Every responsible politician of the country knows that Pakistan has been facing multiple crises of grave nature in wake of suicide attacks and target-killings. At this critical juncture, instead of emphasizing national unity, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Chief Altaf Hussain said on January 19 that there are “plotters who are bent upon sowing the seeds of hatred between the Baluch and the MQM…these conspirators are trying to pit the Baluch against the MQM.” Under this misinformation, he further alleged, “Baluchistan is a province and should not be treated like a colony.” Ignoring the ground realities, he also demanded that the military operation should be brought to an immediate end. Altaf Hussain in a telephonic speech was trying to reach the eminent Baluch personalities whose sympathies, Altaf wants to gain at the cost of Pakistan.
Altaf’s address evoked an instant reaction, where a participant drew his attention to the Gutter Bagheecha dispute between the Baluch of Karachi and the MQM in which noted Baluch persons were shot dead by MQM militants.
At the same time, while urging the government and the rebel Baluch nationalists to resolve differences through dialogue, the MQM has never condemned the target killings, destruction of buildings, attacks on pipelines, electric pylons or other terrorists activities taking place there. His tone and body language is always to provoke the Baluch in every possible manner. Has he ever condemned India or Israel who are colluding to destabilize Pakistan?
Altaf Hussain is playing double, he is adopting policy of Machiavelli who advises the leaders to have a lion-like image outwardly, and act upon the traits of goat inwardly. In his sense, a good leader should be a good opportunist. Although Machiavelli suggests this cunning diplomacy in order to protect the overall interests of the state, yet Altaf has started applying the same for disintegration of Pakistan’s federation.
However, the objective of Altaf Hussain’s statement was to give an indirect signal to the separatist elements so as to intensify their anti-Pakistan move.
Altaf Hussain’s sinister involvement in Baluchistan cannot be established without some concrete evidence. In this regard, silence of Altaf over the foreign conspiracy against Baluchistan clearly shows that he is encouraging the anti-state elements, and his integrity is doubtful. But it is on record that Altaf Hussain has openly rejected the creation of Pakistan.
Altaf Hussain said “Pakistan’s creation was a ‘‘mistake’’ and a ‘‘blunder in the history of mankind’’ reported Sonia Trikha, 12th July 2001, The Indian Express. He further said, “The Two Nation Theory, which argues that Muslims and Hindus are two separate nations which have to live separately and is the basis of the creation of Pakistan "was a farce."
Dr Farooq Sattar leader of the MQM said in ARY TV Channel program on 28th November 2009 with a planted anchor that, “…total control of Port (Gawadar) and all the resources gas…” should be handed over to the province. The program was fully loaded with Indo-US propaganda and lines? The statements of Farooq Sattar, a Federal Minister needs to be analysed with deep reading.
It is notable that in 2008, Pakistan’s government had launched a successful approach of reconciliation particularly with the Baluch landlords. The level of violence had fallen to the minimum. It was in these circumstances that the then Corps Commander, Lt-Gen Khalid Shamim Wyne had claimed on November 9, 2008, “We have moved from the insurgency phase to the reconciliation phase, however, if foreign elements continue to infiltrate in Baluchistan, they could stir trouble and undermine our efforts to restore peace.” His observation proved quite true as covert support to the militants by the secret agencies like Indian RAW, Israeli Mossad and Afghanistan’s Khad with the tactical aid of American CIA succeeded in sabotaging the peace process in Baluchistan.
It is of particular attention that after meeting the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit at Sharm el-Sheikh, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani remarked on July 18, 2009 that during the talks, he also raised the issue of Indian interference in Baluchistan.
In this context, on April 23 last year, in the in-camera sitting of the Senate, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik displayed documentary evidence of Indian use of Afghanistan to create unrest in Baluchistan. The main aim of in-camera session was also to show the engagement of CIA against Pakistan.
In the recent past, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Gilani and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi have openly stated that India and some external elements are backing the Baluch separatists. During the ongoing military operations, ISPR spokesman, Maj-Gen. Athar Abbas, while showing to the media larger quantity of arms and ammunition, revealed that foreign hands have been helping the insurgents of the Frontier Province and especially those of Baluchistan.
Apart from the above facts, as to why MQM chief is taciturn in relation to the external plot against Baluchistan which is part of the conspiracy against Pakistan because the latter is the only Islamic nuclear state—not tolerated by the US, India and Israel. In this respect, by covertly backing the Baluch nationalist leaders, foreign elements have been fulfilling a number of covert designs. While foreign agents kidnap and kill the political leaders in Baluchistan and elsewhere, the Baluch people, openly, accuse Pakistan’s intelligence agencies in this context. This is what these external plotters intend to achieve. Another purpose is to gain the sympathies of Baluch general masses for Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) which has been fighting for secession of the province. In this regard, on July 23, 2008, Akbar Bugti’s grandson, Brahmdagh Bugti told the BBC that they had the right to accept arms from anywhere including India.
There is another CIA and Indian-supported separatist group, Jundallah (God’s soldiers) which is also working against the cordial relationship of Pakistan with China and Iran. In the past few years, its militants with the cooperation of foreign agents kidnapped and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan.
In this regard, question arises as to why MQM leader Altaf did not issue any statement about the involvement of RAW and other foreign agencies which are tying to separate Baluchistan in order to fulfill their anti-Pakistan aims.
The unrest actually started in Baluchistan when various projects such as construction of Gwadar Deep Sea Port, Makran Coastal Highway, IPI gas project etc. were undertaken by the previous government to develop the backward regions of the province. The sole aim was to eliminate frustration among the people by providing infrastructure and employment opportunities.
The Baluch Sardars (feudal lords) who are being backed by external powers started opposing all the developmental projects. These Sardars who were running their own private jails and ‘farrari camps’ resisted the government plans as they did not want to give up the old system of feudal lords, which the world had witnessed during the Middle Ages. However, Baluch Sardars became hostile towards any initiative which could give a greater blow to their so-called prestige entailing brutalities, being perpetrated on the innocent people. These Sardars contacted the foreign elements which were already conspiring against Pakistan.
Meanwhile, MQM chief’s opposition to the military operation in Baluchistan is quite illogical. It was Pak Army which eliminated the farrari camps and private jails of the Baluch Sardars, and thus set free hundreds of innocent people.
Notably, as to why strategic game, being played by India and America is not known to Altaf Hussain who does not take cognizance of the fact that Baluchistan with its ideal geo-strategic location with Gwadar seaport could prove to be Pakistan’s key junction, connecting rest of the world with Central Asia. It is due to multiple strategic benefits that the US which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008, intends to control Baluchistan as an independent state in counterbalancing China and containing Iran. Owing to these reasons, Washington and New Delhi are creating instability in Pakistan by supporting Baluch separatists to complete their hidden agenda.
In that backdrop, on October 15, 2008 Pakistan and China signed eleven agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation in diverse sectors including energy, trade and space technology. China also agreed to supply two nuclear reactors to Pakistan. From time to time, both Beijing and Islamabad conclude various agreements to further strengthen their mutual cooperation.
Besides silence of Altaf on the kidnappings and killings of Iranians and Chinese engineers in the last three years also displays his double standard which itself indicates that he is only deepening rift between the people of Baluchistan and the Centre.
It is noteworthy that on August 8, 2007, Major (Retd) Tanvir Hussain, the parliamentary secretary for defence accused the American CIA of killing Chinese nationals in Pakistan to harm the cordial relations between Islamabad and Beijing.
Despite the recently announced Baluchistan package, and the settlement of issues, relating to National Finance Commission in favour of Baluchistan by the government, Altaf Hussain’s misconstruing the facts is not without sinister designs. He may criticise the policies of the government to increase his vote bank, but by encouraging the Baluch nationalism and separatist movements is nothing short of treason.
Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for Opinion Maker.