Time has come to make Pakistan held accountable for destruction of Baluchistan: Alberto Cirio
 Source : Agencies  Date : 13-Aug-2016

Mumbai, August 13: After getting independence from the British rule, Baluchistan had enjoyed just little moment of freedom when it was captured by Pakistan. People of Baluchistan have been facing atrocities by Pakistan authorities which have made their life equal to hell. Indian PM Modi on Friday had said that Pakistan will have to answer the world about the violence being carried out at Baluchistan.

Alberto Cirio, Member of the European Parliament, wrote a blog in which he said that International community has to take notice of the wrong policies being carried out by Pakistan at Baluchistan from years.  

Firstly, Cirio mentioned the suicide bombing on August 8 at the gates of the Emergency Ward of the Civil Hospital in Quetta, Pakistan. The bomb blast killed over 70 persons, including a large number of lawyers and journalists, who had gathered there following a shooting earlier in the day that killed the President of the Baluchistan Bar Association.

The Pakistani Army, which has a sizeable presence in Baluchistan, was quick to state that the attack was an attempt to undermine the security of the province and target the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multi-faceted project allowing China access to Gwadar Port in Baluchistan, from its western province of Xinjiang. 

Cirio said that despite the Pakistani establishments’ efforts to treat this attack as a one-off incident undertaken by a terror group, there is no denying that incidents of violence have become a way of life in Baluchistan. In 2015, there were 306 incidents of violence, which included what were categorised as terrorist attacks, operational attacks by security forces and armed clashes between security forces and sectarian groups. More than 550 people died in these incidents, a majority of which took place in Quetta, Dera Bugti, Kech and Gwadar.

Cirio said that Baluchistan which is a resource-rich province has been facing challenges by the Pakistani govt since 1947. In independence movement from Pakistan, successive Pakistani establishments have preferred to counter secular Baloch nationalist movements by using extremist Sunni groups with roots in Punjab. Years of myopic and ultimately self-destructive policies have resulted in a lethal mix of militant groups operating in Baluchistan, pre-dominantly at the behest of the establishment. Global terrorist networks have found natural allies among Sunni sectarian militant networks. The Afghan Taliban has also found sanctuary here since 2002.

Menioning Stark examples, he pointed to regular attacks in Baluchistan against Christians and Shia Muslims by the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), an anti-Shia terror outfit   whose version of Islam considers Shia Muslims as infidels. Though banned by the Pakistani government since 2001, the LeJ and its parent organisation, the Sipah-e-Sahaba, were creations of the Pakistani establishment in the 1980s, to crack down on Shias who had objected to the Islamisation policies of the then Pak President, Gen Zia-ul- Haq.

He further said that the government has continued to promote extremist groups in Baluchistan. After the massive earth quake in the Awaran region in September 2013, the government denied access to international humanitarian organisations and journalists, and instead allowed extremist charity groups like the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (a front of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa) and the Al Khair (a front of the Jaish-e-Mohammad) to take charge of the re-settlement work. These organisations, that are merely proxies of these terrorist groups, continue to have a strong-hold in the province.

The links between security agencies and extremist groups have also resulted in the rise of criminal syndicates, thereby further exacerbating the security situation. The Frontier Corps (FC), the lead security agency in Baluchistan, has been regularly accused of involvement in smuggling and corruption. This year six senior officers, including a Lt. General who headed the FC from 2010 to 2013, were dismissed from service for corruption in Baluchistan, signalling the deep roots of this nexus.

Urging International community to look into this poor and dreadful situation of people of baluchistan, Cirio said that It is time that Pakistan is held accountable for its misdirected policies, perpetuated over the years, and is pressured to allow international scrutiny of the pathetic plight of the indigenous population in Baluchistan.