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Paki Cadet    10/30/2005 6:11:16 AM
THE BALOCH RESISTANCE MOVEMENT 1)The law and order situation in Balochistan continues to deteriorate steadily despite the use of the Army to put an end to acts of violence directed at the members of the Shia community, the Chinese experts deployed at the Gwadar port project, gas pipelines and other economic targets, including a local airport, and military personnel. 2. The responsibility for the restoration of law and order has been informally taken over by the Army without a formal proclamation and helicopter gunships, received in the past from the US for use in counter-terrorism operations directed against the dregs of Al Qaeda and the Taliban taking shelter in the areas near the Afghanistan border, are being used against the Balochi population, which has had nothing to do with either Al Qaeda or the Taliban, in an attempt to suppress their movement against the military-dominated regime and what is perceived as its attempts to reduce the Balochis to a minority in their traditional homeland. 3. There are various root causes for the resistance movement being waged by the Balochis: Mounting anger over the denial of the benefits of the natural gas and other mineral resources of the province to the Balochis in the form of increased royalty payments. The denial of any meaningful role to the Balochis in decisions relating to the construction and administration of the Chinese-aided Gwadar port project. The influx of a large number of Punjabis and other non-Balochis into the province to work in the Gwadar project. The continuing acts of discrimination against the Balochis in matters of recruitment to the Armed Forces and various civilian departments of the Government. The establishment of more cantonments in the Province to enable the Army better maintain law and order. 4. The ground situation has been further complicated by the import of the Shia-Sunni sectarian divide into the province from Punjab and Karachi and by the influx of the dregs of Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Uighur terrorist elements from the Xinjiang province of China into the province, where they have been given shelter by the local fundamentalist organisations with the tacit approval of the Government. 5. The root causes mentioned in Para 3 above have given rise to two kinds of anti-Islamabad and anti-military movements: An overt political movement in the form of protest meetings, demonstrations and rallies not involving the use of violence. Four non-religious political parties of Balochistan, who have formed a united front, continue to play a leading role in this movement. These are the Jamhoori Watan Party, the National Party, the Balochistan National Party (Mengal) and the Baloch Haqtawar. A covert freedom movement involving targeted acts of violence against economic targets and other infrastructure and military personnel. 6. The factors mentioned in Para 4 above have made Quetta, the capital of the province, the scene of periodic anti-Shia incidents and the bordering areas of the province safe sanctuaries for Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Uighurs for mounting operations against Afghan and American troops in Afghan territory. The presence of the Uighurs has added to the security concerns of the Chinese, necessitating the deployment of a large contingent of the Pakistan Army, exclusively for the protection of the Chinese experts working in the Gwadar port and the Saindak copper extraction projects. 7. The frequent visits of Chinese security experts to the province and the recent high-profile joint Sino-Pak counter-terrorism exercise held in Xinjiang were meant to restore the confidence of the Chinese experts and to strengthen the co-operation between the counter-terrorism agencies of the two countries. 8. The reluctance or inability of the provincial authorities to act effectively against the dregs of Al Qaeda and the Taliban operating from the border areas of the province and to put an end to their terrorist infrastructure directed against the Americans and the Hamid Karzai Government in Kabul have brought the Pakistan Army and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) under US pressure to mount operations against these dregs in Balochi territory, similar to the operations mounted by the Army since October last year against the dregs in the South Waziristan area of the Federally-Administered Tribal areas (FATA). 9. At a time when its troops inducted into the South Waziristan area have been involved in a bleeding guerilla warfare with the tribals and the Uzbek, Chechen and Uighur dregs in that area resulting in mounting military casualties, a further alienation of the local tribals and increasing anti-Musharraf feelings in the Armed Forces, the Pakistan Army is reluctant to get bogged down in a similar guerilla warfare against Al Qaeda and the Taliban dregs in Balochistan, which might further come in the way of its efforts to quell the Balochi resistance movement. 10. Senior army offic
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