Skip to comments.Pakistan assails Iran over growing Baluch insurgency
Posted on 03/31/2005 7:09:56 PM PST by Wiz
KARACHI, Pakistan Pakistan has blamed Iran for fueling a growing insurgency in Baluchistan, the strategically sensitive province where militant tribesmen have launched a series of terrorist attacks in recent weeks.
Senior government officials say Iran is encouraging "intruders" from within its own Baluch community to cross the 550-mile border with the Pakistani province and give support to the rebels.
"All this violence is a part of a greater conspiracy," a senior Pakistani government official said. "These militants would not be challenging the government so openly without the backup of a foreign hand."
Pakistan's support would be essential for any U.S.-led action against Iran, whose fundamentalist Muslim regime was last week put firmly in the sights of the second Bush administration by Vice President Dick Cheney. "You look around the world at potential trouble spots Iran is right at the top of the list," Mr. Cheney said.
Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency set up a unit in the provincial capital, Quetta, last year to monitor suspected Iranian activity in Baluchistan. Officials say that in addition to directly supporting the insurgency, Tehran's state-controlled radio has launched a propaganda campaign against Islamabad.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Now I understand why Pakistan remains united with US.
..."..."All this violence is a part of a greater conspiracy," a senior Pakistani government official said. "These militants would not be challenging the government so openly without the backup of a foreign hand."...
That mysterious "foreign hand"---it wasn't Iraq, was it? It wasn't the Taliban was it?. Maybe it's,,,,maybe it's.....Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is one of Pakistan's best pals & a product out of their union was the Taliban.Whenever,you hear about the foreign hand in Pakistan-it's either those Injuns or their lousy JOOWISH allies.
Try reading the article, the 'foreign hand' is Iran. This has been welling up for the last few months. The Iranian-backed 'rebels' have been blowing up major power lines leading to the capitol city.
In the 70's Iran had helped Pakistan Army quell a Baloch rebellion. For Iran, an ethnic Baloch state will mean the Baloch struggle gaining ground in Iranian Balochistan too.
In Balochistan there was always an anti-Army anti-Punjab feeling. And this is being exploited by the remnants of Al-Queda/Taliban who want to "take their revenge" against Pakistan for supporting US in the WoT.
But if you ask a Pakistani, he'll tell you that either Israel or India is behind this spurt. I read on an Pak centric website called South Asia Tribune, they had run a 'special' on the Baloch situation, the culprits according to them was the CIA, Mossad, RAW and Kremlin.
For over 15 years now, every government in Islamabad has made the restoration of the supply of F-16s the centrepiece of its diplomatic and defence policies. Elected leaders and military dictators have made the pilgrimage to Washington to plead their case.
Successive ambassadors have spent their entire tenures in the American capital in a futile quest for the Holy Grail. And now, after all these years, Musharraf is the one to have hit the jackpot.
I suppose glasses of syrupy Rooh Afza must have been raised in toasts at GHQ and Air Force headquarters, and they must have danced a celebratory jig at the presidency. And once the two dozen F-16s of the initial consignment have arrived, I am sure Pakistani airspace will be more secure than ever before.
The problem is that the threat we face is not from the air, but from within. And F-16s, wonderful interceptors that they are, are useless against internal enemies. Consider our immediate neighbourhood: Afghanistan, despite its old reservations about the Durand Line and its claim on Pakistani territory, is too weak currently to pose a military threat.
Iran needs all the friends it can get in its present stand-off with the United States. And India, whatever our military strategists and nationalist, right-wing think tanks might say, has regional and global ambitions which preclude any desire to seek a fight with Pakistan.
Indeed, any objective observer will conclude that since 1948, Pakistan is supposed to have provoked armed conflict with India time and again. I am no apologist for New Delhi, but were I in a policy-making position there, my worst nightmare would be an unstable Pakistan on the verge of fragmentation. A war with Pakistan, with its potential for going nuclear, is the worst case scenario for Indian defence planners.
So what aerial threats are the F-16s going to guard us against? I am not suggesting that our armed forces should not modernize their equipment. We live in a dangerous part of the world where the security scenario does not take long to change. But the acquisition of the F-16s should not distract us from the fact that the real dangers that beset us are internal, whatever the source of their support and funding.
Recently, a reader e-mailed me an odd investigative report compiled by an organization called News Central Asia, based in Turkmenistan. Its website is given as www.newscentralasia. com, but as I am writing this from a very small town in Morocco, I do not have access to the Internet, and cannot comment on its credibility.
However, the four authors (including one Pakistani from Quetta) claim to have travelled 5,000 kilometres researching this report, and to have interviewed two ex-KGB officers in Moscow who were once tasked with fomenting trouble in Balochistan to punish Pakistan for its role in helping the Afghan resistance to the Soviet occupation.
'Misha' and 'Sasha', the two KGB sources, claim to have created the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) on the back of the old Moscow-leaning Balochistan Students Organization (BSO).
After the Soviet pull-out, the BLA became defunct for lack of funding, but was allegedly reactivated recently under a young man who studied electronic engineering in the Soviet Union where he was cultivated by the KGB.
According to this report, the first training camp was established in Kohlu in January 2002 by two Americans and two Indians. The authors make it clear that they have been unable to establish any official support from New Delhi for this clandestine venture, but do claim at least Pentagon backing for the American presence.
However, they do assert that the Indian consulates in Zahidan in Iran, and in Jalalabad and Kandahar in Afghanistan, have received a '700 per cent increase in their discretionary grant' last year.
They also claim that disassembled arms like AK-47s, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, mines, small anti-aircraft guns, ammunition and communication equipment are transferred from Kishangarh, an Indian village near the border with Pakistan where Balochistan and Sindh meet, to a transshipment point in Shahgarh, where these consignments are loaded on to camels, and then on to goods trucks where they are concealed by an upper layer of normal cargo. Apparently, they reach Kohlu in a few hours, as the distance is only about 180 kilometres.
Money, too, is pouring in. Allegedly, BLA foot soldiers are paid $200 each per month, while section commanders get $300 and above. Special bonuses are paid for successful missions. According to the authors, young Balochs are now driving around in flashy four-wheel drive vehicles.
Both 'Sasha' and 'Misha' assert that the difference in the two incarnations of the BLA is that this time, the sardars are in control when earlier, young, idealistic Balochs had been recruited.
Among the subjects taught at the training camps are 'Greater Balochistan', 'Baloch rights', 'Punjabi tyranny', 'sabotage as a tool for political struggle' and, intriguingly, 'media-friendly methods of mass protest'.
The report quotes the KGB officers as concluding that the entire conspiracy is aimed at splitting Balochistan away from Pakistan to create a corridor from Central Asia for oil and gas to be transported to America.
A secondary aim is to deny this area to China which is now in global competition with America for energy sources. Beijing's activities in Gwadar and elsewhere in the province are not viewed with approval in Washington.
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