Tuesday, March 30, 2010

History of Psychological Warfare Against Baloch Resistance Movement

What is psychological warfare? It was Sun Tsu who originally said that the best kind of victory was one in which you never have to fight. This is very true, and a victory that only you know about will cost you and your opponent far less - it's simply tactical.

Psychological warfare (PSYWAR), or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations (PSYOP), have been known by many other names or terms, including Psy Ops, Political Warfare, “Hearts and Minds,” and even Propaganda. Various techniques are used, by any set of groups, and aimed to influence a target audience's value systems, belief systems, emotions, motives, reasoning, or behavior. It is used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the originator's objectives, and is sometimes combined with black operations or false flag tactics. Target audiences can be governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.

The U.S. Department of Defense defines psychological warfare as:

"The planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions, having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives."

During World War II the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff defined psychological warfare more broadly stating "Psychological warfare employs any weapon to influence the mind of the enemy. The weapons are psychological only in the effect they produce and not because of the weapons themselves."

Pakistan and Iran also used to undermine the Baloch Struggle for Self determination and liberation from the illegal occupation from both countries. The main aims and objectives of this article is to overview briefly the different sort of propaganda techniques used by the enemies of Balochs in order to undermine, break and crush the movement as well as gather more support against the movement from the third party.

Let us begin with the propaganda initiated by Iranian government and rulers of different time, which was a direct attack on Separate Baloch Identity and they insist that Baloch are Iranian people who speak a polluted accent of Persian language due to the resemblance of Balochi language with persian, this was well planned and intentional attempt to create doubts over the very existence of the Baloch Nation. Even the Iranian government today discourages the use of Balochi language in Iranian occupied Balochistan and they are extensively working on extinction of the Baloch Identity. Balochs in Iranian occupied Balochistan have so far resisted this psychological attack on their identity due many factors e.g. Language, Cultural, History, terrain and religion. About 99% Balochs practice “Sunni” sect of Islam whereas the Persians practice “Shia” sect of Islam. Hence this change in sect also created difference in believes as a result it created a sense of resistance towards the enemy propaganda and armed offenses. After the 1979 takeover of Iran by “Shia” hardliners, an attempt to force Baloch people embrace the Shia version of Islam got momentum and refusing to which results in trouble and possible execution. Hence organizations like Jondullah based on the mixture of religion and nationalism took birth who used religion for safeguarding the rights and concerns of Baloch Nation. Hence the propaganda that Baloch is not a separate nation badly failed with time and the rift between the Iranian occupiers and Oppressed Baloch people is increasing with each passing day.

Pakistan was successful in convincing the British Rulers of Indian Subcontinent and British Balochistan that the weak state of Balochistan under the Khanate cannot resist the flow of communism and can join the communist bloc under USSR hence it was the first propaganda warfare initiated by Pakistani authorities against the Baloch which resulted in the support of Great Britain for forceful annexation of Balochistan.

The Baloch resistance and war of liberation in Pakistan occupied Balochistan are always misinterpreted in Pakistani media and text books, just for instance the forced accession was termed as volunteer merger. The armed rebellion of Nawab Nowroz khan was termed as a struggle against one unit.

In 1970’s Balochistan was declared a Province and the first provincial government was formed in 1973 and hence the issues of settling the employees of federal government were issued by sending them back to where they belonged and this was decision taken at the time of declaring Balochistan a province, but Shah-e-Iran Raza Shah Pehlavi and Z.A Bhutto took opportunity of using this as a toll of propaganda against the Balochs and hence staged a drama to topple the NAP Government and consequently the weapons found in Iraqi embassy were linked with a planning of armed rebellion in Balochistan. In order to get support from international community and USA specifically Baloch freedom resistance fighters were portrayed as communist party workers financed by USSR. Whereas the case was entirely different and the Baloch struggle was completely genuine and no foreign support was provided by anyone in the world to Balochs. According to a retired Pakistani colonel who took part in the genocide of Baloch told Pakistani television in 2006 that when he was a young captain in army in 1975 “I was sent to Kohlu for Jihad against infidels who were suppose to be Marri Balochs, atheist in Believes and Manifesto of Communist revolution in Pakistan, but in contrary to that we heard “Azan”(the call for prayers) and found nearly all tribesmen offering prayers 5 times a day.” Hence the Pakistani soldiers were motivated to fight, commit genocide and rape of the name of Islam and jihad against the Balochs bycalling them communists and atheists.

Since 1998-99 the Pakistan’s army/intelligence machinery with the help and support of electronic and print media started a psychological warfare against the Baloch Resistance movement and tried to interpret it as a war waged by Baloch Sardars for the sake of royalty and share in resources, and for this purpose all state machinery hundreds of Punjabi/Muhajir writers and intellectuals were paid to write articles and reports in order to made a wrong impression of Baloch Struggle of Independent Balochistan. Hence the impression the Pakistani masses in general is that the Baloch Sardars are fighting in order to save their status and increase share in resources. Baloch Freedom struggle was also associated with Indian RAW and Israeli MOSSAD. This attempt was made in order to portray that the pure indigenous war of liberation By Baloch is Indian sponsored. Despite of spending billions of dollars on this psychological warfare the Baloch leadership and political activists proved the resistance movement a genuine and the Baloch cause was recognized on international forums as genuine.

Another aspect of psychological warfare is, “Do not let your enemy find friends”. Using this principle, Pakistan intelligence agents announced the formation of Government of Balochistan in Exile with the help of Israel and it’s headquarter in Jerusalem. The motive was to make the Muslim countries and OIC members believe that Israel is making attempts in destabilizing Pakistan by supporting the Baloch Nation. But after all prominent Baloch leaders denounced this fake organization the propaganda was failed.

As earlier discussed how the U.S. Department of Defense defines psychological warfare i.e.:
"The planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions, having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives."

Using this principle of psychological warfare the Pakistani and Iranian intelligence agents have intiated a series of attempts in frequent attempts of making division, influencing the opinions, emotions and attitudes of Baloch Nation by a planned psychological warfare, for this purpose Pakistan writers like Shireen Mazari, Ahmed Qureshi, Zaid Hamid etc are continuously writing articles, telecast tv shows and use internet blogs and websites, whereas their other agents are using the tribal differences among the Baloch tribe in order to ignite a civil war like situation in Balochistan among the Baloch Tribes as well as with the settled Afghans and Hazara Community (Originally refugees from Afghanistan).

It is the time for the Baloch Intellectuals to fail any such attempt of the enemy with better planning and careful implementation using every available media and technology and cornering the exposed and unexposed agents of enemy intelligence agencies.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wrong advisers trying to isolate Khan Suleman dawood Khan from Baloch Nation

Something fishy is going on intentionally or unintentionally

In 2006 a grand Baloch Jirga was organized in Qalat, after the murder of Nawab Akber Khan Bugti by Pakistani occupation forces. Claims were made that the purpose of this grand Jirga will be autonomy of Balochistan. The Sardars of different tribe who attended the event finally decided that instead of making the Punjabi master angry, the anger of Baloch Nation should be cooled down resulted due to the murder of Nawab Bugti. The pro Pakistan sardars have used Khan Suleman Dawood for this purpose to initiate their canning design against Baloch National struggle. We call the Jirga participant Sardars pro Pakistan because they are part of the government even today as they have always been. Thos who pushed Khan to call the Jirga and announced to go to the ICJ have today left Khan alone and are enjoying governorship and chief minister ship in the government.

Therefore, they made Kalat Mir Suleman Dawood to announce that he will file a case in International Court of Justice for the autonomy of Balochistan. But he failed to describe how a non state actor can file a case in ICJ as the mandate of ICJ does not allow non state actors file any case against a State; only a dispute between two states can be resolved in ICJ. We believe if Baloch decide to go to ICJ there should two things should be done first. (1) Baloch and the Khan IF went to the ICJ should hold the view that merger with Pakistan was a forced one that is why we ask the ICJ to null and void the agreement between Pakistan Balochistan. (Baloch people and the two Houses of Balochistan parliament had rejected the notion of joining Pakistan. Hence Khan even as the ruler of Balochistan had no mandate to sign a merger agreement). (2) Baloch and Khan as the heir of ruler of Balochistan must press on the UN to declare Balochistan as an occupied state. (Thus, the Baloch can go to ICJ and say that it a case between two states. One state “Pakistan” has occupied another free state “Balochistan”. The ICJ will be obliged to resolve this issue we think).

Here’s the sad part: Beside this first vague claim of ICJ, (we call it vague because we do not see it happening anytime soon) the Khan of Kalat started collecting donations in the name of the Case to be filed in ICJ, which is not possible in any way. Hence the Punjabi establishment and Intelligence agencies succeeded to control the emotions of Baloch Nation after the murder of Nawab Bugti by using Khan of Kalat with the help of their puppet sardars. After 4 years of the grand Jirga Baloch nation is still looking toward their defunct king for filing a case in ICJ and win their independence.

When Khan realised that the field is empty and his friends have left him alone. He decided to move to Dubai, after his tour of Gulf state of Bahrain and all he finally reached to the United Kingdom. He preferred to live in Cardiff. According to his own interviews he chose Cardiff because its mountains remind him of Balochistan, true love with country or an exaggeration? We can’t say! The De jure King of Balochistan or as one of the UK newspapers put “a King without a kingdom” chose to claim asylum and beg her majesty the Queen to for a safe sanctuary, because his life was in danger in Balochistan or because he couldn’t face the people as he lost their support and his credibility? We can’t say again!

During his stay abroad Khan instead of integrating with Baloch community in exile has limited himself to his house in Cardiff and entrusted only two people. Wahid Baloch and Tariq Subra! Wahid is responsible for collecting donations in the name of Balochistan and ICJ. He has opened an account with the name of BLF (Balochistan Legal Fund). Unfortunately! He is Extorting money from Baloch in Diaspora in an illegal way. The second men Tariq Subra is responsible for advising the Khan what to do and what not to do. Tariq instead of being a friend and supporter of Khan believe that he controls Khan. Some time it seems like Tariq has put a rope around Khan’s neck and pulls him every direction he pleases. Tariq Subra and Wahid’s intentions might good but we think they have this sense of being jealous “Lala mani leader che tae leader ha kam nahen” may leader is not less than your leader. They are ruining the Baloch cause by such childish approaches.

Tariq has totally isolated Khan from Baloch Community in the UK and elsewhere. Similarly Wahid has damaged Khan Reputation in America. Because of such wrong advisers and friend we think Khan is suffering from loneliness and frustration. Tariq keep on mentioning “Council for Independent Balochistan” in his post in Yahoo groups and conversations with people. Can he tell us who are the members of the Council apart from Tariq and Khan Suleman Dawood. Why this well planned Council has failed to achieve its objections of uniting the Baloch? We think it failed because of hasty advises of Tariq Subra and untimed decisions. Why we think that? According to media reports Negotiations were taking place between Suleman Khan and other Baloch leaders in exile and in Balochistan to form a Council or Forum that would unite the Baloch on some points or one programme. Tariq jumped in and advised the Khan that we cannot wait anymore “you should announce and say if anyone joins me fine if not I’ll go ahead with it on my own”. This decision of Tariq ruined the whole plan of some honest and serious activists who had worked hard (quietly) to bring Khan and Hiar biyar Marri closer or at least to establish a pleasant environment and contact between the two.

Searching through the speeches of the Khan we found that only few weeks before the announcement of the Council, roughly in July 2008 addressing a meeting in London the Khan had said that “I have been at the front but I have failed. Now I want to join the crowd and follow the young leadership”. The next month August 2008 Khan Suleman Dawood announced the formation of the Council without taking other stake holders in confidence. That unwise decision widens the gap between the Baloch leaders disappointed the honest activists and served Tariq’s purpose. After the announcing of the Council Tariq started spreading the news the Council has been formed and Khan is the head of it ......... so who is the tail? The Council till this day remains a two men party (Tariq and Khan) and BSO-NA remains a one man show (Wahid). What did Tariq and Wahid gain by isolating the Khan from rest of the Baloch Nation? Only they can answer.

As recently as 25 March of this year Khan has issued a surprising statement in which he said “Baloch should hold a silent protest on March 28th, against what he said forced annexation of Balochistan with Pakistan” Why on 28th?? when you already know that the entire Balochistan has announced a Balochistan wide protest on 27 March. What is the purpose of issuing such a statement which conflicts with the already announced program of Baloch masses? We believe it was again Tariq’s wrong advice but this advice ruined Khan’s credibility because nobody knows Tariq, not in Balochistan, not abroad. When Wahab Baloch the secretary general of BNF questioned the aim of protesting on a different day than rest of Balochistan, Tariq instead of accepting the mistake tried to justify the statement saying that “We don’t want more people to be arrested, if all people stay in homes, close their businesses, and transport this way we save the people being arrested and damage Pakistan’s economy” What a laughable justification! As if all the businesses and transport companies belong to Baloch and they will voluntarily stay indoors. Before advising Khan to give such a statement Triq should have used his senses – perhaps he lost his senses in Bangkok and need to go back to claim it.

Mr Tariq or Maulana Tariq you must be kidding. Ahamd Yar Khan with his silent protest sold the free state of Balochistan. Please don’t push Waja suleman Dawood to repeat the history.

Finally! after the “all hyped up but no substance” conference in Bangkok there are reports of organising of a “Balochistan National Conference” which will apparently be sponsored by the conmen (players) of 2006 Jirga and they are planning once again to use Khan Suleman Dawood for this purpose. The aim of this conference will be to demand maximum autonomy for Balochistan and to counter Balochistan Liberation struggle on International level. We hope genuine Baloch activists; leaders will unite and expose the state sponsored actors against Baloch National liberation struggle.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pakistan's broken mirror

Baloch children hold up nationalist posters. Photographs by Asim Hafeez for The National

Islamabad's brutal attempts to crush ethnic Baloch nationalism have met with fierce, escalating resistance - and have laid bare the strains that threaten the founding idea of Pakistan. Madiha R Tahir reports from the rallies, homes and hospital rooms of the fifth Baloch rebellion.

A child is fiddling with a poster of a mustachioed man, a missing political worker who may be his father or his uncle, and who is in all likelihood, dead. He draws my immediate attention, this child, because out of the thousands seated around him in row upon neat row inside the open-air tent, he is the only one not focused on the stage, the blazing lights, the young man holding forth in angry punctuated bellows.

“I am not a friend of Pakistan!” Zahid Baloch bangs the podium to emphasise his point, his countenance flushed, severe. “I am not a friend of the People’s Party!” He bangs the podium again, and the evening air swells with the ferocious stillness of his audience, tense and alert like a taut muscle.

Two days earlier, on January 15, the Pakistan army’s Frontier Corps had opened fire on a student protest in south-eastern Balochistan, killing two students and injuring four more – the latest casualties in an escalating war between the state of Pakistan and nationalists in Balochistan, the country’s largest and most sparsely populated province, where the fifth sustained rebellion against Islamabad since 1948 is seething.

A motorcyclist rides past graffiti in a Baloch neighbourhood in Karachi, Pakistan. A famous quote from Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, it reads: "Freedom needs patriots instead of voters"

Zahid is the secretary-general of the largest student movement in Balochistan, a fierce opponent of the central government and the more mainstream Baloch parties. At this twilight gathering in Lyari, home to a sizeable Baloch community, he delivers a verbal blow to the waffling nationalist parties. “The Baloch are the enemy of the National Party! The Baloch are the enemy of the BNP-Mengal!” The crowd has heard itself affirmed. Wild applause erupts, a release.

The next speaker is Abdul Wahab Baloch, the scruffy and soft-spoken, white-bearded head of the Baloch Rights Council. Midway through his talk, he switches abruptly from Balochi into Urdu. “Tonight, we have a foreign journalist among us who is here to report the Baloch cause, and we welcome her.”

I turn around to hunt for a foreign face, eager to find another female journalist – and find the crowd watching me. The realisation blooms. Oh. You mean me. Here in Karachi, the city of my birth, I am suddenly a foreigner. I wave nervously, unsure of how to respond. How many among the crowd will talk to me when they realise I am a Punjabi, the politically and numerically dominant group in Pakistan, and the eternal target of Baloch nationalist ire?

Karachi residents sit near a wall painted with the Balochistan Liberation Army flag and a poster of the assassinated nationalist and tribal leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti.

A caterwauling rises up from the semidarkness, and then a rallying cry. “Pakistan murdabad!” “Die Pakistan!”

Outside, my taxi driver has been waiting uncomfortably, ringing my phone every so often as darkness descends in a plea to hurry it up. An ethnic Pashtun, the two groups have an uneasy peace, and Lyari, a large ghetto with a million residents is nowhere to be after dark. As I get into the car, he asks, “Everything done?”


“Good.” He sounds relieved that I will not be directing him elsewhere. “Let’s get out of here.”

Nearly half of Pakistan’s land mass, Balochistan is a voluminous desert, a bone-dry expanse unfurling into sinuous cliffs set on a rilled desert floor. In the south along the Makran coast, weathered Baloch fishermen extract their livelihood from the coruscating waters of the Arabian Sea. Further inward, sheer bluffs give way to date palm groves and patches of green farm.


A portrait of Nawab Khair Baksh Marri adorns a wall in Karachi's Baloch district.

To the west and north, the province is bounded by Afghanistan and Iran, each of which has its own Baloch population; the Pashtuns who predominate in the northern part of the province also spill across international borders. The province’s location at this explosive geopolitical crossroads – as well as its vast mineral resources and valuable coastline – have focused the anxieties of international powers near and far, suggesting that a new Great Game may take Balochistan as its target. Tehran worries about what conflicts in Balochistan will mean for its own Sistan-Balochistan province, whose Baloch population has been brutally suppressed by the state. The Americans are concerned about the Taliban who have taken refuge in the province’s Pashtun belt and the leaders of the Afghan Taliban long believed to be operating out of Quetta. Washington is also concerned about China’s increasing involvement in the area, most visibly the deep-water port at Gwadar, built with Chinese investment and intended to provide an Indian Ocean foothold for Beijing.

But for the government of Pakistan – and particularly for its army – Balochistan is first and foremost the epicentre of a stubbornly secular Baloch national rebellion whose endurance poses a threat to the state’s ideological and geographical coherence.

Balochistan is a looking glass for Pakistan today, reflecting the tortuous struggle to imagine a national community. How the state handles the rising tide of Baloch nationalism will also determine the future of Pakistan’s nationalist project.

Posters of martyred Baloch leaders on display in a local electrical repair store.

So far the tidings are poor. Over the course of six decades Islamabad has failed to come to terms with Baloch nationalism; the province has almost always been under the effective control of the army or the intelligence services. During the 1970s and the 1980s, the threat of secular Baloch nationalism provided one rationale for the Islamicisation policies of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Zia ul Haq, who hoped that a resurgence of Islamist-nationalist sentiment would undermine the appeal of Baloch nationalism. Ironically, the government routinely attempts to discredit the Baloch separatists internationally by associating them with the Taliban. More recent reports have alleged that American funds intended for use against the Taliban have been diverted to the war on Balochistan’s secular militants.

Before its accession to Pakistan, parts of modern-day Balochistan were ruled by the British; other parts comprised the princely state of Kalat. As Pakistani nationalism crystallised around the idea of a homeland for a religious minority, Baloch nationalists stressed their ethnic identity as the basis for an independent state. They cast Pakistani nationalism, underwritten by religion, as a ruse for Punjabi dominance, but under pressure, the Khan of Kalat acceded in March 1948, triggering the “first rebellion”, which was quickly put down by the army. Two more rebellions rose up in the 1950s and 1960s, paving the way for the bloody confrontation that stretched from 1973 to 1977, pitting some 55,000 Baloch against more than 80,000 Pakistani troops. Hundreds of Pakistani soldiers and 5,000 Baloch died before the insurgency was finally suppressed. One of its initial leaders was the militant nationalist and sardar, Nawab Khair Baksh Marri.

When I go to meet Marri in his Karachi home, a man carrying the most enormous brown rooster swings the gate open and tells me to wait. As we head down the garden path, I hear more roosters crowing; Marri is well-known as a lover of cockfighting. A line of men sit in the neat garden, huddled in quiet conversation. Marri is seated in the veranda wearing an impeccable Baloch-styled peach salwaar kameez and Baloch cap listening attentively to a man with a bright turquoise ring and a peak cap. They’re speaking in Balochi flecked with English; the occasional word or phrase can be overheard: “ideology”, “human rights”, “NGOs”.

Marri was an apolitical youth, but he was radicalised by the army’s merciless campaign to put down the “second rebellion” in 1958; he emerged from several prison stints as a Marxist-Leninist and a hardline nationalist who rejected Baloch participation in parliamentary politics. “The rules are theirs, so you can’t win a match,” he tells me. In his telling, the very structure of the state is illegitimate: “We were Muslims already,” he says. “We were Baloch already. The British grouped all the conquered people together [into Pakistan]. That’s not a justification: grouping people together just for being Muslims.”

Marri has been linked to the ongoing armed struggle, and his Moscow-educated son, Mir Balaach Marri, was killed as he waged guerrilla warfare in 2007. His son’s death spurred Marri, usually reclusive, to argue more publicly for Baloch independence, but his manner remains deceptively soft, like a knife cloaked in silk. The Baloch, he says, can draw inspiration from the Vietnamese resistance to America: “Vietnam wasn’t an atomic power,” he concludes. “That’s why we have to do the same thing: Punjabi sons will die.”

Though the stakes today are higher than ever, most of the Baloch grievances are now decades-old. The province, whose gas reserves are among the largest in Asia, accounts for half of the country’s gas production, with the lion’s share forcibly exported to Punjab. Balochistan’s resources produce roughly a billion dollars annually for the central government; the Balochis receive pennies in return. The local population remains gut-wrenchingly poor, living in sparse shanty towns with little in the way of infrastructure outside of multiplying army encampments – only one reason why local discontent, especially among young Baloch, has found its outlet in increasingly militant Baloch separatism.

During the tenure of General Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in 1999, the army again took a leading role in the administration of the province, and the government proceeded apace with the construction of army garrisons and other mega-projects that the Baloch regarded as inimical or irrelevant to local interests, like the massive Chinese-funded port at Gwadar. These became targets for attacks by guerrilla groups like the Baloch Liberation Army.

The “fifth rebellion” began in earnest in 2004, and grew more intense after the rape of a Baloch doctor who worked at the province’s largest gasfields. After the army refused to allow the police to interrogate the suspects, one of whom was an army officer, massive protests erupted, led by the ageing nationalist and tribal leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti.

“Don’t push us,” Musharraf warned Baloch militants during an interview in January 2005. “It isn’t the 1970s when you can hit and run and hide in the mountains. This time, you won’t even know what hit you.”

Bugti, who once worked with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to oust more hard-line rivals from the provincial government, went underground to lead an insurgency with 5,000 of his tribesmen. Helicopter gunships pounded Bugti’s tribal areas, and on the morning of August 26 2006, the snow-bearded Bugti was killed while hiding in a cave in Kohlu. Islamabad hoped that this would be the final blow, but it gravely miscalculated. Rioters burst onto the streets, burning cars and smashing windows in the immediate aftermath. Shopkeepers went on strike. The central government deployed the paramilitary Rangers, arrested over 450 people and imposed an indefinite curfew, but the violence spread to Baloch neighbourhoods in Karachi where protesters rallied and burnt tires. The assassination was roundly condemned as a major political blunder. Bugti was, after all, a leader who had been open to dialogue with the state. His death provided yet another blood-soaked example to consolidate Baloch nationalism and awaken younger Baloch to the futility of dialogue.

I arrived in Quetta on a crisp January afternoon to join a throng of camera crews crowded on circular embankment to film a Balochistan National Party rally making its way down the city’s main artery.

A few thousand men – I saw no women either among the journalists or the protesters – marched purposefully, dressed in Baloch wear and light jackets, while policemen stood by, batons in hand. The BNP has traditionally participated in electoral politics, and its focus has been on greater autonomy for Balochistan and local control of natural resources; its willingness to work within the Pakistani system has brought the inevitable accusations of treachery and opportunism from more militant nationalist factions. But the intransigence of the central government seems to have alienated even the more moderate members of the BNP: when I scrambled off the concrete island to walk alongside four of the young protesters, they evinced little appetite for elections or compromises.

“They killed the Baloch! They’re trying to spread fear!” a young student named Tauqir Ahmed tells me loudly. A hopeful fuzz lines his upper lip. He keeps his eyes on the road as he talks, moving in quick strides. “They should know that we prefer to be killed than to put our heads down!” Ahmed is suffused with his own certainty, a self-conscious bravado animating his words. “They think they can just kill us. Now we’ll show them what a Baloch is!” And then as though he’s decided he must declare this to someone down the road tout de suite, his pace quickens. His friends, invigorated by their comrade’s words, and not to be outdone, bruise the air with their fists, swell expansively and shout: “Pakistan murdabad!” Other men and other boys roll past repeating the slogan, throwing it back to the crowd, holding it aloft in the air.

In the week preceding this march, targeted killings in Karachi neighbourhoods, including Lyari, have claimed the lives of 27 Baloch. Raids conducted by the police to “clean up” Lyari fanned the flames even further, leading to massive demonstrations by local Baloch. The neighbourhood had traditionally been a stronghold of the Bhutto family’s Pakistan People’s Party, but it has increasingly come under the sway of Baloch parties, who have been working hard since Bugti’s murder to inculcate ethnic nationalist sentiment – and thereby connect the Baloch scattered across the country into one force. That the murders in Karachi are being protested in Quetta is one sign that they have been successful.

Three days after this march, the Frontier Corps opened fire on students in Khuzdar – sparking the protest led by Zahid Baloch that I attended in Lyari.

When I spoke to the organiser of the Quetta protest, a BNP leader named Akhtar Hussein Langau – who held a seat in the Balochistan Assembly until he resigned after Bugti’s assassination in 2006 – he pointed to the army presence as a principal cause of the alienation young Baloch feel from the state of Pakistan. “We asked them to stop building the army cantonments and they wouldn’t,” he told me over tea shortly before the rally, “but they had no problem killing [Bugti].” Four army cantonments exist in Balochistan and Islamabad is planning several more. Most of these are not where the Taliban roam, but in Baloch lands that are resource-rich and seething with rebellion. Pakistan’s Air Force has six bases here; the Navy has three. And hundreds of checkpoints dot the province. “The ground reality,” asserts Langau, “is that all of Balochistan is a cantonment.”

In November, Islamabad offered to halt construction as part of a deal intended to tamp down the insurgency: touted as a historic concession, the offer outlined constitutional, administrative and political reforms for Balochistan, as well as an inquiry into Bugti’s killing, a promise for fair dividends, and the immediate release of missing political workers. The package was tabled in Parliament on November 24, but by the end of the day all the major Baloch parties had rejected it.

Islamabad’s approach is marred by inconsistency, partly because the civilian government has little to no control over the army establishment: while the state rolled out its proposed reforms, the army continued to disappear Baloch activists. Sangat Sana Baloch, a 28-year-old, was abducted only two weeks after the reform offer was announced. He had been active in the BSO as a student, and then joined the Baloch Republican Party, headed by a militant grandson of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. He was picked up while driving into Quetta. “They had blocked the road,” his father tells me with a face crumpling into sorrow. “They were waiting for him.”

The police have refused to register Sana’s case. “They’re scared and they don’t have the nerve,” his father says. In the absence of police reports, family members file constitutional petitions in the provincial high court asking a judge to take notice. Amnesty International documented at least 600 disappearances two years ago; Baloch activists now claim nearly 6,000.

“This government doesn’t want to admit that the Baloch are human,” says Chakar Qambrani, a BRP activist who was abducted in February 2008 and held for six months and 10 days. We sit on the carpeted floor of Qambrani’s living room, an electric heater glowing orange in a corner as he recounts his time in an underground cell and the savage beatings inflicted on him after his torturers had stripped him naked. “They would curse me and they would hit me with their hands, with leather straps and with sticks. Then they would start interrogating me about my party, who gives us money, why we go on strikes.”

Outside the Quetta Press Club, a group called Voice for Missing Baloch has set up a protest camp to call attention to the disappearances; a banner with bold red lettering hangs over the entrance: “UN Should Take Notice Against Illegal Abduction of Baloch Missing Persons By Intelligence Agencies.” Oversized photographs of disappeared men line the walls of the cloth tent, which was pitched by families of the missing men in late December; dozens gather here every day to hold vigil. “They claim we have courts, but the point is, we have no rule of law,” the group’s chairman, Nasrullah Baloch, tells me outside the tent. “If the agencies really think that these people have done something, then try them in court. Otherwise, what’s the point of having courts?” He adds laconically, “Just end them.”

In Tump, on the border with Iran south of Quetta, I meet Banok Karima Baloch, a 26-year-old student activist who has faced several cases in the antiterrorism courts; she was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in absentia last year. “They claim that people are free, but that’s not true… Even students who speak against them have had cases registered in the antiterrorism court.”

Karima is light-eyed and apricot cheeked, a member of the BSO central committee and the daughter of a solidly middle-class doctor. When the court demanded that she present herself, she refused. “The agencies disappear thousands,” she says, “and even if they present them in court, [the court] never bothers to ask what happened.”

Karima has suspended her studies to focus on activism. She explains that women have been compelled to take on a public role because their husbands and brothers have been abducted, but admits that she likes her work. I ask what will happen once the nationalist struggle is over. Will the women return home? Will she? “In Baloch tradition, women are respected,” she counters, hedging. “We get educated as much as the men.”

On the subject of tactics, however, she pulls no punches. “The ones who talk about autonomy and rights,” she says, referring to the mainstream nationalist parties, “have a different vision and different goal from those of us who want freedom.” For her, resistance is the only possible step. She notes succinctly, “You can’t get freedom through talk.”


Islamabad’s feckless, incoherent policies have amplified a strident Baloch nationalism, and even the most pliable Baloch nationalist parties are feeling pressure from young activists. These nationalists have lost faith in Pakistani overtures; the hardliners among them now view any effort at reconciliation as a ploy to muffle and then quash this resurgent Baloch nationalism.

For the next generation, the only significant question is how soon Balochistan will become independent – which they now regard as the only way to preserve a distinct Baloch identity. To protect this “imagined community”, militant nationalists are willing to kill and to die. As a young, wiry activist, Abdul Qayyum Baloch, put it to me in a callow remark: “It’s just as well when they disappear and shoot people. It needs to happen, so more Baloch recognise the true nature of Pakistan.”

A day after the murder of the students in Khuzdar, the BLA launched its retaliation, killing three Punjabis in Balochistan. Rather than religion, which draws the lion’s share of attention when analysts contemplate Pakistan’s coherence, these increasingly strident ethnic divisions pose the greatest problem for the government – which cannot seem to evoke a sense of Pakistani nationhood broad enough to encompass them.

“What is Pakistan?” Qayyum asked me. “I understand Sindhis, Baloch, but Pakistani?” The question of Balochistan, it seems, is really a question about Pakistan itself.

The pressures of the American war, and its overriding obsession with the Taliban, seem likely to direct Pakistan only toward unsavory answers to those questions. The billions of dollars sent to Pakistan’s army by the United States have reinforced what may be the nation’s most long-lasting problem: the dominance of a military establishment that knows no language but force, and pursues the cause of Pakistani nationalism by bludgeoning and disappearing its own citizens. Ironically, the abuses of the US-funded army – which heighten ethnic discontent and delegitimize a broad and secular Pakistani nationalism – are the thing most likely to bring the Islamists that Washington fears so to power.

When I returned to Karachi, I visited Liaquat Kurd, who had been shot by the Frontier Corps in Khuzdar, and was now recuperating in a hospital bed – a film of sweat on his round face, instruments monitoring his heart rate as blood mixed with a yellowish liquid soaked through the bandaged stump of his left leg. “When they told me they had to amputate, I said just give me poison,” he recalls.

After Kurd was shot, the FC continued its rampage. Kurd’s friends dumped him in a graveyard promising they would return. Strangers found him an hour later and took him to the local hospital, which was ill-equipped to handle his wounds. By the time Kurd arrived, by road, in Karachi, too much time had lapsed: the nerves in his leg were destroyed. I asked him whether he would continue with his activism. “When you close all paths,” he said, “the youth will either leave politics or pick up a gun. Those are the only two options.”

Later I went to meet Jamil Bugti, the son of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, at his home in Karachi. I asked him who were the heirs to the towering political figures who led the Baloch nationalist movement in its earlier days. “The next generation is all in the mountains,” he replied, “And they’re not willing to talk to anyone. People like me, and others, like the different nationalist parties that are in Parliament, they don’t have any role to play. They look very good on TV. That’s about it.”

Madiha R Tahir is a freelance journalist reporting on international conflicts and currently based in Pakistan.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Who Really Dr Wahid Baloch is?

Dr Wahid Baloch is the President and the only member of Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA). We say only member because he has no support of Baloch people living in America and anywhere else, also nobody heard of him in Balochistan. A great and well respected Native American well-wisher of the Baloch people once said that Wahid seems to have lost his way and he’s running a one man show. In addition he runs a website with the name of BSO-NA.ORG. Initially he seemed to be Baloch intellectual working in northern America to highlight the issues of Baloch, but with the passage of time one could find that his goals and objectives were entirely different, all he wanted to achieve was self projection, and chance to earn something using the name of Balochistan and Baloch cause. Having a thorough look at his website one can easily conclude that his aim is to divide Baloch leadership and to make Baloch tribes fight against each other. Recently he started to post stories of Baloch missing person. We believe it is not because Wahid has any sympathy for them but he wants to collect funds in the name of missing Baloch persons.

One can also find him collecting donations of the name of Balochistan, one such case was the collection of Donations in the name of Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch, whereas in reality all money he collected went to his own pocket. Similarly he tried to collected money on the name of Balochvoice TV and nowadays for filing a case in International Court of Justice under the name of BLF or Baloch Legal Fund. Many Baloch complain that he collected money in name of flood victims in Balochistan but never send a single penny to the victims.

As it can be seen in this above image of Wahid he is wearing a badge of BSO (Baloch Students Organisation) and he also uses the logo of BSO on is website. We believe this is one of the cheapest acts.

Dr Wahid’s activities are quite suspicious as all his efforts seem to be benefiting the enemies of Baloch rather than the Baloch themselves, for instance creation of Government of Balochistan in Exile, he used his screen name as Azad Baloch and introduced himself the chairperson of the Government and Mir Suleman Dawood as the King of Balochistan, but he failed to mention a phone number from Israel rather he gave a number from USA, which made him exposed to BBC Urdu service and others who knew both, that’s why he was forced to finish the baseless drama and his dream of being the chairmen the self created government in Exile as the GOB Exile went in vain.

After getting failed he started the efforts of defaming the genuine Baloch leadership and started abusing Shaheed Balach Marri, Shaheed Ghulam Muhammad Baloch, and Bramdagh Bugti, using the screen name “A Baloch”, but as his stories couldn’t got fame among the readers and he got banned from all other yahoo group mailing lists except http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bso-na and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/baochunity.

Another personalities which we suspect are associated with Dr Wahid is two Indians apparently journalists named Nagesh and Sushant Sareen. About Nagesh and Dr Wahid some people revealed that the relationship among them is quite personal and both were usually seen together in night clubs and private parties. Nagesh used to be associated with South Asian Analyst Group (SAAG.Org) and he managed to post an interview of Dr Wahid over it, which was blessing for an attention seeker person like Dr Wahid. After this interview Dr Wahid started considering himself very famous and popular among the Balochs, but he forget the fact that less than 1% of Baloch people had access to internet and among those 1 %Majority doesn’t know Dr Wahid even today. But Dr wahid and Nagesh made a fake web poll and the results they compiled showed Dr Wahid the most popular Baloch Leader even more Popular then Mir Suleman dawood the current Khan of Kalat, Bramdagh Bugti and Shaheed Balach Marri and other top leaders of Balochistan. The main reason he is seeking attention is the deep rooted inferiority complex he had developed since his childhood for being the ignored child of maid in the house of Bizenjo’s. He might have experienced humiliation and insults by the children of his masters and this created the inferiority complex deep rooted in his personality.

Now-a-days Dr Wahid and company are again in action in abusing and bashing the Baloch National liberation leadership and Mir Suleman Dawood as a cover for their activities. In private e-mailed and conversation Wahid insists that Suleman is useless and that he would call him HHKK on public forums just to use him. This time the objective of Dr Wahid and Company is to deepen the rifts between the Marri Tribe and specifically between the families of Nawab Khair Baksh Marri and Mir Hazar Khan Marri. For this purpose he had started a blog with the name Sardarwatch and portraying as if the posts are from Dr Jumma Marri (son of an Ex Guerilla Commander Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, who is considered an opponent of Nawab Marri and currently aids to Pakistani army against Baloch Sarmchars during their operation in Kohlu and Derabugti). According to sources Dr Wahid wants to ignite an armed conflict between the tribesmen supporting Mir Hazar and those supporting Nawab Marri, and therefore he is trying to portray all his abusive posts to be originated by Dr Jumma. We do suspect Juma Marri but we strongly hope our suspicion is wrong.

Apart from the above shameless activities Wahid keep on spamming Yahoo groups and sends e-mails to all members of yahoo groups whose e-mails he has apparently saved from yahoo Baloch groups. He uses nick names like Ghulam Ali Baloch, Baloch Khan, NP Balochistan and various other names.

All his activities of creating a Website, an Organization with the only member being himself, abusing and insulting the Baloch Leadership is aimed in getting more attention. If he gets ignored again, and no importance is given to him, he will get silent again.

It’s the time for all Balochs to recognize this hidden enemy of Baloch Nation and leave him isolated, if possible treat him with a good Psychiatrist. We also hope that if Nagesh Bhushan and Sushan Sareen are sincere friends and sympathizers of Baloch they will stop backing psychos like Wahid.

Friday, March 19, 2010

ISI Led Cyber war against Baloch Freedom Struggle

It’s an old Saying “Truth is the first victim of War”. And this is what, is the basis of enemy propaganda against Baloch Liberation Movement on print and Electronic Media. This article is meant to highlight the main attempts to defame Baloch struggle over internet in past few years. After the strict censorship and onslaught imposed on local electronic and print media by government of Pakistan, The Baloch National liberation movement was introduced through the medium of internet, fresh photographs and videos of the army operation over Balochs, the incident of 17th March 2005, human rights violation, torture videos and other crimes against humanity committed by Punjabi/Irani army against the Baloch Nation were exposed by some of the genuine Baloch Nationalist Websites like thebaluch.org Gwank.org, Balochvoice.com, Radiobalochi.org, BalochWarna.org etc. Some of these websites became so much famous that Pakistani agencies tried to hack them or attack the server and as a result many good websites were permanently closed whereas others were banned in Pakistan and PTA blocked them. But these websites didn’t stopped working and kept on exposing the dirty face of Punjabi and Irani occupiers, which resulted in a new strategy of deception and propagation of false information about Baloch Struggle started Lets us point out different attempts one by one:..

Creation of Fake Baloch Nationalist Websites:

In order to propagate false and deceiving information about Baloch struggle, many fake Baloch nationalist websites were created by ISI Paid Agents and technicians, the main aim of these websites was to slow poison the brains of young Balochs who are immature and cannot differentiate between the genuine websites and the ISI paid agents websites. These websites were primarily aimed to defame the Baloch leadership and create misunderstandings against them. The two most prominent ISI led websites are BSO-NA.ORG and Balochunity.org. The apparent owners of both of these websites are not computer literate and belong to families well known association with ISI/MI and Punjabi establishment.

The core objective of these websites was to defame and create misunderstanding among the Baloch resistance leadership, one such attempt was creating difference between Shaheed Balach Marri and Bramdagh Khan Bugti after the Martyrdom of Nawab Akber Khan Bugti Shaheed. Dr Wahid of BSO-NA.org tried to portray this incident as revenge by Marri tribesmen against the Bugti Chief in reference to his role in 1970’s army operation (Similar comments were produced by the spokesmen of ISPR of Pakistan army after the incident). Dr Wahid forgot that Shaheed Balach Marri and Bramdagh Bugti are like brothers to each other and the comments of Dr Wahid seemed childish to everyone.

Similarly Dr Jumma Khan son of Hazar Khan, owns a website named as balochunity.org, which I solely created to spread misinformation against Nawab Khairbakash Marri and his sons, and also create a bad image of Baloch National Liberation Movement.

Defaming the Baloch National liberation Movement

There were several different attempt were made by ISI and their agent to defame Baloch National Resistance movement by creating different blogs and website for spreading misinformation regarding the movement. Oen such story was the Tale of Two ex-KGB spies Sasha and Masha. The website which was supposedly a central asian megazine’s official website was registered by a firm situated on Shahrah-e-Faisal Karachi and a person named Afzal Khan registered it. The same story was propogated in many other megazines famous among ISI trained Alqida and Thaliban Members, in order to portray Baloch National resistance movement as a proxy of Indian Hindus. So that the Jihadies, could be mobilized against the Baloch Freedom Fighters.

After this attempt was failed by some Baloch intellectuals by exposing the real origin of the website, the Pakistani agents adopted a new strategy and creation of Fake Organization with the name of Government of Balochistan in Exile was announced and a blog was made demonstrating it to be the official website of GOB (Exile). The main objective of this drama was to make other Islamic nations/countries angry against Balochs and also create misunderstanding among the religious minded Balochs about the Baloch national liberation Movement. The chairperson of this organization called himself Azad Baloch and claimed to be a Jewish Baloch residing in Israel, but he forget to change his phone number and country code which was from USA, and hence the person behind this drama was exposed and his name was Dr Wahid who is also running another such website http://www.bso-na.org/.

The same group of ISI paid agents including Dr Jumma and Dr Wahid created many other blogs and ran many other campaigns in order to defame the Baloch resistance movement. We find an Indian with the name of Nagesh a close friend of Dr Wahid aiding them in this dirty game. It was Nagesh who published the interview of Dr Wahid on many blogs and websites to portray him as a potential Baloch leader, one such attempt was the hilarious web poll created by a website apparently owned by Dr Wahid, in which Dr Wahid was shown the most popular leader contrary to the fact that Nagesh is the only person who is in deep love with Dr Wahid.

Misinformation Campaign over Mailing list and Yahoo Groups:

Recently one can see a massive flow of abusive and mis-informative posts against Baloch leadership like Dr Allah Nazar, Bramdagh Bugti, Hairbiar Marri and Ghulam Muhammad Baloch. These posts are usually originated from yahoo groups mailing lists controlled by Dr Jumma and Dr Wahid. These post include misleading information regarding the chain of events in order to demoralize the youth from the national movement and to create misunderstanding against the genuine leadership. One such topic which is written by Dr Jumma is also copy pasted and repeatedly posted on these groups is the return of Marri Tribes after the long exile in Afghanistan, the point which is highlight in this post is the return of Nawab Marri in an Army C-130 Plane. But the writer completely neglects the fact that his father Mir Hazar Khan is taking salary from Punjabies for protecting the Pathan Coal miners in Chamalang Area of Balochistan. He also fails to justify his own position of owning properties in Russia, when everyone knows that his father didn’t had this much money in past.

How to counter such propaganda?

This is a question which every true Baloch should ask and every true Baloch should act to fail the attempts of the enemy to defame and mislead the youth.

I am leaving this question Blank for the Baloch Youth to answer and act: