Foreign propaganda on Balochistan

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Reema Shaukat

BALOCHISTAN has remained target of its adversaries by creating political differences, internal turmoil and fight for resources. We have seen in past that instability was always tried and tested in this resource rich province, particularly after the initiation of CPEC, not only by foreign based elements but internal traitors also who keep on trying to create mistrust among locals and people of Pakistan. A recent report by Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) which in past has always tried to create mistrust through fabricated stories has released another report in which they have claimed that government, military and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) are involved in elimination of Baloch people by adopting tactics of disappearances and extra-judicial killings under the canopy of National Action Plan (NAP). An extrajudicial killing is defined as the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process.
Extrajudicial punishments are mostly seen by humanity to be unethical, since they bypass the due process of the legal jurisdiction in which they occur. The report which is full of lies and abduction states that in Balochistan not a single day goes by without the abduction and murder of activists. Mentioning the name of one local newspaper report says that police and plain clothed persons had approached the newspaper hawkers and book stalls and stopped them not to keep that newspaper which is generally vocal on the actions of military and Para-Military forces against the people of Balochistan. Well this seems another fabricated story because media is never forced by military or any other organization with pressures to publish news in their favour. Media in Pakistan surely enjoys freedom and any incident of corruption, legal violations or injustice are reported timely with due coverage and ensured for justice through proper channel.
The report by AHRC has blamed that the government and military are involved in creating and supporting Islamist extremist groups to manage domestic political challenges in Balochistan. Well how can a nation which has gone through a long journey of combating militancy and extremism in its homeland can itself create such form of violence again on its soil? The report accusing the relevant organization said the disappearances and extra judicial killings have become endemic in Pakistan particularly, in Balochistan where the government is virtually ineffective before the military forces and armed groups. Such cases of disappearances are pending in the higher courts particularly, in the Supreme Court but the process is so slow that it never prevents the law enforcement agencies and armed groups to cease the killings. A special commission is also working under a former senior judge of the Supreme Court but as far as the military and its intelligence agencies are concerned the law and the courts cannot stop them. The higher judiciary has still not shown any courage or willingness to call either the army or its intelligence agencies into court and inquire about the complaints from the family members of the victims who openly accuse the Frontier Corps and military intelligence agencies of the abductions and killings. Definitely such accusations in report seems bundle of lies as any government has never worked under the pressure of army or any concerned organization, rather army and LEAs ensure safety and security of citizens of Pakistan. Definitely loopholes do exist in police and judicial system but that does not mean that all organizations are troublemakers.
In a protest which AHRC managed to stage recently showing families of victims said that the Balochi’s are being cornered not only by the state machineries but also by the courts who ignore the cases of disappearances and extrajudicial killings of Balochi’s in the hundreds. The higher courts show much more interest in probing the cases of disappearances of the jihadis from banned militant organizations. In many cases it was found that many jihadis, who were missing, have joined the Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces but courts do not go for the recovery of missing persons from Baluchistan and Sindh who are not religious but nationalists and secular. Definitely such blames on courts for supporting jihadis can come from those Baloch separatists who are working day and night to create air of mistrust among locals to opt and support for Balochistan as part of India either or become autonomous.
This report further elaborated that CPEC Project has again provoked the government to commence a new phase of military operation in Balochistan to curb the popular demands for autonomy and equal rights in comparison with other provinces. Surely, CPEC since its initiation has remained target of adversaries who do not want Pakistan and particularly Balochistan to prosper. All written in report of AHRC seems a propaganda of foreign hands as when going through the working of this organization when finds out that it is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying for human rights issues in Asia. This Hong Kong-based organization was founded in 1984 and one cannot deny the fact that to make their donors happy who are mostly from European Countries, US, India and others who highly oppose CPEC are using platform of AHRC to spread disinformation in order to achieve the grand design of creating hurdles in the way of CPEC.
There is no confirmation and authenticity in report for involvement by armed forces or LEAs. Propaganda in Balochistan is not new as in past unrest often hit the province and Indian nefarious designs to divide Balochistan were also exposed time to time. Surely with initiation of CPEC in Balochistan, which will turn province as one of booming region, many non-state actors are active with their evil plans in province to destabilise state mechanism. One must remember that Balochistan surely is on the way of prosperity and those who try to beat drum of provincialism, jingoism and other tactics to vilify Pakistan by broadcasting deceitful news will never be heard.
— The writer works for Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, a think tank based in Islamabad.

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