A Few Words: Balochistan And The Security State Sickness Dr Qaisar Rashid

the Baloch youth must have taken one year to raise their voice in the US Congress to make Pakistan feel ashamed of its deeds

Perceivably, to ape the Arab Spring of 2011 mounted by the Arab youth, the Baloch youth must have taken one year to raise their voice in the US Congress to make Pakistan feel ashamed of its deeds

Pakistan has drifted several nautical miles away from its original itinerary. The idea of the formation of Pakistan was not to be a security state but a welfare state. The problems Pakistan confronted within its initial years of formation provided Pakistan with the mandatory push to glide towards the goal of a security state. Security consciousness so embraced started hogging the space meant for political, economic and diplomatic affairs.
Secondly, the objective of the foundation of Pakistan was not an armed empowerment of the Indian Muslims to conquer the subcontinent to revive the pre-1857 glory of Muslim rule. Instead, Pakistan was founded to secure the interests (in the sphere of the economy, society and politics) of the Indian Muslims while acknowledging simultaneously the same interests of any other minority.
Immediately after the creation of Pakistan, fortification of state security did matter but later on state security became an end in itself. Similarly, in the initial years, the military co-habited with a political regime but later on the military became a surrogate for a political dispensation. Hence began the problems for Pakistan. In 2012, Pakistan is still sliding away from its goal of the welfare of its citizens.
An important fodder for the perpetuation of the security state sickness is conspiracy theories, which are churned out in Pakistan. Defence analysts (retired military generals) are tenaciously sticking to the anachronistic view of the ‘whole world is against Pakistan’. This shows the general thinking of the Pakistan Army, which is misreading the ground realities, misconstruing the voices of dissent and overreacting to situations such as the discontent prevailing in Balochistan.
Can one not say that the famous strategic depth policy is actually a conspiracy against Pakistan to merge both countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan) together to resurrect Ghauri’s empire, the Sultanate (existed in the 12th century) and eventually wipe out Pakistan’s separate identity from the map of the world? Can any defence or self-proclaimed geostrategic analyst refute this theory – it is a challenge. The point is, it is not difficult to fabricate a conspiracy theory but it is difficult to analyse a situation in its true perspective. Balochistan is required to be discussed in its exact framework and that too objectively. In this way, the case of Balochistan is different from the case of Karachi, FATA, Swat or even Afghanistan.
The obverse side of the argument is if the foreign factor is so powerful to effect a change, can someone incite the Punjab of Pakistan to demand joining with the Punjab of India? In that case, a huge fertile land would be available to live happily. The question is why the Punjabis are not proponents of the formation of a Greater Punjab. The answer is to incite an insurgency, the primary impetus does not come from outside but from inside. The external factors are secondary. If the indigenous population is contented, no one from the outside can provoke it. The same argument is applicable to Balochistan.
To induce insecurity (and then instil fear, not to mention a sense of insecurity) is the perceived strategy of the military establishment. If Pakistan is not secure after having nuclear weapons, Pakistan can never be secured notwithstanding the size of its military. In fact, insecurity is a lame excuse. In May 1998, Pakistan achieved its target of self-reliance in security: minimum deterrence. Afterwards, there should have been heralded an era of economic development. There should have been investment in health, education and social security to turn Pakistan into a welfare state. Unfortunately, that dream is yet to be realised. Balochistan is the worst victim.
The second factor that is steering Pakistan away from its goal is the missing Baloch. What to talk of days, months or years squandered in a dungeon, even one minute of a Baloch spent in the torture cells of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies is bound to elicit a response. The young Baloch generation has reacted. Disappointment with Pakistan is pervasive in the Baloch youth, whether literate or illiterate. It is the youth bulge in Balochistan that is dictating its terms.
Perceivably, to ape the Arab Spring of 2011 mounted by the Arab youth, the Baloch youth must have taken one year to raise their voice in the US Congress to make Pakistan feel ashamed of its deeds. No one can take such a huge step if there was no following. Hence, it is wrong to consider that most of the Baloch, especially the ethnic Baloch, are not siding with the exiled (young) Baloch leadership. A voice may also be raised in the European Union. Before that happens, there is an ample opportunity for Pakistan to discard its security state mania and take strides towards the realisation of a welfare state.
Undertaking the development work after (or while) inflicting atrocities is disapproved. That is how the Pakistan Army is losing the war of winning the hearts and minds of the Baloch, despite its claim of having done development work in Balochistan. In a country where a citizen loses dignity and honour, a conflict appears between the state and citizens. Balochistan is an example in this regard.
Why should the words of the IG FC Balochistan be trusted and not of a common Baloch? Are the Baloch telling lies? Whether a Baloch is for the military or the military is for the Baloch, the Baloch first and the military later is the answer.
Postscript: The post-2010 is a world of social networking. Facebook, Twitter and whatnot is available to interconnect people despite physical inaccessibility. Issues such as human rights have become local. Resultantly, the dictate of the state is waning while the will of the people is getting stronger and transcending national borders. The moral authority – the Baloch rights – of a cause brings people around it. Hence, not conspiracies but social networking is bringing about a change in the thinking pattern of the Baloch. Further, the moral authority of the Baloch cause is bringing the rest of Pakistan closer to them.

The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]

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