Saturday, September 15, 2012
http://www.thefrontierpost.comThe savage Mastung slaughter and the barbaric Khuzdar carnage brings out compellingly that the Balochistan problem is not what the political eminences, pundits, commentariat, civil society and even judiciary have given themselves to believe. The evil phenomenon of missing persons is certainly an issue and very tragic one at that. But it alone is not the Balochistan problem. It is the issue of the wholesale mayhem on so cruelly in the province with impunity. It is the systematic ethnic cleansing of the Punjabi-settlers and the Pakhtuns in the Baloch areas. It is the methodical turfing out of Urdu-speaking migrants. It is the organised killings of Hazaras. It is the death and maiming of the Baloch children, women and men in the insurgents’ landmine and IED blasts. It is the blood-drenched violence of foreign-funded and -armed proxies. It is their targeted killings of uniformed personnel and civilians alike. And it is the struggle of an enslaved people to get out of the stiflingly suffocating stranglehold of hereditary sardars, chieftains and their scions. It is the development of a land kept perpetually backward by local elites in collusion with their allies in the central power to the exclusive benefit of the regional powerbrokers and to the full detriment of the hapless and voiceless people in their serfdoms. Above all, it is the issue of governance, which for the present is non-existent to all intent and purposes. The multifaceted mayhem Balochistan is entangled presently necessarily requires an administrator of great vision, wisdom and imagination to steer the province out of the quagmire with an adept administrative skill and powerful development hand. But to its and its residents’ great grief, it has been landed with Nawab Aslam Riasani as its chief executive, who even doesn’t stay put in his domain and lives most of the time away from it but gets furious when told of this. He has almost the whole bunch of the provincial lawmakers in his ministry. They include sardars, chieftains and self-styled nationalists. Yet Balochistan is only sinking deeper and deeper in the mayhem. It is this mayhem that needs to be tackled if Balochistan is to return to normality, peace and tranquility for it to develop and advance and for its residents to live in safety and security and prosper. The vile incidence of missing persons should definitely come to an end. It is too tragic, and absolutely unacceptable and impermissible. But deaths in ethnic cleansings, sectarian massacres, targeted murders and terrorist slaughters are no lesser doleful. Surely, the kith and kin of the victims do not go out singing and dancing. The relations of the missing could at least have a hope, even if a distant one, of their loved one being alive and some day returning home. But these victims’ have not even that much. Their loss is for ever. And drooping with unbearable grief, they could have no stomach at all to make a “V” sign with their fingers, as do the missing persons’ while coming to the courts hearing their cases or staging protest demonstrations on the streets and before the press clubs or the parliament. And in spite of all the sympathy and compassion for the missing persons and their families, it is too much to give credence to the assertions that missing persons total to something like 14,000. That is just an offense to credulity. And while there is no doubt whatsoever about the fate of those who are felled by targeted killings, sectarian murders, ethnic cleansings and terrorist bombs and bullets, this clarity is just not there about the missing persons. A cloud of all sorts of suspicions, doubts and surmises cloak the vicious phenomenon of disappeared persons. One even wouldn’t know for sure if some of these unfortunate people have been done in really in fratricidal fracas, factional feuds and reprisals. In any case, the mayhem that Balochistan is presently bogged down in so terribly needs to be addressed as the highest state priority. It is certainly sitting on a powder-keg ticking to explode, albeit not the way the ignorant and uniformed pundits of all hues and stripes talk so glibly. It is not secession but an ethnic, sectarian and factional conflagration that will reduce it into a piece of land engulfed in total chaos and anarchy. Both the Quetta hierarchy and Islamabad establishment must know this. And they must get into the act right now to avert that horrific eventuality. Tomorrow will be too late.
President Asif Ali Zardari
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