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Baloch Genocide and Challenges for Pakistan

 

Enforced disappearances of Baloch women and children are a State instrument of Pakistan Army to terrorise the Baloch Political Activists. Abducting & torturing  women and children in secret torture cells and other such Offhanded Nazi like atrocities are not new to be used as Administration Policies of Pakistan Army & State Authorities against peaceful Political Dissent. This has resulted in numerous protests all over the world including recent September 30 protests in London outside 10 downing street as well as Baloch Women & children holding protests against enforced disappearances in Quetta on Oct 23. Its not one of the sporadic human rights issue for the world community as well as for Pakistani people to raise eyebrows, however runs deep, exposing the fissures in Pakistan society solely due to the decades of Pakistani Politico-military nexus out to put Pakistan on sale to highest bidder.

Historical Perspective

In 1947, three of the Baloch princely states namely Makran, Las Bela, and Kharan agreed to join Pakistan. The ruler of the fourth, the Khan of Kalat Ahmad Yar Khan, however, initially wanted to establish an independent state. Post lengthy negotiations and pressure from Pakistan, this position was diluted by him and he signed the Instrument of Accession to join Pakistan on the promise of maintaining internal autonomy. Khan’s brother, Prince Abdul Karim, in a letter to his brother, “From whatever angle we look at the present Government of Pakistan, we will see nothing but Punjabi-Army Fascism” (to this day this hedonism ails the Pakistani social apparatus), led a revolt beginning in July 1948 against the new state. “There is no place for any other community in this government, be it the Baloch, the Sindhis, the Afghans or the Bengalis, unless they make themselves equally powerful” is the gist of state of affairs then & since in Pakistan. Historically how true this has been in terms of political, military & social debacles has been for the world to witness and by a safe measure; it is implicit that much is yet to come. Subsequent separatist & guerrilla movements in response to the weakening of Balochistan’s political position and exploitation of the province’s natural resources, especially its gas within Pakistan, remained the order of the day since then.

The Province of Balochistan, highlighted in red, comprises 43% of Pakistan’s territory but only 7% of its population

Chinese Interests

CPEC is part of China’s larger “One Belt, One Road” economic initiative designed to build new infrastructure and trade networks seamlessly linking China with Asia, Africa, and Europe and help shape economic globalization towards the Chinese model. Africa and others are reaping initial naive however meagre economic benefits, but there is no doubt that China’s interest in the continent goes beyond mere philanthropy. Chinese companies get new business investments, banking revivals and the country as a whole gets steady access to gorge on much needed natural resources. Beyond these obvious gains, which are by far very one-sided than mutual however, China also receives a number of less easily quantifiable benefits. Yong Deng, an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, spoke about these benefits, stating that, “China feels that it is entitled to a Great Power status, so maintaining that in a global world order is always a long-term foreign policy goal.” According to Deng, China is providing Pakistan with a vast amount of investment, military equipment, and expertise in order to make CPEC, and other imperialist projects to succeed, so much in so that in some operations Chinese helicopter gunships and commandos are directly involved in the aggression against the Baloch people, according to sources. This explains the stakes, which are high for China, evidently so in sour contrast to interests of Baloch people and Pakistan as a state.

Restitutions or Another China-Pakistan Military Gibberish 

One fine day China wakes up to being cognizant of economic viability of multitudes of projects aimed at Asia-Africa, at expense of Pakistan’s Geography & demography  available to play in, is as plausible as  the old time proverb “sau chuhe kha ke billi hajj ko chali(After killing/eating 100 mice, the cat feints pilgrimage)”.

Pakistan Army has apparently not studied what has been the African, South east Asian and Latin American experience with seemingly benign Chinese investments. Closer by, Sri Lanka has been left with Chinese-built projects in and around Hambantota that are now white elephants and a financial drained. Indonesia was promised assistance of $24 billion in 2005. Fourteen years later, less than 10% is available. Chinese have already begun to seek tax exemptions in Pakistan that could mean a loss of revenue as well as going back on various “bed of roses” projects aligned with Pakistani population’s interests. Various projects have been halted, scrapped & diluted while projects in line with Chinese interests have been strong to continue since thence.

While Pakistan’s Politico-Military nexus is explicitly aware and deeply involved in these short term personal gains, loss is of the common Pakistani citizen and provinces other than the minority elite Punjab belt to an extent.

Viewpoint

Of course, given that the Pakistani Army have forever lived on other Country/people’s money and treated debt as disposable income, they seem pretty nonchalant about paying back the Chinese. The Pakistanis are convinced when payback time comes, the Chinese will be played the way Americans, Coalition Support Fund, the IMF & the World Bank were, whilst living in fool’s paradise and yet finding some way to write off or reschedule payments owed to them. In a way Pakistani Army think they have got the Chinese right where they want them, on the mat. The ways the Pakistani Army see it, if the Chinese don’t want to lose their economics, then they will have to bail Pakistan out by throwing more bucks, good or bad.

History of Chinese overseas economic policies & pattern of comportment, in fact signposts to the other extreme.

Debt-diplomacy is by now fairly adult to world economics thanks to Chinese eagerness to advertise its achievements in this turf. Pakistan can safely consider itself in clutches of Circular debt. A look at last 10 years of Pakistan’s economic scenario, total public debt will continue to gallop out of control. Since the ouster of the military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s debt has almost doubled every five years, and given the trajectory of borrowings done by the Imran Khan government in the last 10 months, Pakistan’s debt could double again by the time the current dispensation completes its term. Pakistan is banking upon its time tested modus operandi of surviving over the immediate crisis by surrendering to whatever is demanded of it, while they no longer need to deliver on the commitments they have made. The way the Pakistan Army sees it, their ‘geography for alms’ strategy has never failed them in the past. How is this strategy going to work for Pakistan Army in long term is likely to be a spectacle in its own, given the manner of last three years of Chinese arm-twisting has been, howsoever may the Politico-Military nexus project it as. It will be a debacle, while Pakistan will be dealt with in manner similar to Tonga, Malaysia and recently Sri Lanka, more brazenly than ever. While Politico-Military elite shall sit easy, it is the common man of Pakistan that shall repay the burden of loans for generations to come, in many neo-colonial tyrannical arrangements as begun in Balochistan.

Spectacle it is and will continue to be for the Baloch people while common man of Pakistan will not be any better, as has been the case since all the years in conflicts with various other provinces/controlled areas of Pakistan namely Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Occupied Kashmir. Once again the obvious shall benefit, while common man of Pakistan further suffers, given the only manner known to Pakistan Army to attend to rightful dissent is by deliberate oppression founded on instilling terror, which is to its neighbours and to own people alike. All this while, the perceived notion of Pakistan as a state consistently degenerates. It’s a matter of time when other provinces/controlled areas of Pakistan, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Occupied Kashmir are sent down the same fate as that of Baloch people and have to stand up against this terrorism by Politico-Military regime of Pakistan.

24 Oct 2019/Thursday                                               Written by: Azeema

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