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.