If Baloch had foreign backing, they would have better weapons: Siddiq Balouch

Published: February 29, 2012

Women are missing, bodies are turning up and yet the media is cautious, says journalist.

KARACHI: At a seminar on the ‘Balochistan situation and the role of media’, speakers chose to talk about Balochistan’s history, what they said was the “defiant” nature of the Baloch, and the government’s ignorance towards the country’s largest province. The role of media took a backseat.

The event was organised by the Karachi Press Club and the Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences on Tuesday. Balochistan Express editor, Siddiq Balouch, started the seminar by saying that there were a lot of misconceptions about the province. “At one end, there is a lack of information among people and then, there are deliberate misconceptions.”

Speaking of Baloch valour, he said that during the 100-year rule of the British in the province, “the Baloch resisted by fighting 200 battles against them”. He suggested that Baloch should be recruited to the armed forces. For example, there is such an imbalance that up to 80 per cent of men for the Frontier Corps, who are in Balochistan, actually hail from Fata.

It should not come as a surprise that the Baloch are angry as the government has never supported them and no political party has called for an end to the military operations in the province, he said. He pointed a finger at the state for being involved in kidnappings for ransom, bank robberies and other crimes. He alleged that a government guest house in Khuzdar was being used as a torture cell.

His opinion on the role the media has played was negative and short. “The media has not only ignored Balochistan, but it has also discriminated against it.”

Siddiq Balouch went on to say that the political rights movement is homegrown and that there is no evidence of foreign involvement. “The Baloch are currently not capable of taking over a single cantonment,” he said, and then, added by way of proof: “If they were backed by foreign countries, they would have the best arms and ammunition.”

In his speech, he accused the Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif of being involved in corruption of millions of rupees while ignoring the Baloch. As a solution to the province’s problems he suggested, “Freeze all disputes and spend all of the defence money on social development”.

Nai Baat newspaper general manager, Attaur Rehman, was called to give Punjab’s perception about Balochistan. However, Rehman’s speech strayed from the topic as he shared stories of his meeting with the late Nawab Akbar Bugti. During his half-hour talk, he spoke about what he perceived to be the feudalism of the leader, which irked a member of the audience who asked Rehman for a definition of feudal. As another journalist complained that the speaker did not address the issue at hand, Rehman wrapped up his speech and left the podium.

Investigative monthly magazine Herald’s correspondent Moosa Kaleem, who has reported on the burning issues of the province, warned that Balochistan’s frustration at Pakistan’s creation had turned into hatred. He said that the mishandling of the intelligence agencies has worsened the situation. Kaleem cited unconfirmed reports that women are being picked up and are missing while those who have been missing for the last two years have come back as tortured corpses. He criticised the media for not doing enough, as the print and electronic media are being extremely cautious about what they report.

Baloch leader Yusuf Masti Khan chose to speak on the history of the country. “When Pakistan was created, the administration brought Junagadh’s nawabs to the country and settled them in Balochistan. Pakistan has enhanced the feudal system.”

According to Khan, the anti-state sentiments can be traced to pre-partition. “The Baloch did not want to be a part of the new country, including the Baloch from Lyari.” Pakistan was created without a strategy on how it would be run, he said. “And Balochistan has suffered the most.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2012.

Reader Comments (11)

  • Travian
    Feb 29, 2012 - 9:08AM

    I wish India, Israel, Russia and America start supporting the Baloch. If this gets done, it would be a fitting reply to the punjabis who indulge in conspiracy theories to justify the illegal occupation of Balochistan.

    I am sure that with proper hardware, the Baloch warriors will be able to throw out the coward occupying punjabi army.

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  • MEHAR
    Feb 29, 2012 - 10:59AM

    I am really surprised with the knowledge of Mr Sadiq Baloch through his statement that “If they were backed by foreign countries, they would have the best arms and ammunition”. Dear friend has not seen the documentary of Al-Jazeera where Baloch separatist have been seen with Surface to Air Missiles(I hope they have not developed it at home through transfer of technology :) ). They use rockets to attack government installations, use complex types of improvised explosive devices to hit law enforcement agencies.
    I think Mr Sadiq Baloch is totally ignorant of how intelligence agencies work, will he realize the role of foreign intelligence agencies when these separatists will use Tanks, Guns and Aircraft?

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  • Chacha
    Feb 29, 2012 - 2:45PM

    @Travian: Travian – if you breed snakes, they will come and bite you – that advice given to Pakistan also applies to india. We bred LTTE and they bit us. So will not provide any covert support to the Baloch. Any support would be through diplomatic means, through multilateral fora and through overt humanitarian assistance only (which Pakistan could block).

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  • Feb 29, 2012 - 3:11PM

    So these separatists have rocket factory in Balochistan…where? :O

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  • Ozymandias
    Feb 29, 2012 - 6:00PM

    @Travian:
    The only ‘illegal’ occupation the baloch suffer from is by their own sardars, my friend.

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  • Feb 29, 2012 - 9:57PM

    The Baloch should get rid of their Sardars. These sardars will not want their people to get educated and live happily. If the people are educated and get decent jobs then who will stand before these sardars arms folded to say yes sir to everything they say. The main culprits are their sardars. Balochistan is ruled by the Baloch since they joined Pakistan. Even now there are 65 parliamentarians all Baloch and all ministers. The Baloch should ask them why they have not done anything to them if so they claim.

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  • TFS
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:00AM

    How should I believe that these paid mercenaries who fired rockets on Quetta Cantonment in August last year (At the time of Aftaar in holy month of Ramzan) are not being aided by foreign handlers? The rockets were aimed at the prominent mosques of of the Cantonment to target people offering Namaz-e-Maghrib. All the rockets were so accurate that they fall within 200 – 300 meters close to the target mosques even at the ranges of more than 15 kilometers. Ever our Army doesnt have so much long range and accurate rockets.
    Then how should we believe that those firing the rockets are not Pakistanis / Muslims but foreigners alongwith few paid mercenaries from our own country?

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  • Truth Seeker
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:26PM

    “He pointed a finger at the state for being involved in kidnappings for ransom, bank robberies and other crimes”
    Hard to believe state robbing herself.

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  • M Ali Khan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:36PM

    “The Baloch did not want to be a part of the new country, including the Baloch from Lyari.”

    then clearly the man has not heard of Nawab Habibullah Khan Nausherwani (Kharan), Nawab Gichki (Makuran) and Jam Sahib (Bela) who willingly acceded to Pakistan soon after independence.

    They even forget that the Khan of Kalat, despite pressures from his own family, willingly signed accession to Pakistan and called it ‘an article of faith’ in his own autobiography!

    and clearly he has NO IDEA of Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh Gabol who hailed from Lyari and was one of the prominent members of Tehrik-e-Pakistan from Sindh!

    Collective ignorance of “nationalists” and “separatists” and their pseudo-liberal sympathisers makes me cringe!Recommend

  • jawad
    Mar 1, 2012 - 8:23PM

    should read the words of the Khan of Kalat.Recommend

  • SaveTheNation
    Mar 4, 2012 - 7:01AM

    WHY IS THE MEDIA QUIET?

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