Long live free and united Balochistan

Long live free and united Balochistan

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Mumbai attack re-enactment of Kashmir invasion, says Dr. Baloch

A highly respected Baluch intellectual and poet based in Toronto has blamed the Islamic ideology and the creation of Pakistan as the main causes of terrorism and extremism in southwest Asia.

Dr. Zaffar Baloch, president of Baloch Human Rights Council of Canada, speaking at the first-ever Baluchistan International Conference in Washington DC last weekend -- organized by the pro-independence American Friends of Baluchistan --, said the war on terror is unlikely to succeed until and unless the freedom struggle of the Baluch people is bolstered.

The conference was addressed by key Baluch leaders, including Baluch national hero Mir Hyrbyair Marri, Center for International Policy Asia director Selig. S. Harrison, and Robert Selle, presiding council member of the American Friends of Baluchistan.

Washington DC-based lawyer M. Hassan Hosseinbor concurs with Dr. Baloch's views. "The US will have to talk about the national rights of the Baluch people if it wants the Pakistan army to get serious about defeating the Taliban," he said

Following is te full text of Dr. Zaffar Baloch's thought-provoking speech:

We have gathered here today to pay our respect and tributes to a great son of Balochistan and hero of Baloch liberation struggle, Mir Balaach Marri, martyred by the Pakistani security forces two years ago. Mir Balaach Marri's dream for an independent Balochistan and the nature of the secular, democratic movement of the Baloch nation today is the answer to the questions of security, crisis and instability in the region. In a nutshell, the very forces of darkness that have enslaved the Baloch nation are the source of turmoil and terrorism, engulfing the geography from the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi to Mumbai and of course Kabul . The struggle to end terrorism and the freedom movements in the region cannot be separated.

Allow me to say it very bluntly, that the very Islamic ideology and the creation of Pakistan planned and executed by the British Raj in 1947 is the root cause of militarism, instability, religious extremism, Talibanization, terrorism, and any future nuclear catastrophe in the region. The idea of Taliban as non-state combatants or non-state-actors as referred by Islamabad is basically a carefully thought out military solution to political disputes based on the greed to occupy and expand. The idea is not new to Pakistan 's military mindset and it did not begin with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan ; the first batch of 5000 "non-state" tribal militia, led by a Pakistani army major was unleashed upon the horrified people of Kashmir in 1947. The attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008 was an improvised and a bit more sophisticated version of what happened back then in Kashmir Valley , more than six decades ago. The mindset never changed for the Pakistan Army to the present day and what followed as a result is a path of destruction - wars with neighbours and a state at war with itself.

The Durand Line that has divided a people for more than a century has become irrelevant in the post-Cold War world and the global war on terrorism has further dissolved the imaginary demarcation into oblivion. When the realism of history comes to dumping what is imaginary, be it a line in the sand or a modern state, all that shall remain is a bad memory. In terms of historical existence and military strategy, Pakistan 's military mindset thought of two outcomes about the Durand Line – either Afghanistan becomes another province under Islamabad or lose the wild frontier to Kandahar . Of course the Pakistani generals chose the former and again the non-state actors played their part as the Taliban captured Kabul under the supervision and strategic guidance of the military intelligence services of Pakistan . The capture of Kabul in 1993 by the Taliban resolved two key issues for Islamabad – end of debate on the Durand Line and accessibility to post-Soviet Central Asian states. A weak and instable Afghanistan meant a secure western front for the Pakistani defense strategists where as stability on the other side of the Durand Line was always seen as a threat to the ideology of Pakistan .

September 11 has reversed the gains made by Pakistan on its western front and its tribal areas have become a safe haven to Al-Qaeda and terror groups with networks extending into the heart of the urban centres including the capital Islamabad . If the ISI is functioning as a state within the state, then it would be fair enough to say that the jihadist network is the third state in Pakistan . This third force has a global agenda and sees the state of Pakistan simply as a resource to further their goals of world domination or destruction of it. What they cannot capture – they will destroy.

The question is how the Pakistan Army is handling this crisis? Does the army have the will to fight the jihadist groups? And most importantly, can the army survive as an institution once this conflict becomes urban guerilla warfare, especially in Punjab ?

Talibanization of Pakistan is no longer a myth – it is an everyday reality. The zone of conflict is no longer limited to the remote tribal areas of South Waziristan, the jihadist groups in Punjab, dubbed as Punjabi Taliban have the potential to shift the theater of war to the major cities and attack sensitive locations such as military and intelligence headquarters and nuclear facilities any where in the country.

The groups trained by their handlers in the Pakistan Army as low cost non-state actors for attacks in the Indian cities of New Delhi and Mumbai have developed links with Al-Qaeda and have grown into a global network of terror. Pakistan Army's proxy wars abroad have converged into battles of control over territories inside Pakistan with the ultimate goal of control or collapse of the state itself.

In conclusion, the military institution of Pakistan lacks the will and the capability to fight a protracted war stretched from the remote mountainous regions to the urban centres, especially when it does not want to lose focus of its eastern borders with India . At some point, the Pakistani military leaders will go for another round of agreements and compromises or will have to risk the danger of dissent within the rank and file of the army. So far, Pakistan has shown complete lack of cooperation with the US Administration's demand to fight the Afghan Taliban and its Quetta Shoora, which they consider as an asset with a future role in Afghanistan .

West's sole reliance on the institution of the army or a corrupt civilian government in Islamabad will not be very fruitful in the long term. Western democracies have to understand the nature of the state of Pakistan , its ideological identity based on Islamic jihad, and the military institution that has its vested interests in political power, which it will never give up.

The future of the region and its peaceful progress as a democratic society is possible only with the freedom of the people from the military state of Pakistan and its ideology of Islamic jihad. Balochistan is showing you the way and hopefully the international community will act before it is too late. The very army that claims to be fighting the Taliban in South Waziristan is busy crushing the secular forces in Balochistan and promoting the Taliban by granting them land to build religious madarisas and militant training centres in the province. West should act now and support the genuine demand for the freedom of Balochistan.


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