First Stanza – Early Reminiscence
Democracy and freedom of expression have always been at risk during dictatorial rules, and journalism had faced serious black-outs. Had the political spectrum remained stable, Pakistan would not have suffered another phase of insurgency. Did Akbar Bugti raise the slogan of rights? The answer is a simple no, as it started back in 1948, which is termed as the first phase of insurgency. The conflict that occurred soon after Balochistan (then Commissioner’s Province of Balochistan) became part of Pakistan in 1947 based on conditions that finance and laws will be dealt by the state and provincial autonomy will be given to Baluchistan. It was a part of Western Province of Pakistan until East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, became a separate sate in 1970s.
Second Stanza – Phases of Insurgencies
During all the years, the Balochis kept on raising their voice for their rights to control their resource, as they were promised under the autonomy grant – some by using the democratic channel and other via insurgencies. That happened in 1948, 1958, 1968 and 1973, marking in history as four phases of insurgencies. However, it is important to note that communism was in full-swing at that time, and its influence could be seen around the world – insurgency attempts by Balochistan for their rights was no exception. However, one thing was different as in today’s fifth phase of insurgency: Separation movement.
Third Stanza – Era of Akbar Bugti
Let’s not pull much information from those periods, let’s focus on the era of Akbar Bugti , who was the Chief of Bugti tribe, as well as former Governor and Chief Minister of Balochistan. Why there were no intense conflicts between him and the democratic governments as we see in the Musharraf era? It is hidden in historical facts, and many journalists like Zahid Hussain and Musharraf’s own people at that time like Senator Mushahid Hussain have disclosed. The rights claimed by the Baloch were not meticulous, provincial autonomy was the need and it was not a bogus demand at all. The issue that prevailed was that they had no control over natural resources, culture, and coasts. Sindh cried that issue as well but little diligently. Concerning Bugti’ version, whether it was ‘wrong way’ or ‘right way’, dialogues should have been the only option. Sadly, that happened. Prolonging to entertaining this request led to the incitement of anguish and anger among the Baloch people, especially Bugti who was the Chief of main tribe.
Fourth Stanza – Dangerous
After no serious dialogue attempts, when the reaction became stiff, the state realized that situation had turned into a danger. Why we waited for the situation to become so-called dangerous before even solving it through a proper channel? The answer is lack of political will and spectrum between the state and the people – the dictatorial rule. Instead of negotiations, the lashkers and militants were used. Earlier, there weren’t any sectarian factor involved, but later, the hate mongering sectarian people also joined such lashkers, such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, that caused more mess in the country than what Bugti issue was causing. Anyways, the latter trouble was deemed easy to tackle, so Bugti became the traitor and eventually he was killed in the mountains. What caused the Pakistan more trouble? You choose.
Fifth Stanza – Ego and Compromise
As per the statements of Senator Mushahid Hussain, Bugti wanted a reconciliation and was ready to make compromises as well. Furthermore, as per the analysis of renown journalist, Zahid Hussain, Musharraf showed anger on his article, “It’s War Now”. This egoistic war can be termed ‘complex’, but seeing form the context of the facts, it proves that Bugti showed flexibility. Had the strict surveillance and security-watch removed from his house, the dialogues could have occurred in a more diplomatic and civic manner. However, since there was no civil government, sadly that didn’t happen as well. Who had more ego and who had less – it is a zig-zag situation, but no one can deny that the end was drastic.
Sixth Stanza – Bugti Against Bugti
There is another verdict that supports the Musharraf’s action. It was from Sarfaraz Bugti who belonged to the same Bugti tribe. According to him, the action was justified and Bugti deserved it because of his anti-state mission. If we compare the journalistic facts and that of Senator Mushahid’s opinion, Sarfaraz’s opinion seems fictional. Mushahid said that the issue worsened when the rockets were fired during the address by Musharraf in Kohu on December 2005. However, it is still not completely investigated as to who fired them.
Seventh Stanza – Repercussions and Hope
Killing of Bugti started a new phase of insurgency – the freedom and separation movement. Earlier, such movements did exist but not in a loud fashion. This time, with the killing of Bugti, the educated population of Baloch involved themselves in this movement, especially the people of Makran. Now, it has involved the RAW agencies and other factors. Without any doubt, our current military is fighting for the great cause, as in the words of Aitzaz Ahsan, “They are fighting with the people, against whom there is no any defence weapon. Such militants are ready to blow up their jackets, and soldiers are risking their lives.” The current military is focused at restoration of peace and combatting the biggest issue that we are left with, “terrorism”. Our intelligences are working day and night to catch the heinous activities by RAW, especially in Balochistan. This is not the very military that we experienced before, it surely is building trust. Let’s hope that the mistakes made by the dictators in the past are not repeated, and let’s pray our military and government solve together the difficult challenges – extremism and terrorism.
It is CPEC era, and Gwadar port is a hope for increased trade in Pakistan. The current government has pressed to build better relations with the neighbouring countries and developments across the country, without marginalizing any province. If it happens, that will be the only solution for restoring the trust and faith of the people of Balochistan to the country and state machinery, and that is the only answer to the members of liberation movement.