Analysis over US State Department Comment on Balochistan
BY: MBK Baloch Mashkey
How has the world changed? Those who had no voice in the past are now being heard in the most prestigious places. Of course I am pointing to the US Department of State and its recent comment on Genocide in Balochistan.
Hundreds of computers and smart phones from US to GCC countries, Europe to India and even in mainland Balochistan, were used by Baloch activists sitting at their homes, logged in to twitter accounts to force the most powerful country to comment on Balochistan issue. It is a great success of Baloch activism. It reflects how Baloch movement has grown up and how it has disassociated itself with past mainly tribal struggle. Let me first comment on the much waited comment.
The first came the question and a précised and well worded:
“Pakistan is committing genocide of Baloch Nation. Why US do not intervene and make us get our freedom?”
Then came the answer:
“This was a very popular question on our feeds we wanted to make sure we answer this today. United States is deeply concerned about the ongoing violence in Balochistan, Specially targeted killings, disappearances and other human right abuses. This is a complex issue.
We strongly believe that the best way forwards, is for all the parties to resolve their differences through peaceful dialogue. We take the allegation of human rights abuses very seriously; and we have discussed this issues with Pakistani officials and also urge them to really lead and conduct a dialogue that takes this issue forwards”.
Let us analyse it word by word as world diplomacy has its own language.
First selection of the tweet: the tweet says that Pakistan is committing genocide of Baloch Nation. The selection of the question containing the word genocide means that US agree that the issue is very serious. International diplomacy is very selective in the use of language. The answering and commenting means it recognizes the issue. It is indirect recognition that Balochistan is an issue.
US in the past never recognized the issue of Balochistan. To give one example, in 1962, when Henry Kissinger was in Pakistan on a troubleshooting mission for US President J. F. Kennedy, a local journalist asked him to comment on Baloch insurgency. His answer was:
“I wouldn’t recognize the Balochistan problem, (even) if it hit me in the face.” So it was a negation of the issue.
Now, State department termed it “a very popular question on our feed” and “deeply concerned”. The word deeply means that this issue deeply concerns them and US has interests in the issue. US also recognize that there are humanitarian issues such as disappearances and human right abuses. The comment also gives a solution and affirms that there are parties to the conflict. It does not categories the parties to the conflict. Anyway there are two main parties in the conflict:
Pakistan military and Baloch Armed Struggle: BLA, BLF and BRA. It is indirect recognition of legitimacy of Baloch armed struggle by terming them parties into the conflict. So, it is great achievement for Baloch Resistance Movement.
The other part of question was US intervention in Balochistan. She did not comment on it. She did also not negate it. Neither had she affirmed it. Therefore, US have options on the table yet. To use a Shakespearean phrase, they are still thinking “to do it or not to do it.”
Now let us come back to the change in Baloch Resistance Movement. The state department’s comment reflects that Baloch Movement has significantly changed. It has modernized itself. The cadres no more are only tribesmen who rely behind a Sardar when he rebels against the state. Nor they are students in the universities. They are also professional. They use their smart phones and laptop to write, tweet, and comment on the issue of genocide in Balochistan. They all rely for one cause: Free Balochistan. This diversification of the Baloch Movement does not augur well for Pakistani state. The diversification in the movement is symbolized by Dr. Allah Nazar who is from the commoner in Balochistan.
Another factor in Baloch movement is that women and girls are playing a major role. They are cadres of student organizations, up in open resistance with Pakistani army, protesting in front of press clubs, in hunger strikes for missing persons and writing and tweeting on Twitter and Facebook.
Pakistani state has always strived to restrain Baloch women from actively taking part in politics and social activities by promoting and creating organizations and groups that misinterpret Baloch traditions by provoking strong sentiments linked to dishonor against liberal activities of Baloch women. So Baloch curtailed his own wings by restraining women from committing such acts of dishonors. Things are changed now. It should be noted that girls were very active in tweeting to the State Department that resulted in coming forth of the statement. The female factor is becoming a significant factor in Baloch Resistance. In future women and girls will be playing a greater role.