Till a few years ago, how many people had heard of Balochistan in India, very few? If Indians had ever heard or read about Balochistan it was during debates in media or acrimonious discussions between India and Pakistani delegations where Pakistani foreign minister always accused India’s RAW of fomenting trouble in its backyard to which India always denied; for most of the Indians Sindh was the weakest point and Sindhi nationals of Jiye Sindh were always ready to secede from Punjabi hegemony like Bangladeshis. But It was an offensive defensive statement cum warning to
Pakistan from Ajit Doval “you do one more Mumbai and you will lose Balochistan. It was this statement which soon went viral on social sites in India and made most of Indians became aware of far worse troubled province inside Pakistan other than Sindh.
Gradually in the last couple of years strong 125 billion people of India have come to know that situation in Pakistan’s Balochistan is far more serious than in Indian Kashmir where Pakistan’s open support to Kashmiri terrorism is well known. Unfortunately, mainstream Indian media from 2004-14 had been sympathetic to the secessionist forces in the valley and always favoured a dialogue between Hurriyat and Pakistan but kept silent on gross violations of human rights in Balochistan!!!
Curiously also, Indian media gave immense coverage to the interlocutors led by Dr. Radha Kumar and Dileep Patganokar who met secessionists, Hurriyat leaders in the valley but intentionally did not bother to meet the Kashmiri Pundits who were forced to become refugees in their own country to lead wretched lives in refugee camps. These very nefarious acts of media and interlocutors made them suspicious in the eyes of the Indians outside the valley that both (media and interlocutors) were hand in glove with anti-India forces—inside and outside the country. It’s for this reason vast
majority of Indians have come to suspect the credentials of Indian media—that it’s happy to be managed by vested interests working in the country on the payrolls of Pakistani establishment and ISI.
It was only after Ajit Doval’s statement people in India became aware of the troubled province in Pakistan. Indians on Facebook have started sharing the links that espouses the cause of free Balochistan by helping the Baloch people to secede from Pakistan as India helped the people of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. But it’s easier said than done. When India helped Bangladesh during the ’71 war, both New Delhi and Islamabad were non-nuclear states and cold war was at its peak. India then had the backing of Russia. East Pakistan’s independence did not pose a threat to any country as it did not share an international boundary with any other country except India.
But in the case of an independent Balochistan, it will share an international boundary with Afghanistan, Iran and leftover of Pakistan. Independence of Balochistan will be opposed not only by Pakistan but also by Iran. Status quo on Balochistan suits Tehran, which has looked for excuses to persecute Baloch people, who live in its territory, in the name of terrorism, drug trafficking and treachery. Iran’s fears are not unfounded. It believes that Baloch people living inside Iran and who shares close ties with the people Balochistan province across the border will demand merger once Balochistan as a country becomes a reality.
India is investing billions of dollars in Iran’s Chabhar port. China has firmed up plans with Pakistan to invest many billions of dollars under CPeC at Gwadar port. Therefore, India is unlikely like to offend Iran by openly supporting the independence of Balochistan. Then is this an end of road for the independence of Balochistan? Answer is yes to an extent. Without outside help independence of Baloochistan for Baloch people will definitely remain a dream in the near future. US, an ally of Pakistan, would not like to see the further division of Pakistan as it serves its purpose effectively vis-a-vis India.
Then what other options Baloch people have in the present circumstances to realize their dreams? Other than India, Baloch people must look to Israel for weapons, political support and to train their fighters to secede from Pakistan. Tel- Aviv can take an independent decision without worrying of US reaction, to support Baloch people, compare to New Delhi as its is busy with PM Modi’s “Make in India and made in India” programme and would need an immense support from US and the West.
Israel would love to have a Muslim friendly country– Balochistan in the backyard of its foe—Iran. Israel by supporting the cause of Balochistan will enjoy great leverage while dealing with Tehran which is known to have close relations with Hezbollah’s in Lebanon and President Assad in Syria. Hezbollah though a Shiite organisation has been accused by Israel in assisting bomb making to Sunni Hamas. Both Hamas and Hezbollahs share the same tactics in dealing with Israel—capture of Israeli soldiers and have common goals and close ties with Iran.
Secondly, in future Israel can use the air bases of Balochistan to strike Pakistan’s nuclear sites at Kamra and Sargodha to pre-empt any chances of Nuclear weapons and technology falling in the hands of terrorist or radical Muslims’ organisations that have deep roots both in Pakistani military and civilian establishment. Radical Muslim organisations in Pakistan are more likely to gain access to nuclear weapons as they run large network of Madrasas from where large number of Muslim boys join army and are also working in good numbers in government administration in various capacities. These radicalized youths are potential sympathizers who can help radical organisations to lay hands on Nuclear weapons and threaten peace not only in the region but also pose a threat to the world and to Israel. Therefore, Baloch people for an early independence must also keep the option open of seeking help from Israel in present circumstances rather than solely relying only on India.
People of Balochistan can seek the support of Modi’s government in their war for Independence from Pakistan in 2018 or post US election results in 2016. India’s RA&W and Modi will get active on Balochistan after seeing who “Trumps” US elections!!
~ Manoj Sharma