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  • On the subject of 'canvassing opinion across Balochistan', I came across the following:
    A Gallup survey for the UK international official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, revealed that the support for an independent Balochistan is not popular even amongst a majority of the Baloch population.

    The survey reveals that among the Baloch, 37 percent favour independence whereas among the Pashtun population only 12 percent favour that option. The results of the survey have not been made public.

    The vast majority, according to the survey, opposes the idea of an independent Balochistan. However, 67 percent of the people of Balochistan, including Baloch and Pashtuns, support greater provincial autonomy.

    The survey says that 79 percent of the Baloch population and 53 percent of Pashtuns support the idea that the people of Balochistan should have greater control over their political affairs.Balochistan, which is generally a combination of Baloch and Pashtun tribes, through this survey reflects Pashtuns’ tilt to national mainstream as against the recent years increased tendency of Balochi separatism.
    37pc Baloch favour independence: UK survey - thenews.com.pk
    Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
    https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
      However, distrust or resentment towards the FC does not automatically mean 'widespread hostility towards Pakistan'
      Is the best spin you can do? Crap effort.

      I dont care what you think, you're not important.

      Here's another damning assement of the situation there carried by Pakistan's Daily Times, this one a Baloch perspective. This guy has an email address available, so instead of posting here give your cheap spin to him and see how he responds. Come back and let us all know:

      COMMENT : Awaran — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

      The government and its ministers along with the army are quick to blame the Baloch for putting up hurdles in relief work and the social media and the mainstream media join the chorus

      Awaran, a place that already was suffering from shocks of long-drawn army and Frontier Corps operations in their effort to contain the brave and unflinching resistance that Dr Allah Nazar and the people there are putting up against their attempts to make people meekly submit to exploitation, was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on September 24. The UN humanitarian envoy, Dr Abdullah Al-Matouq, said the UN was ready to help with relief work in Balochistan’s earthquake-affected areas but the Pakistani authorities have refused. This isn’t the first time that the disaster-stricken Baloch have been left at the mercy of the vagaries of nature and elements on a flimsy security concerns excuse for which the establishment itself is to blame. When Balochistan was battered by Cyclone Yemyin in June 2007 causing flooding affecting 1.5 million people, the international relief organisations were suddenly stopped on the security concerns excuse. Even the relief operations of the Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) and other nationalist organisations were stopped and camps disbanded. The same is true today; early Thursday morning some Baloch students of Dera Ghazi Khan (DGK) put up a camp at the Traffic Chowk near the DGK Press Club to collect supplies for the Awaran quake victims but were soon rudely stopped by intelligence agencies personnel. Independent news reports confirm that the relief supplies being sent by individuals and NGOs are stopped by the FC, which says only it will distribute them. The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Agency handouts claiming relief are bogus as reports prove no supplies had reached either Gajjar or Malaar till Friday.

      Relief work is the responsibility of the civilian authorities, the Red Crescent, the UN and other humanitarian organisations but Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar says 1,000 troops of the Pakistan army were on the ground and other units were being dispatched, apart from the thousands of FC men already there. Sanaullah Baloch tweeted that NDMA officials say they cannot give information without clearance from the ISPR. Prior to this quake, the people of Awaran have been subjected to punitive operations by the army and FC because the intrepid Dr Allah Nazar has struggled ceaselessly and effectively, after his release in June 2006 in a near-death condition after brutal torture following his arrest in March 2005. He was arrested in 2002 as well after he formed the Baloch Students Organisation (Azad) but released after students’ hunger strikes. He today is the singularly most effective and legendary resistance leader on the ground, leading his Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and well complemented by the indomitable Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Baloch Republican Army (BRA). The people in Awaran view the army and FC as the enemy.

      Lt-General (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch said Jam Kamal Khan, NDMA Chairman Major General Muhammad Saeed Aleem and their helicopters flying over Mashkay area were fired at by the Sarmachars (insurgents) on Thursday. Later talking to reporters he said, “The bullets passed very close to the helicopters. However, we escaped the attempt on our lives.” He said the militant leader Allah Nazar should realise that the army and Frontier Corps troops had gone to the area to help those devastated by the earthquake. “I would like to ask militant leader Allah Nazar and his men to join the rescue and relief operation in order to ease the pain of people whose loved ones have died or been injured.” The fact is that the establishment wants to punish the people using instances of justified response by the Sarmachars against aggression by denying them aid from international organisations. Dr Allah Nazar assuring full safety for civil organisations and personnel involved in aid activities and added helicopters were engaged because of their hostile activities and it was a legitimate response. A military official in Awaran also confirmed that the rebels are only attacking security forces and not civilians.

      The government and its ministers along with the army are quick to blame the Baloch for putting up hurdles in relief work and the social media and the mainstream media join the chorus accusing the Baloch Sarmachars of being inconsiderate and callous by obstructing help. Sadly even the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) sometimes issues statements that seem to be ISPR handouts. Their patriotism blinds them to the plight of the Baloch and the resentment evoked by the unbridled brutality that they suffer at the hands of the security forces. They have no idea what image the army and the FC has there for the people who have been terrorised and traumatised by the operations conducted there to ensure that the BLF fish (guerrillas) are deprived of the sea (the people) that they have swum in since 2006. The people there and the army are two warring parties; there are six-decade plus irresolvable animosities and antagonisms nurtured by brutalities and broken promises combined with devastating economic exploitation. Pray, tell me, how would the residents of Stalingrad have reacted had the 6th Army and the 4th Panzer Army of the Wehrmacht come bearing relief supplies to ease the besieged people’s troubles? Many affected people are refusing to take army relief supplies because their near and dear ones have either gone missing or been killed. My respected friend Shaheed Sheymureed Baloch (Raza Jahangir), Secretary General Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) Azad, killed by the FC on August 14, was from Awaran.

      If the readers think I am exaggerating, this news report may help disabuse them of the illusion that the army can do no wrong. Recently, the Islamabad police booked 30 security personnel of the Strategic Planning Division (SPD), including an army officer, on charges of murder, attempted murder and terrorism. The villagers of Nilor, protesting the beating up of a villager, were fired upon, resulting in the death of one and injury to 10 villagers. In July the Army netball players had beaten up the Balochistan team after losing the game.

      This earthquake and the emerging situation have forced the establishment to reluctantly admit to the scale and intensity of the resistance that they are facing. The army is trying to gain a foothold in the area in the guise of relief work and is punishing the people there for their unstinted support for the Sarmachars by disallowing international aid. This, however, will only strengthen their resolve. The help by other Baloch and NGOs will filter through and the people in the quake-affected area will survive, but the already incurable wounds and scars will deepen and they will never forgive the establishment for the miseries they are going through.

      The writer has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He tweets at mmatalpur and can be contacted at mmatalpur@gmail.com

      Comment


      • Originally posted by 1980s View Post

        Awaran, a place that already was suffering from shocks of long-drawn army and Frontier Corps operations in their effort to contain the brave and unflinching resistance that Dr Allah Nazar and the people there are putting up against their attempts to make people meekly submit to exploitation,

        The writer has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He tweets at mmatalpur and can be contacted at mmatalpur@gmail.com
        Are you really pushing the commentary of a man lionizing a terrorist leader and expecting it to be taken as credible and unbiased?

        And no, I will not email the author since I have no interest in emailing supporters of terrorist groups.
        Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
        https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

        Comment


        • In support of my 'spin', here is an assessment of the situation from another ethnic Baloch, one with direct relatives involved in leading terrorist groups:
          Balochistan condundrum: Face to face with a son of the soil
          By Qaiser Butt
          Published: May 18, 2013

          ISLAMABAD: While his father and two brothers are leading separatist movements in Balochistan, Nawabzada Jangayz Marri is vying for the chief ministership of that very province, and is determined to counter all efforts to separate it from Pakistan.

          ‘’For years, I have been defending Pakistan and its interests against all those who are trying to break it, said Jangayz, the elder son of the top separatist Baloch leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri . ‘’I will continue my campaign of defending this country,” he declared in an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, while also saying that Balochistan is an integral part of Pakistan and it will always remain a part of the federation.

          Jangayz, 53, has been elected to the Balochistan assembly as a nominee of the PML-N from his ancestral constituency of Kohlu, a place that has been the hub of fighting between Marri militants and the security forces. “I believe in parliamentary democracy as our political and economic issues can only be solved through the democratic process,” he declared with conviction.


          His father Nawab Marri was once part of that very process, as a legislator in the national assembly in the early 1970’s. He turned to militancy after then Prime Minister Z.A Bhutto dismissed his party’s (the National Awami Party) government in Balochistan and launched a military operation against those who were protesting that act. Jangayz feels it is now time to turn back the clock.

          ‘’ I want all the militants to go back to their old ways and rejoin the democratic process for the betterment of the Baloch people and Balochistan ‘’ Jangayz said.

          Nawab Marri is still leading his fighting tribesmen in Kohlu while two of his exiled sons, Nawabzada Hyrbyar Marri and Nawabzada Zumran Marri alias Mehran Marri are heading the proscribed militant outfits, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and United Baloch Army (UBA).One of his sons, Nawabzada Balach Marri, who was also one of the leaders of the BLA, was killed in Afghanistan.

          ‘’The so-called agenda of the independence of Balochistan is nothing but a ploy to add to the miseries of the Baloch people ‘’ Jangayz said while rejecting militancy. ‘’I fail to understand what kind of independence these militants are taking about,” he said, adding ‘’The Baloch people are already living in an independent state: Pakistan.

          Jangayz criticized the militants for not having the “common sense” to understand that the fighting was adding to the miseries of the Baloch people, who he says have already suffered enough. “We are engaged in killing each other for petty political gains. In this discord and bloodshed we are not willing to recognize any one person as our unanimous leader, so what will be the fate of our people even if we get this so-called independence?” he asked, before answering his own question: ‘’Nothing but more and more destruction for the Baloch people. Enough is enough, let us now live and let live,” he said.

          ‘’I will talk to all militants for the restoration of peace and stability in the province,” he said while unveiling his plans for the solution of Balochistan issue. He cautions that it will not be an easy process, and will require a comprehensive strategy of dialogue and deterrence. ‘’ I had lengthy discussions with Marri fighters on their main grievances and found that over 90 percent of the people in the province only want a peaceful life and economic prosperity.”


          ‘’All the stake holders and state institutions need to address the main issues, which include the restoration of the government’s writ , ending militancy, job creation and good governance,” he urged, emphasising that all these issue must be addressed fairly and within constitutional bounds. And he clearly knows who the best man for the job is.

          ‘’Except for Nawaz Sharif, no national politician is sincerely interested in resolving the Balochistan issue,” says Jangayz who joined the PML -N in 1995. ‘’It is high time to initiate serious and sincere efforts to bring peace and tranquility in the province so that the poor and neglected Baloch people can also enjoy the fruits of democracy,” he concluded.

          Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2013.
          Balochistan condundrum: Face to face with a son of the soil – The Express Tribune
          Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
          https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

          Comment


          • 37% of respondents to a poll survey is not a small minority, and corroborates whats already been reported, ie, that hostility towards Pakistan is widespread. It would be interesting to see from where these views were polled from and how many respondents participated in it from Balochistan.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
              Are you really pushing the commentary of a man lionizing a terrorist leader and expecting it to be taken as credible and unbiased?

              And no, I will not email the author since I have no interest in emailing supporters of terrorist groups.
              Obviously he's biased towards his beliefs, just as you are towards yours. And yes i consider him more credible you.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
                ’ I had lengthy discussions with Marri fighters on their main grievances and found that over 90 percent of the people in the province only want a peaceful life and economic prosperity.”

                Balochistan condundrum: Face to face with a son of the soil – The Express Tribune
                So thats basically his assessment? I guess he must be a real genius to figure that one out! - that most people in the World want a peaceful life. Even the Taliban and Al-Shabaab et al ulitmately want that.

                His 'assessment' doesnt corroborate your spin, in fact, this article has nothing to do with anything. All he does is emphasize his political ambitions for being a 'chief minister' of Balochistan and paint a pretty bleak picture of how much anger and aggression exists over there.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by 1980s View Post
                  37% of respondents to a poll survey is not a small minority, and corroborates whats already been reported, ie, that hostility towards Pakistan is widespread. It would be interesting to see from where these views were polled from and how many respondents participated in it from Balochistan.
                  37% of ONLY the ethnic Baloch population. Amongst the second largest demographic group in Balochistan, the Pashtun, only 12% supported independence.

                  And if you are going to argue 'widespread hostility towards Pakistan' on the basis of a 'minority' in the province supporting independence, how exactly would you describe the 'majority' in the province opposing independence for Balochistan? 'Overwhelming support for Pakistan'?
                  Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
                  https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by 1980s View Post
                    So thats basically his assessment? I guess he must be a real genius to figure that one out!
                    At least he isn't an outright terrorist supporter like the author you quoted ...
                    - that most people in the World want a peaceful life. Even the Taliban and Al-Shabaab et al ulitmately want that.
                    'Most people' don't resort to terrorism to achieve that 'peaceful life', as Al Shabab, the Taliban and the Baloch separatist/terrorist groups have done.
                    His 'assessment' doesnt corroborate your spin, in fact, this article has nothing to do with anything. All he does is emphasize his political ambitions for being a 'chief minister' of Balochistan and paint a pretty bleak picture of how much anger and aggression exists over there.
                    Versus the author you prefer to believe voicing overt support for terrorism and terrorists?
                    Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
                    https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
                      37% of ONLY the ethnic Baloch population. Amongst the second largest demographic group in Balochistan, the Pashtun, only 12% supported independence.
                      Can you post the actual stats of this poll? ie, who was polled, where were they polled from, how many people were polled etc. That would be useful to get an idea of how representative or accurate these figures might be. Until then, these figures have no meaning. They could be 10 or 100 people for all anyone knows out of about 8 million or so said to live in Balochistan, which happens to be a dirt poor region with massive poverty, poor infrastructure, limited electricity and internet users, and huge illiteracy (almost 60% of people in Balochistan are illiterate ).

                      So who exactly was polled and how? When you find out, let us know.

                      Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
                      At least he isn't an outright terrorist supporter like the author you quoted ...

                      'Most people' don't resort to terrorism to achieve that 'peaceful life', as Al Shabab, the Taliban and the Baloch separatist/terrorist groups have done.

                      Versus the author you prefer to believe voicing overt support for terrorism and terrorists?
                      They would argue the 'terrorists' are the Pakistani state and armed forces that have been occupying, terrorizing and murdering them, hence their resistance and numerous rebellions since 1948.

                      And yes once again, i consider what Talpur says to be credible because he actually discusses the issue, citing actual incidents, dates, places, names and so on. Maybe Jillani, Green and other reporters are also not credible for you? Like i said, take it up the BBC, Reuters, the Daily Times etc, they're the ones publishing and sending reporters to write about this conflict.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by 1980s View Post
                        So who exactly was polled and how? When you find out, let us know.
                        Sure, when I have time to look up the actual poll I will - until then, a poll, even if flawed, offers a far more credible and comprehensive description of the views of the population of Balochistan than opinions of writers (based on a handful of anecdotes here and there) designed to make their articles appear more 'sensational'.

                        BTW, literacy is not a pre-requisite for polling a population unless the methodology requires the responders to fill out the questionnaires themselves. Polling by telephone or in person with the poll staff recording responses would eliminate the need for the target population to be 'literate'.
                        They would argue the 'terrorists' are the Pakistani state and armed forces that have been occupying, terrorizing and murdering them, hence their resistance and numerous rebellions since 1948.
                        They can argue that as much as they want, just as Al Qaeda argues, just as the Taliban argue, just as Hamas argues, just as the Islamist terrorists fighting Assad argue - do you support all these terrorist groups?

                        And yes once again, i consider what Talpur says to be credible because he actually discusses the issue, citing actual incidents, dates, places, names and so on.
                        He starts of by praising a terrorist leader and a terrorist movement - do you find apologists of Osama Bin Laden, Mullah Omar, Zawahiri etc. and their actions just as credible?
                        Last edited by Agnostic Muslim; 03 Oct 13,, 15:35.
                        Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
                        https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
                          Sure, when I have time to look up the actual poll I will - until then, a poll, even if flawed, offers a far more credible and comprehensive description of the views of the population of Balochistan than opinions of writers (based on a handful of anecdotes here and there) designed to make their articles appear more 'sensational'.
                          Only in your imagination.

                          They can argue that as much as they want, just as Al Qaeda argues, just as the Taliban argue, just as Hamas argues, just as the Islamist terrorists fighting Assad argue - do you support all these terrorist groups?

                          He starts of by praising a terrorist leader and a terrorist movement - do you find apologists of Osama Bin Laden, Mullah Omar, Zawahiri etc. and their actions just as credible?
                          So long as Talpur discusses facts, which is what he does and why i assume the Daily Times has been carrying his commentaries and reports for years, he's credible. You OTHO, are neither credible nor genuine. You got a problem with him? Complain to him directly about it and the newspaper which publishes his articles. You have his email address.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by 1980s View Post

                            So long as Talpur discusses facts, which is what he does and why i assume the Daily Times has been carrying his commentaries and reports for years, he's credible. You OTHO, are neither credible nor genuine. You got a problem with him? Complain to him directly about it and the newspaper which publishes his articles. You have his email address.
                            Talpur does not discuss 'facts', he offers his personal opinion and interpretation of events (much like OBL, Mullah Omar and Zawahiri would do), opinions and interpretations that lack credibility given that he starts off his piece lionizing a terrorist leader and terrorist movement.

                            So again, do you assign the same level of credibility to apologists of OBL, Mullah Omar, Zawahiri and the terrorists in Syria fighting Assad?
                            Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
                            https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
                              So again, do you assign the same level of credibility to apologists of OBL, Mullah Omar, Zawahiri and the terrorists in Syria fighting Assad?
                              AG:

                              Simply dismissing an argument because the author appears to support a 'terrorist" is
                              ad hominem reasoning. That may fly in the sidewalk cafes, but here we should aim for a higher standard and concern ourselves with the arguments the writer makes, not his associations.
                              To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
                                Talpur does not discuss 'facts', he offers his personal opinion and interpretation of events (much like OBL, Mullah Omar and Zawahiri would do), opinions and interpretations that lack credibility given that he starts off his piece lionizing a terrorist leader and terrorist movement.

                                So again, do you assign the same level of credibility to apologists of OBL, Mullah Omar, Zawahiri and the terrorists in Syria fighting Assad?
                                I consider Mullah Omar to be a Pakistani asset, and i consider Pakistan to be a reckless 3rd world sponsor of terrorism, if thats what you're asking me. Id be happy to hear of Mullah Omar being hanged or shot to death, along with all those Pakistani generals, politicans and terrorist inciting clerics that come from there that support his kind.

                                Now, here's the contacts for the Daily Times, Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan - let us know their reply to your queries regarding Talpur's credibility or lack thereof.

                                Also, while you're at it, maybe you want to query the BBC too on Jillani, and Reuters on Green.
                                Last edited by 1980s; 03 Oct 13,, 15:55.

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