Inaction, indifference


Unending sufferings of Balochistan

Balochistan has evoked interest among the Pakistani officialdom only for its gas, mineral resources and maritime potential. That the province is also inhabited by human beings who look up to the state for their economic and social development and to be treated at par with the rest of their compatriots has generally been forgotten. This has been the situation irrespective of whether the rulers were of the khaki brand or those wearing civilian clothes. As only few and ineffective voices were raised in the rest of the country against the inhumane treatment, the people of the province, particularly the Baloch developed a cynical attitude towards the federation and its institutions.

While the security of coal mines, power pylons and gas pipelines was sufficiently ensured, successive governments have singularly failed to provide security of life to those living in Balochistan. The deep sense of deprivation climaxed when Akbar Bugti was killed in Musharraf era after receiving threats from the military ruler. The subsequent operation by security forces and the phenomenal increase in the forced disappearances and killings of political activists added fuel to the fire. Failing to get relief from Parliament and courts a number of frustrated and misled youth are targeting settlers which is highly condemnable. However, state sponsored lawlessness usually gives birth to armed struggles. The other day Shahzain Bugti announced a bounty for Musharraf’s head. The Baloch youth, says Ataulah Mengal, do not want the province to remain a part of Pakistan.

Two reports presented before the SC have been rejected as unsatisfactory. Instead of being worried about the grim law and order situation, the administration remains unperturbed. The SC was stunned when the chief law officer of the province told the court the situation in Quetta “is not as bad as in Karachi” forgetting that Karachi’s population was more than three times that of the entire Balochistan province. Another official had suggested to the court to keep hearing of the case pending for an indefinite period. The frustration in Blochistan will rise to all time high in case the SC was to fail to relieve the sufferings of the Baloch.