Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Balochistan Conflict & Solution.

QUETTA: The chief of the paramilitary troops in Balochistan has claimed that billions of rupees were being spent to spread a state of unrest in the insurgency-hit province, DawnNews reported. Speaking to media representatives at the FC headquarters here on Saturday, Inspector General Frontier Corps Balochistan Major General Obaidullah Khan Khattak said on Saturday that over 30 militant training camps had been set up across the border in Afghanistan to launch terrorist and anti-state activities in Balochistan. Maj Gen Khattak also claimed that around 121 insurgent training facilities were operating in different parts of the province. Teachers, doctors and many civilians have fallen prey to target killings, said Khattak adding that over 100,000 people had migrated from the province due to its law and order situation. About 550 incidents of terrorism have taken place in the province so far this year, out of which several groups have claimed responsibilities of 258 such incidents, he informed the media. The future of the country is in Balochistan, said Khattak, alleging that foreign powers had their eyes set on the province for the same reason. Moreover, a well-planned conspiracy had been hatched for a propaganda campaign against the FC and intelligence agencies, he added. The Frontier Corps had recently come under much criticism over its alleged role in forced disappearances and human rights violations in Balochistan. The Supreme Court is also hearing a case on the province’s law and order situation. The IG FC’s comments come after a hearing on Friday in which a bench of apex court judges, headed by the chief justice, assailed the FC and described the recent killing of three people whose whereabouts were being sought by the court as a chilling reminder to it. “We are aware that lives of law enforcement personnel were also being lost, however that does not empower anyone to take the law into their own hands,” one of the judges had remarked during the hearing. Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province by area, has been the centre of a violent insurgency by nationalist activists and militant groups. The Pakistani prime minister on Saturday called for new legislation for the recovery of ‘missing persons’ in the province. PM Gilani is also expected to start a tour of Quetta, the provincial capital, from Sunday. Earlier on Tuesday, another high-level meeting attended by the prime minister, army chief Kayani, ISI head DG-ISI Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam, and Balochistan Chief Minister Raisani had decided to initiate dialogue with the Baloch leadership and discontented nationalist parties in the province. REFERENCE: Over 30 training camps in Afghanistan fuelling Balochistan unrest: IG FC DawnNews | DAWN.COM | 2nd June, 2012 http://dawn.com/2012/06/02/over-30-training-camps-in-afghanistan-fuelling-balochistan-unrest-ig-fc/ 

ISLAMABAD, June 11: Taking exception to a media conference addressed by Frontier Corps (FC) Inspector General Obaidullah Khattak on the Balochistan situation, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry wondered on Monday whether the court should summon Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. “It is not the job of the people in uniform to address press conferences. We have taken strong exception to the press conference of IG-FC. Is he overtaking the Supreme Court!” asked the chief justice while hearing a petition filed by Hadi Shakeel, former president of the Balochistan High Court Bar Association, about breakdown of law and order in the province. He said time had come to pass a coercive order against him and send it to Gen Kayani and the interior secretary to look into the conduct of the general. The court also asked Attorney General Irfan Qadir to look into the transcript of the press conference. Advocate Raja Muhammad Irshad, representing the FC chief, was asked to provide the transcript to the court. The court asked why it should not be feel aggrieved over the recovery of the bodies of missing persons when it was the guardian of the Constitution. “Nobody has a right to kill even a criminal,” the chief justice said. He said Balochistan should not be ignored as it was the most important part of the country. The bodies of Muhammad Khan Marri, Muhammad Nabi and others were found dumped a few days after the apex court’s directives issued during proceedings in Quetta for the recovery of three missing persons. Over the past few days 15 to 20 people had been killed, the court noted. Sadiq Umrani, a member of parliament, had said that he was a witness to an incident in which two persons had been butchered. “Why not put responsibility on the IG of the FC as every second accusation was against the FC,” the chief justice said, adding that the court could go to any extent, citing as example passing an order under Article 190 of the Constitution. “Tomorrow, we can call Gen Kayani and ask him to look into it,” the court said and recalled that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had also visited Balochistan last week. When Raja Irshad asked the court to order withdrawal of the FC from Balochistan, the chief justice observed that it was not the court’s job. Meanwhile, Advocate Raza Kazim, counsel for cellular phone companies, contended that a negative impression was being created against them as they were accused of promoting terrorism. They had spent Rs30 million to acquire equipment through which they could trace a caller within 30 seconds and the required information was being shared with intelligence agencies, he said. His request to implead cellular companies in the case was accepted before adjournment of further hearing to June 19. REFERENCE: FC chief’s press briefing irks SC From the Newspaper | Our Staff Reporter | 9 hours ago http://dawn.com/2012/06/12/fc-chiefs-press-briefing-irks-sc/

ISLAMABAD: The British government has refused to process warrants against former president Pervez Musharraf in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case, issued by an anti-terrorism court of Pakistan, DawnNews reported. The British Foreign Office informed the Pakistani government that the arrest warrants cannot be processed because there is no official agreement signed between the two countries on prisoner exchange. However, the British Prime Minister David Cameron during his visit to Pakistan had assured Pakistan’s request would be processed. REFERENCES: UK refuses to handover Pervez Musharraf DAWN.COM April 19, 2011 http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/19/uk-refuses-to-handover-pervez-musharraf.html  Warrants issued for Musharraf By Mudassir Raja | From the Newspaper February 13, 2011 http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/13/warrants-issued-for-musharraf.html 

NEW YORK: President All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and former president Pervez Musharraf, criticizing PML-N’s Nawaz Shaif said, he made a blunder as he messed with four ex-army chiefs, two presidents and the chief justice during his government, Geo News reported Sunday. Musharraf was addressing APML’s mass gathering here on Sunday. Former President, responding to threats of filing a lawsuit incessantly posed to him by Nawaz Sharif, said, “As Nawaz knows that neither will he regain power nor will he be able to try me in a court of law therefore he takes resort to blow this trumpet time and again.” He said he doesn’t regret killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti and attack on Lal Mosque and neither will he seek apology over those actions, adding that he was ready to replicate all what he did during his tenure in the face of similar situation. Musharraf said, on one hand Nawaz Sharif chant slogan of ‘Jaag Punjabi Jaag’ to accumulate votes in Punjab and on the other hand, he has worn criminal silence over killings of Punjabis in Balochistan. Also, Musharraf alleged Nawaz Sharif of handing refuge to Talal Bugti in Lahore whom (Bugti) he termed ‘lawbreaker’. The supporters of PML-N and APML were also present on the occasion and were chanting slogans against chiefs of both parties. REFERENCE: Don’t regret Bugti’s murder: Musharraf Updated at: 1150 PST, Sunday, November 07, 2010 http://www.thenews.com.pk/latest-news/4448.htm  Don’t regret Bugti’s murder: Musharraf Updated at: 1217 PST, Sunday, November 07, 2010 http://www.geo.tv/11-7-2010/74006.htm 

Former Chief of the Army Staff General (R) Pervez Musharraf Justifies the "Murder" of Sardar Akbar Bugti

COURTESY: AYANTVUS URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQK3N4dLz8w

The 132-page report documents dozens of enforced disappearances, in which the authorities take people into custody and then deny all responsibility or knowledge of their fate or whereabouts. The report details 45 alleged cases of enforced disappearances, the majority in 2009 and 2010. While hundreds of people have been forcibly disappeared in Balochistan since 2005, dozens of new enforced disappearances have occurred since Pakistan returned to civilian rule in 2008. REFERENCE: “We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years” Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan July 28, 2011 http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/pakistan0711WebInside.pdf

Reporter - The problems of Balochistan--Ep 166-Part 1 (DAWN NEWS 2011)


Tribal Politics in Balochistan by Lt. Col Mohammad Usman Khan

Reporter - The problems of Balochistan--Ep 166-Part 2 (DAWN NEWS 2011)


Balochistan Economic Report Haris Gazdar

Reporter - The problems of Balochistan--Ep 166-Part 3 (DAWN NEWS 2011)

Usa Aid Food Security Poverty Alleviation in Arid Agriculture Balochistan

Reporter - The problems of Balochistan--Ep 166-Part 4 (DAWN NEWS 2011)


Socio Economic Survey of Rural Households

Reporter-Rule of Law, Intelligence Agencies and Baluchistan Situation-EP 156-Part-1 (DAWN NEWS 2011)


Pakistan the Worsening Conflict in Balochistan

Reporter-Rule of Law, Intelligence Agencies and Baluchistan Situation-EP 156-Part-2 (DAWN NEWS 2011)


Forgotten Conflict in Balochistan 2007

Reporter-Rule of Law, Intelligence Agencies and Baluchistan Situation-EP 156-Part-3 (DAWN NEWS 2011)


Settlers — caught in crossfire By Nasir Jamal 29th June, 2011 QUETTA: “They keep changing the menu,” a hotel attendant in Quetta sums up the scale and scope of the target killing of settlers in Balochistan. “Almost all non-Baloch are on their hit-list.” Nearly 1,200 settlers are estimated to have been killed across Balochistan, mostly in what are referred to as hit-and-run incidents and grenade attacks on their businesses and homes. According to Balochistan Punjabi Ittehad, some 200,000 people have fled Balochistan since early 2008 when the violence against various ethnic groups excluding Pashtuns peaked. Other estimates put the number at 100,000. In any case the migration has been significant. Muhammad Khalid of Balochistan Punjabi Ittehad says “the militants began to target the Punjabi settlers after Nawab Bugti was taken out by the military (in August, 2006). Before that there were occasional incidents in which Punjabis were targeted”.

The settler killings increased soon after the Feb 2008 elections. It was the time when the Baloch militant organisations such as Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) began to paint such slogans as ‘down with Punjabis’, ‘Long Live Azad Balochistan’, etc. “My own election billboards were sprayed by the BLA activists with these slogans,” says Anwaarul Haq Kakar, a young PML-N leader whose National Assembly constituency in Quetta mostly comprises Punjabi settlers. “A vast majority of settlers killed in the beginning were service providers from Punjab running barber shops, laundries and tailoring shops. Later the militants also began to target teachers, doctors, lawyers and other professionals,” says Mohammad Amir, who is also associated with the Balochistan Punjabi Ittehad. The first ‘high-profile’ killing in Quetta was of the provincial education minister, Shafique Ahmed, in 2009, he says. It was followed by the killings of school and college teachers, university professors and others. Mostly Punjabis were the target but other ethnic groups were also hit — Urdu-speaking people from Karachi and Hindko-speaking settlers from Haripur in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In many cases, people tell this reporter, those hit by the insurgents had earlier received pamphlets warning them to leave immediately.

The target killing has created an atmosphere of fear and terror among the settlers in the entire Balochistan. While Quetta still hosts a substantially large population of Punjabi and other settlers, few remain in the Baloch areas of the province. Even in Quetta the settlers are afraid of going to areas such as Sariab Road, a Baloch-dominated neighbourhood. Many old Sariab Road dwellers, including Pashtuns, have sold their property and moved to non-Baloch quarters of the city for safety. “The property prices in Baloch areas are at their lowest because of the exodus from there,” a Pashtun dealing in rice business in Quetta says. Only those Punjabi settlers who had been assured of protection by Baloch tribes or those working on government projects under the watch of the security forces still remain in the Baloch areas. Chacha Raheem came to Quetta from Rawalpindi in search of livelihood more than 22 years ago. He says “only people who don’t have anyone to fall back on or those who lack the financial means to relocate or have (provincial) government jobs are staying back”. Others say there are many who have actually given up their government jobs to return to Punjab. Around 10 incidents of target killings have taken place in Quetta during 2011. This is a reduction in violence which is often linked by the officials and others to the ‘discovery’ of 170-odd bodies of Balochs believed to be ‘separatists’ involved in ‘murders’ and ‘terrorism’. Amir of Punjabi Ittehad says, consequently, “almost 50 per cent of the settlers who had left Quetta since the start of violence have come back.”

But many, such as Chacha Raheem, do not agree with Amir’s assessment. “Why would anyone come back?” Chacha asks. “To get killed or relocate in another six months or a year?” he wonders. “Who knows what is afoot? No one can guarantee that the Baloch rebels who have gone underground will not resurface and start killing the settlers again.” It is difficult to put a number on them, but some, at least some of those who had left close relatives behind in the city, are returning to Quetta. PML-N’s Kakar recalls how the Punjabi settlers “forced out by the government of Sardar Attaullah Mengal in the early 1970s” returned “because the Baloch or the Pashtuns did not have the skills or education to replace them”. Are we going to see a repeat of that now? The Baloch associated with the ‘resistance’ do not think so. “We want all settlers, particularly the Punjabis and the Urdu-speaking, to leave our land. They are colonialists and our enemies. We don’t want collaborators of the Pakistan military on our soil,” says a former activist of the Balochistan Students Organisation (Azad) who is currently affiliated with the movement for an independent Balochistan. “We are being treated as Red Indian and our existence is in danger.”

He defends target killing of Punjabi and other settlers, saying it will soon lead to ‘freedom from Pakistan’. “How can you expect us to let your people live in peace when our own land has been turned into a hell for us,” he contends, adding that the killing and ‘mutilation’ of a couple of hundred ‘freedom fighters’ cannot quash their movement for liberation. “It won’t be very long before we come back for those who haven’t left our soil yet.” For many moderate Baloch intellectuals and writers target killings of Punjabis and other settlers — though a ‘human problem’ — are a way for the insurgent groups of communicating to the world that ‘we want to be independent’. “Punjabis came here to live and work under the British Raj as food suppliers, camp followers and providers of skilled labour and services. Now they have become chief justice, IG police and occupy senior positions in the government at our expense,” says a leading ‘moderate’ Baloch writer in Quetta.

“This is like speaking to a press conference for them,” he says and adds it becomes difficult to take a position against insurgency and killings of settlers when people speaking for the rights of the Baloch people are being abducted and their bodies dropped from the air by the security forces, in the presence of a media that is largely silent. A pamphlet by the Balochistan Liberation Front delivered to several Quetta-based journalists some time ago warned the journalists against becoming a part of the ‘dirty game’ being played by Pakistan’s security forces against the Baloch freedom movement. “Do not try to cover up the Pakistani security forces’ black deeds against the Baloch. Do not also try to play down the forces’ losses at the hands of the BLF,” it said. It is not Baloch insurgents alone who are speaking through target killings. The security forces are also using bullets and violence to send a ‘tough’ message across to them. Caught in the crossfire are the common people. REFERENCE: Settlers — caught in crossfire By Nasir Jamal | From the Newspaper | 29th June, 2011 http://dawn.com/2011/06/29/settlers-caught-in-crossfire-2/

Reporter-Rule of Law, Intelligence Agencies and Baluchistan Situation-EP 156-Part-4 (DAWN NEWS 2011)

Balochistan will stay if people stop leaving Amir Mateen Tuesday, May 29, 2012 QUETTA: To say that Balochistan was deteriorating towards becoming a dysfunctional governance mechanism would be an understatement. In the peoples perspective it has already become absolutely dysfunctional. The government existing only as a mere nomenclature. Insurgency is mostly used as a ruse to cover up inefficiency, mismanagement and corruption by those in government. Politicians who are outside the power circle apparently are not bothered about the plight of the people and their concern is limited only to spewing venom on TV chat shows. Bureaucrats are having a field day in an environ where there are no concerned politicians looking over their shoulders and the only ones remaining are in cahoots with them. The army, like always, lives in the lavish gated community of cantonment and is absolutely insulated from the troubling ‘civilian riff-raff’. The luckier ones among the ‘bloody civilians’ of course have been allowed sanctuary in the khaki oasis. The rest of the elite have moved to the safer environs of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad if not Dubai, London or Washington. Forget about the everyday killing by a lethal mix of Baloch insurgents, Taliban warlords, sectarian lunatics or common criminals, the locals die a thousand deaths from a monstrous civic collapse in every Balochistan city and town. Living in the provincial capital has become a nightmare. Streets routinely remain inundated by sewage water; roads reduced to dusty pathways with gaping manholes. Streetlights do not work and if when they do, many people get killed from electrocution because of water around lampposts. Major road arteries are actually mosaics of potholes. And this is Quetta, a city whose nine MPAs have been given Rs2.25 billion in the name of development funds (Rs250 million each), not to mention Rs 1 billion given by the federal government for Quetta’s ‘beautification.’ Pashtunkhwa Party’s former Senator Raza Khan alleged that Ministers take ten to twenty per cent upfront from contractors as their cut from development funds and issue them completion certificates. This is all that the contractors need to collect money — without even an iota of actual work on ground.

Availability of drinking water is a big issue. Experts believe Quetta might be reduced to a salt city without water if drastic steps are not taken to manage its fast depleting water table. The city looks like one big dumpster of filth. In the absence of local bodies, the cleaning system has collapsed. A municipality official said the availability of sweepers has become an issue. As all sweepers are either Christians or Hindus, in keeping with our national racist policy, many of them have left to save themselves from sectarian strife. Of course, unlike Dubai and London, Muslims will never work as sweepers. Ah, forgive my blasphemous thought. Violence has disrupted the very social fabric of the society. An acute shortage of barbers exists. Most of them were Punjabis and have either been killed or have left to avoid being the next fatal statistic. Now this may look like a small problem but it is not — not in cultures where people are accustomed to barbers shaving even their armpits. Carpenters, mechanics and cobblers are also in short supply.

Health issue is equally severe. Over 100 doctors, including 20 specialists, have reportedly left the province because of security issues. Many of them had made their name as top specialist working for decades in Quetta. Renowned entomologist Dr. Sarwar, Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Chiragh and gynaecologist Dr Nyla Ehsan have all left because they were given threats. Dr Nadir Khan, who faced three murder attempts from Sunni militants, has finally opted for the US. Cardiologists are particularly short in supply. Women health suffers more because of the severe shortage of gynaecologists, lady health visitors and traditional midwives all over Balochistan. There have been cases in public hospitals where women have died while delivering in waiting area because of the non-availability of doctors. Mismanagement makes it worse. Out of the total 350 Bolan Medical College doctors, only 40 come to duty on any given day. Doctors have developed a mutual understanding of alternating each other on selected days and work in private hospitals instead. But not without taking non-practicing allowance. This is also a common practice in other government offices. Politician Rauf Khan Sasoli says only half of the staff turns up on duty. Most come twice and thrice every week on alternate days. “There is nobody to check,” he said. “It’s a free-for-all.”

Dera Bugti has the highest per capita teachers in Pakistan on paper but nothing exists on ground. The name of ghost teachers is also highest in Balochistan. It’s a common practice for Sardars to register their servants as teachers and take a cut in their salaries. Education in Balochistan has suffered the most. Balochistan Chief Secretary Yaqoob Babar said in the 1980s there were no schools — “now we don’t have teachers.” Hundreds of teachers have moved out of the province. The number of settler teachers reportedly killed is close to 50 including Vice-chancellors, principals and senior professors. Some of them had lived in Quetta for centuries. This has led to a mass exodus of not just settler teachers but also many locals. In Balochistan University alone 80 teachers have left, 40 of them PhDs. According to one report 70 per cent schools are deficient in teachers whereas half of them have already closed down. As families move out the number of students has also declined. A famous school in Quetta was recently closed after its owner was killed. This may have been the single largest loss to Balochistan, particularly the Baloch. Even Baloch nationalists concede the damage that militants have done to the community. “We shall continue to suffer the consequences of this loss for many decades as an entire generation of Baloch youth is growing up either with little or no education,” says BNP leader Munir Baloch. Even if they get a degree by cheating in examination, a common practice all over Balochistan, these kids will have a hard time competing in job market. “This will lead to further alienation and deprivation,” he adds. Baloch are already suffering the consequences of this as the vacuum of settler teachers is being filled by better educated Pashtuns and Hazaras, thus changing the ethnic balance. This is sure to trigger a new war between a quota policy backed by the Baloch and merit policy supported by the Pashtun. Despite all the problems, Balochistan can still be saved and made the jewel in Pakistan’s crown. But we need to move in earnest. The first step is to make it a place worth belonging to. Balochistan will stay only if its people stop leaving it. REFERENCE: Balochistan will stay if people stop leaving Amir Mateen Tuesday, May 29, 2012 http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-14972-Balochistan-will-stay-if-people-stop-leaving

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