March 23, 2011

Balochistan bleeds on Pakistan Day

By Habib R. Sulemani

IT’S Pakistan Day today. On March 23, 1940, the Muslim leaders of colonial India gathered in Lahore and opted for a new country, after the departure of the British, instead of a united India. And finally Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947.

For the last sixty-four years, Pakistanis have gone through many difficulties and dramatic changes in their Promised Land. In 1971, during a war with India, the country lost a major part, which became a separate country, Bangladesh. Now separatist movements are active in the remaining part of the poor but sole nuclear power in the Muslim world.

Pakistan has lost its destination due to the visionless actions and intellectual dishonesty of the politicians, generals, judges and journalists. No matter who is in power, a civilian puppet or mighty general, the country is being run through the world’s most corrupt stock of westernized civil bureaucrats from the General Headquarters.

Today, freedom of thought and freedom of expression have become a crime in this Islamic Republic, for which, people with conscience are being humiliated, tortured and killed. Journalists, writers, intellectuals and civil society members have been militarized. Some of them have even been Talibanized.

The fools, ignorant, visionless, sick and criminal minds in power have joined hands to sacrifice the 180 million people for their personal gain. They've made fear and terror a strategy of the state. Thus the ruling class, civilian and military, runs the affair of the state through spreading fear and terror. The Terrorland blogs mirror Pakistan in these most crucial times of the country in the second decade of the 21st century.

As an example, I want to show you a glimpse of state-sponsored oppression from my personal life. After declaring me a traitor and American agent, the secret agencies targeted my family members in an engineered way through a group of criminals. I survived three attempts on my life. I’m living in solitary confinement for the last 12 months. My phone, internet and mails are being bugged. My entire family has been isolated in the country through typical shenanigans. Due to fear of the secret agencies, my relatives, friends and colleagues fear to meet me. Our lives are continuously under threat from the so-called security agencies [read Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI)], which have turned their guns towards innocent citizens like me, but have let the terrorists free in the country.

So far, the police have refused to register cases against the powerful culprits and my employers, Dawn Media Group, have shown their helplessness in this regard (Criminal inquiry sought). I sought help from the Federal Government, a year has passed but still there is no response from Pakistan's President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice and Army Chief (Journalist seeks protection). We're being stopped from the courts as the accused are relating to the secret agencies. It's really a nerve-breaking situation especially for my younger and student siblings: Karim (Terrorism & the story of a brave teenager), Nasira (Mr. President! I need justice in the Islamic Republic) and Hassina (Is there a democratic government in Pakistan?). Those who follow our blogs know how my family members and relatives are being harassed through dirty tactics (Facing cyber censorship in Pakistan and Slowly poisoning).

However, I forget my personal pain when I look at the pain of the common people in Pakistan. Although, cutoff from the society, still I can see Balochistan is bleeding today! But the “free media” is free only in propagating the intellectually bankrupt policies of the militarized nation state.

Personally, I’m determined to fight for the legal rights and human dignity of our people in this terrorized country. But the intelligentsia is silent due to fear of our politicians in the khaki! Similar is the situation of the human rights mafia in our society. This apathy and cowardice is the most disturbing thing for me inside my cell-like room in Rawalpindi—a city that is also the Headquarters of the mighty Pakistan Army.

Balochistan is a typical tribal province of Pakistan, which is full of natural resources. Area-wise, it's the biggest province of the country. A part of this region is also a province of the neighboring Iran while some areas are part of another neighboring country, Afghanistan. So strategically it’s a very important region not only for global players but also for countries in South Asia, Central Asia and Middle East.

Currently, there are separatist movements active in the Pakistani and Iranian parts of Balochistan. Some of the separatist leaders are reportedly operating from Afghanistan while others from within Pakistan. This poor tribal region has a long history of violence and resistance. As yet, successive governments have not let the militant groups to succeed in getting a separate homeland on both sides of the suspicious neighboring countries.

Some people say that the recent waves of violence in Balochistan started with the brutal killing of a brutal tribal leader, Akbar Bugti. But I think it started when military dictator General Musharraf sacked Governor Abdul Qadir Baloch, who was the first and the only ethnic Baloch Lieutenant-General in the Pakistan Army. General Baloch was retired and the military dictator appointed him Governor of the province. Unfortunately, within six months, he was sacked in an unceremonious way and Owais Ahmed Ghani, a pro-military Pakhtun from the Frontier Province, was appointed new governor of Balochistan. This action was taken on the demands of the religious parties, which had allowed Musharraf to carry on as Army Chief and President of Pakistan.

General Baloch's removal discouraged the youth and the separatist leaders further ignited the fire in Balochistan. It's a universal truth that in Pakistan only those ethnic groups express a strong sense of belonging to the Federation, which have sufficient representation at the top of military hierarchy. Punjabis, Pakhtuns, Urdu-speaking and Kashmiris have served as Army Chiefs and Chairmen Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee while officers from Sindh, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan have not touched such a height in their careers so far. Therefore, some people say that the Pakistan Army is actually a Punjabi Army. Because they assume that their officers in the military don't get to the top for unexplained reasons!

It's a fact that people don't believe in the current fake Parliament of Pakistan. Democracy can't get deeper roots in our undemocratic and uncivilized society until the military retires from its hidden role as a body-of-political-decision-making. It's a place of shame for the so-called ruling parties that the Foreign Office is being run by the ISI, and except Hussain Haqani Pakistan's Ambassador in Washington, DC no official pays heed to the Prime Minster and President. In such a situation what will the puppet politicians-in-power try to do? Indeed, corruption is the answer! They will try to make money by every available means. And that is what they're doing very well currently.

The undemocratic behavior at the top is not only the mother of corruption but all other evils as well in this globally disgraced country of ours. There is no way out from the current pathetic situation. Our generals need to come out of the shadows of former military dictators: Ayub, Yahya, Zia and Musharraf. Only then real democracy can nourish in the country. In this way, the Federation can be trustworthy. And Pakistan will be a stronger and reliable country in the comity of nations.

But, I'm concerned about the ongoing violence in Balochistan and the media blackout in Pakistan. There is a cosmetic government in the province but the state of affairs is being run by spy agencies. The province is bleeding due to the intellectual bankruptcy of the military and militants. The politicians and generals both are ignorant fools who share nothing but a tribal mentality.

I want to tell both the military and militants: stop violence. Stop killing and abduction of targeted journalists, judges, teachers and other people in Balochistan. Both of you can’t win the race in this violent way unless you adopt peaceful and dignified means! Remember: when years of violence didn't bring a change in Southern Sudan, how can you claim peace and liberty in the deserts of Balochistan through acts of terror?

Suppose, even if anyone of you succeeded in its mission in Balochistan, even then it will meet a disaster in the coming times! The tribal mentality is a killer not only for the militants and military but also for rest of the world. The example of Afghanistan is still fresh in our minds! Those of you, who keep stick to their guns, would be responsible for the crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court one day. Do you understand this point, my dear generals and tribal leaders?! 

Related Posts

1- Gilgit-Baltistan – The Orphaned Land of Pakistan
2- Hunza in crises
3- Tribalism — a wild wish to make Hunza utopia of the world!
4- Tribalism — Aga Khan’s pluralism under threat in Gilgit-Baltistan


  1. Unless its citizens gets good education, Unless its leaders work for economic progress than military buildup against India. Unless it starts to know the power of love and compassion towards others. It is difficult to see peace and development to Pakistan. What a tragedy! Brothers who should join and work for each others success are fighting with each other for their own brother's fall. There is no love and trust but only hatred between the two countries. It is not at all difficult to find a solution to these... but it is difficult to find a leader to transform the country and its current situation.

  2. Pakistan's secret dirty war. In Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province, mutilated corpses bearing the signs of torture keep turning up, among them lawyers, students and farm workers. Why is no one investigating and what have they got to do with the bloody battle for the province? The bodies surface quietly, like corks bobbing up in the dark. They come in twos and threes, a few times a week, dumped on desolate mountains or empty city roads, bearing the scars of great cruelty. Arms and legs are snapped; faces are bruised and swollen. Flesh is sliced with knives or punctured with drills; genitals are singed with electric prods. In some cases the bodies are unrecognisable, sprinkled with lime or chewed by wild animals. All have a gunshot wound in the head. This gruesome parade of corpses has been surfacing in Balochistan since last July. If you have not heard of this epic killing spree, though, don't worry: neither have most Pakistanis. Newspaper reports from Balochistan are buried quietly on the inside pages, cloaked in euphemisms or, quite often, not published at all.

    This is Pakistan's dirty little war. While foreign attention is focused on the Taliban, a deadly secondary conflict is bubbling in Balochistan, a sprawling, mineral-rich province along the western borders with Afghanistan and Iran. On one side is a scrappy coalition of guerrillas fighting for independence from Pakistan; on the other is a powerful army that seeks to quash their insurgency with maximum prejudice. The revolt, which has been rumbling for more than six years, is spiced by foreign interests and intrigues – US spy bases, Chinese business, vast underground reserves of copper, oil and gold. The forces of law and order also seem to be curiously indifferent to the plight of the dead men. Not a single person has been arrested or prosecuted; in fact, police investigators openly admit they are not even looking for anyone. The stunning lack of interest in Pakistan's greatest murder mystery in decades becomes more understandable, however, when it emerges that the prime suspect is not some shady gang of sadistic serial killers, but the country's powerful military and its unaccountable intelligence men.

  3. When you consider half of balochistan is in iran, and China's built the Gwadar port, it all makes some sense. Too much testosterone flowing though, some idiots just love conflict for fun I think. and, why do balochi paks get a special visa to work in the UAE???

  4. Was Baluchistan ever a sovereign state?

  5. Certainly, concern needs attention. However, before blaming only military or country's intellignece agencies, one must identify who is behind this brutality.

    Having identified interests of many neighboring countries in Baluchistan and the current pethatic & shameful state of our ruling elite, have encouraged underground intrusions by our enemies, ie. India and Israel.

    We should not forget that in our northern areas, we have concrete proofs of strong presence of Indian RAW in the guise of Talibans. Other agencies are also playing their role such as CIA, Reymond Davis is only a minute particle, for an example. Indian & Israeli agencies are trained in henious acts of terror. These acts of terror are later labled as Acts of Taliban.

    Please reallize that its so very much easy now to put Pakistanis on a confrontational track with other fellow Pakistanis or Muslims. THIS IS WHAT ENEMIES WANT. Any taliban or muslims can not carryout such henious crimes, brutality and degradation of huminity under what ever circumstances.

    Please also mind that majority of videos/films surfaced, now and then, as an anti taliban tools have been later proved as fake. Sporadic formation of locally organized goups for their own melacious interests, here and there, within the borders of Pakistan, are the result of drone attacks, bad governance, mishandling of political issues, and munifiqana behaviour of our political leadership in handling American manipulation.

    So, lets stop blaming our forces who have practically worked to minimize the influence of these anti Pakistan elements on our beloved soil despite all the stupitities of our previous and current political leadership, wich has no integrity, character, honor or vision for the country. Ask the families of those martyre officers and soldiers who have laid down thier lives in securing the territorial integrity from enemy's first underground attack through their spy agencies in the guise of 'talibans', which is the most difficult operation one can ever imagine in the modern warfare.

  6. You’ve probably never heard of Balochistan. A resource rich province of Pakistan wedged between Afghanistan and Iran, it is an area of great geo-political importance that includes the port of Gwadar, which many eye as a profitable road to China and Central Asia. Balochistan is also the site of what historian Selig Harrison has called “a slow motion genocide” of the Baloch people.

    Despite its strategic importance and harrowing human rights scandals, however, the region and its problems go virtually unreported because Pakistani authorities rarely grant journalists permission to travel beyond the capital of Quetta and its intelligence agencies routinely monitor and mistreat those journalists who do enter the province.

    When Pakistan was carved out in 1947, British drew lines through tribal lands regardless of the indigenous people who lived there, and the centuries-old Balochistan was tucked into Pakistan with the coerced signing of an accession agreement. The Baloch have been struggling for decades to gain back their independence -- sometimes violently.