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Posts Tagged Balochistan

Brig.(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja : Daunting challenges faced by security forces

Daunting challenges faced by security forces

Asif Haroon Raja

Pakistan faces formidable array of challenges, both at external and internal fronts. Internal threats are as daunting and menacing as the external threat. So much so that for the first time in Pakistan’s history, it cannot be discerned with certainty which of the two threats is more dangerous? The Army Chief Gen Kayani has however plainly graded internal threat to the security and integrity of Pakistan more hazardous. He said so because war on terror fought inside Pakistan among us has claimed more human lives than the fatalities incurred in all the wars and conflicts with India. Our sensitive and highly defended installations that could not be struck by our arch enemy during the war are being attacked daringly by home-grown non-actors. Few thousand militants merged in the sea of 180 million people prowl behind every bush and corner or stand among a crowd unnoticed and throw a bomb or blow themselves up whenever opportunity comes their way. 

For a guerrilla to operate successfully, he should have terrain suited for guerrilla war, should be adept in living off the land and techniques of fighting surreptitiously. He cannot operate for long without local support, safe sanctuaries, funds, armaments and sophisticated communication system. He should have safe exit routes to go across the border whenever cornered. Mountainous terrain of FATA and interior Balochistan, both attached with Afghanistan are suited for irregular warfare and hence favor TTP and BLA respectively thereby enabling them to wage an asymmetrical war for last so many years despite being hounded and badly bruised. Members of the two banned outfits are tribesmen and proficient in guerrilla war. Al-Qaeda allied with TTP gained experience during the eight-year Afghan Jihad against the Soviets and later against the Americans once they were ditched.

The war was first confined to FATA and some parts of interior Balochistan inhabited by Bugtis, Marris and Mengals. Hence it didn’t much bother the ruling elite and it kept following the dictates of the US to do more. When the war spilled into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa settled areas and then to major cities and incidents of terrorism kept increasing, it then alarmed the rulers. But by then the situation had become very complex because flames of terrorism had spread all over the country.

Intrusion of TTP militants into urban centres became possible because of the marrying up of urban-based Jihadi groups that had been bannimages-2


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US & Allies(India, Britain, Central Asian States) Meddling in Balochistan-RT Report

US Blatant Intervention in Balochistan

By Sajjad Shaukat

According to various international laws and declarations, the principle of non-intervention involves the right of every sovereign state to conduct its affairs without outside interference. In this regard, Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter prohibits “interference in the internal affairs” of a state.

But setting aside international laws, and the UN Charter, Dana Rohrabacher introduced a House Concurrent Resolution in the US House of Representatives on February 17 this year, calling upon Pakistan to “recognise the right of self-determination for Balochistan.” The resolution has noted that “Baloch people are subjected to violence and extrajudicial killings.” Earlier, the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs convened unprecedented hearing which was attended by the supporters of Baloch separtism and American scholars including human rights activists. It was chaired by Rohrabacher who allegedly said, “Balochistan is a turbulent land, marred by human rights violations”, requiring urgent attention. Recently, he has also co-authored an article, favouring an independent Balochistan. While other speakers accused that Pakistan’s security forces and its intelligence agencies were involved in extrajudicial killings and the forced disappearance of ethnic Baloch.

However, the Pakistan government has lodged a strong protest against the resolution on Balochistan. In this respect, Pakistan’s Foreign Office termed, the US Congress bill as violation of international laws, calling it as a clear interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani remarked that the US Congress resolution on Balochistan is against Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Meanwhile, members of the Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh Assemblies also condemned the Congress resolution. Besides, other political and religious leaders including members of the civil societies and political analysts have strongly condemned the US Congress resolution as a “conspiracy against Pakistan”, “provocative”, and “intervention in country’s internal matters.”

It is notable that Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Sherry Rehman has stated, “It is deeply regrettable that the legislature of a country that calls itself a friend of Pakistan should allow itself to be used as a platform by those advocating the dismemberment of Pakistan and provide justification to terrorists attempting to hold Balochistan, and Pakistan, hostage.” She added that this “will add to suspicions in Pakistan about American motives.”

In this connection, American motives have openly been exposed after this resolution. Notably, on August 14, 2009, Financial Times (online) had reported “Settlers from other parts of Pakistan, especially Punjab, have been given deadlines to leave.”  As a matter of fact, this is what US-led India and Israel wanted by inciting the general masses of Balochistan to openly speak against the federation of Pakistan and the Punjabis for all the injustices, created by the Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) who have been fighting for their own so-called status, prestige and influence. They were running their own private jails and farrari camps, and resisted the government development projects as they did not want to give up the old system of feudal lords, while working on the American agenda.

Although Pakistan’s security forces have successfully been coping with the Taliban militants in the tribal areas, yet situation has deteriorated in Balochistan where subversive events and human rights violations have intensified. In fact, the US-led India and Israel have been supporting feudal lords of Balochistan to oppose country’s federation, providing arms and ammunition to the Baloch separatists.

It is noteworthy that the agents of American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mosssad are well-penetrated in various NGOs and human rights organisations which are being used for vile propaganda against Pakistan’s security forces. In this respect, on July 31, 2011, a rally was organized by Baloch Human Rights Council in UK in front of the US Embassy in London, which raised false allegations such as inhuman torture and extrajudicial murder of the Baloch intellectuals by the Pakistani army and ISI.

On August 3, 2011, ISPR spokesman, Maj-Gen Athar Abbas, while rejecting human rights groups’ reports about Balochistan as a conspiracy against Pakistan, called for probing the funding of these organisations as this could be traced back to those forces which want to destabilise Pakistan.


It is notable that Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and an another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of the province gets logistic support from RAW and CIA, and are also trying to sabotage Pakistan’s relationship with China and Iran. In the past few years, their militants kidnapped and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan. Jundollah also arranged a number of suicide attacks in Iran, while Tehran had directly named CIA for assisting those terrorist attacks.

In fact, these militant groups which are responsible for extrajudicial killings also kidnapped and murdered many innocent people of Pakistan and the security personnel in the province. On a number of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for subversive acts and forced abductions. Besides, many missing persons of Balochistan were murdered by foreign secret agencies in order to implicate Pak Army and ISI. But media and so-called NGOs including human rights groups not only exaggerate the figures of the disappeared persons, but also accuse Pak Army and ISI for extrajudicial killings. These entities have failed to provide details about the missing persons, spreading sensationalism and conducting press conferences without obtaining real facts.

Particularly, Balochistan’s geo-strategic location with Gwadar seaport, connecting rest of the world with Central Asia has irked the eyes of America and India because China has already invested billion of dollars to develop this seaport. However, it is due to multiple strategic designs that the US which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008, seeks to control Balochistan in containing China and subduing Iran. Balochistan has also shifted the Great Game to Pakistan. This is also owing to the mineral resources of Balochistan—especially gold and copper that US-led India and Israel have accelerated their subversive acts such as target killings, hostage-takings, suicide attacks, fueling sectarian and ethnic violence in Balochistan by assisting their affiliated insurgent groups. In this context, CIA, RAW and Mossad which have well-established their network in Afghanistan to weaken Pakistan have been sending highly trained militants to Balochistan, who commit various acts of sabotage on regular basis. Their main aim is the dismemberment of Pakistan by separating the province of Balochistan.

Notably, on April 23, 2009 in the in-camera sitting of the Senate, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had displayed documentary evidence of foreign-backed militants’ infiltration from Afghanistan to Balochistan. The main aim of the in-camera session was also to show the engagement of American CIA in the province.

It is worth-mentioning that in August, 2011, US ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter had requested Pakistan government for opening a US consulate in Balochistan. But knowing the real intentions of America, Islamabad had flatly rejected the offer.

In the recent years, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has made strenuous efforts to develop the infrastructure in Balochistan, providing the people employment opportunities to bring the Balochis in the mainstream of the country. In this regard, Pak Army has not only established schools and colleges, but also set up technical and industrial institutes in the province, besides giving military training to the youth.

On October 11, 2011, Prime Minister Gilani highlighted the major development projects in Balochistan, aimed at the socio-economic uplift of its people so as to bring about a positive change in the area. He disclosed that the federal government would provide 30 percent of its shares of the Saindak Project to the Balochistan government, and planned to provide jobs to 20,000 youth from Balochistan, adding that under the NFC award, fund transferring has been increased. While Prime Minister Gilani who stated on February 15 that the government would soon convene an All Parties Conference (APC) to address the issues of Balochistan, has already declared 2012 the ‘Year of Balochistan.’

Nevertheless, this is the right time for the government that its announced policy for political, social and economic reforms must be implemented so as to remove sense of deprivation among the Balochis. And our politicians and media must convince the people, especially the youth that their Sardars want to restore old system of feudalism in the province, and are playing in the hands of foreign enemies, especially the US.

Nonetheless, Balochistan is an integral part of the Pakistan, with an elected government, so the US resolution is an insult to the mandate of masses of Balochistan. No doubt, hearing on Balochistan by the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs has clearly exposed the US blatant intervention in the province and support to the Baloch separatists.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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Balochistan Post: Mossad And Raw Team Up, Target

Mossad And India Spy Agency Team Up, Target

Ashok- Discover India-BloggerJanes information group, the world’s foremost source on intelligence information, reported in July 2001 that “The Indian spy agency RAW and the Israeli spy agency Mossad have created four new agencies to infiltrate Pakistan to target important religious and military personalities, journalists, judges, lawyers and bureaucrats. In addition, bombs would be exploded in trains, railway stations, bridges, bus stations, cinemas, hotels and mosques of rival Islamic sects to incite sectarianism.”Pakistani intelligence agencies also said that RAW had constituted a plan to lure Pakistani men between 20 and 30 years of age to visit India so that they could be entrapped “in cases of fake currency and subversion and then be coerced to spy for India.”This was the high point of cementing an unholy alliance which began much earlier and which continues to tighten its noose around the neck of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia.It appears that RAW and Mossad — either singly or jointly, either covertly or overtly — have been making efforts to penetrate sensitive circles of top echelon in Pakistan.It cannot be said with certainty but there are some reasons to assume that Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, wittingly or unwittingly, played in the hands of RAW-Mossad masterminds. She appointed Rehman Malik as chief of the Federal Investigation Agency which then launched a secret war against the Islamists; amounting to a direct attack on the ISI.War against religious extremists could have been a laudable goal but it seemed to target only those elements which could have brought a semblance of moderation to the religious swatch cutting across Pakistan society.Thus, leaving the field wide open for extremists.It seems that the Pakistani military was equally dismayed by reports of FIA contacts with the Israeli secret service, the MOSSAD, to investigate Islamist terrorists.One of the first acts of President Leghari after dismissing Benazir Bhutto on November 5, 1996 was to imprison the Ghulam Asghar, head of FIA, suspended on non-specified corruption charges. Rehman Malik, Addl. Director General FIA, was also arrested.Whether these actions were triggered as a consequence of plotting by RAW-Mossad planners or whether it was an entirely internal matter, it is difficult to say.Bhutto s visit to India last year at a time when Pakistan was going through one of the worst crises in its history, and her statements there which aimed to undermine the whole foundation of Pakistan, generate more than a flicker of doubt in analytic minds.The basic question arises: Who is Benazir Bhutto?Leaving BB to her own fate, let’s return to RAW-Mossad connection.What is clear right now is that Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad are collaborating extensively to curb the freedom movement of Kashmir and destabilize Pakistan.The Indian newspaper The Pioneer wrote on March 3, 2001: Fencing of the Indo-Pak border is not enough. To check Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism, top security experts of Israel have suggested that hi-tech gadgets ranging from an electronic barrier system of radars to thermal imaging devices should be immediately installed on India’s sensitive international border in J[ammu] & K[ashmir] and Punjab sectors.The team of experts, including officials of the Mossad, the Israeli Army and the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), also found shocking loopholes in the security arrangements relating to the much-talked about Samjhauta Express. They advised that instead of Lahore, the train should terminate on the Attari border. Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said the Israeli experts surveyed the 198 km international border in Jammu and Punjab and reviewed the route of the Samjhauta Express with top officials of the Border Security Force.Subsequently, former DG of the Border Security Force, E.N. Ram Mohan was appointed as the consultant on border management. Mr. Ram Mohan has recommended that besides radars, aerostate balloons and FLIR equipment be used.India is keen to purchase surveillance aircraft (UAVs) from Israel to gain intelligence teeth. The UAVs could also help the state police in keeping an eye in naxalite-affected areas of Andhra Pradesh.For several years, Mossad and Israel’s internal intelligence agency, Shinbhet, have utilised unmanned air vehicles to patrol the hypersensitive Gaza border.Qutbuddin Aziz, former minister in Pakistan embassy in London, wrote an excellent article, titled ‘Dangerous Nexus between Israel & India.’ It was published by a prominent Pakistani newspaper on April 1, 2001.Aziz writes: “Top secret details of Indian Home Minister LK Advani’s visit to Israel in June 2000, show that the deals he has struck with the Israelis would make India and Israel partners in threatening the Muslim world with diabolic conspiracies to fragment and cripple it as a political force in the world. The details of his meetings with Israel’s rulers, particularly the heads of the Israeli Home Ministry and its intelligence agencies, Mossad and Sabak, reveal that the arrangements he has made for joint Indo-Israel espionage operations in key areas of the Muslim world would make the Indian embassies in these Muslim countries the eyes and ears of the worldwide cloak-and-dagger Israeli spy network.”Under the euphemism of ‘counter-terrorism,’ India is allowing Israel to establish a huge spy establishment in India which will, inter alia, unearth and monitor ‘Islamic fundamentalist’ individuals and groups for elimination by extra judicial process or by cold-blooded murder and kidnapping.”The most important meeting Indian Home Minister Advani had during his three-day Israeli tour on June 13-16 was with the top brass of Israel’s intelligence agencies in Tel Aviv. Heading the Israeli team was the powerful chief of Israeli police, Yehuda Wilk, with the heads of the Israeli intelligence agencies, Mossad and Sabak, and military officials dealing with Israel’s punitive and espionage operations against Arabs in Israel, Palestine and neighbouring states such as Lebanon and Syria. Senior officials from the Israeli Foreign Office and the defence and home ministries attended this meeting. Israeli experts in bomb detection were also present.”Mr. Advani’s large team included India’s highest-level spymasters such as the Director of the Intelligence Bureau, Mr. Shayamal Dutta, the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Mr. R. K. Raghvan, the head of the Indian Border Security Force, Mr. E. M. Ram Mohan, Indian Home Ministry’s powerful Secretary K. Pande who oversees the work of the infamous Indian spy agency, RAW, and liaises with the Indian Foreign Office in respect of undercover RAW agents working in Indian embassies abroad, and a senior officer of India’s military intelligence agency (equivalent of Pakistan’s ISI).”In this top-level meeting in Tel Aviv on June 14, Advani reportedly thanked the Israeli government for its immense help to India in security matters and spoke of the dangers India and Israel face from their common enemies, i.e., Muslim neighbours.”Advani, it is reported, highly praised the help provided by Mossad and army commando personnel to the Indian army in the war on ‘Muslim militants’ in Kashmir and against ‘Muslim terrorists’ such as the ‘Memon brothers’ of Mumbai in Dubai. Advani said he had, throughout his political career, advocated India’s recognition and friendship with Israel and that his party had played a key role in forcing Congress government to have full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992.”He lauded the Indo-Israeli cooperation in the military, economic and other fields. Advani recalled that India had voted in favour of a US-sponsored motion in the UN for rescinding a UN resolution that equated Zionism with racism. Mr. Advani explained at length India’s security problems in which the danger from Pakistan and Indian Muslims getting Arab money loomed large. Advani gave a long list of the special services in spying and the anti-insurgency devices and spy equipment India urgently needs from Israel to combat ‘Muslim terrorism.'”In the June 14 Tel Aviv meeting, the Israeli Police Chief, Yehuda Wilk, profusely praised India for its friendship with Israel and pledged help to the Indian government in combating ‘Muslim terrorism’ that poses new threats to Israel and India. The heads of India’s intelligence agencies then briefed the Israeli side in the meeting on the ground situation in India in respect of ‘Muslim terrorists,’ especially in Jammu and Kashmir, and the new dangers coming up for India and Israel because of the Pakistani bomb and the fear that Pakistan may give its nuclear weapons to the anti-Israel Arabs.”The Indian side showed a keen interest in learning from Israeli security experts how they had run the slice of Lebanon which Israel ruled for 18 years and gave up recently. Some information about the Israeli torture and investigation methods was gathered by the Indian side from the Israelis with regard to dealing with Arab dissidents within Israel and in the Palestinian Authority region.”The Indians gave the Israelis a long shopping list of spying, torture and surveillance equipment such as electronic fencing of sensitive sites, laser systems, short-range rockets, eagle-eyed long distance snipers, observation blimps, giant shields, night vision device, unmanned aircraft of the MALAT wing of the Israeli Aircraft Industries Limited, special protective dress and gear for security personnel, cross border snopping devices and gadgets, training and deployment of spies and the special gear for them, use of computers and Internet for espionage and disinformation, code-breaking, tailing of enemy agents and their elimination, nuclear espionage, purloining state secrets of hostile countries and pooling them for the good of India and Israel and their mutual friends.”The Israelis were interested in having access to the secret reports of Indian undercover RAW diplomats from certain Muslim countries of special interest to Israel (especially Pakistan, Libya and Iran). India is apparently willing to grant access to Israeli agents to the Indian Home Ministry’s Central Intelligence Processing Unit (CIPU) in New Delhi. This was recently set up under Advani’s direction with Israeli and US help. A handpicked RAW officer, trusted by Advani, heads this unit. Israel wants full access to its information data. The Indian government has already allowed access to it by American intelligence agencies now working with the Indian government on so-called anti-terrorist assignments.Federation of American Scientists website comments on RAW in these words: “RAW has engaged in disinformation campaigns, espionage and sabotage against Pakistan and other neighboring countries. RAW has enjoyed the backing of successive Indian governments in these efforts. Working directly under the Prime Minister, the structure, rank, pay and perks of the Research & Analysis Wing are kept secret from Parliament.”Tarek Fatah, a Turkish scholar settled in Canada, wrote: “Britain’s authoritative and respected defense publication, Jane’s Terrorism & Security Monitor, reports that Israel and India have formed a military relationship and that Israeli intelligence is active in Occupied Kashmir.”It says: Israeli intelligence agencies have been intensifying their relations with India’s security apparatus and are now understood to be heavily involved in helping New Delhi combat Islamic militants in the disputed province of Kashmir…Ed Blanche writes in Janes’ Security on 14 August 2001: “Israeli intelligence agencies have been intensifying their relations with India’s security apparatus and are now understood to be heavily involved in helping New Delhi combat Islamic militants in the disputed province of Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state which lies at the core of the conflict with neighbouring Pakistan.”Israel has several teams now in Kashmir training Indian counter-insurgency forces to fight the dozen separatist guerrilla groups operating in the Indian-controlled sector of the disputed state.”The exact extent of the involvement in Kashmir by Israel s intelligence agencies is far from clear, but it fits into Israel’s increasing focus on events in Central Asia, and as far afield as Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim state, to counteract Islamic fundamentalism, which it perceives as a major threat.”Shimon Peres, currently Israel’s foreign minister, said during a visit to New Delhi in January 2001 (shortly before he took his current post in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s coalition government) that Israel was prepared to co-operate with India to fight terrorism. Weeks earlier, an Israeli counterterrorism team, including military intelligence specialists and senior police commanders, paid a visit to Indian-administered Kashmir and other regions of the country that are grappling with anti-government militants to assess India’s security needs.If there is still any doubt as to the real intentions of Israel, then please see this statement issued by David Ben Gurion, the first Israeli Prime Minister. His words, as printed in the Jewish Chronicle, 9 August 1967, leave nothing to imagination:”The world Zionist movement should not be neglectful of the dangers of Pakistan to it. And Pakistan now should be its first target, for this ideological State is a threat to our existence. And Pakistan, the whole of it, hates the Jews and loves the Arabs.”This lover of the Arabs is more dangerous to us than the Arabs themselves. For that matter, it is most essential for the world Zionism that it should now take immediate steps against Pakistan.”Whereas the inhabitants of the Indian peninsula are Hindus whose hearts have been full of hatred towards Muslims, therefore, India is the most important base for us to work therefrom against Pakistan.”It is essential that we exploit this base and strike and crush Pakistanis, enemies of Jews and Zionism, by all disguised and secret plans. ____We are grateful to Tariq Saeedi for permission to reprint excerpts from his special report that appeared first in The Balochistan Post, www.balochistanpost.com .


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India in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Balochistan



There is no domestic acceptance of talks with India: Gen.(Retd) Hamid Gul, A military genius who planned the destruction of the Soviet Empire. 

Published: September 7, 2012


Former ISI chief says Pakistanis don’t trust India one bit, there is no scope for peace talks. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Hamid Gul said that there was no domestic acceptance in Pakistan of talks being held with India because of the perception that it was being done under US pressure, reported news agency ANI on Friday.

Gul, in an exclusive interview to ANI, said that there was no scope of the talks as nobody in Pakistan believed in them. “This is being done under US pressure. There is no domestic acceptance for any peace talks with India, because Pakistanis don’t trust India one bit,” Gul was quoted as saying.

The former intelligence chief also expressed doubts over India’s intention on issues including Sir Creek, Siachen, Kashmir and Balochistan and maintained that no one other than only a few Pakistani traders, who will benefit from India getting the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status, believe in peace talks.

India in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Balochistan

Gul, during the interview, also claimed that India is fighting a proxy war in Afghanistan on behalf of the US. “Pakistan knows India’s intentions and it is not acceptable to us,” Gul was quoted in the ANIimages-59 report.

He also lambasted India’s policy in Kashmir. “India has to accept that Kashmir is a disputed territory. What they are doing in Kashmir is not right, morally or legally. India is being used by the US as a bulwark in the region, and therefore, the pressure on the Pakistan Government to go easy on Kashmir. The conditions are such that Pakistan does not have much room for maneuver at this stage,” the report quoted Gul.

The former ISI chief further alleged that India was meddling “heavily” in Balochistan and affairs of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

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 January 21, 2013.


Abdul Khaliq Hazara

Editor’s note: In the backdrop of increasing attacks on the Hazara, Shia community in Balochistan, The News on Sunday published an exclusive interview of Abdul Khaliq Hazara, the chairman of the Hazara Democratic Party. We are republishing the interview, which was conducted by journalist Aoun Sahi,  for our readers’ interest with special thanks to The News on Sunday

The News on Sunday: Do you think imposition of the governor’s rule in Balochistan would help the cause of Hazaras?

images-61Abdul Khaliq Hazara: In fact, imposition of the governor’s rule was not a demand of the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP). We are not in favour of army control in Quetta.

However, after the killing of 100 people on Jan 10, our ulema and elders demanded the governor’s rule. The main purpose of this demand was to get rid of the Raisani government in Balochistan. We want a targeted operation to be launched in Quetta under army because we do not trust police and FC.

Quetta is a small city. If the army is serious it can locate and arrest the terrorists in Quetta within a week. Our main demand is that the government should establish its writ in Balochistan.

TNS: Your views on the targeted killings of the Hazara community…

AKH: We do not see targeted killings in their current context, where a particular mindset, with support from provincial government and the elements of state security agencies, kills Hazaras. The targeted killing is also a product of failed policies of the state as successive governments were reckless in the last three decades in the region. Pakistan’s role in the Afghan jihad in the 1980s, when the state promoted ‘jihad’ in the country and sponsored terrorist groups, resulted in numerous problems. It gave rise to the Kalashnikov and drug culture in Pakistan. Quetta became the hub of these activities in the last three decades because of its geographic position. Today, we are reaping the results of those policies.

The Hazara community in Quetta is concentrated on its western and eastern sides. We need to travel thorough the city to go from one side to the other. The first incident of targeted killing happened in 2001 when terrorists attacked a van, killing 10 Hazara passengers. Again, 12 Hazara police cadets were gunned down when terrorists attacked their vehicle in June 2003. The first suicide attack against the Hazara community occurred in July 2004 when terrorists attacked a Friday congregation at Imambargah Kalan. In 2008-09, attacks against our people increased and then from 2011 onwards our people started getting targeted inside the city. Doctors, professors, students, businessmen and sportsmen have been targeted and killed. The motive behind these terror acts is simple — push Quetta into a hell of sectarian violence as all Hazaras in Quetta belong to the Shia sect. So far, more than 1000 Hazaras have been killed in Balochistan in the last one decade.

In September 2011, the buses in Mastung near the ancestral village of ex-CM Balochistan, Aslam Raisani, were stopped and after checking their ID cards, 26 of them were killed on the spot. In April 2012, more than 30 Hazara people were targeted in 10 days. In 2012, more than 120 Hazara people were killed while in the first 10 days of 2013 more than 100 Hazaras have been killed. Everybody knows the killers as they do not hesitate to claim responsibility. After the last incident, in which more than 100 people of our community were killed, LeJ phoned journalists in Quetta and openly claimed responsibility. They said they had asked Hazaras to leave Quetta by the end of 2012 or they would be wiped out.

TNS: But why are Hazaras under attack?

Tear_drop_by_JosCos-1AKH: Hazara community in Balochistan overwhelmingly belongs to the Shia sect and they are also easily recognisable because of their features. It is true that after the Iranian revolution some elements among Hazaras and other Shia communities in Pakistan were enthusiastic about spreading their message. They tried to convert people from other sects. The ‘Saudi Arabia element’ resisted this move strongly and pumped in billions of rupees to strengthen anti-Shia forces in Balochistan. The first wave of sectarian tension in Balochistan started in the mid-1980s while the second started after 9/11. It was time when anti-Shia forces had become so strong that they could operate at their will.

We strongly condemn Saudi Arabia and Iran’s proxy war in Pakistan. It was the duty of our state to stop this war but, unfortunately, strong elements of state have become part of that war. Extremism, sectarianism, and terrorism are being promoted in Balochistan with the help of elements in our state institutions. On January 11, the LeJ once again threatened they would either kill or get killed to wipe out Hazaras from Quetta. The LeJ, in fact, wants to provoke us, so we start attacking our innocent Sunni Pushtun and Baloch brothers in Quetta.

TNS: How difficult is it for you to keep the Hazara youth peaceful?

AKH: Hazaras are peaceful people. It is true that after 2004 attack on a Shia procession, Shias also turned violent and burnt some shops. But there are other Shias than Hazaras in Quetta. We have Shias from different ethnicities from Punjabi, Urdu speaking, Pashtun, Balti, etc. We always tell our people that the LeJ and its supporters want to push us in a situation which leads to civil war in society. We still believe in peaceful protests.

After the January 10 incident, we had two sit-ins in Quetta — one at Alamdar Road while I, alongwith my party activists, demonstrated in the red zone, in front of the IG office. But not a single incident of violence occurred from our side. Most of our youth have been deprived of education; some of them have also started joining religious elements. People have lost their businesses and jobs. They cannot move freely in their own city. More than 30,000 Hazaras have already migrated out of the country. Parents have been forcing their sons to leave the country. Our PhDs have been working as labourers in Australia and other countries. Still, an overwhelming majority of our community believes in peace. We still want to solve our problem peacefully.

images-54TNS: You talked about involvement of some state elements. Do you have proof?

AKH: So far, more than 1000 Hazaras have been killed in Balochistan but not a single killer is in police custody. It arrested the masterminds of these attacks in the past, including the LeJ head of Balochistan, Saif Usman, and his deputy, Dawood Badini. Both were awarded death punishment from a terrorist court in 2003. They escaped from jail situated in the high security zone in Cantonment, Quetta. Even when they were in jail, they were treated like special guests and allowed to carry on their activities from jail. The performance of the Interior and Home Secretaries, IGP Balochistan and heads of other law enforcement agencies are abysmal as they have failed to provide protection to the people. People have lost confidence in police and other law enforcement agencies as terrorists always succeed in evading arrests. In several incidents of targeted killings of Hazara community, motorbikes of local police were used while many of the attackers were in FC uniforms. They attacked people close to FC checkposts but were never apprehended. I strongly believe that some elements in our security agencies help terrorists to identify the targets and then also support them reach their targets with ease.

TNS: What is the solution?

AKH: Our rulers and state departments need to take the situation seriously. They need to establish their writ. They need to give confidence to people — that the state cares about them. At one point our main demand was that our cases be pursued. I appeal to all the democratic, liberal, political and progressive forces to come ahead and perform their responsibility for protecting the society from falling into the brutal hands of extremists in the country. (CourtesyThe News on Sunday)

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