“America must learn to behave with maturity and not act as a shooter from the hip like a western cowboy movie. Any misadventure can cost world peace; never take chances with a nuclear power. When might is forced upon weaker and smaller nations that have the ability to hit back, reactions can be unpredictable and dangerous.” Raja Mujtaba
By Dr Raja Muhammad Khan
On February 9, 2012, the US Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation convened a congressional meeting and held an exclusive discussion on the internal situation of Baluchistan province of Pakistan. Chaired by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, the committee mainly deliberated on human rights situation in the province. Later on, the same Congressman along with two other lawmakers introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives of United States on February 17, 2012. The resolution says that, “Baloch nation has a historic right to self-determination.” Pakistan has seriously protested over this US act and declared that this is a direct interference in its internal affairs.
Contravening all established international norms and standards, this U.S Congressional hearing on Balochistan is not only ill-motivated, but also a gross violation of the UN charter article 2.7 and a serious infringement of the sovereignty of an independent country. On its part, “Pakistan views this hearing with serious concern and considers it unacceptable in no uncertain terms. This kind of an exercise constitutes interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs. The hearing will be detrimental to building mutual trust and confidence and will add to suspicions in Pakistan about the US motives in the region and concerning Pakistan.”
Pakistani Foreign Office has unequivocally conveyed its concern to US officials in Washington beside US Ambassador Cameron Munter in Islamabad. As per FO spokesperson, “We have conveyed our concern in Islamabad and Washington on the issue of discussion on Balochistan by the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee and expressed our feelings. We believe that Washington fully understand our position on this issue.” Without any iota of doubt, this Congressional hearing on Balochistan is an “ill-advised and ill-considered” move by US Committee on Foreign Affairs as rightfully declared by Pakistani Ambassador to US, Ms Sherry Rehman and amounts to direct involvement in the internal affairs of Pakistan. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who organized and chaired the session, has also recently co-authored an article with Congressman Louie Gohmert building a case for the dissolution of Pakistan by making an independent Balochistan state.
Contrary to the conspirators’ whims, Balochistan Province remains the crowned half of Pakistan and such ill-witted acts of aiding and abating dismemberment of Pakistan will be deterred by the resilient nation of Pakistan. This congressional hearing is not only against international norms and against the UN Charter, but also disregards the basic concept of nation state and over and above the international law. It is an exclusive right of Pakistani citizens, prerogative of legislators and the elected representatives of the state, to debate and address the grievances of the local people. Certainly in the long haul, this US Congressional act will have serious repercussions for the Pak-US relationship which is already passing through a critical juncture. Though the spokesperson of the US State Department, Victoria Nuland, clarified that US Government neither supports such debates nor endorses autonomy or independence of the Baluchistan province from Pakistan, yet, these discussions by Congressmen aimed at ‘redefining’ US policy towards Pakistan are highly undesired, and US Government and State Department cannot absolve itself from the conduct of this meeting. In reply to a question, Ms Nuland said that, “Our view on Balochistan has not changed. We are aware of this hearing. As you know, Congress holds hearings on many foreign affairs topics. These hearings don’t necessarily imply that the US government endorses one view or another view. I’d underscore that the State Department is not participating or involved in this hearing.”
As a nation, Pakistanis condemns this US Congressmen act and hope that US would apologize over this unprecedented blatant interference in the domestic affairs of Pakistan. Owing to its geo-strategic and geo-economic significance, U.S think tanks and CIA has been covertly debating and planning about the future of the Baluchistan province of Pakistan for many years now. In fact, Balochistan, almost 43 percent territory of Pakistan, is considered highly enriched in natural resources with huge quantity of hydrocarbons and other precious minerals such as gold and copper deposits. Since the geographical positioning of this province serves as a gateway, linking various regions of Asia either through sea or overland, therefore, global powers have continuously kept eyes on the Baluchistan for centuries. This was true for Tsarist Russia and British India and now it stands true for the Atlantic super power, United States.
Being strategically located, the province earned renewed and enhanced global attention in the recent years, mainly because of the rapidly changing global and regional political and security situation. Securing the resources, international maritime and overland routes, and denying its use to others, as part of “New Great Game” has further enhanced the importance of this province of Pakistan. Apparently, the rapid escalation in Persian Gulf as US–Iran situation intensifies, Middle Eastern crises and steadily blossoming Pak-China strategic relationship are the significant aspects, which might have impelled United States lawmakers to hastily divulge their long-term designs for Pakistan, otherwise debated secretively among the US strategic quarters for years. There is also a need to be mindful of the fact that, as a policy, US State Department (White House) and Pentagon does not politically owns up controversial policy-advising their think tanks, law makers and their political analysts divulge upon.
This is a significant part of a broader US exercise, carried out to channelize public mood and perceptions, and consequently steer the policy course, in the light of intelligence received from relevant quarters. U.S has been successfully employing these means for conceiving and implementing strategies throughout the globe during cold war as well as in post cold war era. In the pretext of global war on terrorism in Afghanistan and ‘evidence’ of WMD in Iraq, coupled with smokescreen of human rights and democratic objectives, US led invasion of these two independent countries are contemporary examples of nefarious US policies. As a part of this process, covert agents mostly CIA operatives, hire the locals, particularly notables of the areas, pay them heavily and exploit them subsequently, thus paving way for the accomplishment of the neo-colonial designs of the US. Similarly, simultaneous public sector contribution, through scripted electronic and print medium stories complimented by State Department deliberate leaks, US administrations molds and frames public perceptions to favor policies. Ironically, for domestic consumption, generally US is hailed as selfless power safeguarding and championing the cause of human rights, regardless of the documented sponsor of widely accepted notorious illegal prison camps such as Guantanamo Bay, Bagram Base and Abu Ghariab.
These malevolence strategies are designed to reiterate US ‘exceptionlism’ around the globe, paste Americans as guardian of basic human freedoms and savior of falling living standards. Similarly over a stretch of years, local feudals (sardars) have exploited there people so much, that majority is unable to make their both ends. Therefore, as soon as the same sardar is able to distribute handful dollars on the behest of a foreign power, local people are tactfully lured to obey the commands of the sardar, including anti-state acts, without questioning the consequences. Among these who display reservations and reluctance to fall prey to notorious hidden agendas, heinous miseries are unleashed to make examples out of them. Those who prove more hardened to follow imported scripts and agendas, are then put through torture and subsequent brutal murders, later putting blame on the local government, intelligence agencies and security forces with an intent to defame them. This is not it; in order to provoke and further incite anti-state feelings, some of the anti-state elements are also killed. During this exercise, those people are also targeted who tend to differ from their format and attempt at reconciling their patriotic and nationalistic obligations with the state of Pakistan. Indeed, their murders are committed more brutally and inhumanly to make them examples for rest of the people, who may consider rejoining the ranks and file of patriotic citizens, and who may try to leak out foreign conspiracies to locals, government officials and agencies. In the absence of factual statistics, these targeted murders are consequently exploited to incite hatred among the lot who are still hovering at fence with neutral thoughts. Under the fear of their and their family’s lives, these neutral people are then forced to take part in anti-state activism. During the Congressional meeting, Mr Ali Dayan Hasan, Director of Pakistan Human Rights Watch (HRW), was particularly critical of the role of security forces of Pakistan in Baluchistan. He recommended the US Government to, “communicate directly to the agencies responsible for disappearances and other abuses, to demand an end to abuses and facilitate criminal enquiries to hold perpetrators accountable.”
From the other side of the spectrum, it is widely suspected that CIA, globally known as a killing machine, along with its sister intelligence agencies like RAW and Mossad, has devised new nefarious methods of murdering the people in Balochistan, and disposing their disfigured bodies (after inhuman killings) at public places for creating; more anti-state emotions among those who are still patriotic nationals, and to largely engineer defaming and malicious public campaigns against security institutions and State of Pakistan, by using US and Western media. These CIA agents, who at times have two or more covers; a hidden one of being a CIA operatives and an overt but softer more acceptable one either; as a law maker, member of think tank, media group, an analyst and a writer and at time the members of very humanistic NGOs.
This game and gimmicks do not stop here. The powerful CIA, having the unlimited supply of dollars behind, have been showering these dollars to some of the very powerful people in Pakistan. Those who have been ‘blessed’ with US appreciations include; prominent media men, scholars, think tanks, politicians and even academicians. This US baptized quarter keeps on praising the US acts while maligning Pakistani security forces and ISI on the behest of United States and other anti-Pakistan forces. For them, dollars, US blessing, frequent visits to US and Western institutions are more important then the national prestige and national interest. Alas!
The most important query is; after all why as a nation we have failed to make public, the evil designs of the CIA, its collaborating intelligence agencies and unveiled covert faces within Pakistan, who support foreign format and agenda against the state of Pakistan. Why our think tanks, academicians, analysts, media and above all the politicians, are not raising voices against these spreading and intensifying conspiracies? Rather some of them are truly following the foreign script. It is very convenient to point fingers against their own security forces and ISI, but they are unable to unveil the real actors; the CIA, RAW, Mossad and many other, who kill Pakistanis (Balochs in particular). Mutilated and disfigured bodies are deliberately disposed at public places by design to defame Pakistani security forces and ISI.
It would not be a sane conclusion to draw that Pakistani security forces are able to brutally kill Baloch masses and disfigure their bodies to earn hate for themselves. Fairly recently, Pak Army enrolled over 20,000 Baloch youth in different roles within Army in order to dispel such an impression of enmity and to provide equal opportunities for service in the Army. Besides, Pak Army is running many developmental projects, including some entirely sponsored from its own resources, in both FATA and Baluchistan. Should there still be some logic in the accusations that Army is killing masses in Baluchistan? Above all, can Army afford that, being a national Army? Thus, some sort of wisdom should prevail among the CIA local followers and those having special love for the teaching of Bal Thackeray.
There have been rare, yet worrying, occasions where it has been unearthed that some among the most instrumental media players in Pakistan, have been following the script of foreign media, which in turn pursue the anti-Pakistani themes. Most of our anchors, the owners of the TV channel, and print media maintain close liaisons with foreign media advisors especially of US and Western countries. There is a glaring influence of Indian media and culture on Pakistani media, especially TV channels. This influence is creating two things; firstly, dimension of Indian cultural invasion and secondly, between the lines sugarcoated Indian propaganda against Pakistan. While these are challenging realities, as a nation, we need to think and contemplate the future of Pakistan, rather be pawns at the hands of foreign intelligence agencies for few dollars or for merely appreciations of those who are conspiring against the national integration of Pakistan. It is quite evident, that US infamous agenda against Pakistan is unveiling rapidly, therefore, about time to undertake serious and concrete counter measures to deter such notorious agendas. The best way would be to promote national integration, and redress the grievances of Baloch people on utmost priority. At the same time, state must identify and take legal actions against those Pakistanis, who are playing in the hands of foreign spying agencies. In this regard, there is a dire need to formulate a practicable wholesome national response through a well thought out security strategy and by mobilizing the masses to counter propaganda campaigns against Pakistan and its security institutions.