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Are Baloch fighting Pakistan or one another?

Sajid Hussain March 16, 2016

Baloch are a curious people. They know they are being beaten to death and they understand that the only way to survival is to hold each other’s hand. But they are reluctant to do that because everyone thinks the other one’s hand is dirty.

All Baloch political and militant groups have done some dirty work and they have lost some public support for that. At a time when the state has initiated a brutal crackdown against the whole Baloch nation to stifle the separatist movement initiated by these groups, the common Baloch shouldn’t have been bothered by the armed Baloch. But they did.

There was a time when we used to frequent Pakistani courts and human rights groups with the hope to get a missing relative or friend recovered. Now missing persons are not recovered. They are found dead.

These days, relatives are trying to find a guy who knows someone in the mountains to get a loved one released. This loved one who is seized by Baloch separatist militants is not always an “informant” or member of a death squad. He might be the son or brother of a rich guy who can afford to pay some ransom money.

You got a nice car? Be careful. It can be snatched by some masked men because they think it might belong to the government. You’ll say it has a private number plate. But they can always claim that number plates can be changed.

Such things did not happen when Balach Marri or Ghulam Mohammed or Dr Khalid Baloch were alive. Those were times of hope. Some optimists had predicted the Baloch will be free by 2008. When that year passed, they said a map had been released by some unknown source in which Balochistan is shown as a separate state in 2013. It’s now 2016 and where are we?

Hairbiyar Marri was the main person to manage the resources to initiate this phase of Baloch insurgency. He was good at that. There was no shortage of guns and bullets and rockets. Then he fought with his brother. Then with his father. Then with Brahmdagh Bugti. Then with Allah Nazar. He could be the leader of the Baloch movement, but he rather decided to lead a handful of men who know how to write a critical Urdu essay containing archaic words.

Allah Nazar started as a common soldier. He had the charisma and courage of a true leader. The Baloch recognized these virtues in him and soon he became the face of the Baloch separatist movement. People loved him and everyone wanted to fight along with him. He armed them all. Now he is in the process of disarming many of them.

Now that the Baloch insurgency is fighting for its survival and not against Pakistan, there should be a realization that the leaders of the movement share the responsibility if it fails. Hairbiyar cannot blame it all on Allah Nazar or vice versa. These two men have the capacity to make things better. But first, they should get their temperatures down.


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