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Thursday, 10 December 2009

Indian involvement in Balochistan

Pakistan and India are two important powers of South Asia and have fought three wars since independence. Beside other issues Kashmir has always been a major bone of contention between the two. India has been blaming Pakistan for supporting militants in Kashmir and Pakistan has given proofs of Indian involvement indicted India for supporting the separatist Baloch militants.
Indian involvement in Balochistan is not a new issue. The debate has been on that terrorists there are working on some foreign agenda; foreign hands are providing weapons and funds to insurgents for terrorist activities. Earlier we had been using word "non-state actors" and name of India was not that prominent, but during the NAM summit held in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani presented dossier to Manmohan Singh with proofs of Indian involvement in Balochistan via Afghanistan. Though the Indian prime minister denied it, yet reference of Balochistan in the joint statement in Sharm-el-Sheikh was a positive outcome for Pakistan. Diplomatically stocks of evidences proving that India is sponsoring terrorism and giving training to terrorists put India on back foot.
Major General Salim Nawaz, inspector general of the Frontier Corps paramilitary force in Balochistan told Reuters that 'A lot of evidence of Indian involvement through Afghanistan is there, supporting the separatist movement'. Nawaz Sharif also said that 'the separatists were not very strong, they don't have enough people or a proper command and that the foreign element is providing them strength. The proof has been given at various levels including photographs and documents.
The publication of the Jain Commission Report for the Indian Government has confirmed whatever we were suspecting in South Asia, that Indian Intelligence service Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has been conducting destabilisation and violence at the domestic level of south Asian region. India is not only conducting the terrorist activities in Pakistan but it is also involved in spreading violence in Bangladesh, Srilanka, Nepal, Bhuttan and Maldives and there are many evidences about it.
This is not the first time that India is supporting separatist movements in Pakistan; India is repeating the same history as they did in 1971 by supporting the separatist movement in East Pakistan which resulted in the disintegration of Pakistan. But India didn't stop there and now again India is supporting the separatist movement in Balochistan. We cannot deny the fact that these opportunities have been provided to India by political plotting and RAW has always shown quickness in taking advantage of the political ups and down in South Asian region as it's a good tactic to seek the group which can be easily influenced.
From decades RAW has been getting advantage from the domestic issues of Pakistan, whether it was Pakhtunistan issue or the Sindhi language issue, sectarian group issues and now Balochistan issue, all these issues have always provided India a fertile ground for their seeds of violence and terrorism. It was also indicted by Islamabad that RAW has established its training camps in Afghanistan in collaboration with the Northern Alliance remnants. Approximately 600 Ferraris, or Baloch tribal dissidents, are getting specialized training to handle explosives, engineer bomb blasts, and use sophisticated weapons in these camps. India has invested heavily in its old connection with the leaders of the erstwhile Northern Alliance. It has sizeable support in Afghan Parliament and India is gradually increasing the number of its paramilitary personnel in Afghanistan and their motive is to use the Afghan land for conducting terrorist activities in Pakistan and to destabilise Pakistan.
In current year Islamabad claimed that 'Pakistan has found concrete evidence of India's involvement in militancy in South Waziristan and decided to take up the matter with New Dehli', this was disclosed by Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and military spokesman Major-General Ather Abbas at a press briefing on the progress of operation Rah-e-Nijat. It was the first time in recent times that Pakistan had pointed fingers at India from a forum having representation of political and military leadership. General Abbas said a huge quantity of Indian arms and ammunition, literature, medical equipment and medicines had bee recovered from Sherawangi area, near Kaniguram. He said that foreign office had been informed and the matter would be taken up with the Indian authorities through diplomatic channels. While sources in the Foreign office said a dossier containing proofs of India's involvement in South Waziristan would soon be handed over to officials in New Delhi. Kaira also said that although it had been decided to raise the issue with India, Pakistan would not deviate from the peace process.
The question raises that why India always wanted to get into such activities? The answer seems to be the India's power ambition; India wanted the regional hegemony and recognition as a major global actor since independence. And as India and Pakistan are rivalry states since independence due to this India always wanted to destabilise Pakistan. Islamabad not only suspected Indian involvement in Balochistan but also accused India for conducting terrorist activities in Pakistan which can effect Pakistan relations with other countries and can raise a bad reputation in the international community.
Pakistan has said that she will solve the Balochistan issue on diplomatic channels with India but for solving this issue some steps are needed to be taken on domestic levels. Balochistan has remained a neglected province since independence. It was government responsibility to announce proper budgets for their development. Lack of funds for development and education in this province strengthen the tribe system here and left the common people behind to become an active social part of society. They can't get benefits from the resources of their province. Despite surveillance system, trained terrorist continued to came from Afghanistan border. Unequal distribution of resources in Balochistan erases nationalism and our enemy is taking the advantage of this situation by filling their minds for a separate federation. No doubt, external threats are there but a lot of work is needed to be done to current internal threats.

Whereabouts of Osama Detected

So far Osama bin Laden has continously been used by the US and some western countries as a scapegoat to malign Pakistan which is their target for ‘de-nuclearisation.’ Sometimes, bogey of Bin Laden is raised by their rulers to achieve their goals of external policy, and sometimes to pacify their public including the opposition. In this regard, in its latest report, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee admitted that in December 2001 Osama bin Laden was within the reach of US troops in Tora Bora when American military leaders did not pursue him, and opened the door for his escape to Pakistan. In fact, the main aim of the report, after eight years was to get favour for President Obama’s decision who has recently announced an increase of additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in wake of severe domestic pressure.
As regards Osama, on November 13, 2009 a Reuters report quoting Labeviere’s book “Corridors of Terror” points to negotiations between Osama bin Laden and the CIA, which took place two months prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks-at the American Hospital in Dubai, UAE, while Bin Laden was under a kidney dialysis treatment.
The Christian Science Monitor in its February 06, 2002 edition, while describing the battle at Tora Bora, concluded that Bin Laden escaped to Iran. It had coincided with the US concerns that Iran is harboring Al Qaeda refugees. Most of the political experts agree that the US had deliberately provided Osama a chance to flee.
Bin Laden’s last genuine video appeared in the late 2001 when the CNN in February1, 2009 indicated that he was aged 97-he got diabetes and kidney problems. On December 26, 20001, Egyptian newspaper, Al-Wafd disclosed that a prominent official of the Afghan Taliban movement announced that Osama bin Laden died a natural death. He was buried in Tora Bora.
Meanwhile, while making Osama as a scapegoat, a number of fake video messages were telecast on various TV channels and websites by some elements in order to achieve their political aims. For example, during the November 2004 elections in the United States, a fake video tape helped the ex-president Bush to get lead over John Kerry.
It is well-known that in a tape released on December 27, 2001, the authenticity of which is not in question, Osama denied any involvement in the September 11 tragedy. However, later, two video tapes appeared to validate his guilt in relation to 9/11 because the main aims of the Bush administration were to provoke American public against the Muslims and Arabs to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in order to possess energy resources of Central Asia and Iraq—and to get their support for a propaganda campaign against a ‘nuclearised’ Pakistan, and a prospective atomic power, Iran. Besides other actions of Bush era such as persecution of Muslims through torture, detentions and arrests, CIA and FBI-operated facilities, radicalising the Americans against Muslims protected the real architects of the 911 attacks, while still there is no evidence that Al Qaeda was behind that catastrophe, though this organisation is responsible for a number of terror-attacks.
To what extent Osama could be used to gain political purposes can be judged from the statement of British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown who revealed on November 29, 2009, “We believe, he is in Pakistan.” As a matter of fact, in line of Obama’s new Afghan strategy, Brown wanted to justify 500 additional troops for Afghanistan in face of demestic pressure. Meanwhile, the US National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones has also expressed similar view.
In the past, some foreign sources had pointed out that Osama bin Laden is in Chitral area of Pakistan. Recently, American and British high officials have been blaming that Osama and top leadership of Al Qaeda have taken shelter in Pakistan’s tribal areas and Balochistan.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit while refuting these allegations, remarked that the US and UK should share evidence with Islamabad regarding bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, but they did not provide any proof in this respect.
Now, again Osama has become a scapegoat of the foreign elements to implicate Islamabad. But Bin Laden cannot take shelter in Pakistan where CIA-operated drone strikes have killed many top commanders of the Taliban, especially Naik Muhammad and Baitullah Mehsood. Moreover, since 9/11, Pakistan’s security agencies also captured many masterminds of Al-Qaeda, namely Khalid Sheikh, Abu Faraj and a computer engineer Naeem Noor Khan including other militants. Owing to these ground realities, Taliban leaders had already fled to Afghanistan where they have control over more than 70 percent of the territory. Especially, during the successful Swat-Malakand military operations, the Taliban commander, Maulana Fazalullah escaped to Afghanistan who was recently seen in a video-tape, telecasted by some TV channels. Since the recent military action started in South Waziristan, remaining leaders of the insurgents have also gone to Afghanistan. In this respect, question arises as to how Osama could be hiding in Pakistan, while Al Qaeda or Taliban commanders prefer to live in Afghanistan where they are more safe, and where they have been fighting against the US-led NATO forces, and where level of militancy has increased in 2009 as admitted by western high officials and military commanders.
On July 12, 2009, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Rehman Malik clarified that Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and its other top operatives were hiding in Afghanistan, probably in Kunar area.
Even if Osama is alive, and is in Afghanistan, he cannot hide himself from Indian secret agency, RAW which has expanded its clandestine networks everywhere in connivance with the Indian army and additional consulates which are also working covertly. India has spent millions of dollars in Afghanistan to strengthen its grip. New Delhi which wants to get strategic depth against Pakistan, and has also been acting upon anti-China policy—is determined to keep its security agencies there permanently under the cover of the US-led allied forces. Under the pretext of Talibinisation of Afghanistan and Pakistan, India has already been fulfilling its secret stragic goals by supporting insurgency in Pakistan’s Frontier Province and Balochistan. RAW has been sending militants along with arms to Pakistan so as to attack the security personnel including western nationals. During the Swat-Malakand and South Waziristan operations, ISPR spokesman, Maj-General Athar Abbas has shown to the media, huge cache of arms and ammuniton, entering Pakistan from Afghanistan. Recently, Pakistan’s prime minister and foreign minister have disclosed that India is backing the militancy in our country.
While American high officials and British prime minister are hinting at the whereabouts of Osama in Pakistan to achieve their covert goals, but RAW might have already kidnapped him from Afghanistan so as to fulfill Indian sinister aims against Islamabad and Beijing, besides prolonging occupation of Kashmir—and also to distort the image of Pakistan in the western capitals by keeping their hostile propaganda alive.
Now, Osama Bin Laden could better serve Indian shrewd diplomacy of entrapping the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan permanently because the US President Obama has announced the withdrawal of forces from that country from July 2011. In this context, prior to his recent trip to America, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called for the US pressure on Islamabad to curb extremists. He also said that he would encourage the US leadership to stay in Afghanistan. No doubt, by setting aside Pakistan’s successful military operations against the militants, and Islamabad’s offers for resumption of dialogue, the major aim of Singh’s trip was to indoctrinate American high officials through Indian propaganda that Pakistan has been sponsoring terrorism against Afghanistan and India as pointed out through his statements before American media.
If US-led NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Karzai regime will fall like a house of cards due to the Taliban insurgency. Therefore, New Delhi wants to get the US entangled in Afghanistan to achieve its secret aims at the cost of American interests by implicating Pakistan and China—and thus wants to get further benefits from America and other developed countries so as to become a superpower of Asia.
Sometimes surprises happen in world politics which is an arena of great complications, and states’ shrewd strategies are followed by all unfair means. In this regard, renowned thinker, Morghenthau, while echoing the thoughts of Machiavelli remarks that sometimes rulers have to act upon immoral activities like falsehood, deceit and theft.
In this connection, India is determined to obtain its inter-related aims to dominate other regional countries. Particularly, it considers Pakistan an obstacle in its way. So New Delhi might have decided to use Bin Laden a scapegoat to fulfill its all designs. If Osama is alive, he could definitely be under the custody of Indian RAW because New Delhi knows that western countries can never suspect it regarding his whereabouts.
By Sajjad Shaukat:- Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

India Maoist conflict 'affects children's education

The ongoing conflict between Maoists and government forces is disrupting the education of India's most marginalised children, a rights group says.
In a new report Human Rights Watch has urged the rebels to stop attacking state-run schools.
It has also asked the government to instruct its troops not to use school buildings as part of their operations.
The rebels are fighting for communist rule in many Indian states. Over 6,000 people have died in the 20-year fight.
The rebels have a presence in more than 223 of India's 600-odd districts across 20 states, according to the government.
Human Rights Watch says school children - often from the poorest families - are suffering in specific ways.
The Maoists have attacked schools as symbols of state power in rural area - a total of 14 schools have been attacked in the states of Jharkhand and Bihar alone over the past month.
The group is also critical of the government for inviting rebel attacks by stationing security personnel inside school buildings - sometimes while lessons are taking place in neighbouring classrooms.
"We hear again and again from the government here that the Naxalites [as Maoists are called in India] cannot be defeated by force alone, that they are only going to be defeated by targeted development assistance to these areas," writer of the report Bede Sheppard said.
"If that is the case then the government has to recognise that having access to quality education is an important part of any progress."
For months now there have been rumours of a big paramilitary offensive by government forces in remote but vast jungle areas where the rebels have free rein.
The fear is that if that happens the disruption to the education of some of India's most disadvantaged children will become even worse.
The insurgents wield most influence in areas which are mostly poor and dominated by tribes people.
They are also areas widely seen as being rich in mineral wealth which the Maoists say is being handed over to corporate firms while the poor remain deprived.