A Black Day for Balochistan, March 27

March 27th, 1948 is a day forever remembered in Balochistan as ‘The Black Day’. Prior to this day, Balochistan was an independent and sovereign country. After the Partition of British-India the autonomous region as known as the Princely State of Kalat was recognized internationally as an independent Nation administered by the Khan of Kalat. Less than 6 months after the creation of Pakistan, Balochistan was forcibly annexed by the Pakistani State.

Despite the unique cultural & ethnic identities of the indigenous populations of Balochistan, Sindh, Kashmir, Bangladesh & Punjab, they were nevertheless consolidated into Pakistan-based solely on the dominant religious beliefs. The creation of Pakistan was the result of a concept of regional Islamic Supremacy with total disregard for ethnicity, personal heritage or even historical borders.

When a nation is born of fascist concepts, such as religious or ethnic supremacy, it naturally facilitates the subsequent concepts of fundamentalism & extremism. The ensuing bloodbaths and wholesale slaughter of non-conforming individuals, who had peacefully co-existed for thousands of years before, had become inevitable. Ethnic and religious minorities who remained in the country continue to face endless oppression and persecution.

Although the democratically elected regimes have changed over the years, the Pakistan Army have always been the true ruling power in Pakistan. The distribution of public and government funds has always favored bolstering military capacity over implementing civil infrastructure. This has resulted in military dominance over civil authorities. This dominance became all too evident when General Musharraf orchestrated a coup d’état in 1999.

One year earlier, in 1998, Pakistan conducted their first test of nuclear weapons in Chagai Mountains of Balochistan. Possession of nuclear arms secured the legitimacy of their own existence in the eyes of the International community. This was a turning point for the Pakistani administration. From here out, the international community could never refuse to support the Pakistani civilian government despite their fundamentalist foundations and fascist policies.

In the wake of the Kargil war, the extent of terrorist elements in Pakistan had become apparent. The International Community was suddenly faced with the all too real possibility of radical terrorists seizing control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, should the civilian government falter. Ironically the very existence of terrorist groups can be attributed to an environment devoid of cultural diversification and adequate infrastructure. Pakistan’s administrative corruption, oppressive policies, and fascist foundations cultivated a sub-culture of radical fundamentalism.

Throughout Pakistan’s history, since the Black Day in 1947, the indigenous population of Balochistan have bravely stood alone in opposition of Pakistan’s reckless policies. Despite constant oppression and persecution, the Baloch refused to accept occupation by a State that neither represented their interests nor respected their heritage. Throughout five brutal military occupations, the Baloch remained steadfast in their rejection of a society of inequality and fascism.

While the some regions of Pakistan enjoyed extensive development and infrastructure, the people of Balochistan, and many other regions, were abandoned to lives of poverty and deprivation. Although Balochistan comprises over 40% of Pakistan’s land mass, the Baloch people have been reduced to less than 5% of the population of Pakistan. Since the day of its formation, Pakistan has been unable to adequately fulfill the needs of its own population. Over 60% of Pakistan’s population is now living below the poverty line, and Nation’s energy supply is dangerously low. Pakistan’s desperation is exemplified by their violent military occupations of the energy-rich areas of Balochistan, and oppression of regional nationalism. Yet even now, despite their inability to adequately provide the basic essentials of living to their population, Pakistan raised their 2014 military budget by 10%.

After decades of empty promises of development and infrastructure, the Baloch, and many others including Sindh nationalists, have abandoned all hope of Pakistan. Despite being rich in natural gas, coal, copper, gold, and many other valuable resources, the indigenous population is deprived of benefit from the development of these resources. This has resulted in widespread nationalism and activism. In response, the Pakistani State government has unleashed their Army upon the civilian residents of Balochistan. Activists and their families are abducted, tortured, murdered and their remains eventually dumped. Entire villages are indiscriminately bombarded by gunship helicopters and mortars. The inhabitants are displaced, persecuted, and often outright massacred.

The current conditions in Pakistan are degrading to the point where they are becoming a danger to the rest of the world. How can a nation unable to sustain their own population be expected to maintain the security of a nuclear arsenal? How can a nation begin to justify the possession of weapons of mass destruction when Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself admits to rampant terrorism in Pakistan? Due to Pakistan’s fragile state, foreign governments are of the opinion they have an obligation to support a corrupt and ineffective government rather than allow a nuclear arsenal to potentially fall into the hands of the very extremist elements empowered by the policies of the Pakistani State.

Although the Radical Islamic Supremacists are the natural outcome of a State founded through religious segregation, Islam itself is a religion of peace and tolerance. The true driving force behind religious fundamentalism is, and always has been, the personal agendas of the individuals within the ruling parties, who use Islam to justify tyranny and incite public support for their personal political agendas. Very few Muslims are radical extremists, and most condemn extremism in all its forms.

 

The Afghan Tribune | Shawn Forbes | Published: March 26, 2016, 04:25 PM

 

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