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Balochistan - Start of civil war?

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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Balochistan - Start of civil war?
    Posted: 04-Sep-2006 at 18:26
Thousands riot after killing of Baluch chief

By Justin Huggler, Asia Correspondent
Published: 28 August 2006


Thousands of Pakistanis defied a government curfew yesterday, setting fire to shops, banks and cars, in protest against the killing of a 79-year-old warlord.

In one town, protesters set off a bomb, damaging a government building, and at least three demonstrators died. Nawab Akbar Bugti, known as the Tiger of Baluchistan, was leader of an ethnic insurgency that has at times threatened to drag Pakistan into civil war.

He was killed on Saturday when the Pakistani army tracked him down to a cave in the mountains, where he was holed up with between 50 and 80 of his relatives and tribal forces.

The military called in air strikes on the caves and sent in a huge force of commandos on the ground. At least 21 commandos, including six officers, and 37 of Bugti's men, are believed to have been killed in the fighting.

The Pakistani government said that he was killed when the cave collapsed in the exchange of fire. But it appears more likely that the cave was directly hit in air strikes. Most observers believe that the military meant to kill Bugti.

The killing provoked demonstrations throughout the capital of Baluchistan, Quetta, and there were violent protests as far away as Karachi. "The government has pushed Baluchistan into a never-ending war," said Hasil Bizinjo, a senior figure of Baluch Yakjehti, or the Baluch Solidarity Alliance. It was not an unexpected death for a man who headed his own tribal army and had in effect declared war on the Pakistani state.

Only last year he was openly directing ground battles against the Pakistani army from his family home - a mud-walled desert fort.

Bugti was educated at Aitchison College, an elite public school in Lahore modelled on Eton, and then at Oxford. Yet he is said to have killed his first man at the age of 12, and legend has it that he killed as many as 100 men to avenge the death of his son in 1992.

As soon as he finished his Western education, he returned to Baluchistan to live by his ancient tribal codes. It was a life that pitted him constantly against the Pakistani authorities.

Many of the tribesmen of Baluchistan - possibly the majority - do not want to be part of Pakistan. Baluchistan has barely changed since Alexander the Great passed through on his conquests. It is a vast land of desert mountains that lies between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. The Baluch tribesmen have never accepted that their land belongs to anyone else but themselves.

The British never fully suppressed them, and had to forge a power-sharing deal with Baluchistan's tribal leaders, Bugti's ancestors among them. Modern Pakistan has had a strained relationship with them.

Baluchistan is barren, and life is harsh. But beneath its parched ground lies Pakistan's most valuable mineral resources. The tribesmen accuse the government in distant Islamabad of bleeding their province of these precious resources but putting nothing back.

A massive new port that Pakistan is building at Gwadar, on the coast of Baluchistan, has inflamed feelings further and the tribesmen say thousands of outsiders will move in and erode their culture and loosen their grip on the land.

Bugti, the leader of one of the most powerful tribes in Baluchistan, became the effective leader of the rebel Baluchistan Liberation Army.

He had fought against the government before, in the 1970s, when a Baluch rebellion was suppressed by the military.

But he had also been allied to the government in Islamabad at times over the years, serving briefly as both governor and chief minister of the province.

It is believed his attitudes hardened after his youngest son, Salal, was killed by pro-government tribesmen, and last year the tribesmen openly rebelled against the government again.
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2006 at 18:29
Now is this uproar over his death going to die down or are things going to escalate?

http://dawn.com/2006/09/02/top1.htm

QUETTA, Sept 1: A shroud of mystery enveloped the manner in which the Dera Bugti administration on Friday allowed only a small number of mourners to quickly bury a wooden, padlocked coffin said to contain the body of Nawab Akbar Bugti in the ancestral town of the slain tribal chief once known as the Tiger of Balochistan.

The grieving sons of Nawab Bugti, whose body was flown to Dera Bugti from the neighbouring Kohlu late on Thursday night, boycotted the funeral which was concluded within minutes amid tight security.

The administration refused to show the tribal chiefs face to mourners and newsmen.

Dera Bugti District Coordination Officer Abdul Samad Lasi said: The body of Nawab Bugti has decomposed a lot and it cannot be shown to media and mourners.

He said the Imam of Dera Bugtis main mosque, Maulana Malook Bugti, had seen the corpse and confirmed that it was indeed Nawab Bugtis body.

But when newsmen asked Maulana Malook about the identity of the body, he refused to make a comment and said such questions should be put to the district coordination officer.

Fridays events were reminiscent of the 1979 burial of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto whose funeral was also held in the absence of his family members and his body was identified by the Imam of a Garhi Khuda Bux mosque.

The Dera Bugti DCO said while Nawab Bugtis face and legs were unharmed, the torso had been crushed by a heavy boulder. He showed Nawab Bugtis gold-rimmed spectacles, Rolex watch and wallet to newsmen. He said the wallet contained Rs15,000.

The newsmen could not help observing that the watch and the glasses had escaped without a scratch from the heavy explosion that brought down the mountain cave which was supposed to be Nawab Bugtis last sanctuary.

A visibly incensed Jamil Bugti, one of three surviving sons of Nawab Bugti, told newsmen in Quetta that the military had used chemical weapons to kill his father.

The chemical weapons used in the military attack left my fathers body in such a state of impairment that it can no longer be shown to the media. This explains the governments refusal to hand over the body to Nawab Bugtis immediate family, he said.

He demanded that an independent team of doctors should examine the body buried on Friday and determine if it was indeed Nawab Bugtis and what the cause of his death was.

Nawab Bugtis grave is close to the graves of his father Sardar Mehrab Khan Bugti and his son Nawabzada Saleem Akbar Bugti.

DCO Lasi said the government had offered to facilitate the visit of Nawab Bugtis immediate family to Dera Bugti. We waited for their response till the last moment, he said.

But Jamhoori Watan Party secretary-general Agha Shahid Bugti, who is son-in-law of Nawab Bugti, said no member of the bereaved family had been contacted by the government.

He reiterated the familys demand that the body be handed over to them. We dont know whose body they have buried in Dera Bugti today, he said.
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  Quote TeldeInduz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2006 at 18:50
Oh please. You should know better and this isnt even thought provoking. 8000 protestors out of 3 million Balochis, most of whom are voting for the man who ended up killing Bugti - the media hype is just simply because Bugti was loved by foriegn nations wanting a piece of Balochistan, now who's going to be their next puppet is the question.
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2006 at 18:59
What do you think of my second post, where Iran is implicated?
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  Quote TeldeInduz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2006 at 19:29
Where does it talk about Iran?
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2006 at 19:47
http://www.washingtontimes.com/world/20050122-105607-1870r.htm

Pakistan assails Iran over growing Baluch insurgency

   
                                            
            By Massoud Ansari

                         LONDON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

KARACHI, Pakistan Pakistan has blamed Iran for fueling a growing insurgency in Baluchistan, the strategically sensitive province where militant tribesmen have launched a series of terrorist attacks in recent weeks.
    Senior government officials say Iran is encouraging "intruders" from within its own Baluch community to cross the 550-mile border with the Pakistani province and give support to the rebels.
    "All this violence is a part of a greater conspiracy," a senior Pakistani government official said. "These militants would not be challenging the government so openly without the backup of a foreign hand."


Pakistan's support would be essential for any U.S.-led action against Iran, whose fundamentalist Muslim regime was last week put firmly in the sights of the second Bush administration by Vice President **** Cheney. "You look around the world at potential trouble spots Iran is right at the top of the list," Mr. Cheney said.
     Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency set up a unit in the provincial capital, Quetta, last year to monitor suspected Iranian activity in Baluchistan. Officials say that in addition to directly supporting the insurgency, Tehran's state-controlled radio has launched a propaganda campaign against Islamabad.

"Radio Tehran broadcasts between 90 and 100 minutes of programs every day which carry propaganda against the Pakistan government," said a former interior minister. He added that Iran was suspected of providing financial, logistical and moral backing for the insurgency.
    Iran is said to be taking advantage of unrest among tribesmen who claim to have been denied the benefits of Baluchistan's natural-gas fields.
    Earlier this month, rebels disrupted gas production in a series of rocket and mortar attacks, which killed eight persons. However, Islamabad is delaying a formal complaint to Tehran in the hope that private diplomatic channels may prove more effective. Meanwhile, large numbers of troops are hunting rebels in the province.
    Pakistani officials believe that Tehran already furious at Pakistan's support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism has stepped up its activity in Baluchistan because of its anger at the construction of a vast deep-water port at Gwadar, close to the border, which it fears could be used by Washington as a base for monitoring and infiltrating Iran.
    Washington believes Iran is pursuing an advanced nuclear-weapons program in addition to sponsoring international terrorism, and has repeatedly accused Tehran of fomenting trouble within Iraq.
    Last week, journalist Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker that U.S. special forces had carried out recent reconnaissance missions inside Iran to identify nuclear, chemical and missile sites that could be targeted. Although the Bush administration brushed aside the claims, the report heightened the belief that the United States might be preparing to take action.
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  Quote TeldeInduz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2006 at 20:32

There' actually three countries that want Eastern Balochistan - Iran, Afghanistan and India. Iran and India probably for themselves, Afghanistan is just a puppet. Iran has its own Baloch problem to worry about though, but I think that Iran and Pakistan have been working together on the Balochistan situation. It's all to do with Gwadar, gas, and the Chinese have actually suffered some casulties from  kidnappers that have been sponsored by other countries. On the Baloch issue, I think China is the only trustable partner for Pakistan.

Why does that Washington Times article say that Tehran is furious at Pakistan for support on the war on terror by the way? Pakistan has actually said it wouldnt support an attack on Iran from what i read.


Edited by TeldeInduz - 04-Sep-2006 at 20:36
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2006 at 21:25
Perhaps Iran is furious because the war on terror is actually war on pathans. War on pathans means the subjugation of pathans will increase and then after the brits and the yanks leave afghanistan then ISI will roll out Talibanization II on the region and marginalize Iran's imperial plans east of their borders.

Also war on terror might mean the US will attack and annex khuzestan and cut Iran's oil income by 80% who knows.

Speaking of Oil I cant understand how Balochistan has 6 trillion barrels of Oil but pakis can't dig it out? Shouldnt pakis be running there and scraping it out with their fingernails considering how poor the country is and how high the price of oil is now?
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  Quote TeldeInduz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2006 at 21:52
Originally posted by maqsad

Perhaps Iran is furious because the war on terror is actually war on pathans. War on pathans means the subjugation of pathans will increase and then after the brits and the yanks leave afghanistan then ISI will roll out Talibanization II on the region and marginalize Iran's imperial plans east of their borders.
 
That's a bit over imginative and doesnt make sense.
 
 
Also war on terror might mean the US will attack and annex khuzestan and cut Iran's oil income by 80% who knows.
 
True, but Pakistan wouldnt support the attack on Hhuzestan if you believe the comments made by them.

Speaking of Oil I cant understand how Balochistan has 6 trillion barrels of Oil but pakis can't dig it out? Shouldnt pakis be running there and scraping it out with their fingernails considering how poor the country is and how high the price of oil is now?
 
Where did you get that figure from? It's got a load of gas, and probably oil somewhere. 6 trillion barrs would make a huge difference to the economy, even at the present rate it's growing now.


Edited by TeldeInduz - 04-Sep-2006 at 21:53
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2006 at 00:41
Oh please. Start of a civil war? In a province that has always been a PML land. By a tribe which is hated by the rest anyhow?
 
Great analysis, you should work for the CIA.
 
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  Quote Digvijay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2006 at 10:16
Originally posted by Sparten

Oh please. Start of a civil war? In a province that has always been a PML land. By a tribe which is hated by the rest anyhow?
 
Great analysis, you should work for the CIA.
 


Why not?  Balooch people are very independent minded. And Bugti wanted to be a martyr and Musharraf granted his wish. 

Unless there is reall democracy in pakistan where the pakistani states can really take there own decisions there will be chaos.

It makes no sense that a rich province like Baloochistan should be the poorest in terms of infrastructure.

-Digs
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2006 at 10:27
Originally posted by Sparten

Oh please. Start of a civil war? In a province that has always been a PML land. By a tribe which is hated by the rest anyhow?
 
Great analysis, you should work for the CIA.
 


Who said this tribe would play anything more than a small part in the civil war? Afghanistan would support Baloch independence(from pakistan) because they want all or most of that province and have made no secret of it. They also claim that entire region including NWFP since the expiration of the Durrand line do they not? And if Iran is indeed supporting the rebels with radio broadcasts, weapons, money and intelligence why is that such a ridiculous assumption?

Seriously if Baloches were given a choice between part of Pakistan and part of an independent and prosperous afghanistan which would they choose? Their own kind or those they regard as Indians?
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2006 at 10:32
Originally posted by TeldeInduz

Where did you get that figure from? It's got a load of gas, and probably oil somewhere. 6 trillion barrs would make a huge difference to the economy, even at the present rate it's growing now.


http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/CP65.Grare.FINAL.pdf


Now then....does it make sense why things are "stirring up" in there?
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  Quote TeldeInduz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2006 at 10:54
Originally posted by maqsad

Originally posted by TeldeInduz

Where did you get that figure from? It's got a load of gas, and probably oil somewhere. 6 trillion barrs would make a huge difference to the economy, even at the present rate it's growing now.


http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/CP65.Grare.FINAL.pdf


Now then....does it make sense why things are "stirring up" in there?
 
I'll read it later, but 6 trillion sounds a bit much. Dont think the oil rich countries have that much. Eastern Balochistan is highly sort after by foreign companies and nations, because of it's location (Arabian Sea), its proven gas reserves and if the oil is true that would be a big asset..should change the financial outlook of Pakistan at least.
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  Quote TeldeInduz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2006 at 11:05
Originally posted by maqsad

Originally posted by Sparten

Oh please. Start of a civil war? In a province that has always been a PML land. By a tribe which is hated by the rest anyhow?
 
Great analysis, you should work for the CIA.
 


Who said this tribe would play anything more than a small part in the civil war? Afghanistan would support Baloch independence(from pakistan) because they want all or most of that province and have made no secret of it. They also claim that entire region including NWFP since the expiration of the Durrand line do they not? And if Iran is indeed supporting the rebels with radio broadcasts, weapons, money and intelligence why is that such a ridiculous assumption?
 
It's a ridiculous assumption because you dont know the definition of civil war and
 
  • Sardars are not popular in Balochistan - they cannot even get support from their own tribes
  • Balochistan doesnt have a big enough population
  • Afghanistan cant even support itself, let alone someone else
  • Development of Balochistan is taking place
 

Seriously if Baloches were given a choice between part of Pakistan and part of an independent and prosperous afghanistan which would they choose? Their own kind or those they regard as Indians?
 
The Baloch arent the same ethnciity as the Afghans - they have voted for the PML instead of Baloch National Party so it gives an indication where the majority of their loyalties lie despite what Hindustan Times might try and convince you of.
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2006 at 11:42
Now this one does not mention oil but it does mention that some of these tribes actually supported the USSR during the soviet invasion. So gawadar would have become a soviet warmwater port if Balochistan had been annexed by the bolsheviks.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/DG25Df01.html

A key deep-sea port is being developed with Chinese assistance at Gawadar in southwest Balochistan on the shores of the Arabian Sea. And to further add to the region's strategic value, important cross-national oil pipelines are planned to traverse the state.

Pakistan has 25.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven gas reserves, and currently produces around 0.8 Tcf a year, all of which is consumed domestically. Natural gas producers include Pakistani state-owned companies Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (PPL) and Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC), as well as BP, ENI, OMV, and BHP. The largest currently productive fields are Sui in Balochistan, by far the largest at 650 million cubic feet per day (120 Mmcfd), Adhi and Kandkhot (120 Mmcfd), Mari, and Kandanwari.

Surveys in the area pinpointed several potential areas in Balochistan for natural gas development. These included the Zainkoh range in Dera Bugti Tribal Agency, the Jandran area of Kholu in the Mari Tribal Agency and Sarooria in Khuzdar district.

The military regime of President General Pervez Musharraf therefore decided to open these areas for exploration, but they are controlled by the Bugti, Mari and Mengal tribes, which have traditionally been at the heart of rebellion.

All three tribes were pro-USSR during the Cold War, and in the early 1970s they revolted against the central government. Their insurrection was brutally stamped out by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's government. Iran also helped Islamabad to quell discontent because the rebellion aimed to establish a Balochistan state beyond Pakistan's borders, including areas of Iran and Afghanistan.

Now, though, the situation has changed somewhat. It is believed that Baloch tribes are in contact with the administration across the border in eastern Iran in Zahadan province, and through it they are in contact with the Tehran government, which is keeping a close eye on developments in Balochistan.
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  Quote TeldeInduz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2006 at 11:50
Alright, so? We know all this (except perhaps the oil reserves). Fact is there is no civil war in Balochistan, and there isnt going to be one because there isnt enough support for it. Sardarism is gradually being rid, and ordinary Baloch arent interested in war with the government.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2006 at 12:22
They are 63 tribes. 3 Have a problem.
And the Afghanis learnt their lesson back in 1961 at Bajur. And mots of them live here anyhow.
 
Finally pakistan has nukes, so what you say is a moot point.
 
If push comes to shove Pakistan would USE them. On Iran, of Afganistan, on India, on Oman or anybody who trys to interfere.
 
 


Edited by Sparten - 05-Sep-2006 at 13:01
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  Quote Digvijay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2006 at 13:01
Originally posted by Sparten

They are 63 tribes. 3 Have a problem.
And the Afghanis learnt their lesson back in 1961 at Bajur. And mots of them live here anyhow.
 
Finally pakistan has nukes, so what you say is a moot point.
 

Not really. Pashtuns of NWFP are really not under Paki central control and Paki army *rarely* shows the courage to enter the tribal strongholds.

Similarly in Baloochistan ordinary balooch is fed up of discrimination meted out to them and want more control of there area so that infrastructure develops and they can lead a better life. And yes that province is on the brink of civil war.

-Digs
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  Quote TeldeInduz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2006 at 13:25
Originally posted by Digvijay

Originally posted by Sparten

They are 63 tribes. 3 Have a problem.
And the Afghanis learnt their lesson back in 1961 at Bajur. And mots of them live here anyhow.
 
Finally pakistan has nukes, so what you say is a moot point.
 

Not really. Pashtuns of NWFP are really not under Paki central control and Paki army *rarely* shows the courage to enter the tribal strongholds.

Similarly in Baloochistan ordinary balooch is fed up of discrimination meted out to them and want more control of there area so that infrastructure develops and they can lead a better life. And yes that province is on the brink of civil war.

-Digs
 
Vivek, ordinary Baloch are not fighting. The Sardars like Bugti, were holding back development to gain support of the people.
 
NWFP is under central government control - FATA is not really.
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