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Thread: Balochistan Issue and the long going Freedom Struggle

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    Balochistan Issue and the long going Freedom Struggle

    Here are 10 key points that will help you understand the Balochistan Conflict better.

    1. The annexation of Kalat
    Balochistan has witnessed regular insurgencies since Pakistan annexed the autonomous Baloch state of Kalat in 1948. The state is now divided between Pakistan and Iran. The capital of the Pakistani province of Balochistan is Quetta.

    2. Multiple insurgencies
    The Pakistan government has waged military campaigns against Baloch insurgencies in 1948, 1958-59, 1962-63, and 1973-77. The most recent conflict began in the early 2000s.

    3. A separate state
    There have been calls in Balochistan for a separate state independent from Pakistan. Naela Qadri Baloch has even appealed to the Indian government, asking it to intervene and liberate Balochistan from Pakistan.

    4. A vision for an independent Balochistan
    She has told TOI that an independent Balochistan would be "nuclear free, terror-free, secular, democratic, pluralistic," and "gender-balanced"

    5. Armed separatist groups
    There are a number of armed separatist groups demanding independence from Pakistan. Prominent groups include the Balochistan Liberation Army and Lashkar-e-Balochistan.

    6. Systematic repression and marginalization
    The Pakistan government is accused of engaging in systematic repression and marginalization of Balochs. Islamabad has reportedly detained thousands of Baloch nationalists, denied Balochs positions in government institutions and the military, assassinated democratic Baloch leaders, funded religious schools to fuel religious radicalization, and backed the Taliban in general elections to counter democratic Baloch leaders.

    7. Curbing press freedom
    The Pakistan government is also accused of imposing extraordinary restrictions on press freedom. It has reportedly prevented the international media from reporting from conflict zones. In addition, foreign journalists working in the region have reportedly been physically assaulted by intelligence agents, or deported from Pakistan.

    8. 'Kill-and-dump' policy
    In May this year, Naela Qadri Baloch told TOI that Pakistan had "imposed" war on Balochistan, and that its human rights violations in the region had "reached the level of genocide." Describing what she called a "kill-and-dump" policy, the activist said the Pakistan Army killed Balochs indiscriminately, abducted women and took them to rape cells, and had official torture cells. "They are using rape and dishonour as an instrument to crush a nation," she said.

    9. Creating terror groups
    Naela Qadri Baloch also alleged that Pakistan had created local al-Qaida and ISIS groups in the region, in the same way that it had once created al-Shams and al-Badr in Bangladesh.

    10. Siphoning resources
    Pakistan is accused of siphoning Balochistan's energy resources away from their rightful beneficiaries. While Pakistan gets most of its energy from Balochistan's natural gas reserves, Punjab rather than Balochistan benefits from this fuel source.

  2. #2
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    China will intervene if India creates tension in Balochistan: Chinese thinktank

    China should actually. The hawks in South Block would like China to experience fire-works and collect bodybags. Asymmetric ofcourse.
    Member of P5, having no regard for international rulings, building a corridor through India's territory, bitching like a shamed sl**.

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    Senior Contributor anil's Avatar
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    Policy change by the modi govt. The CPEC has put balochistan and tibet back on paper and crossed off gujral and vajpayee's legacy.

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    Gujral has no legacy. He's a traitor. And Modi knows, offence is the best defense.

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    Policy change by the modi govt. The CPEC has put balochistan and tibet back on paper and crossed off gujral and vajpayee's legacy.
    interesting times.

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    Gwadar conundrum

    Gwadar seems to be an exceptionally strong magnet attracting so many different forces towards it. China seems to have the most affinity and fascination for it. It is a new contender to superpower status and does not let an opportunity go by to spread its footprint however it can. Here it has found a willing accomplice in the form of the Pakistani establishment that also aspires to become at least a regional power. They think that Gwadar has all the characteristics that will help them further their respective goals. The common trait of these two is their abhorrence of diversity and greed for profits and land. China, despite its large landmass, is busy reclaiming land in the South China Sea in disputed areas and is building runways for possible military use on the Spratly Islands; Obama recently warned the country over this reclamation. For China, Gwadar is a Godsend as it is getting it all simply by investing. Yes, investing $ 46 billion to reap profits. This is not the mind-boggling sum it is shown to be because Exxon Oil company’s profits in 2008 alone were $ 46 billion.

    Apart from easy trade routes and accessible corridors for its energy needs, China needs bases to protect these vital installations and routes, and it will not trust others to shoulder that responsibility. Gwadar is one such strategic point for China and it matters not to them how much Baloch blood is shed or of what magnitude Baloch suffering is. Having found a willing ally here, it is certainly not going to relinquish any such opportunity for altruistic reasons alone. China is bent upon making the highest profits possible and it has threatened the government that it will quit the cherished China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) if the tariff rates for its solar project are cut.

    Gwadar airport has long been seen as a venue for a military and air force base. If this were not the case why disregard normal procedure when the 6,600 acres for the new Gwadar airport were being purchased? It was the Military Estates Officer (MEO) in Quetta instead of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that bought the land for Rs.1.05 billion. Any land acquired by the Military Lands and Cantonments (MLC) makes it the property of the Pakistan Army and this fact alone thoroughly exposes the claims that Gwadar is an exclusively commercial project. Moreover, in a January 26, 2007 Senate debate, Senator Raza Rabbani — then a dove probably — said that the airport in Gwadar was a “civil-military” airbase and that was why the MLC had acquired thousands of acres of land. Interestingly, also in this report, Senator Dr Abdul Malik (the present Balochistan chief minister) told the house that the government had purchased 150,000 acres of land through the MLC for Gwadar airport and not all people had been paid. There was uproar over the price paid as well: Pakistan Railways paid Rs 55,000 per acre while the MLC paid Rs 157,000 per acre.

    Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Atlanta has been the world’s busiest airport since 1998 and attracts more travellers than any other airport in the world with 96,178,899 passengers passing through in 2014. It also manages more aircraft movements (takeoffs and landings) than any other airport in the world with 881,933 in 2014 and is built only on 4,700 acres. Gwadar airport is twice the size of London’s Heathrow (2,965 acres) where a plane lands or takes off every 46 seconds at peak time, handling 73,408,442 passengers and 472,817 aircraft movements in 2014. This oversized place is obviously required for objectives other than what is publicised. China needs a base and needs it pronto; it has to compete with US bases to make its mark as the new kid on the superpower block and the Pakistani government has allocated Rs 26 billion for the purpose.

    Militarising Gwadar and imposing apartheid-like measures of residence passes for the residents of Gwadar is not something random but is part of a systematic policy to ensure that the Baloch are thoroughly disenfranchised in every way and are pushed into a corner from which they find themselves unable to resist whatever indignities and injustices are heaped upon them. This viciously inhuman policy stems not only from the desire of fulfilling their economic and strategic requirements but also from visceral vindictiveness aimed at punishing the Baloch for their resistance to the Pakistani establishment’s aim of exploiting Balochistan’s resources and utilising its 347,190 kmē landmass for purposes that would deprive the Baloch but benefit their chosen ones as has been seen with natural gas, copper, gold and onyx.

    The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) visited Pakistan in September 2013 but was accorded minimum of cooperation. This group visited Sri Lanka recently, inspected a former illegal prison complex in the island’s northeast during its visit, and urged Sri Lanka to speed up probes into suspected secret detention centres. Since the CPEC signing, the number of missing persons has jumped. The WGEID should also probe secret prisons, which are black holes here in which thousands of Baloch have disappeared. The impunity and the scale with which disappearances have continued in Balochistan verges on genocide and the UN body should be allowed unhindered access to these black holes to see for itself the plight of the missing Baloch.

    This vindictive repression and systematic disenfranchisement of the Baloch is being helped and spurred on by disunity among the Baloch. The parable of the trees and axe is apt here. The trees complained that the axe was committing atrocities against them and something must be done to stop axe-perpetrated excesses. They were told if it were not for those of them that became the axe’s handle, the axe would be pretty much harmless. The festering and malignant disunity among the Baloch on every level is certainly not helping the Baloch in any way and is on the contrary spurring the establishment on. The latter realises how this destructive and noxious disunity weakens all Baloch, and encourages it towards more harsh and unjust measures in order to weaken them beyond recovery point. The responsibility for salvaging and protecting Baloch rights lies squarely on the shoulders of those who claim to be leaders. Without unity there is danger that the Baloch struggle for rights will become a forgotten chapter.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

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    Chinese consulate attack: Balochistan grouses cannot be forever ignored

    The November 23 attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi by Baloch separatists brought into global view, once more, the Baloch trauma. The Balochistan Liberation Army, which claimed responsibility for the attack, had warned the Chinese authorities against "exploitation of Balochistan's mineral wealth and occupation of the Baloch territory".

    Regrettable as violence in any form is, this incident is an unfortunate reminder that Baloch complaints cannot forever be ignored. In fact, the constant refrain through Pakistan's 70-year history is this: Balochistan appears to be on the boil again.

    Baloch resentment goes back to the very beginning when, with the initial encouragement of Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan, the Khan of Kalat, declared Balochistan's independence on August 12, 1947. Thereafter, the Balochistan parliament rejected merger with Pakistan on several occasions between December 14, 1947, and February 25, 1948. Finally, to end the impasse, Pakistani troops entered Balochistan on April 15, 1948, closing the argument and seizing the province. The Baloch demand may have been suppressed, but the resentment continued to simmer.

    With around 46 per cent of the country's total area, Balochistan is Pakistan's largest province, but has the smallest population, representing around five per cent of the country's total. While the Baloch are in the majority, Pashtuns make up around 40 per cent of the population, with the Hazara community being the third-largest ethnic group.

    Baloch anger is not against the ethnic mix, it is rooted in poverty and the systematic denial of opportunities by the Pakistani establishment. Despite its vast natural wealth, Balochistan is desperately poor; barely 25 per cent of its population is literate (the national average is 47 per cent), around 30 per cent are unemployed and just seven per cent have access to tap water. While Balochistan provides one-third of Pakistan's natural gas, just a few of its cities are linked to the supply grid.


    The Baloch have many grudges; in some respects these are an even graver reminder of the suppression that was practiced in East Pakistan. They complain that Baloch territory is just the arena where nuclear arms are tested, and their vast mineral wealth is exploited for the benefit of the rest of Pakistan. The latest addition to this list is the bizarre phenomenon of Gwadar port and its development. The area lies in Balochistan, but thousands of acres of its area have been fenced to keep the Baloch out.

    The discrimination practiced by the Pakistani state began early and so did the rebellion against it. Balochi tribesmen, led by Sher Mohammad Marri, rebelled against the government in the tribal areas of Mengal, Marri, and Bukti between 1963 and 1969. The Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) was established in support of Balochi independence in 1967. Since then, and despite severe repression, the resistance has continued. On occasion, even foreign governments have aided the Baloch separatists. Iraq and neighbouring Afghanistan did when they provided military assistance to Baloch rebels around 1973.

    Currently, there are two sources of violence in Balochistan. After 2001, an ISI-sponsored conflict began to rock the province by way of a backlash. This was largely north of Quetta, close to the Afghan border. This is the home of the Quetta Shura, the Taliban's war council. The Taliban insurgents shelter in madrasas and lawless refugee camps there, taking rest between battles with the US forces in Afghanistan.

    The second, and more longstanding indigenous conflict, is against the Pakistani state by the Balochis. This derives support from the area stretching south of Quetta up to the Arabian Sea. The people here have been reluctant Pakistanis and the first Baloch revolt erupted in 1948, barely six months after Pakistan was born. The current revolt is the fifth. Sadly, the Balochis have been the worst sufferers all along. Since 2009, more than 40,000 Balochis have gone missing, and over 10,000 have been killed.

    As a report in The Guardian (March 29, 2011) described it: "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... If you have not heard of this epic killing spree, though, don't worry: Neither have most Pakistanis."

    Have the killing fields of Balochistan spilled enough blood? The answer to that is an unqualified no. Yet, the Baloch case is unlikely to be heard by the wider world because their access to the outside is rare. And the Pakistani Army finds it convenient to silence the Baloch rather than listen to their lament.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

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