News & Views
Americans of Pakistani origin and a few American nationals got together on August 26 2016 in Washington at National Press Club Building to remember late Nawaz Akbar Khan Bugti. There are two versions; one that the event was for invitees only, and the speakers included Brahmdagh Bugti (via video link), Hussain Haqqani, Arif Jamal and Mr. Peter Gary Tatchell – a British human rights campaigner, originally from Australia. The event was moderated by compulsive detractor of Pakistan Ahmar Masti Khan. Total number of 25-30 participants attended the event and majority was from media, and speakers accused Pakistan government and its military for human rights violations. Tariq Gilani accused Mr. Hussain Haqqani of being anti-Pakistan and pro-India; hence he should not have represented Pakistan as its Ambassador. This led to heated debate between the two, and was stopped when Hussain Haqqani tried to physically attack Tariq Gilani.
Hussain Haqqani has a dubious past. He was Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, and he had written a memo to then chairman joint chiefs of the staff Mike Mullen in which he had accused then Pakistan army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani of planning to bring down the government in the aftermath of the raid on Osama bin Laden on May 2. Mike Mullen was requested to use his influence to stop it. It was also stated: “The government will facilitate American attempts to target militants like Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri and Taliban chief Mullah Omar, and allow the US greater oversight of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons”. The question is that why Hussain Haqqani was appointed as an ambassador to the US when everybody knew that he had written a book titled ‘Pakistan between mosque and military’ in which he spewed venom against Pakistan, its mlitary and the ISI.
In the past US congressmen have been playing into the hands of dissident Baloch leaders. The United States Committee on Foreign Affairs had convened a congressional meeting on Feb 08 2012, for an exclusive discussion on the gravity of situation in Balochistan. The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Republican Dana Rohrabacher, held a session to discuss target killings and human rights situation in Balochistan, and termed it a matter requiring urgent attention. But the Aug 26 2016 event seems to be a part of Indian efforts to support PM Modi’s statements on Balochistan’s separation. Recent anti-Pakistan and anti-military statements by Altaf Hussain in UK, Brahmdagh Bugti’s harangue in Switzerland and the above so-called seminar in USA (relating Balochistan situation with Bangladesh separation and Kashmir) were made on India’s behest.
Limited number of participants (approx 30 including media men) shows that the organisers were unable to find people with anti-Pakistan/anti-military sentiments in large numbers in Washington DC area and its surroundings. There is a perception that the event was for invitees only, the guest list had been carefully prepared to ensure that their narrative gets through unopposed. In the past, they had a bitter experience of an event getting overshadowed by heated debate at the end. During heated debate Ahmar Masti Khan remarked: “Yes, I am RAW agent and working with Hindus”. This confession is enough evidence that the event was organised at the behest of Indian RAW. Anyhow, the version is that an organisation of Israel’s Voice in their website www.israel’svoice had sent an appeal on 21st August 2016 to Hindus, Christians, Jews and followers of other religions to attend the event.
To give an incentive to the participants, it added: “As a mark of respect for the slain leader and his successor Nawab Bahumdagh Bugti’s love for books, the attendees will get, free of charge, two ‘excellent’ books “Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military” by Husain Haqqani and “Call for transnational Jihad Lashkar-e-Taiba 1986-2014” by Arif Jamal. The two authors are speaking at the event.” Although the province, for its strategic import, remains all the time in the vortex of fiercely rivaling international spy agencies for infestation, even big Baloch names are allegedly on their payrolls. The CIA had focused on Balochistan as an area of its particular action soon after it descended on Afghanistan to direct and conduct the US-led invasion there. In order to advance its interest and to achieve geopolitical objectives in the area, CIA is still active.
The CIA had reportedly created Jundullah – a terrorist outfit of Iranian exiles and dissidents – to destabilise the neighbouring Iranian Sistan-Balochistan province, to spoil relations between two brotherly states. From here, the outfit launched a number of deadly attacks on Iran, and Pakistan had to draw flak after every attack. On one occasion, the outfit targeted a gathering of senior Iranian security officials. Significantly, Abdul Malik Rigi head of Jundullah, a frequent guest of South Waziristan’s militant commanders Naek Mohammad and Baitullah Mehsud, was snatched midair from a Gulf flight by Iranian agents long trailing him after he emerged from the US Bagram military base in Afghanistan. Yet the Americans feigned innocence, having no link with him. In fact, the CIA, RAW and Mossad have been unnerved by Pakistan government’s efforts for development in Balochistan; and out of sheer frustration they have gone berserk.
They are trying to exacerbate the existing contradictions between various ethnic groups. Since army has recruited thousands of Baloch youth who are committed to the defence of the motherland, anti-Pakistan forces see the writing on the wall that with the development and education of Baloch youth, the insurgency will die its own death. Army’s contributions to the social progress of Balochistan including Chamalang Education Program, Sui Education City, Gwadar Institutes of Technical Education and Kassa-Hills Marble Project are likely to bring prosperity to the people of Balochistan. Measures have been taken to sustain these projects which are contributing positively towards better education and creation of jobs for common people particularly in remote areas of Balochistan. Last but not the least, China-Pak Economic Corridor will prove as a game changer, whereby not only Balochistan but KPK, Balochistan and Sindh would also benefit from it.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.