April 1, 2012

Pakistan – more on Baluchistan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — David Isby @ 4:39 pm

Pakistan Article Says Army Still Following Musharraf’s Policies in Balochistan
Article by Sana Baloch: “The Real Balochistan”
The News Online
Saturday, March 24, 2012 T10:18:37Z
Journal Code: 1091 Language: ENGLISH Record Type: FULLTEXT
Document Type: OSC Transcribed Text
Word Count: 988
Material in the World News Connection is generally copyrighted by the source cited. Permission for use must be obtained from the copyright holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce.
(Text disseminated as received without OSC editorial intervention)
Musharraf’s statement about Balochistan’s “A” and “B” areas is highly misleading. In his article he emphasises that only three sardars with a tiny number of followers are the cause of the troubles in Balochistan. Then, how come these few sardars use the Levies force against the powerful Frontier Corps and the military in Balochistan? The establishment in Islamabad has never been able to substantiate its claim regarding the Levies’ involvement against the FC.
Despite international demands, repeated resolutions and domestic pressure, Islamabad is unwilling to change the status of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), replace the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) with modern laws and dismantle the Khasadar force. But when it comes to Balochistan it is always eager to extend its influence by any means.
The distinction of “A” and “B” areas is not due to the police and the Levies. The reason is that the “A” areas cover cities and towns while the “B” areas consist of the rural parts of the province. This division was made in 1883 by the British government. The former areas were put under the jurisdiction of the police and the latter were assigned to the Levies.
Despite their immense resources and a strength of 19,145, the police in Balochistan were consuming Rs2 billion just for maintenance of law and order in the four-percent “A” areas. However 96 percent of Balochistan’s crimes were documented and reported in the policed “A” areas – not in the “B” areas controlled by the Levies.
Data available for 2002 indicates that Balochistan had 89 police stations and 286 Levies thanas (stations). The sanctioned strength of police is 19,145 and that of the Levies is 13,357. The area under police jurisdiction is spread over 14,251 square kilometres (four percent of Balochistan’s territory) and the Levies have charge over 332,929 square kilometres (96 percent).
The Levies, with their meagre resources and a budget of Rs1,77,743,900 and 11,153 personnel, were responsible for maintenance of law and order in 96 percent of Balochistan’s territory. In an ironic inversion, however, the crime rate in the rural 96 percent of the province during 2001-2002 was just four percent, compared to 96 percent in the areas controlled by the generously financed police force.
Many Baloch, and Pakhtuns, argue with substantive facts and figures in support of the Levies. “The primary reason for the comparative effectiveness and efficiency of the force in the “B” area is that the concept of Levies is based on the principles of community policing which is recognised universally as the ideal model. The Levies, by all definitions, are a community police force which functions within the parameters of the customs and tradition of the tribes. Their strength is the community which assists them in the prevention and detection of crime.
Since Islamabad and its proxies in Balochistan never encouraged a fair and democratic system based on justice and equality, many saw Musharraf’s Rs6 billion spent on the policing of the “A” areas as a tool of suppression. This amount should have been used for the development and revamping of the appalling the education system and infrastructure. Balochistan needs more education, not more policing.
In fact, Balochistan is virtually controlled by the army, the FC, the navy, the coast guard and several federal and provincial agencies with countless cantonments, naval bases, paramilitary garrisons and thousands of check-posts. Any further expansion and increase of force is clearly a means of suppression, not development.
Instead of mentioning Dr Shazia’s rape by a uniformed soldier, Musharraf writes about rockets attacks on gas installation and justifies his inhuman and disproportionate use of force against Nawab Bugti and his people.
After the Sui incident there was an informal ceasefire and a parliamentary committee was formed to look into the real issues and cause s of resentment among the Baloch people. Nawab Bugti’s two representatives were part of the negotiations. I myself was a member of the parliamentary committee on Balochistan and my first presentation was adopted as a comprehensive agenda on Balochistan.
Meanwhile, Musharraf visited Kohlu and, using as a pretext the rocket attacks on his gathering in Frontier Corps’ fort in Kohlu, he sent regular troops to eliminate Akbar Khan Bugti. The forces, using fighter jets, bombarded the entire area and forced Nawab Bugti to leave his hometown. In a planned operation, involving dozens of military helicopters and SSG troops, he was surrounded in Kohlu’s mountains and killed.
Musharraf writes that “this is a clear case of a self-inflicted casualty.” If that is so, why was his body not handed over to his family? Who locked his coffin? Or was it a “self-inflicted” decision by Nawab Bugti for his corpse to be locked in a wooden coffin?
Humiliation of even the dead is a deliberate policy. No respect is shown to elders, women, children and political dissidents. A Baloch with legitimate demands is regarded as a grave threat to Islamabad’s colonial policies in Balochistan and he is worth humiliating, jailing and killing.
Musharraf’s established rules of dishonouring the Baloch are still in practice by his military and paramilitary followers. Bullet-riddled mutilated corpses are evidence of that continuing mindset.
(Description of Source: Islamabad The News Online in English — Website of a widely read, influential English daily, member of the Jang publishing group. Neutral editorial policy, good coverage of domestic and international issues. Usually offers leading news and analysis on issues related to war against terrorism. Circulation estimated at 55,000; URL: http://www.thenews.com.pk/)

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