Lawlessness in Balochistan

The other day I hosted a current affairs show on the Pakistan Television on the state of growing lawlessness in the province. My guests were provincial minister Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledai and senior magazine editor Yar Mohammad Badani.

We started the show with the sad news about the kidnapping of the senior American UN official John Solecki, an incident that brought shame to the entire province of Balochistan, which has historically been the land of very hospitable people.

There was consensus among the panelists that kidnapping and other such activities are normally carried out by the supporters of Taliban. These are the people who entered Balochistan some 30 years ago as refugees with the full support of the Americans and the regime of General Zia-ul-Haq. The local leadership back in Quetta resisted the move saying that it could, in the future, culminate in demographic changes and severe law and order issues.

We have recommended the government of Pakistan time and again that the Afghan refugees should be sent back to their country. If they could not be faithful to someone like John who has travelled a long way from the United States to help these refugees then how are they going to care for the remaining people of Balochistan?

We believe as long as the Afghan refugees continue to live in Quetta and elsewhere in Balochistan with the covert support of the Pakistan Establishment, they will keep causing you more trouble.

Plus, there is propaganda being floated by the Pakistani Establishment that the Baloch insurgents are involved in this kidnapping. While no one from the right wing has spoken yet, I personally posed the same question to the spokesmen of the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and the Baloch Republican Army (BRA). In response, both of them said they were not involved in the kidnapping of the US official.

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