It’s the end of the Second World War, and the United States is deciding what to do about two immense, poor, densely populated countries in Asia. America chooses one of the countries, becoming its benefactor. Over the decades, it pours billions of dollars into that country’s economy, training and equipping its military and its intelligence services. The stated goal is to create a reliable ally with strong institutions and a modern, vigorous democracy. The other country, meanwhile, is spurned because it forges alliances with America’s enemies.
Pakistan today is held together by a powerful military which directly consumes 70% of the its budget after debt payments. The military has gained strength by opportunistically aligning itself with the United States, China and Saudi Arabia. It has directly ruled the country for most of its history and has cultivated relations with the fundamentalist Islamist clergy to strengthen its hold on power. In fact, the military is a bastion of Islamists who are influenced by fundamentalist movements such as Wahabism and Deobandism -- the same movements which hold sway among large numbers of Pakistani Punjabis.
Similar to all other cases of enforced disappearance, the government authorities never provided an explanation about what the charges, if there were any, against these people. They were never produced before a court of law or given the right to defend themselves on the line of Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The jubilations, the triumphalism and the joy expressed by the US leaders and public was crass and vulgar. Yes, some had lost their loved ones but then what about nearly a million killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since the invasions by western alliances?
The Afghan Baloch are another people that make up the colourful ethnic mosaic of the country. And like the Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks, the Baloch have also seen their land divided by arbitrary boundaries in Central Asia.
Baloch independence would actually satisfy America's geopolitical interests, considering a free Balochistan would represent a beacon of democracy in a region run amok with Islamic fervor -- a secular counterweight, a society that believes in a traditional nonviolent version of Islam and a people that respect the natural rights of each individual.
The Balochistan solution has to be a political one rather than a ‘white-wash’ of replacing the military with a paramilitary force.
The GCC countries' intellectual and human rights campaigners never say a single word against the blatant violation of human rights and the genocide of the Baloch nation at the hands of theocratic regime of Iran and the security state of Pakistan, let alone their rulers. Instead, they are showering Pakistan with their free oil.
From the breakup of Yugoslavia in early 1990s to the recent independence of South Sudan, and the ongoing crisis in Libya, it has increasingly become clear that the legal norms, such as non-interference and respect of state sovereignty, are not applicable when it comes to abusive behaviour of dominant groups, rogue armies or regimes within the quasi states. Sovereignty, indeed, comes with responsibilities.
THE mutilated bodies surface quietly in various parts of the province, and usually without any forewarning. The killings take place sporadically but surely, the bodies dumped on unforgiving mountains or on deserted, half-constructed roads. Perhaps they are meant to constitute a message for certain segments of society.