By Ali Qambar
In February 2005, Pakistan deployed armed forces numbering in hundreds of thousands in Dera Bugti, the seat of the tribal Bugti area of Balochistan and started an offensive military operation. On March 17, 2005, the Pakistani forces heavily shelled town and villages that resulted in killing of sixty-one civilians, mostly belonging to the Hindu community. Dera Bugti became a killing field of Pakistani military that continues to date. Soon the fire engulfed all Balochistan, especially in the aftermath of slaying of the tribal head, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in August 2006.
It is now February 2015. After a decade of military offensives and operations, illegal abductions, torture, targeted killings, and razing entire villages; the Pakistani army chief, General Raheel Shareef and Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef visited Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan.
The agenda of this high level meeting was claimed to be the National Action Plan (NAP) but Baloch nationalist parties argued that the purpose of the meeting is to start a new strategy of Military-Mullah-Mafia-Militias-Minister-Media Alliance (M6 Alliance) to counter Baloch national movements.
However, the M6 is not an official term but rather a loose description covering the six components of the new strategy. All the six parties now will collaborate in an orchestrated manner, with every action choreographed by a centralized structure. It is a new tactic to manage the process of genocide like a corporation, with a centre in the Pakistan Army headquarters (GHQ) and branches spread across Balochistan.
The new strategy involves large scale destruction of property, mass killing of civilians sympathetic to the nationalist cause, heavily arming pro-Pakistani political parties’ militias and giving mandate to extremist organizations to control the troubled areas to indoctrinate Baloch people and empowering of armed militias often referred as death squads. All these measures will be blanketed by NAP and the infamous design of the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, the master of genocide.
It should be noted that all the parties in the M6 are already active. They always collaborate. They always carry synchronized actions. The new to the strategy will be setting the tone at the top, under the direct command of COAS Gen. Raheel Sharif. He is the new Hitler to carry out genocide of the Baloch, the children of a lesser god.
We have seen that Pakistan has recently speeded up military operations, an important tool in Baloch genocide. The house to house searches have increased in numbers and intensity. Often, the area ministers of pro-Pakistan political parties have led and spearheaded the whole operations, especially helping in identification of the victims.
The second to military in the counter insurgency plan are the mullahs – ISIS, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), Laskar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Jamaat-u-Dawa (JUD) and other jihadi outfits, which are operating openly under the careful guidance of ISI and MI (military intelligence). Although most the mentioned jihadi groups are from Punjab but Pakistani army also is sponsoring local Baloch-based groups used as death squads, namely, Shafiq Mengal’s Balochistan Muselah Difai Tanzeem and Siraj Raisani’s Nifaz-e-Amn-e-Balochistan. These forces have often openly encountered Baloch nationalist organizations. They are instrumental in trying to create sectarian strife among the Zikri Baloch (Sufis) and Sunni (mainstream) Baloch. LeT and the ISIS carried out several attacks on Zikris in Balochistan. Last year, they entered in a Zikri place of worship and killed eight Baloch including father of martyred leader of BSO – Azad’s Secretary General, Raza Jahangir. They are targeting political activists in the name of sectarianism to show the world that Baloch issue is not political issue but a religious one. It is a planned scheme to divert the directions of the movement and miss-represent internationally.
Recently ISIS has filled the walls across Pakistan with symbolic graffiti, slogans and their black banners. Baloch nationalists have been warning the civilized world to pay attention to such new developments. There is ample evidence presented by Baloch nationalist parties that Pakistani state is sponsoring the growth of ISIS to counter Baloch movement in Balochistan. It seems that the already exhausted United States has not kept its option of intervention to avert the possibility of such eminent dangers in South and West Asia.
Mafia and militias often intermingle but they are not always the same entity. Drug mafia like that run by Imam Bheel (most wanted by INTERPOL) often transport the drugs owned by Pakistani military to Middle East and Europe to finance the jihadi outfits in Balochistan. It should be noted that Baloch armed organizations have successfully dismantled mafia drugs empire in some parts of Balochistan. So the mafia’s new role is to export drugs to Europe and North America to finance the counter insurgency in Balochistan. They also transport arms to jihadi outfits operating in Balochistan.
Militias are often owned by tribal chieftains who are playing a major role in the counter insurgency measures in Balochistan. Marri militias owned by Changez Marri in Kohlu are an example. These militias often accompany Pakistani military forces in conducting operations in mountainous and tribal regions. They control tribal areas as outsourced agents of the Pakistani army. During military operation in mountains, they work as local guides to Pakistani soldiers through the rugged mountains and terrains that are unknown to the outsiders.
Since the inception of the National Party government in Balochistan in 2013, it has been assigned several projects. It is here the role of the minister comes in. They are instrumental in collecting data, spying for the army, helping in identifying targets, buying nationalist cadres under duress and through bribes, and also recently began an intensive media campaign to malign nationalist movement. They have successfully brought some insiders in armed organizations through cutting lucrative deals to create fissure by leaking organization secrets in the media. This has resulted in confusion among masses. Activists who once were regarded as champions of nationalist struggle suddenly began falsely accusing and ridiculing the cause and its leaders in the social media.
Another collaborator in Baloch genocide is the media. It should be noted that it does not mean that all the media personal are collaborating with the Pakistani state. The collaborating media is often controlled by the all-powerful military in Pakistan. On the other hand, those who do not follow the military dictate are forced to keep the mum when it comes to Balochistan issues. The state-backed media including the social ones have openly started speaking against the Baloch movement. They are often corridors to jihadi media campaigns.
The M6 strategy poses a serious threat to the Baloch nation and its struggle for rights and freedom. It not only escalates the ongoing genocide in a systemic manner but also may result in overall transforming the situation in favor of ISIS in Balochistan. If ISIS and other jihadi organizations control Balochistan, the region will be pushed on the road for a major catastrophe as Balochistan connects three regions: South Asia, Middle East and the Central Asia. The civilized world should become more vocal to stop Pakistan from committing such heinous crimes against humanity by sponsoring growth of ISIS as counter insurgency measure in Balochistan.
The writer is affiliated with Baloch cause since 2000. He is a journalist from Balochistan and tweets on ali_kambar.