwards,
    Given Soviet would be onboard too.
    Gottis theory of Shah of Iran cajoling Bhutto into this carries far more weight.

    A man who had little regard for the mandate of more then 50 % of the population (E .Pakistanis) cannot suddenly have become a democrat 2 years later.

    As for Selig Harrison though he makes alot of factual mistakes. I think he does have interesting ideas .
    He thinks in summary that Pakistan may be in need to a drastic restructuring.
    Here is some stuff from now days.
    Pakistan Ethnic Faultline
    How to Leave Afghansitan without Losing

    Free Baluchistan (Blocked linked to a cache copy)
    Here is the money Quote:
    While doing less elsewhere in Pakistan, the United States should do more to support anti-Islamist forces along the southern Arabian Sea coast. First, it should support anti-Islamist Sindhi leaders of the Sufi variant of Islam with their network of 124,000 shrines. Most important, it should aid the 6 million Baluch insurgents fighting for independence from Pakistan in the face of growing ISI repression. Pakistan has given China a base at Gwadar in the heart of Baluch territory. So an independent Baluchistan would serve U.S. strategic interests in addition to the immediate goal of countering Islamist forces.

    Drawn and Quartered - NYT article
    Pakistan State of the Union- A 4 year field report for CIPS which is the basis of much of the rest.


    Was his book in the 1980 in similar vein???. Or Pakistan dismemberment a new fascination?
    Thanks for bringing him up It will be fun reading this stuff in detail....
    Given the current policy failures I think his views are going to get quite popular in the coming days.
    He is well placed in the National Security State circles.
    And apologies for being crass earlier.....
    Last edited by zhohaq; 31-Oct-2012 at 10:23 PM.
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    Re: Sheikh Asad Rehman, leftist activist and Baloch rights advocate, passes away

    Originally Posted by zhohaq View Post
    Is there any proof for this assertion or ever was?
    Bhutto was nothing if not a brilliant liar, so his word wont do, ....

    Besides why didnt the Iraqis reactivate the card during the Iran-Iraq war,79 onwards,
    Given Soviet would be onboard too.
    Gottis theory of Shah of Iran cajoling Bhutto into this carries far more weight.

    A man who had little regard for the mandate of more then 50 % of the population (E .Pakistanis) cannot suddenly have become a democrat 2 years later.

    As for Selig Harrison though he makes alot of factual mistakes. I think he does have interesting ideas .
    He thinks in summary that Pakistan may be in need to a drastic restructuring.
    Here is some stuff from now days.
    Pakistan Ethnic Faultline
    How to Leave Afghansitan without Losing

    Free Baluchistan (Blocked linked to a cache copy)
    Here is the money Quote:

    Drawn and Quartered - NYT article
    Pakistan State of the Union- A 4 year field report for CIPS which is the basis of much of the rest.


    Was his book in the 1980 in similar vein???. Or Pakistan dismemberment a new fascination?
    Thanks for bringing him up It will be fun reading this stuff in detail....
    Given the current policy failures I think his views are going to get quite popular in the coming days.
    He is well placed in the National Security State circles.
    And apologies for being crass earlier.....
    Harrison's book of 1981 was of a completely DIFFERENT outlook than what his recent articles and activism of Baloch nationalism has now become since the mid-late 2000s.

    In his book, he does sympathise with the nationalist elements (in fact he did extensive interviews of ZAB, Zia, Ghous Baksh Bizenjo, Attaullah Mengal, Akbar Y. Mustikhan, Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, Sher Muhammad Marri, K.B. Nizamani, London Group people and many more for his book!) and tends to side with them without directly even trying to support Baloch separation because he felt in 1980s that it would become a bastion for communist politics under Soviet influence!

    Yes he did not give full historical facts with regards to Kalat State's accession to Pakistan, and sort of leans too much on radical elements but other than that he is spot on!

    Hell he even interviewed many prominent Iranian officials of Shah era, including Iranian Balochs like Hosseinborr etc for his book and has a whole chapter dedicated to Iranian Balochistan which he himself toured during Shah era. He met Baloch people living in UAE, Bahrain, and Oman of that era and spoke with many interested to cash in on the Baloch insurgency.

    Bear in mind, by the time book was published, the insurgency had more or less ended in Pakistani Balochistan. But the re-emergence of a new round of violence due to Musharraf's stupidities has made him become a vocal advocate of Baloch independence nowadays.

    This is a reason why I feel his book is a MUST READ for anyone!

    p.s. and before I forget, the smaller rebellion of the 1960s against Ayub Khan in Balochistan led by Sher Muhammad Marri's rebels hiding out in Afghanistan was supported by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine! (PFLP) who helped train various Baloch rebels thanks to Iraqi help!
    Last edited by M Ali Khan; 31-Oct-2012 at 10:34 PM.
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  18. #12
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    Re: Sheikh Asad Rehman, leftist activist and Baloch rights advocate, passes away

    Asad Rehman: A hero gone

    2 hours ago


    Four decades later, why do we not find Asad Rahman-like spirit among our youth? PHOTO: FILE


    Asad Rahman was a 20-year-old young man from Lahore who, in 1970s, joined Balochistan’s resistance movement as an armed fighter. Along with his elder brother and some other companions, he was deeply devastated over Pakistan’s dismemberment.



    He believed that the Pakistani establishment had not treated the Bengalis fairly and it did not respectfully treat the Baloch either. He came from a well-educated family of the Punjab province whereas his father had retired as Pakistan’s chief justice.


    Before joining the movement, Asad had never been to Balochistan nor did he have any Baloch acquaintances. So what motivated him to go there and fight for the Baloch rights? Asad, who passed away earlier this week, told me some years back that it was his motivation to fight against injustice. He would have probably gone anywhere in Pakistan to struggle for the rights of the underrepresented communities.


    If the military had not unleashed an operation in Balochistan, Asad would have probably gone somewhere else to fulfil his passion for ending inequality. His motivation for quitting an elitist life and fighting in dangerous mountainous regions was extremely significant. He showed that a young boy from the Punjab could actually stand up against the army and tell it in the face: You can’t kill your own people and get away with it.


    Through his life, Asad proved that one could be rich but still spend several years with absolutely poor tribesmen. He showed one could come from a comfortable background but still spend sleepless and hungry nights in the hilly towns under military operations. By learning fluent Balochi and tribal traditions, he dispelled the notion that kids from the elite families could only adapt western culture.

    Asad’s biggest contribution was to tell the Baloch that he was a Punjabi but not an oppressor. To the Punjab, his message to the military was, if the Baloch were ‘traitors’ (because they asked for equal rights) then they were not alone but joined by ‘traitors’ from the Punjab.


    Asad was more of an idea than an individual. His idea was to care for the underrepresented segments of the Pakistani society. His departure from this world leaves us with one critical question: Why are we left in Pakistan with so few people like Asad Rahman? While living in the advanced age of technology, media and faster transport system, why do the people in rest of Pakistan know so little Balochistan?


    Four decades later, why do we not find Asad Rahman-like spirit among our youth?


    During all these years, Balochistan and the Punjab (Islamabad as well) should have improved relations by learning more about each other and battling collectively against injustices.


    In the 21st century, according to the BBC Urdu Service, a vast majority of the people in the Punjab almost know nothing about Balochistan while a Gallup Survey says only 52% of Pakistan’s population knows about the Balochistan’s most critical issue of the missing persons.

    The Baloch complain that Punjab’s key leaders, top intellectuals do not come out in public to protest against the ‘kill and dump’ operations carried out by the security forces. In the time of distress, the Baloch no longer see a rebel and a fighter like Asad Rahman reaching out to them and then educating the Punjab about what the Baloch actually demand.


    Wait a minute…what breaks my heart is not only why my generation in the Punjab could not produce people like Asad Rahman. We in Balochistan have also had our share of responsibility that I do not wish to shun because it equally perturbs me.


    As a young Baloch journalist, I must say I am absolutely ashamed of all the killing of the Punjabis and settlers in Balochistan. I consider it a politically immature conclusion to blame every (
    Balochistani) Punjabi for Punjab’s domineering role in the Pakistani Establishment.


    The
    Baloch nationalist movement seems to have shrunk from an anti-Punjab/center movement to anti-Punjabi. All these years, the Punjab failed to produce another Asad, while the Baloch, on their part, could not make new friendships with those intellectuals and human rights champions in the Punjab and elsewhere in Pakistan who truly wanted to help the Baloch.

    The Baloch should stop judging their non-Baloch supporters as ‘ISI agents’ if they want to make more lasting friends like Asad. In fact, it takes ages to make reliable friends while enemies are crated in minutes.


    Only time will tell if we will ever see another Punjabi-Baloch hero like Asad Rahman in the future.



    Follow Malik on Twitter @MalikSirajAkbar


    http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/14...n-a-hero-gone/
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