Showing posts from March, 2012

Myth and reality of MFN

Courtesy:-   Ambassador (retd) BA Malik A new thinking has emerged that argues that the peaceful resolution of Kashmir can go hand in hand with trade normalisation with our nuclear-armed rival A myth, the nemesis of reality, is a groundless belief that cannot be tested and validated empirically. Nations addicted to a mythical past perpetually remain prisoners of darkness. All over the world, myth or perception is more powerful than reality. Most societies believe to understand, rather than understand to believe. Developing societies are, by and large, irrational and extremist. Once an opinion forms, it is next to impossible to change or amend it in a society that honours the status quo and abhors change. Change is a law of nature but not so in many underdeveloped countries where resistance to change is the dominant narrative.

Memogate on a judicial ventilator

Courtesy:-  Dr Mohammad Taqi In a land where the governor of the largest province was assassinated by his own elite police guard due to a wrong perception created by some malicious sections of the media, the risk to Haqqani is imminent not imaginary The so-called ‘memogate’ scandal is effectively dead. It has been for a while. But apparently the honourable Commission appointed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) to probe into the veracity of the alleged memo wishes to keep it alive on a judicial ventilator. 

The need for debate

Courtesy:- Azam Khalil President Asif Zardari recently said: “The parliamentary oversight and democratic accountability was a new and important facet of Pakistan's foreign policy.” Perhaps, it will auger well for the country. When the Nato forces with the tacit approval of USA’s high command attacked the Salalah checkpost that resulted in the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers, people finally woke up to the reality of being a non-Nato ally and frontline state in the war on terror. Both the political and military leadership, as well as members of civil society, reacted severely and condemned the outrageous act that led to the shut dowm of Nato supply routes into Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s economy - some positives

Courtesy:- Kamal Monnoo Pakistan is routinely accused of either standing at the brink of an abyss, or being right in it, or fast becoming a failed state etc. There are critics who consistently moan about Pakistan losing its competitiveness, the continuously dwindling domestic and foreign investment in the country, growing unemployment and rising poverty, widening gap between the haves and the have-nots, gross mismanagement in the public sector enterprises, rising national debt, naked fiscal imprudence of the government, a rising current account deficit leading to an alarming and worsening of the balance of payment situation that if not timely corrected can see us default on our debt obligations and, last but not least, about a painfully extended cycle of low economic activity and high inflation is testing the patience and resilience of the Pakistani people like never before. Corruption is rampant, internal law and order is seriously compromised and sadly a perception of Pakistan i

FMCT – facts and fiction

Courtesy:- Tariq Osman Hyder  March 28, 2012 Pakistan has been criticised for its stand on the fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT) in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva. It’s time to separate facts from fiction by examining what is being said. Pakistan has blocked disarmament negotiations in the CD? The FMCT aims at stopping only future production. It remains a non-proliferation measure, not the disarmament fissile material treaty (FMT) addressing existing stockpiles which Pakistan advocates, a step towards nuclear disarmament which the nuclear powers are committed to under the NPT. Pakistan has blocked the FMCT for a couple of years, but between them the USA, UK, France, Russia and India have blocked negotiations for 30 years while they built up their fissile stocks.

Defining Pak-US re-engagement

Courtesy:-  Saman Zulfqar Parliamentary Committee on  National Security  has finally presented its  report  in the  joint  session of Parliament on March 20, 2012. The committee was given the task to revisit “terms of engagement” with the United States in the aftermath of Nato Attack on Salala Checkpost in November last year. The Committee’s recommendations include: to seek unconditional apology from United States over Salala attack; taxing the Nato supplies transiting through Pakistan; no verbal  agreement  with any foreign government regarding  national security ; no use of Pakistani bases and airspace by foreign forces without parliamentary approval; no hot pursuit or boots on ground; no covert operations on Pakistan’s soil; activities of foreign  private security   contractors  should be subjected to Pakistani law; cessation of drone attacks; to seek civilian nuclear  agreement  with United States and not to succumb to US pressure but keep on pursuing gas pipeline project with I

The legality of sanctions

Courtesy:- Rafia Zakaria LAST week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a list of 11 countries that had been exempted from sanctions after they had reduced their purchases of crude oil from Iran. While that list was not released, a State Department official said that Pakistan was on the list of countries still being considered for sanctions. This news of possible sanctions arrived in the shadow of renewed efforts to mend the US-Pakistan relationship. The mending and bending of US relations with Pakistan is a worn subject. In this latest case, Pakistan has announced the hiring of legal experts to investigate the legality of the threatened sanctions.

US Trojan horse

Courtesy:-  S M Hali March 28, 2012 Under the garb of expanding the Embassy’s premises, according to media reports, the US diplomatic mission in Islamabad has raised the hackles of city fathers by planning to increase the elevation of its complex. Those in charge of Pakistan’s security have observed that if this happens, the US will be able to keep an eye on all important buildings in its vicinity in the federal capital. These include the presidency, the Prime Minister’s residence and secretariat, Parliament and even the headquarters of Pakistan’s premier security agency, the ISI.

Regional security

Courtesy:- Najmuddin A. Shaikh MEETING his Iranian, Afghan and Tajik counterparts in Dushanbe President Zardari made all the right noises. A stable Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s interest; the nexus between militancy and drug trafficking needed to be curbed; non-state actors wanted to destabilise Afghanistan and, implicitly, they should not be allowed to do so; cooperation in all spheres among the four countries would assume added significance after the withdrawal of foreign forces in 2014; etc.

Parliament and foreign policy

Courtesy:-  Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi Let the legislature be the guide The making and implementation of foreign and security policies in a parliamentary democratic system is the prerogative of the executive. There is a complex process in the executive for policy making involving institutional and organisational networks, campaigning by the advocates of different perspectives and mutual accommodation. In Pakistan, foreign and security policies are made jointly by civilian and military authorities with a strong input from the intelligence agencies, especially the ISI.

The Karachi dream

Courtesy:-  Kahar Zalmay There might be the presence of individual militants but to generalise that every Pashtun is a Talib or sympathiser of the Taliban in Karachi is wrong Karachi was once a city of dreams where everybody, irrespective of race, colour or creed had the opportunity of prosperity and success and an upward social mobility through perseverance and hard work. Whoever you were and wherever you came from in pursuit of your dreams, you were received eagerly by this magnificent and truly metropolitan city. But this city of dreams and lights has been turned into a town of nightmares and darkness during the last two decades.

Divergent views on economy

Courtesy:- Dr Ashfaque H Khan Tuesday, March 27, 2012 There appear to be divergent views on the current state of Pakistan’s economy. The government’s economic team would have us believe that the economy is moving in the right direction. According to the team, exports have touched an all time high at $25 billion and foreign exchange reserves have risen to $18 billion, they further contend that the tax collection has doubled, the current account shows a surplus, and economic growth is on a path of recovery. In addition, the new NFC Award is hailed as a great success. On the other hand, four reports that appeared in the last two months on Pakistan’s economy have painted a rather dismal picture of the economy. These reports include the IMF Report under Article IV Consultation (February 2012), Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s (the two international rating agencies) reports (March 2012) and the Second Quarter Report of State Bank of Pakistan.

The beg and borrow policy

Courtesy:- Abid Hasan Tuesday, March 27, 2012 For decades, the political and military elite governing Pakistan have followed a beg and borrow strategy for financing government expenditures, rather than raising taxes. In addition, this elite stole from these resources to benefit themselves, and their family and friends. This financing strategy has made Pakistan much more dependent on foreign grants and loans, compared to other countries of similar size, endowment and level of development. Foreign borrowings for bad projects and programmes have mortgaged our future generations, while excessive foreign grants have mortgaged our national sovereignty. Over the last two decades, Pakistan has received close to $40 billion in foreign grants (mostly from the UK and the US) and loans from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank. As in all developing countries, the impact of this aid on Pakistan’s socio-economic development is directly linked to Pa

Policy guidelines for Pak-US relationship

Courtesy:-  Dr Raja Muhammad Khan On the eve of seventy-second anniversary of Pakistan Day (Pakistan Resolution), the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, sent her message of felicitation to the people of Pakistan with the hope that both countries would be able to overcome their bilateral differences for a better engagement in the future.  She said that, "Pakistan and the United States have a rich history of cooperation". We are committed to continuing this engagement and support as both of our nations work to build peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the region." In the process, she counted all cooperation and economic assistance, US has rendered to Pakistan. She however, failed to make a mention of Pakistani contributions, instability caused in the society and price it paid in term of economic and human losses. Meanwhile, State Department has confirmed that, there would a meeting between Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and President Barrack Obama on the sideli

On the brink of Third World War

Courtesy:-  Nadir Mir    March 27, 2012 It seems that 2012 onwards, the world is on the brink of Third World War. All sane and peace loving men would pray that it is averted. For, the horoscope of the times, points towards a global catastrophe in the making. The guns of August 1914 - First World War - paled in front of the Panzer Blitzkrieg of September 1939 - Second World War. The Third World War during the Cold War was averted between the Nato and the Warsaw Pact forces. If a war breaks out in 2012 onwards, nukes shall speak and, tragically, billions may die; it will most likely be global. This apocalyptic scenario may yet come to pass, unless it is stopped in its tracks.

Cavernous propaganda and Pakistan

Courtesy:- Alam Rind Tuesday, March 27, 2012 The foreign forces have never been anywhere closer to victory in Afghanistan since its invasion. To cover up their failings, they have all along accused Pakistan of supporting and harbouring Taliban. One won’t be really surprised if they have started really believing it to be so. The Fata region has been widely propagated as safe haven for extremists. This is so in spite of the fact that the US has launched about 290 drone attacks in this area allegedly to target members of al-Qaeda and Taliban outfits, which resulted into over 2,800 casualties, mostly that of civilians. On the other end, as a reaction to these attacks, extremists have targeted every nook and corner of Pakistan. Consequently, Pakistan has suffered around 30,000 civil and about 5,000 combatant casualties. Yet, international media is continuously tarnishing the image of Pakistan by projecting it as a state sponsoring terrorism. Their apathy for the sacrifices rendere

The political gap

Courtesy:- Dr Maleeha Lodhi Tuesday, March 27, 2012 The country marked Pakistan Day at another critical moment in its history when many questions about its future remain unanswered. An important question is this: can the country acquire the means to govern itself better by aligning politics with the energy and dynamics of a changing, more urbanised society? Will the gap that has emerged between electoral politics and a transformed social landscape be closed to deliver a more ‘functional’ polity?   Pakistan can either remain trapped in a quagmire of weak governance, politics-as-usual, economic stagnation and crumbling public services. Or it can take advantage of changes underway in society to chart a course of reform and renewal.

End NATO cooperation

Courtesy:-  Rizwan Ghani The parliament should end NATO cooperation to avoid being part of US policy in Asia. The parliament was voted into power to scrap Musharraf’s pro-US policy so it is democratically obliged to end NATO cooperation. Pakistan has already lost over 40,000 people in America’s So-called War Against Terrorism (SWAT), spent $100 bn tax money on the war (China Daily) and suffered irreparable loss to national  economy  and image. Hillary and Gen. Allen’s statements projecting Pakistan as a threat to SWAT have shown that America cannot have a mutually beneficial relationship with Pakistan. Obama also undermined Pakistan’s support when he refused to meet Gilani in UN in September (local media, March 24). The establishment of permanent American military bases in  Afghanistan  under US-Afghan strategic  alliance  will change Pakistan into a permanent supply route, which in turn will thwart prospects of permanent peace in Pakistan and the region. Therefore, Pakistan should

Resetting Pak-US ties: where’s the trust?

Courtesy:-  Brig (retd) Farooq Hameed Khan Tuesday, March 27, 2012 LAHORE: If the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) called for an unconditional US apology in general terms, the parliament should clearly demand one from the US president. If Obama could apologise to the furious Afghan nation soon after the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians by a US Army Sergeant, he should have displayed similar statesmanship after the Salala tragedy. The PCNS’s recommendation that activities of foreign private security contractors must be transparent and subject to Pakistani law only serves to encourage and legitimize the presence of such covert operatives on Pakistani soil. The parliament should instead call for expulsion of all foreigners other than accredited diplomats or those on officially recognized government postings/appointments duly cleared by national security agencies.

Parliamentary oversight

Courtesy:- Tanvir Ahmad Khan FTER a curious and almost indefensible delay, the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) on the guidelines for revised terms of engagement with USA/Nato/Isaf finally tabled its recommendations to a joint session of the two Houses of Pakistan’s parliament on March 20. It was a workmanlike document written by members representing various parties; at least Prof Khurshid Ahmad had known reservations about the report’s contents on drone attacks and transit facilities to foreign forces in Afghanistan.

India triggers an arms race

Courtesy:- Khalid Iqbal A recent study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) indicates that “India was the biggest arms importer in the period 2007-11, accounting for 10 percent in the weapons volume.” China, which was the world’s top arms importer in 2006 and 2007, has now dropped to fourth place. Globally, the volume of international transfers of major conventional weapons was 24 percent higher during 2007-11 as compared to the 2002-06. Over the past five years, Asia and Oceania accounted for 44 percent of conventional arms imports. It appears a tall figure when compared with 19 percent for Europe, 11 percent for North and South America, and 9 percent for Africa. The SIPRI report indicates: “India’s imports of major weapons increased by 38 percent between 2002-06 and 2007-11…….Notable deliveries of combat aircraft during 2007-11 included 120 Su-30MKs and 16 MiG-29Ks from Russia and 20 Jaguars from the United Kingdom.” Yet once again, India has annou

Reflections on Pak-US relations

Courtesy:-    Ikramullah Recently, a report by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS), headed by Senator Raza Rabbani, tasked to compile recommendations for “new terms of engagement” with the US in the aftermath of Nato’s attack on the Salalah checkposts that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on November 26, 2011, was tabled in the joint session of Parliament. It consisted of 40 recommendations.

India’s military spending

Courtesy:- Asif Ezdi Monday, March 26, 2012 Presenting the country’s annual budget for 2012-13 in the Indian parliament earlier this month, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced a massive 17 percent increase in spending on defence services, raising it to 1.93 trillion Indian rupees ($40 or 38.6 billion). Of this outlay, 41 percent would be spent on procuring modern weapons systems and military hardware. This year’s rise follows a 12 percent increase in the previous year’s budget. Mukherjee offered little explanation for this massive boost in military expenditure, apart from stating that the allocation was “based on present needs” and that “any further requirement will be met.” India’s actual military budget is even higher, as the figure for “defence services” does not include spending on its nuclear weapons programme, military pensions and the paramilitary forces.

The one

Courtesy:-  Mehr Tarar Benazir Bhutto cannot be copied. Period. The biggest female politician of Pakistan to date, and in all honesty, what one can deduce looking at the present and the future generations of female politicians here. Let’s just say it’s safe to assume she was the first and the last one

Warped thoughts and blocking of minds

Courtesy:- Kamila Hyat The ongoing process by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority to block ‘objectionable’ websites is taking on ridiculous dimensions. Over 13,000 websites have already been blocked, while the process continues – with the interior minister stating that ‘un-Islamic’ websites would be closed, denying access to them to Internet users. The question of quite what constitutes an un-Islamic website has been left very vague, while even the interpretation of ‘pornographic’ sites is at best hazy – given that what is acceptable to one adult may not be to another.

Unwelcome conversions

Courtesy:- I.A Rehman THE Hindu community, particularly in Sindh, has been in the grip of strong feelings of grief, anger and insecurity for several weeks. Unless its grievances are speedily addressed Pakistan stands to suffer incalculable harm in both material and moral terms. The issue of Hindu girls’ conversion to Islam and marriage to Muslim men, both transitions alleged to be forced and often after abduction, is not new. Indeed, it has always been high on the Hindu citizens’ list of complaints. What is new is the scale and intensity of their reaction and the large number of their appeals for justice. It seems three recent cases involving Rinkal Kumari, Lata Kumari and Aasha Kumari have unleashed the Hindu community’s long-brewing fears of loss of its religious and cultural identities. The three cases are not identical in detail. Dr Murli Lal Karira, who belonged to Jacobabad and practised medicine at Suhbatpur, in Jafarabad district, was reported to have been abducted whi

Misleading dramatics

Courtesy:-  Rustam Shah Mohmand Thursday, March 22, 2012 The joint session of parliament has been convened to formulate a new policy for the government that will henceforth govern relations with the United States. A parliamentary committee has prepared a set of recommendations for consideration and approval by the joint session. The event marks the beginning of a new practice in governance where the executive branch of the state is seen to be abdicating its authority to the elected chamber in the realm of decision-making in vital national sectors. The idea, however, is not to seek the involvement of public representatives in decision-making but to create a wider, institutionalised justification for the resumption of Nato supplies through Pakistan.

Musharraf, lies and audiotapes

Courtesy:-  Dr Mohammad Taqi So Musharraf’s intention was not to kill Nawab sahib. Really? Remember his chest thumping that those who challenge the state’s writ ‘will be fixed’ and that it was not the 1970s and “they won’t know what hit them” As predicted in this space, the Pakistani state and its present and former appendages have gone into overdrive ostensibly to mitigate the damage from the increasing international focus on the systematic atrocities being committed by the Pakistani security and intelligence forces in Balochistan.

4 Years of People's Government

             This video highlights the hallmark achievements of Government of Pakistan during last 4 years.  

Balochistan vs General Pervaiz Musharraf

Courtesy:-  Dr Qaisar Rashid What General Musharraf has asked the ethnic Baloch is to barter away their political rights for the development work he did in Balochistan. The Baloch are declining that proposition On last Wednesday March 14 and Thursday March 15, under the heading Understanding Balochistan, General (retired) Pervaiz Musharraf’s piece appeared (in two parts) in a national English daily. The quality of writing indicated that Dubai must be short of ghostwriters, otherwise, better written stuff could have been produced. If a piece of writing is a criterion to judge a writer’s intellectual calibre, one wonders who the fellows inviting General Musharraf to deliver lectures and earn millions of dollars are. The reason to attend his lectures is still explicable but the rationale to pay him in millions is beyond a Pakistani’s understanding. The public money of some foreign countries must be squandered by the ghost paymasters, I presume. 

Welcome change or more of the same?

Courtesy:- Tariq Fatemi An alarming fall-out from the enhanced US-Iran tension, is the renewed pressure on Pakistan to abandon the gas pipeline project  with Iran, which could kill the prospect of an early end to the nation’s worsening energy crisis. While it is essential to invest in further gas and oil exploration and also exploit other sources of energy, the most economic and secure way for the foreseeable future, is to import gas from neighbouring Iran –– the world’s second largest gas producer. It sounds simple and do-able, but inability to appreciate the enormity of the challenge and advantages of this project, has stymied any meaningful progress on it, ever since Iran and Pakistan came to a preliminary agreement in 1995.

Promise and problems of an ‘Asian century’

Courtesy:-  Dr Maleeha Lodhi March 21, 2012 The writer is special adviser to the Jang Group/Geo and a former envoy to the US and the UK. Pakistan figured frequently, at times unexpectedly, during last week’s conference in Delhi organised by India Today. The media group’s annual ‘conclave’ is a glitzy, high profile affair. This year was no different. The theme was ‘An Asian Century’ but the subjects covered were diverse. They ranged from corruption, cricket, dynastic politics and citizen activism to India’s economic future, the rise of China and shifts in global power. Speakers were just as varied – masters of strategy, Bollywood stars, sportsmen, business entrepreneurs, social activists, writers and political leaders.

The changing endgame

Courtesy:- Najmuddin A. Shaikh AS parliament begins its debate on the resetting of US-Pakistan relations and presumably insists on laying out transparently the parameters for the relationship it should bear in mind the recent dramatic changes in the Afghan situation which are an important though not dominant element in the US-Pakistan relationship. I say important rather than dominant because the elimination of the terrorist threat posed by Al Qaeda and its affiliates remains the principal American objective in the region and that is seen to be emanating from Pakistan’s soil rather than Afghanistan’s. In my view, even if a reconciliation process brings a modicum of peace to Afghanistan the American interest in our region and in our own struggle against terrorism and extremism will continue for the decade or more that would be needed to change the mindset created over the last 34 years. Unfortunately, recent developments in Afghanistan make it unlikely that peace of any sort

Cash cropping versus food sovereignty

Courtesy:- Syed Mohammad Ali Instead of rethinking what crops to grow and how to help lessen the growing friend of malnutrition and food shortages in Pakistan, agricultural policymaking remains preoccupied with rather different concerns. Consider, for instance, Punjab government’s ongoing tussle with the US agrochemical giant,  Monsanto, over demands for intellectual property rights (IPRs) protection of its Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton seeds .

For a stable Afghanistan

Courtesy:-  Javid Husain March 20, 2012 As if the US did not enough troubles already in Afghanistan because of its flawed Afghan strategy, the gross misconduct on the part of its soldiers keeps aggravating its problems. The latest tragic incident was the massacre of 16 Afghan villagers, including women and children, by a lone American soldier in Panjwayi District near Kandahar on March 11. This tragedy took place in the wake of the disgusting videos showing American soldiers urinating on Afghan corpses and the desecration of the Holy Quran, which led to widespread demonstrations in Afghanistan and the killing of Isaf soldiers by the Afghans. The Americans are, thus, not only losing the political battle in Afghanistan, but they have also lost the moral high ground to the opposition.

CBMs in South Asia

Courtesy:-  Jehangir Karamat & Shashi Tyagi THOUGH India-Pakistan relations are going through a relatively calm phase, things can change quickly. We must therefore take advantage of the present atmosphere to lock in beneficial patterns of behaviour. One area where we believe that progress can be made is on the question of military confidence-building measures (CBMs). The idea behind CBMs is well-tested; military establishments agree to avoid actions which are threatening to the other side as a means to help avoid unintended conflicts. Of course, CBMs are not a panacea; if people want to have a conflict CBMs will not prevent it. But CBMs do provide a mechanism whereby states which want to avoid a conflict through accident or misperception can develop ways to help do so.

Nuclear security and challenges

Courtesy:-  Air Cdre Khalid Iqbal (R) Nuclear security has always been a serious concern for the comity of nations. Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) makes all parties to the treaty responsible for implementing nuclear security related regimes. IAEA is the body with a legal mandate to monitor the implementation of various security related regimes. In addition, there are a number of institutionalized as well as informal mechanisms which oversee the nuclear security from various aspects; however,  membership  of all these entities is voluntary and their decisions have only recommendatory value. After 9/11, a genuine concern emerged about likelihood of nuclear terrorism. Concerns of nuclear security are based on chances of theft of material, sabotage, unauthorized use of nuclear weapons, insider-outsider  collaboration  etc. This led to adoption of UNSC resolution 1540. Subsequently, this fear has often been overplayed to use it as a  political  tool for selective application. 

The demographic edge

Courtesy:-  Dr Akmal Hussain March 19, 2012 Pakistan is undergoing a change in the age composition of its population. The labour force, particularly, the young age group (between 14 to 49 years) is growing faster than the population as a whole. Overall, as much as 60 per cent of the population today is below the age of 30. Let us discuss the nature of demographic change in the country and the subsequent challenges for policymakers.

Afghans: The eventual sufferers

Courtesy:-  Dr Raja Muhammad Khan Three grisly incidents recently committed by US forces in  Afghanistan  indicate imperial mindsets of this occupying power. The first incident was urinating on the bodies of the Taliban by US soldiers. While committing this callous act, US soldiers appear to be amusing themselves and as if they have done something of pride, as  video  indicates. Another act was the burning the  Holy Quran  by US soldiers in a US Military Base in  Afghanistan . By doing that U.S uniformed persons gave an impression that they wilfully disrespect the Muslim belief and their religion, in a country whose inhabitants are very strict followers of the religion. The third incident was killing of sixteen innocent civilians by a US Sergeant mercilessly and burning them too. Most of those targeted were women and children. 

A threat in the making

Courtesy:-  Imran Malik    March 19, 2012 Maverick US Congressmen Rep Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) and Rep Louise Gohmert (R-Texas) have initiated efforts to change the entire political structure of South West Asia (SWA) by creating an independent Balochistan comprising Pakistani, Iranian and Afghan Baloch areas in cahoots with the Afghan Northern Alliance (ANA) and a group of angry Pakistan Baloch Sardars (PBS). In February, they organised a public congressional hearing on Balochistan and then introduced a Baloch right to self-determination bill before the US Congress.