Nawaz Sharif went to Sardar Mengal and listened to the latter’s tirade against the ‘Punjabi’ army and his much talked about hatred against Lahore, meaning thereby he endorsed the Baloch Sardar’s viewpoint that the situation had reached the point of no return. Imran Khan in his address to a rally also apologised to the Baloch people for the national misgivings. Meanwhile the prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, meaningfully declared year 2012 as the year of Balochistan. Khwaja Asif of the PML(N), himself a Punjabi from Sialkot, dubbed the security forces as “Punjabi army”. Whatever the political expediencies are, the issue of Balochistan is much more complex than the mere political rhetoric. This we need to have understood in its true perspective and spirit.

For example no one from political class of Balochistan comes forward to speak on the issue or at least give response to negative propaganda, which can be out of the fear of revenge attacks, threatening calls from the separatist elements and political expediency – which ultimately is tantamount to leaving a space for the anti-Pakistan elements. I think there were a lot many things which Nawaz Sharif had to clarify while standing with the Baloch Sardar Ataullah Mengal. Resultantly the onus is totally left on the army to clarify whether or not it is Punjabi. The doomsday prophets try to create a political simile of Balochistan with Bangladesh, whereas the demographic data dictates altogether a different picture, the sparse population stretched over a bigger chunk of land cannot trigger the civil chaos beyond a limited insurgency. 

The Punjabi Diaspora is intentionally targeted to give an impression of a simmering divide; the tactics of urban violence against Hazara community is also diabolic in nature. As for the Punjabi community they are the settlers since decades. There are news that the elements which are interested to stoke trouble are based across the Durand line, from there, in their regular dispatches they are spreading hatred against the Pakistani state and the Punjab.

Keeping 60 percent of Balochistan as B area for last 60 years is not a wise decision at all, look at Iran it has integrated all of its tribal areas into main stream territory. The road network just across Taftan is a living testimony that a wanderer can’t be a wanderer any more; at the door steps country roads are there to take you back and forth. The year 2012 is very important as for as the crisis of Balochistan is concerned. This is the right time that a comprehensive policy for political, social and economic reforms is announced. Balochistan is on fire no doubt, there has to be urgency in the country to solve it now. Otherwise it would go out of control. Blaming the Centre is just a cosmetic approach influenced by the anti-material available on the internet. Will the politicians and civilian setups in Balochistan accept their part of responsibility?

IMRAN JAMALI, ROJHAN JAMALI,

 Balochistan, January 4.