By Dr. Raja Muhammad Khan

With 10,000 recruits belonging to various parts of Balochistan Province still undergoing basic Military training, passing out parade of 4,000 Baloch recruits was held in five cities of the province on October 29, 2010. This bulk recruitment and passing out, is indeed a historical occasion for these newly inducted soldiers, their families and for the province. More than, anything, this bulk induction of the soldiers from the far-flung remote areas of the Balochistan Province is matter of pride for Pakistan Army and the federation of Pakistan. The major reward of this decision of massive recruitment followed by successful training of the Baloch youth goes to the Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, who conceived and implemented this unparalleled idea. Indeed, he is a man of wisdom and farsightedness. Under his command, Pak Army is touching the heights of professionalism and national service.

The simultaneous conduct of passing out parade of 4,000 soldiers in Quetta, Khuzdar, Sibbi, Sui, and Zhob is indeed a first event of its kind. Governor Balochistan, Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, alongwith Chief Minister and Commander Southern Command was the chief guest of the parade in Quetta. Most of the provincial ministers and people of the province attended the ceremony. The event was widely appreciated by the people of Balochistan. While emphasizing on the need of promoting the national harmony against the global conspiracies, the Chief Guest (Governor Balochistan) said that, “induction of Baloch youths into the army would help improve socio-economic conditions of the province which had been ignored in the past. It should have been done much earlier.”

The Governor appreciated the efforts of Pak Army for this massive recruitment, and provision of quality training to the Baloch youth and hoped that, “induction of thousands of Baloch youths into the army would bring about positive changes in the province. Indeed, it was a great moment for the province to see its youths becoming part of the army. These youths have received training which will enable them to meet internal and external challenges faced by the nation. The Chief Minister of Balochistan, Nawab Aslam Raisani stressed on the newly inducted recruits to, “sustain the trend to strengthen the federation and frustrate the evil designs of enemies of the country.”

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On this occasion, Pak Army announced to convert its cantonment at Sui as the Education City for the youth of the Province. Induction of this substantial number of the recruits in Pak Army is in fact the continuation of its drive for the promotion of national integration. Previously also, a large number of youth from various parts of Balochistan, Sind, FATA, and other remote areas of the country were inducted into Pak Army. Indeed, Pak Army has worked out a strategy to induct the youth from each district of the country, thus giving them equal opportunities to grow in this profession. This is a great step forward to bring the people from all over the country at one platform without discrimination. Men of Pak Army are massively involved in the developmental projects in the remote areas of Balochistan, FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. For the safety, security and the comfort of the people of Pakistan, the valiant sons of Pak Army have given sacrifices of over 3000 men and officers during the ongoing anti-terror drive. They are committed to defend their motherland and their people at all costs.

Along with the safety and security of the geo-graphical and ideological boundaries of the country, the other significant lesson taught to a soldier in his basic military training is the national integration. During the peacetime and while dealing with the internal disturbances, Armed Forces of Pakistan have always maintained this spirit of national service. They consider it as part of their duty to maintain the national integration and public service. In the recent past, Armed Forces of Pakistan have bravely fought against the militants and freed the people and areas under them. They were first to provide rescue and relief services during earthquake-2005 and devastating floods-2010. Filled with the spirit of national service these men donated a portion of their salaries for the affected hpw people. They distributed rations to these people out of their own authorised scales. In the same way, men in uniform have made their utmost effort to serve the nation and internally promote national integration among them.

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About national integrity, the famous philosopher Sallust says, “By union the smallest states thrive, by discord the greatest destroyed.” We have the example from the disintegration of the former Soviet Union with piles of nuclear arsenals but frail national sentiments on one hand and sustenance against Israeli might by a handful but united Hizbollah on the other.

The process of national integration indeed includes; achieving national cohesion, stability, prosperity, strength, and feelings of being united as a nation. Unfortunately, in its history, Pakistan has faced varying degrees of religious, ethnic, linguistic, and political problems that are often in conflict with our national interest. The aspect needs a very serious attention at the level of Federal Government.

As far as the Balochistan is concerned, ever since the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the Province has remained neglected on one account or the other. The major problem has the traditional Sardari system in the Province. These sardars (feudal), have been running the successive provincial governments, but did not pay attention towards the betterment of the people of the province. Resultantly, there has been dearth of basic necessary facilities needed for the human beings. Owing to the lack of educational facilities, the people of the province could not be reasonably educated, thus lagged behind, compared to their counterparts in other provinces. Since education brings in awareness for the demand of other necessary facilities of life, therefore, the masses of the province did not have a wind of those.

Perhaps this was a deliberate effort of a small minority of the province, the sardars, ruling the vast majority of deprived people to use them as tools for their nefarious designs. These sardars used these poor masses as dissidents and insurgents against Federal Governments for their vested interests as and when required. Resultantly, the poor living conditions of the common Baloch turned into most awful. These cunning sardars then further exploited this situation to provoke them to become anti-state. Indeed, their poor economic conditions made them hostage at the hands of these cruel and selfish sardars. These sardars in turn were sponsored, financed, and abetted by foreign spying networks, fought the old great game of the Tsarist Russia and British India. They are still part of the ongoing great game, being played around the geo-politics of Pakistan by new powers centres of the globe.

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Due to the activities of these sub-nationalists, the state of Pakistan suffered badly. Its economy, national cohesion, and global standing was seriously affected. With the tremendous changes at the global level, these backward and ill-informed people of the Balochistan Province also desired a change in their lives. They have now reached to a thoughtful process that it was the horde of few feudal (sardars), which were keeping them as hostage. Now these poor masses of the Balochistan have decided to part ways from them and have started thinking for the future of their generations and the Province too. These betrayed sardars have also started realizing that they have been unjust in their treatment with the people of the Province and were used by foreign powers for their vested interests.

With these realizations, there has been gradual improvement in the law and order situation of the Province. The Federal Government package for the development of the Province would further improve the living standards of the rural areas of the province. Indeed, it is primarily the responsibility of the Federal and Provincial governments to promote the national integration and harmony among the masses.
Without further dilly-dallying, the Federal Government must implement the ‘Aghaz e Huqooq Balochistan package’ in letter and spirit and without any discrimination. On the footsteps of Pak Army, Federal Ministers should also provide job opportunities to the poor youth of the province, rather spending huge amounts on non-productive areas. In this way, we will be able to redress the grievances of the Baloch masses, which were kept deprived, and betrayed too.