Trilateral Talks & U.S. Involvement in Balochistan
02 May, 2011
By Zaheerul Hassan
High-level talks between the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan are going to be started on May 3, 2011. Earlier, the talks have been postponed due to the arrest of CIA’s Spy Raymond Davis in a murder case of two Pakistani in January this year. However, Raymond Davis case left two conspicuous impacts on U.S. Pakistan ties. Firstly, it has increased the strain in Pakistan and U.S. relationship and secondly also uncovered the CIA nefarious activities in Balochistan and FATA (Pakistan). The tension between two supreme intelligence agencies (ISI & CIA) further aggravated when American top political and military brass instead paying tribute to Pakistani security forces in Global War on Terror (GWOT) started maligning ISI for providing shelter to Haqqani Group of Taliban. In this regard Moassad and RAW’s financed Western and American media also launched a deliberate campaign against Pakistani security and Intelligence agencies. Pakistan has already condemned and rejected American political and military officials’ statements regarding ISI and declared it a part of blame game against her security and Intelligence agencies.
Above all, CIA’s activities in Balochistan have become now quite intolerable which also put a big question mark over U.S. growing interest in this region. In fact, Creation of “Greater Balochistan” is the top most agenda of U.S., India and Israel collaboration. Their obvious objectives are: (1) weakening Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, (2) establishing strong hold in Central Asian Region even after culmination of war on terror, (3) denting Chinese economic interests in African and Middle East while creating impediment in full scale operation of Gawader Port and the last is looking after Indian and Israeli interests in the region.
Therefore, the American establishment has started supporting pro Independent Balochistan Movement, and anti Pakistan elements in Balochistan. In this connection, CIA supported elements are using America, UK, India and Afghanistan as their platforms for organizing, planning and operational bases for execution of the plan of Independent Balochistan. Moreover, some militarily supported political lobbies of America and Uk are facilitating anti Pakistan elements (so called liberators) to carryout nefarious activities against Pakistan. On April 28, 2011 US Ambassador Cameron Munter, visited first time Balochistan and attended a Pashtun tribal Jirga in Quetta. He went there on the invitation of convener of Pakhtun Ulas Qaumi Jirga Nawab Ayaz Jogezai. The jirga brought together 16 Pashtun tribal elders from Balochistan who discussed issues of mutual interest, including economic development in the province and matters pertaining to security. American interest can be very easily judged from her ambassador statement in which he mentioned that “Balochistan is a proud province with a rich history, wonderful people, who have strong traditions.
I feel very fortunate to experience this firsthand by being included in this Pashtun tribal jirga,” He further added that by meeting face to face interaction can address the difficult issues facing Balochistan , in a spirit of open communication and collaboration,”. U.S. Ambassador meeting with Pakhtune leaders in Balochistan should not be taken as simple interaction and need to be monitored persistently since such type of meetings might create rift between three segments (Pakhtune, Balochis, and Punjabi).
In the last week of April 2011 Carnegie Endowment for Intl Peace has rented its space to the Balochistan Society, of North America (BSO - NA) to hold conference on Balochistan. Alongside this development, United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has also held an event “Turmoil in Balochistan. The participants of meeting were (1) jaz Haider (a journalist from Pak),(2) Shazadi Beg (member of Department of Justice UK),(3)Selig Harrison (a contentious journalist known for his critical views on Pak),94) Marvin Weinbaum (Middle East Institute). The speakers fomented venom against Pakistan very openly as directed by their masters.
On learning about first event, our Ambassador to USA Mr Haqqani has already written an unequivocal letter to the President of the Carnegie essentially arguing that Carnegie’s renting of its space to the BSO – NA could potentially damage Pak – US relations; legitimise the activities of the BSO – NA who is an adjunct of a terrorist organisation BLA banned in Pak and urged the Carnegie Endowment to revoke its decision of renting space to the BSO – NA. Response has not yet been rendered by Carnegie Endowment and the meeting have been conducted in the manners as desired by CIA.
The government of Pakistan is extremely concerned over USIP holding of an event “Turmoil in Balochistan” on an integral part of Pak, Balochistan. Since USIP is a congressionally funded body, one would presume that the event is being held under the patronage of Congress. Its implications on Pak – U.S. relations will be extremely negative. American leadership should think that it is not just academic freedom or analysis that is important, what the USIP must assess is also the impact on our bilateral relations of holding this event. It is time to help consolidate the democratically elected Government of Pakistan. It is obvious that arranging such events, which are ideologically or politically motivated, serve to undermine Pak’s solidarity and its elected govt and defiantly causes hatter against U.S. character in Pakistani masses too. American supported political leadership tried to inflame public opinion in Pakistan and Balochistan.
The think tanks in U.S. are independent and completely autonomous in their policies. Despite the efforts made by our embassy at Washington, it is less likely that USIP will change its stance. In spite of the liberty accorded to think tanks, there always remains influence of state institutions. Therefore, the possibility of U.S. state authorities’ involvement in this case cannot be ruled out. After analysing events of last decade and especially of last two years, we can conveniently derive that: - FATA has been focus of US attention for last few years in relation to GWOT. US always insist that Taliban are being provided sanctuaries / safe havens by Pak in FATA. Therefore, all the drone strikes and border violations have been taking place in this area. But mainly due to faulty U.S. policy, a worthwhile success is still not in sight in GWOT. When Gwadar Port started emerging as key project which could boost the economic activities of Pakistan, China and including Central Asia, many stake holders emerged on the scene incl Iran (Chah Bahar), UAE (Dubai) and India.
At the same time terrorist activities sped up in Balochistan and Nooristan (Iran). Nationalist elements in Balochistan have started voicing their concerns on Human Rights Violations and so called atrocities committed by Pakistani LEAs and demand for Independent Balochistan.
Indian involvement in Balochistan is a major concern for Pakistan. There have been concrete evidences of Indian involvement in providing funds and weapons to dissident elements in Balochistan. The dissident Baloch leaders living in exile (Harbyar Marri in UK & Brahmdagh Bugti in Switzerland) were incited to raise their voice for Independence of Balochistan. Seeing the ripe situation, India with the connivance of CIA joined the cadres to destabilise Balochistan and ultimately Pakistan. Moreover, killing two birds with one stone, the Chinese interest in Balochistan is automatically countered if this province remains mired in unrest.
Due to convergence of interests, India and USA are pursuing this agenda jointly. To exert pressure on Pakistan to succumb to U.S. demands (for undertaking ops in North Waziristan against Hqqani and against Quetta Shura in Balochistan), the US is hosting activities of dissident Balochs in USA and Canada. Although the event (Rally “Save Balochistan Campaign” at Vancouver at Summary) could not attract a big number but remains a source of concern for Pak.
Anyhow, the trilateral talks have been rescheduled to review the progress on already set agenda of removing extremism and its related matters. The issue must be taken up in coming trilateral engagements with USA and bilateral talk with India. Thus it is suggested that Pakistan should make the American authorities realize that Balochistan is an integral part of Pakistan and discussion on an integral part of a sovereign country and is abrogation of international norms. The government should also exposed Indian involvement in Balochistan and it must be addressed in bilateral engagements at Sectary level talks b/w India and Pakistan. Government should also highlight the issue of harbouring Baloch dissidents in Pak–U.S.–Afghanistan Trilateral meeting, similarly Afghanistan should be asked to stop Indian to use her territory since, the Baloch youth is being trained and supplied with arms and ammo by Indians on Afghan soil. Afghanistan needs to provide assurance of closing these training camps and not to undertake such steps which could harm bilateral relations as well as destabilise Pakistan.American should also be asked to redefine drone attack policy and provide drone technology to Pakistan .
At the same time The “Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan” package announced by Pakistan Government must be implemented in letter and spirit to address the deprivations of Baloch people.