The General across the border has been sermonising India day in and day out telling us that military force can never solve political problems and that ?freedom fighters? shouldn'tbe treated like terrorists. He never lost half a chance to interfere in our internal affairs but is now greatly upset that New Delhi has ?interfered? in Pakistan'sinternal affairs by expressing grave concern over the killing of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the leader of Baluchistan'sstruggle for autonomy and share in country'sprosperity. President Musharraf was the first to congratulate his armed forces for eliminating Bugti and had told his Corps Commanders and the Prime Minister that ?other miscreants? too would be given a similar treatment. So, Bugti was a ?miscreant? and others who want autonomy, fair play and freedom from Punjabi-dominated army rule are all ?miscreants? that deserve bullets. Pakistan had deployed helicopter guns and heavy artillery against rebel forces in Baluchistan and other tribal communities that had been fighting since 1947 for a share in the profit from natural resources in tribal areas. Why is the army now trying to backtrack and claims that Bugti was killed not by the army commandos but by a blast in the cave from within? Does it now realise that it has committed a blunder and wants to wash its hands off the political crime it has committed?
While ruthlessly crushing rebels in his backyards, the General had been lecturing us to enter into a dialogue with pro-Pakistani elements in J&K that have killed several thousand innocent citizens and forced out 400,000 Kashmiri Hindus from the state making them refugees in their own land. Killing of Islamic terrorists, funded by Pakistan and other Islamic countries, by security forces in encounters attracts prompt criticism from Islamabad. The General asserts time and again that his government will continue to lend moral and material support to ?freedom fighters? in gross violation of the solemn pledges given to Indian Prime Minister that Pakistan would not allow territory under its control to be used by terrorists. There is a huge gap between what the General says and what he does.
Unlike J&K, which was legally and constitutionally merged with India, Baluchistan and NWFP are the two regions that were forcibly annexed by Pakistan with the support of the colonial rulers. These regions never wanted to be part of the country. The British had allowed tribal communities in these areas to have enormous autonomy and used them as buffer states between British-ruled India and its northern neighbours. Islamabad tried to bulldoze Baluchistan into submission. The highly educated and articulate Bugti perhaps realised that freedom from Pakistan was not immediately feasible. He, therefore, fought for autonomy and a reasonable share in the profits from natural resources, particularly gas and oil. He was one of the most ?moderate? tribal leaders of Baluchistan. Far from reaching out to him and trying to sort out the issues through negotiations, Pakistan army targeted him and hounded him out to the hills where he took refuge in caves. Bugti'swell-armed and resource-rich tribe responded by inflicting heavy losses on the Pakistani establishment by rocket attacks on infrastructure and military outposts.
Pakistani media and intelligentsia are, by and large, of the view that the dead Bugti is more dangerous for Pakistan than he was when alive. His martyrdom, which, according to media reports, he was looking for, has made him a symbol of freedom movement. The Baluch leadership has on its website mourned the death of its icon and blamed ?military dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf and his ethnic Punjabi brethren? for his killing. It goes on to say that the Nawab had sacrificed his life to ?liberate his people from the chains of slavery imposed on them by the Muslim Punjabi raj in Pak-occupied Baluchistan?. Calling Pakistan and Iran the two rogue Islamic Republics, the website calls upon Baluch warriors to wage a battle against these governments as the Baluch nation was at war with them. Pakistani media is equally critical of the General. The Daily Times described the killing of Bugti as the ?biggest military blunder? after the assassination of the former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The Dawn points out that Pakistan'stroubled political history shows that whenever force was employed to solve a political problem, it had recoiled with ?terrible consequences? on Islamabad. Is it not a broad hint about what happened in 1971 after force was used to crush the Bangladeshi movement?
The revolt in Baluchistan, the trouble in NWFP and the unrest in Sindh, to mention only a few, are not good signs for the future of this failing State. Many sections of present Pakistani establishment perceived Islamabad establishment as a Punjabi-dominated military dictatorship. Events have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that Islam is not a strong glue to keep Pakistan together. Is the country?which has been gleefully exporting terrorism and supporting separatist movements in India?is on the verge of disintegration? I, for one, am in total disagreement with the worthies who think a stable and strong Pakistan is in India'slong-term interests. Pakistan has attacked us thrice since partition?1948, 1965 and 1971. Every time we fought back with determination but lost on the table what the armed forces won on the battlefield. New Delhi has absolutely no role in creating trouble in Pakistan nor does it want to fish in troubled waters of Pakistan. But if it disintegrates for its faulty philosophy and shortsighted policies in handling demands for autonomy and parity in development, why should we be unnecessarily worried? Pakistan was born out of sin?and Indian leadership can'tescape blame for their folly in letting the vivisection of the motherland. If Jinnah'sPakistan is unable to sustain itself, only the bleeding hearts among our ?liberals? will shed tears.