| by Ali Sukhanver

( July 15, 2013, Islamabad, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sometimes it seems next to impossible to decide what the actual problem of Balochistan is. Countless targeted killings, kidnappings, suicide attacks and bomb blasts have deprived the beautiful land of Balochistan of peace and prosperity. Just a few years back there was an impression that only the non-Balochis are being targeted in Balochistan. As a result of this impression thousands of Punjabis, Mohajirs, Sindhis and people from other ethnic identities started saying good-bye to Balochistan. But unfortunately the story of violence took another shift; unknown and unidentified forces started targeting the native population of Balochistan; most of them belonged to the Hazara tribe. This time the blame was ‘showered’ upon the religious extremist elements but the story even did not stop here. The target was shifted to political leaders; so many political leaders were deprived of their lives. And ultimately the burning of Ziyarat Residency changed the whole scenario. Before the recent general elections it was a very popular optimistic opinion that the newly elected government would succeed in getting control over the situation with the help of the Baloch leaders and Baloch Sardars but things are still the same. The perpetrators of unrest in Balochistan have planned to paint the scenario with colours of confusion and perplexity where situation would always remain under the clouds of ambiguity and vagueness and any quest and search for the real culprits behind would give birth to an endless blame game.

The painful situation of Balochistan is neither result of any ethnic conflict nor of any sectarian divide; nor does it indicate the presence of any separatist movement in the region. Whatever is happening there in Balochistan is purely the handiwork of those foreign hands whose only aim and objective is to destabilize Pakistan. In a recent interview, a very popular Baloch politician Sardar Akhtar Mengal also referred to the presence of “death squads sponsored by Pakistan’s neighbours and foreign powers”. But in spite of all these realities some of our media factions are using all their energies on framing the security agencies and the intelligence agencies of Pakistan behind every act of disturbance in Balochistan. Their aim is simply kill two birds with one stone. On one hand they are pleasing their masters by exploiting civil-military relations in Pakistan so that situation may reach a point of no return; whereas on the other hand they are giving the nation an impression that these media-men are the real patriots.

The people of Balochistan have never been less patriotic than any other Pakistani. Our history is replete with the marvelous tales of devotion and sacrifices for the country by the brave Balochs. Unfortunately the nation failed to acknowledge their sacrifices and on official level nothing remarkable could ever be done for the progress and betterment of Balochistan. It was only in the last five years that Pakistan army felt the deprivation of the people of Balochistan and started so many fruitful projects out of its own budget; the benefits of these projects have now started reaching the people. Most of the impartial analysts are of the opinion that all these projects would certainly bring a positive and pleasant change in the live of Baloch people. It is also being hoped that the newly elected political government would also support these already running projects and things would be soon in a better position. But this situation is no doubt painful and disturbing for the elements which are against the peace and prosperity of Balochistan. That is the only reason that these elements are doing their utmost to defame all those forces which are trying to bring back the Baloch people into the main stream. These foreign supported elements are employing all possible weapons to distort the situation; sometimes they paint the situation with horrible colours of sectarian violence and sometimes by burning buildings like the Ziyarat Residency; sometimes by killing the innocent people and throwing their deformed bodies in streets of different cities and towns and sometimes by staging anti-Pakistan demonstrations. This all is very much mechanical. The nation will have to be very much careful and vigilant regarding the involvement of foreign elements in Balochistan.

Balochistan is a very precious land with reference to its natural resources and its people. From coal to Chromate, from gold to limestone and marble reserves and above all the precious reserves of natural gas; Balochistan is a land blessed with countless valuable resources. The world around us is looking for these treasures. In case Balochistan is separated from Pakistan, the control and command over all these resources would simply fall in the hands of the foreign forces. The wave of terrorism in Balochistan is nothing but simply an effort of getting hold of its precious natural resources. The nation needs a deeper understanding, a more consistent approach and a stronger determination to tackle with this situation.

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