Baluchistan has been in news for the atrocities of Pakistani Army on Baluch nationalists. Now with the unearthing of LeT and JuD terror training camps, it is clear that the process of cleansing Baluch was meant to create safe havens for the Jihadis
Hafeez Hassanabadi & Aveek Sen
26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed was released by Pakistan. This was immedittely after the United States removed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) from the same category as the Haqqani Network in the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA). As these two oeganisations were linked, Pakistan was in a fix, as it had a fear of losing the US aid. Now with the delinking of LeT from Haqqani Network, Pakistan need not worry about the same so ISI’s blue eyed boy Hafiz Saeed was immediately released. On the other hand, Hafiz Saeed’s organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), masquerading as an humanitarian NGO, is reincarnating itself as a political party, Milli Muslim League. to contest the 2018 general elections. On this backdrop, it is
interesting to see the nature of terror camps run by this known anti-India face, especially in the troubled region of Baluchistan.
Through Relief Work
Baluchistan due to its low population density has been used by Pakistan’s military establishment to shelter the terror outfits, including the Afghan Taliban. Its last leader Mullah Omar was also droned by US there. Hafiz Saeed has used this safe haven to spread the network of his extremist madrassas and terror training camps.
According to the Dawn report of 2016, in Baluchistan out of 10000 madrassas only 3000 were registered under the Societies Registration Act. In reality, the number is estimated around 14,000-15,000. This number had drastically increased after the 2013 earthquake in Awaran. Hafiz Saeed’s so-called NGO, JuD, could establish a deep rooted network in the name of “humanitarian and relief work”. In the remote rural areas, JuD activists reached out to poor and
uneducated people through different means like making reservoirs, digging wells, etc. Hafiz Saeed in one of the speeches claimed that around 10,000 wells have been dug by his organisation to provide drinking water to the people of Baluchistan.
This is just an indication of entrenching JuD network in a torned region. Tracing the Baluch freedom fighters is one of the key motivations in this. It is obvious that if poor people are provided with basic amenities like drinking water, then you develop a natural bond and get access to those areas easily.
The towns already have JuD madrassas. A major base for them is Faisal colony in Dalbandin town near the mountains. Most of their leaders stay there—Afghan Taliban, Daesh, Hafiz Saeed’s JuD/LeT and others; the leadership of all these terror organisations have camps there. The JuD recruit terrorists from madrassas in rural Baluchistan. They also have huge madrassas in towns—at Killi Jamaldini (place) and Qadir Abad in Nushki. Their main preachers/leaders keep visiting and in a way, it is an important base. Then also in other towns—Manguchar, Mastung, Khuzdar, Bela, Kalat, Kharan have dozens of madrassas. They have the support of Deobandis. Deoband doesn’t have their own madrassas but support these madrassas. As these places are closer to the Afghanistan border they find it easy to shuttle between Taliban controlled areas back and forth. Many locals are acquainted with the fact that many strangers from global terror outfits visit these areas. Their dressing sense/physical
appearance makes them easy to spot out. Now, Baluch Sarmachars (freedom fighters) take refuge in rural areas and the mountains. JuD is reaching there as well.
Key Commanders JuD/LeT have many key figures based in Baluchistan who actually control the operations on the ground.
- A key commander Munir Mulazai fought against India in Kashmir based in Kharan.
- Meer Amjad Mulazai—Head of death squad with headquarter in HQ in Kharan and Quetta. is very close to Hafiz Saeed
- Another key commander is Sheikh Saleemullah. He is originally from Baluchistan having local
operational understanding. One of the main leaders who also fought in Kashmir.
- Muneer, Samiullah, Maulana Qasim, Altaf Mulazai, Waseem Mulazai, Iqbal Tagapi form
the main leadership of JuD Baluchistan
After 2013 Awaran earthquake, they worked on a new modus operandi—establishing medical camps. Baluchistan lacks healthcare facilities as the federal government in Pakistan has completely neglected the region. JuD is taking advantage of it not only in Awaran but across Baluchistan. In concert with doctors affiliated to ISI, they establish medical camps for a week or two. As amessiah, the doctors can wean out information and can cultivate assets.
There are many outfits like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi that are functional in this area along with LeT providing shelter and training to the recruits. Inspite of being a different in their objectives and orientation, they cooperate with each other at the ground level. There is another vital point to be noted that these days, all the anti-social elements, criminals and wanted people of Pakistan are in Baluchistan under the protection of Hafiz Saeed who uses them as per desire. The other ISI outfits are also at his disposal. Doctors, teachers, criminals, outlaws, death squads etc can be used by the JuD Chief as per needs. A virtual parallel government is run by Hafiz Saeed in Baluchistan with the local administration purposely weakened by the central government. He has the direct protection and free access from the Pakistan’s military establishment. The death squads of the government are at his disposal, he can use them at will—to threaten people, to usurp someone’s land and to establish madrassas as terror training grounds. Money, muscle power and inducement—all he can use freely.
Now these elements are about to contest elections and may enter Parliament. Even earlier they were represented in the form of Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Maulana Sanaullah, Jamaat-e-Islami, etc. They change names and forms but are made of the same hydra. They do not offer Namaz at each other’s mosques but on two issues they are all united—Baluchistan and Kashmir; how to keep Baluchistan with Pakistan and how to break away Kashmir from India.
(Hafeez Hassanabadi is a Baloch columnist and Aveek Sen is a freelance journalist working on the geopolitics of India’s neighbourhood)