Political outlook of Balochistan

It is a matter of great concerns for Pakistan that the United Baloch Army (UBA) claimed responsibility for the two high-intensity bomb blast, first took place in Jaffer Express, at Sibi railway station on April 8, 2014 in which at least 17 passengers were killed and 44 others wounded and second blast took place in Sabzi Mandi (Fruit Market), Islamabad on April 9, 2014 in which at least 24 people were killed and more than 115 were wounded. According to some media reports these two bomb blasts  were in the response to the operation of the  paramilitary Frontier Corps in Kalat division on April 7, 2014 in which 40 Baloch militants’ were reportedly killed. The important question that needs analysis is that why all this started at a time when there is political stability in Balochistan and also there was relative peace and calm in Pakistan due to ceasefire of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the backdrop of talks with government of Pakistan. It is now very easy to conclude that some forces are not happy the way things are improving in Pakistan especially the political stability in Balochistan that has been very conducive for developing Pakistan and China economic corridor and making Pakistan a trade and energy hub for the region through Gwadar Port.

The merger of Baloch Nationalism with the mainstream politics of Pakistan is not liked by a small number of Baloch elite who for their personal interests have prepared a document entitled “ Balochistan Libration Charter”. The charter is a misleading and a baseless document which in order to justify Libration of Balochistan argues that democracy, justice and respect for human rights in Balochistan can only be protected in an Independent Balochistan. Further, it presumes that only Independent Balochistan can ensure independent judiciary, a free media, equal rights for economic and educational opportunities and multiparty politics. In order to expose real objective of campaigning for Independent Balochistan, there is need to highlight the nefarious designs of some powers to blackmail Pakistan for their vested interests.

The justifications given in the charter for Independent Balochistan are not the real objectives, the real objective of Independent Balochistan are for the self interests and greed of some Sadars who had never been sincere to common Baloch people.All the justifications given in the charter for Independent Balochistan can best be ensured in the present status of Balochistan as an integral part of Pakistan. The logic of Independent Balochistan is baseless as already Pakistan has independent judiciary, a free media and multiparty politics. The Constitution of Pakistan provides equal rights for economic and educational opportunities to all Pakistanis including people of Baluchistan.

Balochistan is legally and constitutionally part of Pakistan. It would be wrong to project it as an illegally occupied land by Pakistan. Any effort to destabilize the province in the name of libration struggle to detach it from Pakistan would be illegal and unjust. The current government in Balochistan is politically very stable and has exemplary relations with central as well as with other provincial governments.

The government in Balochistan is progressive and believes in equal rights of all citizens. The constitution of Pakistan also prohibits any discrimination on the basis of religion, sector gender. Today after the 18th Amendment the Baloch people are master of their own destiny and they are exercising full political and economic powers in their province. The democratic process in Balochistan is working well. All the political parties are free to participate in elections. The political outlook of Baluchistan is very impressive as almost all the regional and national level parties took part in the General Elections 2013 of National and Provincial Assemblies. Baluchistan is the only province that took lead in holding local body’s election in the province. All these elections were monitored by national and international media and organizations. Now, Balochistan government can prepare their economic development plans with sufficient resources and autonomy granted through the 18th Amendment.

The political outlook of Balochistan shows positive trends as Federal Government, Pakistan Army and Balochistan government are on the same page for restoration of peace in the province. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to Quetta on January 30, 2014 urged the civil and military leadership to devise a joint strategy for ensuring durable peace in Balochistan. He reiterated his government commitment in resolving the issue of Balochistan and put it on the track to prosperity. He stressed the need to further accelerate development projects in the province to ensure relief for the masses.

The Balochistan government is getting full support of Pakistan Army to restore peace in the province. The law and order situation in Balochistan is gradually improving. According to a news report, the Commander of the Southern Command, Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua, while addressing local elders and officials, has said that the process to resolve the Balochistan issue through talks was under way. He added that steps had been taken to end unrest because development of the province was linked to peace. Implementation of agreements on major projects with China, including Gwadar Port, would lay the foundation of progress and prosperity in Balochistan and would create jobs for thousands of local youths. He noted that People of Balochistan were patriot and would not allow ‘anti-peace elements’ to obstruct development activities in the province.

 

Disclaimer: Views expressed are of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect IPRI policy.

Published in Pakistan Observer on April 13, 2014.

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