Pakistani Generals Vs Baloch Sardars in burning Pakistan
January 26, 2011 57 Comments
The British colonial in 1876 divided the Eastern part of Balochistan into British Balochistan, Balochistan States, while a part of Seistan was given to Afghanistan. The areas of Derajat and Jacobabad (Khan Garh) was demarcated and given to British India.
British imperialists used Balochistan as a military base to check the extension policy of Russia against India.It was an administrative unit headed by the Agent to Governor General under which any kind of reforms introduced in the recognized provinces of British India were not introduced in Balochistan.
After the finalization of division 1947 plan the Jinnah’s interest of making Baluchistan a part of Pakistan on the basis of its geographic importance and with the support of few Khans who were not happy under British monarchy and both political and feudal sentiments gained momentum in this political activity.
With the lapse of the British era in 1947, the Khanate of Baluchistan(groups of Sardars and Nawabs of local tribes) became an independent sovereign state. The Khan, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan, announced independence in a public speech on 15 August 1947.
Soon after partition Jinnah negotiating other political leaders of Pakistan had tried to convince khans of Baluchistan to have some accord of accession between govt of Pakistan and Baluchistan province. but the house of Baluchistan after a debate adopted the following resolution unanimously on December 14, 1947 that relations with Pakistan should be established as between two sovereign states through a treaty based upon friendship and not by accessions.
The popular insurgencies started soon after creation of Pakistan which was continuation of last British regime too .
Jinnah was disappointed by the behavior of Khan and his parliament. On March 9, 1948, it was communicated to the Khan that “His Excellency had decided to cease to deal personally with Kalat state negotiations, to decide the future relations of Pakistan and Kalat.”
Same year 1948 Prince Abdul Karim Khan had initiated a separatist movement against the Pakistani government. He conducted guerrilla warfare based in Afghanistan against the Pakistan army.Prince Abdul Karim Khan was throughout upset by Pakistan’s recognition of Sardar Bay khan Gicki as Makran’s ruler.
With Afghan aid, Abdul Karim entered Baluchistan and organized a rebellion against Pakistan. He received assistance from influential tribal leaders of the Baloch clan.At that time Pak army under Maj General Akbar Khan, who was in charge of the Pakistani army’s Seventh Regiment, was ordered to attack the insurgents and force them to surrender. Prince Karim and his 142 followers were arrested and imprisoned in the different jails.
A detailed and interesting statement comes from Gen Khan, in his article published in the daily Dawn, dated August 14, 1960, under the title
“Early reminiscences of a soldier.” In this article, General Akbar confirms that there was a plan to invade the Khanate and describes the clash between the Pakistani army and the separatist force headed by Prince Karim. Akbar claims that Jinnah had issued instructions that this news should not be published in the Pakistani press.Jinnah was dead by then.
In 1969 Nawab Khair Baksh Marri appointed an unknown group shero marri to lead like-minded militants in guerrilla warfare by creating their own insurgent bases spread out over 45,000 miles from the Mengal tribal area in the south to the Marri and Bugti tribal areas in the north. Their goal was to force Pakistan to share revenue generated from the Sui gas fields with the tribal leaders. The insurgents bombed railway tracks and ambushed convoys.
-In 1973 Khair Bakhsh Marri formed the Balochistan People’s Liberation Front (BPLF), which led large numbers of Marri and Mengal tribesmen into guerrilla warfare against the central government.
Khair Bakhsh Marri formed People’s Liberation Front, also known as Baluch Awami Azadi Mahaiz or BPLF, was founded in the 1973 and supported by Iraq and the Soviet Union and its aim was the independence of Balochistan.Jan Muhammad Sarparah was commander of the group and trained the group for many attacks.
In 1979, thousands of Balochis were trained in Afghanistan for attacks, while it was under Soviet occupation. BPLF is still active but most of its members are underground. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine trained some of BPLF men in Beirut. Baluch People’s Liberation Front also received support from the Afghan and Indian authorities.
It was interesting feature of Baluchistan history that during Afghan Russia war, there was no serious kind of insurgency was noted at this belt.
-In 2001 according to an account carried by the “Newsline”, “hundreds of Marri Baloch tribesmen, armed to the teeth, have taken up position on the Kohlu mountains, one of Pakistan’s most backward, but oil and gas rich areas, to challenge the Government’s policies in Baluchistan. The tribesmen, who call themselves “guerrillas” waging a war for the rights of the Baloch population, are armed with Russian KKs, heavy machine and anti-aircraft guns and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades), picked up in Afghanistan during their 14 years in self-exile. Most of them are educated with military/guerrilla training received in Afghanistan.
In 2006 the battle near his mountain hideout in south-west Pakistan again Nawab Akbar khan Bugti has started which ended as caused heavy casualties on both sides, and killing of Nawab bugti. The main reason of conflict was to challenge Musharraf regime n to win political autonomy and a greater share of revenue from Baluchistan gas reserves.
In November 2007, Balach Marri, a key militant separatist leader, was killed in Afghanistan, according to some news reports at the time, due to a NATO air strike that mistook him and his men for Taliban.
Baloch Generals of Pak Army and Five Military operations in Baluchistan.
In 1948 Pak army under Maj General Akbar Khan, was ordered to attack the insurgents and force them to surrender. Prince Karim and his 142 followers were arrested and imprisoned in the different jails.
In 1968 Nawab Nowroz Khan, commonly known by Balochs as Babu Nowroz, started an armed struggle against the occupation by Pakistan of Baloch lands (Balochistan). He was later arrested by the Pakistani army while he came for negotiations to the army. He and his followers, including his sons and nephews, were taken to Hyderabad Jail, where his sons and nephews were hanged (executed), while due to his old age he was held in prison, where he later passed away.
The 1970s revolt of the Baloch, was an armed struggle against the Pakistan army in Balochistan, was provoked by federal impatience, high handedness and undemocratic constitutional deviation. Mir Hazar Khan Marri led the Baluch libration movement under the nick named organization [BPLF] .They inflicted heavy casualties to Pakistani army.Then BPLF was froced to move to Afghanistan along with thousands of his supporters today Baluch fighters are fighting under the nick name BLA, BLM,BLO,.
Point to Ponder:
At that period it was that Nawab Bugti who served to help the federal government when he was appointed as Governor of Baluchistan by Bhutto throughout the time of the insurgency and spoke not a word in favor of Baloch rights or provincial autonomy.The greater irony was that the insurgency came to an end following the army coup of General Zia against the civilian government of Mr Bhutto.
In 1973 Pakistani occupied Balochistan went through a phase of genocide with a loss of 5000 civilians including women and children. During this particular military operation, that lasted four years – 1973 – 1977, Iranian fighter jets and pilots were used to bomb the villages inside the Pakistani Balochistan territory.
In 2005 General Musharrraf started the 5th military operation in Balochistan against the Baloch nation and the Pakistani generals used US military aid, which was clearly meant to be used against “war on terror”, but instead they were used against the Baloch people. and killed Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, former governor of Balochistan.
It is claimed by Baloch rebellions that since 2005 till today more than 7000 political, social, and human rights activist have disappeared, been kidnapped, tortured and are being killed.
In June 2008 Pakistani intelligences arrested 70 Bugti tribesmen in Chaman, Balochistan and 200 more Bugti tribesmen have disappeared since the 18 February 2008 general elections in Pakistan.
There are numbers of Baloch Senior officers who served Pak army in different Military operation at the time of different revolts in Baluchistan.
Few of them are:
General Muhammad Musa, was from the Sardar family of the Hazara tribe in Balochistan.He got commission from Indian Military Academy in Dehradun on 1st Feb 1935. He was posted to the 6th Royal Battalion, the 13th Frontier Force Rifles as a Platoon Commander in 1936. He served with distinction in the Pakistani Army and rose to the rank of the commander-in-chief of Pakistan Armed Forces on 1st April 1957 and held the office till 17 Sept 1966.
Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch was a Baloch general of Pakistan army. He commanded an infantry brigade in Muzaffarabad and in those days collaborated with Mr Amanullah Khan of JKLF and agencies in the much publicized Line of Control crossing (LOC) attempt.
He also remained General Officer Commanding (GOC) at Murree, while commanding troops deployed on LOC in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. He was prematurely retired as Corps Commander Quetta, so as to be appointed as Governor Balochistan. He was also prematurely removed from Governorship of Balochistan; just after six months because a bureaucrat (secretary) in the ministry of petroleum and natural resources refused to upgrade about 100 poor employees of Nawab Akbar Bugti’s tribesmen in Sui gas fields from temporary to permanent salaried status on the recommendation of Governor.
General Gul Hassan was Pukhtoon from Quetta. He commanded 1 Armed Division and remained CGS before he was appointed acting C-in-C on 20 December 1971. He was appointed C-in-C on 22 January 1972 till his retirement on 3rd March 1972.
General Abdul Wahid Kakar was a Pakhtun of Balochistan province and got commission on 18 October 1959. General Wahid Kakar is remembered for starting the Shaheen Nuclear Missile Project. He was made Chief of Army Staff on 12 January 1993 and held the office till 12 January 1996.
General Kiyani’s latest developing interest of setting military colleges and recruiting large numbers of Baloch people in Pak army can be be good signs of friendship with baolch people who was neglected in past seeing the rebellion attitude of local leadership but as per past history is not good in this context.It was seen that our army usually gives position to locals where they have planning of future insurgency for neighboring countries.They hired local in areas of Kashmir, Pohtawar areas, Pukhtoon belts and recruits from Gilgit Balitistan to be thrown in front of Indian and Russian army as first human shield.
Role of Foreign powers:
In this war like region US, Russia, India and even Iran are either directly or indirectly widening the ethnic and sectarian schisms in Balochistan and FATA.It is strongly quoted by many news groups the US and UK are also supporting the centrifugal forces and insurgents.Russian after facing defeat via talibans surly looked for soft and weak areas of Pakistan to develop same strategy which was adopted by US and ISI in Pak-Afghan borders.For this purpose these frustrated Baolchi Sardars were best options who were all time seen visiting to Russian state during their movements against state and Pak army.
Since 1947 this province is facing insurgencies with internal unrest and unjustified military actions. The insurgencies of 1948, 1956, 1973-75 and the present unrest in Marri-Bugti and Mekran areas since 2005 where military operations resulted in huge human and property losses are the ultimate result of many factors.
The Baloch nationalist movement is not only one component of the deteriorating internal security situation there but surely there are open and hidden factors too.
Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest province area-wise. and even more than 60 years a, large parts of the territory remain unopened up, not administered and undeveloped.
Baloch sardars throughout have grievances on the question of payment of royalty for the gas taken out of the province.
Some Baloch sardars were responsible for continuous confrontation and crisis in Balochistan. They always denied that the people of Balochistan have the first right over minerals and other natural resources of Balochistan.They lived like royals in all Pakistan and in western countries too but majority still showing scene of stone age living having modern weapons of war fare provided to them by same Sardars.
Major part of the income from assets of these sardars should be spent on the welfare of the local Baloch sardars should also be given their share in income if accrues from the land they own.
It is unfortunate that some sardars are not willing to accept less than independence. Akhtar Mengal, Shahzain Bugti and Mir Byar Marri do not hide their ambitions of having an independent Balochistan. So it is natural reaction of state to curb any efforts aimed at disintegrating the country . Those who insist that the government should have talks with them, t should first ask these leaders to wean off from extremely aggressive tendencies.
If Sardars let the system to take turn toward a free and democratic society and they must be ready and willing to demonstrate an unequal boldness as well as encourage electoral supremacy then at least peace process can be started in highly disturb areas .
It is the job of political representatives from all Pakistan to convince rebellions Sardars to some conciliatory path that would avoid hatred culture which is growing in youth of Baluchistan .The popular slogans like” death to Pakistan or Pakistan Murdabad on streets of Baluchistan is very favorite theme of instigating young blood .
Military operation in past and in present too has increased sense of frustration and alienation which was ultimately responsible for feeling of distrust on federation.All forceful operations of past was surely triggered by its corrupt Sardars and parliamentary representatives.So all action of infuriating baloch people under Frontier constabulary and Pakistan agencies should be immediately stopped.
The serious steps for giving basic facilities of health and sanitation, education, clean water, power supply, employment opportunities should be expedited to lessen the anger of general public.Military colleges are not long term solution of any grave problems of burning Baluchistan but proper civil infrastructure is need of time to break the orthodox taboo of aggressive tribal culture there.