Author Archives: bolanvoice

Title September 2015


Tell God everything angel, promise to tell God everything

Sleep tight sweetheart, fly away as far as you can.aylan-kurdi-syria-refugee_940x-807x600
But do promise me angel,
that when you come to heaven,
you will tell God all about Humans.
Tell God that planet Earth is no place
for small innocent boys like you.
Tell God that on planet Earth,
humans behead people in his name,
governments bomb cities and shoot children,
and other Humans only watch them doing so.
Tell God that this morning,
when your mom put a red t-shirt
and blue shorts on you, she told you
that you were going to a place
where there was no war,
where you could play without bombs raining on you,
and you would go to sleep without a lullaby of gunfire.
Tell God that your mom wouldn’t have put you on a boat
unless the water was safer than the land where you came from
Tell God that on planet Earth,
there are many humans but not much humanity.
Tell God everything angel, promise to tell God everything

courtesy ti SATHKÀRA

What is Syrian conflict?

By Ahmed Khan

Imperialist powers ignited fire in Arab World to delay or push back the awaited revolution or change in regime. They Untitled-1started game from Tunisia in shape of Arab Spring. In this series, they somehow overthrew autocrats in Arab countries, like in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Further they were working on a devised war in Syria, then Lebanon on the other countries were on line to bring obedient set up and lengthen the age of their colonialism.

In Syria, the imperialist powers ignited fire and orchestrated war that has spread very wide and got complicated, hence now it seems adrift to unspecified destination. Here some historical facts are presented to grasp the muddle in Syria:

In 1923 to 1946 the French colonizer had great deal in creation of Syria after the World War – I in the result of Ottoman Empire collapse. At that time, France took control on two states on the east Mediterranean, today known as Syria and Lebanon. This territory was, and remains, quite ethnically and religious diverse.

There are lots of countries whose borders were imposed by European imperialists that manage to do fine for theirs interests, but the point is that the French colonialism set up modern-day Syria in a way that contributed to tension between ethnic and religious groups, which eventually turn into a hotbed of mutiny today. They promoted a minority group, Alawite Shia Muslim intentionally as symbiotic for them on majority Sunnies and world largest ethnic without state the Kurd. Purposely the French preferred Alawities that they rely upon them onward for upholding their dominance on Syria and by this way it will maintain the interests of colonialist.

After disintegration of Soviet Union in 90s decade, the world turned in unipolar. Thus, the America got hegemony on world politics and France also stepped back to some extent and today America is dealing greatly in entire world including Syria but other powers infiltration in this country made all unmanageable.

GettyImages-102848228Military regime took power in 1963 and Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970, he is father of present monarch Bashar al-Assad who belong to Alawite faith.

In March 2011, in the Syrian city Deraa protest took place and it was dealt in bloody way by Assad regime. This time it was backed by imperialist powers directly or was stimulated by them by collaboration of neighboring states, mainly the Saudi Arabia. The Syrian forces killed four protestors in Deraa city but stern action could not halt the violence to spread throughout country, and present strife have historical perspective but it is not abrupt.

In July 2011, an armed force to counter Assad regime was found with name Free Syrian Army. Gainsaid that force was established by imperialist powers though people of Syrian were chagrined by Assad regime and succeeding it was also admitted by United States with its allies for formation. Subsequently, the US also affirmed failure about Syrian rebels to overthrow Assad regime and replace with a puppet government in style of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The imperialist intervention in Syria caused chaos and civil war in country because the fighting which does not have political and socialistic impetus and this flagged a way to the regional religious infuriated people for muster. During August 2011 the Iraq War, one of the worst of several Sunni extremist groups was al-Qaeda in Iraq. The group was so awful that many Sunni Iraqis turned against it, helping to largely (though not completely) defeat the group by 2007 or so.

But by 2011, al-Qaeda in Iraq had begun rebuilding. And it saw the growing conflict in neighboring Syria as an opportunity to gain weapons, bases, and recruits.

In August 2011, AQI leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sent a top deputy, Abu Mohammad al-Joulani, to Syria. His goal was to set up a new branch of the extremist organization in the country. Joulani succeeded, establishing Jabhat al-Nusra (about which we’ll talk more in a second). Years later, the franchise would divide in two after AQI changed its name to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and asserted total control over Nusra. Some fighters pledged loyalty to al-Qaeda’s central leadership, while others defected to ISIS.

This was all far off in mid-2011. But the fact that ISIS had operatives in Iraq as early as August 2011 illustrates how quickly it recognized that Syria was an opportunity — and just how deep its roots in the country go.

International powers put their fingers in Syria raging proxy war for interests on cost of human lives. On one side, the America and its allies are using Syrian rebels and religious groups by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other regional countries, and the US also taken on its page the Kurds who are struggling for an independent state. And on the other side, the old player the Russia also came afore in arena of Syria.

In October 2011, as Assad’s crackdown worsened, international condemnation grew. In October, the UN Security Council considered a draft resolution condemning Assad’s crimes — not intervening, not calling for a referral to the International Criminal Court, just condemning. Russia and China vetoed it. When another draft resolution was proposed in February 2012, they vetoed that one too.

This was mainly a Russian initiative. “The perception amongst diplomats in New York was that Beijing was [vetoing] out of solidarity with Moscow rather than commitment to Damascus,” Simon Adams, the director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, writes in a report on the UN and Syria.

This was part of Russia’s long-running policy of providing Assad diplomatic cover from the world’s outrage, no matter what he did. Moscow had been backing Assad in his war essentially since protests began. In 2011 alone, Russia sold nearly $1 billion in arms to the regime.

Ties between the two countries go all the way back to the Cold War: According to one scholar, the Soviets “essentially built” the modern Syrian military in the 1960s. Continued support for the Assad government yielded the USSR its most reliable ally and proxy in the Middle East.

Today, Syria remains one of Russia’s few reliable allies outside of the former Soviet republics, a vestige of Moscow’s former superpower status and a final military toehold in the Middle East. Russia maintains a valuable naval base today at Tartus, on Syria’s Mediterranean coast, and has sold a number of surplus weapons to Assad. Between 2006 and 2010, 48 percent of Syrian arms imports came from Russia. So Russia has defended Assad to preserve its ally.

But the lengths that Russia has gone to protect Assad show there’s more going on here. To understand that, you have to know the lessons that Russian President Vladimir Putin drew from another Arab Spring uprising that devolved into war: Libya.

In March 2011, Syria was still calm and Russia was formally ruled by Dmitri Medvedev (though Putin, as prime minister, remained powerful). Libya’s uprising looked to be on the verge of terrible violence, and Western countries sought a UN Security Council resolution authorizing the NATO to intervene against government forces. Though Russia typically opposes such interventions, Medvedev abstained on the resolution, allowing it to go through. Russia — and particularly Putin — then watched with mounting horror as the intervention became a war to topple Qaddafi.

For Putin, what happened in Libya was the sum of many of his greatest fears: popular uprisings, collapsing authoritarian regimes, Western interventions, and extremism — all forces that he fears, in another context, could perhaps one day come to Moscow.

“[Putin] imagined the uprising in Libya as simply another step toward a revolution being orchestrated for Moscow.

When protests spread to Syria, an actual Russian ally, Putin was determined not to let what had happened in Libya happen again. He leveraged Russia’s military and diplomatic might to aid Assad in his war against his own people, including, a few months after the Libya intervention, by vetoing the UN Security Council resolution to condemn Assad.

And Russia would stay right alongside Assad every step of the way.

In January 2012, the Syrian revolution did not begin as sectarian. But Sunni extremist groups quickly infected the opposition — with a little help from Bashar al-Assad. In amnesties issued between March and October 2011, he released a significant number (exact counts are hard to know) of extremists held in Syrian prisons.

Assad, it seems, hoped to sectarianize the conflict by boosting Sunni extremists in the opposition — and thus rallying Alawites and Christians to the regime’s cause and deterring international intervention on the rebels’ behalf.

It worked. According to Brookings’s Charles Lister, many of Joulani’s new recruits in Syria came from “individuals [recently] released in a series of amnesties granted by President Bashar al-Assad.”

In January 2012, Jabhat al-Nusra — the new al-Qaeda franchise in Syria — announced its formation, with Joulani at its head. They were effective fighters and, by the end of that year, had linked up with many other anti-Assad rebels.

“When the US State Department designated Jabhat al-Nusra a terrorist organization on December 11, 2012,” Lister writes, “the theme of that week’s Friday protests across Syria was ‘we are all Jabhat al-Nusra.’”

In August 2012, as the conflict got worse, the death toll rose precipitously: As of March 2012, the UN estimated that around 9,000 Syrians had been killed in the fighting. By January 2013, the estimate was up to 60,000.

Much of that can be blamed on the Assad regime’s vicious assaults on civilian-populated areas. Nothing symbolizes that brutality like the barrel bomb, whose first use was reported on August 22, 2012.

Barrel bombs are containers filled with explosives and sometimes metal, dropped from helicopters, often on civilian areas. Regime forces use them to cow the opposition, heedless of the civilian death toll.

“Assad’s indiscriminate use of barrel bombs deep in opposition-held territory means that for many there is no safe place to hide,” Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, writes in the New York Times.

While barrel bombs are far from the only way that Assad’s forces kill, the mere fact of their use shows how fully Assad has embraced indiscriminate violence and terror against civilians as a military tool.

By mid-2012, Assad was in serious trouble. He had lost effective control over much of the country, and many analysts believed a rebel victory was looking more likely.

Enter Iran.

Syria’s alliance with Iran dates back to 1980, and is critical to Iran’s regional strategy. It uses Syria to convey weapons and other goods to its proxies and allies, most notably Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. In return, Assad’s regime gets military and political assistance from Tehran.

In 2012, Iran responded by sending in Hezbollah to fight on Assad’s side.

“In late 2012, US and Israeli officials received intelligence that the commander of the Iranian Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, feared the Assad regime was in danger of being defeated by opposition forces,” the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Matthew Levitt writes. “Hezbollah would need to become involved in a much greater military capacity in Syria, or Soleimani argued the window of Iranian supplied advance weaponry directly to Hezbollah through Syria would close.”

By that October, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged that his fighters were on the ground (though he bizarrely denied sending them). Iran’s support for Assad escalated from there. In early 2013, they were heavily involved in engagements like the al-Qusayr offensive in western Syria, where Hezbollah forces helped turn the tide in the government’s favor.

It’s impossible to say whether Iran’s aid was the only thing that saved Assad from defeat back in 2012 and early 2013. But there’s no doubt that Iran’s assistance has been crucial to Assad — and a major reason the conflict has continued for so long.

In March 2013, after the Iraq War, and maybe earlier, the oil-rich Arab states along the Persian Gulf — particularly Saudi Arabia, the largest and strongest — had been embroiled in a sort of Cold War with Iran. Both sides wish to steer the political course of the Middle East, and see the other as a fundamental threat to their security.

So when Assad began to teeter, the Gulf States saw an opportunity to unseat one of Iran’s principal allies, and started sending arms to the Syrian rebels. Though this had gone on since at least 2012, the Arab League formalized it in March 2013, voting to give all members explicit permission to arm the Syrian opposition. In May of that year, the Financial Times reported that Qatar alone had given $3 billion in aid to the rebels.

But the problem here is that this huge cash infusion didn’t all go to the good guys. Internal rivalries, particularly between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, caused the different Gulf States to pick different Syrian rebel groups to shower with cash. This was devastating, on two levels. First, it fractured and weakened the rebels: “Competition between their networks of rebel groups has been one of the major factors hindering the unification of the Syrian opposition,” George Washington University’s Marc Lynch writes.

Second, it helped extremists. Qatar in particular showered Jabhat al-Nusra with cash, helping the al-Qaeda franchise grow to become one of the most powerful anti-Assad forces in Syria. This, in turn, made it almost impossible for the United States or other interested powers to have any confidence that intervening against the regime would lead to a better Syria. Which is what Assad wanted all along.

In April 2013, something happened that would prove catastrophic for Syria: ISIS and al-Qaeda started breaking up.

ISIS leader Baghdadi had long had tensions with al-Qaeda’s central leadership in Pakistan, and wanted to make sure he could control al-Qaeda’s faction in Syria. But as Jabhat al-Nusra became stronger on the battlefield, it had begun to operate independently from Baghdadi.

On April 9, 2013, Baghdadi declared that Jabhat al-Nusra was part of al-Qaeda in Iraq — and that the new group would now be known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. But Nusra’s head, Joulani, refused to join up.

This left ISIS to “gradually emerge as an autonomous component within the Syrian conflict,” according to Lister, by absorbing Nusra fighters and territory in northern and eastern Syria. In February 2014, ISIS was formally exiled from al-Qaeda, making it and Jabhat al-Nusra into enemies.

The competition between the two groups further radicalized the opposition, as there were now two powerful jihadist groups in Syria. And it gave ISIS the freedom to fully implement its hard-line, brutal ideology — and even incentivized it to out-extremist al-Qaeda in a competition for recruits and resources.

Assad, for his part, was perfectly happy to leave ISIS alone, in yet another example of his “encourage extremism” strategy. “ISIS almost never fought the Assad regime.

The full scale of the disaster wouldn’t become clear until about a year later, when ISIS swept into northern Iraq and declared a caliphate in its territory in both countries. But the al-Qaeda/ISIS split was the beginning of a new, even darker period in Syria’s war.

On August 21, Assad’s forces launched sarin gas — a horrifying and deadly chemical weapon — into the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, killing somewhere between 281 and 1,423 people, likely including hundreds of civilians.

It is perhaps the single most infamous event in the Syrian civil war. Morally, it symbolizes the depravity of Assad’s strategy. Politically, it put the international community at a crossroads: Had Assad finally gone too far?

Since early in the uprising, the Obama administration had been calling for the Assad regime to go, but resisted any major efforts to help the rebels. But it had declared chemical weapons use to be a “red line”: If Assad used them, the implication seemed to be, it could trigger an American military response.

But after Ghouta, Obama didn’t seem to want to follow through. He submitted a plan for punitive airstrikes in Syria to Congress, where it was likely to fail.

Meanwhile, Russia was denying that the Syrian government had launched the attack. The Russians, of course, were still supporting Assad: Just that May, they had provided his forces with advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, principally useful for deterring Western airstrikes.

That shows the Russians were still scared by the prospect of an anti-Assad intervention — a fear that explains why Russia got heavily involved in diplomacy after Ghouta. The Russians and the US made a deal: Assad would agree to give up his chemical weapons stockpile if the US backed off the threat of punitive airstrikes.

The chemical weapons deal was certainly a real accomplishment: It significantly lowered the risk of both chemical weapons use and of large deposits falling to ISIS or al-Qaeda. But Syria’s rebels felt betrayed, and came to believe that the US would never fulfill its promises to help them. That’s one of several reasons why subsequent US efforts to work with rebels have failed so dramatically.

In June 2014, ISIS swept northern Iraq, taking the country’s second most populous city, Mosul. That August, it invaded Iraqi Kurdistan, which is a close US partner. This, together with the televised execution of two American journalists, prompted Obama to declare a plan to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS on September 10.

This plan had to involve Syria, where ISIS has a substantial base. But there was a problem: ISIS can’t be dislodged without a ground effort against them, but the US has no allies on the ground in Syria.

Obama created a program for training and equipping friendly rebels, but the plan has been totally botched in implementation. Roughly 54 US-trained Syrian rebels have been fielded, as of August — and about half were quickly killed or captured by Jabhat al-Nusra.

The program’s failures point to the core contradiction in American policy. The rebels overwhelmingly see Assad as their key enemy: ISIS is a sideshow, and Nusra is often an ally. The United States, meanwhile, wants the rebels to focus on fighting ISIS and Nusra, and doesn’t want to help them fight Assad. US and rebel priorities just don’t line up. For another thing, “moderate” rebels have co-mingled with extremists for so long that there’s no longer a clear line.

In period of February to March 2015, the rise of the Kurds and rebel coalition Jaish al-Fatah

It’s always too early for hope in Syria. But in early 2015, there were some signs that the bad guys were in trouble. Both Assad and ISIS lost ground, as this map of territorial changes in Iraq and Syria from January to June 2015 shows:

ISIS lost 9.4 percent of its total territory in both countries, while Assad lost 16 percent of his land in Syria, a staggering decline in just six months.

ISIS’s defeats in Syria are primarily due to Kurdish advances in the country’s north. For months, ISIS besieged the Kurdish town of Kobane — and was repulsed in February 2015, the group’s first major defeat in Syria. Afterward, Kurdish forces, heavily backed by US airstrikes, went on the offensive. By late June, they were on the outskirts of ISIS’s capital city of Raqqa.

Assad, meanwhile, has a lost a lot of ground — including some territory dangerously close to the coastal Alawite heartland. One key reason is a new rebel coalition, founded in March, called Jaish al-Fatah, whose name means the Army of Conquest. Jaish al-Fatah, which includes Jabhat al-Nusra and several other rebel factions, has proven remarkably effective in combat with Assad’s forces. Moreover, per Robinson, “the Assad regime has had trouble, recently, recruiting new members to the military — particularly from the Alawite community.”

But it’s too early to break out the champagne. There’s little indication that either Assad or ISIS is going to collapse imminently. Even if one of them does, Nusra stands to gain the most.

July 2015: Syrian refugee totals crosses the 4 million mark

The four years of fighting and shifting battle lines have been hell for Syria. About 250,000 people have been killed, and roughly 11.6 million people have been displaced from their homes — about half of Syria’s prewar population. Of those, 4 million have been forced out of the country entirely.

These refugees are largely housed in overcrowded and underfunded camps in neighboring countries such as Turkey and Lebanon. With little hope of returning home, many of these families are seeking new lives in Europe. The numbers of Syrians heading to Europe have swelled in the past year and a half. You can see this in the surge in asylum applications, shown in the chart below, which helps to show the crisis’s growing urgency not just for Syrians but for the world:

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 3.39.53 PM

The journey is expensive, uncertain, and often fatal, as in the tragic case of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach. That these Syrian families would risk so much speaks to the horrors they’re fleeing, and to their hopes, however faint, of finding a future for their children.

September 2015: Russia’s military formally intervenes in Syria

In mid-September, a few dozen Russian military jets showed up at an aging military base the country uses in Syria, along with a couple hundred troops to guard them. On September 30, Russia officially launched airstrikes in Syria — its first overt combat operation in the war. The bombings were officially sold as an anti-ISIS operation.

In fact, as the above map shows, the strikes did not target ISIS but rather anti-Assad rebels — many of whom also fight ISIS. These strikes are really just an escalation of Russia’s long-running strategy of propping up Assad, now by bombing his enemies within Syria.

Russia’s offensive isn’t yet a game changer in military terms: These airstrikes, on their own, won’t be able to change the fundamental dynamics of the war. The offensive might even help some rebel groups’ recruiting by inciting outrage among Syria’s Sunni majority. The Russian military is notoriously indifferent to civilian casualties.

The escalation, then, is best understood as an act of fear rather than canny strategy. As Amanda Taub explains, Syria has come to represent all of Putin’s greatest fears about democratic revolution and the expansion of Western influence. He’s determined to try to save Assad, even if it the effort will cost him.

But the escalation isn’t totally irrational. Russia’s basic strategy is diplomatic, not military: It wants to reverse Assad’s international isolation, as well as its own, by positioning Syria and Russia as leading a new coalition against terrorism. That’s why, in an address to the UN General Assembly on September 28, Putin called for an ”anti-Hitler coalition” uniting Russia, the West, and Assad against ISIS and other unspecified terrorist groups (which, in Putin’s mind, likely include the Syrian rebels).

Russian_Airstrikes_30_SEPT_2015-1.0The Obama administration’s response to Russia’s overtures isn’t exactly clear. But Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria is definitely a significant new development — particularly for the Syrian civilians trapped in the crossfire.

Syria turned into a slaughter house for Syrian and they in mid of fear fleeing to strange lands, especially heading to Europe. Some civilized countries welcomed tormented people but onward they may not because no one is willing to tolerate inconvenience in their life for the sake of someone.

Presently, Syrian groups are like dice on chess board in front of world players who have no mercy for innocent citizens but they have fixed eyes on their share and interests in con of religion, modernization, nationalism and in other malicious means.

Special thanks to information have been taken in article from site.

Disunity among Baloch leadership is a great impediment on the way to success

An exclusive interview with Sher Alam Marri, Baloch Nationalist Political thinker, based in St. Petsburg, Russia.

Interviewed by Shehzad Baloch

(Blv stands for Bolan Voice and SAM for Sher Alam Marri)

Blv: Please tell us briefly about your biography for the readers of Bolan Voice Magazine.

SAM: My complete name is Sher Alam Marri. I said fare-well to Balochistan in 1982 accompanied by Babu Shero Marri a sher alam marrirenowned Baloch guerrilla fighter. For a period of time, I remained in London and then went to Afghanistan where Khair Bukhsh Marri and Babu Shero were also present. At that time, I was staying in Kabul and studying at the poly-technique Institute. Subsequently, I migrated to the Soviet Union of that time, the presently Russia. Since then, I have been living here in Russia. In early days of my residence here in Russia, I learnt the Russian language and afterward I got a degree in Civil Aviation Engineering. Once or twice, I have been to Balochistan but the situations was averse to us, consequently I returned to Russia in the era of Musharraf after being detained and subsequently released. I opposed my fellow Baloch politicians for taking in the Pakistani parliamentarian process with a clear stance that I only seek the resolve of Baloch malady in an independent Balochistan.

Blv: Please elaborate on differences that existed between Khair Bukhsh Marri and Babu Shero that led them to part their ways?

SAM: Both leaders have departed and they are not present among us. Khair Bukhsh Marri was our leader but not a tribal chieftain (Sardar) because he never levied taxes on his nation and only guided them in political and tribal mechanisms, so he can be identified as a nationalist leader better than a Sardar. At that time, there were diversions in world politics and political thoughts which triggered some differences between them, but it would have been more appropriate to ask this question from one of them rather than me or someone else. I cannot give anyone a grade of good or bad, we traditionally don’t slate any demised personality. I witnessed that neither Babu raised the voice of Bijrani and Gazaini nor the nationalist leader Khair Bukhsh Marri, but some opportunists conspired to emanate such misperception and they were rejected. At that time, world politics was knotted with Soviet Union which got disintegrated and caused minor disapprovals between fractions including political thinkers. I believe the politics related to Soviet Union was reason of strife. The disintegration of socialist bloc resulted in the fall of Dr Najeeb’s government in Afghanistan and this ensued the return of Baloch people from Afghanistan to Balochistan, and during this some displeasures penetrated in the folds of nationalists which were not unprecedented that could not be mended. I think in present settings this issue should not be exaggerated. It is endorsed that both leaders sagaciously didn’t say anything about Gazaini or Bijarani and foiled treacherous attempts by state elements to loggerhead brethren.

Blv:  Did Babu Shero voice up for an independent Balochistan or he only had a stance on autonomy?

SAM: Look! At that time that Baloch people could not make a demand directly for freedom. Our people were not edified to meet the level of freedom, hence we were struggling with one step below, but educated a cadre like Wahid Qambar, Abdul Nabi Bangulzai and others were mindful about destination which was and is freedom. At that time, Nationalist leader Khair Bukhsh Marri and Babu Shero agitated the people about autonomy but now people have known, so today’s demand is vibrant which is ‘freedom’. At that time, situations were totally different than those today and fighting was confined only in the Marri area, Mekuran including other parts of Balochistan were not affected, but today the entire Baloch nation in every nook and corner of Balochistan is concerned about the freedom struggle. In 1973, the organization BSO (Baloch Student Organization) was premature and a small number of students came to Russia for studies. Student organization was single and it was haunted in the eyes of agencies, and they were adamant to vanish it away and following it was divided into groups and got enfeebled. They were alert that Baloch nation is getting prepared for freedom and must be congested in the early stage. Both sides of the party were engaged in preparations; we were working to systemize and strengthened the movement, and in parallel, state was preparing to eliminate it. In the long run, our aim was freedom and it still is, only variance is that at that time majority of the people were not cognizant about independence but today they are firm to gain this.

Blv: Please inform us about the present position of Baloch movement, whether it is systemized, equipped with modern tools, members are educated and so on?

SAM: Yes, modernization is there, but it will be impropriate to say that only the Baloch movement is energetic but opponent is defenseless. Today, the rival has found more diversity to counter the movement and is mercilessly killing innocent and noncombatant Balochs, no matter what walk of life they belong to. The Baloch nation is not part of this country and it is being run by Punjabis who have no sympathies for our occupied nation. Present Baloch movement is much powerful than previous ones which is conspicuous to all including myself. Here, I feel that in previous movements leadership was much competent and spirited, if the present movement is led the way it was done in the past, the conditions would have been different in Balochistan today. In the past movement, discipline and leadership was rigid but today it lacks this and internal differences between groups exist overwhelmingly, which is saddening. Yes, Baloch nation is paying very lofty sacrifices and I don’t see any example of this in Baloch history. The leadership of Baloch movement is unable to grasp and value the hefty sacrifices by Baloch and here I feel dimness in leadership, only.

Blv: There are some accepted standards the in world, based on which each ethnicity does not have its own country; for example, in Russia, where you are currently residing, consists of various ethnic groups but is a successful country, so why do the Balochs need a separate state?

SAM: Look! Russia has given due status to Chechen which is a Muslim part of this country, where education rate is high and has been granted all facilities of life including control on its resources and production. Tataristan, which is a Muslim republic of Russian Federation, has its own president and enjoy full autonomy. These states’ comparison with our land Balochistan is totally inappropriate. Baloch region is being dominated by Punjab and the same ethnic group is controlling all the country but has denied all rights of the Baloch nation. Gas was discovered in 1951 in Balochistan and has been supplied to Quetta, the capital of this province, since the 80s. But in Tartaristan, when gas was discovered, the income generated from this national resource together with its control was given to Tartarians. Similarly, petrol was explored and developed in Chechen and the same state is enjoying income of this natural resource. Balochistan is occupied and Baloch has no authority in its province. Musharraf was attacked in Islamabad so we did not witness any operation there but when he was attacked in Kohlu so this area received prompt backlash by the state forces. A rocket was fired on Mr Musharraf but the entire Marri areas was bombarded ruthlessly, because Pakistani establishment does not consider Baloch as their citizens and treat them like slaves and have no mercy on them, no matter whether they live or die. In Lahore, a bomb explodes but we see no operation there, but in Quetta when such incident occurs, as result in entire Sariab, which is a predominantly a Baloch area, operations are conducted. Double standard is visible to all.

In Chamalang area, coal is extracted but cold areas of Balochistan are deprived of this for the purposes of heat and fire fuel and nonsensically it is supplied to far away cities in Punjab for factories and other intents. Islamabad makes all policies about Balochistan and the chief minister of the province, Dr Malik Baloch, has no authority and he acts based on the instructions given to him by the establishment. In a nutshell, Balochistan is occupied and its resources are being plundered by the occupier.

The history of Pakistan tells us that the Baloch will never be given rights like you said about Russian republics. Baloch needs a national state for its national heritage, identification and a better future whilst in remaining in Pakistan the Baloch renaissance is impossible.

Blv: Ground realities show that the state of Pakistan is powerful; it has a strong army with nuclear technology, and international powers like China, US and oil rich Arab States also are succoring it for the sake of their interests. Contrary to this, Baloch is powerless and internationally it has inadequate support to combat, so why not compromise on minimal gains than independence?

SAM: The history of Pakistan entails that the Baloch should be killed, whether or not they combat. If Baloch demands their rights so they are killed, otherwise by indigence they are dwindling. In such conditions, why not they adopt the way to national honor. Soviet Union was also a nuclear power and I witnessed its economical dilapidate which resulted in its breakdown into 14 pieces. The Soviet was stronger than Pakistan in all aspects. We Baloch are flawed but the state of Pakistan is racket of tribulations. Now, it is working on an economic corridor with the collaboration of China and sold-out Gwadar to this country which is expanding its presence. I am sure that the Baloch will foil all plans of the occupant to withstand on the price of Baloch land and resources. Today, Baloch land has been set on fire but the state is also enduring ramifications. Baloch guerrilla style war has inflected excessive financial deficits on the state. The state is surrounded in internal and external strife in shape of religious extremism, failed foreign policy and so on. Only China is assisting it in pursuance of interests to attain minerals of Balochistan and avail Pakistani markets for vending its products, otherwise I do not see any sincerity in their interactions. A state keeps atomic bombs in the fridge instead of foodstuff, this citing counterparts with Pakistan a country facing energy crises, load-shedding, food shortage, no provision of hygienic drinking water, health facilities and so on. Such a state has a dark future but the Baloch land is rich with its natural resources and it also has a splendid history, forever it has been a sovereign state, so in these perspectives why should we rely only on minimal demands rather than independence.

Blv: You do not consider tribalism and disparity based social classes for backwardness of Baloch and without the ejection of these how will a nation get affiliated with political movement?

SAM: You and I cannot discard tribalism from the life of Baloch but its cycle of evolution is diminishing it serenely. In the early times, we could not know the events that were happening in sparse areas of Balochistan but today a tiny progress through social media and Facebook get ubiquitous. Today, if something happens in Kohlu so it gets known widely in matter of minutes by Mekuran’s peoples through social media, mobile phone and other ways. The mentioned inventions and cycle of evolution is having an effect on tribalism, inexorably.

Khair Bukhsh Marri’s struggle and his role is an exact example regarding social change in the Baloch society. He relinquished tribal status but worked as a leader for the entire Baloch nation instead of serving only the Marri tribe. He performed an exceptional role among the Baloch Sardars. With the passage of time, modifications will be brought in the society and the movement, of course this will be put on systemized and rational basis. Today, Dr Allah Nazar and Wahid Qambar are the role models who are not sons of any tribal chieftain or high class person but are leading the movement. Some Sardars or tribal elements, who have some high positions in the movement is because of sacrifices not for other means. I consider all Balochs rightful who paid sacrifices and are struggling; only belonging to a higher class or being a Sardar is not enough for being a leader.

Blv: Do you have any formula that can allow all the Baloch separatist groups to work under a single command and control?

SAM: I have always worked and currently working to formulate a single platform for the Baloch, otherwise our sweats will not bring any fruits. At all costs, we have to form a combined platform. I deeply desire Baloch unity but this requires collective exertions by the youth, senior politicians, student organizations and others. Baloch intellectual ought to write about unity, Baloch teacher should teach about unanimity, only then we will be able to constitute an alliance or a single party for guidance. We Balochs have to eliminate zai (sub-tribes) and other regional identifications for the sake of collective national identification and a national state. I do not have a swift impacting or a magical tool to use it on the Baloch so that it give up the division of zai and likewise egos. You journalists, Baloch intellectuals and leaders should teach, educate and write on this topic untiringly, then I think its implementation will be possible. It is a fact that differences have existed for a very long but now social media and other modern apparatuses have highlighted or uncovered these more. I personally toiled to settle these discussed dissensions and I am aware that Dr Allah Nazar also strived for correction of these issues too. We desire to bring all political personalities and groups on a single platform and agenda the overall interest of the Baloch nation.

Blv: Presently, which secessionist group do you think is considered to be systemized, ideologically mature, principled and politically aware?

SAM: I salute Sarmachars (Baloch Fighters) who are fighting for the independence of the Baloch motherland whether they belong to Kohlu, Mekuran, Bolan, Dera Bugti or any other part of Balochistan. With regards to leadership, I cannot comment on this. Those who embraced martyrdom in the way of freedom, I present red salute to them and I have great respect for the Baloch martyrs and their bereaved families. I do not distinguish Baloch pro-independence organizations that are struggling in multiple ways but pay respects to their efforts.

Blv: What are your views about Brahamdagh Bugti’s interview which he had with the BBC Urdu service and broadcasted a few days ago?

SAM: Unfortunately, we criticize a lot. Brahamdagh’s interview should be listened to profoundly, he never spoke about submission before Pakistan but he said if his nation says for coming back to Balochistan, so he actually follows the nation’s wants, because he is leading a section in the Baloch nation and a leader is obliged to care for the demand and desire of followers. He said that if the Baloch nation asks for a withdrawal from independence standpoint, then he would respect the mandate of the nation. And his words mean that the Baloch people who are struggling in political way or fighting in mountains for independence but he never counted like Dr Malik and Sarfraz Bugti as Baloch in his interview. I think Brahamdagh’s words are being misinterpreted by state elements or someone could not derive its true meaning. The other point is that this person is living as a migrant in a country and cannot say blatantly that he is operating an organization which is waging a war against a state. Dr Allah Nazar can explicitly speak for freedom because he is somewhere in the mountains of Balochistan but I think a person staying in Switzerland, Sweden or another country cannot do so openly. I think Brahamdagh’s words were only a political realignment and nothing else.

Blv: In the previous days,  there was a news story appeared in the Pakistani media about the laying down of weapons by Baloch insurgents and the state authorities claim that estranged Balochs are swearing for allegiance to the state. How do you weigh these news segments and statements?

SAM: The mentioned authorities should be asked where were these people before capitulation? If they are talking about Haji Kalati and stating him the member of UBA, so he had moved to Punjab long ago and was not member of the organization but was expelled. Some people got sidelined because of inner grievances between UBA and BLA and were either not prominent or high rank commanders and those were of Marri tribe, only. Ideological workers are struggling and they will continue until achievement of their objective. This is only a media-show and is being performed by the so called Nawab (dukes) and Sardars (chieftains) to gain some incentives and state positions, hence in this competition they conduct fake submission rounds which are exaggerated by the state controlled and partial media. Irrationally, the media show mercenaries were laying down outdated guns which were never used by those who fight for freedom. I believe Baloch is a valiant nation and they will never put their weapons on the ground. If someone sidelines due to strong differences so he silently parts his way but not comes in front of media and surrender before forces. This claim is totally ridiculous and incredible.

Blv: Currently, the fifth Baloch insurgency is prolonging for more than a decade, so where do you see its position and achievements?

SAM: In the previous movements, Baloch were not educated enough and we did not have any approach on international level, but today Mehran Baloch is representing the nation at United Nation’s forum, as result of which it is being supported internationally. Today if a Baloch is residing in any country like the US, the UK or Norway so that can get nationality of mentioned country as being a member of a stateless nation. This is a fact that our internal dissensions are disturbing us to deal smoothly with international world. Influential states in world politics, like American senators and politicians are well aware of Baloch issue, similarly the Russians and other countries also value Baloch stance. Though the discussed states’ interest are linked with the state of Pakistan but we are representing Baloch nation internationally, even this issue is progressing slowly but it is elevating gradually. We are voicing up against human rights violation in Balochistan and facing opposition by the state of Pakistan that sends letters to the international community and disproportionately declare Baloch leaders as terrorist but it is fails to misinform them.

Blv: It was observed that a small number of people gather to protest on international level in various countries such as Switzerland, Germany, the UK, the US and so on, I think every group has built its own two bricks church.

SAM: You are right, this is a misfortune of Baloch nation and currently we are not united and Baloch dynamic is divided in Balochistan and in diaspora too which requires melioration. I already told you that we are striving to converge the energies of Baloch and I am optimist that soon the nation will know of a good news about this. Baloch youth should not be disappointed, history tells us that such things happens in movements like this. Before the socialist revolution in Russia which was led by Linen, there were disagreements between the Bolshevik and Menshevik but at the end the true one raised.

Blv: A mindset among some people exists which believes that a leader sits very far from the motherland in Europe or somewhere else cannot be revolutionary or a true leader. Do you agree with this argument?

SAM: I think all cannot be in a single place. Dr Allah Nazar is in Balochistan and he is working in very good way but it is a requirement in the current time that the movement is to be represented internationally and worked on abroad as well. The opponent also wants that the skilled and qualified people of the Baloch nation come to Balochistan so they can be targeted. Presently, the people who are living abroad are a need of time and the movement but when time comes these are required in Balochistan and called by Baloch so they will come back.

Blv: Some people believe that without separation or national state of Baloch and within the Pakistani state, Balochistan’s people can be served and develop, do your thoughts coincide with this at all?

SAM: No, never! The state of Pakistan only loves minerals and resources of Balochistan not the Baloch people and the state is needful of these. Baloch never can develop or get prospered while they remain as part of Pakistan. This phenomenon is totally wrong and not possible that the state of Pakistan would the Baloch people to develop. State is plundering resources of Balochistan and shifting it to Punjab and Islamabad, and even sell them to other countries, in return get money and wealth for the sustenance of Punjab. If the region of Balochistan did not possess the minerals and resources, Pakistan would have let it separate without waiting for a single day. It is surviving on discussed resources and the Baloch people who are the genuine owner of these are starving. The state will never give a tiny thing to the Baloch people, if it does so then how would they nourish the huge population of Punjab. It is misperception that the Baloch people, without its national state can, get developed or be prosperous. I am not claiming for this but the 67-year history of this country is immaculate in saying this. Gwadar project means to misbalance the demography of Balochistan and convert Baloch into a minority, even get them dislodged from their native areas and presently forces are implementing this scheme on ground in the areas of Mekuran where they have forced people to evacuate from their historical abodes which fall around the Economic Corridor Road. I cannot see any development in Balochistan and its capital Quetta compared to Punjab’s cities and Islamabad.

Blv: The present Baloch movement has lasted for more than decade and how much has this benefited the nation and how it will take to touch the destination, is there any time frame?

SAM: No specified time and scale of sacrifices can be given by anyone. It is dependent on conscious level of the nation and related situations.

Blv: The state was trapped in various complexities but Baloch movement could not make any achievement and avail the time but by now it has retrieved and is pushing down to insurgency movement. Is it not so?

SAM: It takes a long time and during the current movement the Balochs have learnt a lot in the field of politics and warfare too. By now, Baloch in all sphere of life whether they are student, politician, workers and others are consciousness, and the nation has paid hefty sacrifices for reaching this level. The experiences will guide the movement forward and it may face little loss against a lot of gain. It is true that the state has retrieved but Baloch have also learnt a lot. Movement has a long journey ahead as yet.

Blv: At last if you have a message to the nation through our magazine.

SAM: Baloch should focus on only national freedom and continue to struggle. Furthermore, they should transfer this ideology to their children. They must realize that these helpless chief minister or MPAs can never deliver anything to the nation but they only achieve individual interests and prolong the age of national slavery, hence they must be ignored. I urge every individual of the Baloch nation to seek national independence on their level and also transform this through to their broods for its gain. Baloch should keep up the current struggle until they get emancipation.

Balochistan’s Perpetually Deteriorating Education System

By Shawn Forbes, Canada

One of the most important factors in every successful society is significant and meaningful education.  Through strong 4scholastic institutions; a nation’s people gain the intellectual tools necessary to build and maintain a progressive modern social structure. 19th century American educator and politician Horace Mann said that “Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.”

Unfortunately in Balochistan the wheels of social progress are broken. An ineffective state government and deeply corrupt academic administration has effectively prevented the common Baloch people from attaining meaningful education.  The school buildings are dilapidated and often lack the very basic amenities such as running water, plumbing or electricity. In addition to being deprived of the basic conditions and adequate academic facilities, students in Balochistan often lack the appropriate tools and resources to be successful in their studies.

According to statistics released last year by Alif Ailaan; a non-profit organization, At least 66% of children, between the ages of 5 and 16, in Balochistan, are not attending school.  Earlier this year the same NGO reported that fewer than 40% of primary schools in Balochistan were found to have satisfactory building conditions.

The effects of the state government’s failure to implement any practical improvements to the educational system in Balochistan is becoming more and more apparent than ever in recent months.  In June, as many as 30 students were arrested by state security forces for protesting the unreasonable delays to their classes at the Bolan medical college.  In the following days, regional students continued to protest the conditions of education and unlawful arrests of peacefully protesting students.  During the subsequent protests, security forces arrested another 75 students.

8A few weeks later, In July, students in Kharan learned that Rs 10,000,000  of scholarship funds intended for the MPA students was distributed exclusively among the relatives and associates of regional administrative officials.  According to student activists, that while the qualified and registered students were excluded from the benefits of their scholarships, many of the names of scholarship recipients on the scholarship lists were not even students.  Although the students have taken all available legal measures, and held peaceful protests, the inappropriate distribution of their scholarship funds has yet to be resolved.

In September intermediate School Students in Quetta protested the serious irregularities of their exam marks.  According to the students they were unfairly given failing grades while other students were given grades impossibly high as 109/100.  Once again, security forces enacted a swift crackdown to end the protest; arresting as many as 50 students.

Recently the Quetta govt. girls primary school has officially closed for non-payment of rent.  Due to the lack of adequate government funding for education in Balochistan; female students have been enormously impacted. The Female students of universities and colleges in Balochistan have frequently protested the lack of proper learning resources and appropriate facilities.

In addition to the outright deprivation of educational facilities and resources, female students have been regularly victimized by religious extremists.  Bombings, acid attacks, threats, discrimination and harassment have become commonplace in Balochistan.  Numerous schools and teachers in Balochistan have been threatened, attacked, and forced to close for providing meaningful modern education to girls.  In December of 2014 Zahid Askani, the principal of the Oasis private school in Gwadar, was gunned down by unidentified assassins on a motorcycle while on his way to the school.  Zahid Askani had founded the Oasis co-education school and English learning center to provide a significant modern education for boys and girls of the area.  His efforts were rewarded with 7 fatal gunshot wounds.  Martyr Zahid Askani is but one example of countless educators who have been disappeared or embraced martyrdom for their sincere dedication to educating their people and providing the tools for them to become intellectually empowered.

While genuine educators and students are terrorized by death squads and extremist thugs; Balochistan’s state educational infrastructure remains mired in corruption and bureaucracy.  According to the Secretary of Secondary Education of Balochistan Abdul Saboor Kakar as many as 50 schools in one district were found to be non-existent or “ghost schools”.  In a statement published in February by The International News; The official stated that the ghost-teachers in these districts were drawing funds for salaries and expenditures and claiming 1,800 students were enrolled in an area where only 900 students existed.  He added that as few as 18% of students achieve their matriculation.

In a recent interview with The adviser to the Balochistan chief minister on education, Sardar Raza Muhammad Bareech stated that “Despite the government’s recent movement against out of school children, there are still 1.7 million children who are out of school at the moment”

Although the State Government in Balochistan has acknowledged the dismal state of education; they have yet to fulfill their obligations and play an effective role in improving the availability and quality of education in Balochistan.  Instead they offer perpetually unfulfilled promises of educational development. In the meantime the educational system in Balochistan continues to rapidly deteriorate, and ultimately the bright young Baloch students are not only deprived of proper education, but are outright robbed of their personal potential and opportunities in life.

Education is the Most Powerful Weapon Which You Can Use to Change the World.” – Nelson Mandela

Worth of Saindak project = plight of its natives

By Naeem Baloch, Nushki

The Saindak Gold – Copper project is situated adjacent to Saindak town in District of Chaghi, Balochistan. The Saindak gold-lproject is famous for its gold, copper and silver deposits, publically.  In 1901, the gold deposits were discovered by two geologists; an Englishman and a Hindus.

In 1970, after the discovery of gold deposits at Saindak, the Pakistani authorities with collaboration of Chinese engineer kicked-off establishing firms for extraction of treasurable minerals. In 1975, initially Pakistan launched mining but its engineers couldn’t operate the project properly, consequently the project faltered for some years. Subsequently Government of Pakistan handed over the project to China. The both countries signed on a formal agreement worth $350 for development of Saindak Copper – Gold mine. The mines were leased on to MCC (Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd) for the period of ten years. In the contents of agreement, on per 50% of revenue goes to MCC, 48% to the government of Pakistan, while 2% was settled for real owner the Balochistan.

Mining was sectored in three directs with names; South, North and East ore bodies.

South ore body contains deposits of 111 million tons, North ore body have deposits of 28 million tons while east ore body covers deposits of 273 million tons. The project overall contains reserves of 412 million tons, on average 0.5 gram of gold per ton and 1.5 gram of silver per ton. According to official estimates, the project has capacity to produce 15, 800 tons of blister copper annually, containing 1.5 tons of gold and 2.8 tons of silver. The reported production results, however, have generally remained on average more than 2000 tons per month, which means that more than production of 24,000 tons per year has been extracting.

Saindak projectCurrently, the project is being managed by some 350 Chinese and 1,400 Pakistani workforce. The Pakistani engineers’ salaries are very low comparatively Chinese, because a Chinese enjoys salary about $1200 whilst Pakistanis remuneration is some $200 and this makes a wide difference in imbursements. Meantime, the Chinese laborer gets salary of $200 which is equal to an indigenous engineer. Confused disposal of justice here can be witnessed. The vacancies at discussed project are not filled on merit base, rather to this the people are appointed through favoritism and nepotism.

Chinese attitude is like step mother towards local laborer and workers. The Chinese along with Pakistani influential have gulped billion of rupees earned from Saindak project. The Chinese are observed the most corrupt and uncivilized in the world after the experience of Saindak project.

International laws articulate the area population should be facilitated with universities, schools, hospitals and infrastructure from revenue of discovered production, primarily. Just 8.0 million scholarships have been orientated for the locals including district Chaghi students where project is situated, yearly. Regrettably, deserving students are not given rather the Pashtoon ethnic of the province due to influence, sycophancy and prejudiced policies are enjoying discussed scholarships.

The problems are to be reviewed, then a swarm is seen from that employees and local people are suffering. Just one school for six village and 500 students are educating from this. Beware, no girl school at all exist in entire Saindak town in both sectors neither government nor private. There are 16 teachers with insufficient salary of Rs 15000 to 24000 and this is absolutely injustice with them. Teachers are not considered the part of company, and they are also not given any bonus, water, health allowances, house rent and likewise. Furthermore, the high school lacks the facilities, like science room, furniture and boundary wall.

Though, on the 16 October 2014, divisional director education Yahya Khan Mengal visited MRDL School. After that, he approached to Chinese MD regarding the plight of mentioned educational institute. He vehemently emphasized for increment in the salaries of teaching staff and recommended minimum Rs 100000 or above than this for each. Moreover, Mr Mengal promised for up-gradation of school at Saindak project as semi-governmental, eventually nothing could be materialized on ground.

Secondly, the availability of hygienic water is a major problem for employees. Because of the use of uncleansed water many diseases have been reported in area people, for instance high blood pressure, obesity, stress, kidneys’ defects, laziness, stomach ailment and heart attack. Recently, two employees died of heart attack, but the project didn’t provide ambulance the victims who were transported to any modern health developed area. In addition, local people are deprived of all basic necessities, even the local employees are not provided standard edibles from project’s mess.

Unluckily, media which is considered the mirror of a society, neither gave slight coverage nor highlighted the embezzlements were made at Saindak project. If we observe the hollow claims made by Chief Minister Balochistan about education, so pragmatically these do not bear any fruit but his vociferation evaporates in air. They are turning a blind eye to such marginalized area. The Chief Minister is invited to visit Saindak project to convey a strong omen of real nationalism to the people of province. There is immediate need of attention and action on the miserable conditions of education in the area of Saindak project which producing a huge amount for country with international powers.

The Kasuri effect: India acknowledges secret Kashmir draft, Balochistan link


The Indian Express reported on Thursday the handing over of a secret draft agreement on Jammu and Kashmir by the972039-shivsena-1444714257-570-640x480 outgoing Indian prime minister to the current one in May last year. The Hindu flashed the picture of a man who claims to be the representative in Delhi of the Baloch Liberation Organisation.

Both stories seem spurred by the memoirs of former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri released in New Delhi this week.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf had hammered out the draft framework agreement on Jammu and Kashmir in secret talks, a senior Indian diplomat familiar with the negotiations has told The Indian Express.

The report follows Mr Kasuri’s identical claim at his book release function here on Wednesday where Dr Singh was present along with Bharatiya Janata Party stalwarts L.K. Advani and Yashwant Sinha.

The Baloch issue with India has also figured in Mr Kasuri’s book, though not quite as dramatically as The Hindu report states.

“I want to say here that Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies have a full measure of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. There’s no gainsaying that it is a futile and self-defeating motive to hurt the other side, because both are capable of destabilising each other or wreaking havoc. There is no substitute to good sense and for talks at every possible level,” he told this correspondent in a conversation.

Files recording the unsigned documents, exchanged by both sides, were personally handed over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by his predecessor at a May 27, 2014 meeting, the Indian diplomat told the Express.

The paper confirmed that the Indian official was speaking even as Mr Kasuri was in New Delhi to release the Indian edition of his book, ‘Neither a hawk nor a dove’. The Express described the book as the first insider account of India-Pakistan secret diplomacy on Kashmir.

Mr Kasuri’s book quotes General Musharraf as stating that the secret Kashmir agreement envisaged joint management of the state by India and Pakistan, as well as demilitarisation of the territory.

The Indian negotiator said the final draft of the framework agreement in fact spoke of a “consultative mechanism”, made up of elected representatives of the governments of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, as well as officials of the two national governments. The consultative mechanism, he said, was mandated to address regional “social and economic issues”, like tourism, religious pilgrimages, culture and trade.

New Delhi, the official said, had rejected General Musharraf’s push for institutions for joint management of Kashmir by the two states, arguing it would erode Indian sovereignty.

Prime minister Singh’s hand-picked envoy, Ambassador Satinder Lambah, and General Musharraf’s interlocutors, Riaz Muhammad Khan and Tariq Aziz, held over 200 hours of discussions on the draft agreement, during 30 meetings held in Dubai and Kathmandu, the Express said.

“Lambah, a former intelligence official recalled, was also flown to Rawalpindi on a Research and Analysis Wing jet as negotiations reached an advanced stage, travelling without a passport or visa to ensure the meetings remained secret.”

Former president Asif Ali Zardari had sought to revive the talks when he took power in 2008, but was prevented from doing so by Mr Musharraf’s successor as army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

“At one time,” Dr Singh admitted at a press conference in 2014, “it appeared that an important breakthrough was in sight. Events in Pakistan — for example, the fact that General Musharraf had to make way for a different setup — I think that led to the process not moving further.”

The Hindu, meanwhile, said that the acknowledged presence of the Baloch representative in India would enable India to highlight human rights issues there similar to the way it has begun highlighting alleged atrocities in Azad Kashmir.

The new Indian position over Balochistan became public when (outlawed in Pakistan) Balochistan Liberation Organisation (BLO) representative Balaach Pardili addressed a gathering in New Delhi on October 4, reading out a statement from BLO’s exiled leader Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri.

The BLO has confirmed to The Hindu about the presence of its political representative in Delhi. Mr Pardili, it said, originally hails from Afghanistan.

He has been living in Delhi since 2009 and was recently contacted by Nawabzada Marri to represent him at public meetings. Mr Kasuri said Pakistan was talking to senior Baloch interlocutors and the Indian revelation was “old hat”.

The London-based Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri is the leader of Free Balochistan Movement with a militant arm, Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), and BLO, the political wing. “I hope to facilitate Nawabzada Marri’s visit to Delhi in near future,” Pardili told The Hindu.

In a statement to The Hindu, Nawabzada Marri said: “We wish that India, the largest democracy, have a clear policy about Balochistan. If Pakistani officials can openly meet the Kashmiri leadership, why shouldn’t India do the same? The Red Cross does not have a hotline on Balochistan despite our repeated pleas. I want India’s help to start a crisis hotline with the Red Cross.”

(Courtesy to Dawn)

Institutional imperatives and neoliberal madness

Noam Chomsky interviewed by David Barsamian

To what extent are the multiple crises in the Middle East due to internal factors and to what extent are they linked tonoam-chomsky3351 US policies in the region?

There is an interesting interview with Graham Fuller. He’s a highly respected Middle East analyst with a long background in the CIA. He goes on to say that he’s not contributing to the conspiracy tales that are floating around the Middle East about how the United States actually set up ISIS. But what he says is that the invasion of Iraq, which hit this vulnerable society with a sledgehammer, excited ethnic conflicts that had not really been there before and they blew up and grew further, and other US interventions increased the violence and instability. Out of this grew ISIS, which is a kind of radical offshoot of the already radical Wahhabi-Salafi doctrines that are promulgated by Washington’s chief ally, Saudi Arabia, which provides the doctrinal basis, the missionary zeal, and the money that keeps the jihadi movement going. So out of this complex comes ISIS as a particular excrescence, a horrible outgrowth.

Iraq was already extremely vulnerable because of the wars, the sanctions that devastated the society. Along comes the invasion, which wrecked what was left. The US policies—Paul Bremer’s policies—insisted on sectarian divisions that had not been there before. The US, in its wisdom, decided that there should be sectarian divisions in everything—offices, whatever. That plus the violence and the brutality of the invasion elicited counter-reactions. Within a couple of years there was a major Shi’a-Sunni conflict raging, which had not been there before.

If you go back to Baghdad in 2000, it was an intermingled city: Shi’ites and Sunnis were living in the same neighborhoods, they intermarried. Some Iraqis, like Raed Jarrar, have pointed out that you often didn’t even know what sect your neighbor belonged to. His analogy is, in the United States you might not know what Protestant sect your neighbor belongs to. But it didn’t take long for this to blow up. Now we have ISIS on our hands.

What about the legacy of British, French, and Italian imperialism? No one talks about Italy and Libya, Italy and Eritrea.

The first real genocidal attack in the twentieth century was Italy’s in Libya. Italy initiated a bombing of what it called “rebellious tribes” in the late 1920s. It was virtually a genocidal assault on Libya. Of course, Benito Mussolini invaded Abyssinia and Eritrea. They were horribly treated. Italy left a legacy of violence and repression, and it’s all barely simmering. It all blows up as soon as you hit the society again. The final blow was when the three traditional imperial powers—the United States, Britain, and France—France was actually in the lead—decided to violate the Security Council resolution which had called for a no-fly zone, ceasefire, and negotiations. They decided instead to become the air force of the rebels and led the way to what is now the destruction of Libya.

In fact, the Economist calls Libya “the next failed state, spiraling into chaos.” The words “chaos” and “chaotic” come up a lot now attached to different countries in the Middle East. Yemen, again, is another example.

Just this morning, according to the press, one of the Libyan factions seized bank resources, which apparently have a ton of gold. The markets are concerned about what’s going to happen to that. When you smash up vulnerable societies, it’s likely to lead to chaos and destruction and violence. That’s a very good reason for pursuing peaceful diplomatic means instead of using your strength, which is violence.

What about the situation in Nigeria, where there hasn’t been overt US military intervention and there has been the growth of Boko Haram?

Boko Haram is partly an outgrowth of the violence in Libya, which has poured arms all over the region, from the Levant to Northern Africa. Nigeria is traditionally British and it’s in the midst of the Francophone area. And out of this complex are coming all kinds of tribal conflicts, violence, and repression. The governments are extremely corrupt. Nigeria is in the hands, pretty much, of Shell and other Western oil companies, which have been carrying out very destructive operations there also, inciting violence.

Africa is beginning slowly to pull together from centuries of imperial violence and repression, but it’s going to be a very hard path.

I’m interested that you haven’t mentioned neoliberal economic policies as being a factor in producing chaos and dislocation.

Oh, they have, repeatedly. In fact, structural adjustment programs, the neoliberal policy, had a terrible effect in the 1980s in Rwanda, in Yugoslavia, in Southern Africa, in Latin America. In Rwanda they were a major factor in intensifying crises and conflicts that already existed. When the society begins to break down, all kinds of conflicts erupt. That’s one of the factors that led to the horrible atrocities in the early 1990s. The same happened in Yugoslavia. Structural adjustment programs contributed to fracturing the society, laying the basis for the conflicts that developed later. The most loyal adherents to the neoliberal programs were Southern Africa and Latin America, and both had several decades of de-development and stagnation, which have had a very severe effect. Latin America has begun to pull out of it. Africa is barely beginning. But it also has, of course, a history of extreme violence and imperial aggression, which leaves an incredible legacy.

Amidst all the turmoil in the Middle East, the feudal monarchies remain in place: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar. How do they pull it off?

Mainly force. When the Arab Spring began in 2011, there were efforts in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates to join in in a very mild way. So in Saudi Arabia there were some calls for reformist protests on Friday after the religious services. They were crushed by force immediately. People were afraid to go out in the streets of Riyadh. In Bahrain there were protests by the Shi’ite majority—it’s a Sunni monarchy—for some time, but as soon as it seemed to be getting out of control, the Saudi army moved in, leading a Gulf force which repressed it violently.

It’s important to remember that eastern Saudi Arabia, right across the causeway from Bahrain, has a very large Shi’ite population, and that’s also the area where most of the oil is. So it’s a very sensitive thing for the Saudi dictatorship.

What’s the significance in the dramatic fall in the price of oil? It’s said also that Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Saudis and persuaded them—I don’t know if they needed persuasion—to keep their production at a very high level and flood the market.

The fall in the price of oil is primarily due to the huge increase in US shale production, which has changed the oil market significantly. The Saudis, in the past, had cut back production to try to maintain higher prices. But this time they made the decision—I doubt that Kerry had anything to do with it—to keep prices high, for several reasons. One, to maintain their own market share, but also to drive American shale producers out of the market. Shale production is pretty expensive, and in fact oil wells are being closed down all over the United States because at this level of pricing they’re not economical. I think the Saudis want to make sure that there’s not a major competitor in the future.

What about the side effect that it is going to hurt designated US enemies such as Russia, Iran, and Venezuela?

It will. It will hurt all oil producers. It’s hurting US producers. In fact, that’s why they’re closing down some of their operations.

What about the environmental impact? There’s article after article saying this is great for the American consumers, gas is under two dollars a gallon, people will be driving more, they will have extra money in their pockets, and so on.

It’s a total catastrophe. In fact, it’s astonishing to read the articles, which say exactly what you described, without mentioning that this is going to destroy our grandchildren. Who cares about that? The price of oil is already way too low. Oil should be priced much higher on the American market—the way it is in Europe, for example—to try to discourage excessive use of fossil fuels, which are destroying the environment.

It’s pretty dangerous, and it’s getting worse every day. The latest concern—again, they’ve been in the background for a while—is that there might be an explosion of methane from the melting of the Arctic and the permafrost. If that happens, some of the predictions are very dire, even within a short time span, a couple of decades. It’s an incredible moment, when you look at it. The business pages and the press are lauding the prospect that we can devastate the world for our grandchildren. There ought to be a headline: “Let’s Destroy the Possibility for Our Grandchildren to Have a Decent Life.”

In mid-January there were a couple of new developments, headlines saying “Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction,” “2014 Hottest Year Since Record-Keeping Began in 1880,” and “Ten Hottest Years Have Occurred Since 1997.” The evidence seems to be incontrovertible and should be totally noncontroversial. Yet the response from the political class and the owners of the economy seems lukewarm, tepid, and cosmetic.

There was just an interesting poll by the Pew polling agency. It was released at Davos, the meeting of all the big shots. It was a study of attitudes of CEOs of corporations. They polled them on what they considered to be the significant issues that they faced. Climate change was so low that they didn’t even include it in the final poll. What they cared about was profits tomorrow, prospects a week from now, what’s the growth situation like, are we going to have enough low-paid workers? And finally, at the very bottom, was climate change, a minor thing off on the edges.

It’s not that they’re bad people. It reveals an institutional pathology. There is an institutional structure that says that if you’re the CEO of a major corporation, which incidentally means that you have enormous influence in the political system, then you simply don’t care about what happens to the world in the next generation, including your own grandchildren. What you care about is profits tomorrow. It’s an institutional imperative.

There is some attention being paid to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. I’m wondering if perhaps climate change should be seen as a global medical emergency that, if untreated, if not addressed, will lead to massive dislocation, destruction, and death.

It certainly will. You mentioned the ocean life being devastated. But it’s all over. The level of species destruction now is estimated to be at about the level of 65 million years ago, the last major extinction, when a huge asteroid hit Earth. That ended the age of the dinosaurs and actually led to an opening for small mammals, ultimately us. But there was huge species extinction. That’s the level of extinction today.

It’s been assumed that the oceans would be resilient because of their scale and so on, but that turns out, unexpectedly, not to be true. They can absorb a certain amount of CO2, but there is a limit.

There is a Yanomami shaman leader named Davi Kopinawa. There are about 30,000 to 40,000 Yanomami in northern Brazil and southern Venezuela. He says, “The white people want to kill everything. They will soil the rivers and lakes and take what is left. Their thoughts are constantly attached to their merchandise. They relentlessly and always desire new goods. They do not think that they are spoiling the earth and the sky and that they will never be able to recreate new ones.” Indigenous people—I’m not saying across the board—certainly have a different connection or relation to the land, to nature.

That’s pretty much true around the world. So, in Canada, the First Nations, the Indigenous people, are leading the struggles, mobilizations, legal efforts to try to prevent the extremely dangerous expansion of the use of highly destructive fossil fuels in southwestern Canada.

Go down to Bolivia, Ecuador, the Amazon, it’s the Indigenous people who are in the forefront of trying to prevent overuse of fossil fuels and other resources and to restore some kind of balance with nature. In fact, the countries with the largest Indigenous populations—first Bolivia, which actually has a real majority, and Ecuador, a large population—have been in the lead in trying to establish what they call “rights of nature.” It’s even a constitutional provision in Bolivia. In Ecuador, the government did make an offer to leave their oil in the ground, which is where it ought to be, and asked in return that the European countries provide them with a small compensation for a fraction of the loss of revenue. They refused. So they’re now exploiting the oil. At least they made a move.

The same is true everywhere. It’s true in Australia. In India, the tribal people are trying to protect resources. These are communities which for very long periods have lived in some kind of balance with nature. I don’t want to turn it into Utopia, but at least they had some concern for a balance with nature. And it’s true that the capitalist, imperialist invasion did not have that concern. You could see it from the poll of CEOs, which is perfectly typical of the attitude of the imperial powers that just want to ravage the world and take it for themselves, for their immediate use.

You had some contact with, I believe, Indigenous groups in Colombia, in the rainforest there.

I have spent some time in southern Colombia, which is a highly embattled region. It’s under attack. Campesinos and Indigenous people and Afro-Colombians, all of them, are under constant attack by paramilitaries, by the military, and now also by the guerillas, which used to be connected to the local populations. But thanks to the militarization of the war, FARC [the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] particularly has just been turned into another army preying on the peasants.

Also, what we call “fumigation,” which is chemical warfare, destroys virtually everything. Theoretically, it’s aimed at coca production, whatever one thinks of that, but in fact it destroys crops, livestock. You walk through the villages and you see children with all kinds of sores on their arms. People are dying.

Once when I went, the area was so violent that they wouldn’t let us go out of the local town, Popayán, so people came in from the countryside to talk to us, a couple of Colombian human-rights activists whom I joined. Another time I went with them to a remote village. A mixture of campesinos and Indigenous peoples—Afro-Colombians elsewhere—are trying to preserve their water supplies. There is a mountain that is a virgin forest and is their source of water, and also has symbolism of all kinds in their cultural life. It is threatened by mining, which would destroy it. They have quite sophisticated, thoughtful plans as to how to preserve the hydrological and other resources, but they’re fighting against powerful forces: the mining companies, the government, the multinationals in the background. It’s a battle. And also it’s very violent. The first time we tried to go there, they wouldn’t let us come because there was too much killing going on. The second time, we were able to get through.

You have a family connection as well. Can you talk about that?

Yes. I was there because they were dedicating a forest on the mountain to my late wife, Carol, and I went there for the ceremony of the dedication, climbing the mountain. There were shamans and so on. The villagers all participated. It was a moving and warm ceremony. The men climbed up the mountain while the women stayed and prepared a communal meal. It was a pretty dramatic occurrence.

In Power Systems, the last book we did together, you said that “Latin America has shown increasing independence in international affairs.” Is that trend continuing?

It is, definitely. I think it’s probably the major factor behind President Barack Obama’s move to what we call “normalized relations” with Cuba, meaning lifting partially the attack on Cuba that’s been going on for fifty years. That’s “normalized relations.” He has moved in that direction. I suspect part of the reason was that the United States was being increasingly excluded from the hemisphere on this issue. The US government insisted back in the early 1960s, when it kind of ran the show, that Cuba be excluded from the hemispheric organizations. As Latin America has become more independent, more free of US dominance, it has increasingly insisted that Cuba be allowed back into them.

At the last hemispheric meeting, which was in Colombia, this was a major issue. The United States and Canada were isolated. The other issue on which they were isolated was drugs. The Latin American countries are the victims of the drug war, which is centered in the United States. They want to temper these actions, which are devastating them and are based here—not just the demand but even the guns. You go to Mexico, a majority of the guns that are picked up from the cartels happen to come from the United States. This is having a ruinous effect in Latin America. They want to end it. They want to move toward decriminalization and other measures.

There is another meeting coming up in Panama. It’s likely that the US would simply have been excluded if it insisted on its unilateral rejection of Cuban membership.

When Obama announced the shift in policy vis-à-vis Cuba, I didn’t see any mention of the extensive terrorist campaign, the trade embargo and economic warfare the US government carried out against Cuba. And no mention, of course, of reparations or compensation.

There is one mention of the terrorist war, and that is witticisms about the silly CIA pranks, trying to burn Castro’s beard or something like that.

Poison pens.

Poison pens. You’re allowed to make fun of that. But not of the fact that Kennedy launched a major terrorist war against Cuba, in fact a very serious one. It was his brother, Robert Kennedy, who was placed in charge of it. It was his highest priority. And the goal was to bring “the terrors of the earth” to Cuba. That’s the phrase that was used by Arthur Schlesinger, Kennedy’s Latin America adviser, in his biography of Robert Kennedy. It was very serious: blowing up petrochemical plants, sinking ships in the harbor, poisoning crops and livestock, shelling hotels—incidentally, with Russian visitors in them. It went on for years. It was one of the factors that led to the missile crisis, which immediately after almost led to a nuclear war. When the missile crisis ended, Kennedy instantly relaunched the terrorist war, which went on in various forms for years, into the 1990s. That’s not discussed.

Obama’s message, if you read it, which was then echoed in commentary, is that our efforts to bring democracy and freedom to Cuba have not succeeded. Although they were all benevolent in intent, they haven’t worked. It’s therefore time to try a new method to achieve our benevolent goals. That’s Obama’s description, echoed in the commentary, for a record of fifty years of massive terrorism, of economic strangulation which was so extreme that if, say, a European manufacturer of some medical equipment used a little piece of nickel taken from Cuba, it had to be banned from international commerce. The United States has plenty of power to do that. It’s really been savage. But that’s our benevolent effort to bring democracy and freedom to Cuba. Not to the dictatorships that we support. We don’t make benevolent efforts there, somehow.

The US war on Cambodia was called a sideshow, the main event being Vietnam. The sideshow to the sideshow was landlocked, mostly rural Laos. In March 1970, you were on your way to Hanoi and you were delayed for a week in Vientiane, Laos. You wrote about that in the New York Review of Books and in At War with Asia. I was struck with your descriptive journalistic writing about what you saw: clear, terse sentences. You had a very moving experience with Fred Branfman, who passed away in September 2014. He had been in Laos for many years and spoke Laotian. You went with him to a refugee camp outside of Vientiane and you wrote about that.

Fred had been trying for some time to get some Western exposure to the atrocities that were going on. He was one of the very few people—there were a few others, Walt Haney, a couple of others—who were working in Laos and had discovered the crimes that were being committed, which were really shocking. That book that you have there, Voices from the Plain of Jars, is the result of Fred’s research with victims of the horrific air war that was going on.

There had been bombing of Laos from the mid-1960s. But, in 1968, there was a cessation of the bombing of North Vietnam. There were negotiations beginning, and they cut back the bombing of North Vietnam. The United States officially announced that they had all these extra bombers around and nothing to do with them, so they decided to bomb northern Laos. This is a remote area of peasant villages, primitive. Most of them probably didn’t even know they were in Laos. They were subjected to years of extremely intensive bombing. People were living in caves, trying to survive. One should really read the testimonies in Fred’s book to get a picture of it. He was trying to expose this.

Anyway, we met as soon as I got there. I spent most of the week with him. I was there for a week, thanks to the boredom of an Indian bureaucrat. Bureaucrats have nothing to do except to make life difficult for people. This guy was in charge of the United Nations flights from Vientiane to Hanoi. There was one flight a week in a special protected corridor. You flew there and you saw jet planes flying all over the place on their way to bomb whoever. For some reason, he decided not to let us go the first week. It kind of amused him. So I stayed in Laos, which was a very good thing, because I learned a lot. I spent most of the week with Fred, not just in the refugee camp. I went to the village where he had lived. I met some of his many contacts.

I had an interview with a member of the government, a rich landowner who was secretly, in a sense, a supporter of the Pathet Lao, the guerillas. When I wrote about him I didn’t want to identify him, so in the book he’s called an “urban intellectual.” He was actually a government minister. He said that if the Pathet Lao took over, he would be finished. They would take his land, everything he owned, they might kill him. But he still wanted them to take over because the alternative would be the destruction of Laos. It would become a Thai protectorate. Everything would be bought up by somebody else.

I met underground Pathet Lao cadres. Had an interview with the Prime Minister, Souvanna Phouma. It was a very interesting week and a very moving one.

You don’t name Fred in your article. You said you were “in the company of a Lao-speaking American.”

That’s what he requested. He did not want to be identified at that time.

Historian Al McCoy, who has written himself about Indochina, in his foreword to the second edition of Voices from the Plain of Jars, writes that approximately 20,000 civilians have been killed or maimed by unexploded cluster bombs since the bombing ended—and those numbers continue to mount.

That’s correct. I’ve written about it, too. There has been a British demining team working there, but apparently the area is saturated with cluster bombs. These are tiny little bomblets, which a child could pick up thinking it is a toy and then it will blow up, or a farmer could hit one with a hoe and it explodes. They’re all over the place. It’s a massive effort to remove them. And very limited resources have been devoted to it by the United States, which was responsible for them being there, of course. Even today there are people being blown up by cluster bombs.

McCoy suggests that Laos was a test case for future US wars, with the extensive reliance on air power. We see that today with the use of drones.

Fred also talked about that. There’s something to it. It’s a test case. We have other test cases, which are pretty remarkable. Just recently a detailed study of the Guantánamo torture system came out by researchers at the Seton Hall Law School. It appeared in their law journal and I think there’s more coming out in a book. They point out something quite interesting. A lot of it has been exposed, but there was another part of the Guantánamo torture system, the Dick Cheney–Donald Rumsfeld torture system, which they called the “Battle Lab.” The purpose of the torture in the “Battle Lab,” which was supervised by medics, was to determine the most effective techniques of torture. It was a laboratory experiment, not designed to get information. Just let’s see how much torture can be applied—psychological, physical, drugs—before the person becomes unable to comment. So it was essentially a laboratory of torture.

In fact, if you take a look at the Senate report on the torture system, it raises one question: Did the torture work? It claims the torture didn’t work, so it was therefore bad. The commentary has been pretty much the same. The torture didn’t work, so we shouldn’t do it. When they say the torture didn’t work, it means it didn’t stop terrorist acts.

Was that the purpose? Probably not. The initial purpose of the Cheney-Rumsfeld torture seems to have been to try to extricate some information—true or false, it doesn’t matter—some kind of claim that would justify the war in Iraq. The planned war in Iraq began before the war. They were seeking to find some kind of evidence that there were connections between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. When they didn’t find it, they called for more torture. Finally, because people under torture will say anything, they claimed they got some evidence. Apparently, that was the first major goal. And that was achieved.

Another goal has been things like the “Battle Lab,” to see how far you can go in torture. So to say that it didn’t succeed may not be correct, if you look at its actual goals. Incidentally, it’s pretty remarkable that the only thing we discuss is: Did it succeed?

Fred Branfman wrote an article about your visit and his friendship with you. It came out in Salon in 2012. I don’t want to embarrass you, but he said that you broke down when you were talking to those villagers and when you heard their stories of what they had gone through under the US bombing.

Laos was the first time—there have been many since—in which I saw firsthand the effect on the victims of massive atrocities. I had been in the South in the United States during the civil rights movement, which was bad enough, but I hadn’t had exposure overseas before the Laotian experience. Since then I have, many times. And, yes, it’s a shattering experience.

We discussed this a little bit—I wrote about it, I think he did in his book later—that when we went to the refugee camp, the refugees were extremely reticent. From their point of view, I was just some American soldier who is coming to endanger them. In fact, Fred talked to some of them privately, and they said that. Why should they expose themselves? They don’t know what’s happening. They’re living in miserable conditions. They’re under the control of some foreign force that has driven them out of their homes and destroyed them and killed their children. Why should they say anything to this person? It took a while before they were even willing to begin to talk. I’ve seen that elsewhere, too. That’s understandable. When you’re dealing with refugees, you cannot take for granted what they say right away. They’re afraid of you, rightly, and see no reason why they should tell you anything. So, in fact, some of the first villagers, when I was asking questions about the bombing, said, “No problem. We kind of liked it. It was fireworks. It didn’t bother us.” Why should they tell an American visitor what it’s like to be bombed by American bombs? That’s pretty common in refugee testimony. Every investigator is quite aware of that.

Have you heard of Leonard Cohen? He’s a Canadian singer and a poet.

No, I’m afraid not.

He’s fairly well-known. One of his songs is called “Anthem.” He says, “Ring the bells that can still ring,/ Forget your perfect offering./ There’s a crack, a crack in everything./ That’s how the light gets in.” I was wondering where you see the cracks in the system where people can widen those cracks and create a sustained movement for social justice. We’ve seen demonstrations in Ferguson, New York, and elsewhere. Where do you see those openings that can be exploited effectively?

Probably the major one has to do with climate change. There simply has to be a mass popular movement to try to reverse the mad rush toward destruction. There are others. The threat of nuclear war is serious and increasing. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists just moved their famous Doomsday Clock a little closer to midnight. At least in that case, we know in principle how to end the threat—and it’s a serious one. It’s coming up also in connection with the Iran issue, which is very much on the agenda today. In all of these domains, large-scale popular movements could be effective.

There is an economic crisis. We have been through this neoliberal period for a generation. There has been economic growth, but it has not reached most of the population. For the majority of the population, it’s been a period of stagnation or decline. Economic activity goes increasingly into predatory financial institutions, which are basically harmful to the economy but are absorbing enormous amounts of capital, skill, the possibilities for economic progress. And then, of course, it’s led to enormous inequality. In the last roughly ten years, maybe 95 percent of the growth has gone to 1 percent of the population, which actually means a fraction of 1 percent, if you look at it. These are all very serious problems.

There are responses. So, for example, in Europe, which has been subjected to an extreme form of neoliberal madness, where these austerity programs have been very harmful, it has led to the growth of popular movements. Syriza in Greece is a new party which developed out of the protest against the vicious austerity programs that are destroying Greece. In Spain, Podemos is another new party that grew out of the indignados, the mostly young people who were protesting these policies. It’s now a mass political organization. According to polls, it might even win the next election.

This could spread. It could spread here. There are reactions. They’re kind of scattered, but they’re substantial. If they can come together, they could become a very powerful force. Even the Republican Party now, which is just in the pockets of the superrich, is feeling that it has to begin to talk about poverty and inequality.

Speaking of coming together, with the fiftieth anniversary of the march on Selma and a major film on it, Martin Luther King is getting some attention. In Memphis, on April 3, 1968, he said, “When the slaves get together, that’s the beginning of getting out of slavery.”

And he was assassinated the next day. Using his normal biblical rhetoric, he described himself as like Moses, who could see the Promised Land but wouldn’t reach it, though you, the people he was speaking to, can reach it if the slaves get together. He was at that point inaugurating a movement of the poor, not just blacks, but of the poor.

There was a march on Washington after his death, led by his wife, Coretta. They set up a tent city, Resurrection City, and called on Congress to enact legislation to do something about the miserable fate of huge numbers of poor people. The police drove them out of town, broke up the tent city, and ended that. We don’t hear much about that on Martin Luther King Day.

The film Selma led to a pretty interesting article in the New York Times arts section. There was a review of new films. The review started off with kind of derisive comments about the coastal intelligentsia, who were looking at little art films which nobody cares about while the real Americans in the mainstream, the patriotic, red-blooded decent Americans, are flooding to another film, American Sniper, which has broken all attendance records. It’s a patriotic, pro-family film, it said. Actually, it was applauded in the New Yorker because of its cinematic virtues and denounced elsewhere because of its appalling content.

It’s about a man, Chris Kyle, who is the most murderous sniper in American history. He claims to have killed a couple hundred people. He has a memoir in which he describes what it was like to murder these savages, these inhuman creatures. You can only describe them as savage barbarians. We hated them; we wanted to kill them. He describes his first kill, which was easy, he said. It was a woman who was holding a grenade in her hand when the Marines were attacking her village. So he managed to kill her with a single shot. He was very proud of that. But what else can you do with savages? And it goes on with this kind of psychopathic raving. That’s the patriotic, pro-family film that people are flooding toward. At the end of this review, the last paragraph, it says there were some other films that came out, one of them Selma, which had only moderate attendance, nothing like the patriotic, pro-family film which is so exciting.

You mentioned the Seton Hall Law Review. I confess to not having read it ever. That speaks to your voracious reading habits, finding things, nuggets of information. Fred Branfman, in a Salon article he wrote about you, mentions that he gave you a 500-page book one night while you were in Laos and the next morning you were citing statistics from that book. What about your reading habits? How do you make your choices? How do you decide?

Well, the Seton Hall Law Review actually was sent to me by my sister-in-law, Judy, who is a lawyer. Just last night I read an article by Victoria Brittain, a friend in England, a wonderful journalist and investigator. It’s about investigations that are being undertaken by these same people about the Guantánamo torture system and about a new book that’s coming out by one of them. So if you keep your eyes open, you can find all sorts of things. I have no particular technique. I look at what looks important.

Could you talk about a popular trend in education, something called online tutorials? There is an MIT grad, Salman Khan, who runs something called the Khan Academy online. Apparently it has millions of users. It teaches math and science. Is that the future of teaching, as you see it?

I doubt it very much. These programs can have beneficial effects. There have been some studies of them. There are people who otherwise would not have any access to such resources. I think many of them are adults, older people, who picked up the math courses and so on. That’s a fine thing. Their actual educational value, say, as a substitute for college, seems to be extremely poor in outcomes. And you can see why.

An experience in a classroom is very different from watching a video. I recall maybe twenty to thirty years ago, there was a cartoon in the New Yorker of a seminar in a university. The professor wasn’t there. He had a tape recorder playing his lecture. And around the room, there weren’t students, there were recorders picking up the lecture. That’s one form of education. But human interaction is a different form—direct participation not only with the instructor but with your fellow students. And not just sitting in class, but when you’re out in the hall talking about it or back in your room working together. You yourself, I’m sure, if you think about your college experience—I think you went to college, didn’t you?

One year.

One year, okay. But what was worthwhile in it? Interaction with others. That’s never going to be possible with the electronic media. It’s not to say that they can’t serve a purpose. They can. And if they’re well done, it could be a useful supplement, probably as a form of adult education, to other educational efforts. But it can’t replace a real educational experience.

You came to some conclusions about God as a result of observing something your paternal grandfather did. What conclusion did you reach from that particular experience?

My father’s family was extremely Orthodox, ultra-religious, especially my grandfather, who had come from Eastern Europe and maintained the sort of semi medieval characteristics of the Eastern European rural Jewish community. I remember we would go there for the Jewish holidays to visit. I noticed on one of the holidays, Passover that my grandfather was smoking. I asked my father how he could be smoking, because I knew there was a Talmudic proscription that says there is no difference between the holidays and the Sabbath except with regard to eating. So you’re allowed to make a fire to cook on the holidays, not on the Sabbath. And my father told me that my grandfather had concluded that smoking was a form of eating. So I realized that he thinks that God is so stupid that he won’t be able to see through this.

And then when I thought about it—and it’s kind of obvious, and some people have written about it—practically all of organized religion is based on the assumption that God is so stupid that he can’t see that you’re violating his commandments. So you find all kinds of trickery and devices to get around the commandments, which almost nobody can live up to. And if that’s your conception of God, from a ten-year-old’s point of view it didn’t seem worth pursuing.

When did you become convinced that there was no God?

I never became convinced, because I don’t even know what the question is. There is no what? What is it that there isn’t? There is no coherent answer that I know of.

At a talk you gave in Princeton a couple of years ago, you recalled that as a teenager one of the things that got you interested in linguistics was that you realized the Bible was mistranslated.

I was informed of this. I was studying Arabic in college. I was a sixteen-year-old freshman and I was taking Arabic courses with a great scholar. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was a leading scholar, Giorgio Levi Della Vida, an Italian antifascist émigré. We became good friends later.

This was in Pennsylvania?

Yes. He just mentioned to me once that the first sentence of the Bible was misvocalized. In the Hebrew script, you have consonants but no vowels. Around the eighth to tenth centuries, there were scribes, Masoretes, who put in the vowels. And they made a mistake in the first two words of the Bible. He said they were always mistranslated. By now, some of them are translated correctly, but the standard translations keep to the Hebrew vocalization, which is a mistranslation because the phrase doesn’t mean anything. What it says is Bereshit bara, and it’s translated, “In the beginning God created.” But it should be translated as, “At the outset of the creation there was chaos” and so on, which is more or less the same sense but different. It had gone for a thousand years, with nobody noticing that the first two words of the Bible were mistranslated and misvocalized in the original, which struck me as kind of striking.

But you inferred something from that.

That there is a lot to learn.

Why do you say the Talmud is your ideal text?

If you look at a page of the Talmud, a big volume—open it up sometime—in the middle of the page there is a kind of a sentence taken from the Mishnah, a book of laws and so on. And then around it there are running commentaries. So in the upper right-hand corner there is a commentary from someone. Every page, the same person, his commentaries. And then in the upper left-hand corner, a commentary from someone else. Ninety percent of the page is commentary running constantly about this line that’s in the middle. If you could only write footnotes like that, it would be fantastic.

And what’s meshuge?

What the world is doing to itself.

(Courtesy to ISR View)

The key to solving the puzzle of Afghanistan is Pakistan

By Fareed Zakaria

Recent setbacks in Afghanistan — from the fall of Kunduz to the errant U.S. bombing of a hospital in that city — againPart-DEL-Del6448874-1-1-0 raise a question. Why, after 14 years of American military efforts, is Afghanistan still so fragile? The country has a democratically elected government widely viewed as legitimate. Poll after poll suggests that the Taliban are unpopular. The Afghan army fights fiercely and loyally. And yet, the Taliban always come back.

The answer to this puzzle can be found in a profile of the Taliban’s new leader, Akhtar Mohammad Mansour. It turns out that Mansour lives part time in Quetta, the New York Times reports, “in an enclave where he and some other Taliban leaders . . . have built homes.”

His predecessor, Mohammad Omar, we now know, died a while ago in Karachi. And of course, we remember that Osama bin Laden lived for many years in a compound in Abbottabad. All three of these cities are in Pakistan.

We cannot solve the problem of Afghanistan without recognizing that the insurgency against that government is shaped, aided and armed from across the border by one of the world’s most powerful armies. Periodically, someone inside or outside the U.S. government points this out. Yet no one knows quite what to do, so it is swept under the carpet and policy stays the same. But this is not an incidental fact. It is fundamental, and unless it is confronted, the Taliban will never be defeated. It is an old adage that no counterinsurgency has ever succeeded when the rebels have had a haven. In this case, the rebels have a nuclear-armed sponsor.

Pakistan has mastered the art of pretending to help the United States while actually supporting its most deadly foes. Take the many efforts that U.S. officials have recently made to start talks with the Taliban. It turns out that we were talking to ghosts. Omar has been dead for two years, while Pakistani officials have been facilitating “contacts” and “talks” with him. This is part of a pattern. Pakistani officials, from former president Pervez Musharraf down, categorically denied that bin Laden or Omar was living in Pakistan — despite the fact that former Afghan president Hamid Karzai repeatedly pointed this out publicly. “I do not believe Omar has ever been to Pakistan,” Musharraf said in 2007.

The Pakistani army has been described as the “godfather” of the Taliban. That might understate its influence. Pakistan was the base for the U.S.-supported mujahideen as they battled the Soviet Union in the 1980s. After the Soviets retreated from Afghanistan in 1989, the United States withdrew almost as quickly, and Pakistan entered that strategic void. It pushed forward the Taliban, a group of young Pashtun jihadis schooled in radical Islam at Pakistani madrasas. (“Talib” means student.) Now history is repeating itself. As the United States draws down its forces, Pakistan again seeks to expand its influence through its long-standing proxy.

Why does Pakistan support the Taliban? Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, whose book “Magnificent Delusions” is an essential guide, says that “Pakistan has always worried that the natural order of things would be for Afghanistan to come under the sway of India, the giant of the subcontinent. The Pakistani army came to believe that it could only gain leverage in Afghanistan through religious zealots. Afghanistan’s secular groups and ethnic nationalists are all suspicious of Pakistan, so the only path in is through those who see a common, religious ideology.” This strategy is not new, Haqqani points out, noting that funding for such groups began in the mid-1970s, before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979.

What should the United States do? First, says Haqqani, it needs to see reality for what it is: “When you are lied to and you don’t respond, you are encouraging more lies.” He argues that Washington has to get much tougher with the Pakistani military and make clear that its double-dealing must stop. To do this would be good for Afghanistan and stability in that part of the world, but it would also be good for Pakistan.

Pakistan is a time bomb. It ranks 43rd in the world in terms of its economy, according to the World Bank, but has the sixth-largest armed forces. It has the fastest-growing nuclear arsenal, and the most opaque. It maintains close ties with some of the world’s most brutal terrorists. By some estimates, its military consumes 26 percent of all tax receipts, while the country has 5.5 million children who don’t attend school. As long as this military and its mind-set are unchecked and unreformed, the United States will face a strategic collapse as it withdraws its forces from the region.

(Courtesy to Washingtonpost)

Another Eid and another protest for missing persons

The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) held a protest demonstration in front of Quetta Press Club on Eid Day tobhro demand the release of abducted Baloch activists.

The protest on Eid-day in front of the Quetta Press Club was attended by relatives of the abducted persons.

Families and friend of Baloch enforced disappeared persons have been protesting on Eid Day from last several years.

Three female family members of Safar Khan Marri also joined the demonstration. His daughter Bibi Hajira said that her father was abducted eight year ago.

She said, “Since the abduction of our father we are forced to live like orphans. Our education is finished and everything else is ruined.”

Another young participant in the demonstration, Mohammad Hyrbyair, said that several Baloch have been abducted and disappeared that is why he joined the rally of VBMP.  ”We Baloch are celebrating Eid with simplicity,” He said.

Voice for Baloch Missing Persons Vice-Chairman, Mama Qadeer Baloch, speaking to the media said that no progress has been made to address the issue of enforced disappearances in Balochistan so far.

He said that because of this situation they are forced to protest even on Eid Day.

The current government of parliamentarians nationalists in Balochistan has included the issue of enforced disappeared in their priorities but  Mama Qadeer said that the current regime could not bring any change and military operations and disappearance continue as usual.

(Courtesy to Balochwarna)

Hazaras & theirs Problem


Hazaras are defined and described by many organizations and people in various ways: Some say they belong to hazarahazaras province, some think they are native of Bamyan (situated in Afganistan), and some referred them as they belong to Iran. It is true, Hazaras could not get any specific identification and position in a country, globally. It is believed that the birth place of any individual is termed as his/her motherland or homeland. A sizable population of Hazara born in Pakistan, having nationality of country, even they are considered refugee in same mentioned state. The negative perception regarding Hazaras is negated here, the ancestral of this community had contributed sufficiently in creation of this country, and they paid sacrifices in shape of entire kinfolk’s lives but maintained peace and harmony on their homeland. Many personalities belong to Haraza community have been on key posts within this state.

Though possessing loyal history with state, the Harazas are forced to quit from their homeland. The current settings forebode that Haraza community’s future is tentative in this country. This wretches the hearts with full aggrieves, why they always have been targeted and what is theirs fault? Being Hazara is only fault or sin? Except this no reason is visible behind this carnage.

This piece of writing is just a glimpse and sensitize that how people are suffering here.

How inattention is faced by community, today. An absurd attitude of anyone toward Hazaras shocks extremely to a sensitive person. A country’s constitution laid on the bases of unity, equality and justice, but it is incapacitate to provide the basic rights to it’s an ethnic in first hand. Presently problems faced by individuals of Hazara are;

  • Lack of security and uneven chances of promotion to community which are provided other citizens in the country.
  • Fewer chances in Government jobs.
  • The deficiency of primary necessities (food, water and shelter).

These are some basic and important problems faced by Hazaras which stimulates to cry because of isolation and are being ill-treated by state authorities. Being part of Hazara community it is demanded from Government:

The community people only need amicable concepts by fellow citizens because they are national of this country and by faith are co-Muslim. The community wants to share the same platform which other citizen are exploiting, presently. Certainly, prescribed points are not illogical or realistic that are not to be accepted.

Still members of Hazara community have not lost the hope and trust because every dark night of solitary brings new and beautiful sunshine which motivates dreams, learn and explore a new world of peace and harmony.

Internet usage in Pakistan

By Hanif Baloch

With the capability of global broadcasting, internet acts as for information dissemination in this age of globalization. Thesocial-media-drop-bubble-wave use of internet is incredible, both in terms of user and the activity. The rapid growth of the internet makes it difficult to understand its current impact, led alone its future impact. In other words, while the number of user grows arithmetically, the value and impact of the internet grows exponentially with this much advancements. We are now facing some social issues like social isolation, demolishing the cultural values by introducing pornography and virtual relationships for which it is quite necessary to time by analyzing these issues. We will be come up with better policymaking in the region and build a strong nation.

Internet penetration

Digicom launched the first international internet service in Pakistan in 1999. The licensing of service in Pakistan in 1995. The licensing of commercial internet service provides began in 1996. By the mid of 1999 licenses to provide internet services had been issued to approximately 100 organizations by the mid of 2000, the number of Pakistan users had grown to 500,000. Currently, the total number of internet service providers is in thousands and subsequent internet. User have reached to a total of more the 12 million.

Internet Developing

  • E- learning already been initiated and provided by government supported virtual university.
  • E- banking- online and internet transaction provided by, almost all major banks of Pakistan.
  • E- Health- initiatives have been taken by the government in this regard.
  • E- crimes- government of Pakistan has set up cyber crime unit in F.I.A other agencies are also working in this field.
  • E-commerce- online Auctions E- billing, online sellings of computer and Books is successfully operational.
  • E- Governance government and working a lot in order to established e-government system accrues every department.

In Pakistan the internet user are more the 12 millions and they further plan to penetrate. It is quite evident the people are using internet for office and personal works as internet is know the integral part of a communication system.

25th September; World Pharmacy Day observed at UoB

By Basheer Ijbani

25th September day was reserved to mark as World Pharmacy by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)ijbari several years ago in its congress at Istanbul, and since then the day have been marked ‘World Pharmacists Day’, annually. For the encouragement of the world’s pharmacists, the FIP organizes activities to promote and advocate the role of the professionals for the sake of improvements in health sector, worldwide. The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) highly encourages all discuss field organizations and officials across the globe to participate in ‘World Pharmacist Day’ programs on 25th September. The main theme of observing this day is to associate pharmacists globally and induce them to join the programs in the accordance of assigned day.

In the same sequence, this year on 25th September 2015, the Pharmacists have marked Pharmacists Day globally on Medical Colleges and Universities levels also on other forums with purpose to encourage activities that promote and advocate the role of pharmacists in society who are improving and developing health sector. The medicines must go hand to hand in expertise way and this coordination is essential for the

Pharmacy day organizers at University of Balochistan

Pharmacy day organizers at University of Balochistan

reliable use of these, resultantly that effect positively on health and shuns any side effect.

The ‘World Pharmacist Day’ commemoration means to highlight, build confidence and warm the collaborations among the pharmacists, patients and other concerned healthcare professionals.

It is the second time, at University of Balochistan the Pharmacy faculty has been conducting the ‘World Pharmacist Day’ with passion. The faculty’s professors and students took part affectionately in activities, where a rally was arranged and routed University to Quetta Press Club, in that Vice Chancellor of University with other professors were including. At university, the activists established various units, and the main organizers were Bachelor of Eastern Medicine Science [BEMS] Doctors of Physio Trophy DPD, Doctor of Pharmacy, Clinical Pharmacy, Hospital Pharmacy, Model of Pharmacy Tree, and Pharmacology of Medicine.

At the occasion of Pharmacy Day program, the chairman of Pharmacy Department Mr Abdul Razaq Shahwani was interviewed and he said, they are determined to observe Pharmacy Day every year, because the pharmacists have a significant role in medical field and without them health sector is incomplete. Pharmacists distribute life saving drugs, research and regulate the medicines. Further he showed gratitude to the Vice Chancellor of University for attending the program and also thanked the professors who enthusiastically participated in the event. He especially exalted the organizers of ‘World Pharmacist Day’ program at University of Balochistan. Mr Shahwani highlighted the importance of Pharmacy department in present age, he also underlined the functions of Pharmacists with compliments who are serving to save the human lives.

Students’ views:

Dr Abdul Ghfar Baloch, Dr Abdul Bari, Dr Laraib Jameel, Dr Nagina Soomen are students of final year at Pharmacy department spoke to Bolan Voice Magazine and said that pharmacists are the vital part of health sector, and pharmacy is the most prominent fragment in discussed system. This is only department which researches for cure of diseases and discovers medicine, which are basic element of lifecycle. Students expressed excited views about Pharmacy Day which was conducted excellently with purpose to highlight significance of this profession.

In the connection of the International Day a program was adorned by students who raised funds for incurrences. Such events encourage to observe the mentioned day fervently to next and inspire new comer to give importance this in future.

The Baloch Blood Bank contributed greatly in Pharmacy Day program at University of Balochistan. The official of the Blood Bank established a stall where they provided medical services including identification blood group. They also made aware people present at the occasion about blood donation which save thousands lives.       

The writer can be reached: basheerahmed, twitter: @Basheerijbani, Facebook: Basheerijbari, Blog: http://www.basheerijbari.

Quetta Valley

It’s a green-well;

Sight from sky

Evil forgets the hell;

Angels say heaven bye!


Enveloped mountains;

By clouds and snow

Planted round-plains;

By roses that glow


Oxygen-providing trees;

In a unique climate

Slow exquisite breeze;

Every time and date


Romantic starry nights;

With a bright moon

Morning a cool air flights;

Till a white noon


Baloch-Pashtoon customs;

History and beauty

Unity and united systems;

Love gives duty

By Sohail Abdullah

Balochistan rebel leader Brahamdagh Bugti ‘ready to talk’

By Adil Shahzeb, BBC Urdu

A leading Baloch separatist has said he is ready to consider dialogue with Pakistan, as long as the army ends balochistanmilitary operations in the province.

Brahamdagh Bugti told BBC Urdu his party could drop calls for independence if “the Baloch people agree”.

Mr Bugti, who lives in Switzerland, is accused of leading an armed struggle.

Balochistan has seen a long-running conflict between security forces and separatists who want a greater share of the province’s natural resources.

Brahamdagh Bugti, 34, is regarded as one of the most hardline of the Baloch separatist leaders and has until now been opposed to any rapprochement with the Pakistani state which he has vowed to “fight to the death”.

His remarks are being viewed as an olive branch to the military and could signal the first softening of attitudes within the separatist movement.

Talking to the BBC from his base in Geneva, Mr Bugti said the Pakistani military had already suffered a moral defeat.

“What has been the cumulative effect of the last 10 or 15 years of violence, murder, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and body bags? Have the Baloch people changed their minds or has this strengthened their resolve?”

He made his remarks in an exclusive interview with the BBC Urdu service on the ninth anniversary of the death of his grandfather Akbar Bugti, a former governor and later separatist leader who was killed in a Pakistani military operation in 2006.

The killing ignited the latest wave of the Baloch insurgency which has claimed thousands of lives since.

Asked if he might drop demands for a separate Balochistan, as a condition for peace talks to begin, Mr Bugti said: “If our friends, allies, comrades and the Baloch people want this then of course we will be prepared to talk to Pakistan.”

He denied any contact with Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan who is currently in London where other Baloch leaders are based.

“If he wants to meet us we are prepared to meet him. It would be foolish for anyone to refuse a political dialogue if it is offered in the right spirit.”

Mr Bugti said previous attempts at dialogue had not been serious, and added: “If the fighting continues it will be impossible to hold peace talks and that is why we are calling for an end to the military operation and withdrawal of armed forces from the province.

“Only if these demands are met can conditions be ripe for peace talks.”

Mr Bugti said it was up to the military to make concessions.

“We are the persecuted minority in this conflict. It is up to them to tell us what they are prepared to give and what their agenda is. If talks begin we will take to them only what is acceptable to the majority in our ranks.

“The army has to stop believing it can solve every problem with force. We don’t have a huge army to fight them but nothing will be achieved by this kind of bloodshed.”

Pakistan blames India for a campaign of sabotage and disruption in Balochistan and has accused it of fuelling the insurgency in the province.

Mr Bugti said the military made such allegations to hide its own failures.

“If India wants to help us why should we refuse? Everyone has the right to ask for help in self-defence. We can also ask for help from America and the United Nations. India is not responsible for the military operation in Balochistan.”

Will never seek help from India: Hyrbyair Marri

Baloch separatist leader Hyrbyair Marri has said the Baloch people are not in favour of seeking help from India to gain 1397126988-3643freedom, said a report published on the BBC Urdu website.

In an interview in London, Marri said he was fighting for an “independent Balochistan” however neither he nor his associates have any affiliation with the proscribed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) militant group.

In response to a question about separatist Baloch Republi­can Party (BRP) leader Brahamdagh Bugti’s statement that he was ready to give up his demand for an independent Balochistan if the Baloch so desired, Marri said: “No, I don’t think the majority of Baloch people want to live with Pakistan.”

Marri said he was not seeking assistance from India for his movement: “I have never sought help from them, nor will I in the future.”

He also rejected reports that he travelled to India to start the Free Balochistan Movement.

Hyrbyair Marri — who has been living in self-exile in London since 2000 — is alleged to have been leading the banned BLA.

The June 15, 2013 attack on the Ziarat Residency in Quetta was carried out by the BLA which also claimed responsibility for the murder of 13 non-Baloch labourers in September the same year.

In June this year, an anti-terrorism court in Quetta had indicted Marri and 32 others in the Ziarat Residency bombing case.

Earlier, in a report published by The Hindu, representative of the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Organisation (BLO) Balaach Pardili was quoted as saying that he was hoping to “facilitate Nawabzada [Hyrbyair] Marri’s visit to Delhi in near future.”

According to The Hindu’s report, Pardili, who hails from Afghanistan, has been living in Delhi since 2009 and was recently contacted by Marri to represent him at public meetings.

(Courtesy to Dawn)

The cohesive bases of the Baloch Nationalism

The subject has been taken from book of Taj Mohammad Breseeg “Baloch Nationalism, its origin and development”.

 Continued from previous..


The strength of Baloch identity is rooted in proud historical memories of determined resistance against the would-be balochistan-mapconquerors who perennially attempted, without success, to annex all or part of Balochistan to their adjacent empires, it seems that the migration of the Baloch into the territory of present-day Balochistan was an important milestone in their ethic history. It is in territory that the ethno-linguistic community formed as a result of various contacts with the local pre-Indo-European, Indo-Aryan and Iranian populations during the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. It is evidently during this period that the major treble unions, which formed the nucleus of the Baloch feudal nationality, arose. Thus, in seeking to mobilise a nationalist movement today, the Baloch leaders are manipulating the powerful historical symbolism of a torture struggle for survival stretching back more than two thousand years.

Much of the Baloch ancient history is clouded over with uncertainty, and controversy exists about many aspects of it, Basing their arguments mainly on legendary accounts, some Baloch scholars’ today claim the ancestors came from Babylonia, in modern Iraq, through northern Iran to Makkoran. According to Sardar Khan, this migration began in 538 BC., when Cyrus the Great conquered Babyloinia Western investigators relying essentially on the evidence of phonological and etymological comparisons of the Baloch languages, have tended to an alternate view that the Baloch are first identifiable in history inhabiting an area in northern Iran adjacent to’ the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea. Virtually all of them judge the Baloch a racial amalgam of many peoples and classes. The Balochi language, together with Persian, Pashtu and Kurdish, is the Iranian group of the Indo-European language family. Some Baloch writers, however, believe that the Baloch are the Baloch are the ancient inhabitant of Makkoran.

From the 12th century award the powerful Baloch chieftains, such as Mir Jalal Han, Mir Shaikh and Mir Chakar, forcefully extended their rule over most of Balochistan. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a number of regional state formations, in which the feudalizing aristocracy of the Baloch tribes was in the ascendant, arose in the territory of Balochistan. Of these Malik dynasty of Keck and Bumpur, Buledi dynasty, the Dodai confederacy of Derajat and the Khanate of Kalat are the most important.

In 1734, the Iranian conquerer, Nadir Shah Afshar, invaded the subcontinent. In order to save his realm, the Khan of Kalat paid tribute to Nadir Shah. On the death of Nadir in 1747, the Khan of Kalat acknowledge the superiority of Ahmed Shah Durrani for some years. In 1758, however, the Khan declared himself entirely independent, upon which the Afghan forces under the command of Ahmed Shah himself invaded Balochistan and besieged the Kalat fortress for forty days. This expedition terminated in a treaty of peace, by which the Khan agreed to furnish troop to assist the Kabul armies, and the Afghan King in return, agreed to pay cash allowance. From that time till 1839, when the British army occupied the country, Balochistan was completely independent owing no allegiance to any authority in India or elsewhere. The British government in India never claimed the doctrine of paramountcy was applicable to its relations with Kalat: nor has the Khan ever admitted that the powers of paramountcy could be exercised against him and his government.

Like the Rind-Lashari confederacy, Nasir Khan’s powerful state was also short-lived. His domain declined soon after his death. The Qajars of Persia annexed western Balochistan to Persia. The Talures of Sindh took over the port of Karachi. Maharaja Ranjit Sindh of Lahore occupied Harrand and Dajal { Drea Ghazi Khan area}. The insurrection also started in Sarawan and Jhalawan supported by the Mengal and Bizenjo tribes. There was anarchy in Makkoran. Under Khan Mahmmood Khan the process of disintegration and weakening of Khanate reached to its lowest ebb.

British, whose interest in India’s trans-Indus western frontiers dated from the early nineteen century, was the only foreign power to succeed in establishing relatively effective control over Balochistan prior to the founding modern Pakistan in 1947, the first Afghan War {1839-41} and annexation of Sindh and Punjab to British India soon thereafter mark the formal arrival of British military and political power to the region.

Opposing to cross his territory, Mehrab Khan, the Khan of Kalat was killed by British troops on 13 November 1839, Furthermore, internal strife and weakness in the Khanate opened the way to British manipulation of the Baloch confederation. However, in its early phases, British influence over Balochistan was exerted largely through agreements negotiated with tribal leaders, and through subsides, manipulation of tribal feuds, and the conduct of periodic punitive expeditions against rebellious tribesmen.

Balochistan came under British influence by the treaties of 1854 and 1876, in 1854, the British entered into an agreement with Nasir Khan ll, the ruler of Kalat, which was subsequently renewed and affirmed in anther treaty in 1876, in which the British government once again committed itself to respect the independence of Kalat, and to aid the Khan in case of need in the maintenance of a just authority and protection of territories from external attack. During British hegemony, the Baloch country was arbitrary divided into several parts. One portion was given to Iran, a small portion was with Afghanistan and the northeastern region remained with the colonial administration under lease. The rest of country was left in possession of the Kalat State. The Kalat state was further carved into the agencies territories and the federation of Balochi States [Kalat, Kharan and Lasbela] with the Khan of Kalat as the head of the federation. In 1879, British Balochistan including the Pashtun districts and the leased Baloch areas with it capital at Quetta was created.

The British hegemony in Balochistan In 19th century aroused the question of Baloch national sovereignty. Big power rivalry in central Asia, which resulted in the British invasion of Afghanistan, also brought its forces into the Baloch region. In 1809-10, the East India Company army had sent a Captain Christie and a Lieutenant Pottinger to explore Balochistan. British frontier policy in the early 19th century was motivated by an urge to consolidate the colony and reduce perceived threats to its security. This demanded acquisition of information, creation of allies, dependencies or buffers, delimiting and then demarcating frontiers and finally, the deployment of resource to maintain the impermeable of the frontiers. Threats from an equally expansionist Czarist Russia led to an era of intrigue and conspiracy along the border.

Up to the mid-19 century, the Baloch state of Kalat, then generally known as Balochistan, embraced the present day Balochistan provinces of Iran and Pakistan including some areas now forming parts of Punjab and Sindh provinces in Pakistan, and was an independent state. When the British arrived in the subcontinent, they entered into treaty relations with State of Kalat. Kalat and Nepal were the two states which never formed part of the Indian Empire.

With the beginning of the twentieth century, Baloch discontent found new forms of expression. Political unrest took various forms and there was an increase of sporadic uprisings both in eastern and western Balochistan. External events, such as the Iranian Revolution [1907], the First World War the 1917, Russian revolution, Turkish and German actives, pan-Islamism, and the Indian freedom movement also had effects on the Baloch. The Baloch tribes of Sarhadd resisted against the British occupation in Western Balochistan. However, they were defeated and Sarhadd occupied 1915, simultaneously, the Mengal and the Marri revolted against attempts by the British government to raise mercenaries in Balochistan. Rebel chiefs fled to the Soviet Union and formed the delegation to the famous “Baku Congress of the people East”. Communist influences in Balochistan, though not be overestimated, dates from that time, and Lenin’s appeal for the “right of self-determination for all opposed nations had already had some influences on rapidly developing nationalist tendencies.

Western Balochistan became part of Iran in 1871, under the Perso-Baloch agreement. The British representative, General Goldsmid, supervised the demarcation of the Perso-Baloch frontier. In the late nineteen century, Pan-Islmism as propagated by syed Jamal al-Din Afghani and Caliph Sultan Abdul Hamid influences the politics of Persian Balochistan. Their influences led to Baloch revolts against Persian rule and against British control of eastern Balochistan. During the Frist World War [1914-18] a number of Baloch tribes, irrespective of their beliefs or sectarian affiliation, took part in uprisings, which were guided by the Turko-German alliance, in 1907, the Baloch tribes of Makkoran [Iranian Balochistan] under the leadership of Mir Bahram Khan Baranzai established a semi-independent state in Persian Balochistan, which lasted until 1928.

To be continued…….

Title July 2015

tital for blog July 2015

Deal on Iranian nuclear program observes an unviable accord

By Ahmed Khan

Presently imperialist is controlling bridles of world politics by use of theological notions. Iran is a theocratic and scoundrel EI-CM039_IRANTA_J_20150317154328state that is denying the rights of small but moderate nations, like Baloch, Kurd and other small ethnics.

The occupant state Iran extracts resources from land of occupied nations and utilizes for well-being of dominating racist Persians. In this way, small nationalities are exploited the worst in Iran.

Besides this, theocratic state Iran is backing religious fundamentalists in Iraq the Mehdi Malaysia, in Lebanon the Hezbollah and in Syria to Asad regime. By the slogan of Shiaism Iran stands and contemptuously denies the rights of existence to Jews and other religion’s followers.

The Iran developed atomic program on level to manufacture atomic weapons. In fact, this state is questing to gain nuclear weaponries. The Iranian authorities explicitly said their country has acquired atomic technology from Pakistan but they use it in energy sector, other means and will not develop atomic bomb. The ground realities imply that Iran is developing atomic weapons in prompt pace. The religious state is run by Shia orthodoxy that believes in supremacy on others which is a type of narcissism through political vision. The Iran presently is intended for dominance of Shiaism on world but this has put aside humanity and is in race of arm with the Saudia Whabi dominating state. Though the Saudia is a fascist state and involved in spread of its religious creed in world and it has alliance with imperialist Uncle-Sam.

Currently, Iran and Saudi Arabia are engaged in fighting a proxy war on the land of Yemen, where Houthi rebels have ousted Mansoor Haadi’s government was supported by Saudi Arabia on ground of sectarian resemblance of Sunni. Verily the Saudia is persuading its interests and intended the prolongation of Yemen’s resources extortion by the use of religious label.

The United States is playing double game; on one side ostensibly it supports Saudi Arabia about Yemen dealings, instantaneously on opposite the US is relaxing the Iran and the recent nuclear deal in Vienna is also an chief example of the dual facet diplomacy.

The Iran has perceived the situations of world politics that animosity with Saudi Arabai has intensified and by now both sides supported groups pragmatically are waging war against each other in Arab world. In the compliance of current settings, Iran has stepped down from its previous unbending stance and now agreed on some points to compromise with aim to converge all energies and attentions on Saudi belligerence.

During the last weeks in Vienna, the Iran with United States and other world’s six great powers reach on an accord to demote its nuclear program and diminish the fear of any nuclear and conventional confrontation in volatile Middle East.

The United State and Iran reached an accord after sporadic negotiation rounds. Before this the rival states had labeled each other “leading state sponsor of terrorism” and “the Great Satan”.

Through spirit of mentioned accord, the Iran will receive more than $100 billion in assets that have been frozen overseas and end to various financial restrictions on Iranian banks.

The sanctions will be lifted on Iran, which were imposed by the European States and United Nations on it. Iran is an oil rich country and member state of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The Saudia and other oil producing countries are also opposing the lift-up of sanctions; otherwise, the Iranian oil supply in international market will cause devaluation of their production. Iran will start supply of oil to neighboring states, especially Pakistan where already Iranian oil is being smuggled in great quantity. Iran is also willing to sell of its gas to Pakistan and further India and China. The gas pipeline project is hampered by United States, however Iran has laid pipeline till Pakistani western border in Balochistan where dissents exist and region is in turmoil.

This time, the American Foreign Secretary Mr John Kerry has activity lobbied in diplomatic process to reach the accord with his counterpart Iranian Foreign Minister Mr Jawad Zarif. Mr Kerry talking to media-persons said persistence paid off. “Believe me, had we been willing to settle for a lesser deal we would have finished this negotiation a long time ago,” he told the reporters, the breakthrough came after several key compromises.

Through accord Iran agreed on the continuation of the United Nation arms embargo on the country for up to five more years, even it could end before if the international Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) clears the country about the nuclear weapons. Beside this, on Iran restriction regarding ballistic technology was also put, which could last for up to eight more years, diplomat informed media.

The United States had found out to keep ban on Iran regarding the supply of weapons to Houthi Fighters in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon, President Bashar Assad’s government in Syria and other forces in Meddle-East opposing the American allies, like Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Meantime, Iranian leaders backed by Russia and China urged on end of embargo on their country with mean to combat the belligerent force in region the Islamic State, significantly. The agreement will allow the United Nation’s inspectors to stress for visit to Iranian military sites as part of watching duties. The Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah uttered about opposing the prescribed settings through discussed accord.

According to accord, Tehran would have right to challenge the United Nations proposal; resultantly, an arbitration board composed of Iran and Six powers of the world then decide on the issue. The IAEA also want accomplishment of Iranian weapons investigation which is in pending for long time. The stated that Iranian cooperation would result complete lift up of the sanctions on its hobbled economy. On the other hand the chief of International Atomic Energy Agency Mr Yukiy Amans spoke that his agency has designed “roadmap” to resolve outstanding issue with Iran by mid of December.

The members of negotiation team faced hardships and then they reached this deal, which totally look frail and unviable. During the convention, the members several times conducted corner meetings, tempers flared, voice were raised and debates over several of the contentions matters. Eventually, the remaining gaps were bridged in meeting with Mr Kerry. European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Russian Foreign minister Sergey Loverof later on joined the meeting and then the ministers told the aides that they have reached the accord which was some amazing.

The diplomacy of international and inter-continental brought after off tireless efforts of more than a decade. Even now, after proclamation about settlement of dispute the critiques have skeptical thoughts regarding this declaration. Breaks in talks were lasted for months, and Iran’s nascent nuclear program expanded into one that western intelligence agencies saw as only a couple of month away from weapons capacity. The US and Israel both threatened possible military responses. But now these states will get all energies of Iran against Saudi Arabia and other Sunni armed groups particularly IS. The Iran for gain of strengths diverted force of American’s antagonism toward Sunni and Wahabi groups. The removal of sanctions will cause easy breathing for Iran and gain of potencies onward too.

The United States joined negotiation process with Iran on its nuclear program in 2008. The both countries’ officials together secretly and later they sought diplomatic progress. But the process remained essentially stalemated ever it is now pleasant, because the necessities brought close to bitter hearts.

Before the formed signing on accord, the Iranian Ayatollah in his statement said the country will not suspend its relation with Hezbollah and Shia armed organizations and his country also will pursue nuclear development for peaceful purposes.

In reaction of deal Israel declared it a historic mistake. Saudi Arabia notified for destruction in Middle East because of accord and announced attain of nuclear technology to come-up equal to Iran. American politician and Republican Party leader Jeb Bush issued a denunciation, saying the deal only delays the danger and “over time it paves Iran’s path to a bomb”. The major stake holders in region have reprimanded agreement and Iran also cannot stand manufacturing the nuclear bomb to keep hegemony on nations; Baloch and Kurd and.

The American politicians after weeks of accord stated that their country will not discard the option of assault on Iranian nuclear sites. Iranian leaders also utterly denied the rollback of nuclear program and cut of their dealings with Shia fighter groups. These all entail the fragility of accord on Iranian nuclear program between Iran and six powers of world.

The condition’s analyzing indicates accord was made in haste or without managing the matters suitably; consequently this deal may not be viable.

The deal also can be used by US to get obedient the Saudi Arabia that is posturing some defiance to her.

The civilized communities must realize that through theocratic states world’s affairs cannot be managed. They ought to recognize the right of self-determination with right of separation, especially moderate nations, like Baloch and Kurds, that are persecuted by Iran and Saudia. The deal on Iranian nuclear program further may encourage violating human rights in world.

Asian ibex: The elite hunting club has a new favorite victim


A recent surge in ibex hunting in Balochistan has caused an outrage amongst environmentalists and activists involved in 55c200123d717conservation efforts. Heartrending pictures of hunters posing with their ‘trophies’ during the Eid season have been shared on social media much to the chagrin of those working towards saving the animals.

Along with the mountainous swathes of the Himalayas, Balochistan is a major breeding ground for the Asian ibex. In recent years, illegal hunting of the famed goat has picked up momentum. Both local and foreign hunters travel to remote areas in Balochistan to pursue their passion.

In response to a social media campaign which protested the hunting of ibexes, Balochistan’s forest and wildlife department spurred into action. “We have ordered an inquiry regarding the hunting of ibexes in Balochistan,” the department’s secretary, Khudai Rahim Hijbani, tells this reporter.

“We will submit a final report in a week’s time,” he adds.

The elite hunting club

In Balochistan’s fertile ibex hunting grounds, the elite hunt the mountain goat with impunity. And with the profiles of these influential individuals ranging from legislators to tribal chieftains, forest officers deployed to curtail such activities remain powerless to do anything.

Besides the local elite, Arab blue bloods also descend on the province to try their hand at hunting ibexes. Chaghai, Naushki, Kharan and other parts of Balochistan are regarded as preferred for royal hunting trips.

Apart from ibex, other ‘game animals’ such as the endangered houbara bustards are also hunted with much fanfare. Last year alone, a member of an Arab royal family proceeded to hunt 2,100 houbara bustards in a killing spree that last three weeks.

Despite a ban on illegal hunting by the Balochistan High Court (BHC), the slaughter continues unabated.

During Eidul Fitr, Balochistan’s forest and wildlife department carried out an initial investigation regarding reports of illegal hunting of ibexes. Sharifuddin, a conservationist with the said department, tells this reporter that the hunting sprees took place near Hingol National Park and in the province’s Lasbela, Awaran and Gwadar districts.

“The individuals who hunted ibexes were already proclaimed offenders in previous incidents of illegal hunting,” the official says.

Action against illegal hunting ‘not enough’

With such high casualties of the endangered animal and little real action against the hunters, the government’s efforts in ensuring the ibexes’ conservation can hardly be deemed satisfactory, let alone efficient.

“It is ironic that ibexes are better protected in community conserves as compared to officially administered areas,” Head of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Balochistan chapter, Faiz Kakar, points out, almost sardonically.

Wild animals are protected by communities in the areas of Torghar and Duraiji in Killa Saifullah and Lasbela districts, Kakar says. He also entreats the provincial governor and chief minister to take notice of illegal ibex hunting and bring those responsible to account.

Hijbani, though, claims that action is taken against those involved in illegal hunting. He says that action was taken against an officer of the department this year for failing to curb illegal hunting in Chaghai’s Kachao area.

“As soon as I received reports of illegal hunting, I took immediate action, suspended the concerned officer and ordered an inquiry to probe deeper into the incident,” he says.

‘Sustainable’ hunting

Sardar Naseer Tareen, a well-known environmentalist and campaigner for conservation, says: “The number of ibexes in Hingol National Park is close to 2,500. Sustainable hunting can be allowed if we keep the age factor in mind for ibexes and other game animals and do not indulge in over-hunting of the species.”

“Four or five mature male ibexes can be hunted per season, but not females and young ibexes,” he adds.

In order to ensure protection of endangered and game animals, the Balochistan Assembly last year adopted the Balochistan Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Act of 2014. With the passing of this legislation, the Wild Life Act of 1974 was repealed.

55c1ff2fa4679The new legislation aimed to curb illegal hunting. It fixed a minimum fine of Rs10,000 and a maximum fine of Rs20,000 with three to six weeks of imprisonment for illegally hunting a single ibex. The hunting value of ibexes was also fixed by the forest and wildlife department.

Experts are of the opinion that a regular census should be conducted for ibexes and other animals, and also believe that a sustainable program needs to be launched for their protection and conservation.

Local tribal communities have so far played a commendable role in the protection of these rare and endangered species. But in a province plagued by unrest and insurgency, such issues tend to take a back seat. In the meantime, these species are left to fend for themselves, with only activists to beseech to the world on their behalf.

(Courtesy to Dawn)

Eurozone uses bailout card as ‘egg laying hen’ against Greece

Bailout declaration may loom over Greece but not be imposed, otherwise the influential states of Eurozone will elude from usurps upon powerless nations including the Greek.

By Ahmed Khan

Greece, the old history holder of city states and torch bearer for human to show ways by eye of knowledge and the land 14a3d9ff3fab57e2a105of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Great Alexander and other Philosophers and scientists is plunged in crisis. The international media has focused on Greece’s monetary crises, particularly after the election which brought on prime post of the state a socialist party’s leader. The Greeks elected a socialist politician Mr Alexis Tsipras, who is striving to provide relieves in lives of his country people through socialistic tradition’s cataclysm.

The Greece is member state of Eurozone, consisting of 19 states of Europe that use single currency for trade. The France and Germany are the most dominant states on mentioned union. The Eurozone consist of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. Other small states in region also use currency of Euro but that are not member of union, formally.

In Eurozone, the bank of European Central Bank (ECB) was established by member states which have president and board for governing. The main objective of ECB is to keep control on inflation. The Eurogroup is composed of finance ministers of Euro States, but in emergency, national leaders also form the Group.

After Second World War capitalist Bloc’s godfather formed an institute ‘International Monetary Fund’ and this directs about policies to weak economic states and in return gives loan on high rate of interest. Capitalist World by this mean is absorbed to maintain this unnatural system. In fact, IMF and World Bank are similar organizations to keep in pawn the underdeveloped nations and keep people subjugated. The decade’s history has proved that IMF and similar forums never helped for wellbeing the people but these caused increase in poverty in world.

The IMF and European Central Bank have indebted the Greece on high interest rate to make bonded the Greeks. This country’s working class with all labor goes in pay-off of interest which each year dues in many. The IMF shapes policy of Greece to austerity which means to cut the morsel of Greeks but never decrease loans of them.

The Eurozone forum also is not being exploited for improvement in lives of people but this is being used for occupation of market and keeping under-handed to people of member states. The Germany and France sellout their products in markets of Greece and member states of Eurozone but they never cogitated about promotion and thrive of the discussed countries, especially to emancipate them from shackles of debts.

The Greece is on verge of bailout ostensibly but other member states Spain, Portugal and others are on the line. In this situation, the Eurozone main stake holders, the Germany and France may not declare bailout to Greece which will suspend extracting funnel from Greeks. The European Central Bank approved a sum of € 7 billion bridging loan from an EU-wide fund to keep its finances afloat until the bailout is approved for Greece; this mentioned bridging loan is to be approved on emergency by ECB.

The Greek Prime Minister Alix Aspisar conducted a referendum about bailout policy of Greece that was stamped for aquit from Eurozone and for bailout status of country. The Greeks want unchain from debts by IMF and ECB and want self-reliance of their country and smooth economy on social basis. They know that Europe’s democracy base on capitalism, never grant them prosperity but will increase more debts.

The Greece is country has scarcer industrial production and less developed compared with Germany and France. Hence, its markets are opened for mentioned states but the Greek product has no space and value in German and French markets vis-à-vis.

As Parallel, the Greek labor and agriculture products are bought very cheap by industrialist states of Eurozone union. In this way, the capitalism has demarcated between people; master and slave grades. The neoliberalism, further will nuisance the Greeks who developed as knowledge and least grown as capitalism, in marsh of debts. And this country people lives will be embittered, probably their upcoming generations also payoff the interests on fixed loans. They have only option to get bailout and put on the country’s economy social and equity path, then this luminous minded people’s country gets unchained from capitalists, otherwise the Eurozone won’t give them prosperity by use of despicable system of capitalism.

This is tipping point that how Eurozone states expel Greece from union which is like an egg laying hen for lender states and every day they enjoy laid egg by keeping alive hen. If Greece is declared bailout, so how and where from moneylenders get interest amount because other member states are also on line of being default.

The bridging loan and aid to Greece are like treating cancer by morphine tablet which temporally may soothe in pain but it is not panacea of disease. The salvation from capitalism is only way for Greece and for a gleaming future Greeks replace their present system with socialism.

Supreme Court instructs provinces for tender of NGOs details and funding

Bolan Voice Report

The Supreme Court instructed the provincial governments about the submitting of details of Non-Government Organization and its funding sources which are working respectively in provinces.

A two-member bench headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja heard a case relating to the registration and funding of NGOs. During the hearing, an official of the Law and Justice Commission informed the court that the federation and provinces had not submitted details of NGOs and their funding sources. Justice Khawaja directed investigation officers to submit complete details of the NGOs as early as possible. Razzaq A. Mirza, the additional advocate general of Punjab informed the court about NGOs which were registered in the province.

The court was also informed that around 10,000 were NGOs registered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 1,800 in Balochistan. In Sindh, approximately 6,150 NGOs were registered and 2,500 unregistered.

The Law and Justice Commission official said the interior ministry did not provide much information and he himself had obtained details about 63 NGOs. Justice Khawaja remarked that foreign funding was like oxygen for terrorists and terrorism would be effectively eliminated if the government succeeded in stopping these funds.

He said that according to the National Action Plan, foreign funding should be stopped but the government was not working on this.

The commission’s official informed the court that a form for NGOs had been prepared on the court’s direction. The court directed the provinces to complete the forms so that basic information could be gathered from NGOs. The hearing has been adjourned till Aug 20.

In previous month the federal interior minister Chaudry Nisar restricted some NGOs working in Balochistan and Gilgitbaltistan. ‘Save the Children’ was banned in Balochistan for carrying-out anti-state activities. The mentioned organization was ordered packing-up all throughout the province. After this, the NGOs are being scrutinized, monitored and audited by government of Pakistan and recent court instructions are part of said series.

The Enigma of Our Society

By Sami Ullah

Set aside the grand grandeur between the idealist and materialists debate and their notions on how the society works and shapes itself, either idyllic or evolutionary, there is somehow an intriguing notion on the paradigm of living in a carcass of people grouped together and reshaping our lives, individual lives, into their own mold. And that carcass being the society we breathe in.

Sociology defines society as a body of individuals living as members of community. Modern philosophers, including the Post-modern deconstructionists, have pondered much on the social construction and how it ensnares individual into its web for no good reason. By using the word individual, it shall be understood as I contend the meaning to be the belief that the needs of each person are more important than the needs of society, groups’ or ‘the actions and attitudes of a person. As promised, I will not attempt to draw outlines encircling cerebral debates, but will share my individual point of view.

There exist two extremes: The society and the individual. Out of these two we live under rules of different chaos, which is so called rules of “system”. As, it is our made chain, where one does not move freely. Though one is born free and came into this world without holding chains, when, normal one goes to the track of maturity one is caught with the chain of so called made patterns of society. Under such manifestations, where one finds oneself in a state of insecurity and uncertainty after holding the “echoes” of every music. The very first word PAPA and MAMA comes up from our world when everyone associated (directly or indirectly) accept this as freedom for us, even though, these words are the origin of our “social construction” because, the word (PAPA/MAMA) spoken child only sees laughing faces of people which pushes that child in a state of uncertainty, after that first freedom (whom people think freedom) none of the next move is encouraged by the same laughing face.

Let’s begin from the start. The very first word they give us is “fear” (the cute Cat, a source of aesthetic endeavor at the stage when we only sit on the ground) is told dangerous for us, even cat shares fun to us at that stage, as, she hates unspecified nets and chains, the “Bicycle”(an opening object of our journey of kissing sun) is prohibited to played with, how would a so called system knows the feelings of unlimited moments, and then, we are told not to get in touch with friends, to whom we give half of our life or without whom half of our life is incomplete, because they want those friends with us what they think for us rather we make for ourselves.

How could the system know emotions exchanged or shared feelings among friends, how would they know the deprivation of lost love, how would they feel lost control and unbearable sweat pain of apparently present heart in chest. They (by they I am referring to the society) only dictate illegitimacy as a fixed pattern of their procedure. Rather appreciate, they depreciate every of our taken step, push fear into our hearts not to make decision and want us dependent, how would they know the ever best thing we hate in their system is becoming dependent, making ascertain of our limits or our wrong and right of our lives. The decisions they make are either bared with wept eyes or left tragedies which cannot be recovered of paying the cost of the entire sacrifices and happiness of life. Even, they think themselves and theirs this rotten pattern “just”! When we laugh they tell us no! When we weep it mocks us! When we jump in unlimited happiness for a moment it tells us we are not given free hands and when we compromise we are, then, found badly ignored.

Come on!

When we ask it what is right then? We are answered deception is the only way to get through. We are indeed kept in a system where our every decision is taken without the consent of ours. Being children, we are prohibited to touch when we open our mind for getting experience, we are stopped to make a company where joining of them makes us aware not to limit ourselves we are shown ignorant eyes after our lost in our world. After having known rights and wrongs every single door exits, we are shown negative image of creature and nature our voice are tried to suppress, every single person is found involved in making this process, some are using religion some are using nation whereas some using custom, some have house dictatorship who are the most culprit images of this “so called” system because these characters want themselves to be superior than every other creator of GOD.

Do not make us paralyze.

Do not inject us of a slow poisoning, do not ignore us of your emotional “honor” as your move have destroyed us and has snatched us every of our single smile. We are not your slave; let us live our way. We are fed up with your making excuses, get us our laughter back and we want our lost rights; we have capability of making or seeking our ways cheer. Let us give chance to live our own “lives”, we assure all our senses are active properly and that we are the real followers of our lives, let us live, decide, determine our limits, rectify our mistake if are committed, your one-sided way of telling disappoints us.

The author holds Master’s Degree in International Relations and is pursuing his Law Degree in University Law College. He can be reached at samiullah.adv42@ 

Being transgender is not a fault

Mohammad Tayyub, Chaghi

The societal outmoded norms and values have made the days too stern for the transgender. Beside, having a total transgender___courage_by_imcqueeni-d3j4xclcomposition of human beings, they are being treated beyond the humanitarian values. Unfortunately, they are facing adversities just because of the “fault” (transgender) for which they never wished. It is very shocking the doors of the same house are closed for them where they were born, verily this immensely contribute in their miseries. Suffice it to say, they have house but they are shelterless, they have parents but they are orphans, they have dignity but nobody respect them, they are human but are treated beyond the humanitarian standers. The invincible roots of social boycott, gender discrimination, and evil behavior towards them are the main causes behind their suicide attempts. It seems social ostracism is written in their fortunes, but not by the Divinity, by the society.

According to the past data on the transgender population, which is likely somewhat between 0.1 and 0.5 percent of the total population of world. A study by the “National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force” shows that only in America 71 percent of transgender people hide their gender to avoid gender discrimination. A US study in 2006 found that 32% of trans people had tried to kill themselves. The International day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) was created in 2004 to draw the attention of people regarding discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) internationally. Similarly, Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project in Europe was initiated in 2009 in order to analyze reports of homicides of trans and gender people worldwide. According to TMM, IDAHOT 2015 reports a total of 1,731 killing cases were reported of transgender from January 1st 2008 to December 31st 2014.

The figures of killings are immense and socking of transgender. A novel report reveals that between year 2008 to 2014, 155 killings were reported in Asia in 16 countries. Similarly, 122 killings in North America, 94 killings in Europe in 14 countries, 9 killings in Africa in 4 countries and 5 killings in Oceania in 4 countries. These are the cases which have been reported, hundreds and thousands cases also there which have gone unreported.

The very abject concern is discrimination against transgender starts from their own homes. They are kept behind in every occasion owing to their gender. Even several parents do not treat them horizontally as compare their other children, boys and girls. This discriminatory behavior begets disappointment to them and prepares their minds to ponder about their “faults”. They act what is their nature. They should never be blamed for this. Eventually, this very truth cooks the parent’s minds to make them shelterless. Rejected from the parents, transgender later face the hydra headed evil behavior of society. Nobody in society too accept them. As per the condition they become sex workers or baggers.

It is imperative to mention, no religion in the world discriminate on gender bases. Similarly, same is the slogan of humanity. No qualm, it is just due to the societal bizarre values which have kept transgender behind fabric of society. Rationally speaking, if a man is recognized a man because of his biological composition and same as the woman, then why it is stringent to accept the biological composition of transgender? To mention a case study, among the ten murders minor in 2014 were an 8 year old trans girl who was beaten to death in Rio De Janeiro (Brazil) by her father who wanted to teach her to behave like a man, a moot point. People have to accept the realities, and do not castigate the facts. In case transgender have different way of life style that is the beauty in them, but not a “fault”.

A well-known columnist Rafia Zakaria writes, it is unfortunate to be born as a girl in Pakistan as most of the people are expecting boys. It would not be wrong to say, that it is unfortunate to be born a transgender in the world, where gender has more value than humanity. Truly speaking, it is not the “fault” of their gender producing divergences in our opinions rather it is the irrational thinking approach of people and lack of ability of thinking good.

In Pakistan transgender are too afflicted with numerous problems. Some on the order of 50,000 transgender are in Pakistan. After six decades of Pakistan’s existence they bear the brunt of government negligence in all affairs. In 2011 Supreme Court order the government to issue them identity cards and register them as voters. In addition, they were given right to contest election from 2013. However, they haven’t been privileged with standers jobs yet. In Punjab, government did not fix quota for transgender in government jobs just because of their low numbers. According to Punjab social welfare department’s survey there are 2,467 registered transgender in Punjab. Numbers of them are reluctant to get themselves registered. In the past year, Sindh government has given jobs to three transgender in Karachi, they are, Riffy Khan, Muskan, and Anjum. Riffy Khan, who did double MA, is the first transgender who was awarded job by Sindh Government on January 30, 2014. Some other jobs are also reported by this year. However, no such stances have been taken by other provincial governments. Verily, it is mandatory on government to provide equal rights, mentioned in the state constitution, to all its citizens irrespective of their gender.

This particular gender needs social acceptance from society and they must be provided with that, as they are equal to all other human beings. Discriminating means to disseminate false opinions against them and loss the humanitarian behavior. Most of the fathers’ close the doors for them because people around them castigate their gender and the way they behave are not like by others living around them. Social acceptance is the panacea to their all miseries. The vacuum of gender discrimination should be filled up with respect, affection and gentle feelings. Allocating for them job quotas, providing those rights equal to all other genders and educating people against gender discrimination can bring them to the mainstream. To bear the palm against their prolong miseries they should be loved, admired, and respected that they start to think “to be a transgender is not a fault”.

The largest-ever child abuse scandal exposes in Pakistan

GANDA SINGH WALA – Punjab’s leading child protection official has called for a federal inquiry into ‘the largest-ever 2011121319331747734_20child abuse scandal in Pakistan’s history’ after the discovery of 400 videos recording more than 280 children being forced to have sex.  Most of the victims were under 14 but include a six year old boy who was forced to perform a homosexual act and a 10 year old schoolgirl who was filmed being molested by a 14 year old boy.

Videos of these assaults were filmed and thousands of copies are believed to have been sold for Rs50 each in Hussain Khanwala village in Kasur district. One of the victims said he was injected in the spine with a drug before he was assaulted.

The scale of the scandal emerged earlier this week after the victims’ parents clashed police during a protest against their failure to prosecute the men who orchestrated the scandal. Two dozen people were injured when police used force to disperse more than 4,000 protesters on the Dipalpur Road near Dolaywala village in Kasur district who were calling for justice for the victims.

They have claimed that local police have tried to cover up the scandal and that the perpetrators have used their influence to avoid being charged.

Saba Sadiq, head of Punjab’s Child Protection Bureau, described the case as “the largest-ever child abuse scandal in Pakistan’s history” and said a provincial inquiry announced by the chief minister “would be taken up at federal level to safeguard the children rights in future.”

The number of victims in this child abuse ring is almost three times higher than in the case of Javed Iqbal in the late 1990s when around 100 children were sexually abused and murdered in Lahore. Saba Sadiq said the provincial government would change the law to ensure “vigorous punishment for such criminals.”

So far only six alleged abusers were arrested, five of whom were remanded in custody but according to parents of the victims the abuse was orchestrated by a gang of up to 25 young men and teenagers led by two men in their 40s.

The gang arranged the abuse, perpetrated it in many cases, and then used the videotapes of the assaults to blackmail the children and their families to hand over millions of rupees. Many of the children stole gold ornaments from their parents to pay off their abusers to keep their ordeal secret.

The abuse began in 2006 and continued until one year ago, police said. They have seized more than 400 videos depicting the assaults, and many of the parents have identified their children as victims in the films. Some of the clips showed that some of the victims were abused for more than an hour.

In one clip five to six young men are seen molesting a seven-year-old boy. The ‘producers’ recorded the videos at different locations – in the open fields, washrooms, bedrooms, and at deserted houses.

“We have arrested six persons after registering six separate cases against them on the complaints of the victims. Five of the accused are on physical remand while the sixth has obtained pre-arrest bail,” District Police Officer Rai Babar Saeed told media.

He said the police seized the videos for evidences. “I don’t know why they made videos and what was their agenda? Police are investigating,” he added.

Police sources said the main suspect had been released after an amount of Rs5 million bribe was paid on his behalf and victims families said they had been subjected to pressure by a local political figure to withdraw the allegations.

One mother aged 35, said she had to sell her gold ornaments to pay Rs 600,000 to the blackmailers for the videos of her 14 year old son being abused to be erased. “They made the video of my son in 2011. We have been paying money to the blackmailers for the last four years. I have seen the videos. It was disgusting and shameful,” she said with tears rolling down her cheeks. “We are seriously thinking to set our houses on fire and leave the locality.”

A 10-year-old said he was taken to a haveli by the gang at gunpoint. “After being brutally tortured, I was administered “spinal injection” and I was dozing when five to six men molested me one by one,” he said.

The police have arrested a 13-year-old boy for having sex with another child. His mother said her son is innocent because he committed the crime under duress. “They (producers of the clips) not only molested the children themselves but they also asked the victims to rape each other on camera,” she told.

“Everyone in this village is a victim. Our children both boys and girls are raped and blackmailed,” said another victim’s mother.

Another boy said he was molested by the same gang in 2006. “I was just nine years old when I was abducted and taken to a deserted house. I was brutally tortured when I offered resistance. Then they administered a spinal injection. I was raped multiple times by several men at gunpoint. I decided not to tell anybody.

Six months later, the accused showed me the video clips when I refused to perform sexual acts on camera again. It was horrible,” he said. The family of a ten year old girl forced to perform a sex act in her school uniform said they had paid a million rupees to their blackmailers but they had not erased the video.

Another villager said the gang had sold videos of the children to gay porn sites operating from the UK, USA, and Europe. One victim said he once heard one of the gang leaders talking on Skype to a customer abroad. “Once I saw, Shirazi was talking to someone on Skype. He was talking about the videos of children and money in return. They were collecting a huge amount in dollars from the dealers abroad,” he said.

One villager who led the campaign to expose the scandal told he had been warned he would be killed if he did not withdraw his claims. Later on, he was picked up by police when he was returning home from Lahore. The police used his mobile phone and contacts to force the activists to cancel a protest demonstration scheduled for.

(Courtesy to The Nation)

Anatomy of a murder

Naziha Syed Ali | Fahim Zaman

It was a 9mm gun, probably a Stoeger. Before Saad Aziz got this ”samaan” through an associate, by his own admission, sabeen1he had already plotted a murder. On the evening of Friday, April 24, 2015, he met four other young men, all well-educated like him, somewhere on Karachi’s Tariq Road to finalize and carry out the plot. As dusk deepened into night, they set off towards Defense Housing Society Phase II Extension on three motorcycles. Their destination: a café-cum-communal space – The Second Floor or T2F – where an event, Unsilencing Balochistan: take two, was under way. Their target: Sabeen Mahmud, 40, the founder and director of T2F.

Two of Aziz’s associates, he says, “were just roaming around in the vicinity of T2F”. A third was keeping an eye on the street outside. Aziz himself was riding a motorcycle driven by one Aliur Rehman, also mentioned as Tony in the police record. When he received the message that Mahmud had left T2F, he says, he followed her. “Suzuki Swift, AWH 541,” he repeats her car’s make and registration number.

As the car stopped at a signal less than 500 metres to the north of T2F, “Tony rode up alongside it.” Mahmud was in the driving seat, Aziz says. “Next to her was her mother, I think. That is what we found out from the news later. There was a man sitting in the back. I fired the gun four or five times at her.”

Sitting in a sparsely furnished room within Karachi Police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID), Aziz appears at ease even in blindfold. Recounting the events of that evening, he never sounds hurried or under duress.

After shooting Mahmud, he says he and Tony turned left from the signal towards Punjab Chowrangi and reached Sharae-e-Faisal, crossing Teen Talwar in Clifton on their way. While still on the motorcycle, he messaged others to get back to Tariq Road. Once there, he just picked up his motorcycle and they all dispersed. “We only got confirmation of her death later from the news,” he says. “At that moment [of shooting], there is no way of confirming if the person is dead. You just do it and get out of there.”

It was on February 13, 2015, when he says he decided that Mahmud had to die. That evening, he was at T2F, attending an event, The Karachi “Situation”: Exploring Responses. “It was something she said during the talk,” he recalls. “That we shouldn’t be afraid of the Taliban, we should stand up to them, demonstrate against them, something like that. That is when we made up our minds.” Later in the conversation, though, he adds, “There wasn’t one particular reason to target her: she was generally promoting liberal, secular values. There were those campaigns of hers, the demonstration outside Lal Masjid [in Islamabad], Pyaar ho jaane do (let there be love) on Valentine’s Day and so on.” He laughs softly, almost bashfully, as he mentions the last.

Aziz remembers visiting The Karachi “Situation” seminar with Tony who, the police say, remains on the run. Pictures and video footage of the event show Aziz sitting at the end of a row, close to the entrance. Next to him is Tony, a round-faced young man with a dark complexion. The police say he is an engineering graduate from the National University of Sciences and Technology, Rawalpindi campus. “Tony had a Twitter account under a fake name and he used to follow Sabeen’s tweets very closely,” says Aziz. He also mentions another source of information. “About four weeks [after the discussion on Karachi], when I got emails about events being held there, I sent Tony there a few times to check if her car was there. It wasn’t.”

On April 24, 2015, Aziz says, he told Tony to go there again. “When he confirmed her car was there, we made the plan there and then.”

By that time, he confesses, he had taken part in 20 major and minor “operations” in Karachi. These include an attack – just eight days before Mahmud’s assassination – on American academic Debra Lobo, who taught at a college in Karachi, bank heists to put together money for their hit-and-run activities, multiple attempts to target the police and the Rangers and grenade attacks on co-education schools in Gulshan-e-Iqbal (on February 3, 2015) and North Nazimabad (on March 18, 2015).

Nineteen days after Mahmud’s murder, Aziz says he took part in an attack that elicited worldwide shock and condemnation: the assassination of 43 members of the Ismaili Shia community, including women and children, travelling in a bus in the Safoora Goth area on the outskirts of Karachi.

Aziz appears as a mild-mannered young man of medium height and build, with a trimmed beard. He makes a little joke about how he can instantly tell which law enforcement or intelligence agency the person asking him questions belongs to. “The first thing the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] want to know is whether there are any links with RAW [the Indian intelligence agency]; CID is interested in the funding aspect; and the police keep hammering on about what other wardaat (hits) we’ve been involved in.”

Aziz calls himself a Salafi, though his father says the family follows Sunni, not Salafi, Islam. When an interrogator asks him why he and his associates targeted Ismaili Shias, he cites their sectarian affiliation as the reason. “It is perfectly acceptable to take the lives of women and children for that reason.”

Aziz’s radicalization began in 2009, following a visit to Saudi Arabia for umrah with his family. Upon his return to Pakistan, he decided to read translations of the Quran. “Until then I had only read it once in Arabic.” (One investigator, however, reports that Aziz could not recite certain Quranic verses that every practicing Muslim recites at least once a day during Isha prayers.)

For a while, he joined the Tableeghi Jamaat. Then, he took to attending lectures by a scholar, Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed, a professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (Lums) at the time, whose Sufi interpretation of Islam is distinct from what the Tableeghi Jamaat stands for. “But neither [Ahmed] nor Tableeghi Jamaat even discussed jihad,” he says. “It was over time, primarily through reading the Quran, that I developed an inclination towards jihad.”

Aziz then met Tony, whom he suspected had contacts with militants. Tony made him wait for some time before introducing him to one Haris, an al-Qaeda operative. “[Haris] was heading al-Qaeda’s daawati (recruitment) wing for Pakistan at the time. I joined this wing at the end of 2010,” says Aziz.

In September 2013, Haris, whose real name is said to be Abu Zar, was arrested from a hostel of the Punjab University in Lahore, along with two others, for alleged links with al-Qaeda. In the last 22 months, the authorities have not produced him in any court of law for a trial. Police sources in Lahore say Haris and his associates are in ISI’s custody. This information, however, could not be confirmed through other sources.

In 2011, Aziz went to Waziristan for training where, he says, he was attached to a group headed by Ahmad Farooq, deputy head of al-Qaeda in the subcontinent and a former student of Punjab University. (Farooq was killed in an American drone strike in January 2015 in North Waziristan.)

By 2013, Aziz says he was disillusioned and frustrated. Instead of allowing him take part in terrorist operations, his handler Haris limited him to media duties — such as managing online jihadist publications. “In mid-2013, I met Haider Abbas,” says Aziz. Abbas introduced him to Tahir Minhas alias Saeen, identified by the police as a member of al-Qaeda.

As a senior, experienced commander, Minhas set the ground rules for the group that Aziz joined. “We all used aliases; I only know Tony by his real name,” says Aziz. He got his own alias — Tin Tin. “None of us would ask for the members’ real names, addresses or anything that could identify them in case one of us was arrested. That was on Minhas’s instructions.”

The cell had no designated ‘safe house’ to meet. Minhas often called its members for meetings to Jan Japan Motors, a car auction site on the Super Highway. He also selected the targets. The attack on Mahmud, though, was different. Aziz says it was on his own initiative. “Tahir wasn’t even there that day.”

In 2014, the sudden ascendancy of the Islamic State (IS) and its territorial gains in Iraq and Syria became a lightning rod for militants across the globe. In January this year, IS announced its expansion into Khorasan, a historical region comprising parts of present-day Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and some Central Asian countries. Several factions of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) immediately joined it.

“Among my acquaintances there was already a lot of discussion about the merits of al-Qaeda and Daesh [the Arabic acronym for IS]. Many of us felt that al-Qaeda was reduced to mainly talk and little action,” Aziz says. “We were in Waziristan when the creation of the [IS’s] Khorasan [chapter] was announced, and we pledged loyalty to its emir, [former TTP commander] Hafiz Saeed Khan.” (A senior official of the Intelligence Bureau in Peshawar says Khan was “in Tor Dara area in Khyber Agency’s Tirah valley in January 2015″, the time period to which Aziz refers.)

Subsequently, he says, some of his associates did pro-IS wall chalking and left propaganda pamphlets in parts of Karachi, especially at the scenes of some of the attacks they carried out. Some of the people working with him, he claims, have gone to Syria as part of an effort to strengthen their connection with the IS leadership there.

Weeks after Mahmud’s murder, Jaadu, her white Persian cat, would sit expectantly by the door of her house for hours every evening, waiting for a familiar footfall on the steps outside. Inside, her mother, Mahenaz Mahmud, sits on a chair looking like her daughter might have 20 years in the future — had she had that much time. The mother also exudes the same warmth, intelligence and artlessness as the daughter — and, since Mahmud’s death, a stoicism that would move a stone to tears.

“On April 24, Sabeen made breakfast for us (Mahenaz and Mahenaz’s mother) as usual. That was her routine. She would switch on the kettle, run to her computer, then she would put the bread in the toaster,” Mahenaz recalls with a chuckle. “She didn’t want me to have a cold slice, so she would toast the second slice only after I had finished the first.” They would usually chat away during breakfasts. “We would talk about all kinds of things.” Sometimes, Mahmud would seek her mother’s advice. “She would ask me what I thought of something being done at T2F. Sometimes we would flog some philosophical concept. We would share articles, then discuss them… there was lots that we talked about.”

That day, though, Mahenaz sensed something unusual. “I don’t know whether it was anxiety but there was some element about this Baloch missing people event, especially because of the talk that was cancelled at LUMS [under orders from the ISI],” she says. Mahmud was not moderating the session; she hadn’t even organized it. “Someone else wanted to do it and she had agreed to provide the space,” says Mahenaz. “But she talked to some people about it and then said to me “It’ll be ok, Amma””.

After breakfast, the mother went to work – she is an academic programs advisor at a teacher training institute – but planned to attend the talk on the Baloch missing persons. “I hadn’t been to any event for a long time because I get quite exhausted by the evening but that day I had a very strong feeling that I must be around her.”

Following the event, around 9pm, Mahmud was planning to drop her mother home, pick up a friend and go to another friend’s place for dinner. “When Sabeen came out [of T2F], I remember she was in a hurry, and she told the driver to sit in the back. I got in the seat next to her and we drove off.”

A short distance away, the Sunset Boulevard traffic signal turned red and their car came to a stop. “It is impossible for me to process those five, 10 seconds,” Mahenaz says quietly. “I was talking to Sabeen, and my face was turned towards her. She was looking in front. A motorcycle came up along the side she was sitting, much too close for comfort. My eyes became riveted on a gun in someone’s hand. I said to Sabeen, “What do you think he wants? He’s got a gun.” I thought it was a mugging. All this must have taken only three or four seconds. Then the window shattered, and Sabeen’s head just tilted to one side; her eyes were open. There was not a moan, not a groan, not a whimper. Then pandemonium broke out around us.”

Mahmud was shot five times. Her mother also took two bullets: one in her back and another that, after going through Mahmud’s body, went into her arm and out again. She says she remembers feeling there was something “happening with my body but I wasn’t sure what.” She was too focused on her daughter to be sure of anything else. “I was saying ‘Sabeen talk to me, give me some indication that you can hear what I am saying.’ Even though I knew that she had gone, somewhere there was a glimmer of hope.”

She herself was taken to the Aga Khan University Hospital for treatment. “Next morning, I started demanding that I wanted to go home. I was told that Sabeen’s body was being kept in a morgue and I thought she should be put on the way to her last journey immediately.” With a bullet still lodged in her back, she left the hospital to bury her only child.

When Mahenaz Mahmud learnt that the police had arrested some educated young men for carrying out the murder, it was a shock to her, almost a betrayal of some of her most closely held convictions. “I felt terrified. I am a person who teaches my students that we all have our biases and that we put people into boxes because we don’t have time to find out about each and every person.”

In the third week of June, T2F organized a qawwali session to celebrate her daughter’s birthday posthumously. While observing the audience from the back of the room, she couldn’t shake off a nagging thought. “I was looking at the young boys in the audience and wondering, ‘So what are they thinking? What is really going on in their head?’ Normally I wouldn’t have thought that about young people. I would be happy that all kinds of young people come to T2F. Now I am really scared about how these young men’s minds can be messed with.”

The senselessness of the murder is difficult for her to process. “I want to ask them, why? What happened to you? What was it that bothered you about Sabeen? Was it something she stood for? Did you just want to make an example out of her? Did you think that taking a human life is such a small matter? But then I realize that these people think very differently. Their paradigms are different. Their schemas are different.”

In another part of Karachi, sitting in her home studio, architect Marvi Mazhar, one of Mahmud’s closest friends, says: “I always knew. I always thought that if someone gets to her, it’ll be someone educated. Sabeen had to deal with a lot of hate speech, and from people who were all educated. They used to write, they used to tweet, and they were all very tech-savvy. Every time she’d complain that these young bachas, I wish I could have chai with them, talk to them.”

Mazhar recalls an incident from last November. At the Creative Karachi Festival organized by T2F, the azan went unnoticed for a few moments in the hubbub and a young man angrily demanded that the music be stopped instantly. “Sabeen went up to the guy, took him aside and spoke to him for a while; a little later, he actually brought flowers for her by way of apology. There was this strange magic about her,” she says with a wistful smile.

In the days leading up to her death, Mahmud was particularly restless, says Mazhar. On Tuesday, April 21, there was a get-together of friends at Mazhar’s place where Mahmud was “a little agitated”. Mazhar heard her saying to someone on the phone, “If we are not going to do it now, then we won’t do it because after that I am leaving for London and I don’t have time.” She assumes this was about the talk on Baloch missing persons. “Her heart was not into this talk, mainly because she had so much going on otherwise. She believed in it, she believed that the Baloch must be given a platform. But, I felt, judging from the conversations I have had with her, she was waiting for a signal, waiting for someone to tell her not to do this.”

A sturdy metal barrier bars entry into a rough stretch at the end of Beaumont Road in Karachi’s Civil Lines. Only a few street lights illuminate the area; that, along with the dilapidated condition of the road, is perhaps deliberate, designed to make things a little more difficult for terrorists looking to target the CID headquarters that looms up on the right, after the barrier. They did exactly that on November 10, 2010, killing at least 17 people and injuring over 100 in a massive truck bombing. Access inside the CID premises now lies behind a raft of concrete barriers, designed to minimize the possibility of another attack.

Raja Umar Khattab, Senior Superintendent Police, strides into his office at around 10.30pm after taraweeh prayers. A stocky, barrel-chested man, he is wearing a bright yellow T-shirt with khaki pants, rolled up at the bottom and rubber slippers. He speaks in rapid-fire sentences; names of terrorists roll off his tongue like those of old acquaintances. Several phone calls interrupt conversation; a senior official has misplaced his cell phone and Khattab is trying to get it traced. “Sir, don’t worry. I’ll make sure it is back with you soon,” he says reassuringly.

As the CID’s lead investigator, Khattab is flushed with pride over the recent arrest of what he calls a major terrorist cell. He has no doubt the police under him have the men who killed Mahmud and committed the Safoora Goth massacre, apart from various other crimes.

The Sindh Rangers, too, have made a separate claim of arresting a mastermind of the attack on Ismaili Shias. “He has nothing to do with Safoora Goth incident; he never did,” says Khattab, shaking his head vigorously, when asked about the man arrested by the Rangers and reportedly linked to the detained office-bearers of the Fishermen’s Co-Operative Society. “When you go to a court to seek remand, you put in extra things. Otherwise it can get difficult to get a remand,” is how he explains the reason for the claim made by the Rangers.

More importantly, Aziz’s claim about his allegiance with IS meets with a similarly dismissive response. “We just finished a 16-day joint investigation but we have not established any direct or indirect link between him and Daesh. Al-Qaeda’s tentacles, however, touch him in multiple ways. We are sure he is with al-Qaeda,” says Khattab.

“And why should it be so surprising that these terrorists are so educated? There were always educated people in al-Qaeda. Educated people don’t join TTP. It is the madrasa-educated ones who join TTP. They have the desire for jihad but these [educated jihadis] are ideologues. They envision grander things,” he adds. And for that reason, Khattab states, they are far more dangerous: They can be anywhere — the shopping mall, the university, saying their prayers beside you.

Khattab believes it was a failed romantic relationship that sowed the seed for Aziz’s radicalization. “He became disillusioned with worldly pursuits,” says the police officer. “When he joined Unilever for an internship [in the second half of 2010], he met Aliur Rehman – alias Tony – who was also working there.” Tony, a member of Dr Israr Ahmed’s Lahore-based Islamic movement, Tanzeem-e-Islami, was to play a vital role in Aziz’s radicalization, inspiring him to fight for a Muslim caliphate, says the police officer.

But it was Minhas, the police claim, who turned Aziz into what he has become. In Khattab’s words: “Saad says Tahir motivated him so much that he no longer has any fear of killing people. His role in targeted killings was that of the shooter; by my reckoning, he has killed about 20 people.”

CID officials maintain that the terrorist group of which Aziz was a member had split from a larger al-Qaeda formation eight to 10 months ago. “While Tahir is its askari (militant) commander, he in turn answers to Abdullah Yousuf, who is in Helmand, Afghanistan. The other group formed by this rupture is led by Haji Sahib, Ramzi Yousef’s older brother,” says Khattab. He believes the crime spree by Aziz’s group, which hadn’t yet given itself a name, was aimed at raising its profile within the terrorist fraternity so that someone “owned” it.

Tracking down the group, he says, was not easy. They operated under aliases, did not use mobile phones and, instead, employed a Wi-Fi-based application called Talkray to communicate. The CID first picked up their trail sometime in 2014 through some men who were in prison, Khattab says. Based on the information obtained from them – he does not quite elaborate how but only says “we did some working on them” – the police picked up two former Karachi University students who had joined al-Qaeda through contacts at the campus and whose job was to maintain the organization’s website. “We soon figured out that there is a network of educated al-Qaeda members in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and other areas around Karachi University,” he says.

The clues led the police to a sports teacher at Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, who had set up a laboratory in his house in Gulshan-e-Iqbal where, along with his son and nephew, he used to teach young men to assemble Improvised Explosive Devices. The police also found a lot of written material that led them to conclude that a large al-Qaeda group was active in Karachi. “We found out it had two wings — one askari and one daawati.” The police do not divulge whether or not they have arrested and interrogated the teacher or, for that matter, any other details about his identity and whereabouts.

While investigating the people arrested earlier, the police learnt that Minhas was the group’s commander. Born in a village in the Jhelum district of Punjab, Minhas is a resident of Kotri, near Hyderabad, and has been in and out of police’s hands since 2007. According to an official source, one looking very closely into the massacre of Ismaili Shias, Minhas, (a matriculate, according to this source), had a thriving poultry business in Kotri at one point. He is also, says the same source, rabidly anti-Shia and has been a member of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a banned organization involved in hundreds of acts of sectarian and religious terrorism.

Khattab and his team of investigators describe Minhas as a highly sophisticated militant, with his own signature style. They claim to have discovered important similarities in the terrorist activities he has carried out: in all of these, silencer-fitted imported Glock, Caracal and Stoeger pistols are used; he and his associates always hit their targets in the head. “By the time the Safoora Goth massacre happened, we had gathered lots of little clues,” says Khattab.

Some other clues materialized in September 2014 after a suspect named Amir Abbas managed to escape during an encounter with the police but his wife was injured and arrested. “We found plenty of incriminating material at his house and worked on it quietly from September [2014] to April [2015], matching and cross matching the evidence,” says Khattab.

This finally led to the arrest of Minhas and his associates, including Aziz. “When we recovered their laptops, their browsing history helped us connect them to other cases. “Had we been even one day late, all these boys would have left Karachi for Quetta, Waziristan etc.”

The CID officers also show what they call a hit list. These are A-4 size prints, carrying no information about their senders and receivers, but complete with photos and addresses of the targets, which include naval officers, intelligence agency personnel, police officers, showbiz personalities, journalists, workers of non-government organizations and three fashion designers. In some cases, the prints also carry details of the targets’ daily routine. When asked why the group wanted to target fashion designers, Aziz is quoted by Khattab to have said, “You kill three. No one will design sleeveless clothes again.”

At a distance from the police’s neatly tied narration, events take a rather mysterious turn. A former academic at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) who once taught Aziz, and who has since moved to Europe, recalls his student as “being extremely close to [an intelligence agency]”. In April 2014, this academic needed a police clearance report for some work. Having tried unsuccessfully for a week to obtain it, he asked Aziz for help. “He told me it was no problem, and that he could get it for me in 10 minutes. He was wrong; it took him an hour.” This alleged link, however, could not be verified through any other source.

Aziz’s purported reasons for having targeted Mahmud are also rather mystifying. Many Pakistanis, weary of having their lives held to ransom by rampant militancy, make anti-Taliban statements the way she made at the talk on the Karachi situation. And on February 14 this year, Aziz’s restaurant had a promotional offer targeted at customers and their “loved ones” — complete with the image of two hearts placed right next to each other. Isn’t this just another way of saying pyaar ho jaane do? His account of planning her murder also mixes up a few details. He states that Tony was unable to spot Mahmud’s car outside T2F between the February 13 talk on Karachi and the April 24 discussion on Baloch missing persons. (Mahmud did leave Karachi on February 19 for an overseas trip and returned on March 5. She briefly went out of the country again from March 25 to April 5.) Between her arrival from abroad and her assassination, there were at least five events at T2F and she was also attending to her office work at T2F every day during this period. Can, then, her murder precisely on the day of Unsilencing Balochistan: Take Two be seen as purely a coincidence?

Whatever the motivation behind his actions – whether he is serving the ends of as-yet unknown masters or assuaging his own desire to ‘right’ society’s moral compass – his confession suggests that he is part of a cell carrying out orders issued by a central command structure. This is particularly evident in the Safoora Goth incident: an attack of that size and precision cannot be carried out by a motley group of like-minded individuals.

While Aziz has been singing in police custody, his confession may not stand the test of a trial in a court of law. Confessions before the police or a JIT, or any executive authority for that matter, have no legal standing. “[Only] a confession before a judicial magistrate has legal sanctity because a judge is an independent authority,” says Karachi-based lawyer Faisal Siddiqi. “A judge is not part of the investigation so he has no vested interest [in its outcome].”

Without independently verifiable evidence, it is virtually impossible to successfully prosecute any accused on the basis of their confessions alone. Ajmal Pahari, an alleged target killer, for instance, was acquitted in 2011 notwithstanding his on-camera confession of having committed over 100 murders. (He was soon re-arrested on additional murder charges, however, and is currently behind bars.) Aziz shows little concern about his trial and punishment when asked about his future. “What are my plans now?” he says completely unfazed, and laughing slowly. “We’ll go to prison, but we’ll break out of there. Then, we’ll make plans.”

Continue reading our two-part cover story: Revisiting a confessional jigsaw Is Saad Aziz guilty as charged?

(Courtesy to Herald)

Afghan President Points Finger at Pakistan after Bombings in Kabul

Afghanistan — Under pressure after a wave of deadly bombings in the Afghan capital, President Ashraf Ghani on 11Afghanistan-web-master675Monday accused Pakistan of turning a blind eye to mass gatherings of Taliban fighters in its territory, where such attacks are planned.

Mr. Ghani’s words, a sharp break from the conciliatory tone he had taken toward Pakistan for much of his first year in office, came just hours after a suicide car bomb struck a crowded entrance of the international airport in Kabul, leaving at least five people dead and 16 wounded. Attacks in the Afghan capital over the last four days have left nearly 70 people dead and hundreds wounded.

At a news conference flanked by his war cabinet, Mr. Ghani said that Afghanistan’s relationship with Pakistan had reached a critical point and that the steps taken by the neighboring country in the coming weeks would have long-term repercussions.

His comments suggested that the nascent peace process facilitated by Pakistan, where some representatives of the Taliban met with Afghan government officials for the first time last month, was effectively dead for now.

“We hoped for peace, but war is declared against us from Pakistani territory,” Mr. Ghani said, referring to his 10-month effort to establish a friendlier relationship with Pakistan. The effort has cost him some political support at home, given the persistent belief here that the Pakistani military has still been actively guiding the Afghan insurgency as a proxy force.

“The incidents of the past two months in general, and the recent days in particular, show that the suicide training camps and the bomb-making facilities used to target and murder our innocent people still operate, as in the past, in Pakistan,” he said.

Mr. Ghani said he had spoken by phone with the civilian and military leadership of Pakistan, who had promised to “chart an action plan against terrorism” that would be discussed with a delegation of Afghan officials visiting Pakistan.

The Taliban’s escalation of violence in the past week has come after a slight lull, while internal rifts over the group’s leadership deepened after confirmation of the death of the group’s supreme leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, which had been kept secret for two years, finally came last month.

The wave of bombings was seen by some here as an indication that the new leader, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, is not immediately interested in continuing the peace process facilitated by Pakistan as he tries to consolidate his position in the face of dissent within the Taliban ranks.

As the violence escalated inside Afghanistan, Taliban leaders held large gatherings in Quetta, a city in the Pakistani province of Balochistan, to mediate the differences between Mullah Mansour and other members of the movement, including the family of Mullah Omar. The gatherings broke promises made to Mr. Ghani by Pakistani officials, a senior Afghan official aware of the discussions said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss diplomacy.

After the news of Mullah Omar’s death, Mr. Ghani told his ministers that Pakistan had promised him that no new Amir ul-Momineen, as the Taliban call their leader, would be selected on its soil and that no large gatherings of the Taliban would take place to give him legitimacy. But within days, Mullah Mansour had not only replaced Mullah Omar and been endorsed in large ceremonies in Quetta, but had also announced that his new deputy would come from the Haqqani network, an aggressive organizer of terrorist attacks that has strong links to the Pakistani military intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence.

Successively, after days of attacks in the capital that bore many of the hallmarks of Haqqani planning, Mr. Ghani said he no longer wanted Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the table, but instead wanted it to aggressively attack the group’s sanctuaries in Pakistani territory. And after a year of pressing Pakistani officials to broker a peace process with the Taliban, he said he now wanted the process to be entirely controlled by the Afghan government.

“In the middle of the night, at 1:30 a.m., doomsday descended upon our people. It wasn’t an earthquake, it wasn’t a storm, it was human hand,” Mr. Ghani said, referring to a truck bomb on Saturday that killed at least 15 people, wounded hundreds and left a huge crater in a residential area in the Shah Shaheed neighborhood. “We want the origin of that hand, we want their centers, and we want action against them. This is our main demand; everything else is peripheral.”

Mr. Ghani said it was time for Pakistani officials to prove through action “that the enemies of Afghanistan were the enemies of Pakistan,” quoting a statement that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan made during his visit to Kabul in May.

Mr. Ghani added, “I ask the people and the government of Pakistan: If a massacre such as the one that occurred in Shah Shaheed had happened in Islamabad and the perpetrators had sanctuaries in Afghanistan, had offices and training centers in our major cities, how would you react?

(Courtesy New York Times)

Chaos causes austere Pak-Afghan relationship

By Shehzad Baloch

The relation between Pakistan and Afghanistan never touched point of affection, these ever persist stressed and sometimes the most stressful. Occasionally, both sides forces, skirmish over border violations and infiltration. Particularly, the Northern Alliance groups resentfully deal with Pakistan and blame on it for intrusion and fanning to fire of warfare in their country. This impugn on Pakistan totally cannot be repudiated; the time and conditions also confirmed it true.

The state of Pakistan worked for superpowers and is doing. This state fought proxy wars for gain of wealth, used its forces, energies and territory for others, the rulers and policymakers also endorse these. Talban are sprouted and being fostered by Pakistan’s establishment and these religious elements are being controlled and used to get bow the neighbors in front of its interests.

In Afghanistan, after transaction of power, the present Ashraf Ghani government has strived to weave amicable relation with Pakistan. In 2014, a number of NATO forces evacuated from Afghanistan and they handed over security activities to Afghan Army to some extent but mainly they are supervising in country still. In these situations, Ashraf Ghani was intended to get Talban unarmed by influence of Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif government on initial phase was slanted to eliminate or get weaker the Talban or bring them on table talk. The initiatives were taken, but soon after, the Pakistani authorities changed policies that a stable Afghanistan will not be absorbed them. They witnessed enhancing approaches and trade by India in Afghanistan which never can be afforded them.

On the other hand, in Balochistan, the separatist movement also sustained for a long age and its growing capability is halting the establishment schemes implementation in region. Especially, strategic partnership with China is not possible in the presence of Baloch insurgency. The Pakistani authorities believe that Baloch insurgent groups have sanctuaries in Afghanistan and they also are acquiring weapons from there. The state officials blame that India through Afghan land is succoring Baloch insurgents.

The Pakistani authorities of military and civil governments of center and province of Balochistan by aides of media houses have launched a massive operation in Balochistan intentionally to exonerate the province from Baloch insurgency. In the nexus, massive operation carried-out in districts of Awaran, Mekuran, Kharan and other parts Balochistan, where Baloch insurgency exists sizably. In mentioned operation, heavy war machinery and air-force also is being used. The ground situations tell that state has blitzed in full swing and also inflicted in major loses the Baloch insurgents which can be guessed through media reports that their high rank commanders were killed.

Contradictory, the Baloch separatist organizations through their asserted statements appear in media claimed for losses to state forces. The claims by insurgents cannot be approved by independent sources but a large movement of state forces can be witnessed by common inhabitant of Balochistan and this indicates that a huge amount is being spent in the province for deployment and relocation of forces and their machinery. Apart from fatal loses, the observed movement of forces is making incurrences which is aching the establishment and rulers.

Meantime, the operation in Balochistan, a series of attacks took places in various parts of Afghanistan and its capital Kabul that got flared up Afghan masses and irritated rulers.

The recent horrible attacks carried out by Talban which left behind hundred Afghan dead. This tidal wave of violence in Afghanistan outraged the rulers and evokes the Afghan citizens for protest against Pakistan and boycott of its exported products.

The Afghan president Ashraf Ghani responding the wave of violence said that we were expecting for peace but now are receiving messages about war from Pakistan. The chief executive AbdUllah AbdUllah also pointed finger toward Pakistan for involvement in carnage of Afghans. Militant in recent attacks used explosive material was brought from cross border factories and schemes also were designed in Pakistan, said Afghan leaders.

On the same day, when President Asharaf Ghani spoke to media, in Quetta, Inspector General Frontier Corps Sher Afgan Niazi conducted a news conference and he strait forwardly said that India and Afghan Intelligence are involved in revolt in the province of Balochistan.

Here a link can be guessed between operation in Balochistan and violence in Afghanistan. Probably, the Pakistani authorities delivered a message to Afghan rulers that if their country extends its actions to turmoil in Balochistan, so they also will reciprocate through its fostered forces.

Iran is committing heinous crimes against Baloch and other nations, US Congress should reject the nuclear deal: Hyrbyair Marri

Baloch nationalist leader Hyrbyair Marri in a statement from London said that lifting economic and military sanctions on 1397126988-3643theocratic fascist state of Iran in the name of nuclear deal is tantamount to condoning the Islamic regime’s crimes against humanity. It means disregarding the most basic rights of the nations that are under domination of Iran. This deal is also extremely dangerous for both regional and international peace.

He said America as a democratic country and a signatory of human rights conventions should not ignore unabated atrocities of the Islamic regime of Iran against the Baloch, Kurds, Turks of South Azerbaijan, Arab of Al-Ahwaz, and Turkmens and other religious and ethnic groups in Iran. “Fostering ties with such a state and making deals on nuclear issues will only boost its military and economic power. This pact will leave a big question mark for the civilized nations.”

He said the Iranian regime on one hand is using conservative Shiite extremism as a weapon to destroy world peace. It is involved in sectarianism, religious terrorism, interventions and bloodshed against its neighboring countries. On the other hand it has continuously been promoting Persian racism.

He said Turks of South Azerbaijan and Arabs of Al-Ahwaz are discriminated against despite being followers of Shiite sect of Islam. Baloch and Kurd are oppressed because of their national identity and for following the Sunni sect of Islam. “Towards the Baloch the Iranian regime has one policy. That is to decimate them.”

First Iran divided Balochistan by giving one part of it to Kerman and annexed another part to Hormozgan. Then they imposed ‘sistan’ to Balochistan. That is followed by changing the name of Balochistan and making a small section of Zaboli community master of western Balochistan by inducting them in all spheres of life. He added, “along with state atrocities the Iranian regime is systematically settling the Persians in Balochistan to change its demography.”

Hyrbyair Marri said, according to our information, Pakistan and Iran regularly hold monthly and weekly joint meetings in Quetta, Zahedan, Mand, Daalbandin and Taftan to discuss plans to curtail the Baloch national struggle.

He said these extremist theocratic states are a threat to other nations. They are heading international religious conflicts and terrorism. “Making nuclear deals with such states, lifting sanctions and making them militarily and economically more powerful does not correspond to the values of democracy and human rights,” Marri said.

The Baloch leader said that Iran and its terrorist proxy armed groups like Pasdaaran-e-Inqalab (Revolutionary Guards) and Hezbollah are directly involved in promoting civil war and ethnic violence in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Lebanon and Yemen.

He said the Iranian State has killed many of its political dissidents with help of its hit squads in Europe and other parts of the world in the 70s and 80s – majority of whom were Kurds. Many of those Baloch who fled from Iranian occupied Balochistan and took shelter in Pakistan controlled Balochistan or in Sindh have also been killed by the Iranian hit squads.

Hyrbyair Marri said, “All these acts of Iran are state terrorism and violations of human rights and international laws.” He said despite of all these atrocities, strengthening Iran’s power will only increase violation of international laws and state terrorism.

He said whenever the oppressed nations call for their basic rights and freedom, these democratic states immediately label their struggle as terrorism and all of sudden they become champions of democracy and human rights. But as it comes to their short term interests they tend to forget violation of human rights by such states and sign deals that lead to greater crimes in the future.

The Baloch leader said that there is no such clause in the nuclear deal for Iran to abandon its nuclear plans. Neither is there any clause that binds Iran to stop its nuclear activities such as research and missiles that carry warheads. “As a result of this nuclear deal Iran will be getting military and economic assistance which will make Iran capable of developing nuclear weapons in next three to four years. That obviously cannot be desirable for the world peace.”

He said American Congress should reject all such agreements which economically and militarily strengthen a state that is involved in heinous crimes against other nations under its occupation. Supporting such states clearly sends a signal for more repression against oppressed nations and would destabilize other states in the region.

He said world powers are trying to get out of this deplorable situation but that may serve their interests temporarily. The oppressed nations, however, bear the brunt of this policy. “Such an agreement is a big relief to Iran. Along with its increasing nuclear capability, Iran will intensify its atrocities against Baloch people and other oppressed nations. A nuclear armed Iran, like Pakistan, will become a danger not only for Baloch nation but for the entire world. Hence the International Community should not put the world peace at risk for a quick solution and some short term interests.”

Hyrbyair Marri said if this deal is signed Iran will first crash any dissent in the nations under its occupations and then turn it guns against other nations in the region.

Courtesy: Baloch Warna

A few questions answered

By Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Gwadar can never be more important to anyone the way it is to the Baloch people. China may have strategic and GAWADAR-PORTeconomic interests in Gwadar but for the Baloch it is their motherland

Balochistan is in the limelight but the Baloch and their wishes are ignored. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the center of interest for China, Pakistan and, naturally, the world as all perceive it according to the strategic and economic advantages and disadvantages it holds for them. Whatever importance it may hold for others, it is extremely important for the Baloch whose lives it will destroy in the name of ‘development’. The CPEC is crucial to China strategically and to Pakistan as the implementer of the plan but their views differ from the Baloch who are generally seen as obstacles.

China is risking its money and prestige on this project and, therefore, wants to know how the Baloch view it. I was recently asked some questions in this regard and the answers are as follows:

What is the Baloch opinion about the CPEC? The Baloch do not view the CPEC favorably because they see it as an instrument to deny the Baloch their rights under the excuse of development. The Baloch people realize that the CPEC will put paid to their majority in Balochistan due to the tremendous influx of outsiders and this will sound the death knell for all the political, economic and social rights they have struggled and sacrificed so much for.

The Baloch fears are not unfounded. After President Xi Jinping promised $ 46 billion in investments for the energy corridor projects, it materialized as a serious threat to Baloch lives and Baloch rights as never before. The reason for this was that to guarantee the investors’ full returns the Pakistani establishment promised a severe crackdown on the Baloch who resent the exploitation of their resources. To ensure the success of their crackdown the Pakistani army announced that it would establish a Special Security Division (SSD) consisting of nine battalions of the army and six battalions of the civilian forces, and that it may extend Operation Zarb-e-Azb (the military operation going on in North Waziristan) to Balochistan. These measures indicate that repression in Balochistan will intensify. Already there have been instances of extreme violence in Mashkai, Awaran and other places. The Baloch people see the CPEC as very disadvantageous, detrimental and inauspicious for them, their interests and their future.

What do the Baloch people want from the CPEC and, in particular, the development of Gwadar? There are Baloch people and there are Baloch people; those like Dr Abdul Malik and his ilk simply want a share in the crumbs that will be the share of the Baloch from the bonanza that the CPEC is expected to be for China and Pakistan. Then there are the Baloch people who have resisted the illegal annexation of Balochistan by Pakistan on March 27, 1948 and have resisted the encroachment on their rights in the name of development and progress ever since.

The Baloch people resisted the so-called development of Gwadar even before the CPEC because they saw outsiders swamp it. They saw the land grab that began and they feared this would completely change the demographic balance by putting them out on a limb. The Baloch have not limited their resentment over Gwadar to words alone but have physically resisted it and that itself says a lot about their stance on the development of Gwadar.

What is the feeling of the Baloch people towards the Chinese? The Baloch people naturally view with suspicion all those who help Pakistan either militarily or economically vis-à-vis the Baloch people; this suspicion and resentment extends towards both China and the US for their roles in Balochistan. As China has become an increasingly active investor in Balochistan, this resentment has risen and the CPEC has made people identify China with the brutalities that are being committed by Pakistan in the name of development.

Chinese involvement in Saindak copper and gold mines too has always been viewed with hostility as it is seen as depriving the Baloch people of their resources and them getting nothing in return. The condition of the locals in and around Saindak has not changed and, on top of it all, the fear of environmental hazards created by mining has not endeared China to the Baloch people one bit.

How are the Baloch people communicating their concerns and requests to the Pakistani government? As I have said above, there are Baloch people and there are Baloch people. Those like Dr Abdul Malik do not question any action by the Pakistani government that is detrimental to Baloch interests because they have their personal advantages and benefits to look after. They do make adverse comments as Abdul Malik did regarding the route of the CPEC but that is just posturing for political capital. The fact is that they are powerless and irrelevant because they have no part in the decision making process in Balochistan.

The others who oppose all exploitation of Baloch resources in the name of development are not even allowed to present their views and activists who raise a voice against injustices disappear; thousands have gone missing with nearly 3,000 of them being killed and dumped. All websites raising the issues of Baloch rights are banned. Seminars arranged in Lahore, Karachi, etc, to highlight the plight of the Baloch people are officially cancelled so the only option then left to them is to physically resist, and that is what they do.

Gwadar is very important to the Chinese. How important is it to the people of Balochistan? Gwadar can never be more important to anyone the way it is to the Baloch people. China may have strategic and economic interests in Gwadar but for the Baloch it is their motherland. Moreover, they feel and understand that Gwadar is inextricably connected to their future prosperity and, for that reason, they have resisted encroachments on it in the past and are resisting now too. The Gwadar land grab that began when plans for its development were initiated in the year 2000 was so rampant that billboards inviting people to buy land could be seen in Lahore. However, it was the resistance by the Baloch people that eventually curbed it. That land grab in Gwadar awakened the Baloch to the conditions that will prevail along the route of the CPEC in Balochistan and the dire consequences that it will hold for them by turning them into an insignificant minority. The Baloch people want everyone to know that they are not easily giving up their Gwadar, their future, to anybody either for money or because of brute force, both of which are being employed liberally by Pakistan to make them forsake it.

(Courtesy to Daily Time)

The writer has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He tweets at mmatalpur and can be contacted atmmatalpur

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