BALOCHISTAN a resource rich province of Pakistan has always remained in limelight. Now particularly after CPEC and development of areas in Balochistan, its worth has increased manifolds. Unfortunately history suggests that this province because of domestic and foreign propaganda was made victim of political turmoil and separatist movement. The West and its media particularly have never understood the security dynamics of Pakistan. For them Pakistan today is a country which breeds extremism. Time and again foreign media is found active in propagating against Pakistan with their agenda to destabilize an exemplary country fighting successfully against extremism. Regrettably, rebels have always sought for foreign help and they have used foreign assistance to achieve their objectives of maligning Pakistan.
One such organization Balochistan Liberation Army which is a declared terrorist organization by Pakistan as it has extensively remained involved in attacks against Pakistan security forces, often propagates on Balochistan. Its leaders are mostly asylum seekers, running propaganda campaigns and often come up with new names just to confuse public and gain sympathy for their objectives. Recently, to a surprise where Baloch separatist leaders are active around the world propagating against Pakistan and chanting slogans of free Balochistan, interesting comments come up from Baloch separatist leader. Jummah Marri whose name is considered as one pf propagandist against Pakistan and living in Russia because of self-exile recently in Moscow, announced defects in the Baluch separatist movement and blamed India for involvement. Dr Jumma Marri, a prominent leader of the Baloch independence movement and designer of separatist flag, recently renounced his decades-long campaign against Pakistan while attending a Pakistani Unity Day event in Moscow,
Responding to the questions like “Who is behind the so-called “Free Balochistan” Campaign, what are they aiming for, and how do they operate?” He clearly said that, ‘There are no doubts that India is squarely behind the unrest in Balochistan. I am a witness to it from within: India tries to counter Pakistan’s support for Kashmir and India wants to pay Pakistan in the same coin by supporting a few so-called Baloch leaders who are enjoying very luxurious lifestyles in such expensive cities as Geneva and London. These people are sending some money to create unrest in Balochistan like blowing electricity supplies, mining bridges and putting mines in the roadside to keep the money supplies open from Delhi. But the current struggle has been covered with fakes and greed from the beginning: fighters fight for monthly salaries and leaders live luxurious lives in western countries. If India stops the money supplies the struggle will end the next day. Their leaders’ ideologies are personal ambitions, ego and greed for power and wealth’. His remarks clearly shows how India is sabotaging Pakistan through tacit means. Dr. Marri also said that, ‘No international media pays any attention to these Baloch separatists except Indian media that are working closely with the Indian intelligence who are paid to cover their paid agents working as Baloch freedom fighters. These are all Indian attempts to silence the voices of the Kashmir struggle for freedom”.
It is relatable to note that Indian propaganda in Balochistan can never be ruled out. To destabilise Pakistan, India has always supported Baloch separatist movements. Arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav, his confessional video and PM Modi words on the Indian National Day in 2016 clearly signify India has never accepted Balochistan as part of Pakistan. His speech narrated Indian worries about Pakistan and one can easily understand India’s covert propaganda in our country in which India is using terrorism as one of tool. Indian propaganda in Balochistan is not hidden now and those who believed earlier that India has no interest in Balochistan is a mere assumption now. India openly speaks and support insurgency in Balochistan and avowals given by Baloch insurgent leaders actually portray Indian mind-set behind them. Indian Prime Minister’s reference to Balochistan, which is an integral part of Pakistan, only proves Pakistan’s argument that India, through RAW is continuously provoking terrorism in Balochistan. Propaganda in Balochistan is not new as in past unrest often hit the province but 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 Balochistan. Likewise, creation of Hind-Baloch Forum and setup of Baloch Operational Cell narrate Indian plans to destabilise Pakistan and sabotage its development. Indian frustrations on Balochistan are visible from a fact that UN general Assembly which every year conducts its annual session, India last year raised issue of Balochistan there. Now the comments of Dr. Marri evidently suggest what Indian intentions were in past and now!
Same disseminating strategy India tries to adopt for Balochistan where it says that people of Balochistan want to be independent and part of India. Utterly pursuing wrong stance and later propagating in best possible way has always remained aura of India to destabilise Pakistan in any case. Neither of people of Balochistan carry such sentiments of getting independent from Pakistan rather India backs separatists groups and pumps them through different tactics time and again to disturb Pakistan’s stability. According to Dr. Marri, the most effective way to counter Indian propaganda is to expose these falsehoods and show people the truth about Balochistan and its native people’s relationship to the rest of Pakistan. Similarly developing the awareness of people about the negative propaganda, through education and empowering the local people to run their affairs without intervention is a way to get the trust of locals. The Balochs are respected, and they know their worth and sacrifices for Pakistan and no propaganda can affect their minds against Pakistan.
— The writer works for Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, a think-tank based in Islamabad.