'Balochis want to reform the existing order'
Sanaullah Baloch, a Senator from the Balochistan National Party-Mengal, handed over his resignation to the secretary of the Senate on June 6, 2008, as a sign of protest over the issue of the use of natural resources of his province. Earlier, other lawmakers of his party had resigned after the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti but, at that time, Senator Sanaullah Baloch was in exile. The moment he was able to reach the Senate, Sanaullah Baloch registered his protest and resigned to highlight the issues of underdevelopment in Balochistan. TNS talked to him about his position on the relationship between the Centre and Balochistan.
By Saeed ur Rehman
The News on Sunday: What do you think is the solution of the Balochistan issue? As far as we can see, the military solution does not seem to have worked.
Sanaullah Baloch: The central government's military strategy has totally failed in Balochistan. The military solution, as designed in Islamabad, has only resulted in radicalising those Balochis who believed in democratic solutions. Even those Balochis who believed in the political process and a dialogue now believe that Islamabad just does not want to see Balochistan peaceful, prosperous and developed. What the government calls an insurgency is actually a political and economic unrest. You can observe the pattern here. Wherever there is any political dialogue possible, people do not often resort to violence in those areas. There is only one solution: political and economic unrest can only be calmed through political and economic solutions. The military solution will never work. Islamabad has to change its militarised mind-set.
TNS: Can you please elaborate what you mean by 'political and economic unrest'?
SB: It is not possible to keep circulating the old myths anymore. Now the media, the global information channels, and free access to all kinds of political information have convinced the people of Balochistan that our poverty and backwardness is not caused by our own leaders. That kind of disinformation does not work anymore. Now people know that we are being exploited along with our resources. All the gas, coal, and other natural resources are being used for the benefit of the central government. We are not even getting any indirect benefits.
Now there is a feeling that Balochistan has been deliberately kept underdeveloped lest the people start demanding their share of these benefits. Islamabad should modernize non-military institutions in Balochistan too. Whenever it wants, it starts pouring in money to upgrade the police, the paramilitary and the armed forces in Balochistan. Other types of development are also needed here. And the people of Balochistan have to be involved in this non-military development.
TNS: What are the reasons for the surge in militant activities we have seen in the last six or seven years?
SB: The reason is simple. There was a nationalist movement that demanded equal rights for the Balochis. That movement was crushed in 1977. The process of a political dialogue with Islamabad was cut off. In the absence of any political options, people started resorting to militancy. In 1999, after the arrival of Musharraf on the scene, the exploitation of our natural resources, such as oil, copper, gold, and coal, increased manifold. But the benefits of all the economic activity were not shared with our people. This really disheartened the Balochis. Now you can see the consequences.
TNS: What should the government have done instead?
SB: It should have listened to the Balochis and addressed their grievances. It should have shared some of the profits with the people and should have spent some money on building civilian institutions in the province.
TNS: The government says that the sardars are against any kind of development in the province and want to keep their people enslaved in the tribal culture.
SB: That is how the government justifies its oppression and exploitation. We actually want schools, colleges, and universities in the province. If Islamabad is really sincere in developing the non-military institutions here, they should build a university and call it Nawab Akbar Bugti University? Nobody will be against it.
TNS: Has there been any investigation into the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti?
SB: Even an FIR has not been registered. The new provincial assembly has condemned the murder in its inaugural session and adopted a resolution to request a UN probe into the murder. Let us see what comes of this.
TNS: Do you think all this is also linked with the problems of representation? The issue of who represents whom in the media? It is quite convenient for a centrist journalist to ask a Balochi what his or her problem is. But the Balochis should also be allowed to represent themselves, without any filtering.
SB: Yes. There are many senior journalists, anchor people, reporters in Balochistan who are actually disallowed to produce news about their own province. International media personnel are not allowed direct access to Balochistan. There are too many bureaucratic hurdles even if any international journalist applies for the NOC (no objection certificate) to visit Balochistan. The situation can be described as an 'information blackout'.
TNS: What is your position regarding the Balochistan Liberation Army?
SB: We, as members of the Balochistan National Party, believe in the political processes: hunger-strikes, processions, rallies, protests, and verbal campaigning. Ours is not a violent political agenda therefore we have nothing to say about the Balochistan Liberation Army. Nobody has a monopoly over truth. But, because the government has convinced the people of the futility of political activism, the result is an increase in violent activism. You should ask the rulers why they have encouraged violence by eliminating the political means of seeking redress.
TNS: What is your position on the financial awards? Should the Centre distribute financial awards according to the population of a province?
SB: If they want to give us the financial share according to our population, they should also ask all the provinces to contribute their sources according to the size of their population. It is unfair that you take all the natural resources of a province with impunity and, when you have to give something back, you start talking about the size of our population. That is why Balochistan is not developing.
TNS: When was there any change in the rules of the NFC (National Finance Commision) awards?
SB: The last NFC award was given in 1997. Since then there has not been any new award. This is a clear violation of the Article 160 of the Constitution.
TNS: What do you think about the recent goodwill gestures of the government? The government has apologised to the people of Balochistan and set many political prisoners free.
SB: It is our right. If someone starts considering us equal citizens of Pakistan, it is not something extraordinary but an acknowledgement of what we already deserved. The Constitution guarantees the freedom of movement, the freedom of peaceful assembly, and the freedom to a fair legal procedure. If someone keeps you in detention for months and years without any trial and then releases you, I don't think it is a goodwill gesture. It is an admission of a mistake. Our rights should be given to us readily and not as a by-product of any goodwill gestures. And, as long as there is no substantial change in the policy for Balochistan, these goodwill gestures are useless. The freedoms that political activists of other provinces take for granted are given to us as goodwill gestures. This is not going to work.
TNS: Why do you think the government can have a dialogue with the Taliban but not with the moderate forces of Balochistan?
SB: You should ask this to the government. How can they sign numerous peace treaties with the Taliban but not with the Balochi activists? The problem is that our struggle is purely political and democratic. If they agree to our demands, the members of the establishment will have to relinquish some of their powers. When they listen to the demands of the Taliban, the dialogue and peace treaties do not cut into their power. The Taliban want to establish a parallel order of governance which does not dilute the powers of the government, whereas the Balochis want to reform the existing order and make it more people friendly. That is a major difference.
TNS: Is it not ironic that the promoters of the so-called 'Enlightened Moderation' do not want to have any dialogue with the moderate and democratic forces of Balochistan?
SB: If you read the 2006 report on Balochistan by the International Crisis Group, you will find that the government is actually supporting the authoritarian and fundamentalist forces in Balochistan to counter the influence of the democratic forces. If you want to open a madrassah in Balochistan, you will have no problem. But if you want to start a modern school, you will have endless problems.
TNS: What are your recommendations to solve the issues of Balochistan?
SB: Balochistan is, territorially speaking, half of Pakistan. It should not be treated like a slave province. There should be a greater participation of the Balochis in development at all levels and Balochistan should be brought at par with other provinces.
Asad Rahman went to Balochistan in 1971 at the age of twenty to develop a programme for social development in collaboration with the National Awami Party (NAP). During the 1973-77 Baloch insurgency, Rahman led guerrilla forces in the Marri tribal area in their struggle against the Pakistan Army. After the ceasefire, he moved to Afghanistan where he helped organise a refugee camp for around 5,000 displaced Baloch families. His vast experience and knowledge, especially as an educated Punjabi, of the history and demands of the Balochi people is crucial to understanding the present scenario.
By Babar Mirza
The News on Sunday: How would you contextualise the present unrest in Balochistan?
Asad Rahman: It's a little known fact that the Pakistani government had acknowledged theindependence of Balochistan on August 4, 1947, and the Khan of Kalat had declared the same on August 15, 1947. However, Pakistani government coerced the Khan into signing the merger document on March 30, 1948, resulting in the first armed struggle of Balochs, led by Khan's brother Abdul Karim Khan, against the Pakistan army. However, physical control over the territory was not acquired until Oct 6, 1958, which resulted in the second Baloch insurgency led by Nauroz Khan.
Moreover, Balochis have been exploited for the past sixty years and have been given nothing in return. They have been pushed to the wall. The present confrontation, the fifth so far, started in 2002 when the late Nawab Akbar Bugti demanded the land rent, taxes and royalties that the federal government owed Balochistan -- a total of 88 billion rupees accruing since 1954 [Rs 128 billion according Balochistan Finance Minister Mir Asim Kurd]. The military operation launched to suppress this demand led to Bugti's assassination in 2006.
TNS: But the Musharraf regime did launch some development projects in Balochistan, especially the Gwadar Port project.
AR: There has been a demographic change in the district of Gwadar. No Baloch is employed in the Gwadar port. Instead, the jobs have been given to MQM supporters coming in from Karachi. This is being done to make Balochis a minority in this district and to ensure that the elected representatives from the district are not Baloch.
Musharraf has adopted a policy of genocide in Balochistan for the past five years. People are being forced to move out of their areas. 10,000 Baloch families have been displaced and 1,100 Balochis are missing. Balochistan is getting exactly the same treatment which was given to Bangladesh until it seceded.
TNS: The PPP-led central government recently apologised for the military action in Balochistan. How would it affect the ground situation?
AR: An apology cannot make up for the sixty years of bloodshed and injustice. Central government has been treating Balochis as third class citizens, and Balochistan as a colony. Just an apology cannot make things nice and happy. First and foremost, the central government would have to withdraw all military forces from Balochistan and release the 1,100 missing Balochis. Then it must sit down and negotiate with the Baloch nationalists to give them complete provincial autonomy. Excepting defence, communications, international affairs, international trade and currency, all other subjects have to lie with the provinces. And, of course, the Balochis must be given control over their natural resources. If the central government is not willing to do that, I do not see Pakistan lasting another five years.
TNS: Is their any hope for improvement under the fairly elected democratic government of Feb 18? Is the present political and military leadership really willing to sit down with Balochis and accept truth and reconciliation as was done in South Africa?
AR: I don't think so. None of them has that character. They are neither statesmen nor diplomats. Not even patriots. Most of them are self-serving individuals, and I do not see a politician on the scene today who is willing to do all this.
The politicians and military of today do not realise the gravity of the situation. When the country is faced with a secession movement and crises of food, energy and water resources, they are preoccupied with constitutional packages to get themselves entrenched in the present government. They don't have the guts to stand up against Musharraf, especially Zardari.
What I am trying to say is that the politicians in Islamabad are blind. They are only self-serving, and have no concern for the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan.
TNS: So, what is the only option the Balochis have today?
AR: Secession. Under the circumstances, that's the only option they have.
TNS: Do the people of Balochistan support this cause?
AR: If you visit Balochistan, meet the students, tribesmen, politicians, even the settlers over there, you will realise that 95 per cent of the population of Balochistan wants independence and self-determination, which was promised to them by Quaid-e-Azam. This is a very important point. The stand-still agreement between Quaid-e-Azam and the Khan of Kalat recognised the independence of Balochistan.
TNS: It is widely believed that the sardars do not represent the will of the Balochi people. To what extent is this perception true?
AR: There are a lot of misconceptions about the tribal system in Balochistan. The sardars are very much representative of their tribes. They are not like the maliks and chaudhris of Punjab. This is because sardars and nawabs are not among the ruling elite. They are not rich politicians like the Bhuttos and the Sharifs. If you go see their homes, the way they treat their tribes, the way their tribes treat them, you'd realise that the notion that it's the war of sardars and ordinary Balochis have nothing to do with it is a complete misconception and sheer central government propaganda. How can you say that when people have supported their sardars in all the five civil wars that have been fought so far? It was people who were fighting, not the sardars!
TNS: In your opinion, what's the normative argument in favour of provincial autonomy?
AR: The first thing you must recognise is that Pakistan is a multinational state and not a homogenous nation-state. Then you should look at the stages of social, political and economic development of various regions of Pakistan. Rural Sindh is 100 per cent feudal, Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur are post-feudal but pre-capitalist. Balochistan and NWFP have tribal systems. Parts of Punjab are tribal, parts feudal and parts pre-capitalist. How can you have a singular social or economic policy when you have such diverse cultures and development stages? This is the argument for provincial autonomy: each province should be able to set its own priorities and develop itself according to its own conditions, and not according to what is discussed in Islamabad.
Islamabad is divorced from the realities of the people. They make policies for towns and villages that they have not even heard the names of. The point that I am trying to drive home is that they sit in their cocoons in Islamabad and think they know it all, when actually they know nothing.
TNS: Are Baloch nationalists likely to receive any help from outside?
AR: In the present geo-political situation of the region, there are many players who are going to help them, for example, the US, UAE and Iran, the last in its own defence. The US is very active in this region and is, in fact, financing an anti-Iran militant group called Jindallah.
Moreover, the current US strategy is to achieve the balkanisation of Pakistan, leaving Punjab as a landlocked Pakistan whose nuclear capability could thus be neutralised. This is evidenced by the new map of the Middle East prepared by a US think tank which shows Sindh as part of Rajasthan, NWFP as part of Afghanistan and Balochistan as an independent 'Greater Balochistan' including Baloch areas in Iran and Afghanistan. In this weak economic military state of Balochistan, the US hopes to control its natural resources and seal its border with Iran. The US also plans to use the cantonments being built in Balochistan in their operations against Iran.
The US has dropped Musharraf by the way. He is no longer the US administration's boy, but only Bush's boy. But Bush will be out in November. If you have been following their statements and discussions, you can see that they have dropped Musharraf.
TNS: How would Balochi members of parliament respond to this situation?
AR: In the National Assembly session of 2nd June, Taj Jamali, former chief minister of Balochistan and current member of the House, said that Musharraf must be tried for all the deaths in Balochistan and if anyone had to shoot him, he would be the first person to do so. These remarks, expunged by the Speaker, were by a Baloch leader who is considered to be the most moderate, and show that Balochis are at the end. Their backs are against the wall, and they have no option but to fight.
By Nadeem Iqbal
The News on Sunday: How would you define the Balochistan issue? Is it an ultranationalist, separatist movement or an insurgency?
Mushahid Hussain Syed: It is an indigenously generated insurgency, fuelled by a long anddeep-seated sense of deprivation, which has unfortunately increased over the past decades.
TNS: Since 1947, there have been different phases of the Balochistan insurgency. Precisely when did the current phase (of insurgency) begin?
MHS: The 'real phase' goes back to the 1970s. The province of Balochistan had been created as part of the federation and the election had led to the creation of their own provincial assembly under chief minister Sardar Attaullah Mengal. Then, you had people like Khair Baksh Marri, Dr Abdul Haye Baloch and Ghaus Baksh Bizenjo in the parliament. Nawaz Akbar Bugti was also hand in glove with the establishment. But that democratic experiment was not allowed to continue and it became a dark spot on Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's career. This led to a sense of deprivation, with the realisation that if the solution was not in the ballot perhaps it lay in the bullet. Later, you see insurgency, the involvement of Afghanistan and the migration of Baloch population to Afghanistan.
TNS: Nawab Akbar Bugti was known as a federalist but your government failed to handle him. Why, what went wrong?
MHS: It is not a question of military or civil government, but I think the problem vis-a-vis Balochistan is the mindset in Islamabad which feels that only through a strong centre and strong-arm tactics can the Baloch population be controlled. There is a famous saying of Lord Macaulay about giving respect to the Baloch. Unfortunately, we did not respect them and tried to control, bully and browbeat them. My biggest challenge was to fight against that mindset which is the biggest impediment in the way of the resolution of Balochistan problem.
The 'Islamabad mindset' stems from the civil and military bureaucracy and a number of leading politicians also believe in that.
TNS: Could you identify those individuals and institutions which represent this mindset?
MHS: I think our bureaucracy is Islamabad-centric. The bureaucrats don't want to serve in Balochistan. Even the federal ministers who visit Quetta don't want to spend a day there. Similarly, we hardly have a federal cabinet meeting in Quetta. The sense of engagement, involvement and inclusions is missing. We see it as a far-off territory meant to be controlled. The view of the territory is taken through gas and Gwadar port. We consider it a strategic real estate, not the territory that requires people-friendly development.
TNS: Did the dialogue process that was initiated by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain have the approval of General Pervez Musharraf?
MHS: Yes, it did. The process was initiated by us and initially we had the blessings and the go-ahead of Gen (r) Musharraf. One step in the direction was forming a parliamentary committee on Balochistan; I was chairing its subcommittee. The second was the initiation of dialogue with Akbar Bugti wherein we had the definite blessings of the military establishment. Without that we wouldn't have been able to go to Dera Bugti in a military helicopter.
TNS: Were you also able to win the confidence of Nawab Akbar Bugti?
MHS: The kind of faith he showed in us was amazing. To give you an example, after the agreement with him was reached, a three-member committee was to be formed with a representative from the federal government, the military and Nawab Akbar Bugti each. The military nominated Malik Riaz who was IG Frontier Constabulary, the federal government nominated myself and when Bugti was asked, he also nominated me. Bugti was a great Pakistani and a great patriot. I, as a journalist, had a personal association with him that went as far back as the early 1980s when Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain's father had been saved by Bugti while he was in Kohlu jail. On March 15, 2005, an incident took place in which a number of Bugti tribesmen were killed by the FC and Bugti blockaded the road by cutting off gas fields in Sui from a military post in Dera Bugti. We flew to the place and clinched a deal without even firing a shot.
TNS: What were the main issues discussed with Bugti?
MHS: With Nawab Bugti the discussion was specifically on the issue of Dera Bugti while in the parliamentary committee we discussed issues pertaining to all aspects of Balochistan. For the first time there was a detailed interaction between Islamabad and the Baloch nationalists. In Quetta. we had a six-hour meeting with the military generals and brigadiers facing the Baloch and Pukhtoon nationalists, and interacted with each other quite frankly. Even the then IG FC General Dar apologised for their past mistakes. The final report was unanimous and it gave a road map for the future. The representatives of the federal ministries of Defence, Interior, Finance, Natural Resources and Port & Shipping were also called upon by the committee.
TNS: Was there any contentious issue that took you long to resolve?
MHS: We divided issues into different chapters as those were linked to the Balochistan development, natural resources, employment opportunities, Gwadar port etc. We changed the paradigm that strong centre does not mean a strong Pakistan but strong provinces mean a strong Pakistan. In the drafting committee that concluded the unanimous report, there were six representatives that included three from opposition -- MMA, Pukhtoon nationalists and Baloch nationalists.
TNS: In the Balochistan context, how would you define provincial autonomy?
MHS: Any granting of rights to the people of the provinces that ensures that they are masters of their own destiny within the framework of the federation of Pakistan.
TNS: What about the right of indigenous population over their own natural resources?
MHS: We've put this in our report that any district that contributes to oil and gas or other resources should have a specific portion of the total revenue allocated for its own development. It is strange that Sui supplies gas to the whole of Pakistan but still Dera Bugti has widespread poverty and no quality school or hospital.
TNS: Did you present that report to President Musharraf?
MHS: Informally, yes, we did.
TNS: What was his reaction?
MHS: His initial reaction was very positive. And the presidency did its own study and said that out of around 37 recommendations 27 had been readily accepted. But I think there was criminal negligence when came to its implementation.
TNS: Criminal negligence on the part of whom?
MHS: I don't want to blame anybody but I think the federal government of the day which indulged in feet-dragging.
TNS: Which government are you accusing of 'criminal negligence'? Is it Zafarullah Jamali's or Shaukat Aziz's?
MHS: Ok, I am referring to Shaukat Aziz's government.
TNS: Did you approach President Musharraf on the same?
MHS: Yes, we did, but by that time the feet-dragging by the PM secretariat had led to the reconciliation approach vanishing behind the hawkish line.
TNS: Who took the 'hawkish line'?
MHS: I'd say, both civil and military bureaucracy.
TNS: Weren't the powers in the hands of Gen Musharraf and Chaudhry Shujaat at that time. Who could have hindered their will from being implemented?
MHS: The day-to-day governance was in different hands. The murder of Akbar Bugti and failure to implement the report should be considered a black spot on the face of the previous government for missing the golden opportunity to resolve the issue.
TNS: What were the reasons for the launch of the military operation in Balochistan? Were you or any other from the political leadership part of that decision?
MHS: No. The army action was triggered by an attack on President Musharraf while he was in Kohlu in Dec 2005.
TNS: So, the military operation was a knee-jerk reaction by Gen (r) Musharraf?
MHS: 9/11 provided the government an opportunity to plan a mission there. Already there were some people who wanted to launch a military campaign against the Baloch nationalists and they used a rocket attack on the president as a pretext.
TNS: You are also a security expert. Do you think at a time when the Pakistan Army was busy raging a war against terrorism, it could have afforded to open another front?
MHS: We have never learnt any lessons from the mistakes we made in the 1973 insurgency. We have always repeated those mistakes. I made a presentation to the National Security Council in Nov 2004 pleading to change the mindset and have a political solution. But nothing changed.
TNS: What do you have to say about the capacity of the Pak Army to curb insurgencies?
MHS: The Pak Army is well-trained and equipped to fight a conventional war with the traditional enemy, but it is not trained as a counter insurgency force. Maybe it has some specific units such as a special services group to fight unconventional guerrilla war, but on the whole it is trained to fight the conventional battle.
TNS: Did the rape of Dr Shazia Khalid complicate the problem?
MHS: Yes, the Dr Shazia case also served to widen the gap between Bugti and Islamabad.
TNS: What do you think of the present, PPP-led government's initiative on Balochistan?
MHS: Well, the initial discussions have been positive and we support PPP's apology and approach for national reconciliation. I think the government should work as per our report and give the province a healing touch by announcing general amnesty and pardon for everybody.
Taj Muhammad Jamali, a PPP MNA from Balochistan, made headlines recently for his fiery speech in the National Assembly where he squarely blamed President Musharraf for all ills inflicting Balochistan. His controversial remark that it was a Baloch's right to eliminate the president was expunged by the Speaker. He stated it again, in so many words, while giving an interview on a private television channel that chose to let it go.
Jamali has served as the federal minister in ZAB's cabinet and as chief minister Balochistan from 1991-1993. As chief minister he was instrumental in bringing back Nawab Khair Bux Marri from his exile in Afghanistan.
A cousin of former prime minister Zafarullah Jamali and an uncle of deputy chairman Senate Jan Muhammad Jamali, he belongs to a family that has remained allied with various factions of Muslim League. In a not-so-fiery interview, Taj Jamali sounds helpless and weary but his stance remains that of a Baloch nationalist who is still willing to give Pakistan a chance.
By Farah Zia
The News on Sunday: In your recent speech in the parliament, you took a rather extreme position by talking about bullets and shooting. Do you think eliminating Musharraf would solve all problems?
Taj Muhammad Jamali: It is not an extreme position. It is the voice of the entire country. There are other issues, I agree, country but Musharraf is responsible for creating a lot of problems in the country.
TNS: So you think the problems in Balochistan remain because of him?
TMJ: Nothing concrete has happened. The forces have not been withdrawn, neither from Dera Bugti or anywhere else. These people [forces] do not accept anyone's authority, not even Gen Kiyani's. We want the military to withdraw [from Balochistan], so that we get a chance to know who the militants or terrorists are. Then alone will we sit and reflect about other issues like Pakistan etc. Right now we do not know if it's insurgency or a problem created by the military.
TNS: How do you respond to Musharraf's criticism that the problems of Balochistan are a creation of tribal sardars and it is them who do not let any development in the province?
TMJ: He is lying and how can you trust a man like Musharraf? No tribal sardar has ever said that schools or roads or dispensaries should not be set up in his area. This is all a false propaganda against the province. It is after this propaganda that they take actions and then re-actions [against us].
TNS: What do you think went wrong with the Mushahid Hussain-Chaudhry Shujaat committee on Balochistan and its recommendations?
TMJ: The problem with that committee was that Musharraf did not agree with its recommendations. Soon after he martyred Bugti and the zulm continued. You people, especially those sitting in Islamabad, just cannot understand [what's happening].
TNS: Do you think if those recommendations were accepted and acted upon, things would have looked better than they do now?
TMJ: Things would have been much more peaceful than they are. But the central question is: who is the authority in Pakistan? Who is the government? You tell us, we do not know. Is it the United States or Musharraf or the corps commanders or the judges; who is it? Where should we go, who should we present our demands, where should we go to tell our story?
TNS: How do you see the situation now? What if the concurrent list goes as stipulated in the 1973 constitution?
TMJ: In my opinion, a committee should be constituted comprising the chief minister Raisani (who is a representative of the political parties), Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Ayaz Jogezai and myself. This committee can then have a dialogue with some authority in Islamabad.
As for the 1973 constitution and the provincial autonomy provided therein, even that was not granted to any of the provinces. They are lying all the time and no one seems bothered. The president thinks the constitution is just a paper which can be thrown in the bin.
TNS: What about the allegations that this insurgency in Balochistan is being aided and funded by elements from outside?
TMJ: You see, when there is internal turmoil in any country in the world, people from other countries try to take advantage. Why should India, being Pakistan's number one enemy, not take advantage of this insurgency? It can bring in weapons, money, whatever.
TNS: So you think we should not blame outsiders for a problem that is created by us?
TMJ: Technically, we cannot leave that out; we will have to blame them. The possibility of outsiders' involvement is there. But within the country, there seems no solution nor is anyone ready to listen. Here everyone including lawyers and journalists have been beaten. They haven't even spared little children.
This is not Quaid-e-Azam's Pakistan nor of the people. This is military's Pakistan.
TNS: What solution would you propose?
TMJ: I have proposed to form this committee as I said earlier to talk with whoever is the authority. I have made this suggestion to Nawab Raisani to form this committee which may then try to solve all problems of Balochistan.
TNS: Who is the committee going to talk to?
TMJ: You tell us who should it talk to? This is the biggest tragedy we are faced with in Pakistan. You see in Swat, the provincial government made this agreement and [advisor for Interior] Rehman Malik says we do not abide by it. Who is he to say that? The provincial government should have a right to do whatever it wants. This is why there is no peace in this country; hence the bomb blasts and terrorism. They do not accept the Jirga verdict, they do not accept the provincial government's decisions, then this is bound to happen.
TNS: Going back in history, do you it was a right move to have Balochistan join Pakistan at the time of partition?
TMJ: You see now everyone questions the creation of Pakistan. My view is that Pakistan as created by Quaid-e-Azam was right.
TNS: Which included Balochistan as part of the new country?
TMJ: Yes, that included Balochistan. But there was a separate agreement with Balochistan. The Punjabis would not have read that agreement. It guaranteed maximum provincial autonomy; it allowed us to have our own flag, our own parliament and our own taxation system.