UK-based DFID survey

28 Aug

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Nazia Nazar

A so-called Gallup survey report with the caption that ‘37 per cent Baloch favour independence’. It could have been better to title the story that ‘67 per cent Baloch oppose independence’. It is not understandable as to why this report was carried by the newspaper when even the DFID has not so far been placed on its website. Such surveys by the West do have purpose, and more often than not these are concocted through selecting the samples of their choice. However, there is doubt whether the survey under reference was at all conducted or not, as one can find self-contradictions in the report. There are also glaring mistakes in calculation, which goes to prove that the survey is farce. Of course, this seems to be an effort to undermine Pakistan through the ‘Free Balochistan’ movement supported by the US and London-based organizations. It has to be said that Marri, Mengal and Bugti areas make a fraction of the total area and population of Balochistan, and the majority of other sardars are die hard Pakistanis. And of course, patriotic Pashtuns alone make about 50 per cent of the population.

Yet there are efforts to whittle away the nation-state by stirring turmoil and violence to achieve their evil designs. The ‘Baloch Society of North America’ is emblematic of the US meddling in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. Fomenting separatist movements along Pakistan’s western border has been on US geopolitical drawing board for years. In a 2006 report by Carnagie Endowment for International Peace titled ‘Pakistan: the resurgence of Baloch Nationalism’ is also a case in point. On page 4 of this report, it was suggested that the Baloch rebels should be used against both Islamabad and Tehran. But there a few sane voices also. In a recent treatise, Tony Cartalucci, a geopolitical researcher and writer based in Bangkok stated: “Arming militants is only half of the overall strategy for defeating targeted nation-states. Subverting national institutions and replacing them with those interlocking with the neo-imperial uni-polar order is the other half. The usual suspects, the US State Department-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its various subsidiaries, found all across the theater of 4th generation global warfare, are busy at work in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province as well”.

Cartalucci also stated that the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy has been at work building up Balochistan’s civil society network. Featured on ‘Baloch Society of North America’s’ website, Rohrbacher again openly admits that only now that the US needs a point of leverage against the Pakistanis has the plight of the Baloch people become an issue – an issue that will be used to serve US geopolitical objectives throughout Central and Southwest Asia. Rohrbacher repeatedly states that the Pakistanis were friends of the US but are now “enemies.” The same could be said of the Afghan resistance he accompanied for 2 months in the 1980’s who are now being occupied and killed in droves by the US. The Baluchi opposition might take note of how quickly the US goes through its friends.

Balochistan is rich in minerals and other resources; it lies at the crossroads of China, India and Iran. The strategic implications are that big powers as well regional countries eye this region, as it represents a convergence of conflict between East and West with potentially catastrophic implications. And it has potential of becoming a flash point leading to another world war. It is true that Balochistan is rife with ethnic and sectarian violence, and the contradictions are being exploited by the enemies of Pakistan. But there is a redeeming feature that dissident Baloch sardars are losing the grip on the Baloch youth who believe that Baloch community’s real stakeholders are no more those traditional power centres, namely, the compulsive exploitative and suppressive sardars and chieftains, and the self-styled deceitful nationalists? The stakeholders are now the commoner Baloch youths, who are not ready to live as serfs and slaves.

They are restive, struggling to emancipate. And it is their struggle that needs to be supported by every conceivable means. They require educational facilities that they should get at any rate, even at the cost of incurring the anger of entrenched powers centres that deem they have descended from heavens with some divine right to rule and reign over the Baloch commoners. They require jobs and opportunities to grow, to flourish and prosper, which they should get in any event. The precious billions pouring into the provincial treasury should cease landing in privileged pockets under one cloak or the other. That prized dough must go into establishing schools, universities, professional colleges and technical institutes for the commoner Baloch children to be educated and groomed in various professions and skills to be respectable earning citizens. Baloch youths should be helped by way of easy loans and grants to help them fork out into diverse businesses and trades.

It has to be mentioned that there are 50 members in the Balochistan Assembly and almost all of them are ministers. They all are preoccupied with earning money and do not have political will to have dialogue with the angry Baloch. Army’s contributions in the social progress of Balochistan are too well known which include Chamalang Education Program, Sui Education City, Gwadar Institutes of Technical Education and Kassa-Hills Marble Project. Measures have been taken to sustain these projects which have contributed positively towards better education and creation of jobs for common people particularly in remote areas of Balochistan.

In 2010, the passing out parade of 4,000 cadet officers took place in different cities of Balochistan simultaneously, where all 4,000 cadets commissioned in the ceremonies hailed from Balochistan. During the last three years, military leadership has devoted special attention to Balochistan, and established schools and dispensaries to provided education and health facilities out of its own resources. Provincial and federal government should focus on implementation of the Balochistan package, which will help remove misgivings about the government.

 

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