Balochistan: parliament, SC and the other - Dr Qaisar Rashid


Well-Known Member

Balochistan: parliament, SC and the ‘other’ —Dr Qaisar Rashid\01\04\story_4-1-2012_pg3_4

Is it a Nazi fascist state in the guise of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan? Does Islam sanctify the practice of forced disappearances and then extrajudicial killings and dumping of dead bodies along the roads? Apparently, the collective conscience of Pakistanis is dead.

History is the best instrument of indoctrination. Can anyone count the number of years required to heal the wounds of the atrocities inflicted on the Baloch by the state’s security apparatus? The Balochistan of today is tormented with all types of inhuman affliction ranging from forced abductions to forsaken dead bodies (bearing the marks of torture of all kinds). Is Balochistan considered an enemy territory? Even an enemy is not dealt with like that. The ruse of ‘national security’ has ravaged Pakistan; the artifice itself is a gigantic menace to the federal concord.

It was Muhammad Ali Jinnah who remained worried about the backwardness and aloofness of Balochistan. Before 1930, he started pleading for the introduction of reforms (such as formation of a legislative council) in Balochistan — to give it a semblance of a province. Did he do all that effort to make the Baloch susceptible to the homicide being committed today? Secondly, who tasked the security apparatus with creating a (consequent) rancorous Baloch generation? In fact, it was a failure of the federation in undertaking development work in Balochistan after 1947 or even after July 1970 when Balochistan attained the formal status of a province. The development of Gwadar Port does not represent the development of Balochistan.

Why should the Baloch not raise a voice for their rights? The state apparatus should not have tried to muffle their voice; it is not meant for that. Now, each abduction or dead body prejudices the chances of appeasing the Baloch. The Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package introduced by the incumbent elected government has been denigrated. With each passing day, hopes for resolution are vanishing. Is anybody listening?

Why should anybody (who matters) listen? The prime objective of the sitting government is to complete its term by circumventing issues that may prompt a direct conflict with the state’s security apparatus. Parliament is giving the impression of following a strategy of abandoning the Baloch to the mercy of the state’s security apparatus. Parliament should declare if it has excluded the Baloch from the list of bona fide Pakistanis. If it has not, why is it observing criminal silence on their plight and grievances?

The Supreme Court is already encumbered with deciding on one scandal or another. Ironically, the so-called ‘national security’ suffered an existential threat from a memo but not from the continual disappearances of the Baloch and appearance of their dead bodies subsequently. On the scandal, both the army chief and DG ISI were heard at the Supreme Court but why the wails and screams of the Baloch are not heard there? The Baloch are pointing the finger at the state’s security apparatus. Why is this matter not probed? Why can the Supreme Court not ask them what role their institutions are playing in Balochistan? Certainly, the cost of this indifference is being paid by the Baloch.

The murder of Dr Baqir Shah, a police surgeon, has added fuel to the fire of grievances. In May 2011, Dr Baqir Shah was assigned the task of finding out what killed the five foreigners: a blast or bullets? If he had said ‘blast’, probably he would have been allowed to survive unscathed. By telling the truth that the bullets of the police and the Frontier Corps (FC) killed the unarmed men and women at Kharotabad, he signed his own death warrant. Dr Baqir Shah is dead now. Against those five dead bodies, his body was pierced with bullets. Dr Baqir’s crime was to call a spade a spade. Is anybody ready to take pride in the name of a state where truth is the victim? Pakistanis should not let his message of courage and speaking truth (against all odds) die. He should be honoured posthumously with the highest civil award.

In which part of the world is the state’s security apparatus alleged to have been involved in the forced abductions and killings of its citizens? Is it a Nazi fascist state in the guise of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan? Does Islam sanctify the practice of forced disappearances and then extrajudicial killings and dumping of dead bodies along the roads? Is it a barbarian age Pakistan is passing through? Apparently, the collective conscience of Pakistanis is dead.

Why can the federation not speak to the Baloch youth who have taken refuge in the mountains? Reportedly, most of them are educated. If the DG ISI can secretly visit a foreign country to meet a foreign national to gather information on an unsigned memo, why can the DG ISI not meet Baloch dissidents (or nationalists) and negotiate with them — in the best interests of the state? The DG ISI, like the army chief, is a government servant who is not supposed to be ego-driven. Secondly, the state’s security apparatus must be aware of the fact that the tax collected from the revenue that accrues from selling the resources of Balochistan is converted into their salaries; the same tax also feeds the expenditure incurred on the upkeep of their weapons. The security apparatus must feel grateful to the Baloch and serve them as humble government servants.

Even the ego of the state cannot be considered supreme. Instead, the ego of a common Pakistani is supreme. It was the democratic will of the people expressed in electoral terms in the 1945-46 elections that led to the emergence of Pakistan. Pakistan is not a conquered territory. It is a shared property of the people, common Pakistanis. Hence, it is the citizen first and the state later.

Balochistan is under virtual siege. Balochistan needs to be demilitarised. In Balochistan, civilians should be empowered to run the provincial affairs. Balochistan should be given all opportunities to translate its part of provincial autonomy (which is enshrined in the 18th Amendment) into action. Lastly, the state should make arrangements to speak to the Baloch dissidents.

The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at

Last edited:

The soul searching article puts our bleeding wounds in Baluchistan in focus yet again but it could have been better to invite readers to come out sympathetically for the cause. Unfortunately the paragraph narrating motifs and implications of Baqir Shah’s killings expose the writer’s ill intent for propaganda purpose only and that will not take us to any positive note.

Balochistan’s deprivations are excessively being used to bash the security apparatus. Armed forces are for sure tackling the insurgency there which itself slows the development process but that’s not the whole picture, only a fragment of the mess all around.
Without wasting space for the issue discussed at large for years now, I try to say myself in short and clear.

Baluchistan’s civilian government enjoys full support of PM and release of funds or proper use of money is their headache. Having worst level of governance ever, this government must be kicking butts of Baluchistan too, like other provinces.

Direct access to common Balochs and setting priorities for the development has always been a tangle for all governments in the past. Baloch Sardars understandably control the daily lives of commoners, no project can be launched without their approval and they tend to keep Balochs backward for the same reason as feudal tend to do in other provinces. It helps them gulp the funds and block enlightenment which can challenge their absolute control.

Biased behavior can not be ruled out by Military governments because when Generals are at war in certain area, their priorities are influenced by insurgency. So, being that a major factor, 4 military governments did play role in leaving Baluchistan far behind but it does not end here. We have witnessed that Army fighting against terrorists in PK agencies and Swat did engage with locals for their uplift and development as a tool in fight against terrorists became key element in defense strategy. It is successfully being followed in Waziristan and Swat. Why not in Baluchistan ? We need rulers in Islamabad and Quetta to act, it is not Army’s job to impose developmental doctrine at gun point, Army can only facilitate the protected environment for development.

Since ruling class in Baluchistan in initially anti-development, there are issues of influence too. Baluchistan has not been able to formulate a united strong voice for its rights. Bloch’s being in dominant majority are not willing to acknowledge Pushtoons. So much so that Pushtoon politicians are forced to demand division of Baluchistan on ethnic grounds. It is at par with situation in Punjab, Saraikis demanding province of their own. If PPP government or the next forms a commission to suggest new provinces, Pushtoon population in Baluchistan will be able to develop at fast pace because they have leadership on their side. If, by fear of division, Bloch

Tribal Lords reach agreement with Pushtoon leadership, even that will bring hope for a change. The long time stalmate has to go away.

Balochistan’s forced backwardness also plays good for the players of Great Game. US, India, Afghanistan, UAE, Iran and Soviet Union are the countries trying to ripe dividends from frustration being brewed there. UAE and Iran want to secure their interests in energy and commerce fields. Gawadar Port development or Oil and Gas exploration in Balochistan is not welcome pleasantly by them. Balochistan’s key geographical position invites big powers to draw devilish plans far into future. With so many international players involved, the Baloch Sardars have not merely been eyeing for their rule unchallenged, they are rather dreaming of statehood and control over huge resources, leading them to princely future, something like House of Saud. This blue print offered to them by international players demands raising armed groups to fight for freedom. That is the point where a common Pakistani or an Army General stand on the same page, ready to face threat to national frontiers.

Propagandists like this guy only offer foul cry for killings but never tell us killings of whom. Pakistan is facing insurgency by foreign funded elements and we need to separate the killings of enemy soldiers (BLA) by Army- appreciatingly, from the innocent killings of defenceless citizens at the hands of forces of dark.. One such killing in Karachi few months back was properly investigated and culprits brought to justice. Kharotabad incident did not go unchecked. There is no disagreement that each innocent killed deserves justice. But rather than gathering evidence and moving the courts, giving number of dead bodies will not bother anyone. An insurgent killed is a matter of pride and satisfaction for us and case of a common Baloch killed is matter of concern and grief for us.

Finally, I do not mean at all that there can not be mistakes, poor judgment or disinformation in abnormal scenarios like fighting insurgency, soldiers are mortal men after all. Institutions learn from mistakes. System’s weakness was exposed when Kharotabad killings occurred, Partiality was obvious when State of Pakistan failed to provide adequate protection to Afaq Ahmad of MQM in Karachi. But it is rather suicidal approach to go after the State or Army to extremes, we should acknowledge mistake, investigate and ensure it doesn’t repeat. Indian Army has exposed Kashmiris, Nagas and ULFA sypathizers to worst kind of atrocities but Indian media or public do not make hell about it, they struggle on relevant forums. I wonder what kind of idiots we have in this unfortunate country who merely shout to sooth their evil conscious at the cost of their motherland’s deficit.
Last edited by a moderator: