By Pakistan Front
January 29, 2013
This is a brief Talk of the Town Report compiled for those interested in Balochistan. Significant developments are listed hereunder.
1. Law and Order Situation, 1- 4 Dec. FC recovered huge quantity of explosives, detonators and weapons from Pishin area while three persons of Balochistan Constabulary were abducted near Mach. On 2 Dec again, FC recovered huge quantities of explosive from a bus coming from Chaman near Quetta. One IED was recovered from near Sui. Speaker Aslam Bhotani refused to chair the PA session in accordance with SCs Interim-Order declaring that the provincial government was unconstitutional. Rehman Malik, federal Interior Minister who had announced that he would address the PA, did not turn up and the session was adjourned after 3 minutes. While the Doctors strike continues, one more doctor was shot dead in Jaffarabad area. NADRA office in Kalat was ransacked by unknown miscreants. Finance Minister Gailos brother was shot and wounded at Panjgur. The CM announced in from the floor of the PA that the law and order situation was better than other provinces.
2. Rafiullah Wins Rhodes Scholarship, 3 Dec. Rafiullah, 23, a Pashtun from Bostan won Rhodes scholarship, the first from Balochistan. He has had a brilliant academic career and wishes to return to Quetta for serving in academia to combat illiteracy and religious extremism.
3. Law and Order Situation, 5 13 Dec. The SC in its short order on Balochistan’s law and order situation observed on 5 Dec. that Executive authorities had failed to protect the lives and properties of inhabitants in the province. The CJ said a verdict had been given and the history would bear witness to the facts. JUI Chief Fazul ul Rehman said that any verdict to dismiss Balochistan government would be undemocratic. In Turbat area, 3 miscreants died in a fire fight with FC. Huge quantity of explosives was recovered from near Dera Murad Jamali. A bomb blast in Quetta on 8 Dec injured two Shia-Hazaras. The CJ of BHC said on 10 Dec in a seminar organized by UNHCR that 75 missing persons had been recovered. The same day a bomb blast in Sariab area, Quetta, killed one and injured many. Balochistan Cabinet condemned the media trial of provincial government. They also condemned the CS and NAB for criticizing the Balochistan ministers for gross corruption. On 11 Dec, another Doctor was kidnapped from a charity eye hospital. Airport Manager of PIA, a Punjabi, in Turbat was gunned down by motorcycle riders. Doctors ended their strike on 13 Dec after 58 days, without securing any guarantees of safety from the provincial government. Explosives were discovered in Mach area. ATC awarded life imprisonment to two terrorists in Sibi. Bakhtiar Dombkis motorcade was fired at in Bolan Pass. A Hindu doctor was killed in Mastung by miscreants.
4. Lawyers Strike Demanding Speedy Decision of Cases, 13 Dec. Lawyers strikes in Balochistan are a routine activity. However, this one was of a different kind. Balochistan Lawyers boycotted courts against the order of National Judicial Reforms Policy Making Committee to ensure speedy finalization of cases. The strike call was given by Pakistan Bar Association.
5. Law and Order Situation, 14 18 Dec. A man was killed and two injured in a landmine explosion near Sui while FC recovered one landmine from near Kahan, Marri Sardars home village. A man was shot dead near Sibi by unknown persons. On 17 Dec, Director of Information Department, a Shia, and his police gunman were killed in Quetta. Two more policemen were killed when they tried to chase the killers. A Public Prosecutor and his team were attacked near Barkhan. A vehicle of a NGO was shot at near Mastung injuring the driver. JUIs senior minister Maulvi Wasey has made the provincial government change the name of a Cadet College in Quilla Saifullah to Mufti Mehmud Cadet College.
6. NAB To Inquire Allegations Against Chairman BPSC for Selling 800 Posts, 18 Dec. NAB has announced a probe against Chairman Balochistan Public Service Commission who is accused of selling 800 posts of BPS-16 to18. Allegedly he sold posts of headmaster for Rs.1.7 m and Assistant Commissioners for Rs.4 m. The Chairman is maternal uncle of Governor Magsi. Some 2-3 months ago when the story of large scale appointments without merit spread in Quetta, local NAB had taken notice and summoned the record. However, the High Court took a suo motto notice and not only criticized the NAB, ordered closure of the case and return of record and papers. The rumour has it that sons/wards of two Judges of Balochistan High Court were also among the non-deserving beneficiaries and the HC did not want the cases investigated.
7. Law and Order Situation, 19 Dec. FC recovered a large quantity of weapons from the suburbs of Quetta. Speaker Balochistan Assembly continues to uphold the Order of SC and has not attended the sessions. Now the Governor is spearheading a No-Confidence vote against the Speaker. So far 22 members have expressed their lack of confidence. Two persons were killed and three wounded in a landmine blast near Dera Bugti. Brahmdagh Bugti is allegedly behind these mine blasts. Two young women’s bodies were found in Sariab area.
8. Youth from Balochistan Graduate as Soldiers in the Pak Army, 20 Dec. A passing out parade marked the graduation of 1614 recruits from Balochistan. The Governor was the chief guest while Commander Southern Command and senior military officers and large number of civilians attended it. The Governor while emphasizing the need for national unity attributed the unrest in Baluchistan to foreign hand.
9. Law and Order Situation, 20 Dec 27 Dec. Two passenger buses going to Rahim Yar Khan from Quetta were stopped by insurgents near Mach. ID cards of passengers were checked and three persons hailing from Punjab were killed on the spot while two were taken away for interrogation and were killed later. ATC issued fresh non-bail able warrants against Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind while he pleaded that the cases were fake and initiated by the CM due to tribal enmity. A local Punjabi principal escaped an attempt on his life. The students took out a rally to protest against the regular attacks on teachers which have resulted in schools and colleges being without teachers. Two men were killed in a landmine blast near Sibi while two more kidnapped sometime ago, were found dead also near Sibi. A hand grenade was thrown at a shop run by Punjabis near Jail Road, Quetta. Two shopkeepers were injured. Ten men, which included Punjabis and Afghans, on way to Iran, were gunned down near Turbat. FC check-post was attacked near Panjgur but no casualties were reported. Two FC men were killed in ambush near Mashkey on 25 Dec, 90 km West of Khuzdar. The next day FC raided and destroyed some militant’s camps in the desert. On 26 Dec, Baloch leaders in exile Hairbeyar Marri and Brahmdagh Bugti living in the UK and Switzerland under protection of MI6/CIA accused the Army of launching attacks against the Baloch nation. Additional Session Judge issued warrant of arrest for only Shia MNA for having false degree. Governor Magsis wife, a sitting minister/MPA, was also issued a similar warrant but she obtained interim bail. Governor Magsi often states that he had obtained his degree for Rs.42, 000. His wife should have followed the same procedure rather than getting a Madrasa Degree. Gas pipeline was blown in Dera Bugti area. Talal Bugtis son who is in jail under trial for smuggling weapons, resigned from Jamhoori Watan Party owing to differences with his father.
10. Politics in Balochistan PA, 26 -31 Dec. Tariq Magsi, the brother of Governor Magsi, who is an MPA and a provincial minister was appointed the Leader of Opposition. All the 47 MPAs who are all holders of office of minister or advisor, all ministers, passed a No Confidence Motion thus removing the Speaker of the PA. He lodged a complaint in BHC on last day of the month, which was dismissed. CM Raisani besides being grieved on speaker’s removal also called for stronger federating units. Many political leaders questioned the legislation being passed by Balochistan assembly in the absence of standing committees and that the ouster of the Speaker as pre-poll rigging.
11. Law and Order Situation, 28 31 Dec. Two men belonging to a Pak intelligence agency were gunned down in Quetta. Two Levies personnel were injured in an attack near Mastung. A kidnapped doctor, after paying ransom walked free on 28 Dec. A PTCL building was blown up south of Sibi at Chhattar. On 30 Dec, three buses carrying Shia pilgrims from Quetta to Iran were targets of explosions near Mastung. 22 pilgrims were killed while 25 were injured. Various Shia organizations condemned the attack and demanded from the Army Chief to take over control of Balochistan to rid it of all criminals and banned outfits. Dr. Tahir ul Quadris planned march on 14 Jan is worrying politicians. The sitting Balochistan MPAs feel if they are made to account for the development funds misappropriated by them, they may be disqualified Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. Party leaders nervously keep urging the holding the elections on time. However, but political aspirants including those outside the parliaments now are not happy. But the common man would be very happy if the corrupt are disqualified from contesting elections.
12. Killings of Shias, Punjabis, FC and police are again on the rise. The FC operation in Awaran/Mushkey area drew quick rebuke from Brahmdagh Bugti and Haibyar Marri sitting abroad which clearly indicates who all are behind the insurgency and militancy. Federal and provincial governments keep calling these traitors and criminals as angry Baloch. They should treat them as enemies of Pakistan and hunt them down.
13. FC and police have not been able to hunt down and crush the ring leaders of militancy/insurgency. In the rural areas there is no police as the current Balochistan Assembly, with criminal intent, reverted to the old Levies system of law enforcement. Levies could work during the British period when the retribution against the Sardar who provided the Levies was quick and ruthless. In this dysfunctional democratic dispensation the Sardars are also elected members of the Swenate, NA and PA. Almost all of them are ministers/advisors and therefore are the government. Many of these Sardars are themselves sponsors and supporters of criminals and insurgents. They took no time to replace the police with Levies again as soon as they became MPAs. The Levies are now nothing more than a liability. Levies must be immediately replaced by police, whenever there is a proper government in Balochistan or Pakistan.
14. The Sardars and Nawabs have their entire families including spouses, brothers, sisters, sister/brother-in-laws, even uncles made MPAs/MNAs/Senators and a new mafia has emerged which will try to retain their family-power in the coming elections. Some have been placed in high administrative jobs where they are enriching themselves and building a power base.
15. The lacunas in the constitution are ably being exploited by the sitting politicians to their advantage. Making the Governors brother as Leader of the Opposition empowers him to have a voice in the caretaker setup thus ensuring rigging of election.
16. The continuous plunder by ministers by protecting criminals is so obvious. Yet there is no accountability. In urban areas the Police are hounded and efficient officers are killed. FC cannot operate all over the province due to limitations imposed by the government besides it is not a police force.
17. No Baloch/Brahui even mini parties are willing to join the other, let alone joining parties or political alliances transcending ethnic/racial bar. Each and every son of Akbar Bugti, even some grandsons, are trying to emerge as the unchallenged-Bugti-Leader. Shahzain Bugti has now stood up against even his own father, Talal Bugti.
18. The Pashtun, some growth in petty crime notwithstanding, are peaceful and busy in expanding business and pursuing education. In Pashtun areas, PKMAP is becoming vocal after hibernating for some 6 years. Mahmud Achakzai is going about mustering political support, only from Pashtun areas, on ethnic basis. JUIs Maulvis, rich with plunder of 5 years in government, are also urging the people to vote for them again to have a home in Heaven. Ethnic/racial polarization is at its peak; the elections will only exacerbate it.