Rehman Malik Is Not a Foreign Agent
In scathing criticism directed at the federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik, a senior minister in the Balochistan government asked during a session of the Balochistan Assembly if the former was an agent of the foreign governments. Maulana Abdul Wasey, the senior minister from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, while commenting on Mr. Malik’s consistent hostile and offensive statements in flagrant support of the military operation and violation of human rights in Balochistan, said the minister’s attitude had generated speculations that he was not Pakistan’s minister but an agent of the United States, India or Israel tasked to alienate his own people.
A short and direct answer to the Maulana’s question, whether or not Mr. Malik is a foreign agent, is an emphatic no. Rehman Malik is a patriotic Pakistan whose commitment with the Pakistani army and links with its intelligence agencies are beyond any doubt.
Rehman Malik’s derogatory attitude to the Baloch people was also highlighted by former chief minister Sardar Attaullah Mengal during his recent meeting with ex-prime minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif in Karachi. The veteran Baloch leader pointed out how Malik added salt to the injuries of the victims of the conflict. In another interview with Dawn News, the elderly Baloch leader said negotiations between Balochistan and the federal government were out of question in the midst of confrontational and humiliating remarks by the interior minister in response to the Baloch demands.
Rehman Malik continuously discredits the Baloch nationalist movement by blaming India, Afghanistan and ‘other foreign forces’ for fomenting tensions in the province. He also categorically denies the involvement of the country’s intelligence agencies in the enforced disappearance, torture and killing of the Baloch youths. The minister says Islamabad will continue its operations in Balochistan to establish the ‘writ of the government’ until armed Baloch nationalists totally abandon their struggle.
The minister, on his part, has totally failed, despite repeated requests by the media, to produce any evidence of foreign assistance to the Baloch nationalist movement. He even does not know the accurate number of the people who have disappeared from Balochistan since 2004 because he still insists that no one is missing. According to his version, the government has safely resurfaced all the missing persons. So, there is no issue of disappeared people at all, he says.
Calling Mr. Malik a foreign agent is in fact absolute insult to all foreign “agents” of positive change. We remember how the Inspector General of the Frontier Corps (FC) Major General Ubaidullah Khan, had once termed the Human Rights Watch an agent of foreign governments. The non-local-non-Baloch FC chief had actually reacted to a strong-worded report of the global human rights watchdog which held the FC responsible for many violations of human rights in the province.
Hence, ‘foreign agents’ are in fact the only remaining friends of Baloch and Rehman Malik does not surely qualify to hold this humane title. Today, the people of Balochistan look at foreign organizations, such as the Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the Guardian and BBC (Urdu Service), New York Times Washington Post and the Committee to Protect Journalists as their ultimate sources of hope to attract the international community toward the injustices being committed to the people of Balochistan.
Rehman Malik simply can’t be a foreign agent because he is devoid of respect for humanity. As a matter of fact, the world outside Pakistan is largely a civilized and respectful one where citizens’ basic human rights are recognized and protected. The minister is no one in a country where the army runs a state within the state. If Mr. Malik has managed to simultaneously secure his life as well as the portfolio he holds then he should be considered as an extra-achiever. After all, his words and actions do not come from him. They are the words and deeds of the army which the poor minister is dependently compelled to deliver.
The actions of the Pakistan army inside Balochistan contradict with whatever ideology and core principles it believes in. If the custodians of the borders affirm allegiance to Islam, then there is no endorsement in 114 chapters of the Quran for killing and dumping innocent teenagers.
Besides losing the political ground in Balochistan, Islamabad has miserably lost a moral battle against secular Baloch. It is insignificant what answers General Musharraf, General Kayani or Rehman Malik will have twenty years down the line when orphaned Baloch children and widowed women will meet them. What should worry them are future confessions by their own grandchildren admitting how ashamed they are of their grandparents’ brutalities in Balochistan even in the 21st century. (Courtesy: The Baloch Hal)