Time and time again it has been stressed that Pakistan’s elected government is running out of both time and options, when it comes to the prevailing situation in Balochistan.
Where Pervez Musharraf has gifted us with many curses during his reign, in my opinion second to the upsurge in extremism remains the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti in this category. This particular event has proved to be the catalyst in the worsening condition of the biggest province of Pakistan, and it seems that it is far from over even when we have Democratic forces in the corridors of power.
Even if his allegation were true regarding Bugti playing into the hands of foreign intruders, he failed to come out with clear evidences to defend his position, and in this way he indirectly ignited anti-Pakistan sentiments which we see today in Baluchistan. In prominent cities of this strategic province, hundreds have been killed on the basis of their ethnic background (Punjabis primarily) while it is also an established fact that many educational institutes and offices have stopped raising our flag national anthem because of the terrorist fear.
Adding another page to this book, the recent arrest of his grandson Shahzain Bugti has raised many question regarding this action, its repercussion and the underline motives behind his arrest. Shahzain has been seen numerous time holding meetings with top leadership of the country in order to forward not only Bugti’s but rather the legitimate demands of his people. He was also involved in a proposed Long March starting from Lahore to pressurize Government on Balochistan issue. He has somehow emerged in a very short time as someone who could be labeled as flexible and understanding when it comes to the political sphere of Balochistan.
Arrest of Shahzain Bugti in this manner can be disastrous for our ongoing effort of winning hearts and minds of Balochis. We are talking about a society where carrying arms is neither strange nor out of this world. The traditional dynamics of the area along with the prevailing situation can easily justify the concept of armed convoys and guards although the weaponry seized raises many questions if they belong to him in the 1st place. Secondly, it is also open secret that he is not the only one possessing these deadly machines but it has been observed that many prominent politicians in the sitting Balochistan Government maintain fully equipped fort like facilities under the eyes of the same law enforcing industries.
On the other hand it has been reported that soon after his arrest Bugti Jr made a call to US Consulate for intervention. This report carries multiple meanings. Primarily if it is true then US officials in Pakistan must be investigated for their direct role in Baluchistan crisis. If under diplomatic norms its impossible, they must be given persona non grata to set an example for them and all the foreign missions working in this direction. Lastly with Baraham Dagh sitting in Kabul, others in UK and now Shahzain in US hands, its time for Islamabad to assess what they have in Balochistan?
This event requires a detailed, fair and top level inquiry so that the situation in Balochistan can be stopped from getting worse. Like evidences concerning our Eastern neighbor, the agencies should not sit on these pieces of paper. It is the right of every Pakistani to know the underlying truth instead of a few circles holding onto it, and when required molding them. to their advantage. The Government policy of giving more rights to the Balochis and the inclusion of Balochis into armed forces on priority basis is highly appreciate able but events like these can overshadow all the work taking place in that direction.
May Allah grant peace and prosperity to Pakistan and all its inhabitants