Friday, October 22, 2021
03:17 AM (GMT +5)

Go Back   CSS Forums > CSS Compulsory Subjects > Current Affairs > Current Affairs Notes

Reply Share Thread: Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook     Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter     Submit Thread to Google+ Google+    
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old Tuesday, August 10, 2010
sassi sehar's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 79
Thanks: 40
Thanked 20 Times in 12 Posts
sassi sehar is on a distinguished road
Post Special reports from Balochistan

Special Report from Balochistan-1





Sunday, July 25, 2010
Watching Balochistan slipping through our fingers!
Quetta residents in grip of fear; CM spends 15 days in a month in Islamabad or Dubai; middle class leaders who oppose separatists and support Baloch cause being eliminated

By Amir Mateen

QUETTA: Anybody who has not been to Quetta for some time will be aghast to see the ghost town that it has become. Half of the once-bustling and lively town goes to sleep as soon as the sun sets. The other half trembles even to the sound of a cracker while locked inside their overly guarded houses.

The British garrison city that was known for its cultural diversity and for its laidback evenings stands divided into quarters based on ethnicity and religion. And, more important, whether you are a “uniformed person” or not. A quarter of the city is a no-go-area worse than Karachi’s killing alleys in the 1990s. A non-Baloch would not venture into areas around Saryab Road and Arbab Karam Road even during daytime.

The localities of Spiny Road and Smungli Road are no less dangerous as the marauding gangs of armed youth are found witch-hunting for anybody wearing trousers or matching the profile of a “non-local.” Local police enter the localities at considerable risk. Even the paramilitary Frontier Corps pickets get attacked occasionally. The picket leading to Bolan Medical College, meaningfully named as “Golimaar,” has been targeted more than once by grenade attacks. In suburbs, 16 kilometres off Quetta city on the western bypass, the Hazar Ganj bus stand was ambushed by rockets. The situation on the east side is equally scary. Life in the Quetta Cantonment is stable, thanks to the 24-hour armed-to-the-teeth vigilance. But the ordinary citizenry has been left to the butchery of a lethal mix of extremist nationalists, political separatists, religious fanatics, smugglers, drug dealers and the land mafia hand in glove with criminals, not to forget international terrorists and foreign intelligence agencies. The locals are shifting to the relatively safer Pashtun localities of, say, Nawankali and Sraghurdhi. The so-called Punjabi settlers, who may have lived in Quetta for generations, are being forced to leave for other provinces, sometime after selling their assets for pennies.

“The country seems to have given up on Balochistan,” says social activist Dr Faiz Rehman. He believes doctors are being discouraged to attend clinics in trouble areas so that such incidents do not get reported. Dr Yousaf Nasir, a top surgeon who was a cousin of former federal Minister Yaqoob Nasir, was ambushed in a target killing on Thursday. Another senior surgeon Chiragh Hassan is also receiving threats to move out. “Everybody wants to get out of here,” he added.

Security officials are on top of the hit lists. Around 1,600 government officials have applied for long leave and for transfer to other provinces.

Under such trying times, one hardly finds a notable politician in Quetta or even in Balochistan. The doyen of Baloch nationalism, Sardar Khair Bux Marri is in Karachi, Sardar Attaullah Mengal in Wadh, his son Akhtar Mengal in Dubai and MNA Hasil Bizenjo in Karachi. Equally important among Pashtun nationalists, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai is believed to be in London. His family said he was out of the country but they would not share where or when he might return home. Most Balochistan politicians who pour their grievous heart out regularly on television talk shows reside either in Islamabad, Karachi, London or the US.

While half of the province is inundated because of floods, killing scores of people, Chief Minister Aslam Raisani is languishing in Dubai. His staff said he was in Dubai for many days and they could not confirm when he would return. In any case, he is known to be a part-time CM as he lives in Dubai or Islamabad nearly 15 days a month and is never available, intelligibly that is, after 8: 00pm come crash floods or cyclone. The only exception was when, military sources confirm, his son was caught by the Frontier Constabulary in a vehicle name-plated “Sarawan 2.” The chief of Sarawan tribes that he is, Aslam had to seek the intervention of military and political leadership at the highest level to bail out his son.

In the meantime, on average two persons die every day in target killings. The official figure for target killings in the last 10 months is 370 but others say the actual number should be around 600.

The country, particularly Islamabad, wakes up to the Balochistan tragedy only when a high-profile politician like Habib Jalib gets killed. That he was murdered in the wake of other Baloch Nationalist leaders like Maula Bux Dasti and Liaquat Mengal makes it all the more tragic and mysterious. Theories abound about these killings depending on whose side you are on.

Many like Jamhoori Wattan Party Secretary General, Rauf Khan Sasoli, believe that the commonality among these killings was that they were middle class leaders who opposed separatists and supported the Baloch cause while remaining with the framework of the Pakistani federation. “It’s the extremist separatists who have killed Jalib,” Sasoli said emphatically. Others think that Sardar Khair Bux Marri has issued the decree for the Baloch youth to choose violence as the only way for the independence of Balochistan. Political sources say on the condition of anonymity that the ‘lumpen’ groups are targeting the moderate Baloch. Still others blame it on the intelligence agencies like the CIA, KGB and, interestingly, those of India and Pakistan.

Military sources at the highest level confirm that they have proof of the involvement of the exiled Brahmadagh Bugti, the grandson of the Nawab Akbal Bugti, who allegedly runs the Baloch Republican Army from Afghanistan, in these killings. They say they have a copy of Brahmadagh’s Indian passport which the Pakistan Army has also furnished to the Indians as a proof.

The Pakistani security agencies are equally blamed. “The target killings of Baloch nationalists are being carried by those who think they can control us by eliminating our political brains,” says former Senator Manzoor Gichki. Many in Quetta believe that Baloch Massallah Daffah Army (BMDA), the outfit that has claimed all three recent killings, is a front for Pakistani agencies.

Most people in Quetta have stories to share that they believe proves the involvement of Pakistani security agencies. Chairman of Balochistan’s Peace Committee, Sardar Hameed Khilji names many people who were caught with evidence on close circuit cameras but later released. “I have helped catch many culprits but they always come out to threaten you,” said Khilji.

Military sources explain that the biggest problem was the lack of prosecution and investigation, sometimes out of negligence or incompetence but mostly because of fear. They say it is very hard to prosecute criminals. In some cases, judges refuse to take up cases and in nine cases out of 10 witnesses fail to give evidence. Investigators operate under tough environment. In many cases senior police officials wear scarves to hide faces from the accused terrorists. “There are serious flaws in the legal and administrative systems to handle the situation,” said one military source. “Once these people get out they become more confident while those who help us get punished, even killed,” he said.

The Balochistan issue may not be as simple as the policy makers and pundits in Islamabad think. It’s not just about politics and terrorism. It is also about the crisis of governance, capacity, the feelings of deprivation and exploitation. Most important, it’s a psychological issue that exists in the hearts and minds of the people of Balochistan. It will take much more than the so-called the Aghaz-e-Hqooq-e-Balochistan. We shall focus on that in the coming days.

source: The News
__________________
It takes courage to live with disappointments.

Last edited by Princess Royal; Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 05:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Tuesday, August 10, 2010
sassi sehar's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 79
Thanks: 40
Thanked 20 Times in 12 Posts
sassi sehar is on a distinguished road
Default

Focus-Balochistan-II





Monday, July 26, 2010
Is it more anarchy, than an insurgency?

By Amir Mateen

QUETTA: Violence is no longer an abstract word in Balochistan’s capital city. It is a dreaded reality and one so close and deadly that you can see it writ large on the faces of people in the bazaars of Quetta, what to speak of other areas which were never known for any admirable writ of the state.

Walking through the markets here one cannot help noticing that people no longer look into the eyes of another for the fear of the unsaid, the unknown, the deadly. Nobody even strikes a real conversation without first judging the other’s ethnicity, sect and political ideology. Violence has impacted life in every way, right down to what you wear. Trousers are out, because anyone wearing one would be deemed as a settler or Punjabi and more likely to be gunned down than someone sporting a traditional shalwar qameez. People are painfully careful about the choice of words and delivery of their dialect in a clear attempt to protect their identity. Festivity on weddings and other social occasions has become a rarity, if ever. People avoid gatherings lest they become targets of bomb explosions.

Quetta’s bowl-like geography is such that a firing or explosion in one part of the city can, in most cases, be heard all over the city. This in turn unleashes rumour factories that push the city’s panic button. Mothers can be seen rushing to schools, fathers back home to protect their families, shutters come down like clockwork while the legions of the young unemployed youth get out to watch or to be part of some action of tyre-burning or stone-pelting. Meanwhile, in the nearby Quetta Cantonment, the officers, particularly those likely to be promoted as generals at the Staff and Command College, receive calls from families and friends pleading them not to send children into the wilderness outside their safer confines.

For the rest of the country, particularly in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, such events happening here merit a mere single-column news on inside pages, a momentary blot or a crawling scroll on news channels and life goes on as this picture is not reflected in the national news media as much or as often as it should. One big reason being the ‘small’ local journalists’ fear of writing too much about it. They can name names of the people involved in most crimes but only in private. Almost all journalist colleagues requested anonymity while talking about the issue. A senior journalist in Quetta was candid enough to say: “You can afford to write or talk about this because you don’t live here whereas we can lose a limb or life for saying a lot less.”

In most schools in Quetta’s Baloch localities, Pakistani anthem is not allowed to be recited or the national flag to be hoisted. Many have been forbidden from teaching Pakistan Studies as a subject. Only recently, five Baloch youngsters turned up at the St. Mary’s Convent to burn the national flag, and it’s happening all over. Anti-Pakistan separatist slogans are chalked on walls anywhere you traverse in the northern parts in what is known as Jhalawan or the southern Baloch territory of Sarawan.

Yet, many believe that while the situation may be dreary it still cannot be compared with earlier Baloch insurgencies. “Most of the action is sporadic symbolism than concrete political realities on ground,” says analyst Noor Kakar. “It is more anarchy than an insurgency.” The present spate of violence is different from the earlier insurgencies in many ways. One, the present phase does not have the class of leadership in terms of experience, organisation, unity and respect. The first three Baloch conflicts in 1948, 1958 and the 1960s were relatively smaller than the major insurgency of the 1970s but the leadership then was revered by the insurgents.

Prince Abdul Karim Khan had the credentials to gather nationalists of those days for the ‘greater Balochistan’ after his brother Mir Ahmad Yar, the Khan of Kalat, signed accession that the nationalists claim was forced on him. In the end it took no more than a small army battalion to quell the rebellion.

In the 1958 insurgency, Nawab Nowroze Khan was highly revered by his followers who took up arms against the formation of West Pakistan as one unit. In the end, five of his family members were hanged for killing Pakistani troops and the Nawab also died in captivity. Sher Mohammad Marri was perhaps the ablest Baloch leader to lead the insurgency from 1963 to 1969. The initial provocations for the insurgency were the army bases that were built in the Baloch area but later ballooned into a larger movement for the Baloch rights on mineral resources and independence. General Sherov, as he was called, raised parallel posts across the 445 mile Baloch belt giving the Pakistani establishment tough time until General Yahya Khan abolished the One Unit.

The Parrari movement of the 1970s is listed among the top 10 wars in the 20th century in terms of the casualties that the Pakistan Army suffered at the hands of the Baloch insurgents led by Nawab Khair Bux Marri. He had the support of most major Baloch leaders of the time, except Nawab Akbar Bugti who, nationalists believed, stabbed the movement in the back by becoming the governor after Sardar Attaullah Mengal resigned in protest against the dissolution of the National Awami Party government in NWFP (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa).

The present conflict is hardly a comparison by any standard. The most prominent leader of the Balochistan Republican Party and its militant wing, Brahamdagh Bugti is too young and inexperienced to match his predecessors. He has to first get himself accepted from his own Bugti tribe as a tribal chief and from his rival cousins and uncles. He may have gone too far in his relationship with the Indians and in times that are different from the 1970s. The Baloch leadership stands divided on the issue. Khair Bux Marri stands on one extreme in his support for armed insurgency. The incorrigible Nawab is too old and isolated to lead. While Balaach Marri died in mysterious circumstances, none of his other sons have an iota of their father’s charisma. Attaullah Mengal may support the movement morally but he stayed out of action even during the 1970s insurgency. His son, former Chief Minister Akhtar Mengal, is angry for being imprisoned and tortured by the previous regime but his faction of Balochistan National Party is still reluctant to support the separatists openly. Others like the National Party led by Dr Maalick too remains committed to work within the federation of Pakistan.

The rebel groups in the field are such a hotchpotch that it is as difficult to keep a track of them as to know who is sponsored by whom. A hotchpotch of rebel groups exists including Baloch Liberation Army, Baloch Liberation United Front and Baloch Massallah Daffah Army. They seem to all work on their own agendas, often at variant with each other. The organisation, unity and the support in the masses are no match to the earlier insurgencies.

Most important, times may have changed a lot. The Pashtun factor and the rise of the clergy in Balochistan cannot be ignored. A sizeable section of Baloch nationalists, even if they are angry over what they believe is the exploitation of Islamabad, will agree that an independent Balochistan or new states are not possible in this day and age. Afghanistan may be harbouring Brahamdagh but it is not like the Afghanistan support of the insurgency in the 1970s. “All we want is a better and a fairer deal from the establishment,” says JWP Secretary General Rauf Khan Sasoli. “Is this asking for too much?”.

For a change, unlike the 1970s or even the Musharraf regime, Islamabad is more receptive to the demands of Balochistan. The problem is that Islamabad has no idea who to give what and how to appease the angry nationalists. There are serious flaws in the administrative and political set-up to execute the agenda even if every demand of the nationalists is accepted. Politicians need to do more than issue statements and the army more open minded than it has been so far. (continued)

source: The News
__________________
It takes courage to live with disappointments.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Tuesday, August 10, 2010
sassi sehar's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 79
Thanks: 40
Thanked 20 Times in 12 Posts
sassi sehar is on a distinguished road
Default

Special Report on Balochistan - 3





Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Too many things going wrong simultaneously!
including governance; Raisani running admin like a personal fiefdom; regional, global forces get involved in power play; Chinese want to expand investment in Gwadar; US, others oppose

By Amir Mateen

QUETTA: The Balochistan conflict, at one level, happens to be the most complex issue in the country. A sectarian quagmire exists where the local Shia population, predominantly the Hazara community, is under constant threat by local Taliban helped by militant fanatics from as far as Punjab, Waziristan, to Kandahar and Khost in Afghanistan.

A whole gamut of Baloch nationalists from moderates to extremists are fighting for their rights — some against Islamabad, others against ‘Punjabi imperialism’ and still others against the Pakistan Army and the State. An underlying tension prevails between the Pashtuns and the Baloch over distribution of power, resources and territory; between Pakistani Pashtuns and their Afghan counterparts over business and turf; between nationalists and religious political parties and sometimes also between local militants and al-Qaeda. A tug of war also simmers between the settlers (read Punjabis) and locals; between secular and religious elements over lifestyle, not to forget between those who live in the cantonment and those who do not.

Add to this a nexus of smugglers of goods, arms and drugs; the land mafia that makes millions when people sell prime property for peanuts and criminals who take contracts for killing people for as little as a few thousand rupees.

The picture gets more complicated when regional and international forces get involved in this power play. A whole set of theories from the ridiculous to the sublime prevail about the classical ‘great game’ over the mineral resources of Balochistan. Enter the British, Americans, Chinese, Arab Sheikhs and all those jazzy players backed by multinationals that make James Bond movies so watch able. The only five-star hotel in Quetta presents a leaf from the classical movie, Casablanca, where every shady character is out to sell each other.

Some facts, however, belie the Hollywood scripts. The Chinese want to expand their investment in Gwadar by linking road and rail links for the cheaper energy and commercial supplies in future. “The Americans and many regional countries have a problem with that,” says PML-N’s Anwaarul Haq Kakar. “It’s quite possible that these powers are fomenting trouble in Balochistan.”

The same powers may have a problem with the proposed Iranian pipeline into Pakistan. The Afghan legacy is there in the shape of massive refugee camps. Replicas of Kandahar exist in Quetta’s localities of Nawankilli, Kharrotabad, Pashtunabad, Killi Khotik Chashma, and Killi Raiti Bulledi. “Kandaharis hold jirgas in Nawankilli as if they were in their own country,” says journalist Farhan Bokhari.

The mystery of the so-called Quetta Shura remains unsettled but the linkages of Balochistan with the war in Afghanistan and its impact on the provincial polity cannot be underestimated. Finally, the Indian footprints are all over. It is only in Quetta that one realizes the severity of the proxy war being played between India and Pakistan. If all this does not qualify as a momentous mess, then what does?

On another level, the fundamentals in Balochistan are quite simple. The conflict revolves primarily around four factors: The administrative (mis) governance in controlling the law and order; the political handling as opposed to the military solutions; a fairer economic development and its execution cutting across the corrupt ways of the Sardari system, and lastly the curtailment of foreign interference.

More simply, it boils down to just one-governance, without which the other three could not be executed. And that, sadly, is the weakest link in the Balochistan chain. “There is no governance in Balochistan,” said former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Nawab Wazir Jogezai. “The province has been left to the rules of jungle.”

Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani is extremely handicapped as he has feuds of blood running with, among others, the Rinds, Bugtis, Domkis, Jatois, Kalhois involving scores of murders taking place on each side. This makes his personal enmity stretching to nearly half of the Baloch tribes. The Interior Ministry put its foot down recently when Raisani sought the FC para-military troops to settle scores with former Federal Minister Yar Mohammad Rind, whom he accuses of murdering his father. The Nawab of Rinds, Yar Mohammad is one of the only two Balochistan opposition MPAs in a house of 65. Such is Raisani’s terror that ‘Rind’ has not come to the Balochistan Assembly after his oath taking two years ago.

Raisani is running the administration like a personal fiefdom. The chief minister, who is a former police DSP, is always keen to promote rankers as District Police Officers (DPO), some of them old colleagues. DPO Pishin Asad Nasir, DPO Nasirabad Javed Hashim, DPO Chamman Rauf Bareech, among many others, are rankers who got promoted on the whims of the higher authorities. Even the crucial post of RPO operations in Quetta has been given to a ranker, Hamid Shakil Sabir while many able regular officers have been sidelined as OSDs.

Taking the cue, most of the 60 plus cabinet have got the police officials down to the level of SHOs of their choice. This has messed up the entire administration setting into motion a wave of crime and sabotage. Former Inspector General Police (IG) Chaudhary Yaqoob is on record saying, “the political set-up is so weak that the law and order situation cannot be controlled.” IG Police Javed Bokhari, disheartened on political interference, left on a two-month leave for Canada that got extended to six months and his colleagues say he may not come back at all. Malik Iqbal, a highly respected officer, has been appointed as the new IG and it is yet to be seen how long he will survive. And this is just the beginning.

The police have no writ beyond a six-mile ring outside main cities. Over 80 per cent of Balochistan is what is called as “B-area,” which is the British legacy of running affairs through local tribes hired as levies. The Police Reforms of 2006 abolished the system by converging ‘B area’ into regular police administered ‘A area.’ This was a blow to the Sardari system through which they retained control in their areas. The Sardars in the Balochistan Assembly got a resolution passed against it. The process got stalled as a few Levies’ officers challenged it in the Services Tribunal. The issue is now believed to be pending in the Supreme Court.

The provincial government was quick to revert back to the old system. This may have contributed to the worsening of the law and order situation. Reports say that there have been cases of 12 murders in Jhal Magsi but none of them has been reported, as they will be decided in a jirga. This gives the local Sardar, in this case Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, the leverage to control people. “This has happening all over and the situation is worse in Dera Bugti and Kohlu,” confirmed a police source on the condition of anonymity.

This is how the Sardars not only influence the administration but also run a parallel judiciary. The proponents of the Sardar system may claim that in the absence of swift judiciary, the old system serves the purpose. But the fact remains the system has not been able to control the present law and order situation. Former Federal Minister for Law and Human Rights opines that the judiciary should see it as the case for parallel justice system like the Sharia courts in Swat and dispose off the matter. Till then, the crisis of governance in Balochistan continues to get worsen.

There is lots of clamour from the political class to get rid of the Frontier Corps troops from trouble areas. One hears numerous complaints about their over stretching their authority. Yet, military sources point out, it is on the request of the provincial government that the FC is involved in the security duties. “Given a choice, we would like to go back to the frontiers,” said the sources.

The provincial government has a love-hate relationship with the FC. The chief minister does not like it when the FC nabs his son in a case but wants it to perform security duties. “We may not like it, but imagine what will happen without the para-military,” says Anwaarul Haq. “The police alone cannot handle it”. Apparently, till there is a responsible police and administrative order, the FC is all that Balochistan appears to have got even though it is definitely not the ideal agency to handle the chaos that Balochistan has become. (Continued)

source: The News
__________________
It takes courage to live with disappointments.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to sassi sehar For This Useful Post:
marshal453 (Wednesday, August 11, 2010), s malik (Tuesday, August 10, 2010)
Reply

Tags
balochistan

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Balochistan: UN Speech by Peter Tatchell RAKSHAN News & Articles 0 Friday, April 16, 2010 09:06 PM
President of the sixty-first session of the United Nations General Assembly MUKHTIAR ALI Current Affairs 1 Monday, January 15, 2007 10:24 AM
Balochistan crisis Snobbish Essays 2 Wednesday, November 08, 2006 03:09 PM


CSS Forum on Facebook Follow CSS Forum on Twitter

Disclaimer: All messages made available as part of this discussion group (including any bulletin boards and chat rooms) and any opinions, advice, statements or other information contained in any messages posted or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not of CSSForum.com.pk (unless CSSForum.com.pk is specifically identified as the author of the message). The fact that a particular message is posted on or transmitted using this web site does not mean that CSSForum has endorsed that message in any way or verified the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message. We encourage visitors to the forum to report any objectionable message in site feedback. This forum is not monitored 24/7.

Sponsors: ArgusVision   vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.