Former Pak Minister: Balochistan may become ‘East Pakistan’
For the first time a senior Pakistan leader, former Interior Minister Rehman Malik, has agreed that Balochistan may become a ‘East Pakistan’. As usual, he blamed India, and US, for fomenting discontent in the impoverished province, white-washing large-scale suppression by Pakistan Army, resulting in thousands of dead or disappeared balochs.
Over 3 million Banglas, a majority of them Hindus, were butchered by Pakistani Army in East Pakistan before Indian Army stepped in to help Bangladesh gain independence in December 1971. Balochistan in Western Pakistan, is facing a similar violent struggle.
Rehman, who was minister from 2008-13 in Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party government, told media that India was helping separatists in the province.
“I feel that an East Pakistan-like situation is being created in Balochistan as the role of Mukti Bahini is being played by India in collaboration with Afghanistan and duly backed by the West,” he droned on.
He said during the tenure of the previous PPP government he had given a five-hour-long briefing to the Senate on Balochistan in which he had provided proof of separatist leader Brahmadagh Bugti’s alleged links with Indian agencies.
Brahamdagh Khan Bugti (Urdu: براہمدغ خان بگٹی) is the founder and leader of the Baloch Republican Party, a Baloch nationalist group. The Pakistani government accuses Brahamdagh Bugti of leading the Baloch Republican Army, a separatist group designated as a terrorist organisation in Pakistan. He has lived in exile, first in Afghanistan and later Switzerland.
Rehman also referred to some speeches of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially those he delivered in Bangladesh and on the occasion of India’s Independence Day, and said that Modi was fanning the flames of fire in Balochistan.
He urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take serious notice of conspiracies being hatched against Pakistan and take all necessary steps against elements behind them.
Rehman also criticised the US policies towards Pakistan and said that the joint declaration signed between India and the US in September last year and June this year were attempts to pressurise Pakistan.