Sunday, August 27, 2006

This Whole Thing About The Bugtis of Balochistan

If you are a Pakistani or an Indian who is exposed to propaganda machine called media or even someone who just takes interest Pakistani or South Asian politics, you would have seen the news that a certain Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed yesterday. The government called him a rebel a title that obviously does not please his supporters like the handful of agitated Balochis who ran amok in Queeta or the Indian media and security agencies who used Bugti time and again for create unrest around the Pakistans most critical energy reserves.
So who was Akbar Bugti and why did his end come in such a horrid fashion. To begin with, I am saddened by the fact a human life was lost in an unpleasing fashion but this however is no reflection of my feelings towards his exit from the political fray of things. As you might notice on his Wiki site, he belonged to a family of the ruling elite of the Indian Sub-continent and later Pakistan. He basically inherited his status of a so called political leader and more or less aptly labled by the government as a rebel leader. His great-grandfather, was an ally of the English prior to the 1947 partition and the whole family came to significant lime light when natural gas resources were discovered in their "tribal area" which pretty much remains under the control of Nawab Bugti and his band of trigger happy men.
His end was a long time coming. In Urdu there is a saying that latoon kay bhoot batoon say nahi mantay, which can be translated to the tune of some people just wont learn without physical punishment. Akbar Bugti, under the guise of a protector of Baloch rights butted his head with several governments before. There were times in the 70s when he was bombed by the air force. Then to control him he was put in power of the province as well. Yet he continued to be a pain in the governments already painful behind. And so it goes that Musharraf drew the line and decided that it was time to get rid of this malignancy developing in a region of increasing importance for Pakistan as well as South and Central Asia.
So what he did do? Well his demand was to seek royalties for the gas being pumped from his fields and going to the entire nation. Which is a fair demand. As long as the moeny earned in return goes to the people who deserve it, those who love on their land and not their sardar. Who is actually the feudals who more or less "owns" the people of his tribe. He is the king and his word is the final word. This in a soverign country is not acceptable. Now you may argue that fedulaism is at the root of the weed thats keeping the country from progressing so why only him. Well the answer is simple, other feudals have managed to work without calling for rebellion for their personal interests. They havent been working at the behest of other nations to challenge the national security situation. And so, they get away with it, hopefully not for long.
So who is the "foreign hand" in this equation. Primarily India, but as one goes on to think may not neccesarily have been the case this time around. There are basically two schools of thought on this situation. One that looks as historical events and recent developments and points at India and the other that points at some vested interests of some Arab states. Lets deal with India first.
I just remain astounded by the fact that a country as progressive as India recognizes the destabilisation of its neighbour as key aspect of the foreign policy that goes around in the secretive strategic circles of that nation. They are enourmouse, much more huge than Pakistan. They are economically a lot more stable. But yet, they continue to counter the Kashmir situation with creating insurgencies within Pakistan. Their first and foremost was the Balochistan province which is known for its mineral reserves. Think of it this way, it comes very close to being the Texas of Pakistan. India starting supporting the insurgencies by covertly funding, Bugtis "Liberation Army". Weapons were purchased people were harrased and killed, key infrastructure were threatened and the situation came to the level that Prime Minister Bhutto (the senior)had to order bombing of Dera Bugti in the 70s. Gen. Zia, succeding Bhutto, tried to calm things down by putting Bugti in official posts. That was when India started funding the "Mohajir" insurgency in Karachi. Eventually, that insurgency was brought under control by similar brutality by the governments, ironically it was the Jr. Bhuttoo who had to face the music this time.
With Bugti out of the present governments favor and Indias continous strategic drive to support insurgencies in Pakistan, the Bugti found a new more resourceful financier in his ill concieved plans. There were some skeptics who suggested that the IPI pipeline project would require that India withdraw its support of the Bugtis so that the region could be stablized for the project to go through. However, we all know the US does not support Iran and the sweetend the Indian energy pie with a significant nuclear energy deal which put IPI on a back burner. Hence the Indians continued their shenanigans in the Balochistan area causing the serverly restrained security resources of the country to be further burdened. That is what some may suggest to be an Indian hand theory.
So what about the Arabs. Why would our muslim "brethren" think of destablising our nation. The answer is economic interests. At this point of time, the Gawadar port project is somewhat behind schedule already. See the great vision for Gawadar was to be the new Dubai, at least logistically speaking. Pakistan is located at a very geographical location in a very interesting shape. We are a passage way. A passage way to China, a passage way to cenrtal Asia. The western chinese border and a good number of central asian states are either land locked or do not have access to a major ocean. At the moment, what ever trade that these regions indulge with the Atlantic side of the western is, happens through Dubai. It has by far the strongest sea faring logistcal set up to support the international demands. Gawadar, had it started operating on time, would have been a direct threat to Arab port. Hence the consipiracy theory that the Bugtis were being financed were Arabs.
In either case the Bugtis were seeking financing from external source which harboured malicious intent for the nation that they were a part of. It is but a simple of principal of gurellia warfare that has been seen in use time and again in some shape or form since the begining of history. If that was the case, then the government had the right to eradicate any threat to internal security and infrastructures of national importance.
As always, there have been protests. There were protests when Castro attempted his first revolution of Cuba and failed. There were protests when Shoko Ashara was arrested for gassing the Tokoyo subway. And so there have been and will be protests in light of this development as will. However, it is high time that the Baloch, the Sindhi, the Punjabi and the Pashtuns all develop a nationalist sentiment and realize they are an amalgamation identities on common grounds of religion. It is religious and thus social harmony that should bind us together in making out nation a strong prosperous nation that it deserves to be. Lets keep our dirty linen within the confines of our border and be cautious of all those international interests that intend to malign are social integrity.
People are using this opportunity to once cry fowl against the Musharaf government. But whatever the case maybe, he did set a strong example for anyone who bore such rebellious intentions. If you have to rebel, rebel against the extremisim, rebel against illitreacy, rebel against all the social ills that are plauging our communal fabric. Dont rebel against the nation, because if push comes to shove, the people who stand gaurd for the nations security, will definitely shove you out of existence.


Adnan Siddiqi said...

:) I think you and me both have read that particular report about balochistan which was prepared by few journalists around the world in which it was highlited that states like UAE,Iran,India,US and few russian states are eager to get gawadar area.

A good post by you and if you have link of the report,do send me pls.

Asad said...

Here's the link to that report:

The article's well written. I tooo have added an article on my site regarding the murder of Bugti but it is much less detailed.

Beau Peep said...

From an Indian's viewpoint I would like to say that it is such a shame that India decided to voice its concerns on the Balochistan issue.

pandora said...

quite insightful...
thanks, i didn't know the specifics of what was going on..

ddf said...

clearly,you re going against your own giving all the arguments why india doesnt NEED to destabilise pakistan,you go on to say that it is indeed doing so...why may i ask??just because some newspaper sells that story to you??
i m sorry,but its just a case of having incomplete knowledge,which is much worse than having no knowledge at all
you re just believing that because you WANT to...because you feel unthreatened by the "enlightened moderation" of musharraf..
bugti was never a trouble-maker..he didnt have any such problems with any other past leaders
if the problem was a petty one about bugti wanting more royalties like you claim,such problems would ve occured in the past too...if things were so simple,then why didnt they get resolved??
the royalty claim is just something the government has been selling out to people trying to make bugti look like a greedy person..frankly,he was already pretty rich and didnt have any need for any extra money..he didnt really need to get any extra land in zamzama unlike your general sahib,he inherited that wealth..
the real matters are just countless...but the main ones are the fact that musharraf gave tens of thousands of civil service jobs in his areas to militarymen,both current and retired when clearly they were supposed to be taken up by baloch civil servants..thats something unbearable not only for bugti but for any baloch with any credibility whatsoever..
clearly,if something like that happened in punjab,the whole nation wouldve been up in flames already
secondly,the gwadar port issue which is made to look like a messiah for the baloch people..i m sorry,but it could never have been of much benefit for the baloch people if the revenues and the controls were all given to the federation..the same military land-grabbing would ve occured and the revenues distributed unevenly by the federation...clearly unconstitutional since the constituion of 71 guarantees full provincial autonmy
all successful ports in the world have provisions for the indigenous communities..indeed,dubai has its own voting rights and has only now (and only in selected areas) allowed foreign people to buy property...
these were the two main issues but they re pretty much the tip of the that i have this off my chest,you can continue to believe in what you want to believe even though it clearly has no rationale behind it...i feel i have done my its adiosu frmo my side

Cocaine said...

folks, thanks for your comments. Once again I would like to reiterate that I do not support loss of human life but I do support measures to uphold national secuirty

@Adnan, I hadnt read that report prior to asads comment below and it was quite an eye opener.

@Asad, thanks for the link - it provides quite a bit of insight

@pandora - you maybe interested in reading the in asads link

@beau - appreciate your comments but not confuse this with kashmir as you pointed out in your post

@ddf - all i can say that you speak like a news reporter on fox news - a very very short fuse for memory. I appreciate your comments and hope for you enlightenment. The general may not be the most pious person out there but by god hes doing more this country than anyones done in the last 30 years or so.
As for your comment that bugti did not have issues with former governments, well, you are short sighted, look up history and you shall find answers. Even reading Adnans link up there would open your eyes.
You and I differ in the way that I say, the nation comes first and then anything else. Where as you and the tribal and feudal leaders of pakistan put personal interest first.
I sincerely hope that you step of your cocoon and seek the truth and maybe tell me about it as well.

Cheers to all

ddf said...

who am i kidding??
i m sorry for posting my comments
you re probably a 14 year old (mentally anyway) whose into conspiracy theories
who do you read boy,apart from agatha christie and michael moore??
musharraf is doing as much for his country as anyone else did..has the common mans life changed??no.and probably never will..
you can keep praising musharraf all you like in your airconditioned room without knowing the prices of rice sugar and oil to say the least..haha
the only issues bugti had with previous governments was when he was fighting for the good of balochistan
its all about believing what you want to talk of personal interest,huh,personally,i have nothing to gain from any gain for balochistan or whatever
infact,it is the supposedly educated progressive lot like you who are interested in musharaffs enlightened moderation because it sounds safe for your lot..
ofcourse,you wouldnt know about conservatism as an ideology because the federation has never taken a single one of the subjects important to your province ever..
so you re still looking at it through rose-tinted specs
ofcourse,i already knew i wouldnt really change your believe what you want to believe
no logic,no rationale,just your personal interest..sweet
viva enlightened moderation perhaps??dragging the rest of the country to standards that suit you...ha..tsk,shame..

ddf said...

p.s. you conveniently ignored all the arguments i presented regarding the issues bugti had with musharraf..sweet

happy holidays..

Cocaine said...

ah DDF, you certainly have your claws out tonight. I only wish we were having this conversation in person face to face, that would have made for a very interesting debate.
You point out about the misallocation of civil services jobs, primarily all jobs going to the army men. I wonder, what the education level of the individuals in bolachistan is. And how many of those individuals actually sit for there CSS and how many of those that do sit for it. I am certain the number is very small as compared to the need of the beauraucratic machinery.
I also have concerns about your statement that Bugti always fought for the right of the Baloch. If he was so Baloch loving then why didnt use his own wealth for the uplift of the people. After all he had inherited millions right. Well let alone the entire baloch population how about just the residents of dera bugti. Why did he not consider educating the youth and uplifiting the social set up of the place, it was after all his ancestral land. Instead he used people as his slaves the lucky ones got to be his mercenaries and the luckiest ones ended up in karachi as guards to the philandering children and mistresses of the elders of the tribe. That certainly shows care for the people
You talk about the constitution and how it provides provincial autonomy but you forget that the very constitution does not allow any individual or tribal leader to have an army of their own and forbids feudalistic attitude as well. Even if you talk about financial allocation from center, balochistan gets more as percentage of its revnue than other province. So basically, the people of rest of Pakistan, primarily Karachi, are responsible for the sustenance of the baloch and then you demand freedom. Way to pay back guys!!
See I am not sure if you are Baloch or not. I respect Baloch, or Pastun or Punjabi or Sindhi. These all the diversities that add colour to our cultural spectrum. However I do not support any individual or group who work against national security especially with individual, organizations or nations that target the soverengity of the very nation I call home.
I have a feeling you would be itching to respond to this, but prior to doing that, think about who you are what you stand for. Think about what you hear and what you see and how close are these things to reality. Educate yourself beyond your current domain. Seek the answer my friend and certainly you shall find it.

Thanks for wishing me happy holidays. I hope you enjoy your time of too.

ddf said...

yes,thats the problem
everyone thinks that they are right and that its the other one who needs to 'seek the light' or other such shiznit
and no,i wouldnt have been this patient with you if this were a real life debate
i dont stand for anything..i have nothing to gain,like i said before,if theres development in balochistan..i hardly ever go there and dont plan on spending the rest of my life there,so my priorities are straight
the problem with everyone thinking they are right is the fact that you re robbing everyone elses right to decide how they want to be governed
and i m glad you raised the point about bugti not developing his areas..alot worse was expected from a young rich karachi fellow sitting in toronto on crack
my dad oversaw 200 schools in 3 years and the reports of all superintending and chief engineers say that the roads in dera bugti are the best and more developed than the rest of the region
as far as the constitution is concerned,we can all play the blame game..the fact of the matter is that if the government has such a high moral ground against sardars,then why does it bankroll other sardars??
you talk about unconstitutional,the armies presence in politics is the biggest violation
if you get down to the ground realities though,you d realise that bugti had the mandate and everyone in his areas wholeheartedly accepted his rule,thats democracy,pretty much..the people governed the way they want to be governed
as opposed to musharraf,where half the nation doesnt want him and our unelected prime minister..i mean for petes sake
oh,and regarding civil service jobs..i dont remember any holocausts in balochistan recently,so how is it exactly that a civil service that was run purely by the baloch people,yes EDUCATED baloch people passing civil services exams were running their offices with ease and within nights there was the pressing need for military intervention there
look man,i dont blame you for not knowing the facts..but only for believing in them blindly...i know its hard for anyone over the internet to accept that what he used to believe in was not correct is hard,ego gets in the way,indeed,that is why i m writing with such vigour at the first place,but keep yourself open to it..
you havent been to balochistan once i m sure..its not too developed,but its not totally medieval

and yeah,on a final note,ah,okay,forget it

Free Mind said...

I would like to enlighten you about a comment left on another blog my friend. You sure are high above ground reality when you said nothing is burning in Pakistan.

I too am well informed about Pakistan - and if nothing was happening how come the whole of Pakistan including Islamabad and Lahore was crippled in a strike decrying the death of Nawab Bugti?

I suggest you stay in Canada - and comment on some traffic problem there. So much for ground reality! Cheers and have some more of that Cocaine - will do wonders to you!

Cocaine said...

@ddf - i have been to balochistan. to quetta, to khuzdar and sui as well. I have seen how the tribals are treated in Sui. I have seen how the elders generally discourage the people to be a part of development as a forebearer of evil.
If the roads are good in dera bugti, its for the people who drive, what good is a good road going to do to the ordinary man over there. How many schools are there, and why do the ill have to travel to sui or quetta for proper treatment.
As you said, it would be futile for either of us to try to convince each other about what we believe is right, lets just agree to disagree.

@ free mind, when things burns, there are embers, and there is smoke. What you feel to be a fire is at most a spark or an attempt to create one. You obviously are not from Pakistan and your lack credible ground knowledge has led you to believe what you believe. The boob tube is not the only source of information my "friend".
So stop thinking theres a fire till you dont see one.

ddf said...

agreeing to disagree is all too well when its about opinions
but this is a different case
you were completely convinced that bugti was the oppressor at the heart of dera bugti and stopped all 'development'
now nobody knows what constitutes development exactly,but the general acceptable definition is infrastructure and education and to an extent hospitals
now you accept that the roads are there but somehow think that that isnt development since its only for the people who have cars LOL
what else do you expect?you expect bugti to buy each person in dera bugti a car??
roads are supposed to bring commerce and business and the blame of the fact that there wasnt much of that apart from the usual can in no way be put on bugti
schools,like i said,200 schools in 3 if the government takes no steps to take the mantle from there,start teaching more teachers or change the 50 year old curriculum (in the real sense,not a cosmetic sense) only then can the real time education situation change..bugti could only do as much,even though he wasnt supposed to since thats supposed to be done by the government
it wasnt bugti who said that dont build any schools here cause i m building em,it was the government who thought that they dont need to do anything there since bugti would take care of that
as far as hospitals are concerned,sui is still in dera bugti and the same argument which applies on schools is there for hospitals..the hospitals are there but what do you expect bugti to do,he cannot import doctors from the USA surely
the governments ignorance is more to do with the situation that you say bugti is to be blamed for

you yourself have kept changing stances and have developed different arguments now to protect the government STILL even now that you agree that roads and schools were there...previously,a single line of 'bugti stopped all development for dera bugti' was suffice for i m glad i m able to make a difference and you ve started thinking a bit..just dont clog it with bias mate

oh,and as far as the elders not wanting their children to be part of the shiznit or something,you cannot blame bugti for that too...thats a culture we have inherited and its the same all around pakistan

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