Somethings are better if they are ignored. Others are a necessary evil. What the Afghan Taliban is for Pakistan is a question not many can answer. Arguably, Pakistan too is confused as to what the Taliban chapter means to it. The boots term them a veritable asset. Not sure what the politicians have to say about this. Some, although, understand the war differently. These people, in all absurdity, understand words differently; words such as ‘Shaheed’. The PTI spokesman Naeemul Haque insisted that Mullah Mansour was a martyr, and when grilled on this, explained that every person who fights for their homeland are martyrs. Funny how this sleazy lot gets to play around with words and shamelessly walk away without any repercussion. A public figure has limited freedom to meander and make facts out of fiction, or at least that’s how it should be. Admittedly, this is not just a Pakistani problem, after all the world is still aghast at what Trump has managed to do. But, Trump bashing for some other day. What can be seen in both these cases though is that politicians tend to use rhetoric and gimmicks to please a certain vote bank. That’s old news though. However, in a country like Pakistan, even politics needs to be done intelligently and in full understanding of how the society itself will react to it. Pakistan recently, and thankfully, reached the conclusion that there were no good and bad Taliban. That was good news. Zarb-e-Azab followed; even better news. And now, in many months since the initiation of the National Action Plan, the politicians seem to be dwindling. Can the same be said about the holier than thou boots?

The ‘necessary evil’ I started off with seems to be the Afghan Taliban for the boots. If not, how else can the presence of the Afghan Taliban in Quetta be explained? Is this a case like OBL where the military are simply incompetent to do the job that they are supposed to do which is, as simple as it gets, track and eliminate terrorists? Much like that case, the situation at hand is murkier than how it appears to be. The brass is not incompetent, they’re simple disinterested to do what must be done to eliminate these monsters of their own making.

The nationalist parties in Balochistan live a scared life. There are innumerable cases of ‘missing persons’, revealed only (and indeed shamelessly so) when the supreme court demanded the military to present them in the courts. Before that, the boots insisted that there was no such thing as ‘missing persons’. It’s funny how easy the Pakistani populace is when it comes to forgiving the brass for its lies.

So, the nationalist elements, have almost become nonexistent in the otherwise rouge setting of Balochistan. Backtrack a few decades and one can understand why nationalist policies and parties can easily gain momentum in the province. The country it is said to be part of has treated it cruelly. It’s not just the politics, basic necessities have been snatched away from the population of the most mineral rich province of the country. A bird’s eye view over the province is a sorry sight. Endless miles of barren land have a few patches of development here and there, scattered almost randomly and free from any order or plan. There is no gas and electricity in most of the province. Petrol is sold at road sides in empty plastic water bottles. It is a sorry state, the province of Balochistan.

And yet, even with all this angst, the people of the province have not been able to garner much support for their cause within or outside their province. The state has played smart in installing puppet feudals to do their dirty work and squash any uprisings. The military, besides influencing the politics of the province have been picking people up and dumping dead bodies in their place. It has managed to penetrate the deepest of separatist pockets and pick people up from the most unfriendly terrain. Military, as it shows, has long hands and even longer fingernails in Balochistan. Ask the locals, they can confirm this.

The tirade of Balochistan is to present the following point: no place is too secret or difficult for the military of Pakistan and yet, elements such as the Afghan Taliban continue to roam around free in the province. While Bugtis can be killed, the real terrorists are left to terrorize their communities. So shamelessly apparent is this fact that the Taliban call their council ‘Quetta Shura’, almost showing off exactly where they are ‘hiding’. No one complain about this. This is one of those ‘necessary evil’ facts; those that are better off kept hushed and shown off and emphasised and ignored according to the whims of the boots of Pakistan.