Ignoring Security Agencies' services in Balochistan

Courtesy:- Sajjad Shaukat


Since the Supreme Court of Pakistan has been hearing the cases of the missing persons in the country, the situation of Balochistan is more serious in this respect, where sense of deprivation and grievances has already accelerated among the people. But it is most regrettable that without paying attention to the facts, our own political leaders, media anchors and so-called human rights groups have continuously been maligning country's key security agencies regarding the disappeared persons of Balochistan. In this regard, these internal elements have ignored the services of Pak Army, Frontier Constabulary (FC), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI).

In the recent years, Pakistan's military has made strenuous efforts to develop the infrastructure in Balochistan, providing the people employment opportunities and basic necessities of life to bring the Balochs in the mainstream of the country. Pak Army has not only established schools and colleges in Balochistan, but also set up technical and industrial institutes, besides giving military training to the youth.
In this regard, on October 11, last year, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani addressed the passing-out parade in Quetta. While pointing out various efforts of the Pak Army in alleviating the people of Balochistan, Prime Minister Gilani appreciated Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani for ensuring best possible training to bring the youth from the area into the national mainstream. The recruits exhibited their prowess in anti-terrorist skills and demonstrated ways to neutralise militants.
On the other side, ISI, FC and MI have captured a number of terrorists, foreign agents, and thwarted various subversive acts through pre-arrests of the militants in Balochistan. Despite its limited resources as compared to the American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad, it is particularly owing to the services of ISI that it also provided pre-information about the external elements which have been conspiring against the integrity of Pakistan by supporting separatism in the province of Balochistan. 
On February 11, 2012, while giving a comprehensive overview of Balochistan situation in a briefing held at ISPR, IG, FC Balochistan, Maj-Gen. Obaid Khan signified, "out of 30 districts, five including Quetta have volatile situation. During last three months, four FC posts were attacked in these districts in which several soldiers lost their lives. In 2011, 78 FC personnel were martyred while only in January this year 38 personnel were killed."
He explained: "FC has been fighting to give normal life to people and ensure security of development projects. We are providing security to four main highways as well as to 20 mega projects which include dams, mines of minerals and oil and gas installations."
It is notable that in the past, Pakistan government had launched a successful approach of reconciliation particularly with the Baloch lords. The level of violence had fallen to the minimum. It was in these circumstances that the then Corps Commander, Lt-Gen Khalid Shamim Wynne claimed on November 9, 2008: "We have moved from the insurgency phase to the reconciliation phase, however, if foreign elements continue to infiltrate in Balochistan, they could stir trouble and undermine our efforts to restore peace." His observation proved quite true as covert support to the Baloch separatists by CIA, RAW, Mossad succeeded in sabotaging the peace process in the province. 
In fact, the unrest started in Balochistan when various projects were undertaken by the previous government with the help of army to develop backward regions of the province. The sole aim was to eliminate frustration among the people by providing infrastructure and employment opportunities. The Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) who were running their own private jails and 'farrari camps', and had been backed by India, US and Israel, opposed all the developmental projects as they did not want to give up the old system of feudalism. It was Pak Army which occupied private jails and farrari camps and thus set free several innocent people.
It is of particular attention that Indo-Israeli lobbies which are well-penetrated in US-led European NGOs, human rights organisations and media have started a deliberate campaign against Pak Army and ISI, implicating them for extrajudicial killings and forced abductions in Balochistan. While, without indicating ground realities and by ignoring the services of security forces and agencies in Balochistan, Pakistan's internal entities also followed the blame game of the foreign enemies. Some leaders of Jamaat-i-Islami, particularly PML-N have always criticised security forces, accusing them for disappeared persons. In this regard, opposition leader of the PML-N, Chaudhry Nisar, while hinting towards ISI and MI misperceived on February 29, this year that these intelligence agencies were not in control of government. Pakistan's so-called human rights organisations and some media anchors also accused Pak Army and country's superior agency in relation to the disappeared people. While speaking in the tone of Pakistan's external elements, these internal elements also repeatedly said that military operation should be stopped in Balochsitan. But in reality, now, there is no military operation, being conducted in the province. 
It seems that by spreading disinformation about human rights violations in the province, some politicians seek to increase their vote bank by targeting the security forces - misguiding the general masses by making Balochistan a tool of political manipulation. Similarly, either some of our media anchors and human rights groups want to get good coverage in the foreign media or some of them are on the payroll of foreign enemies.
It is mentionable that on February 8, 2012, the hearing of the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Dana Rohrabacher discussed target killings and human rights violations in Balochistan by blaming Pakistan's security agencies. He has also co-authored an article, favouring an independent Balochistan. It has exposed US blatant support to the Baloch separatist leaders who have taken shelter in Switzerlad, London and America, and are responsible for missing persons through their affiliated militant groups. ISPR Maj-Gen. Athar Abbas has repeatedly disclosed this fact including funding of the Baloch nationalists and NGOs by the external elements.
Notably, on March 1, 2012, Raja Irshad, the council for the ISI and MI told the Supreme Court bench that "foreign elements" were involved in fomenting terrorism in Balochistan, so the agencies could not work with their "eyes closed" to the Balochistan issue.
Reality behind the human rights violations and the disappeared people in Balochistan is that a number of these persons have gone to Afghanistan and India as they were serving their foreign secret agents. Some of them were murdered by foreign secret agencies in order to implicate Pak Army and ISI. For example, Balach Marri was killed in Afghanistan. Notably, since 2001, a majority of Pakistanis also left for Afghanistan for Jehad purposes, without informing their families, while many Balochs also joined the Jahadi groups. Most of the people were abducted by the miscreants in Balochistan, and then taken to Afghanistan for ransom. Moreover, suicide attackers themselves died during blasts, they also fall in the category of missing persons.
Besides, Balochistan's geo-strategic location with Gwadar seaport has irritated America and India because China has invested billions of dollars to develop this seaport. However, it is due to multiple strategic designs that the US and India seek to control Balochistan against Pak-China interests, while subduing Iran. This is also due to the mineral resources of Balochistan -especially gold and copper that US-led India and Israel have accelerated target killings, hostage-takings, suicide attacks, fueling sectarian and ethnic violence in Balochistan by assisting Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and another group, Jundollah (God's soldiers). Their insurgents which get logistic support from CIA and RAW kidnapped and killed many innocent people, including the security personnel in the province, while claiming responsibility in this respect. The main purpose of US is the dismemberment of Pakistan by separating the province of Balochistan.
It is noteworthy that in August, 2011, US ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, had requested Pakistan government for opening a US consulate in Balochistan. But knowing the real intentions of America, Islamabad had flatly rejected the offer.
Last year, I had visited Balochistan along with other journalists. I saw a number of institutes, set up by army, which were providing technical training to thousands of Balochs. I had also a trip to far-flung areas of the province and witnessed various mega projects and mineral sites. I was greatly surprised that no military operation is going on in Balochistan as propagated by the foreign elements. People told me that some subversive events are taking place by the minority separatist elements to create instability in the province.
Now, Pakistan is facing multiple crises. So instead of sharing the blame game of the US-led countries, all our internal entities must remove the 'stereotypes', created among the general masses about security forces and agencies in connection with Balochistan. 

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