Peace amid arms
Was talking to Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, the Balochistan governor, at Asim Kurd Gillo’s residence. I am not sure from where he derives his confidence. Yet he is determined to negotiate with the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).
“We are going to bring them on the negotiation table,” quipped the flamboyant governor.
“So you are going to disarm them,” I asked.
“No,” he corrected me.
“Then?” my curious eyes spoke louder than my words.
“Have you ever seen a Baloch giving up arms? How will a Baloch surrender? It is viewed as humiliation in the Baloch tribal culture.”
For a moment, Magsi seemed to be the most pragmatic person on the earth. At the same time, there was the paradox. Peace amid arms.
“But don’t we all have arms in our homes?” said the governor after realizing that he needed to give a more convincing explanation of what he had said.
“Yes we do,” I replied.
“Well, so let’s not insist on disarming them. The previous government used Danda (club) to punish the Baloch. They were very justified in losing faith in the system. This time we won’t use force but will earnestly talk.”
I sincerely keep my fingers crossed for Nawab Magsi, despite seeing too bleak prospects of his success.