Countering propaganda against Balochistan 

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Detractors of Pakistan, who want to exploit the Baloch card to destabilize Pakistan on one hand, and control the resources of the strife-torn province on the other, are trying to present the Naraz (angry) Baloch as being anti-state elements. There is a clear difference between the Naraz and anti state Baloch, which must be highlighted. Naraz Baloch are patriotic Pakistanis, who have reservations over priorities set by the federal and provincial Governments of Pakistan and Balochistan. On the other hand, anti state Baloch are elements opposed to the federation of Pakistan and they have their own agenda and vested interests. Unfortunately, they are playing in the hands of foreign elements.

The Government of Pakistan is making sincere efforts to address all the issues of Naraz Baloch, to appease their reservations and bring them back into the fold of government, allocate development funds and make all out endeavours to bring Balochistan at par with the other provinces. The anti state Baloch are few in number but comprise some feudal lords, who are exploiting the situation in their own favor by defaming all Baloch. They are using every possible means to slander the government and the armed forces of Pakistan, whom they perceive to be thorns in their sides, who deter them from achieving the odious agenda of their mentors and exploiters abroad. One subterfuge, which they have successfully employed, is the case of the “missing persons”. This multi pronged ruse is being used to draw sympathy at home and abroad to their cause; denigrate the armed forces, who are being held culpable of being responsible for the “missing persons” while simultaneously using it as a diversionary tactics to undermine the actual issues of Balochistan.

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The alleged human rights violation by the Pakistani Armed Forces is hearsay since nothing was proved in Supreme Court of Pakistan during missing persons’ case. A few anti state elements are creating hype on the issue of missing persons to deprecate Pakistan and its Army at national and international level to fulfill their own vested interest. They should pause and ponder. What is more important? Missing persons’ case or provision of basic amenities and the socio economic uplift of Balochistan?

It is for the ordinary Baloch, which is the target of the propaganda to see the truth through the fog of misinformation. The Arab world, which was mesmerized by the “Arab Spring” and considered it a genuine movement is only now beginning to realize that it was duped by vested interests in the Occident to establish regimes of its choice. The Egyptian youth, which was so proud of its spurring the movement to dethrone Hosni Mobarak, now finds that its sojourn at the Tahrir Square was nothing but a mirage. Their sacrifices have been hijacked by forces being backed by the West, who only wanted to replace their aging puppets, which were losing their effectiveness, by more pliant ones.

The Baloch should take cognizance of the fact that the supporters of the anti state Baloch in the US Congress, namely Dana Rohrabacher, who chaired a Congressional hearing on Balochistan is no true friend. The US Congressman introduced a resolution in the US House of Representatives calling upon Pakistan to recognize the Baloch right to self determination.The motion was co-sponsored by House Representatives Louie Gohmert and Steve King. If the US parliamentarians were so deeply concerned with the welfare of people, why they have never raised their voice for the oppressed in Palestine, being crushed and decimated by Israel. Why have they failed to raise even an eyebrow for the cause of the Kashmiris, who were promised self determination through UN Resolutions but instead have been crushed under the yoke of tyranny by Indian military? Subsequent Indian governments have chosen to renege on the UN Resolutions and instead keep the Kashmiris under their oppressive rule through brute force, draconian laws and repression.

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The US Parliamentarians are obsessed with the welfare of the Baloch or are more interested in gaining control over the rich mineral resources of Balochistan and its strategic location astride the Indian Ocean, from where the bulk of the world’s fuel supply passes?

The Federal Government in Pakistan has allocated resources for the socio economic uplift of Balochistan now it is the responsibility of Baloch Sardars to deliver. In 2013, Rs. 43.19 billions on account of Development Fund, were provided to the elected Baloch leadership in Provincial Assembly. The onus lay on the Baloch tribal leaders to ensure that the common Baloch reap the benefits of development. Unfortunately, the downtrodden and backward province is rife with corruption. In the past, development funds were totally usurped by the feudal lords and the common Baloch remained deprived. Now the people themselves must demand their rights. Not at the point of a gun or rebelling against the sovereignty of the nation at the behest of outsiders but through democratic means.

It is a cause for concern that despite a large allocation of funds to the Baloch political leadership, there is little or no significant development project having been initiated in Balochistan. The funds will continue to be misused and siphoned off while the federal government will be blamed and to dupe the public, the armed forces will be targeted for their woes. The Balochis should themselves now have ample political sense, to see through the propaganda, and realize where the problem lies. The provincial leadership comprising Baloch Sardars should implement the development projects as per plan, so that the benefit accrues to the downtrodden masses and not be used to line the nests of some feudal lords. It is ironical that the armed forces of Pakistan have contributed tremendously to the development of Balochistan, in terms of recruiting them into the armed forces by relaxing standards, establishing educational and health facilities, providing vocational training and opportunities for employment, yet they are made scapegoats for the misery of the province. This undue propaganda against Balochistan must stop and the province be given its due by bits own leadership rather than blaming others.