Khurshid Anwar Mirza According to media reports, there is ample proof that the Indian RAW (and other intelligence agencies) based in Afghanistan are aiding and abetting militancy in Pakistan, and particularly in Balochistan, following its mantra of 5Ms: Man (cultivate a dissident leader - Mujib/Brahamdagh Bugti), Mission (Bangladesh/Azad Balochistan), Militants (Mukti Bahini/BLA), Money and Munitions (provide financial assistance to the insurgents), and Military (intervene through the army when the situation becomes ripe). That is how the RAW orchestrated the separation of East Pakistan, and is now applying the same tactics in Balochistan. We are also aware of the Western medias (and analysts) mindset that has been predicting since long that the breakaway of Balochistan is not too distant a future. For instance, Selig Harrison, an American analyst, has openly suggested the desirability of the US supporting the insurgents for an independent Balochistan to control the so-called epicentre of terrorism (AfPak region) and serve its strategic interests, that is, to keep an eye on China and Iran - in order to dominate the gulf, the energy resources of Central Asian states and the mineral rich Afghanistan. Moreover, in the recent PNS Mehran attack, two P-3C Orion aircraft were destroyed, while the helicopters parked nearby were spared. It seems that the attackers main interest was in destroying the two aircraft, besides killing or capturing the Chinese engineers working on the base. While they succeeded in destroying the aircraft, they failed to harm the Chinese engineers, who were taken out safely in bulletproof cars. But one thing is now certain: It was not a random attack by jihadi elements, but a well thought out and well planned operation by outside agencies. (Reportedly, the four attackers killed were identified as Central Asians, according to the DNA tests.) Add to this, the statement of French President Nicholas Sarkozi, who had earlier visited India where he declared: France will not sell heavy military equipment to Pakistan in future. (Perhaps, in the hope of selling the French equipment and Euro fighters to India.) It may be noted that the Pakistan navy had used the French Atlantique maritime reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft in the past. Thus, any possibility of acquiring such aircraft as a quick replacement for the destroyed Orions was forestalled. When seen against this backdrop, it seems that some major incursion was afoot into Balochistan through the long and mostly unguarded stretch of our coastline, that is, between Karachi and Jiwani. Undoubtedly, without the aerial surveillance aircraft, Pakistan would be unable to detect any clandestine operations along the coastline, especially during the night. Even the possibility of infiltration by the submarine-borne commandos cannot be ruled out. Therefore, alarm bells should be ringing in the concerned quarters to meet such an eventuality. But the question is: What could be the possible alternative measures to safeguard the coastline, in the absence of reconnaissance aircraft like the Orion? Surely, Pakistans navy will have to use its subsurface, surface and airborne assets in monitoring the vulnerable coastline. The coast guards, too, may increase patrolling of the coastal areas, while the air force may augment these efforts through its AEW aircrafts. These are some of the immediate measures that could be adopted, till the navy acquires a replacement for the destroyed aircraft. Of course, Uncle Sam could also help by immediately replacing the two Orions by leasing the aircraft from its own inventory, pending manufacture of two Orion aircraft as replacements. This possibility, reportedly, has already been mooted. It will, indeed, help improve USAs image in Pakistan. More so, the Pakistani army, instead of concentrating its limited assets in FATA alone primarily to assist the US/NATO forces in Afghanistan, may allocate some of them to Balochistan. Without the military taking overall charge and coordinating with the security ops in the province, insurgency, which is aided and abetted by RAW, may snowball and spin out of control. It is the primary responsibility of the armed forces to ensure the security of the country against the overt and covert war in Pakistans largest province. Both federal and provincial governments must realise and acknowledge the fact that the ongoing insurgency is not an ordinary run-of-the-mill type affair, but a full-fledged war thrust upon us by the enemy; only then insurgency in Balochistan can be tackled on war footing. Also, a possible declaration of emergency and calling out the army (as aid to civil power) in Balochistan are the steps within the purview of the Constitution. We would do well to remember that those who ignore history (remember East Pakistan) are doomed to repeat it The writer is a retired Air Marshal of the Pakistan Air Force.