Baloch Nation under the leadership of Sardar Chakar Khan Rind succeeded to secure a homeland for themselves, but unfortunate as they were always the Rind-Lashar confederation couldn’t succeeded in making a strong state, and ultimately Sardar Chakar Rind and Sardar Gohram Lashari Fought a 40 year war which not only weakened their power but also gave a chance to the neighboring State of Qandhar to intervene and destroy the Lashari Tribe, Hence that war placed the first milestone of foreign influence in the affairs of Balochistan.
After the Rind-Lashar led Baloch Confederation the Khanate of Kalat was formed, and till Khan Naseer khan’s era the Baloch State was under the influence of Afghan rulers, and the Khans of Kalat acquired allegiance to the afghan kings to remain in power. Khan Naseer khan was the first Baloch ruler who organized the Baloch state in the true definition of a state, by organizing an army; make state institutions and implementing taxation of administrative units for managing the state of affairs. Khan Naseer khan was the first man who not only united the whole Baloch land and named it Balochistan, that area is now referred as Greater Balochistan by many. Khan Naseer khan also freed Balochistan from all foreign influences and made treaties with neighboring Afghanistan as a sovereign state and the Aghan king Ahmed Shah Durrani also accepted the Sovereign status of Balochistan. The Khate kept Balochistan free from foreign influence till the era of Khan Mehrab Khan, who embraced martyrdom while defending his country against the British colonialism, Mehrab Khan’s army was defeated he was murdered, and his state was occupied, and later on divided into different parts, British Balochistan or the leased land, the Durand line torn apart the Baloch Mainland and a portion was given to Afghanistan, another line was drawn on the western boundaries and nearly 40 percent of Balochistan was gifted to Persian in order to appease the Persian Empire. Unfortunately the heirs of Khan Naseer Khan and Khan Mehrab Khan were not competent enough to defend their motherland and merely acted as puppets of Britishers. Even the last ruler of Kalat state khan Ahmed yar khan worked as an officer in British army and he was in charge of an operation against freedom fighters fighting the British colonialism, where he showed his skills and killed the guerilla commander Mir Ali Dost Mengal and Ghazi Muhammad Murad in the deserts of Noshki.
During the British Era the Baloch Lord Sandeman formulated his forward policy and made changes in the already practiced Baloch customs of selecting a sardar, he also made tribalism stronger. The same Sandeman system of tribal Sardars is under practice till today and until recently the Sardars of British Balochistan used to receive monthly/annual stipend from government.
In 1939, World War II broke up which weakened the very foundations of British Imperialism and therefore the Brits had to free the colonies under their occupation, Baloch too declared independent on 12th of August 1947, but the foreign influences worked and just after 8 months of sovereignty the Kalat state surrendered to Pakistan after the governor General of Pakistan ordered his armies to invade Balochistan and so Balochistan came under complete slavery of Pakistan on 27th March 1948. The Baloch Tribes started numerous resistance movements since then but nearly all of them were crushed. There were numerous reasons behind that; we will discuss them one by one.
The Baluch nation is comprised of numerous tribes and each tribe had its own strong sense of individualism and the lack tolerance for the other tribes. The Baloch tribes usually have enmities and are busy for decades in tribal conflicts. Whenever there was a resistance movement in Balochistan in past the 60 years they were assumed more like tribal resistances than national resistance, for example, Nawab Nouroz Khan who led the second resistance movement and went to hills. He had people mostly from his own tribe of Zarakzai and Zehri’s. He was betrayed by the Pakistanis in the name of holy Quran and arrested and his sons and comrades were executed whereas he could not have been hanged due to old age and later died in a Pakistani Jail in Kohlu. Later Sher Muhammad Marri continued the resistance movement which again was assumed a Marri resistance rather than a national resistance. In 1968-69, and in 1973 Marri - Mengal Resistance movement began. The rest of Baloch Tribes kept themselves isolated from the war, hence letting Marri and Mengal suffer alone.
The biggest menace of tribalism is that the Sardars (the tribal chieftains) are the sole decision makers of the peoples’ will and hence the decision of fighting the Government or siding with the government depends on the sardars and his tribesmen are supposedly bound to abide him. As explained earlier the Zehri tribe was active when Nawab Nauroz Khan led resistance movement but they (The Zehris) are completely silent on the current National liberation struggle. Similarly Mengal Sardar who was part of the resistance movement in 1973-77, has kept himself on neutral position and as has his tribe. It’s widely believed that the Bugti tribe was against the Marri - Mengal armed resistance during the 70s because their Nawab/Sardar was against it that time. However, today the Bugti tribe is on the front line because of the involvement of their Sardar Shaheed Akbar Khan Bugti in National struggle for independence.
Whether it the tribalism and the sardars that has kept the Baloch divided or not, the enemies of the Baluch are certainly using the tribalism and Sardars as a tool to keep Baluch divided.
Failure in Nation Building
Baloch leaders and political parties which claim to be nationalists never tried seriously in nation building, rather than self - promoted tribalism. Another words they remained like a confused monkey jumping between two the ends of considering Pakistan their nation on hand and Baloch on another. The Baloch by their natural psyche are nomadic people and individualism is one of the characteristics of the nomads. Therefore Baloch as an individual tries to promote himself as superior to his other fellows and in collective his tribe to other fellow tribes. Such a mindset of the people always resulted in armed conflicts and hence divided the Baloch nation in to smaller units of tribes and stopped the process of decision making in general.
Failure to form a single political Platform
Despite of the consensus of every Baloch leader on the issue of formation of a single Baloch Party, no such political party or platform could ever be formed. Even similar minded parties could never joined hands for the purpose of unity. The active Baloch political parties are divided into three groups. One group is seeking for independence. Second involved with Pakistani parliamentarian politics and believe in provincial autonomy and rights within the Pakistani federation and the third group is sailing in two boats they want to keep both Baloch and Pakistan happy, thus it could be said hypocrisy is a part of their manifesto.
BNM (Baloch National Movement), BRP (Baloch Republican Party), BWP (Baloch Women Panel) BWM (Baloch Watan Movement) have united under the one name “BNF” Baloch National Front. The BNF is supportive to Baloch resistance movement and anti parliament, But each of these parties still have their own separate flag and separate constituency and party principles. I wonder whether it is necessary to have different flags while they are struggling for a common goal.
Than we have National Party, Balochistan National Party and Jamoori Watan Party who advocate parliamentary politics and demand for provincial autonomy and are further more divided like National Party has two fractions i.e. NP and NP (Parliamentarians), BNP is divided into two fractions BNP (Mengal) and BNP (Awami), JWP is also Divided into JWP (Talal) and JWP (Mir Aali). All these parties have divided the Baloch Masses into so many fractions, each one having its on constituency and none of them can ever claim to be the party having majority or street power in all over Balochistan.
Baloch student organizations are also suffering from similar situations as the political parties. BSO (azaad) and BRSO are apparently supporting the Baloch national struggle for independence hence it would not be wrong to say that their aims and objectives are same as the aims of BNF whereas; BSO (Mohiudeen) and (BSO pajjar) support the ideology of BNP (M) and NP respectively. Thus can be said they are more pro-parliament than pro-independence. BSO (azaad) however doesn’t associates itself with any political parties.
Then we have the militant organizations widely known as “Sarmachaars” in Balochistan. These organizations are purely struggling for the freedom Baloch Nation. They are struggling against the illegal division and forced annexation of Baloch land by Iran and Pakistan. Media reports suggest that currently there are the following militant Organizations; Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Republican Army (BRA), Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), Balochistan National Army (BNA), Lashkar-e-Balochistan, Baloch Liberation united Front (BLUF), Balochwarna Tanzeem (One should not associate it with the Website BalochWarna at all). Although these freedom fighting organizations are more united then the political parties but somehow I think they are not as united as they should have been.
Foreign influences and Intelligence agency’s roles
The Baloch were never lucky enough or competent enough to get international support for their struggle against the Pakistani and Iranian occupation of their motherland. Despite of the fact that they live in a region which is geographically and strategically very important and is the focus of the international community including the soviets, the Americans, the British everyone is trying to make her strong influence in the region. Unfortunately so far Baloch leadership has failed to present themselves as potential partners of the international gamers. Hence they have not been successful to convince the international super powers and law-makers in order to win their support for the Baloch National Liberation struggle. That is why so far every super power acted against the interests of the Baloch.
In 1948 when Prince Abdul Karim Khan, younger brother of the Khan of Kalat Ahmedyar Khan rebelled against the Pakistani occupation of Balochistan and took refuge in Afghanistan, the Afghanis despite of being against the creation of Pakistan didn’t supported Prince Karim Khan and forced him to leave the Afghan territory and hence the first uprising against the Pakistani occupation failed. The nasty role of intelligence agencies of Pakistan, Iran, CIA, MI6 etc always acted to sabotage of Baloch National struggle for independence, as well as the direct involvement of the foreign forces in crushing the Baloch Freedom fighters. Some of such examples are the CIA and US Special Forces against the Baloch Freedom fighters, such an example could be the involvement of American forces in killing of Shaheed Dadshah, a Baloch Freedom fighter in Iranian occupied Balochistan during the era of Shah-e-Iran Reza Shah Pahlavi.
The co-operation of Shah-e-Iran Raza Shah Pahlavi with Z.A Bhutto to crush the Baloch Uprising in 1973-77, when the Shah of Iran provided Pakistan with cobra helicopters, Iranian pilots and $700 million dollar in cash. The current Shia Regieme of Ahamdinejad which is providing logistic support to the Punjabi Pakistan once again to crush the Baloch freedom struggle. In a recent operation in Makuran division some 18 gunship helicopters of Iranian army took part in an operation. Sources said that the operation was to kill or capture Dr Allah Nazar Baloch a Baloch independent supporter and a victim of Pakistani military’s inhuman torture. Another example was the arrest of Hyrbiar Marri and Faiz Baloch in London by the British authorities on Pakistani Dictator General Musharaf’s Request. It is widely known and reported by the media sources the case against Mr Marri and Baluch was hatched in Pakistan. Some media reports even suggest that Pakistani intelligence agencies have tried to blackmail the British intelligence agencies in the name of war on terror. According to reports the Pakistanis refused to co-operate in the so called war on terror in Afghanistan if the British government would not arrested and extradite the Baluch activists living in the UK.
The intelligence agencies of Pakistan and Iran are also very much active in ruthlessly killing the Baloch leadership and political activists. The brutal murder of BNM Chairman Shaheed Ghulam Muhammad Baloch, Lala Munir and Sher Muhammad Baloch is one recent examples of such brutal murders, similarly we can find such examples of state sponsored murders in the past such as murder of Shaheed Fida Ahmed Baloch, Aslam Gichki, Asadullah Mengal thousands of named and unnamed Baloch youth in both Iranian and Pakistani occupied Balochistan who had fallen prey of the Iranian and Pakistani military and intelligences’ joint operations.
The situation of the Baluch people living under Iran’s occupation is even worse where anyone with Baloch Origin is rounded up by security forces and within 5 days of his/her arrest they will be executed in public. Iranian revolutionary guards who themselves are the biggest promoters of the drug mafia in the region always label the Baluch as drug smugglers. Baluch are being killed in Iran because of their sunny faith and their national identity as Baloch. Unfortunately the Baluch in Iranian occupied Baluchistan are not politically very active; I think the reason for this is that they lack political leadership who can mobilize them. However there are small groups and parties of western Baluchistan who are trying to raise their voice against the Iranian regimes atrocities on international level. However they are no such organization inside western Baluchistan to counter or resist the brutalities of the Iranian regime.
Another act of sabotage and weakening the Baloch nation is the initiating of tribal internal conflicts among the Baloch tribes. These mini tribal conflicts sometimes change into tribal wars and claim hundreds of innocent lives. Such conflicts are aim to weaken the power of these tribes by making them busy in infightings against each other rather than focusing the national independent struggle.
Musharraf too like his predecessors has continued the divide and rule policy. As soon as he came into power through an illegal military coup, he rapidly planned the division of the Baluch nation. It was his early days when Balochistan high court judge Mr. Justice Mohammad Nawaz Marri was killed apparently by the Pakistani intelligence agencies. An FIR was lodged against Sardar Khair Baksh Marri and his sons, more than 250 Marri Baluch and other Baluch were also arrested in the same murder case of Nawaz Marri. This has further divide the already divided Marri tribe. Differences between pro-independent Sardar Marri and ex-guerilla commander Mir Hazar Khan Marri first occurred during their stay in Afghanistan.
Divide and Rule
Divide and rule policy which the Pakistanis have learnt from their masters the Britishers, have always been an important tools to keep the Baluch disunited hence to keep the Baluch liberation struggle weak. Nowadays the Pakistani agencies have adopted the same divide and rule policy in Balochistan. The Pakistani intelligence agencies are not only making Baloch fight with Baluch are trying to create rifts between the Baloch and the Pathans and the Baloch the Hazaras. These are all tools of divide and rule policy so that the Baloch youth and Freedom Fighters will be busy fighting the war within, thus cannot focus on the national liberation struggle.
Moreover under the current PPP government the process of divide and rule has been accelerated, by the state agents, e.g. the appointment of Mir Aali as the new Sardar of the Bugti Tribe under the supervision of FC and SSG, the target killing of Baloch intellectuals using the name of fake organizations like the attempted murder of Jan Muhammad Dasthi by the so called Baloch Ghareeb Nawaz Tehreek, the target killing of Hazara community (Refugees systematically settled in Quetta After Soviet Afghan War) and finally target killing of the Pashtoons, is all a bid to make a civil war situation in Balochistan and engage the Baloch Freedom Fighters in a War with no end. Intelligence agencies of Pakistan are playing the dirty war and Baloch and other nationalities in Balochistan need to be vigilant and should not let the dirty war of ISI succeed in Balochistan.
In order to achieve their goals first thing the Baloch leaders have to do is to learn tolerance for the opposite Baloch leaders. Neglect the egoism and finish the differences among different groups, tribes and sub-tribes. This could prove to be a milestone for Baloch unity. All Baloch political parties or at least those who believe in a common goal must convince the other pro-parliamentarian parties that the road they traveling on will lead them to nowhere. That is why they must be a part of Baloch National liberation. Baloch must unite under one flag, on one plate form and raise one single voice “Independent Balochistan”.
Having done that now the Baluch can reach to the international community, international super powers and convince them that we the Baluch are united and independent Baluchistan is inevitable. They must convince the international community that Balochistan is going to be self-sustained and viable. They must tell the international community the strategic importance of Balochistan and that an independent Baluchistan will be willing to allow all international investors to come and invest in Balochistan, they will be protect and facilitated.
The Baloch Diaspora should unite in their goal and give a single impression and don’t confuse over the two ends of provincial autonomy or freedom. The Baluch Diaspora’s impression must reflect the liberation struggle in Baluchistan.
The mobilization and lobbying process to get international support should be increased. The Baluch must dedicate a group or a task force whose job should only be to lobby for the Baluch cause on international level. The group should approach all the heads of states, international think tankers and law makers. They must directly ask the international community including Israel, India, America and other countries for moral and financial support. Let Pakistan and Iran say what they want. Baluch are labeled as traitors and anti – Pakistan and Iran which automatically makes them anti Islam according to the Pakistani interpretation of Islam. The Baluch’s identity, language, culture and survival are at stake that is why Baluch should not hesitate to approach the international community and ask for their help.