| by Adeenag Baloch
(November 08, Balochistan, Sri Lanka Guardian) Insurgencies, wars of freedom and autonomy, and other armed conflicts never gain success against states because they fail to understand the presence of state structure in the area of conflicts. They often consider state its military, and often it becomes their focal point of attack. Occupation and colonization are much more than military presence, and these are not ends itself but a mean for several ends.Until states realize that means are impossible to fulfill, the occupation will continue, and insurgencies would continue or die down after being exhausted of resources, person and ideology.
|Photo by Karlos Zurutuza: Baloch children drawing water from Helmand River|
There is a web of state elements that synchronize to achieve these ends. The web in other words is called colonial structure or state structure, depending upon the perspectives it is looked upon.
The question arises here : what is the Pakistani state structure in Balochistan and how effectively Baloch war of freedom or Insurgency in Balochistan has been striving to dismantle it.?
Pakistani colonial structure in Balochistan consists of military and paramilitary garrisons, intelligence agencies, military economy, Mullah backed by military and agencies and their struggle for Talibanisation, sardars and local chieftains, police and levies, governmental departments, school and text books, political parties and drug mafia and smugglers, colonial political settlements to bring demographic change in strategic areas. The center of all these forces is military garrisons.
The soft power includes propaganda and colonial confusion. The propaganda aims at creating a Pakistani nationhood against Baloch Nationalism. Colonial confusion is the major tool of Pakistani occupation of Balochistan. It aims at creating a situation where nothing is clear, everything looks a jumble of things, divided and confused. In the underneath of colonial confusion it carries upon its notorious goals.
These all are elements of the web. So what is the end(s)? There are two major ends of occupation of Balochistan: strategic interests, and Balochistan natural resources upon which military Inc is bludgeoning.
Balochistan borders with Afghanistan and Iran. Afghanistan has territorial claims with Pakistan. Shiite iran looks Pakistan with suspicion as a nuclear Sunni extremist state. Balochistan gives Pakistan a strategic advantage to fight war in a colonial territory instead of its mainland in case a war erupt with Aghanistan which claims Pashtun territories as afghan territory carved out from it during British colonial rules in the ninetieth century.
Without Balochistan, Pakistan is a landlocked country. It has no coast of its own. No coast means no naval establishments. Bordering with an independent Balochistan, Afghanistan and India, Pakistan will be a small, resource less, landlocked, demilitarized, denuclearized, and dependant state which will never be capable to spread extremism, wage war, and export uranium to rogue states.
Since sources of navy, uranium, gas, petroleum and other natural resources are in Balochistan, an independent Balochistan will deprive Pakistan of all these. Pakistan military with its empire of military economy, exporting extremism, uranium and nuclear technologies to rogue states considers an independent Baluchistan as an existential threat.
Other than strategic importance, Balochistan is the center of Pakistan’s military Inc. All the resource trade, road construction, developmental projects, drugs trade, human smuggling, fish trade, live stock and real estate are either owned by Pakistan military empire or being directly carried out under its supervision. Military is the biggest beneficiary of the economy in Balochistan.
According to Dr Ayesh Sidiqa, in her ground-breaking study “Inside Pakistan Miltary Inc”, The Pakistani military’s private business empire could be worth as much as £10bn. Retired and serving officers run secretive industrial conglomerates, manufacture everything from cement to cornflakes, and own 12m acres [4.8m hectares] of public land. Five giant conglomerates, known as “welfare foundations”, run thousands of businesses, ranging from street corner petrol pumps to sprawling industrial plants.”
To protect the Military Inc in Balocistan, the military has erected a structure where each element of it is centrally controlled, choreographed and synchronized. Military and so called paramilitary forts act as branches with reporting responsibilities to the head office located in Quetta. The branches or local units are independent in operations but they follow a centrally adopted policy with strong regulatory compliance obligations.
A unit is locally structured. It includes local security forces and intelligence agencies, law enforcement machinery, colonial department of justice, political parties and Mafia. Political parties seemingly less powerful and divided into different small parties are the marketing and information backbone of the colonial structure.
The marketing functions that political parties carried out include control of local media and propaganda which aggrandize military power, terrorize locale population with such rumors as ISI and other intelligence agencies following you, condemning freedom fighters activities, distortion of fact and Balochistan history, presenting Baloch as incapable species widely indulged in internal intrigues, tribal clashes, disunity and most importantly strongly supporting Pakistani military manufactured ideology of “ Muslim Brotherhood”. They indirectly condemn Baloch Nationalism and idea of an independent Balochistan which they claim could result into a civil war. it should be noted that these political parties include National Party, BNP ( Awami), and all most all which are called by Baloch Nationalist as Parliamentary Parties.
Information functions of political parties include intelligence gathering, collecting and codifying data about anti-state activities, watching the movement of freedom fighters, and making the list of individuals considered potential threat to the colonial structure. Recently these functions have widely increased because Baloch freedom fighters have successfully dismantled the formal operations of intelligence agencies run by Punjabi and Pathans. Since Punjabi and Pathan cant openly roam in the fear of being attacked, the intelligence functions have been outsourced to the political parties. The political parties have proved more effective in intelligence gathering thanks to their local presence.
The Baloch freedom fighters have time and often warned such political parties not to work as instrument of occupant forces. the outsourcing of intelligence functions to political parties has brought freedom fighters in open conflict with them. Recently, Freedom fighters have taken responsibilities of killing cadres of few parties including National Party (NP). It’s inevitable that being a part of colonial structure, the freedom fighters will attack them. To the Baloch freedom fighters it is not a war against military but the overall colonial structure in occupied Balochistan. Without dismantling of it, the cause of an Independent Balochistan will always remain a dream.