Balochistan problem not beyond solution
November 18, 2011
Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) Provincial President and grandson of Nawab Akbar Bugti, Shahzain Bugti has managed to create a niche for himself despite the fact that he is a newcomer in the country’s politics. Though it would require him a long time and struggle to reach the place of his grandfather Nawab Mohammad Akbar Khan Bugti, he has managed to make a mark on the political and tribal circles.
It’s a fact that the Balochistan situation has deteriorated after the assassination of Nawab Akbar Bugti. Bugti was a person who believed in national politics and the federation and always talked of getting rights within Pakistan. Bugti was involved in struggles, at times armed ones, in Balochistan in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. He led the current movement in Balochistan for greater autonomy. He was the public face who provided political support to the movement while his grandson Brahamdagh Khan Bugti led the tribesmen.
In recent years, he was accused by the government of being a warlord and running a well-organized militia, sometimes thought to be the shadowy Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) with members numbering in the thousands. The BLA allegedly ran dozens of militant guerrilla training camps. While campaigning from the mountain ranges of Dera Bugti, he was, according to the Pakistani government, directing a “Mullah Omar” style guerrilla war. In July 2006, the then president General Musharraf targeted him using air force jets and gunship helicopters. He was killed in his cave in Kohlu, about 150 miles east of Quetta, leading to widespread unrest in the area.
The most worrisome aspect of the whole scenario is the callous attitude of rulers towards the Balochistan situation. They are least bothered that the entire Balochistan is burning and is leading to the feelings of deprivation among the Baloch people.
Talking exclusively to the Weekly Pulse on the current Balochistan situation, Shahzain Bugti said Balochistan issue was not so serious that it could not be solved; however, sincerity was the key, which was lacking in our rulers. The rulers lack vision and capability to solve problems due to which the Balochistan situation has deteriorated. But we have not lost all hope and I even tell my people not to be hopeless and pessimistic as still we have the courage to fight the circumstances and Inshallah the situation would get better.
He emphasised it was his goal to fulfil the dream of his grandfather Nawab Akbar Bugti and make JWP stronger and effective throughout the country. We believe in parliamentary politics and would be participating fully in the next general elections. Regarding the formation of an alliance with other parties, he said it was premature to say anything in this regard but at the national level they were closer to the PML-N.
At the provincial level, we want to take other parties along with us and our coalition with PML-Q and other parties cannot be ruled out. However, the decision in this regard would be taken when the time comes. Currently, we are not even allowed to contact the public for restructuring and membership of our party. Whenever we try to meet people the government implicates us in false cases or I am placed in custody. The government has even placed my name on the Exit Control List. I was only allowed to visit abroad to get medical treatment. Some elements, out to get political mileage, spread rumours that I had fled the country and would never return.
In response to a question, he said nationalists were using the picture of Nawab Bugti for their own existence whereas the reality was that these people had left Baloch people out on a single limb. The SANGAL party is today facing disintegration and a question mark exists on its performance but it is the public decision on whose hands they want to place their future. If the people elect us then we would bring back the Nawab Akbar Bugti era, which we know won’t sit well with the majority of parliamentarians as they won’t be allowed to carry on their corrupt practices. He said undoubtedly corruption was the biggest problem of this country but attaining provincial rights was also a major problem.
Demanding former dictator Pervez Musharraf’s trial in the Bugti case, Shahzain Bugti said this can speed up solution to the problem. He said the rulers had no option but to listen to them for achieving peace and stability in Balochistan. He said the government should obey the court directives and issue red warrants for the arrest of Pervez Musharraf so that the public is satisfied and matters could move forward. In addition, the military operations should be stopped in true sense, fake cases and new army cantonments should be stopped, the process of finding deformed bodies should be stopped, the missing persons should be recovered, and the people who migrated from Dera Bugti and other areas should be rehabilitated. He said some people were using this situation to blackmail which was causing hatred among the public against the government. Today our own people are made to migrate in their own country while the government is sitting silent.
He said the Balochistan package had been implemented only 80 per cent. How can the problems be solved if the rulers can’t prove the package has been implemented or not. In the world history the problems which could not be solved by war have been solved through dialogue. Our rulers should be aware of this fact. Shahzain demanded that those playing in the hands of enemy to worsen things in Balochistan should be exposed. “We understand it well that Balochistan has been made a no go-area deliberately.” He said the JWP still believed in countering the challenges with full might and will continue to play its role by staying in the country.
Barring resistant movement, the ongoing ethnic and sectarian violence in Balochistan is alarming and condemnable. We consider all those living in the province as Baloch irrespective of their race and religion. They have equal rights. We want to take along all people with us. But the rulers are out to keep us from the masses. If Balochistan is given full access to its coast and resources then this most backward province of the country can be transformed into the most prosperous area of the world. People will forget Dubai and other developed areas of the world.
But the situation here is otherwise. The whole country is benefitting from Sui gas but the people of Balochistan stand deprived of this facility. It even reached Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa before it was supplied to Quetta.
If the government allowed me to contact with masses then I would be welcomed in those areas where even the rulers could not go. “We have firm belief that the system of the country can be changed if people will so. But the people will have to come forward to play their forceful role in practical field.