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Election 2008: Political Disintegration in Balochistan

25 January, 2008

By Safdar Sial


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Politics in Balochistan has mostly remained in the grip of tribal elders and nationalist parties. In Baloch tribal areas the Sardars and Nawabs are in actual fact the political parties and they serve as engines of political vehicle. Political history of Balochistan is replete with such examples where political parties joined Baloch tribal elders instead of their joining some political party. Even now these tribal elders are strong enough to win their seats independently and political parties are helpless to run under their patronage.

This political scenario is ubiquitous in Baloch regions. Nonetheless, in Pashtun region the tribal clutches have loosened their grip and the tribal elders are increasingly becoming dependent on political parties. This makes the Pashtun areas more democratic and politically liberal where a Nawab or Sardar or Khan, now, can not even think to win the polls independently sans some political party’s support. However the political leadership in these areas has mostly been captured by the religious clerics and scholars. This is mainly attributed to the religious proclivity of the people of these areas.

All the political parties in the Baloch regions have tribal elders’ dominance. Balochistan National Party (BNP) is active under Mengals whereas Jamhuri Watan Party (JWP) has been in the grip of Bugtis. There was a time when National Awami Party (NAP) was under influence of Nawab Akbar Bugti, Nawab Khair Bukhsh Mari and Sardar Attaullah Mengal. The Baloch Nawabs and Sardars have continuously managed to hold the premiership of the province from 1970 t0 2007. Sardar Attaullah Mengal, Nawab Barozai, Jam of Lasbela Ghulam Qadir, Nawab Akbar Bugti, Nawab Magsi, Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Mir Taj Muhammad Jamali were the successful tribal elders who headed the Balochistan assembly throughout this period.

In this perspective the Baloch tribal elders have not only been the political nucleus but also the ruling elite of the province. Balochistan National Youth Movement headed by Dr Abdul Hayi Baloch was the first political agitation against the tribal feuds in these Baloch areas. This organization included all the former student workers of Baloch Students Organization (BSO) but during 1988 they made an alliance with Nawab Akbar Bugti and played a key role in making him Balochistan’s chief minister. This agitation movement of students also came under influence of tribal elders after 1988 and they started to raise slogans in favour of Nawabs, Maris and Mengals. After 1990 Balochistan National Youth Movement became Balochistan National Movement and the Mengals penetrated into this organization to such an extent that it was divided into two factions, Hayi Baloch group and Akhtar Mengal group. The Mengal faction of this organization later became the Balochistan National Party (BNP) whereas the other faction when joined by Hasil Bizenjo became the National Party. Jamhuri Watan Party has also divided into two factions after the death of Nawab Akbar Bugti and most of its leaders and workers have even abandoned it.

The political disintegration started in Balochistan after 1974 when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto made National Awami Party (NAP) defunct through a reference. This led to formation of National Democratic Party (NDP) which was headed by Sardar Sher Baz Mazari and Begum Nasim Wali Khan was also in it. Later in Balochistan Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo and Sardar Attaullah Mengal also joined this party whereas Khuda Bakhsh Khan Mari disappeared from political scenario. After sometime Attaullah Mengal left the NDP and went to England. In the meanwhile Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo also left it and formed his own party, Pakistan National Party. He contested 1988 elections but lost the both National Assembly seats from Khuzdar and Turbat. In Turbat he was defeated by a BSO candidate Manzur Gichki, a former student leader. Nawab Bugti and Attaullah Mengal had played a key role in his defeat.

Baloch politics has continued to be a mess of contradictions and conflicts. The National Party of Dr Abdul Hayi Baloch has announced to boycott the February 18 elections being a part of the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) but its Senior Vice President, Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, has vowed to participate in the coming elections. He has formed his own party, National Party Parliamentarians. The provincial president of the National Party, Ayyub Khattak, is also with him.

Similarly a dissident group has emerged in the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) in Balochistan. The dissidents have named their faction ‘JUI-Ideological’ and say they will ‘reform’ the party in the province. The group rejects armed struggle against the state and says that a change in society is possible through parliament. The faction’s provincial convener Maulana Asmatullah has announced that the group would contest the election against JUI’s candidates led by Maulana Sherani, JUI’s provincial chief. According to Maulana Asmatullah differences within the party had existed for about 10 years, but his followers had now decided to come out publicly as corruption by the party’s ministers in the previous coalition government in Balochistan had tarnished Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam’s image.

This shows that Baloch politics is currently passing through its division at the tertiary level which may lead to further disintegration in the future. Bugtis have been divided and disintegrated. Nawab Khair Bakhsh Mari is staying in Karachi and has separated himself from political participation. Parallel to this political disintegration there is another discouraging development in Balochistan. Balochistan National Party, Pakhtun Milli Awami Party, National Party and Jamhuri Watan Party have announced to boycott the coming elections. Most of the Baloch nationalists are against political process due to their distrust in the government and its policies. They, nonetheless, are increasingly becoming non-democratic, violent and aggressive in their attitude. This is a matter of real concern.

End.

Reader Comments:

Keeping quiet amounts to encouragement.

Political disintegration is not innocent but planned and none but by military.This military has a record of waging wars for the sake of US/UK(none for Pakistan),breaking country as in 1971,loosing areas as in Siachin and killing popular leaders and now work is being done towards breaking NWFP and Baluchistan away.People of Pakistan have to take some responsibility esp of Punjab who tolerate and even encourage such criminal activites quietly.

Dr.Khan, United Kingdom - 27 January, 2008

Anti Pakistan

Who knows well that succession of East Pakistan was done during PPP government when ZAB was the PM and wanted to be the PM of West and Mujib ur Rehman for East Pakistan which is now Bangaldesh. Please dont blame military for what happened in the past especially Bangladesh. Bugti ruled Baluchistan all these years and no government ever tried to tell him that no one is above the law and his activities were against the existence of Pakistan but did not stop there hence ended his own life. There is no such thing disintegration of Pakistan. Either you are anti Pakistan when you think that way or connected to a political party and living outside Pakistan and carrying out propaganda against Pakistan. We all know Pakistan is a very strong country and majority of Pakistani would do anything to see Pakistan strong and united. Its only a few who think differently and easy to be ignored.

Mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 28 January, 2008

Blame is on India

INDIA IS THE BIGGEST DANGER TO THE WORLD PEACE AND THE WEST.YOU BROUGHT INDIA IN AFGHANISTAN AND THE THINGS WERE SAILING SMOOTH BEFORE.

INDIA STARTED MEDDLING IN WESTERN TRIBAL AND NWFP OF PAKISTAN FROM AFGHANISTAN BY SENDING MONEY TO BLOW UP THE PAK MILITARY AND POLICE THAT WAS HELPING AND SUCCEEDING IN HELPING MITIGATE THE WORLD WIDE TERROR.

INDIA MEDDLED IN PAKISTAN WITH A WELL ORGANIZED PATTERN TO NERVE BREAK A COUNTRY BY ATTACKS ON POLICE TO BREAK THE COUNTERY PAKISTAN.

THESE INDIAN ACTS OF EXALTED NATURE ARE LIKE SHOOTING IN AMERICA'S AND NATO'S FEET AND POSING AS FRIEND IN AFGHANISTAN.

INDIA'S ACTS HAVE TAKEN ATTENTION OF PAKISTAN MILITARY AWAY FROM WAR ON TERROR AND ON TO MITIGATE PROBLEMS CAUSED BY INDIA'S BASTARLY MEDDLING INTO PLAN OF BREAKING UP PAKISTAN.

THIS WHOLE TRAITORING ACTS OF INDIA AGAINST PAKISTAN, AGAINST AMERICA AND NATO AND AGAINST ISLAMIC WORLD THROUGH OPEN ENDED INTRIGUES SPINNING ALL OVER IN THEIR CYBER NERVE AND REAL MONEY FACILITATED TERROR ACTS AGAINST PAK POLICE, PAK MILTARY AND PAK PEOPLE WILL HAVE DISASTROUS RESULTS FOR PAKS GREAT ALLIES AND FRIENDS IN AMERICA AND THE WEST.

INDIANS ARE THE BIGGEST DANGER TO THE WORLD PEACE. IF PAKISTAN GETS DESTABILIZED LIKE IRAQ, THE WHOLE MIDDLE EAST GETS DESTABILIZED.INDIA'S ENEMY LIKE TACTICS WILL CREATE ENERGY INSECURITY AND FINISH OFF THE ECONOMIES OF AMERICA AND EUROPE AND THE WORLD.THESE EVIL INDIANS WOULD DO ANY THING TO DESTROY PAKISTAN EVEN IF IT MEANS THE DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD'S AND EVEN THEIR ECONOMIES.

INDIA HAS WORSE ENERGY IN-SECURITY HAUNTING ITS OWN SURVIVAL, BUT THEY WOULD'NT HESITATE DESTROYING EVEN SELF IF THEY CAN DESTABILIZE PAKISTAN.

I HAVE MY LIVING AND SOON MY PENSION FROM CANADA. I WANT TO SEE THE WEST PROSPEROUS AND NOT GET DESTROYED BY THE DASTADLY ACTS OF INDIA'S VICIOUS AND MALICIOS CAMPAIGN AGAINST ITS NEIGHBOUR COUNTRY. THESE AGGRESSIVE ACTS OF INDIA ARE REFLECTED IN THE INDIAN MEDIA'S RELENTLESS HATE AGAINST PAKISTAN AND AGAINST ANY THING THAT IS UN-INDIAN.

SO REIGN ON INDIA AND ONLY INDIA AND AMERICA, EUROPE, PAKISTAN AND THE ISLAMIC WORLD ARE ALL SAFE FROM INDIAN WOLVES.

Anwar Mahmood, Canada - 29 January, 2008

Amazing article

Amazing article.But what a mess in Balochistan. According to his book 'In the line of fire' Mr. Musharaff was posted in Balochistan at the time of insurgency/ military action in the 70's. Given his approach of a militant solution rather than a political solution in Balochistan, I was wondering if he felt the 'job'had not been completed in the '70's.

Naseem Islam, Pakistan - 31 January, 2008

election 2008

Dear Safdar, I believe you need to learn more about Balochistan and Baloch society. I have read your article "Election 2008: Political Disintegration in Balochistan". It is full of factual errors and, of course, background of Baloch leadership you referred and the name spelling. I wish you had gone through this piece of writing, at least, once before you filed it. For exmapled you have mixed many Baloch and Pathan leaders in their names. Plz go through this article once again and realise what great blunders have done to a profession that is called journalism. Pnd plz do refer to the history book. It helps a lot. - A reader

shaukat ali, Pakistan - 02 February, 2008

Troubled Balochistan -Who killed BB Amid Sabre Rattlings?

“Action is by Intention”. Nature is Allah. British Empire British were most honest most
Brilliant hard working intellectuals (I worked with) using which Canada Australia Israel South Africa and USA and oil sheiks grew. This accurate brilliant article on Balochistan revealed clues of 1947-1971 Pakistan and Current Alqaida world which is anti Pakistan anti Islam anti OIC and anti Sheik anti Pervez Musharraf.In fact this article revealed who likely killed Mohtarma BB and why amid speculation that Pervez Musharraf is Behind killing due to militants.But president is anti alqaeda and anti Waziristan militants. Allah gave Quran and is getting blame for the trouble of Muslims Alqaeda Islam OIC and even for the down fall of Christianity British American and Canadian. Nature is Allah and as Sikhs says all Allah’s children. However, Nature runs by methodology. All methodology comes from almighty God which may have been modified by the misleading people who seem Anti Allah anti Christ anti nature dictates.Hitler tried short cut to invade commonwealth via UK and Muslim empire via Russia resulting in fall of Berlin from where Dr Zakir Hussain PhD (Berlin)of India graduated with divide of Liaqat Shahid Milleit Ali Khan Gandhis Mohtarma BB ZAB Sk Mujibur Rahman .I believe Balochistan is for Baloch Bangladesh for Bangladeshis Sindh for Sindhis Kashmir for Kashmiris India for Indians.Allah cannot be promoting none Muslims as superior to Islam .Who has Killed Mohtarma BB ZAB Islam or Christianity with the demise of Bughtis Balochis Sindhis Iraqis Afghans Egyptians and oil Sheiks? Alqaida is a methodology of those who is benefiting in the name of Alqaida and Balochi Militants.I can imagine which group likely killed Mohtarma BB ZAB towards destruction Of Pakistan Islam with Sabre rattling swords dance.


M.B.Zakaria, United Arab Emirates - 02 February, 2008

Asking your opinion

What you think that Nationalists should have contested or not. Is the boycot good for them.

Mansoor Akbar Kundi, Pakistan - 10 February, 2008

Hi ppl, it is me

Yo!
Wasjust serfing on net and found this site...want to say thanks. Great site and content!

NedaMeemi, - 01 April, 2008

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