A headline in a national daily with the byline of Ghalani (Mohmand Agency) April 23, left me wondering what had prompted such a radical shift in the government’s avowed policy of ‘no compromise’. The headline said: “Tribal system in Fata to be strengthened.” Interestingly the headline itself was within quotation marks. The news item below said, “The traditional tribal system in Federally Administered Tribal Areas is being strengthened and the status of Maliks is being restored.”
The NWFP governor, Khalilur Rahman, who was on a visit to Mohmand Agency, had said these words. The news item further read: “The governor said development was linked to peace and maintenance of peace (and was) dependent on strengthening the tribal system.” This statement is certainly a very interesting development because they seem to be making different ‘social’ experiments in different regions in hope of solving the numerous problems they themselves have created by their shortsightedness and arrogance.
“A people living under the perpetual menace of war and invasion is very easy to govern. It demands no social reforms. It does not haggle over expenditures on armaments and military equipment. It pays without discussion. It ruins itself; and that is an excellent thing for the syndicates of financiers and manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors are an abundant source of gain.”
Jacques Anatole Thibault (1844-1924)
This quote sends shivers down the spine because it is so surrealistically true in our context. It enunciates the sordid tactic which the rulers here employed ruthlessly to make their self-aggrandising agenda pass for an ideology. They then intimidated the people into submission, forcing acceptance of every injustice without a murmur under threat of being labelled traitors. It helped them impose their world view on the majority without a consideration for their history, culture and basic human rights. That the people could have feelings or views independent of the ruling ideology was something absolutely alien to the heartless elite. They were not bothered about civility or moral and legal niceties; they rode roughshod.
The theatre of operations may extend beyond Balochistan into Sindh and Punjab. Attacks against soft targets may increase if the conflict intensifies
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
General Pervez Musharraf was correct when he warned the Baloch nationalists, reminding them that it wasn’t the 1970s. His words were in bad taste but not wrong. Military technology has progressed rapidly in the last three decades. Because oppressors, colonisers and imperialists have always tried to dominate the world through the barrel of the gun, weapon development is a basic tenet of their faith.
The three decades have seen the emergence of smart bombs; and the huge though not so smart bombs that have earned titles like ‘mother of all bombs’; unmanned drones that hunt down adversaries; mini homing devices that guide bombs and missiles etc. But weapon development, even when it is awesome, has not always ensured a definite victory. Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine are cases in point.
Sardar Ataullah Mengal was wrong in saying that only Akbar Bugti could speak for Sui. Every Baloch has a right in this respect equal to Akbar Bugti. Abandoning this principle will amount to replacing one set of autocrats with another
The recent events in Sui are a manifestation of what afflicts the country’s ruling classes. They are also an expression of a people’s outrage at the rulers’ arrogance and their utter disregard of their rights. The people were outraged not only at the rape of a female doctor who had agreed to serve in the wilderness but also at the continued rape of their rights and resources since the very inception of Pakistan. They indicate what the future is going to be like if the rulers persist in their belief that overwhelming firepower is the panacea for all their problems.
The BLA is certainly not a figment of some fertile imagination. This is apparent from the scale of its activity. Since 2003, 1,529 rockets have been fired and 113 bombs exploded in Balochistan. Despite Baloch leaders’ reluctance to directly answer questions about its existence and the government’s attempt to minimise its significance, it cannot be wished away. Theories about its sponsors abound. The oddest one suggests that it is being helped by the USA which is not happy with China’s role in Balochistan. Fingers have also been pointed at Iran. But does not Iran oppress its own Baloch population? One thing is certain: there are people out there determined enough and having adequate resources to sustain the attacks. The BLA’s activities may not be an adequate expression of the deep and pervasive popular resentment but they are an expression nonetheless.
Pakistan Army with its religious extremist mindset is not only a threat to Baloch people but it is a ‘nursery of terrorism’ for the region and a hovering threat to the world peace
Pervez Musharraf, military dictator and ex-president of Pakistan in an interview with a private TV channel revealed that Shahid Aziz Lt. General (R) of Pakistan army had been killed fighting alongside of ISIS in Syria. However, some sources believe that he via Quetta he moved to Afghanistan; joined Taliban, and possibly been killed in Afghanistan. Hence, his family members are denying the report: his son, Zeeshan Aziz Major (R) categorically rejects that, he said his father is alive and went to Africa with a Tableegi Jamaith (Islamic preaching group).
Shahid Aziz, a four stars officer of Pakistan army served in several Key posts such as Director General Military operation (DGMO), Chief of General Staff (CGS); when Pakistan tested nuclear atomic bomb in Chaghi, Balochistan in 1998, he was the Director of Military Operation Directorate. He also remained the Chairman of National Accountability Buru (NAB). Retired General Asad Durrani who was also Ex-Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in his coauthored book “The Spy Chronicles: RAW,ISI and the Illusion of Peace” said that Shahid Aziz was a key figure in orchestrating Kargil war, and he was among “co-conspirators” of Pervez Musharraf in toppling the Nawaz Sharif’s government.