Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Music Video - Da Zmungh Zeba Watan, Da Afghanistan Dai!!

#میں_بھی_افغان_ہوں #FarishtaMohmand #Farishta: Outrage over #Pakistan child murder

The family of a 10-year-old Pakistani girl who was abducted and murdered have said they were ignored by police when they tried to report her missing.
They say police told them the child might have eloped, and they were made to carry out errands for officers
Farishta vanished in Islamabad on 15 May and a body believed to be hers was found on 20 May.
Police are investigating if she was raped and tortured, and protests are being held to demand justice.
The individual police officers involved deny wrongdoing.
Hundreds protested in central Islamabad on Tuesday calling for justice.
The case has been compared to the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab Ansari in January 2018 - which sparked outrage and protests across the country. Calls for action are being made on social media, under the hashtag #JusticeFor Farishta.

What do the family say?

"The police didn't help us at all," Farishta's father Ghulam Nabi told the BBC at Tuesday's protest, which blocked a major intersection. "They would ask me to clean their office, to move their furniture, and to go get fruit for their Iftar [fast-breaking] dinner from the market.
"I was so distressed during those [four] days that I couldn't tell night from day."
n Wednesday, a case was formally registered against several police officials, alleging negligence. The chief of Shahzad Town police station, Muhammad Abbas Rana, has been suspended.
But he defended his and his officers' conduct, saying they had pursued the case and interviewed the family and neighbours on 16 May. He said the family were responsible for the delays in registering the case and that they did not follow it up properly. He denied they had been made to clean the police station.
A formal investigation was only launched on Sunday after a politician raised the case with the inspector general of Islamabad police.
The mutilated body of Farishta was found the following evening, triggering complaints that her life could have been saved had the police acted promptly.
Mr Nabi said that Mr Abbas Rana had initially refused to register a case - known as an FIR - telling him that his daughter might have "eloped with someone of her own free will". Mr Rana denied this.
Farishta went missing on Wednesday 15 May after she went out to play in the eastern Islamabad neighbourhood where her family lives. She did not return as expected when the evening call for prayer began at the local mosque - signalling the breaking of the daily fast.
At that time, families gather for a meal known as Iftar - and Farishta's absence triggered a panic.
After scouring the neighbourhood and checking with friends, her family went to the police to file a missing person report.
On Monday evening, their worst fears were realised when Farishta's body was found. After being told that the doctor meant to conduct the autopsy was on leave - and so it would be delayed - the family decided to stage a sit-in at the hospital.
They were joined by leaders and activists from the Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM), a group which advocates for the rights of Pakistan's minority Pashtun community, to which Farishta's family belongs.
They come from Mohmand, in north-west Pakistan, and are among tens of thousands of families displaced by Pakistan's war on terror in that region.
"The dead body lying in this coffin is not just mine but everybody's daughter," said Mr Nabi.

Iran gas pipeline deal with Pakistan hampered by US sanctions


Pakistan has backed out of a joint gas pipeline deal with Iran due to the threat of US sanctions. Pakistan could face a heavy financial penalty, as it promised to complete the project in a bilateral agreement with Iran.
Plans to complete a pipeline delivering Iranian gas to Pakistan stalled after Pakistan's energy ministry said last week that it could not continue with the project as long as Tehran was subject to US sanctions.
The pipeline agreement was first signed by Iran and Pakistan in 1995, and the US has repeatedly opposed the deal.
Iran completed its section of the pipeline in 2011, and reportedly offered Pakistan $500 million (€448 million) to help with construction. The estimated total cost of the pipeline is $7 billion (€6.2 billion).
The deal was originally conceived to deliver Iranian gas to India via Pakistan, but New Delhi withdrew from the agreement because of security issues and high costs.
Pakistan had singed an agreement to construct its section of the pipeline by the end of 2014. Under the conditions of the agreement, Pakistan could be subject to billions of dollars in penalties if it abandons the project. 
Pakistan's energy politics 
Pakistan has stepped up its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar, and has also been importing LNG from the US since 2017. At the end of 2018, more than 40% of Pakistan's power demand was met by LNG.
Omid Shokri Kalehsar, a Washington-based energy security analyst, told DW that Pakistan was planning to diversify its energy supply while investing in renewable energy.
"If Pakistan can attract foreign capital to build its infrastructure in the energy sector, it will not be easy to realize the Iran-Pakistan pipeline project," he said. "US sanctions are another factor that forces Pakistan to find a better alternative to Iran."
According to Kalshsar, increased tension between Tehran and Riyadh has spurred Saudi Arabia to try and reduce Iran's role in providing regional energy security. 
Additionally, during his visit to Pakistan in February, Saudi King Salman proposed various energy projects, suggesting that Saudi Arabia could replace Iran as Pakistan's energy provider — at least in the short term.
Tehran threatens legal action
In February, Iran sent a formal letter to Pakistan and said that it was going to seek legal recourse if Pakistan backed out of the pipeline deal.
Pakistan reportedly asked Iran to reconsider, and said it was seeking funds to construct the pipeline, but had failed to find international support due to US sanctions on Iran.
Despite dropping out of the gas deal, Islamabad has been working to strengthen ties with Tehran. In April, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Tehran and met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss boosting bilateral economic development. 
However, Peter Frankopan, professor of global history at Oxford University, told DW that the pipeline deal would have been problematic even without US sanctions for "cost, security and strategic" reasons.  
A 'dead' project
Tehran is desperately seeking allies after renewed sanctions from Washington. Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif visited New Delhi, shortly after India decided to follow US restrictions on buying Iranian oil.
Although Iran has massive natural gas reserves, sanctions, political tension and technology deficits prevent the country from taking full advantage of its gas resources. 
Iran currently exports 36.24 million cubic meters of gas every day. And although Tehran has announced plans to increase gas exports, its current share in the global natural gas market is less than 1%.
"This project appears to be dead in the water," Michael Kugelman, a South Asia expert at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, told DW.
"Tensions between India and Pakistan, resistance from Pakistan's Saudi ally, and the US sanctions regime on Iran are also formidable obstacles and preclude any forward movement." 
Fatemeh Aman, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a US international affairs think tank, told DW that Pakistan lacks both the funds and the will to complete the pipeline, and it does not want to spoil relations with its allies. 
"Pakistan's economic situation is much worse than when the project started," said Aman, adding that the pipeline would have had an enormous impact on the geopolitics of the region.
"Any multinational economic project, especially in the volatile South Asia region, could benefit the entire region and enhance its security," she said. "However, considering the current standoff between Iran and the US, along with the opposition of Iran's neighboring Arab states to this pipeline project, it seems that the project will not survive."

د ماشومې فرشتې د حيا پر لوټلو او وژلو د خواشينۍ ځانګړی پيغام #میں_بھی_افغان_ہوں

له هغې ورځې چې د لوی افغانستان جغرافيه په وجود نيمه شوې ده، له هماغه ورځې بیا تر ننه په لروبر کې د ناخوالو، وژنو شاهدان پاتې شوي يوو.
تر کله به زموږ په محکوم افغانستان کې زموږ پر حيا، ناموس او عزت ته د پنجابي تور لاسونه اوږديږي او د هرې ورځې په تېرېدو سره دغه جرايم پورته ځي او موږ پر دې يقيني يوو، چې پنجاب د پې، ټې، ايم په وجود کې د خپلې جغرافيې د ماتېدو حقيقي تصوير ويني.
په جنوبي او شمالي وزیرستان سربېره چې هلته پنجابي فوځ او ترهګرو وحشتونه کړي دي، ټول خبر يوو، خو دا چې اوس زموږ ولس د خپل حالت د بدلون او پنجابي عذاب څخه د خلاصون غږ پورته کړی دی، نو پنجابي اسټبلشمنټ، استخباراتي او فوځي ادارې د پښتون افغان د وژلو او پر ناموس يې د داغ لګولو هڅې زياتې شوې دي.
وړوکي لس کلنه پرښته چې پنجابي پوځ له ځان سره وړې وه، ډله ييز جنسي تېری کړی او بیا يې په شهادت رسولې ده، پنجابي پوځ زموږ په مال، سر او ناموس باندې هيڅ لاس نه نيسي، بلکې زموږ د تيت او پرک کولو لپاره له هرې حربې کار اخلي.
پنجاب دې حقيقت ته رسېدلی دی، چې نور يې په محکومه خاوره د اشغال او استبداد لړۍ خاتمه مومي او پښتون افغان له سره ژوند پيلوي.
موږ ډېر درېدلي يوو، د زېبا مومند د عزت لوټلو په هڅه کې پنجابی پوځي مردار شو، د خیسورې د حیات خان او اوس بیا د وړه فرښته مومند باندې جنسي تېری او مرګ د دوی د وحشت ښکاره بېلګې دي.
دې ملت د يووالي اراده لري، د خپل پت، عزت او سر خونديتوب د پنجاب په بربادۍ او ورکه کې ګوري، پنجاب به د خپلو ټولو وحشتونو پور پرې کوي.
په درنښت
جميل وقار
د لوی افغانستان تحريک ریس

پاکستان امریکی ڈالر سے جان چھڑا بھی سکتا ہے یا نہیں

12 مئی 2019 کو پاکستانی حکومت کے عالمی مالیاتی ادارے (آئی ایم ایف) کے ساتھ چھ ارب ڈالر قرض کے معاہدے پر اتفاقِ رائے ہوا تو اُس وقت ملک میں ایک ڈالر کے مقابلے میں روپے کی قدر 141 روپے تھی۔

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Video Report - #Pakistan's Crumbling Economy

ڈالر مزید اوپر، 154 کا ہوگیا، سونا بھی 600 روپے تولہ مہنگا

 کرنسی مارکیٹ ،ڈالر کی قدر میں اضافےکا تسلسل ،منگل کوانٹربینک مارکیٹ
میں امریکی ڈالر کی قیمت خرید میں مزید 1.25 روپے اورقیمت فروخت میں75پیسے دوسری جانب اوپن کرنسی مارکیٹ میں امریکی ڈالر کی قیمت خریدمیں 2.00 روپے اور قیمت فروخت میں2.60روپے کااضافہ ریکارڈ کیاگیاجس سے ڈالرکی قیمت نئی بلندترین سطح 154 پر پہنچ گئی، دوسری جانب انٹرنیشنل گولڈ مارکیٹ میں فی اونس سونے کی قیمت میں1ڈالرکااضافہ،مقامی صرافہ مارکیٹوں میںفی تولہ سونا مزید 600روپے مہنگا ہوگیا۔فاریکس ایسوسی ایشن آف پاکستان کی رپورٹ کے مطابق منگل کوانٹربینک مارکیٹ میں امریکی ڈالر کی قیمت خریدمیں1 .25 روپے اورقیمت فروخت میں75پیسے کا اضافہ ریکارڈ کیاگیا، جس کے نتیجے میں امریکی ڈالر کی قیمت خرید150.50روپے سے بڑھ کر151.75روپے اور قیمت فروخت 151.50 روپے سے بڑھ کر152.25روپے کی نئی بلندترین سطح پربندہوئی۔ اوپن کرنسی مارکیٹ میںپاکستانی روپے کے مقابلے میں امریکی ڈالر کی قیمت خریدمیں2 .00 روپے اور قیمت فروخت میں2.60روپے کااضافہ
ریکارڈ کیاگیا،جس کے نتیجے میں امریکی ڈالر کی قیمت خرید150.00روپے سے بڑھ کر152.00روپے اورقیمت فروخت150 .90روپے سے بڑھ کر153.50روپے کی بلندترین سطح پر پہنچ گئی۔یوروکی قیمت خریدمیں استحکام اورقیمت فروخت میں50پیسے جبکہ برطانوی پائونڈ کی قیمت خریدمیں50پیسے اورقیمت فروخت میں1.00روپے کا اضافہ ریکارڈ کیاگیا،جس کے نتیجے میں بالترتیب یوروکی قیمت خرید167.00روپے پرمستحکم اورقیمت فروخت169.50روپے سے بڑھ کر170.00روپے جبکہ برطانوی پائونڈکی قیمت خرید190.50روپے سے بڑھ کر191.00روپے اورقیمت فروخت193 .00روپے سے بڑھ کر194.00روپے ہوگئی ۔ فاریکس رپورٹ کے مطابق سعودی ریال کی قیمت میں20پیسے اور یواے ای درہم کی قیمت میں10پیسے کامزیداضافہ ریکارڈ کیاگیا،جس کے نتیجے میں بالترتیب سعودی ریال کی قیمت خرید40.10روپے سے بڑھ کر40.30روپے اورقیمت فروخت40.60روپے سے بڑھ کر40.80روپے جبکہ یواے ای درہم کی قیمت خرید40.90روپے سے بڑھ کر41.00روپے اورقیمت فروخت41.40روپے سے بڑھ کر41.50 روپے ہوگئی۔

Video Report - پاکستان میں کمسن بچی کا ریب اور قتل ۔ بی بی سی اردو سریبین 21 مئی 2019

Pakistan’s Iran conundrum



Michael Kugelman

It’s hard to identify any country that benefits from relentless US efforts to tighten the screws on Iran.
On November 21, 1979, Pakistani protesters stormed the United States embassy in Islamabad. They smashed windows and set fire to the building. By the time the Pakistani military had quelled the violence, the embassy had sustained extensive damage and several people — both Americans and Pakistanis — had died.The attack came at a tense moment for US-Pakistan relations. Several months earlier, Washington had cut aid to Islamabad over concerns about a new Pakistani uranium enrichment facility.
It came at an even tenser moment for Washington’s relations with Tehran. Iran’s Islamic revolution had played out over the previous months, with the pro-US monarchy having been overthrown and replaced by Ayatollah Khomeini. Two weeks before the assault on the US embassy in Islamabad, Iranian radicals had seized the American embassy in Tehran.
In fact, the attack on the American facility in Pakistan was triggered in part by a radio message broadcast by Khomeini in which he falsely claimed that the US was behind an assault on the Grand Mosque in Mecca that had taken place the day before.
The siege of the US embassy in Pakistan represented the most explosive moment for the US-Iran-Pakistan triangle — one that over the last 40 years has been marked by a hostile US-Iran relationship, a US-Pakistan partnership that has vacillated between cordial and confrontational and a delicate Iran-Pakistan relationship that has played out in the shadow of a Saudi state that is the former’s bitter rival and the latter’s close ally.A big question for this volatile triangle today is what Washington’s increasingly hard line on Iran might mean for Pakistan — and particularly as Prime Minister Imran Khan, through some strikingly pro-Iran messaging and a key recent visit to Tehran, has telegraphed a desire to take a more explicitly neutral position in the Saudi-Iranian regional rivalry.The answer underscores just how counterproductive an aggressive US position on Iran can be: American pressure on Iran undoubtedly disadvantages Islamabad — but it also imperils Washington’s own interests, as well as those of its closest friends in the broader region.In reality, it’s hard to identify any country that benefits from relentless US efforts to tighten the screws on Iran, particularly if the two sides find themselves on a collision course that leads to a military confrontation.For Pakistan, deepening US-Iran tensions and the risk of confrontation make all the more challenging Islamabad’s efforts to maintain a position of studied neutrality in the Iran-Saudi Arabia dispute. Riyadh — already enjoying some new leverage after its recent $3 billion gift to Pakistan — could pressure Islamabad to side with the Saudis in an unfolding US-Iran crisis.
Washington’s hardline Iran policy also poses problems for Pakistan’s energy security. The US sanctions regime hampers the ability of Pakistan, a nation badly in need of foreign energy resources, to acquire hydrocarbons from a top global supplier (nearly 90 per cent of Pakistan’s energy needs are currently met by imported crude and petroleum products from the Middle East).
And Washington’s tough sanctions on Tehran essentially ensure that the much-hyped Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline remains dead in the water.
And then there is America. Aside from providing an excuse for US Iran hawks to engage in some chest thumping, it’s hard to imagine an increasingly hardline Iran policy producing positive results for Washington.
Indeed, the worst-case scenario — the American use of force against Iran — would destabilise a Mideast region that has long been a powder keg and a source of concern for US policymakers. Even outcomes short of war, such as sky-high bilateral tensions and repeated US threats, spell trouble for American interests.
Here, consider the war in Afghanistan. Longstanding ill will in US-Iran relations has meant that Washington can’t consider using Iranian territory as part of an alternate supply route to convey Nato materiel to and from Afghanistan, should the current route in Pakistan be closed down — as it was during the serious crisis in US-Pakistan relations in 2011 and 2012.
Instead, Washington would have to depend on alternate routes through Central Asia, which are not only more circuitous and expensive than the Pakistani one, but also vulnerable to the machinations of Moscow. Nato’s Russian rival could try to hamper access to those alternate routes located in what it regards as its sphere of influence.
Additionally, US pressure on Iran raises the possibility that Tehran could retaliate by providing episodic arms support to the Taliban — assistance that US and Afghan officials suspect has already been provided, particularly during the insurgents’ offensive in the western Afghan province of Farah, bordering Iran, last year.Afghanistan, therefore, also suffers from Washington’s tough Iran policy. And so does India, the other top US partner in South Asia. The Iran sanctions regime hurts New Delhi’s energy interests, which look to Iran as a key partner, and its efforts to develop the Chabahar port project in southern Iran.Meanwhile, Iran’s Gulf neighbours, including Saudi Arabia, could suffer highly deleterious effects from a continued US-Iran confrontation — none more so than regional destabilisation (though to be sure, any higher global oil prices that result from a fresh Mideast conflagration would be a boon for these energy-producing states).As for Israel, arguably America’s most critical ally, if Iran were to be hit by US firepower, Israeli territory could well be one of the first targets of Iran-sponsored reprisals.
And yet, even with so many different countries affected by US-Iran tensions, Pakistan finds itself in a uniquely vulnerable position.
Islamabad has significant relationships with Iran’s US and Saudi rivals. It features a Shia population that according to the academic Vali Nasr exceeds 30 million (the largest number of Shias outside Iran). And it shares a border with Iran, so a potential US-Iran conflict could have direct spillover effects for Pakistan.
In the coming weeks, if US-Iran relations continue to deteriorate, Pakistan could find itself under increasing pressure from both Riyadh and Washington to distance itself from Tehran.
Fortunately for Pakistan, there are two pieces of good news here. First, history shows that Islamabad has successfully managed to withstand pressure from both partners.Pakistan never formally took a side in the Iran-Iraq war, despite Washington’s preference for it to be firmly in the Iraq camp. And in more recent years, Islamabad resisted Saudi Arabia’s attempt to drag it into Riyadh’s war in Yemen.Second, President Trump’s tendency to resort to sudden about-faces means that a march towards war is by no means assured. He hinted in recent days that he may be receptive to negotiations with Tehran.
Still, this much is true: US policy towards Iran isn’t about to magically become more conciliatory anytime soon — including after Trump has left office.
Much ink has been spilled about all the anti-Pakistan feeling in Washington. And yet, the US capital’s deep and often bipartisan hostility towards Iran makes its sentiment towards Pakistan seem jolly by comparison. Perhaps it’s because of the Iranian revolution, the serious threat that US policymakers think Iran poses to Israel, or their belief that Tehran sponsors and stages acts of instability.
Indeed, there are striking similarities between how many in Washington view Tehran and Islamabad: they are both perceived as destabilising players that use militant proxies to cause problems for US interests and American friends.
At any rate, whatever the reasons may be, Washington’s hostility towards Iran is real and relentless. In this regard, President Barack Obama’s bold move in 2015 to extend an olive branch and work with other world powers to conclude a nuclear deal with Tehran should be seen as an anomaly, not a new precedent, for US policy.
Consequently, Pakistan — and the rest of the world — may be spared a conflict between the United States and Iran. But this toxic and confrontational relationship, and the challenges it poses for Pakistan and the world, is likely to endure for quite some time.

How a dry well dashed Pakistan’s hopes of economic recovery

By SAAD HASAN
Premature statements about an 'untapped' oil field did more damage than the actual failure to find oil and gas reserves in country’s offshore Indus delta.

 Over the weekend, news came that the latest attempt to search for oil and gas reserves in Pakistan’s territorial waters was being called off. 
The drilling at the offshore Kekra-1 well should have been a routine affair. But for a country facing runaway inflation, slowing economic growth and high foreign debt, the project had assumed the role of saviour. 
From tweets to vlog, people have pondered over the prospect for days. Almost everyone appeared sure about a discovery from the well that was drilled 280 kilometers off the coast of Karachi. 
And none other than Prime Minister Imran Khan had fueled those hopes even though it was only an exploratory well and the consortium led by Italy’s ENI had days to go before confirming anything. 
“...if the indications we are getting from the companies are anything to go by, there’s a strong possibility that we may discover a very big reserve in our waters,” he told a group of journalists in March. 
In subsequent days, he and his ministers continued to talk about the well’s potential, adding to a social media frenzy. 
“It was very unwise on their part to make such statements,” says Masood Siddiqui, ex-CEO of OGDCL, Pakistan’s largest petroleum company which was part of the four-company consortium drilling Kekra-1. 
“It’s like playing a 5-day long test cricket match and announcing a winner on basis of the first inning,” he told TRT World
This was the 18th offshore well drilled in a region known as Indus delta, which is located in Pakistan’s territorial waters in the Arabian Sea. All previous attempts have so far failed to yield commercially viable reserves. 
“Oil wells turn up dry all the time. It’s not a big deal. But the matter was really politicised this time,” says Siddiqui. 
Since winning an election last August, Khan’s ruling Pakistan Tehreek Insaf has struggled to put economy back on track. A loan-deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has led to further devaluation of rupee, which was already Asia’s worst performing currency. 
Pakistan also faces an energy crisis where shortage of gas and electricity often hits households and factories. 
Fighting a multitude of problems and little to show for its performance, the government had come to rely too much on what was essentially an exploration attempt, industry people say. 
Siddiqui says the drilling was for what is known as an exploratory well, in which rig bits descend below the ground to estimate size of the petroleum reservoir. 
“Even if they had found something, it would have taken at least seven years to monetise it. Then there was also the question about its commercial viability.”
The cost of building a subsea pipeline for the ultra-deep well could run into millions of dollars, he says. 
Better luck next time
But industry veterans say Indus delta remains underexplored and similar geological formations elsewhere have oil and gas reserves. 
“The prospects are very high when you analogue Indus delta with other deltas,” such as Egypt’s Nile and Niger of Nigeria, says Khalid Rahman, the ex-CEO of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), which is also a partner in Kekra-1 joint venture. 
“There have even been discoveries on Indian side of Indus delta,” he told TRT World
Rahman, who was the CEO when PPL and ENI had drilled the last offshore well in 2010, says Khan’s government was trying to attract attention to foreign investment that had gone into Kekra-1 but ended up needlessly talking about it. 
False hopes and disappointment has now led way to conspiracy theories about the $100 million project. 
Somebody has started a WhatsApp conversation about how ENI used a redundant rig to get money out of the government, says Rahman. 
“This goes on to show a general suspicion and lack of thought. How can it be expected that other partners in the joint venture could have kept their eyes closed to something like that?” 
Petroleum exploration especially offshore drilling is risky and success comes after multiple attempts, he says. 
“There’s no need to give hope on something which is not certain.”

Video Report - Pakistan IMF deal: Rupee to be devalued against dollar

Pakistan has agreed on a deal with the International Monetary Fund to receive a $6 billion loan. But under its terms, its currency will have to be devalued against the dollar, and electricity and gas prices will increase. That is likely to prove unpopular. Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder reports from Islamabad.

Can Pakistan Protect CPEC?


Undoubtedly, Gwadar – the port city in Balochistan on the Arabian Sea —  is the backbone of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is why it has been in the center of media attention ever since the announcement of the multi-billion dollar project. In this regard, Pakistan’s prosperity is also linked to the development of the Gwadar port project. On some occasions, Pakistani officials have gone as far as to assert that Gwadar has the potential of changing the fate of the whole region.
But on May 12, Baloch militants carried out an assault in the heart of CPEC.
Three armed militants reportedly stormed the luxury Pearl Continental hotel in Gwadar. The attackers were killed, but only after killing five people inside the hotel and a soldier.
CPEC is part of China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative. It seeks to link China’s western and less-developed Xinjiang region with Gwadar in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. This plan will give China valuable access to the Arabian Sea.
From the beginning, China has been concerned about the threats to CPEC in Pakistan in general and in Balochistan in particular. The southern Pakistani province is home to a long-running insurgency by various Baloch ethnic militias aiming for independence. To address China’s concerns, Pakistan has taken action against militant groups, including banned religious outfits. Over the years, the Pakistani authorities have been able to restore peace in many areas that were previously volatile. There have also been reports of Baloch nationalist militants surrendering before the authorities.
But those gains have proven to be short-lived. The May 12 attack in Gwadar was not a one-off; in November 2018 Baloch militants attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi. Once again, these groups are gaining momentum and are carrying out attacks to show their presence. Clearly, the militants have only been driven underground, not exterminated once and for all.
The brazen nature of May’s attack was notable. Ever since CPEC was unveiled, security has been beefed up in Gwadar. The whole town of Gwadar city now resembles a military cantonment. Foreign journalists visiting Gwadar have not been allowed to enter the port city without “No-Objection Certificates” (NOCs). Locals who visit other areas of Pakistan are regularly asked to show their national identity cards to step back inside their own hometown. Despite these intense security measures, militants were able to attack a luxury hotel in the heart of Gwadar.
The Gwadar incident suggests that Pakistan has not been able to fully address Chinese concerns. Instead, these concerns are further compounding by the day. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has not been able to satisfy Chinese authorities over CPEC; it doesn’t help that under Khan’s government, there has been talk of renegotiating certain CPEC projects with China. Although those reports were later officially denied, the Chinese were taken aback at the new demands.
China wants CPEC to be successful at any cost. That is why the Chinese have been trying to reach out to some Baloch separatist leaders on their own. Yet those efforts have not borne fruit. On the contrary, things have become even uglier since China’s reported negotiations with Baloch separatists.
Baloch nationalists have shown their hostility toward CPEC from the very beginning. Baloch separatists have posted videos on social media vowing to carry out attacks against CPEC projects. According to them, these development projects are a threat to Baloch identity. In recent months, Baloch separatists have increased attacks in and out of the province. Last month, on April 18, around a dozen armed men killed 14 bus passengers in Ormara, Balochistan, including 11 members of Pakistan’s navy, coast guard, and air force. And as mentioned earlier, last year in November, the the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) carried out an assault on Chinese consulate in Karachi, in which two policemen and two civilians were killed.
Besides Baloch nationalists, ordinary Balochs are also apprehensive about the future of Gwadar port project. Many Balochs are concerned that they are going to be outnumbered by a wave of outside migration to the province, as more non-Balochs come hoping to reap the benefits of CPEC. As a whole, Baloch fear that they will lose their identity if they are outnumbered in their own province following the development of Gwadar and completion of CPEC projects in Balochistan. Meanwhile, shockingly, there is a dearth of clean drinking water, electricity, and other facilities for the locals of Gwadar, the epicenter of CPEC.
The government of Pakistan has failed to address these apprehensions. Instead, these fears are only increasing. For instance Gwadar’s local fishermen are being displaced, gradually but noticeably, from their main site of fishing in the name of development. If the government involved locals in the overall development of the Gwadar port project, the Balochs themselves would stand like a wall against any untoward incidents. But instead of getting local buy-in, the authorities are doubling down on militarizing Gwadar. This security-centric approach cannot prevent all attacks, as May 12 proved.
The recent attack on the only five-star hotel in Gwadar – with the explicit goal of targeting foreigners — has raised some serious questions about the security of CPEC. Already, foreign investors, including Chinese, have security concerns about investing in the province. Under these circumstances, the state of Pakistan needs to provide a secure environment to investors, so that they will not shy away from investing in Balochistan in general and in Gwadar in particular. But before doing that, the state must involve the local Balochs in the overall development of the Gwadar and CPEC projects. If not, the situation in Balochistan will continue to deteriorate, which does not augur well for the future of the port town.

Pakistan: Ethnic Backlash In Balochistan – Analysis

By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Unidentified militants opened indiscriminate fire on labourers working in an agriculture field in the Manjho Shori area of Naseerabad District in Balochistan on May 15, 2019, killing three of them and injuring one. The deceased had come from Tando Adam area of the Nawab Shah District in Sindh, and were daily-wage labourers. The attackers managed to escape. Though no group has so far claimed responsibility for the killing, Baloch insurgent groups have a history of killing non-Baloch labourers.
In the intervening night of April 17 and 18, 2019, unidentified assailants shot dead at least 14 passengers after forcibly offloading them from a bus plying on the Makran Coastal Highway in the Ormara area of Gwadar District. Reports indicate that around 15 to 20 armed assailants wearing Security Forces’ (SF) uniforms stopped five or six buses travelling between Karachi (Sindh) and Gwadar (Balochistan), checked the identity cards of passengers, and offloaded 16 of the passengers from just one bus. Two of the offloaded passengers managed to escape despite sustaining injuries. Balochistan Inspector General of Police Mohsin Hassan Butt described the incident as a “targeted killing”. Baloch Raji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS, Baloch National Freedom Front) claimed responsibility for the killing.
On March 24, 2019, Police recovered three bullet-riddled bodies in the Zadin area under Rakhni tehsil(revenue unit) in Barkhan District. All the three deceased were residents of the Dera Ismail Khan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). No group claimed responsibility for the killings.
According to partial data compiled by South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a total of 229 ‘outsiders’ have been killed in Balochistan since the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti, leader of the Bugti tribe and President of the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP), on August 26, 2006, (data till May 19, 2019). Bugti was killed in a military operation in the Chalgri area of the Bhamboor Hills in Dera Bugti District.
Baloch insurgents have essentially targeted people from other provinces. However, out of the 229 ‘outsiders’ killed, at least 178 were Punjabis alone. Eight Punjabis were killed in 2018; 23 in 2017. There were no such fatalities among Punjabis in 2016. The number of Punjabi fatalities in the Province stood at 22 in 2015; 17 in 2014; 29 in 2013; 26 in 2012; 13 in 2011; 21 in 2010; 18 in 2009; and one in 2008. No such fatalities were recorded in 2007 and 2006. While Punjabis have been the main targets, other non-native persons also fell to the ethnic collateral damage. Out of 51 non-Punjabi ‘outsiders’, 33 were Sindhis, while the ethnic identity of the remaining 18 is unascertained.
A series of attacks on ‘outsiders’ in Balochistan, as well as the destruction of national infrastructure followed the killing of Akbar Bugti. These killings have been orchestrated by Baloch insurgent groups such as the BLA, Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and the Baloch Republican Army (BRA), among others, who began to voice anti-Punjabi sentiments in their campaigns in the wake of the military action against Bugti. A media report published on June 28, 2011, noted, “Almost all non-Baloch are on their hit-list.” Muhammad Khalid of Balochistan-Punjabi Ittehad stated, “The militants began to target the Punjabi settlers after Nawab Bugti was taken out by the military (in August, 2006). Before that there were occasional incidents in which Punjabis were targeted.”
Significantly, most of the Punjabi settler killings were recorded in South Balochistan, which accounts for 156 killings out of the total of 178, (principally in Bolan, Kech, Gwadar, Panjgur, Khuzdar, Sibi and Lasbela Districts); and 27 in North Balochistan (mostly in Nushki, Quetta and Mustang Districts). The overwhelming concentration of such killings in the South is because of the presence and dominance of Baloch insurgent groups in this region, while the North is dominated by Islamist extremist formations such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), who engage principally in sectarian killings.
Forced disappearances engineered by Pakistani SFs are another reason behind the targeted killings of non-Baloch persons in the region. According to partial data compiled by the SATP, of the 4,317 civilian fatalities recorded in Balochistan since 2004 (data till May 19, 2019), at least 1,378 have been attributable to one or other terrorist/insurgent outfit. Of these, 435 civilian killings (263 in the South and 172 in the North) have been claimed by Baloch separatist formations, while Islamist and sectarian extremist formations – primarily Islamic State, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), TTP and Ahrar-ul-Hind (Liberators of India) – claimed responsibility for another 943 civilian killings, 860 in the North (mostly in and around Quetta) and 83 in the South. The remaining 2,939 civilian fatalities – 1,708 in the South and 1,231 in the North – remain ‘unattributed’. It is widely believed that Security Agencies are busy with “kill and dump” operations, particularly in the Southern region, against local Baloch dissidents, a reality that Pakistan’s Supreme Court has clearly recognized.
Irked, by such killings the Baloch insurgent groups target non-Baloch people or even some Baloch whom they suspect to be spying for the SFs. At least two labourers (ethnicity not known) were killed when unidentified militants opened fire on a coal mine in the Khosat area of Harnai District on May 9, 2019. After the incident, Frontier Corps (FC) personnel rushed to the spot and a vehicle carrying the FC personnel hit a landmine, resulting in three FC fatalities. BLA claimed responsibility for the attack in an emailed statement from Jeehand Baloch, a BLA spokesperson: “We want to make it clear to the local spies and death squad groups of Pakistan Army that they will not be forgiven for their crimes.”
‘Outsiders’ are also targeted as the Baloch groups believe that they are helping Islamabad push forward its China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. The Project according to Baloch nationalists, brings no benefit to the Baloch, but constitutes just another tool for their exploitation. Not surprisingly, since its inception in Pakistan on April 20, 2015, CPEC has been under attack from Baloch insurgents. According to official figures 44 people had died and over 100 wounded in “attacks targeting CPEC projects mainly road construction in Balochistan, which began in 2014” till September 8, 2016. Since September 9, 2016, according to partial data compiled by SATP, at least another 31 persons have been killed in attacks targeting CPEC-related projects across the Province (data till May 19, 2019), including the most recent attack on May 11, 2019, in which four terrorists stormed the luxury Zaver Pearl-Continental Hotel, in Gwadar in Balochistan. The Hotel had around 70 guests at the time, including 40 Chinese nationals. Nine persons, including four hotel employees, one Pakistan Navy soldier and all four attackers, were killed during the eight-hour long siege.
Amidst all this, overall fatalities in the province are on the rise. Between January 1 and May 19, 2019, a total of 127 fatalities (58 civilians, 39 SF personnel, and 30 terrorists) have been recorded. During the corresponding period of 2018, the number of fatalities stood at 108 (39 civilians, 39 SF personnel, and 30 terrorists). Through 2018, there were a total of 381 fatalities (239 civilians, 79 SF personnel, and 63 terrorists). There were 343 total fatalities in 2017. Fatalities had registered declining trends between 2014 and 2017. 
Baloch insurgents have been fighting continuously against Islamabad’s coercion for more than a decade – and, indeed, intermittently for over seven decades – demanding independence for the ethnic Baloch areas of the country. They argue that the Province has been neglected by the Pakistani state and exploited for its mineral resources, and that the ‘outsiders’ that are being targeted by the insurgents are agents of Islamabad. Islamabad has done little to alleviate conditions in Balochistan, or to address the grievances of its people.