Supporters of Baloch Separatists in London

By Sajjad Shaukat

Continued subversive acts in the province of Balochistan, arranged by the anti-Pakistan forces coincide with malicious propaganda against the country and its security agencies.

In this regard, the main aim of India, US and Israel is to internationalise the Balochistan issue in accordance with their secret agenda. In this respect, in connivance with the Baloch separatist leaders who have taken refuge in Swizerland, Sweden, US, London and some other western countries, external hostile elements use media, various NGOs and human rights organisations for false propaganda against Pak Army and countrys Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) including Frontier Corps (FC) in relation to the extrajudicial killings and disappeared persons. As part of their campaign, secret agencies like Indian RAW, American CIA and Israeli Mosssad which are well-penetrated in these foreign entities also arrange demonstrations and protests abroad to distort Pakistans image.

Besides rallies in some western countries, in 2012, a demonstration was held outside the United Nations in Genva on the occasion of the 19th Session of UN Human Rights Council to condemn the human rights violations in Balochistan. The demonstrators accused Pakistans security and intelligence agencies of extrajudicial killings. Apparently, the demonstration was organised and led by Mehran Baloch, Balochistans representative at the UN and Noordin Mengal, but, in fact, it was arranged by the anti-Pakistan NGOs, human rights groups and Indo-Israeli lobbies with American covert help.

For these sinister aims, London has become hub of anti-Balochistan collusion and activities, where the self-exiled leaders of separatist Baloch groups have been living in highly expensive flat. Sources suggest that they have been found to be holding secret meetings with the Indian diplomats. These Baloch separatist leaders have very costly vehicles and regularly visit US, Dubai and Oman. They get anti-Pakistan propaganda material printed in London and use different channels to distribute it in various parts of Balochistan. They obtain tickets for their frequent foreign visits from an Indian travel agent in London, who reportedly receives payments from the Indian High Commission. Indirectly, Indian RAW sends money for all their financial expenses.

However, on July 31, 2011, with the assistance of external elements, a rally was organised by Baloch Human Rights Council in UK, in front of the US Embassy in London, which raised false accusations such as inhuman torture and extrajudicial murder of the Baloch intellectuals by the Pakistani security agencies, while blaming ISI for the disapeared persons.

On August 3, 2011, the former ISPR spokesman, Maj-Gen Athar Abbas, while rejecting human rights groups reports about Balochistan as a conspiracy against Pakistan, called for probing the funding of these organisations as this could be traced back to those forces which want to destabilise Pakistan.

Meanwhile, again, Baloch activists staged a demonstration in London in front of US Embassy on March 4, 2012 to express their gratitude to three American Congressmen, Dana Rohrabacher, Louie Gohmert and Steve King who tabled a bill before the US Congress in February, calling for the right of self-determination for Balochistan, while raising similar allegations against Pakistans security institutes. American government distanced itself from these Congressmen, but the move had clandestine support of some US officials. The resolution has encouraged Baloch separatist groups who are now actively lobbying the lawmakers of the European Parliament for a similar move.

Now, it has become usual practice in London. And under the leadership of Hyrbyair Marri, and especially with Indian support including other external elements, anti-state Baloch militant groups such as Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Liberation Front (BLF), Balochistan Republican Army (BRA), and other similar outfits will launch a protest demonstration against Pakistan on March 30, 2013 at 10 Downing Street, London. But this time, as part of propaganda, the scheme intends to draw maximum attention of the international media to allegedly show that Pakistani state atrocities in Balochistan continue unabated, and Islamabad has occupied Balochistan. The protest rally will move from the Pakistani Embassy to the 10 Downing Street. New Delhi has secretly instructed to the Indians to participate in the rally along with anti-Pakistan banners and placards. The protesters will again blame our countrys security agencies for the missing persons, dumped dead bodies, extrajudicial killings etc. in Balochistan.

Recently, Supreme Court, federal and provincial governments have been taking serious notice of the aggravated law and order situation of Balochistan, particularly with reference to the disappeared people. In this backdrop, question arises as to why situation of Balochistan is deteriorating, and where are the missing persons of the province?

The facts behind human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings, dumped bodies, the missing persons and aggravated law and order situation of the province is that militant groups like BLA, BLF, BRA and Jundollah (Gods soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of Balochistan gets arms and ammunition from CIA and RAW. Their militants kidnapped and massacred many innocent people who include teachers, professors, lawyers, Shias and the security personnel in the province. Many persons in Balochistan have also been killed in suicide attacks and bomb blasts, planted by these foreign-backed outfits. On a number of occasions, these insurgents groups claimed responsibility for their criminal activities. In the past few years, they kidnapped and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan. Besides targeting Punjabis and other ethnic minorities in the province, they also arranged subversive acts in the Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan. In this respect, Tehran had directly named CIA for funding of terrorist attacks.

A majority of the disappeared individuals are also in the detention centres (Farrari Camps) which are being run by Baloch feudal lords (Sardars). With the assistance of US-led India and Israel, these Sardars are fighting for their so-called prestige, status and influence, and want to continue old system of feudalism in the province.

It is mentionable that Pakistans civil and military leadership has repeatedly disclosed that militants along with huge cache of arms are being sent to Balochistan from Afghanistan. In the recent past, Rehman Malik pointed out that during his trip to Afghanistan, he emphasised upon President Hamid Karzai to close Baloch training camps. In that background, Brahmdagh Bugti and some other Baloch so-called nationalists left Afghanistan and went to some western countries. In his latest statement, Rehman Malik revealed that there are links among BLA, Jundollah, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan which have been weakening Pakistan and Balochistan.

Especially, on July 23, 2008, Brahmdagh Bugti told the BBC that they had the right to accept foreign aid and arms from anywhere including India. During the above mentioned session of the UN in Geneva, Baloch so-called leaders Mehran Baloch, Dr Allah Nazar Baloch and Hyrbyair Marri, while interacting with foreign media and addressing meetings stated that for the independence of Balochistan, they would also welcome help from India. Like Americans, they also opposed Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project. Notably, by rejecting US growing pressure and defying the threat of sanctions, on March 11, this year, Pakistans President Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the gas pipeline project with Iran.

Particularly, Balochistans mineral resources and geo-strategic location with deep Gwadar seaport, connecting rest of the world with Central Asia have further irked the eyes of the US and India because China has already invested billion of dollars to develop this seaport. It is due to multiple strategic designs that the US which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008 seeks to dismember both Pakistan and Iran. In this connection, foreign supporters of Baloch separatists have accelerated acts of sabotage in the province through their affiliated-militants, as recently Pakistan has handed over the control of Gwader seaport to China. Therefore, propaganda campaign against Islamabad has also been intensified by the external entities. In this context, nefarious arrangements for the pre-planned rally which will be executed on March 30, 2013, is being made on larger scale by anti-Pakistan forces, especially India.

Nonetheless, in response to the Baloch separtists protest, the best way is that patriot Pakistanis; living in London must arrange a similar rally on the same day with pro-Pakistan cards, banners and national flags so as to display to the media that we are all united to castigate the foreign conspiracy against Balochistan.

It is notable that a Gallup survey of the UK official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, 2012, disclosed that the vast majority of the Baloch people oppose the idea of an independent Balochistan. This survey has proved that some external entities have been conducting subversive acts in the province by supporting the minority elements, and are inciting the other Bloch persons for independence of Balochistan.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Affairs.

Pakistan Iran gas pipeline politics

By Faheem Belharvi

Despite bitter opposition from the US and warnings of economic sanctions, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad on 11 March 2013 officially inaugurated construction work of a delayed $7.5 billion gas pipeline. The ceremony, which the President’s office described as a ‘big event’, was held in the Iranian border city of Chabahar. Both Presidents were accompanied at the ground-breaking by delegations comprising ministers, top officials as well as representatives of several Arab states.

Pak Iran gas pipeline is one of the important historic deals of the world especially in Pak and Iran horizons. The project will bring economic prosperity and opens new avenues of relationship between both the countries. Basically, Pakistan is energy stricken country and its growing economy failed to generate revenue requirements. Hence, it is need and necessity of the time to import cheap energy from neighboring country Iran in order to meet energy requirements and lessen our debt burden. The pipeline project will prove to be as the permanent energy bailout package for our energy deficiency.

The other impacts of this project could be; opening up new avenues of economic prosperity, extends business, commerce and trade activities and enhancing cultural relations with a country that has contributed so much, to our history, languages, literature, art and architecture. Meanwhile, tourism and sports activities will also increase which ultimately brings both countries closer.

Although the pipeline projects formal completion date is December 2014, a detailed feasibility plan is still being worked out and the source of funding is yet unclear. In July 2011, President Ahmadinejad has offered to fund construction of the 761 kilometers inside Pakistani territory. Iran declared at the time that it had laid the pipeline on its side to within 50 kilometers of Pakistans border. But the Iranian offer has to be taken with a good meanwhile, Irans economic difficulties are rapidly mounting. Chinas largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, has backed out from its earlier commitment.

In June of that year, members of the opposition benches in the Balochistan Assembly exhibited unprecedented unity and passed a resolution seeking royalty for the province in the proposed multi-billion dollar IP gas pipeline project. Further, the assembly also demanded Balochistan`s representation in the IP talks, free gas for adjacent populations, a 100 per cent job share and a major share in any royalty. It is added that, there is no constitutional or legal guarantee that royalty in any form, including security, jobs or gas, will be supplied to the people of Balochistan.

Islamabad cannot deny the fact that Balochistan represents 44 per cent of the country`s landmass and shares strategically significant coasts and border areas with the energy-rich Middle East, through Iran.

Pakistan took a firm stand on the issue. In this regard last week, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, addressing a joint press conference with her Swedish counterpart, said that Pakistan was committed to the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. She also laid to rest any doubts that a Chinese bank’s decision to back off from funding the project would affect plans to import gas from Iran. She said: “There are multiple sources available and this is a very viable project.”

For Pakistan the IP gas pipeline project is its energy lifeline for the future as it will provide the cheapest and most suitable fuel for power generation. According to an estimate that, the gas to be supplied by Iran would help generate around 4,000MW of electricity, besides providing job opportunities in the backward areas of Baluchistan and Sindh.

Anyhow, US factor again mounted pressure on Islamabad to forego with the project, otherwise sanctions could be imposed on Pakistan. In this connection, Hillary Clinton said that the Turkmenistan pipeline was a better alternative, predictable and would avoid business with Iran and added that embarking on the construction of a Pak-Iran pipeline is in violation of the Iran Sanctions Act. She said, “We all know what the consequences of that law are.” Else the U.S shall isolate itself away from a goal that is truly important, the fight against global terrorism.

On March 7, another US Departments spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, spoke on the subject and said: The proposed deal will violate UN sanctions laws. She acknowledged that Pakistan has a lot of unmet energy requirements. The US, she added, was aware of these requirements and has been working in close partnership to find better ways to meet these needs.

But Pakistan totally rejected American stance since Iran-Pakistan pipeline project is vital to her flourishing economic and meeting future energy requirement.

Another factor which need serious attention that fast friend of Pakistan Saudi Arabia is not very pleased over the Pak-Iran project. The Saudi attempt to create divisions and distrust with a neighboring country is plainly insidious and deserved a response from Pakistans leaders one no less firm than the one delivered to the Americans. The Saudi plan is just as unworkable as the TAPI pipeline, which the US is pushing as an alternative to the IP pipeline. TAPI would run through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. But with Afghanistan likely to be embroiled indefinitely in civil war after 2014, only a wild idealist can believe that a pipeline traversing its hostile and intractable terrain could provide secure oil supplies.

Let us hope the next elected national government would have to complete this Peace Pipeline Project with vision, will and capability to make up for the last decades and move fast to lift the society and the state to higher levels and scrupulously work for the development of the country development and welfare of the people. Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline can prove to be the starting point of a new era of peace and prosperity for the entire region. US and others opposing western countries should stop playing power politics with the developing and under developing countries in the name of nuclear proliferation . They should not forget US-India nuclear deal before yelling against Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline Project.

The situation in Balochistan

Special Report by Brig. (Retd) Usman Khalid: Law and Order Situation, 1- 6 Feb. Bodies of two missing persons belonging to Turbat were found near Karachi. A taxi driver kidnapped from Quetta was released after his family paid ransom. One man each was shot dead, in Quetta and Turbat, for unknown reasons by unknown killers. On 6 Feb two men were killed in Quetta by unknown assailants. A bomb exploded near Brewery Road. A rally was taken out where tribal elders said that Quetta was ruled by killers, thieves and dacoits. Dr. Malik of National Party said that good governance was not possible without strict accountability. Yaqub Nasir, former minister PML(N) a Pashtun of Duki, and former Senator Mohabat Khan Marri from Kohlu admired the Army and judiciary stating that the nation had pinned hopes on these institutions and condemned 5 years corrupt rule of PPP. A mutilated body of a local man was found near Panjgur. A blast near Police Station Kuchlak killed one man.

Apex Committee Meets, 6 Feb. The Apex Committee headed by Governor Magsi, comprising Commander Southern Command, IGFC and civil bureaucracy met on 6 Feb and noted that the crime rate had dropped in the province. Civil bureaucracy was reshuffled, again.

Law and Order Situation, 7- 10 Feb. A rocket killed two FC personnel near Turbat on 8 Feb. A dead body was found near Dera Bugti. Commander of Southern Command, Lt Gen Alam Khan Khattak, visited Loralai along with IGFC; addressing the tribal elders he emphasized that the Army endeavours aimed at welfare and prosperity of the people with assistance in various socio-economic projects. Political/religious leaders expressed their concerns in a seminar on 10 Feb, over sectarian killings, target killings, terrorism and over all poor law and order situation. Anti-polio campaign has been halted in 25 out of 30 districts of the province due to attacks on the polio-teams.

Election and Governor Rule, 1- 28 Feb. Although many parties who were beneficiaries of being in the government are unhappy on the imposition of the Governor Rule, but it is the JUI (F) which appears to be really very angry. Maulana Sherani keeps meeting various party leaders and demanding removal of even this benign, easy going Governor and bringing the criminal gang of MPAs back in control. The ANP is also very vocal demanding reinstatement of their minister who has been hauled up by NAB for massive corruption. The Governor promulgated an ordinance enhancing compensation to victims of terrorism. Fazalul Rehman, the leader of JUI, has been accusing the government and agencies of exploiting sectarian elements. He is also advocating start of negotiations with the TTP. Mahmud Achakzai, Chairman PKMAP, has said a united Pashtun Province is his partys objective. He desired that the provinces be drawn on ethnic/racial boundaries for progress. By end of the month, PKMAP, which remained silent over the ethnic cleansing of Punjabis and massive corruption in the province, was making statements that partisan Caretakers would not be acceptable to them.

Law and Order Situation, 11 15 Feb. Two rockets were fired on Quetta city injuring 7 persons, including 4 children. A local mullah was killed in Kalat by unknown persons. One person was killed in Khuzdar area and one abducted. FC recovered a cache of arms and ammunition from smugglers near Gulistan, killing one man in a shootout. Another large cache was recovered in an operation by FC near Quetta on 12 Feb.

Kirani Road Carnage Against Shia-Hazaras, 16 Feb. Nearly a ton of explosive hidden in a water tank was driven to Hazaras-Shias market at Kirani Road and exploded when the market was full of shoppers, mostly women and children. 95, including 25 children and 36 women died besides injuring over 180. Government announced mourning for a day and removed the IG and DIG Police. An air force cargo plane flew more seriously injured to Karachi for treatment. Shias started their sit-in demanding targeted operations against the known persons of Sipah-e-Sahaba (SS), now called Jamat-ahl-a-Sunnat and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. After 3 days, the PM allowed FC to undertake such operations. Some 117 suspects were arrested within 2-3 days mostly from Baloch/Brahui areas from the south of Quetta, including the master-minds of present as well as previous massive attack on Hazaras. However, defunct SS supporters took to the streets after their 4 of their activists were killed in a shootout with FC. 7 activists were also shot by unknown persons. The provincial government tried to appease the SS by registering FIR against the FC. The dead bodies were buried on the 3rd day. However, this time the Hazaras were more furious and threatened to take law in their own hands if the government persisted in its passive attitude. The incident drew nationwide condemnation and sympathy for Shias. Even the Secretary General and Mr. Putin, President of Russia, sympathized with the victims and condemned the attack on Shias. Several Shia and national leaders, including the entire Sindh Assembly, also demanded that the Army should be given control of the administration of the city. However, the CJ of SC who had taken suo-moto notice said he would never consider calling in the Army, but he wants a cleanup operation in Balochistan. He keeps inviting various functionaries to report to him as to why do these attacks go on but ignores the performance of federal/provincial governments in the past 5 years where lawlessness was promoted by the CM, his ministers and even the PM and the President. It has since been reported that the explosive used in Kirani Road blast was about 10 kg but the explosive-power was enhanced by use of certain chemicals to equal to 1000 kg blast.

Law and Order Situation, 17-19 Feb. The FC continued carrying out targeted operations against criminals in Kharan and Mangocher and not only arrested some persons but also recovered incriminating arms and ammunition. However, the Baloch political parties leaders wasted no time in condemning the arrests. Their oft-repeated chador-n-chardewaris violation and calling such operations anti-Baloch action is quickly aired and the media dutifully prints it, lest the goons attack the offices of the newspapers. Dead bodies of two missing persons were found near Khuzdar.

Shazain Bugti Released by Court, 20 Feb. Shazain Bugti, son of Talal Bugti, grandson of Akbar Bugti, along with his accomplices was released from Jail. He had been arrested, in the presence of IG Police and IGFC under live coverage by TV channels some 6 months ago near Quetta while smuggling arms and ammunition worth Rs.140 million from Chaman in 16 smuggled vehicles. His release is said to be due to close relations of CJ of the Supreme Court with the Bugti family. The CJ used to be the lawyer of Akbar Bugti who had then appointed him as a Judge of the High Court. The CJ keeps visiting Talal Bugtis residence whenever he visits Quetta. Without yet hearing the case of Akbar Bugtis death, the CJ has already said it was the worst political murder of Pakistan. Talal and Shazain both are claimants of the Throne of Dera Bugti and want to contest it with weapons and violence on the massive bonanza of Rs.200 million annual rent from Sui gas field.

Law and Order Situation, 21- 28 Feb. Annual Sibi Mela started on 20 Feb and continued without any violence till it ended 4 days later. 5 Pashtun labourers belonging to Zhob working in Pasni were gunned down by unknown gunmen. Strong statements were made by local Pashtun leaders. The Governor announced a million rupees each as compensation for the victims families. A bullet riddled body was found from suburbs of Quetta on 26 Feb. 3 dead bodies of kidnapped persons were found from Qila Abdulla area. Shutter down in Panjgur continued for the 4th day against checks by FC and arrests of suspects. A landmine injured two men in Dera Bugti. Prosecutor General of Baluchistan High Court was kidnapped while travelling from Zhob to Islamabad.

Gwadar Ports Handover to Chinese Company 18 28 Feb. Gwadar Port was officially handed over to a Chinese company on 18 Feb which has drawn mixed response from home and abroad. India has loudly expressed its anxiety calling it a threat due to its proximity to Indias sea lines of communications. Foreign media opined that China will use it for military purposes which were promptly denied by China. Militant Baloch/Brahui leaders, especially those living abroad residing under the MI6 and CIAs protection, including Akhtar Mengal, have condemned the handover while Hasil Bezanjo and other pro-Pakistan Baloch/Brahui leaders have appreciated it calling it a good step for the development of the area. However, domestically, the move was welcomed by politicial parties as well as the media in Pakistan.

Zardari Visits Quetta, 28 Feb. President Zardari visited Quetta for two hours on his way back from Iran. He met Hazaras delegation and reassured them. In the Governor House he inaugurated a dam in the Governors home district some 300 km away. Then he was busy listening to MPAs who want the Baluchistan Assembly to be reinstated. He visits Quetta rarely and the security measures cause disruption and pain to the citizens as the entire area was blocked.

Comments

Despite the Governors Rule, criminal activity has continued all over Balochistan more or less as before. It has now extended also to Pashtun areas as lack of governance in the province during the last 5 years has encouraged anti-social elements to become bold and more active. Afghani adventurers also now commit crime in Pashtun areas and escape to Afghanistan. However, the so called BLA and various other militant anti-Pakistan groups seem to have gone in hibernation. The anti-Pakistan and anti-Army/Punjabi wall chalking are no more visible. The militants statements now emphasize fighting for Baloch Rights not independence. Handing over of Gwadar Port to a Chinese company has dampened the spirits of those who had been waiting for US Forces to walk in any day and liberate Balochistan.

Election and favorable-Caretakers are now the politicians agenda. JUI is most restless and it keeps demanding the end of Governor Rule, reinstatement of PA and provincial government. It seems it is eager to lay its hands on huge sums of allocated to MPAs for Development which is now stuck up in gravy train that has come to a halt. However, there is a general feeling that the entire PA must first be scrutinized for corruption and their connivance with criminals investigated. Indeed, many, including the CM are blamed for direct crimes. Zardaris two-hours visits was more focused on bringing back the PA so that a favourable Caretaker set up can be agreed upon.

The Apex Committee meets periodically with senior provincial officials and Army brass but the Army is vociferously being criticized by the public for doing too-little and too-late. The Army is accused of looking the other way leaving the internal and national security matters in the hands of totally corrupt and incompetent politicians. The PPP regime has been allowed to create and spread anarchy in Balochistan; A areas were reverted back to B Areas; target killings of Punjabis/Hazaras continued without check. Out of the budget of 172 billion Rupees, the federal government doled out of 168 billion which has been looted by the CM and the MPAs (all of who have been ministers or advisors) with no accountability. The 18th Amendment has effectively converted the Federation into Confederation further promoting fissiparous tendencies. The patriotic majority expects the Army to take responsibility, at least now, for bringing in patriotic, non-partisan Caretakers Administration to carry out strict accountability of elected persons who are again ready for a come back in the next elections, now far richer and stronger. Political polarization has peaked. Elections have become a very high stake game. Should the PPP regime and the Friendly-Opposition be allowed to form a Caretaker set up, it will be contested by those who would find it partisan. Violence and bloodshed would follow.

The CJ has become highly controversial and is criticized the most. He does not want the Army and insults in public the FC and Army, is a great admirer of democracy, wants elections on time and yet expects anarchy be controlled and peace prevail. With the Army and the FC demonised, he does not explain who will deliver? The police that is scared and unsupported by political masters? He visits Talal Bugtis house periodically and saw to it that his son who smuggled a huge cache of arms and ammunition is acquitted and released from jail. He allows the trial for murder against former President Musharraf, the federal Interior Ministers, the then Governor and Home Minster of Baluchistan and many more who had nothing to do with Akbar Bugtis death. Recently, FIR was registered against the FC when four suspected murderers were killed in a shootout with FC while courts routinely release criminals. FCs operations against religious fanatics and criminals enjoy publics general approval but now militant Sunnis are now gearing up to oppose and resist arrests of their maulvis. Murder of five Pashtun labourers in Baloch area is first such case which confirms that foreign elements are still trying to create ethnic clashes. Both developments point towards serious sectarian and racial/ethnic conflict in Baluchistan.

Hostile elements target Hazara community

By Sajjad Shaukat

While conducting other kinds of subversive activities, foreign hostile elements have also intensified sectarian violence to destabilise Pakistan. In this regard, although target killings and bomb blasts have continued on sectarian basis in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Karachi, yet situation of Balochistan province needs special attention where on January 10, this year more than 100 people, a majority of whom belonged to the Hazara community lost their lives in the twin bombings in Quetta. The incident was the dark day, as it was the worst ever sectarian attack on Shias of Hazara community.

The deadly terror-event resulted in severe reaction by the people of Shia community and non-Shia human leaders of political and religious parties, who strongly condemned the incident, expressing solidarity with the Hazara community. On the call of the Shia Ulema Council, members of the Shia community held a protest demonstration on January 12 in Islamabad and blocked the Faizabad Interchange. Several people including members of the Hazara community, representatives of non-governmental organisations and human rights activists participated in the demonstration, carrying banners, inscribed with anti-government slogans. In this respect, Shias held rallies all over the country, marking January 13 as a day of protest, while the Balochistan government announced three days of mourning.

In wake of strike in Balochistan, while shouting slogans against both the federal and Balochistan governments for not providing security to Hazaras, Shia families refused to bury their dead and vowed to continue their sit-in protest until the army takes over security of the city. Hundreds of women and children braved the severe cold for a number of days, as they stood alongside more than 60 coffins carrying victims shrouded bodies.

Taking cognisance of the magnitude of the sectarian attack and reaction of the Hazara community in Quetta blasts, leaders of political parties like Asfandyar Wali (ANP) Imran Khan (PTI) and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (PML-Q) urged Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to impose governors rule in Balochistan. Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif, head of the (PML-N) and many political figures including those of the ruling party (PPP) joined the chorus for the removal of Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani who failed in controlling the deteriorating law and order situation of the trouble-hit province. Notably, he went abroad to avoid criticism regarding the incident.

In that backdrop, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf who visited Quetta and talked to the protesters announced in principal to invoke Article 234 of the constitution and imposed governors rule in Balochistan, as demanded by the bereaved families.

Although the sit-in protest was ended by the people of Hazara community, yet sporadic sectarian violence on these Shias cannot bee seen in isolation as it includes multiple anti-Pakistan dimensions which need appropriate analysis.

It is notable that secret agencies like American CIA, Israeli Mossad and especially Indian RAW are behind sectarian violence in Pakistan, which has been accelerated in the past few years. In fact, the US had planned to spark a civil war between the Sunnis and Shias in wake of war on terror. So, we cannot blame these secret agencies without solid evidence.

For the purpose, a study of the Rand Corporation, titled US Strategy in the Muslim World After 9/11 was conducted on behalf of the then US Deputy Chief of Staff for Air Force. The report of the Rand Corporation-a leading think tank, released on December 27, 2004 advocated that Sunni-Shia sectarian division should be exploited to promote the US objectives in the Muslim World. It indicated that a majority of the worlds Muslims are Sunni, but a significant minority, about 15 percent of the global population is Shias.

The report of the Rand Corporation was first implemented in Iraq. In this context, CIA also got the services Mossad and RAW to fuel sectarian violence in Iraq. In 2004, major terror-attacks were carried out against the Shias in Karbala and Baghdad, while US-led some countries accused Iran and Al-Qaeda for the incidents to divert the attention from the said secret agencies. Afterwards, a chain of Shia-Sunni clashes started between Iraqi Shias and Sunnis, targeting each others mosques through bomb blasts, suicide attacks, and killings of their religious leaders. The general masses of both the sects, which could not grasp the reality, began to blame each others group for the subversive activities.

After Iraqs experiment, more deadly pattern of sectarian strife and clashes have been conducted in Pakistan. While in Balochistan, besides other acts of sabotage, sectarian assaults on Shias, particularly on those of Hazaras have continued in order to fuel sectarian riots in the province. In this context, on September 3, 2010, a deadly suicide attack in Quetta killed more than 55 people who participated in the rally of the Al-Quds Day. In another violent attack, on July 30, 2011, 12 persons were shot dead in Quetta when unidentified armed men opened fire at Suzuki van. During the months of June and July, in four separate incidents, around 40 Shia Muslims were gunned down in Quetta. On many occasions, the enraged people went on a rampage and set tyres. However, in September, 26, 2011, Shia pilgrims were killed in Mastung when a group of armed men attacked a passenger bus carrying Shia pilgrims from Quetta to Iran.

Five persons were gunned down on March 28, 2012 when a van carrying people of the Hazara community of Shias was ambushed on Spini Road in Quetta. Recently more people of Hazara community have been targeted by the militants, while attacks on the Hazara-Shias keep on going unabated.

In fact, some banned religious outfits like Lashkar-i-Janghvi and a Sunni militant group Jundollah (Gods soldiers) which have claimed responsibility for a number of terror assaults on Shias, especially of Hazara community in Balochistan get arms and ammunition from RAW and CIA. These foreign-backed militants groups are behind target killing of many Sunni and Shia leaders, political figures of these sects, bomb blasts etc. in order to achieve the covert designs of the US, India and Israel.

These external-supported affiliated insurgent groups kidnapped and killed Iranian nationals in Pakistan including Iranian diplomats. Jundollah conducted many subversive acts in Pakistans Balochistan and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan. In this regard, Tehran has directly accused CIA of funding these types of terror attacks.

While hinting towards US, Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei rightly disclosed, The bloody actions being committed in Iraq, Pakistan and Iran are aimed at creating a division between the Shias and Sunnisthose who carry out these terrorist actions are directly or indirectly foreign agents.

Reliable sources suggest that Lashkar-i-Janghvi, Jundollah, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other similar fundamentalist organisations have close connections with each other, while RAW has hired the services of the Indian Muslims who have penetrated in these extremist outfits which are not only behind sectarian violence in other parts of the country, but are also targeting the people of Hazara community in Balochistan.

It is mentionable that killings of Shias of Hazara community is part of the strategic game of US, India and Israel to create unrest in Balochistan which has ideal geo-political locationand especially due to its Gwadar Seaport which will link Central Asia with rest of the world. China has invested billions of dollars to develop this port. Moreover, Pakistan is a declared atomic country, while Iran is determined to continue its peaceful nuclear programme. Therefore, US-led India and Israel have been sabotaging Pak-Iranian ties clandestinely. Their secret agencies have been assisting Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and other separatist elements to dismember Pakistan.

So, all these hostile elements which are responsible for other perennial subversive activities in Balochistan like terror attacks on the security forces, target killings of Punjabis, Pushtuns, Iranian Shias, patriot Balochis and people of Hazara community are also behind the twin bombings on the Hazara-Shias in Quetta.

Now the right hour has come that instead of manipulating various issues, Pakistans politicians and media including all the segments of society must show selfless unity with the security forces and law-enforcing agencies so as to improve the aggravated situation of Balochistan.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.

The review of situation in Balochistan in December 2012

Special Report Brig. (Retd) Usman Khalid

This is a brief Talk of the Town Report compiled for those interested in Balochistan. Significant developments are listed hereunder.

1. Law and Order Situation, 1- 4 Dec. FC recovered huge quantity of explosives, detonators and weapons from Pishin area while three persons of Balochistan Constabulary were abducted near Mach. On 2 Dec again, FC recovered huge quantities of explosive from a bus coming from Chaman near Quetta. One IED was recovered from near Sui. Speaker Aslam Bhotani refused to chair the PA session in accordance with SCs Interim-Order declaring that the provincial government was unconstitutional. Rehman Malik, federal Interior Minster who had announced that he would address the PA, did not turn up and the session was adjourned after 3 minutes. While the Doctors strike continues, one more doctor was shot dead in Jaffarabad area. NADRA office in Kalat was ransacked by unknown miscreants. Finance Minister Gailos brother was shot and wounded at Panjgur. The CM announced in from the floor of the PA that the law and order situation was better than other provinces.

2. Rafiullah Wins Rhodes Scholarship, 3 Dec. Rafiullah, 23, a Pashtun from Bostan won Rhodes scholarship, the first from Balochistan. He has had a brilliant academic career and wishes to return to Quetta for serving in academia to combat illiteracy and religious extremism.

3. Law and Order Situation, 5 13 Dec. The SC in its short order on Balochistans law and order situation observed on 5 Dec. that Executive authorities had failed to protect the lives and properties of inhabitants in the province. The CJ said a verdict had been given and the history would bear witness to the facts. JUI Chief Fazul ul Rehman said that any verdict to dismiss Balochistan government would be undemocratic. In Turbat area, 3 miscreants died in a fire fight with FC. Huge quantity of explosives was recovered from near Dera Murad Jamali. A bomb blast in Quetta on 8 Dec injured two Shia-Hazaras. The CJ of BHC said on 10 Dec in a seminar organized by UNHCR that 75 missing persons had been recovered. The same day a bomb blast in Sariab area, Quetta, killed one and injured many. Balochistan Cabinet condemned the media trial of provincial government. They also condemned the CS and NAB for criticizing the Balochistan ministers for gross corruption. On 11 Dec, another Doctor was kidnapped from a charity eye hospital. Airport Manager of PIA, a Punjabi, in Turbat was gunned down by motorcycle riders. Doctors ended their strike on 13 Dec after 58 days, without securing any guarantees of safety from the provincial government. Explosives were discovered in Mach area. ATC awarded life imprisonment to two terrorists in Sibi. Bakhtiar Dombkis motorcade was fired at in Bolan Pass. A Hindu doctor was killed in Mastung by miscreants.

4. Lawyers Strike Demanding Speedy Decision of Cases, 13 Dec. Lawyers strikes in Balochistan are a routine activity. However, this one was of a different kind. Balochistan Lawyers boycotted courts against the order of National Judicial Reforms Policy Making Committee to ensure speedy finalization of cases. The strike call was given by Pakistan Bar Association.

5. Law and Order Situation, 14 18 Dec. A man was killed and two injured in a landmine explosion near Sui while FC recovered one landmine from near Kahan, Marri sardars home village. A man was shot dead near Sibi by unknown persons. On 17 Dec, Director of Information Department, a Shia, and his police gunman were killed in Quetta. Two more policemen were killed when they tried to chase the killers. A Public Prosecutor and his team were attacked near Barkhan. A vehicle of a NGO was shot at near Mastung injuring the driver. JUIs senior minister Maulvi Wasey has made the provincial government change the name of a Cadet College in Qilla Saifullah to Mufti Mehmud Cadet College.

6. NAB To Inquire Allegations Against Chairman BPSC for Selling 800 Posts, 18 Dec. NAB has announced a probe against Chairman Balochistan Public Service Commission who is accused of selling 800 posts of BPS-16 to18. Allegedly he sold posts of headmaster for Rs.1.7 m and Assistant Commissioners for Rs.4 m. The Chairman is maternal uncle of Governor Magsi. Some 2-3 months ago when the story of large scale appointments without merit spread in Quetta, local NAB had taken notice and summoned the record. However, the High Court took a suo moto notice and not only criticized the NAB, ordered closure of the case and return of record and papers. The rumour has it that sons/wards of two Judges of Balochistan High Court were also among the non-deserving beneficiaries and the HC did not want the cases investigated.

7. Law and Order Situation , 19 Dec. FC recovered a large quantity of weapons from the suburbs of Quetta. Speaker Balochistan Assembly continues to uphold the Order of SC and has not attended the sessions. Now the Governor is spearheading a No-Confidence vote against the Speaker. So far 22 members have expressed their lack of confidence. Two persons were killed and three wounded in a landmine blast near Dera Bugti. Brahmdagh Bugti is allegedly behind these mine blasts. Two young womens bodies were found in Sariab area.

8. Youth From Balochistan Graduate as Soldiers in the Pak Army, 20 Dec. A passing out parade marked the graduation of 1614 recruits from Balochistan. The Governor was the chief guest while Commander Southern Command and senior military officers and large number of civilians attended it. The Governor while emphasizing the need for national unity attributed the unrest in Baluchistan to foreign hand.

9. Law and Order Situation, 20 Dec 27 Dec. Two passenger buses going to Rahim Yar Khan from Quetta were stopped by insurgents near Mach. ID cards of passengers were checked and three persons hailing from Punjab were killed on the spot while two were taken away for interrogation and were killed later. ATC issued fresh non-bail able warrants against Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind while he pleaded that the cases were fake and initiated by the CM due to tribal enmity. A local Punjabi principal escaped an attempt on his life. The students took out a rally to protest against the regular attacks on teachers which have resulted in schools and colleges being without teachers. Two men were killed in a landmine blast near Sibi while two more kidnapped sometime ago, were found dead also near Sibi. A hand grenade was thrown at a shop run by Punjabis near Jail Road, Quetta. Two shopkeepers were injured. Ten men, which included Punjabis and Afghans, on way to Iran, were gunned down near Turbat. FC check-post was attacked near Panjgur but no casualties were reported. Two FC men were killed in ambush near Mashkey on 25 Dec, 90 km West of Khuzdar. The next day FC raided and destroyed some militants camps in the desert. On 26 Dec, Baloch leaders in exile Hairbeyar Marri and Brahmdagh Bugti living in the UK and Switzerland under protection of MI6/CIA accused the Army of launching attacks against the Baloch nation. Additional Session Judge issued warrant of arrest for only Shia MNA for having false degree. Governor Magsis wife, a sitting minister/MPA, was also issued a similar warrant but she obtained interim bail. Governor Magsi often states that he had obtained his degree for Rs.42,000. His wife should have followed the same procedure rather than getting a Madrassa Degree. Gas pipeline was blown in Dera Bugti area. Talal Bugtis son who is in jail under trial for smuggling weapons, resigned from Jamhoori Watan Party owing to differences with his father.

10. Politics in Balochistan PA, 26 -31 Dec. Tariq Magsi, the brother of Governor Magsi, who is an MPA and a provincial minister was appointed the Leader of Opposition. All the 47 MPAs who are all holders of office of minister or advisor, all ministers, passed a No Confidence Motion thus removing the Speaker of the PA. He lodged a complaint in BHC on last day of the month, which was dismissed. CM Raisani besides being grieved on speakers removal also called for stronger federating units. Many political leaders questioned the legislation being passed by Balochistan assembly in the absence of standing committees and that the ouster of the Speaker as pre-poll rigging.

11. Law and Order Situation, 28 31 Dec. Two men belonging to a Pak intelligence agency were gunned down in Quetta. Two Levies personnel were injured in an attack near Mastung. A kidnapped doctor, after paying ransom walked free on 28 Dec. A PTCL building was blown up south of Sibi at Chhattar. On 30 Dec, three buses carrying Shia pilgrims from Quetta to Iran were targets of explosions near Mastung. 22 pilgrims were killed while 25 were injured. Various Shia organizations condemned the attack and demanded from the Army Chief to take over control of Balochistan to rid it of all criminals and banned outfits. Dr. Tahir ul Qadris planned march on 14 Jan is worrying politicians. The sitting Balochistan MPAs feel if they are made to account for the development funds misappropriated by them, they may be disqualified Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. Party leaders nervously keep urging the holding the elections on time. However, but political aspirants including those outside the parliaments now are not happy. But the common man would be very happy if the corrupt are disqualified from contesting elections.

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12. Killings of Shias, Punjabis, FC and police are again on the rise. The FC operation in Awaran/Mushkey area drew quick rebuke from Brahmdagh Bugti and Haibyar Marri sitting abroad which clearly indicates who all are behind the insurgency and militancy. Federal and provincial governments keep calling these traitors and criminals as angry Baloch. They should treat them as enemies of Pakistan and hunt them down.

13. FC and police have not been able to hunt down and crush the ring leaders of militancy/insurgency. In the rural areas there is no police as the current Balochistan Assembly, with criminal intent, reverted to the old Levies system of law enforcement. Levies could work during the British period when the retribution against the sardar who provided the Levies was quick and ruthless. In this dysfunctional democratic dispensation the sardars are also elected members of the Swenate, NA and PA. Almost all of them are ministers/advisors and therefore are the government. Many of these sardars are themselves sponsors and supporters of criminals and insurgents. They took no time to replace the police with Levies again as soon as they became MPAs. The Levies are now nothing more than a liability. Levies must be immediately replaced by police, whenever there is a proper government in Balochistan or Pakistan.

14. The sardars and nawabs have their entire families including spouses, brothers, sisters, sister/brother-in-laws, even uncles made MPAs/MNAs/Senators and a new mafia has emerged which will try to retain their family-power in the coming elections. Some have been placed in high administrative jobs where they are enriching themselves and building a power base.

15. The lacunas in the constitution are ably being exploited by the sitting politicians to their advantage. Making the Governors brother as Leader of the Opposition empowers him to have a voice in the caretaker setup thus ensuring rigging of election.

16. The continuous plunder by ministers by protecting criminals is so obvious. Yet there is no accountability. In urban areas the Police are hounded and efficient officers are killed. FC cannot operate all over the province due to limitations imposed by the government besides it is not a police force.

17. No Baloch/Brahui even mini parties are willing to join the other, let alone joining parties or political alliances transcending ethnic/racial bar. Each and every son of Akbar Bugti, even some grandsons, are trying to emerge as the unchallenged-Bugti-Leader. Shahzain Bugti has now stood up against even his own father, Talal Bugti.

18. The Pashtun, some growth in petty crime notwithstanding, are peaceful and busy in expanding business and pursuing education. In Pashtun areas, PKMAP is becoming vocal after hibernating for some 6 years. Mahmud Achakzai is going about mustering political support, only from Pashtun areas, on ethnic basis. JUIs maulvis, rich with plunder of 5 years in government, are also urging the people to vote for them again to have a home in Heaven. Ethnic/racial polarization is at its peak; the elections will only exacerbate it.

Baluchistan – Security Vs Democracy

By Mohammad Afiat Khan

The largest province of Pakistan, Baluchistan, apparently run by elected members with democratic government in place. But, what went wrong that today people of Baluchistan are demanding Pakistan Army to take control of the affairs of the province.

The answer is the existing terrible security situation in the province, where people are asking government for their basic right of living, to let them live.

After the massacre in Quetta, protest of Hazara community along with dead bodies of their beloved ones since three days is reflection of their efficient elected democratic regime in the province.

But once the people who elected them are asking them to quit as they are not capable to give them security then why they are not leaving?

Interestingly, their behavior is so commendable that none of their elected member went to the grieved protestors for condolence, what to talk about fulfilling their demands.

Here the question arises that why this stage had reached, again the answer is existing worst security situation. Once the problem is known then why it cannot be resolved? Answer to the question is the lack of resolve by Leadership and Law Enforcement Agencies.

The whole security apparatus needs to be revamped and made effective to hold the miscreants and brings justice to the victims. Each and every pillar of the LEAs should be mobilized and adopt target oriented approach to the situation.

Otherwise this mass level of sectarian killing particularly Shias of Hazara community is widening the Sunni Shia rift and the stage is no far when this turn into an ethnic war.

At this nick of time, only sincere efforts are required particularly by the provincial government and its leaders to bring culprits to justice, unlike the present Chief Minister who is out of the country while his innocent people are being killed and Qadri Sahab who is asking nation to join hands for long march on Islamabad.

The democratic rule in the country can only be flourished when elected candidates who are the real pillars of democracy strengthen their position by at least providing a secure environment to their people so that they can have faith and trust over democracy otherwise, military take over calls will then be a routine.

Mohammad Afiat could be reached at afiatkhan@yahoo.com

Decision to impose Governor’s rule in Balochistan lauded

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Punjab Forum on Monday lauded the decision of the federal government to dismiss incompetent political government to impose Governors rule in restive Balochistan.

The prime minister took a bold step of visiting protesting Hazaras at midnight who had been staging a sit-in in for the last three days along with the bodies of dead, said Baig Raj, president of the Punjab Forum.

He said that delay in accepting plea of masses to enforce Governors rule resulted in killing of hundreds of innocent people for which the government is responsible.

Baig Raj said that Government has sent a signal that it would not accept just demand unless forced to do so while many think that the latest development was an attempt to diffuse tensions that had gripped the country after killings.

Carnage of Hazaras, settlers and those going to Iran for jobs continued unabated since years but nobody seemed concerned, he added.

Baig Raj said that Governors rule will not resolve the problem unless a military operation is carried out to restore peace. Moreover, he said, demand to handing over Quetta to military is not fair as whole province is burning which calls for turning in entire Balochistan to the army.

Honourable return of thousands of settlers who were forced to leave province should be ensured, they should get their snatched property back and should be compensated for losses, he demanded.

Baig Raj further said that peace is not possible in presence of chieftains therefore after the operation the seats in the provincial assembly should be doubled so that Baloch people could get a voice.

He said that Pakistan is the only country in world which believes in negotiations with terrorists while the policy of reconciliation has emboldened anti-state elements who have shaken the foundations of state.

Delay in a merciless operation will break Pakistan as many enemy states are trying to dismember Pakistan with the help of Karzai administration.

Government has failed on every front across country with situation a bit better in Punjab, he said adding that any plan by the government to prolong their rule to plunder resources would be resisted, he warned.

The Three High Profile Pakistani Fugitives

By Saeed Qureshi

The first fugitive is Pervez Musharraf, the former COAS and president of Pakistan. The second is Hussain Haqqani, the former ambassador of Pakistan to the United States and the third is Altaf Hussain, the Chairman, founder and godfather of the MQM. They cannot go back to their own country Pakistan for specific reasons.

Pervez Musharraf would be hunted down by the religious outfits for his role in sending army to the FATA against the militants, mostly Taliban. He could also be targeted by al-Qaida operatives and other religious militants for ordering attack on the Lal Masjid and affiliated religious Jamia Hafsa Madrassa (the religious seminary) in July 2007 in which reportedly 154 lives were lost and many more people were injured.

During his presidency, four attempts were made on the life of Musharraf but each time he escaped unhurt. These attacks were made by the groups like Harkat-ul-Mujahideen al-Alam and other affiliates of Taliban within Pakistan. Two such attempts were made during the Lal Masjid siege and one after its completion.

General Musharraf who now resides in London has several criminal cases pending against him. One is about the missing persons, the second about as an accomplice in the murder of PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto and providing inadequate security to her during her public meeting in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.

He is also accused of ordering the assassination of the Baloch leader Bugti. But apart from that, the Bugti clan is after his life and hefty award has been set aside by the family for anyone who would kill Musharraf.

Pervez Musharraf is currently the president of All Pakistan Muslim League. He wanted to return to Pakistan early 2012 for preparation of the elections and to mobilize his party and organize it. But he had to postpone that plan after the then ISI chief, general Shuja Pasha persuaded him to call off his return to Pakistan.

In the meantime there have been calls from the political parties and socio-political and religious circles to arrest him through the Interpol if necessary. But perhaps there are several legal glitches that have saved the former president from this dreadful eventuality.

For instance, the Abbottabad district and Sessions judge in a missing persons case, passed judgment asking the authorities to declare Pervez Musharraf a proclaimed offender. On 11 February 2011 the Anti Terrorism Court issued an arrest warrant for Musharraf and charged him with conspiracy to commit murder of Benazir Bhutto. On 8 March 2011, the Sindh High Court registered treason charges against him.

It appears Pervez Musharraf has not future in Pakistan and he will have to lead the rest of his life in exile. His case is similar to a former president of Pakistan General Iskander Mirza who died in obscurity and miserable conditions in London, until his death on 12 November 1969.

The second prominent exiled figure is Hussain Haqqani who served at various prestigious posts, the last one being the ambassador of Pakistan in Washington D. C. Before taking over the ambassadorial assignment, Mr. Haqqani had already enjoyed enormous clout within the United States. His profile reveals that, He served as an adviser to three former Pakistani prime ministers and as envoy to Sri Lanka. Besides he was reputed as a prominent journalist, scholar and educator. He is a Senior Fellow and Director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.

Also he is co-editor of Hudson’s signature journal Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, the Director of the Center of International Relations. He is very intelligent sharp and intellectual. He is a good speaker and an astute analyst of the international affairs. The former ambassador is nowadays serving in Boston University of the US as a Professor of International Relations.

But there are good times and there are bad times in a mans life. Mr. Haqqani has fallen not only on bad but worst times. All of sudden his exceptional ability and distinctive career seems to be blown up in the air and turned useless. He is now looked upon as a traitor to Pakistan.

His sudden yet steep debacle and downfall took a start from the day Osman bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad by the American Navy Seals. The PPP government apprehended the likelihood of army taking over the power. That was perhaps a misplaced apprehension, yet it turned to be an egregious misfortune and an ‘Achilles Heel’ for Ambassador Haqqani.

Mansoor Ijaz an American businessman of Pakistani ancestry alleged that former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani asked him to deliver a confidential memo to Mike Mullen the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Through the memo the US assistance was sought in averting a military takeover of the civilian government in Pakistan in the wake of the Osama bin Laden raid, and to assist in a civilian takeover of the military apparatus.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan constituted a judicial commission to investigate the origin, purpose and authenticity of the memorandum. The three-member judicial commission concluded in their report released on June12,2012 that the memo had been written under instructions from Haqqani, and that, in doing so, the Ambassador was not loyal to Pakistan and had sought to undermine the security of the countrys nuclear assets, the armed forces, the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Constitution. Haqqani criticized the judicial commission as one-sided and noted that the commission was not a court of law with the authority to establish guilt or innocence.

The Supreme Court, upon hearing the report in session, ordered the former ambassador to appear before the bench in its next hearing and adjourned the case for two weeks until early July 2012. During that period Mr. Haqqani presented himself briefly before the court. Thereafter he left for Untied States although he promised to the court that he would reappear within four days. A larger bench of apex court headed by chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will now hear the case on January 28.

The last hearing of memo case was held on November 13 2012, in which Haqqani didnt appear due to security concerns. .The chief justice remarked during the November hearing that If he does not come back in accordance with judicial order, the court would be bound to issue an order and then Hussain Haqqani would have to come back under his personal security”. In response to courts orders Mr. Haqqani stated on 14th January that how I will return to the country with no security assurance.

Unfortunately, Haqqani seems to be caught in a proverbial situation of caught between deep sea and devil. It is evident that like president Musharraf, Mr. Haqqani too will live abroad without ever returning to Pakistan unless there is miracle that turns the events upside down.

The third VVIP in self-exile is Altaf Hussain. Altaf Hussain sneaked out of Pakistan one month before the launching of the Operation Clean-up (June 19, 1992 to August 14, 1994). His flight from Pakistan also was the result of an attempt on his life on 21 December 1991 that was the third of its kind. He was given political asylum by the British government and is staying ever since in London.

Recently the MQM boss announced that he was about to launch a drone attack by which it was speculated that he was finally returning to Pakistan. But in his lengthy speech he categorically announced that he had no plans to come back to Pakistan.

Understandably, he cannot return to Pakistan to face several thousand cases of very serious import pending against him. Moreover there could be mortal danger to his life from his opponents who have deep-seated grudge and bitterest feelings of revenge against him. His cases too, along with many thousand other convicts, were pardoned under NRO issued by Pervez Musharraf on October 5, 2007. Yet after the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared it unconstitutional on 16 December 2009, all dropped cases stand revived.

Could these powerful celebrities had ever imagined that with all their clout, powers, magnificence and overwhelming loyalty and support of their adherents, they would fall to such a depth of ignominy, disgrace and even isolation? The power, pelf and their prestigious positions have proven to be ephemeral spells that drifted away like the spent-up clouds.

The moral lesson of such bleak situations is to serve the community, country and the people with honesty, sincerity and selflessness and to walk the right, righteous path. Such a path leads to the lasting gratitude during life and an immortal reverence after death in the hearts of the people that one had served. One such glowing example is that of the Quaid-e-Azam.

The writer is a senior journalist and a former diplomat.

Gwadar Seaport Needs Special Attention

By Sajjad Shaukat

When during the Musharraf regime, Pakistan government initiated the construction of Gwadar deep-seaport in the Balochistan province in March 2002 with Chinese assistance, a siren went off in the capitals of the United States, India and Israel. The US took it as a threat to its global plans, and India felt that it threatened its integrity. Israel also took it as a greater threat from an Islamic country. Some defence analysts had opined that development of Gwadar port would shift the great game of Central Asia to Pakistan, though Afghanistan would remain its gateway.

As regards its strategic importance, due to its proximity to the vital sea lanes, Gwadar is the major important seaport in the world. Located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, it is close to the Strait of Hormuz from where more than 17 million barrels of oil passes every day. Its ideal location between three key regions, South Asia, the oil-rich Middle East, and oil and gas-resourced Central Asia have further increased its significance.

If once becomes fully operational, Gwadar Seaport could connect the landlocked Central Asian states with rest of the world. Being the commercial hub, the port is likely to increase volume of trade, bringing multiple economic and financial benefits to Pakistan like the Suez Canal which changed the destiny of Egypt when Israel returned it to the former. It will enable high-volume cargo vessels to move in the major oceans. Otherwise, big vessels cannot move from and to Karachi Seaport owing to dearth of depth. Therefore, small cargo ships with low weight are sent to Dubai from where containers are re-loaded on big vessels. This practice causes many problems for businessmen, discouraging Pakistans imports and exports.

In case of its completion, Gwadar project will not only uplift the impoverished people of Balochistan by providing thousands of employment opportunities and is likely to develop whole the province by redressing their grievances. The resulting prosperity would trickle down to the Baloch people and damp the separatist sentiment.

Besides, as an alternative deep water port, it is situated 470 km away from Karachi making it less vulnerable to the Indian naval blockade which Pakistan faced in 1971 during the war with India.

As Pakistan has close friendship with China, so in the long term, the Gwadar Seaport could serve as a port of entry for oil and gas to be transported by land to the western region of China. If Beijing wants to emancipate itself from transportation or military problems along Asias southern coastline, direct access to the Indian Ocean may be the solution.

In this respect, Balochistans Gwader project where China has invested billions of dollars irks the eyes of US-led India and Israel; hence, they have been supporting Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundollah (Gods soldiers) and other separatist elements which are arranging subversive activities in the province as part of their covert designs. In this regard, Pakistans civil and military leadership has repeatedly said that training camps are presence in Afghanistan from where arms and ammunition are being sent to the militants in Balochistan in order to dismember Pakistan. In the past few years, a number of Chinese engineers, working at Gwadar were kidnapped and killed by the foreign-affiliated insurgent groups. The main aim behind is to discourage Beijing for the development of Gwadar port.

Although secret agencies like American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad have been arranging acts of sabotage in Balochistan including other parts of the country for their countries collective strategic interests, yet it is our misfortune that Pakistans political leadership has caused delay in the completion of Gwadar Seaport owing to lack of interest and willingness, instead of vigorously pursuing the project. Unfortunately, short term vested interests of these politicians have prevailed over the long term national interests, creating differences between the state institutions which further complicated the situation rather than a progress for the rapid development of the project.

In this context, Pakistans Minister of Port and Shipping, Senator Baber Khan Ghauri has often found involved in blame game so as to shift his responsibilities and failures in relation to the Gwadar project. On August 28, 2012, in a meeting of the Senate Committee on Ports and Shipping, he pretended that governments failure to transfer 584 acres of land in possession of Pakistan Navy at the mouth of the port was a major obstacle with Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) and resolution of the related issues.

Notably, in 2006 after completion of the Phase-1 construction work, Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) invited offers from experienced port operators for the management of the project, and in February 2007 signed an agreement with Concession Holding Company (CHC), a subsidiary of PSA for operational control of the seaport. PSA was to invest $ 550 million during the next five year for development of the port, but since than, no substantial progress was achieved. In fact, GPAs lack of thinking in strategic terms in maritime sector and its inability to persuade PSA in marketing and operationalisation of the current terminal area has failed to capitalise on the immense potential which resides on this project.

However, actual facts which have delayed the completion of strategically important deep-seaport of Gwadar have not made public. In this regard, the agreement between GPA and PSA was flawed, and the Minister of Port and Shipping, Senator Baber Khan Ghauri is largely to be blamed. It was because of the minister that contract rules were violated and laws were bent wherever these were needed to ensure the interests of the concession holders rather than to safeguard the business interests of both the parties. In this context, a former chairman of Gwader Port Authority disclosed in 2009, People fear that PSA Gwaders name is only being used as a cover and the party is really interested in running the port will come to the fore after the former disinvests.

While Senator Baber Khan Ghauri who is from Karachi-based MQM political party, is not interested in the operationalisation of the Gwadar port because it will reduce national dependence on Karachi Port Complex. As a result, his party will lose political leverage and in turn control of Karachi city. So the minister who has deliberately neglected development of Gwadar project, himself is involved in land grabbing in Gwader city rather than acquiring land for completion of this key port. It is owing to these reasons that even after the lapse of several years, Gwadar city still lacks road and rail track connectivity due to which, its usage is severely limited.

Now, Pakistan has decided to give the operations at Gwadar port to China as soon as the terms of agreement with the Singapore Port Authority expire. In this regard, the Planning Commissions task force on maritime industry has proposed that an operational agreement with PSA be cancelled, which had undertaken to spend $525 million in five years, but nothing was spent during the last three years. No commercial vessel had arrived at Gwadar port during the same period.

Nevertheless people regret that like PIA, railways, power and energy sector, steel mills, poor performance of the government on the Gwadar Seaport is yet another tale of woes. But reality remains that the project has been victim of deliberate carelessness by the Senator Baber Khan Ghauri who can not be exonerated from his responsibilities as Minister of Transport and Shipping.

While the ball is in governments court, so it is the right hour that an amicable solution of the issue with effective plan so as to take corrective measures, and appointment of sincere leadership could play a positive role in completion of the Gwader project which is in everyones best interest. Nonetheless, this port needs special attention for its completion. Otherwise, immense benefits like advancement of the strategic value of Pakistan including socio-economic development of Balochistan will remain a dream.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power.

Govt’s economic performance dismal: traders

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Governments economic policies have failed to produce peoples friendly results as it has admitted that food cost has increased by 130 per cent since 2005-2006 to 2011-2012, a business leader said Tuesday.

The wheat prices rose by 128 per cent, sugar161 per cent, pulses194 per cent, vegetable ghee151 per cent and meat by158 per cent during this period, said Malik Sohail Hussain, Chairman Media, Diplomatic Affairs and PR.

Speaking to business community, he said that economic mismanagement is so rampant that bogus companies owned by influential received Rs 63 billion as refund and illegal tax input adjustments during just first four months of the current fiscal.

At one hand peoples life has become economically unbearable while on the other terrorism is increasing of which the most recent example is the killing of Bashir Ahmad Bilour, Senior Minister of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa, he said.

Malik Sohail said that army is doing best to check militancy and insurgency. It is doing whatever asked to do to assist the nation and the government while it has lost four thousand soldiers and officers.

He said that renewing the Lal Masjid issue can disturb the military strategy against militancy as refusal by personnel serving in various insurgency-hit areas can compromise armys ability to defend country from threats.

Questioning soldiers will open up floodgate for chaos as they are trained to obey orders and sacrifice for the defence of motherland. Armed forces are serving in life threatening environment in Siachen, against TTP and Balochistan, he said.

National business leaders Tariq Sayeed, Iftikhar Ali Malik and Munawar Mughal of ICCI have always acknowledged the sacrifices by army from top to bottom, he said adding that business community has always paid tribute to those who laid down their lives in defence of motherland, said Sohail.

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