By: RK Sinha
Imran Khan does not look beyond himself. It is more than clear considered in the light of a few developments in Balochistan. There is an open rebellion against Pakistan in that province which is the largest in terms of area. But he seems to be least concerned. An organization called Balochistan Liberation Army wants to separate Balochistan from Pakistan by all means, fair or foul. For this, this organization is now treading a violent path.
The Balochistan Liberation Army has already claimed responsibility for the attack in the stock exchange building of Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi. But Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has falsely claimed in Pak Parliament that India was behind the attack in Karachi. He had made this claim the very next day without verifying facts. He had not felt any need to present any evidence in this connection. At least ten people were killed in the attack .The attackers hurled grenades there.
Imran Khan has gone so far as to say that Pakistan was not involved in Mumbai attack in 2008 in which over 166 civilians were killed. According to him, it was engineered by the Indian government itself. It is a total lie. The Mumbai attack was made more than 10 years ago but Pakistan has not yet punished the perpetrators of that crime. Cases against the accused of the attack are still pending in Pakistan. If no one from Pakistan was involved then why cases were filed in the first place. He should be also asked who Ajmal Kasab was. He had himself admitted that he hailed from Pakistan. His trial was conducted in India and he has been already hanged.
Imran Khan, it is more than clear now, has not realised the gravity of the situation in Balochistan. Besides finding out why there is rebellion, he has to find out why the Liberation Army has targeted Punjabis. Of course, violence of any kind for any reason cannot be considered right.
It is well known that most Pakistanis hate Punjab and Punjabis. Everyone believes that Punjab province of Pakistan is cared more by Imran Khan as he is a Punjabi. He has contested from Mianwali in Punjab. Sometime back, gunmen had deboarded passengers from a bus and killed more than a dozen people in that province.
The gunmen used to stop the buses plying between Karachi and Gwadar, check the identity cards of the passengers and then used to brutalise Punjabi Muslims. The non-Punjabis were left unharmed. Punjabis are still being attacked and killed. There is no end yet. It has been also established that the Punjabis are being killed by the Balochistan Liberation Army. They are also being abducted. Balochistan is considered to be the most backward state of Pakistan. No development has taken place there. Incidentally, some gas deposits have been found there.
At present, the Government of Pakistan is not paying much attention to the anti-Punjabi movement in Balochistan because it believes that the Chinese help the movement can be crushed. A 790- km long Gwadar Port is being built with the help of China there. Pakistan also believes that the creation of the Port will change the destiny of the country. But the people of Balochistan do not think so.
They believe that only Punjabis will benefit from that. Their interests will be mainly served. They also think that the resources of the area are being utilised only by one group. Whatever may be the reason for their hatred, it is a fact that Balochistan wanted to be out of Pakistan and be a part of India. The proposal was not acceptable to Jawaharlal Nehru. It has remained a part of Pakistan because of the army which has often committed excesses and kept people virtually quiet. Tanks and fighters planes have been also used at times.
There are four states in Pakistan: Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Apart from these, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan are also controlled by Pakistan. The Army is most powerful in that country. Women have often accused it of committing rape and killing men.
It is also noteworthy that nobody from Baluchistan and Sindh want to join the terrorist outfits. The army commits atrocities on them also because of this reason. Youngmen from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are mainly in terrorists organisations. Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar are Punjabis and their centers are located in Punjab province only.
In the light of all this it appears that the Government of Pakistan cannot crush the desire of the people for long and will have to separate it. The movement will intensify and there will be more rebels if it is not done soon. Imran has played the blame game and held India responsible for all the troubles in the province. He cannot befool all the people all the time. (The writer is a senior editor, columnist and former MP)