An open letter to Hamid Mir (Geo TV) by Dr. Allah Nazar

Dear Hamid Mir,

Baloch Top leader Dr Allah Nazar

Baloch Top leader Dr Allah Nazar

I’m writing you this letter with the hope that perhaps the historians – standing in the witness box of history – of next century will

reveal the truth about the oppressed Baloch nation and hold the colonial powers and occupying rulers of the day accountable and examine the role and discourse of its advocates and intelligentsia. This shouldn’t be the case that today’s columnists, intellectuals are restrained just because of the fear of the ruler or its lust of conquest.

A century ago, British Lord B. Fell said, “we know and understand the history of Egypt far better than the Egyptians do.” Even hundred and 25 years later these contemptuous words remain on the pages of the history. Similarly, the President ofPakistan Asif Ali Bhutto while in Gadhi Khuda Baksh said, “Baloch should learn politics from us.” The expression was that the Baloch are ignorant, illiterate and unfamiliar with the statecraft. The aim is that the Baloch are born to be slaves. There is only the gap of a century between the words of B. Fell and Zardari Bhutto but, the subject and message is the same: lesson of slavery.

Mr. Hamid Mir, you hold the leading position among the contemporary intellectuals belonging to the colonial state’s electronic and print media. Many of the policies of the state are devised and executed on the advice of your community. But knowledge and consciousness demands to be on the side of truth. Just like Sartre, who despite being French supported the Algerian freedom movement against colonial system with his pen and wrote a golden chapter of history. But on the other hand; Mr. Hamid Mir, you are an intellectual. Yet you not only support the inhumane, immoral and terrorizing conduct of the occupying state in Balochistan, but also been active advising the state how to eliminate the Baloch freedom fighters and to perpetuate its occupation over Baloch land by intimidating the younger brother of Shaheed Assad Baloch, Akhar Mengal so that you would enable the state to conquer the strong fortress of Baloch by building a Trojan horse out of him. If Akhtar Menagl is intimidated and taken in by you; it would be a masterpiece by your molding hand. With the threat of state terrorism, not only you tried to intimidate him into submission but became a bridge to make him cut a deal with the secret agencies of the state. You have never thought that Baloch is a nation and freedom is a right to every nation. Is it just to deprive a nation from its freedom through the use of intellectual ploy? If it was just – five hundred years ago Nicholas Machiavelli advised the prince that the kings and rulers are not bound by any values and permanent morals – then why Machiavelli is under critique? They never incriminate them because all the court-intellectuals are subservient to their respective masters. In order to maintain their stranglehold, they advice their masters and propagate their policies and the struggle of the oppressed is portrayed as wrong and being result of ignorance and sometimes religion is also utilized to subdue them. The intelligentsia of the occupier is doing the same to the Baloch and you are also involved in it.

Mr. Mir Sahib you claim to be the banner bearer of human rights and when Malala Yousufzai was attacked you were among the first to condemn this inhumane act. Although it is commendable but on December 25, 2012, when Pakistani occupying forces were showering fire and iron with their helicopter gunships at Tank of Mashkay area, in which 18 innocent women, children and elderly men were killed, among them Bahti was 2 years old and Bibi Mahnaz, 70. All the Pakistani intellectuals, including you were silent. Is this justice to your intellect or beneficial to the vicious rulers? You decide. Two years back Bibi Zamur Baloch Baloch and her daughter were martyred by Pakistani beasts in the streets of Karachi. Previously, Pakistani state agents abducted Zarina Marri along with her infant child Murad while on her way to school in Quetta. On January 21st, 2013, in Besima of Kharan district, Pakistani forces along with the local death squad, broke in to the house and martyred a prominent Balochi and Brahvi poet, Qasim Baloch along with his sister Rozina Baloch. On such poignant, heart rendering incidents not a single word comes out of the mouths of Pakistan intellectuals. Perhaps, it is because these oppressed people are Baloch.

At present Baloch are fighting a war for their freedom and the blood of freedom loving nation is cheap. The only way to do justice with their blood is to forget it altogether. Because, forgetting is the only way to escape the wrath of the master.

Those are just few examples among thousands of incidents, mutilated dead bodies of our martyrs and Baloch prisoners that I mentioned herein. Mir Sahib, nations never die. If it were so then Israeli nation would have not existed at all. Even after two thousand years of persecution they have their state. Although their suppressive treatment to the Palestinians is condemnable. General Dyer is not alive anymore but British prime minister calls the Jalyanwala Bagh mishap shameful. And your Bangladeshi history is a latest one.

Mir Sahib, lest the words of Zardari and Lord B. Fell and your silence would be deemed Machiavellian. Perhaps, our great grandchildren, while reading the bitter facts of history after a century would conclude that today’s enlightenment has not been against oppression but utilized to maintain oppression. Anyway, it has now become a chapter of history that the Pakistani intellectuals have advised the occupying army to control Makuran and Bolan in order to controlling Balochistan successfully.

Regards,
Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch
March 15, 2013

Translated by: Archen Baloch
Source: Daily Tawar

Balochistan: Pakistan’s Rulers Under Fire After Quetta Bombing

Conflict Watch12

Pakistan’s government, which is gearing up for elections expected within months, faced growing anger on Sunday for failing to deliver stability after a sectarian bombing in the city of Quetta killed 81 people.

Leaders have done little to contain hardline Sunni Muslim groups, which have stepped up their campaign of bombings and assassinations of minority Shias.

On Saturday, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), regarded as the most ruthless Sunni sectarian group, claimed responsibility for the attack in Quetta, which deepened suspicions among Shias that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were turning a blind eye to the bloodshed or even supporting extremists.

“The terrorist attack on the Hazara [an ethnic minority almost entirely belonging to the Shia sect of Islam] community in Quetta is a failure of the intelligence and security forces,” Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, governor of Baluchistan province, said while touring a hospital.

Leaders of the Hazara community called on the government to take decisive action, and Pakistanis warned that sectarian violence was spiralling out of control.

“The government is responsible for terrorist attacks and killings in the Hazara community because its security forces have not conducted operations against extremist groups,” said Aziz Hazara, vice-president of the Hazara Democratic party.

“We are giving the government 48 hours to arrest the culprits involved in the killing of our people and after that we will launch strong protests.”

The death toll from Saturday’s bombing rose overnight, with Hazaras making up most of the casualties in the main bazaar of the town, capital of Baluchistan near the border with Afghanistan. A senior security official said the figure could rise as 20 people were critically wounded.

On Sunday, people searched for survivors under blocks of cement torn off buildings by the blast. A large bloodstain could be seen on a wall near the site.

Many shops and bazaars were closed. Relatives of the wounded responded for an appeal for blood made by hospitals.

“The government knows exactly who is doing what and who is behind all this,” said Mohammad Imran, a local trader. “If the government wants [to prevent it], no one can take even a kitchen knife into any market.”

In the capital, Islamabad, about 400 people, including some Sunnis, staged a protest demanding the government to stamp out extremism.

“There is a law of the jungle, but in this country I think there is not even a law of the jungle,” said Syed Abbas Naqvi, a Shia.

“A person who is extremely helpless, vulnerable and powerless is always made the target of barbarity whereas all brutal people like the terrorists, Taliban and others who carry out these merciless acts … roam free all over the country.”

Protests were also held in other cities, including the commercial capital Karachi, and in Quetta.

Poverty, corruption and power cuts

Public anger has been growing over a host of other issues in the runup to elections, from widespread poverty to power cuts to corruption. But waves of major sectarian attacks have highlighted the government’s poor track record on security.

Critics say Pakistan’s intelligence agencies previously supported groups such as LeJ to fight against Indian forces in Kashmir and failed subsequently to control them.

Now Shias in Quetta and other cities say they are under siege. “We have grown tired of picking up the bodies of our loved ones,” said Nasir Ali, 45, a government employee. “I have lost three family members so far in such blasts.”

LeJ also said it was behind a bombing last month in Quetta that killed nearly 100 people, one of Pakistan’s worst sectarian attacks. After that incident, Shia leaders called on Pakistan’s military to take over security in Quetta and take on the LeJ.

Sectarian violence is piling pressure on the US-backed administration, which already faces a Taliban insurgency, to ensure stability.

“Unless we decide to unite, we will continue to get killed, said Malik Afzal, a Sunni student. “Today they [Shia] have died. Tomorrow we [Sunni Muslims] will die. The next day, others will get killed.”

Pakistani intelligence officials say extremist groups, led by LeJ, want to destabilise the nation through sectarian violence and pave the way for a Sunni theocracy.

More than 400 Shias were killed in Pakistan last year, many by hitmen or bombs. Some hardline Shia groups have struck back by killing Sunni clerics.

West Balochistan: Iran Accelerates Executions Of Baloch Prisoners

Conflict Watch10The Iranian fascist regime hanged yet another four Baloch in a prison in Zahedan, the capital city of Iranian occupied Balochistan, on Saturday.

The Human Rights Activist (HARANA) has named the four latest Baloch victims of the state’s barbarism as: Gulam Reki, Parviz Mirbalochzahi, Abdulah Barahoui and Mohammad shah Norzai. They were executed on 16 February 2013.

The report further said with elections approaching, the brutal regime of Iran has accelerated the murder of Baloch prisoners under-custody.

Just two weeks ago on Wednesday on 30th January 2013, five Baloch prisoners named: Nezar Shahbakhsh son of Allahdad, Abdullah Shahbakhsh son of Asad, Nematullah Shahbakhsh son of Wali Mohamad, Abdul Rahman Shahbakhsh son of Yousef and Saleh Nutizahi were executed in the city of Kerman.

It is pertinent to mention that the Iranian regime never provides any legal attorney to the political prisoners. Their fate is decided by the kangaroo court of Iranian mullahs out of public sight. The regime also often refuses to hand over the bodies of the executed persons to their families.

Balochistan: Iran To Establish Oil Refinery In Gwadar

Conflict Watch5

Islamabad and Tehran are set to sign a deal for the refinery, which will have a 400,000 barrels per day capacity, on March 11 [2013], the day two sides have announced they will begin the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project on their border.

Under the deal, Tehran will lay an oil pipeline from its territory to Gwadar to transport crude oil for processing. Visiting Iranian oil minister Rostam Ghasemi last month agreed in Islamabad to set up an oil complex with an oil refinery at the Gwadar Port in Balochistan. The proposed refinery in Gwadar is expected to give China an impetus to restart work on its Gwadar oil refinery after it was halted in 2009.  “If Pakistan and Iran succeed in completing the oil refinery and the pipeline, it may prompt China to revive its projects of establishing an oil refinery in Gwadar and laying an oil pipeline from Gwadar to western China to get oil supplies,” The Express Tribune reported an unnamed Pakistani official as saying. “The coastal oil refinery project may also create scores of employment opportunities for the local people.”

Iran’s plan to lay an oil pipeline and establish an oil refinery in Gwadar is likely to raise eyebrows in Washington, which is already opposed to the IP (Iran-Pakistan) gas pipeline. The addition of oil to the pipeline mix being planned by the authorities in Tehran and Islamabad comes at a time when the US is trying to block the Iran’s oil exports to the world and pressing Islamabad to abandon the IP project because of Tehran’s nuclear program. Gwadar is strategically located as a hub for South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia, and is likely to emerge as a free oil port serving as petro-chemical center for the region.  China last month took over operational control of Gwadar Port and agreed to put funding in place that will make it the biggest investor in the port city after simultaneously becoming the builder, financer and operator of the Arabian Sea port, which is located near the Strait of Hormuz, through which most of its oil imports transit. A major oil refinery could turn Gwadar into a transit terminal for Iranian and African crude oil imports.   The proposed oil complex project will be completed by Iran in a joint venture with Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the country’s oil marketing giant. The Gwadar refinery plan will replace those for UAE-assisted Khalifa refinery, a plan that has been in doldrums since 2007 and saw the UAE’s state-run International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) finally suspending the work on the project. A China-funded refinery project in Gwadar failed to make any headway due to financial constraints and concerns over the security situation in Balochistan.

The plan to lay an oil pipeline from Iran to Gwadar was discussed between Pakistan and Iran during the visit to Tehran of petroleum adviser Dr Asim Hussain in December 2012. Iran also offered 100,000 barrels per day of long-term crude supply to Pakistan on deferred payment.  China is expected to revive its earlier planned projects including establishment of an oil city in Gwadar. A petrochemical city and a major refinery along with petrochemical logistics and storage complexes were planned to be set up in the proposed Gwadar oil city.   Under a deal signed between Pakistan and the China in 2006, Great United Petroleum Holdings Company Limited (GUPC) of China agreed to conduct the feasibility study and preparation work for the petrochemical city project in Gwadar involving an initial investment of $12.5 billion. China had expressed interest in constructing an oil refinery in Gwadar with an output of refining 60,000 barrels crude oil per day, during former president Pervez Musharraf’s visit to China in February 2006. The refinery and the oil pipeline projects have been the part of the proposed Pakistan-China energy corridor.  An oil pipeline from Gwadar to western China will reduce the time and distance for oil transport from the Gulf to China and a major oil refinery at Gwadar would further facilitate China’s oil imports.  Pakistan could function as an energy corridor linking the oil fields of Iran, and possibly even Iraq, with the Chinese market by means of a pipeline that would cross the Himalayas above Kashmir. Gwadar has greater scope as a free oil port in the Asian region and it can serve as a future petroleum hub, meeting oil transshipment requirements – not only of different countries, but of China in particular.  Imports of crude oil from Iran through the proposed pipeline would allow energy-deficient Pakistan to meet its furnace oil requirements, which stand at nine million tons per year, and will also save on transportation costs. Pakistan will import 750 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) through the proposed IP gas pipeline. The country however faces pressure in securing sufficient funding for the project from foreign countries and financial entities due to the US sanctions imposed against Iran because of its nuclear ambitions.

“Iran is losing half of its oil revenues because of international sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear programme,” AFP quoted Iran Economy Minister Shamseddin Hosseini as saying.  Tehran however agreed to provide $500 million loan to the country for laying the pipeline in its territory after seeking assurance from Islamabad that it will not back out under US pressure and complete the project on time. Construction of the pipeline is estimated to cost Islamabad $1.5 billion.  Last month, the US State Department issued Islamabad a fresh warning on the IP pipeline project after Pakistan’s federal cabinet on January 30 [2013] gave its final approval for building a pipeline in its territory with financial and technical assistance from Iran.  “We’ve made clear to countries around the world, including Pakistan, that we believe that it’s in their interest to avoid activities that could be prohibited by UN sanctions or that could be sanctionable under US law,” APP (Associated Press of Pakistan) quoted Victoria Nuland, the State Department Spokesperson as saying in Washington on February 21 [2013] during a press briefing. “We understand that Pakistan has significant energy needs and requirements, but there are other long-term solutions to Pakistan’s energy needs that we would believe would have better potential for success and would better meet Pakistan’s needs than spending scarce resources on projects like this [IP pipeline].”  Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari visited Iran and vowed to build the IP pipeline despite the US pressure. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reportedly told Zardari that the pipeline project must go ahead despite US opposition.  “The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is an important example of Tehran-Islamabad cooperation, and despite hostilities towards the expansion of ties we must overcome this opposition decisively,” AFP reported Khamenei as saying to Zardari. “Accessing safe energy source is the first priority for any country including Pakistan. In this region, the Islamic republic is the only nation that has safe energy resources and we are ready to provide Pakistan its energy needs.”

Balochistan: US Congressman Rohrabacher Calls For Pakistani Officials To Be Tried For ‘War Crimes’

Dana UNPO BalochistanRepublican Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the subcommittee for Europe and Eurasia of the House of Representatives, said this at a conference entitled “Global and Regional Security Challenges in South Asia: What Future for Balochistan?” organized by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) at the Royal Society here [London]. Democrat Congressman Brian Higgins didn’t speak but he supported his fellow Congressman’s views and objectives of the conference. The senators were returning after leading a delegation to Uzbekistan and stopped in London especially for this conference which is likely to irritate Pakistan, as Dana Rohrabacher has repeatedly issued controversial statements about Pakistan. He used the conference, chaired by young Baloch leader Noordin Mengal, to state that Pakistan is not an ally of the US and of those who believe in peace and alleged that the country has worked against the interests of the US.  He demanded that Pakistan should be “tried for war crimes” against Baloch people and that a referendum should be held on the question of Balochistan. Dana Rohrabacher called for Pakistani officials to be “tried for war crimes”. The speakers included the Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Dawood, Marino Busdachin, UNPO General Secretary, Prof. Athar Hussain, London School of Economics, commentator Tarek Fatah, Burzine Waghmar, University of London, Anna Reitman, journalist, Nasser Boladai, Balochistan People’s Party, Iran, Abubakar Siddique, journalist, Prof. Joshua Castellino, Middlesex University, and Peter Tatchell, Spokesperson on human rights, Green Party, UK), Hammal Haider Baloch, and Qambar Baloch.

Marino Busdachin, General Secretary of UNPO, and Paulo Casaca, former MEP and Director of the South Asia Democratic Forum, denounced the alleged “kill and dump” policy in Balochistan. Speakers in different sessions addressed issues such as the inability of the state to protect its citizen and the way it has at times addressed tensions and rights situations particularly in Balochistan. They addressed the issue of Talibanization of Balochistan, the rise of Islamic radicalism in South Asia, security in the Iranian Balochistan, the key role energy and mining resources play in Balochistan, and the influence of Iran, Pakistan, India and China in the region. The Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Daud called for a “united Baloch front in the struggle against the horrors imposed on the Baloch people by Islamabad” and hoped that Baloch people will soon realize that unity was the only way forward. Noordin Mengal stated that that a sovereign state of Balochistan would not only benefit the Baloch people, but also the entire region. Mehran Baloch, Balochistan’s representative at the United Nations, said UNPO was doing a tremendous service to Baloch people by bringing together various key voices on the Balochistan crisis. He said the conference had been clear in calling for what action the international community should take to help the oppressed people of Balochistan. In reference to the recent handing over of Gwadar Port to China, he said outside interference in Balochistan was at its peak and it was meant at colonizing Balochistan’s natural resources.

The conference declaration stated that restoration of the rights of Baloch people was fundamental including their culture, values, languages, religions, economy, political and legal institutions, traditional knowledge system, way of life, land and resources; that the Baloch people have the right to restore their own state and determine its relations to other political communities, including States and international organizations. The declaration urged the Government of Pakistan to refrain from “the use of oppressive measures leading to human rights violations against the Baloch” and demanded that the perpetrators of human rights violations should be brought to justice. Speaking to The News, Melissa Apaza, a UNPO spokesperson said the UNPO believes that the current security situation in Pakistan requires the participation of all stakeholders in order to bring peace to the region of not only Balochistan but also to South Asia as a whole. She added: “One of our most active members is Balochistan, a region that is facing tremendous difficulties in particular regarding security issues. In fact, the democratic rights of Baloch people to assemble and to protest, as well as the increasing number of involuntary disappearances in the region are components of the Baloch struggle against the daily oppression they face.”