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Full Name: Brig (R) Usman Khalid
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Balochistan News Letter – November 2013

December 3, 2013 Leave a Comment (Edit)


This is a brief Talk of the Town Report compiled for those interested in Balochistan.

Nawab Akbar Bugti - efforts to portray him as a Baluch hero has drawn much concern and criticism

1. Law and Order Situation, 1-5 November. 6 mineworkers belonging to Hazara-Shia community were gunned down near Mach by unknown militants. Two persons were killed and three wounded in a target-killing attempt near Khuzdar. Two local men were killed by gunmen in the outskirts of Quetta. The Police arrested 15 suspects from near Sariab along with arms and ammunition. 17 suspects have also been arrested by the Police from Quetta. Two men were injured when a bomb exploded in a vacant house near Sariab. Two persons were killed in Duki and a bomb was diffused by the Police in Dera Murad Jamali. Three miscreants were killed and one arrested in an encounter with FC near Bakhtiarabad. A dead body was recovered near Mand. Unknown persons looted a bus near Bhag. A couple was killed and their son injured near Dera Murad Jamali by unknown persons.

2. Law and Order Situation, 5-15 November. Gunmen torched a NATO tanker near Khuzdar and killed the driver. The FC seized an IED of some 8 kg weight from near Sui. Yet another cache of explosives was seized from Dera Bugti. A political worker was killed in Khuzdar by unknown militants. Two persons were killed in Pasni by militants. Two persons were gunned down by unknown assailants in Chaman. FC arrested 4 suspected terrorists in possession of explosives from near Quetta. In a shootout with militants near Mand, Mekran, one FC soldier and three terrorists were killed on 9 November. Two PKMAP workers were shot dead in Quetta by unknown persons. A hand grenade was lobbed at Assistant Commissioner’s office in Pasni, injuring 9 persons, where papers for local bodies’ election were being received. Two rockets were fired at Hazara colony in Western Quetta but no damage was done. Unknown militants killed a man in Khuzdar on 13 November. Two Afghans were found dead near Chaman. They had come to Pakistan for espionage but were found out and allegedly, killed by the locals. A bomb exploded in Awaran injuring 3 persons.

3. Law and Order Situation, 15-20 November. 6 Custom’s officials were abducted from Gwadar. Militants hurled three hand grenades at a private school in Khuzdar at night damaging the equipment inside. A Levies post near Khuzdar was attacked by militants and two persons were killed. IED planted near Dera Murad Jamali was diffused. A hand grenade was thrown by unknown motorcycle riders at a shop in Gwadar injuring 5 persons. A man was gunned down on Sariab Road, Quetta by unknown motorcycle riders. Three Pashtun labourers from Swabi working in Turbat were killed by Baloch/Brahui militants. A bomb exploded in Chaman killing one and injuring 6. Militants hurled a hand grenade at the Police camp in suburbs of Quetta. Three powerful bombs went off rocking Quetta city on 20 November killing 5 and injuring 35 besides destroying cars, motorcycles and other property in the heart of the city.

4. Law and Order Situation, 21-25 November. Three passenger buses were looted near Mastung. A Girl’s School Bus was burnt near Qila Abdullah, presumably by the TTP who are against girls being educated. Two Shia-Hazaras in Quetta and one person in Pasni were killed by unknown assassins. Due to regular target killings and kidnappings, the shops in Khuzdar remain mostly closed. The Punjabis have mostly been killed or have migrated already. Now the target of the Baloch/Brahui militants is the Hindu community which, beside beings the sons of soil, are the backbone of business. Almost 60% business in the area have closed down. The owners of private schools are reporting threats to them and many have closed. Two land mines were diffused by the FC in Barkhan.

5. Law and Order Situation, 25-30 November. Unknown men killed a BNP leader in Khuzdar and a man was killed in Quetta on Sariab road. In a rocket attack on a house in Tump, Mekran, a girl was killed while 6 persons of the same family were injured. A local businessman was kidnapped from Karakh, Khuzdar. Rockets were fired at FC check-post near Panjgur. No loss was reported. Two persons were gunned down on Sariab road, Quetta by unknown gunmen. Due to a feud between Satikzai and Kurd tribes the later killed 7 men in Dasht area near Mastung. Three unknown dead bodies were found from Yaru area, Pishin on 27 November. A watchman was also killed by unknown persons near Pishin. A bakery owner was shot dead by unknown men near Wadh, Khuzdar. A man was injured in Panjgur by FC firing when he did not stop for checking. A boy’s school in Isplingi, Mastung was burnt down by Baloch/Brahui militants.

6. Administrative/Political Developments, 1-30 November. PM Nawaz Sharif visited the earthquake hit Awaran and promised to make it a model district. He also invited militants to join the mainstream politics. Dr Abdul Malik, the CM of the province said that bail of Gen Mussharaf would jeopardize negotiations with Baloch militants. The CM has ordered compulsory teaching of the mother tongue at primary school level. He has also ordered inclusion of local leaders such as Late Nawab Akbar Bugti among heroes in the syllabus. Yet another student organization has come into being. It is called Wattan Student Federation and is headed by Aali Bugti, the the son of Nawab Akbar Bugti who lives mostly in Karachi fearful of his life if he went to back to Bugti area. The staff of the University of Balochistan keeps going on strike protesting against non-payment of their salaries for the past two months. Sit-ins are staged on daily basis but the provincial government has not come to their aid. The defunct Sipah-a-Sahaba has emerged under the name of Ahle-Sunnat-Wal-Jamaat and is led by Maulana Ramzan Mengal. Their processions, often supported and joined by JUI(F) are becoming more frequent in Quetta than any other political party. PKMAP minister Abdul Rahim announced on 20 November that negotiations with ‘disgruntled Baloch’ were in progress on the direction of the CM. He is the first minister of the new cabinet who is being accused of corruption by the common people. The CM directed his ministers to get rid of ‘Ghost Employees’ from all the departments. However, he also appointed Noor Ahmed Perkani, a Baloch, as Director Quetta Development Authority who is perceived to be very corrupt. The Doctors strike against kidnappings has now entered 50th day. Sui Gas Company’s arrears against defaulters in Balochistan, including the government, have risen to Rs. 1 billion.

7. Awaran Earthquake and Subversive Propagand. Donations in cash and kind are regularly pouring in from home and abroad for the victims of earthquake hit Awaran. The net receipts have exceeded the losses and the relief goods are piling up as the size of the affected population is very small. However, anti Army propaganda continues in the local press suggesting that Army is killing Baloch/Brahuis in the area and ignoring round the clock help being provided by the Army. Similarly, propaganda through print media and by word of mouth is being carried out on daily basis to discredit the FC and Intelligence Agencies. The propaganda vehicle is prayer leaders and leaders of religious political parties. Since the ‘maulana’ are more credible, their propaganda line is considered more authentic, There is an occasional denial of false reports by the FC but that is no substitute for an ‘official line’ and a comprehensive counter-narrative. The need for both has been felt for quite some time but no effort has been put in by the Army and Intelligence Agencies ro inform the people and correct the planted stories and slanted analysis in the press. For example. DC Khuzdar lodged a formal report with Police against Akhtar Mengal for abusing him and threatening him of serious consequences on 25 November. No action was taken, the press ignored the event. The Saudi Ambassador dispatched 40 truckloads of relief goods for the earthquake affected people in Awaran. The CM of Punjab also sent 20 truckloads of relief goods for Awaran. But there was hardly any publicity. But when the ATC in Quetta hearing Akbar Bugti ‘Murder’ case declared the former PM, Governor, Interior Minister and DC as absconders ordering confiscation of their properties, the press coverage was joyful even celebratory. The ATC judge again demanded that Gen Mussharaf, who was granted bail in this case by the SC, be produced at the next hearing. The CJP hearing Balochistan’s missing person’s case in Karachi criticized FC and demanded IGFC attends the court the next day or else and threatened he will order the Police to arrest the General Officer. The next day the IGFC did not appear before the court; the CJP huffed and puffed but did not order the Police to arrest the IGFC. He, however, again ordered some 18 Army officers up to the rank of Brig, allegedly responsible for missing persons to appear before the DIG CID, Quetta on December 1st.


8. The weak governance of Dr. Malik and his Cabinet is now fully evident/ Law and order situation remains very poor although it has improved somewhat in Quetta. The Hazara and Kasi localities are being treated like fortresses where first FC stops and checks the visitors then the local tribesmen check the identity. There is an air of fear gripping the city. Crime is rampant and now extended to Pashtun areas also. Political leaders continue to bully bureaucrats in an effort to get away with nefarious activities albeit at a much lesser level than PPP-Raisani period.

9. The lootings, killings, burning NATO and other oil tankers are area-specific. However, no action has been taken by the government even though the hideouts of criminals are no more than ten in numbers in areas which are thinly populated. The only road now considered safe from militants is Quetta-Zhob-DI Khan. The new democratic government has not even tried to make travel safe on any of the remaining four major arteries linking Quetta with Iran, Punjab and Sindh.

10. Awaran has become politically a favourite spot for rushing relief goods and visits by foreign and domestic leaders. Awaran is a very large district in a very remote area with HQ in Far flung from town of Balochistan. It has no water, industry or services and as such is very sparsely populated by nomads numbering no more than about 300,000. It was made into a district some years ago to get more funds but it is barely fit to be a tehsil HQ. The PM will not be able to keep his promise to make it a ‘model-district’. because of the harshness of geography. However, the rush of aid has multiplied opportunities to militants to loot and plunder. What the cannot sell or use, they are reportedly burning. Their ‘hunt’ is facilitated by relief activities; anyone with any link with the government is considered a legitimate target However, the militant leader – Allah Nazar – who belongs to the area, has a very small number of militants to exploit the vast opportunities; he has not been able to stop aid or cause major damage.

11. The CM’s is reportedly busy ‘negotiating’ with the militants. There being no framework for negotiations and efforts to enforce writ of government being weak, he will only encourage the militancy and crime. India’s losing its grip on Afghanistan jt is eager to increase its aid to insurgency in Balochistan whether US forces stay or go. This is the time to assert the writ of the government. The politically elected CM alone can never do it, has never been able to do it. It has always been the federal government which has established the writ of the government in Balochistan.

12, Murders and bombings in Chaman and Pishin areas have been going on now for some time. The locals accuse Pakistani agencies, Taliban and Afghan agencies for the tit-for-tat killings. In Chaman, the locals are very critical of the government officials on both sides of the border and blame them for massive corruption being carried out while goods and humans cross in either direction. Development works, even repair of roads with pot-holes and broken surfaces in Quetta and leading to other towns have not started so far. The people attribute this to corruption, tardy decision-making. A few officials and a minister are also being named for corruption.

13. Dr. Malik, mainly responsible for removing Education from the Concurrent List through the 18th Amendment of Zardari/Gilani period has now started doing the real damage to the Federation. University of Balochistan, which generates only about 9% of revenue needed to run it, is on perpetual strike as the staff has not been paid salaries. HEC does not receive funding to finance the universities which are now the responsibility of provinces. The Provincial Government, even though it has Rs.198 billion budget compared to Rs. 70b only 4 years ago, is not willing to replace funds previously paid by the HEC.

14, The CM has ordered the teaching of local languages as compulsory subject from primary classes and inclusion of ‘Balochistan’s Leaders’ in the curriculum. Most of these leaders are those Baloch/Brahui botables who have been engaged in insurgency supported from abroad, They would now be presented as Heroes at the cost of the federation. The syllabus will now officially pursue an agenda of separation. Patriotic Baloch/Brahui, Pakistan and the Army/FC would be presented as enemies to the Baloch/Brahui children. Dr. Malik is either an enemy agent pursuing the agenda of the 5th Generation War, or terribly naïve. The PM ought to take notice of it.

15. The CJP and his judges in Quetta are openly trying to disgrace the Pak Army. According to the law of the land, Army has the authority to try its officers/men for any perceived or reported offence/crime, even a murder. But the CJP demanded a serving Major General to appear before him while threatening to have him arrested by the Police. Then he ordered 18 Army officers up to the rank of Brig to report to DIG CID in Quetta. That, none of them appeared was hailed by all those who have been watching the antics of the CJP and other judges. His ‘lordship’ is now brazenly anti-Army and desperate to get even for his treatment during 2007, while his time as CJP is to end in two weeks.

16. The behaviour of ATC Judge trying the Bugti case in Quetta is equally biased. The CJ Balochistan who originally ordered registration of FIR against the president, governor and others for killing Bugti is equally complicit in this charade of ‘Justice’. That Bugti committed suicide while killing three officers whom he had invited to lay down arms, was ignored by the CJB. This has eroded even any lingering faith of a common man in Pakistan’s justice system.

17. The cross border movement and trade is federal responsibility. While Customs officials are generally corrupt at al crossing points but Chaman border crossing into Afghanistan has become a haven for smugglers and other criminals who extort money and are complicit in crimes of murder, espionage and sabotage. The people of Chaman area are highly critical of corrupt government officials. There is a need to clean up the border crossings and give a perception of efficiency. Let this not be forgotten it id the responsibility of the federal ministry of Finance. ++

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