Friday, August 10, 2012

Thinking beyond Pakistan; The only sustainable solution to violence and extremism in the region.


Finally; the much awaited decision has been announced, before the fragile civilian government of Pakistan could do so, His Highness The chief of army staff, General Ishfaq Pervaiz Kiyani granted his kind permission.  Rawalpindi (all right lets add Islamabad too) and NATO have both called the opening of supply routes a positive development, but it’s worth mentioning that ISI used this period of ban on NATO supplies for strengthening its relationship with its implementing partners or assets and hence created the “Defense of Pakistan”, which is nothing more than an ISI associated group of militants, politicians and right wingers.

This includes militants who are involved in extremist activities beyond Pakistan’s borders, those who have been killing moderate Baloch political activists and students, and the powerful groups that have been torching NATO supply vehicles, under complete protection of ISI field staff.

With international forces so close to Balochistan, the homeland of Baloch nation, that has grabbed the attention human rights organization due to human rights violations of worst kind by Pakistan’s military secret services and frontier constabulary (FC), the hope was that Baloch and international forces would unite against Pakistan sponsored talibanization of  the region. After all they were both fighting the same enemy, and Baloch of all people in that region have most secular and non-militant dream for their future State.

But Alas; for NATO field commanders the only quick solution was to bribe Pakistan into somehow taking action against the very forces it had created and relied upon for its so called strategic depth. Here is the worst part, which one would even not expect in a cheap novel, during General Musharraf’s era when Pakistan army was getting billions of dollars from western governments to combat terrorism; it was in fact hiding OBL in one of its military towns. At the same time terrorists with documented links in Pakistan attacked and killed dozens of innocent civilians in Mumbai; and of course the excess funding encouraged Pakistan’s army to intensify its ongoing slow genocide of Baloch people; thus during  his bombastic speech on television Pakistan’s chief of  army staff boasted about his military’s power, equipment and resources and issued a warning to Baloch people that either you bow your head to occupying Pakistan’s army or you will be exterminated. His were not the empty words Pakistan’s army has acted upon its threat and Baloch leaders, political, journalist, lawyers, doctors, engineers, students, writers have seen been wiped out at an alarming rate.

One would think that having witnessed the above situation, NATO commanders and western decision makers would have realized that Pakistan has not, and will never support the moderate and democratic forces in the region; consequently shifting their Pakistan centric anti-terrorism policy towards a community based resistant movement that would resist all of ISI’s sinister designs in the region. Baloch by default would have been an ideal candidate for such a community based partnership with international forces that did not happen; the focus remains on appeasing an ever arrogant Pakistan army through funding, frequent dignitary visits and empty threats. It is obvious that the result of such a strategy would be far from satisfactory!

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