Indian angst on Balochistan

Reema Shaukat

With the much amplified rigidities between Indo Pak relations where Pakistan’s offers for dialogue and peace in Kashmir and within the region are negated by India, Modi’s speech on India’s independence day comes as sizzling pursuit about Pakistan. Modi clearly ignored the present wave of violence in Kashmir and intentionally chose to spoke about Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan. It seems India is quite disturbed with the development projects in Pakistan and is bothered by Pakistan’s success story against terrorism. This was not the first time Modi dribbled his venom against Pakistan and interestingly his considerations in speech that, “People of Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) have thanked me a lot in past few days,” seemed a fabricated stuff.
Modi’s words depict the Indian uneasiness for the Balochistan and Gilgit which are in limelight because of CPEC. It was not a slip of tongue this time by Modi but selected words indeed, about Balochistan. oticeably, arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadev from Balochistan and his confessional statements are a slap on Indian covert propaganda against Pakistan but still India never slips a platform to tell tale against Pakistan. Modi while criticising Pakistan said they glorify terrorists but what a pity Modi forgot state terrorism in Indian Occupied Kashmir for the past many decades and on the present situation of Kashmir they are mum where mayhem is created day and night by Indian security forces.
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 its main intelligence agency RAW, has been 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. Recently media reports by West have highlighted that the India has allegedly set up Baloch Operation Cell to destabilise and sabotage progress work and development in Pakistan.
CPEC has definitely given sleepless nights to foes of Pakistan and China. West has concerns on China’s One Belt, One Road initiative which will give China economic thrive whereas there are few countries who want to limit China only in Far East and not accessible to rest of world. But unfortunately, there is always a hype created about CPEC, which obviously gives chance to adversaries to speak out. CPEC is an economic project having strategic outlook for the well being of lesser developed areas. It would create a link between adjoining countries as well as other regions to facilitate the trade activity. Resultantly, the region is expected to witness an economic bang with multifaceted benefits to the surrounding countries in general and Pakistan in particular.
Troubled with the CPEC, India invested in Chabahar Port with Iran to undermine Pakistan. India definitely leaves no stone unturned to malign Pakistan but has no idea that its malicious build –ups and its bonding with other countries against Pakistan will never succeed. People of Pakistan particularly Balochistan this time celebrated independence day with full enthusiasm despite Quetta tragedy, they took out rallies in favour of Pakistan and later a strong response was also observed from Balochistan government on Modi’s speech. Therefore, attaching the stigma of security threat with Pakistan and particularly any province is erroneous as no doubt country is facing security challenges but has come a long way to counter such hostile elements.
Security threat for CPEC project emanate from extremist militancy, nationalist insurgency and criminal violence along the route of CPEC. Nevertheless, Pakistan has requisite capacity and adequate security infrastructure to deal amicably with such challenges. Pakistan has already proven her capacity and resolve in countering such threats under Operation “Zarb-i-Azb” which has been applauded worldwide. The said operation has flushed out the extremists from Pak soil besides substantially weakening China specific ETIM. 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 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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