How (Mis)informed is Mr. Rabbani About Balochistan?

If every country in the world has a flag and a capital then why is it that the countries (allegedly) involved in Balochistan do not have a name? While sovereign states do have every reason to strictly check the involvement of foreign countries into their domestic matters, the citizens of the state, on the other hand, also have a genuine democratic right to check if their leaders are using ‘foreign hand’ as a mere pretext to avoid responsibility and accountability. In Balochistan’s context, the fresh statement by Chairman Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS)  Senator Raza Rabbani about the involvement of a “foreign hand” is absolutely outrageous. 

In his media talk, Mr. Rabbani, who is widely perceived as a more sober leader than Interior Minister Rehman Malik, blamed foreign elements responsible for the situation in Balochistan. As usual, he did not raise fingers at a certain country nor did he provide any evidence in support of his allegations. Considering the history of similar statements in the past, we believe Mr. Rabbani was referring to India and Afghanistan. One wonders what prevents the Pakistani government from publicizing the proof of foreign countries’ involvement in Balochistan. The only reason behind it is probably the absence and unavailability of such evidence.

Mr. Rabbani, who was the key architect  of the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package and the18th Amendment, has also exhibited professional insincerity on the issue of the missing persons saying that the PCNS Committee had found out that many of the disappeared citizens had voluntarily gone abroad.  How did this happen? The immigration and border security authorities surely maintain a regular record of people’s entry and exit in and from Pakistan. Records of (missing) people who exited Pakistan to go overseas but still have their names registered as ‘disappeared persons’ should be brought to public. Rhetoric should replace reality. There must be more accuracy and transparency in the issue of the missing persons. To almost an annoying degree, the government has been harping about foreign countries interference in Balochistan and missing person’s presence overseas. It is the time to bring some evidence to public attention.

Likewise, Mr. Rabbani and his team will further mislead the Parliament and public opinion because of their own ignorance about the ground realities in Balochistan. For instance, one of the key findings in the PCNS meeting, according to the Daily Times, was that the Lashkar-e-Tayyba (LeT) was involved in sectarian killings in Balochistan. A very junior student of politics and security studies would even contest this ‘finding’. The LeT does not have sectarian ambitions but a clear history and objective of fighting for the rights of Kashmiries. The group operates not in Balochistan but inside India-administered Kashmir beyond in India.

Mr. Rabbani’s talk to the media after PCNS meeting indicates a total disconnect of the civilian government from the actual situation in Balochistan. The heads of the intelligence agencies and security forces are deliberately not educating the civilian leadership about the  actual situation prevailing in the province. This is further alarming how such important meetings are used as a venue to lump nationalistic and sectarian groups. Not that we endorse any groups right to employ violence for attaining political goals, what merits attention is the diversity of issues in Balochistan, key actors, their varied goals and connections with each other. As long as the government itself fails to acquire the basic knowledge of the key players, it will only mess up with the situation. (Courtesy: The Baloch Hal)

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