Author Topic: Hamid Ali Baloch was interviewed by karlos zurtuza  (Read 4855 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline hamid Ali Baloch

  • *Zaantkaar زانتکار
  • *****
  • Posts: 11
  • Karma: 4
Hamid Ali Baloch was interviewed by karlos zurtuza
« on: May 08, 2011, 01:45:27 PM »
Hamid Ali Baloch

"Balutxe askok lauzpabost hizkuntza menderatzen ditu"
Hamid Ali Baloch balutxera irakaslea da Balutxistango Unibertsitatean. Balutxeek urduera, ingelesa, pastunera... hitz egiten dituzte, baina euren hizkuntzarekin, balutxerarekin, nahikoa lan badute. Pakistango Gobernuak hitz eman zien eskoletan irakatsiko zela balutxera, baina eskola pribatuak baino ez daude, balutxeen diruz hornituak.

 Karlos Zurutuza

2009-10-18
  0     0 
Hamid Ali Baloch irakaslea Batzuk ustekabean harrapatuko ditu metal-detektore bat zeharkatu behar izateak unibertsitate honetan sartzeko. Bada, ez al da gauza bera gertatzen, esaterako, AEBetako institutuetan? Baina “Lehenengo Mundua” omen da hura, Pakistango hiri honetatik oso urruti dagoena. Edo ez. Hemendik, Quetta hiritik, ordubetera baino ez dago Afganistan, “mundu aberats”eko soldaduez josita. Lurrazpiarekiko interesak ekarri ditu hona; guk, aldiz, lurraren gainekoa nahiago eta Balochekin hitz egin dugu, ingelesez, baina guztiz arrotza egiten zaigun hizkuntza bati buruz. Balutxistan existitzen bada, baita balutxera ere.

Nola deskribatuko zenuke balutxera hizkuntza?
Balutxera hizkuntza indoeuroparra da, hau da, gaztelania, errusiera edota pastuneraren senidea, besteak beste. Kurduera eta farsiera ditu hizkuntza antzekoenak, iraniar familiakoa baitugu gurea. Adituen aburuz, balutxerak sanskrito hizkuntzaren jatorriko ahoskera mantendu du egundaino.
Balutxera arabiar-pertsiar alfabetoz idazten da, nahiz eta diasporako idazle askok latindar alfabetoa erabiltzen duten. Tamalez, oraindik ez da adostu balutxera estandarra eta idazle bakoitzak bere dialektoz idazten du.

Zein da hizkuntza honen egoera Pakistanen?
Balutxistan Pakistanen eskuetara 1948an igaro zenean, Islamabadek [Pakistango hiriburua] hitz eman zuen balutxera eskolan irakatsiko zela. Hein batean, neurria bete zen 1973. urte arte. Urte hartako konstituzioak irakaskuntza bermatzen zuen, baina guztiz kontrakoa gertatu da. Gaur egun gobernuak ez digu inongo laguntzarik ematen.

Beraz?
Berriki hainbat eskola pribatutan hasi dira balutxera irakasten, baina eskaintzen diren eskola urriak diru ekarpen pribatuei esker gauzatzen dira. Esate baterako, nire soldata hilean 22.000 errupiakoa (180 euro) da eta horietatik 1.000 ematen dizkiet balutxeraren sustapena bultzatzen duen hainbat pertsonari. Quettan, hain zuzen, badago ikasle talde bat zabalkundeaz arduratzen dena. Euren betebeharretako bat kontzientzia balutxea hedatzea da. Irakaslea naiz eta berebiziko garrantzia ematen diot horri.
Bestalde, diasporak ere laguntzen du. Bahrein, Oman, eta Dubai [Arabiar Emirerri Batuak] arabiar herrialdeetan balutxe asko dago eta handik dirua iristen zaigu. Horri eskerrak Balutxeraren Akademiak balutxera-urduera hiztegia aurki argitaratuko du. Akademiak 15-20 bat liburu argitaratzen ditu urtean.

Zer dakizu balutxeraren egoeraz Iranen?

Antza, mendebaldeko Balutxistanen ez dago argitalpenik batere. 1979ko iraultza islamikoaren ostean hainbat aldizkari argitaratu ziren, baina berehala itxi ziren. Laguntzarik ez egoteaz gain, balutxeraren aldeko edozein ekimen zigortua dago. Aldi berean, gure hizkuntza jasaten ari den pertsiar eraginak hango balutxe asko kezkatzen du.

Zailtasunak zailtasun, eleaniztuna dugu balutxe herria, ez da hala?
Bai horixe! Balutxe askok lauzpabost hizkuntza menderatzen ditu, baina gehienak analfabetoak dira. Gurean %80ak ez daki irakurtzen. Ez da harritzekoa, eskola adineko haurren erdiak ezin baitu klasera joan, azpigarapen eta baliabide ekonomiko ezagatik.

Lauzpabost hizkuntza?
Bai, denok dakigu balutxeraz; urdueraz –Pakistango hizkuntza ofiziala–; askok ingelesez, britaniar kolonia izan ginelako; pastuneraz, beraiekin bizi izan garelako mendetan, eta milioi batek edo brahvieraz.
Brahvieraz?
Bai, hemengo antzinako hizkuntzen azken arrastoa dugu. Ez da indoeuroparra, dravidiar familiakoa baizik. Esate baterako, Mengal balutxe tribukoak brahvieraz mintzo dira beti euren artean. Balutxera hizkuntzarekin ez du zerikusirik.

Eta horiek ere balutxetzat hartzen dute euren burua?
Gobernua brahvi nazionalismoa sustatzen saiatu zen garai batean, balutxeen arteko zatiketa eragitearren. Zorionez, ekimenak ez zuen inongo arrakastarik izan eta denak harro daude balutxe izateaz.

Herri bat, hizkuntza bi?
Zergatik ez?

Nortzuk dira balutxeak?
Iran, Pakistan eta Afganistango mugek banatutako herria da balutxea. Kurdueraren eta farsieraren antzeko hizkuntza dute, eta gehienak suni musulmanak dira. Errolda ofizialik ez dagoen arren, 15-20 milioi direla kalkulatzen da.

Balutxistango lurrazpiak urre, ikatz, gas, petrolio eta uranio erreserbak gordetzen ditu. Aldi berean, oso kokapen estrategikoan dago balutxeen lurra: hidrokarburoen bide nagusiak handik igarotzen dira eta 1.000 kilometroko kostaldea du Pertsiar Golkoko atarian.
Islamabaden (Pakistango hiriburua) kontrolpeko Balutxistan, Pakistango eskualderik handiena da (lurraldearen %44), baita populazio eta garapen maila txikienak dauzkana ere.

Nekazaritza da diru-iturri nagusia, baina lurraren heren bat besterik ez da laboragarria. Gas, petrolio eta ikatz erreserba erraldoiak izan arren, egur eta zimaurrez betetzen da energia beharren %40.

Offline Zahida Raees Raji

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7107
  • Karma: 356
    • Baask-Home of Baluchi Language, Literature & Culture
Re: Hamid Ali Baloch was interviewed by karlos zurtuza
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2011, 10:06:21 PM »
wajah hamid Ali Baloch,
Salam o drout,

shome ey interview kojaam zobaan e tooka ent?

passav e wadareeg

shome kaster
Zahida Raeesi
Zahida Raees :Raji:
baaskadmin@gmail.com , admin@baask.com
Learn Baluchi Composing in INPAGE
Learn Balochi Poetry Background Designing
Help Line

Offline hamid Ali Baloch

  • *Zaantkaar زانتکار
  • *****
  • Posts: 11
  • Karma: 4
Re: Hamid Ali Baloch was interviewed by karlos zurtuza
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2011, 11:27:11 PM »
Banuk Zahida Raeesi,
Drout o Salaam,
mani ey interview 'Baask' zubaan e taha inth ke ey zubaan Spain e taha gushag beet.
ey interview 2009 e saala Spain aa yak maahtaak eya chap o shing butag.... interview kanok e naam Karlos Zurtuza inth ke Spain e naamdaren taakaar (Journalist) ey.
sarjamen interview aa bechar ith:
www.argia.com/ Hamid Ali Baloch

Hamid Ali Baloch
Lecturer, Department of Balochi, University of Balochistan, Quetta.
balochi_department@yahoo.com

Offline daniel

  • Active Baask
  • ****
  • Posts: 42
  • Karma: 6
Re: Hamid Ali Baloch was interviewed by karlos zurtuza
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2011, 02:36:38 PM »
waja Hamid Ali Baloch
 gou'n salam o drout o drahbaat

waja .aga'n boot kant ,gora shoma wati interview a balochi ya ke english a rojank bekan it ,ta'n ma sarpad be baen ,chia ke ma baask e zoban a sarpad nabe'n.

mennatwaro'n .

Offline ضیا بلوچ Zia Baloch

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 304
  • Karma: 19
Re: Hamid Ali Baloch was interviewed by karlos zurtuza
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2011, 09:43:40 AM »
vaajaheN braat Hamid Ali Baloch, salaam o droot !!

vaajah maa ham vadaareeg-eeN keh shumaa eshi-a maaN English /Balochi e tahaa translate bikan et, daaN keh maa ham cheezi paai'dag haasil bikan-eeN .

Balochi LabzaaNk Zindag Baat !

shumay Kaster

Zia Baloch

Offline ¨°•√♥ BaReKaHeeR ♥√•°¨

  • Maní Zabán , Maní Pajjár
  • Seniour Baask
  • ****
  • Posts: 571
  • Karma: 9
Re: Hamid Ali Baloch was interviewed by karlos zurtuza
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2011, 12:08:57 PM »
this is the pdf version , but it still the same language , hope somebody translate it !!!

http://www.argia.com/argia-astekaria/docs/2202/pdf/p44-45.pdf


Offline hamid Ali Baloch

  • *Zaantkaar زانتکار
  • *****
  • Posts: 11
  • Karma: 4
Balochistan's history of insurgency
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2011, 06:43:11 PM »


Balochistan's history of insurgency
By Ray Fulcher
Pakistan's south-western province of Balochistan has been the site of an intense struggle for self-determination against the federal government. Despite the province being rich in natural resources, the Baloch remain economically marginalised and receive little benefit from development in Balochistan. In its efforts to counter the Baloch struggle, Pakistan's government has employed summary executions, disappearances, torture and indiscriminate bombing and artillery attack. The first part of this article was published in GLW #692.
The end result of the expropriation of Balochistan's natural resources and the marginalisation of Baloch from development projects is the province's low standard of living. It is the poorest province in Pakistan. According to the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC) in Karachi, Balochistan has the highest levels of poverty in Pakistan, nearly double that of the Punjab. Over half the population subsists below the official poverty line, less than 50% have clean drinking water, only 50% of children attend primary school and only 33% of children up to two years old have any form of immunisation. Women's literacy is the lowest in Pakistan, standing at just 7%. The federal government's 2003-04 Labour Force Survey shows urban unemployment of 12.5% in Balochistan compared to 9.7% for Pakistan as a whole. Electricity is supplied to barely 20% of the population.
The Musharraf regime has long blamed the nationalist leaders for Balochistan's underdevelopment, arguing that they are "anti-development". However, research conducted by the SPDC in 2001 shows those areas under control of nationalist leaders, such as the late Nawab Akbar Bugti, Nawab Khair Mari and Sardar Attaullah Mengal, were often better developed. A number of indicators, such as road networks, primary school enrolments, access to clean water and irrigation are often ranked higher than areas aligned to the federal government.
Balochistan's history of struggle
The Baloch have a long history of struggle against impositions by the Pakistani state. Their history, however, pre-dates the formation of Pakistan. The Baloch lay claim to a history reaching back 2000 years. In the 12th century, Mir Jalal Khan united 44 Baloch tribes; in the 15th century the Confederation of Rind Laskhari was established and the Khanate of Balochistan in the 17th.
During the British Raj, Britain annexed a strip of land adjoining Afghanistan ("British Balochistan") but beyond that did not interfere in the affairs of Balochistan so long as the Baloch allowed the British Army access to Afghanistan. The Baloch campaigned for independence during the final decades of the British Raj but were compelled to join Pakistan in 1947.
The government in Islamabad sought to subsume Baloch identity into a larger Pakistani identity. Part of its strategy was an attempt to destroy the power of the tribal chiefs and concentrate all authority in the central government. This strategy continues to this day. Even the first two constitutions of Pakistan did not recognise the Baloch as a distinct group.
Since independence, Islamabad has come into open conflict with the Baloch on four occasions — 1948, 1958, 1962, and, most bloodily, from 1973 to 1977, when a growing guerrilla movement led to an armed insurrection that ravaged the province.
Within 24 hours of the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the Khan of Kalat (the largest "princely state" in Balochistan) declared independence. On April 1, 1948, the Pakistani army invaded and the Khan capitulated. His brother, Karim, continued to resist with around 700 guerrillas but was soon crushed.
Islamabad merged the four provinces of West Pakistan into "One Unit" in 1954. This was a bid to counter the strength of East Pakistan (which later became Bangladesh) and the possibility of the minority provinces (Balochistan, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh) uniting with the east against the Punjab. A large anti-One Unit movement emerged in Balochistan.
To crush this movement the Pakistan army again invaded. The Khan of Kalat was arrested and large-scale arrests were carried out. Nauroz Khan led a resistance of 1000 militia that fought the army in pitched battles for over a year. In May 1959 Nauroz Khan was arrested at a parley with the army and died in prison in 1964, becoming a symbol of Baloch resistance. Five of his relatives, including his son, were hanged.
Following a 1973 visit of President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to Iran, where the Shah warned him against allowing nationalist movements on Iran's border, the elected government of Balochistan was dismissed. The provincial government, led by Sardar Ataulah Mengal, had been seeking greater control in areas of development and industrialisation. The pretext used for dismissal was that a cache of 350 Soviet submachine guns and 100,000 rounds of ammunition had supposedly been discovered in the Iraqi attache's house and were destined for Balochistan.
The Pakistani army invaded Balochistan with 78,000 troops supported by Iranian Cobra helicopters and were resisted by some 50,000 tribespeople. The conflict took the lives of 3300 Pakistani troops, 5300 tribespeople and thousands of civilians. In 1977 the military staged a coup and overthrew Bhutto, declared "victory" in Balochistan and withdrew.
There are distinct similarities between the period immediately prior to the 1973 insurrection and the current situation. After the 1962 conflict Baloch nationalists began planning a movement capable of defending their national interests.
Under the leadership of Sher Mohammed Marri what would later become the basic structure of the 1973 insurrection was created. In July 1963, 22 rebel camps were set up covering large areas of Balochistan, ranging from lands in the south belonging to the Mengal tribes to those of the Marris in the north. This structure later became the Baloch People's Liberation Front (BPLF) and initiated the 1973 insurrection.
The current insurgency
The groupings that underpin the current Baloch national movement emerged gradually after the 1973-77 conflict.
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) is a clandestine militant group that was formed in the early 1980s. It is believed to be headed by Khair Bux Marri of the Marri tribe. It has taken responsibility for most of the attacks against the Pakistan military. The BLA calls for the creation of a Greater Balochistan, including the Baloch territories in Iran and Afghanistan.
The Baloch National Party (BNP) is an amalgam of moderate forces that concentrate on winning political support for nationalism amongst the Baloch. It calls for extensive provincial autonomy, limiting the central government to control of defense, foreign affairs, currency, and communications.
The Balochistan Students Organisation (BSO) campaigns for a multinational Pakistan and for the revival of Baloch nationalism. It generally represents the aspirations of the educated but underemployed Baloch middle class. It calls for the continuation of quotas and for the recognition of the Baloch language as a medium of instruction in the province.
The Bugti tribe, formerly led by Nawab Akbar Bugti, fields a force of some 10,000 tribal fighters. The Dera Bugti district has been the site of intense operations by the Pakistan military in 2005-06.
As well as the Bugti tribe, the Mengal (the second largest tribe in Balochistan) and the Marri are in open revolt against the government. The conflict is not, however, limited to these tribal areas but spread throughout the province. There is conflict between the tribes but they are united against the Pakistani army.
Between December 2005, when the Pakistan military launched its most recent assault on Balochistan, and June 2006, more than 900 Baloch have been killed, 140,000 displaced, 450 political activists (mainly from the BNP) disappeared and 4000 activists arrested.
In late 2005-early 2006 the Pakistan military laid siege to Dera Bugti, attacking with artillery and air strikes. Many civilians were killed and 85% of the 25,000-strong population fled. The town of Kohlu also came under siege from Pakistan forces around the same time, virtually imprisoning the 12,000 inhabitants for weeks.
As well as the military attacks, the Frontier Corps (FC) has been responsible for indiscriminate rocket, artillery and helicopter gunship attacks on civilian areas. There has been widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure, including schools and houses, particularly in Dera Bugti and Sui districts. Military operations occur throughout the province.
The insurgents, however, strike back on a daily basis. Targeting military and FC personnel, gas and oil pipelines, communications infrastructure and police barracks, the insurgents launch rocket, grenade and mortar attacks. Some areas are heavily mined by the nationalist fighters.
On Pakistan TV on January 10, 2005, President Pervez Musharraf told the Baloch nationalists: "Don't push us … it is not the 1970s, and this time you won't even know what has hit you." Unfortunately for the president, it is beginning to look exactly like 1973 as the insurgency gathers strength and ties down Pakistan army divisions in guerrilla warfare.

Offline hamid Ali Baloch

  • *Zaantkaar زانتکار
  • *****
  • Posts: 11
  • Karma: 4
PAKISTAN'S BALUCH INSURGENCY
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2011, 06:46:28 PM »
Pakistan’s Baluch insurgency
Serious troubles have erupted in the Pakistan province of Baluchistan since the assassination of an opposition leader in August. Pressure for independence is growing in this region bordering Iran and Afghanistan, which challenges Pakistan’s authority.

BY SELIG S HARRISON
THE slow-motion genocide being inflicted on Baluch tribesmen in the mountains and deserts of southwestern Pakistan does not yet qualify as a major humanitarian catastrophe compared with the slaughter in Darfur or Chechnya. “Only” 2,260 Baluch fled their villages in August to escape bombing and strafing by the US-supplied F-16 fighter jets and Cobra helicopter gunships of the Pakistan air force, but as casualty figures mount, it will be harder to ignore the human costs of the Baluch independence (1) struggle and its political repercussions in other restive minority regions of multi-ethnic Pakistan (2).
Already, in neighboring Sindh, separatists who share Baluch opposition to the Punjabi-dominated military regime of General Pervez Musharraf are reviving their long-simmering movement for a sovereign Sindhi state, or a Sindhi-Baluch federation, that would stretch along the Arabian Sea from Iran in the west to the Indian border. Many Sindhi leaders openly express their hope that instability in Pakistan will tempt India to help them, militarily and economically, to secede from Pakistan as Bangladesh did with Indian help in 1971.
Some 6 million Baluch were forcibly incorporated into Pakistan when it was created in 1947. This is the fourth insurgency they have fought to protest against economic and political discrimination. In the most bitter insurgency, from 1973 to 1977, some 80,000 Pakistani troops and 55,000 Baluch were involved in the fighting.
Iran, like Pakistan, was then an ally of the United States. Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who feared that the insurgency would spread across the border to 1.2 million Baluch living in eastern Iran, sent 30 Cobra gunships with Iranian pilots to help Islamabad. But this time Iran is not a US ally, and Iran and Pakistan are at odds. Tehran charges that US Special Forces units are using bases in Pakistan for undercover operations inside Iran designed to foment Baluch opposition to the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Much of the anger that now motivates the Baluch Liberation Army (BLA) is driven by memories of Pakistani scorched earth tactics in past battles. In a climactic battle in 1974, Pakistani forces, frustrated by their inability to find Baluch guerrilla units hiding in the mountains, bombed, strafed and burned the encampments of some 15,000 Baluch families who had taken their livestock to graze in the fertile Chamalang Valley, forcing the guerrillas to come out from their hideouts to defend their women and children.
‘Indiscrimate bombing’
In the current fighting, which started in January 2005, the independent Pakistan Human Rights Commission has reported that “indiscriminate bombing and strafing” by F-16s and Cobra gunships are again being used to draw the guerrillas into the open. Six Pakistani army brigades, plus paramilitary forces totalling some 25,000 men, are deployed in the Kohlu mountains and surrounding areas where the fighting is most intense.
Musharraf is using new methods, more repressive than those of his predecessors, to crush the insurgency. In the past Baluch activists were generally arrested on formal charges and sentenced to fixed terms in prisons known to their families. This time Baluch spokesmen have reported large-scale kidnappings and disappearances, charging that Pakistani forces have rounded up hundreds of Baluch youths on unspecified charges and taken them to unknown locations.
The big difference between earlier phases of the Baluch struggle and the present one is that Islamabad has so far not been able to play off feuding tribes against each other. Equally importantly, it faces a unified nationalist movement under younger leadership drawn not only from tribal leaders but also from an emergent, literate Baluch middle class that did not exist three decades ago. Another difference is that the Baluch have a better armed, more disciplined fighting force in the BLA. Baluch leaders say that rich compatriots and sympathisers in the Persian Gulf provide money needed to buy weapons in the flourishing black market along the Afghan frontier.
President Musharraf has repeatedly accused India of supplying weapons to the Baluch insurgents and funds to Sindhi separatist groups, but has provided no evidence to back up these charges. India denies the accusations. At the same time New Delhi has issued periodic statements expressing concern at the fighting and calling for political dialogue.
India brushes aside suggestions that it might be tempted to help Sindhi and Baluch insurgents if the situation in Pakistan continues to unravel. Indian leaders say that. on the contrary, India wants a stable Pakistan that will negotiate a peace settlement in Kashmir so that both sides can wind down their costly arms race. But many India media commentators appear happy to see Musharraf tied down in Baluchistan and hope that the crisis will force him to reduce Pakistani support for extremist Islamic insurgents in Kashmir.
Unlike India, Iran has its own Baluch minority and fears Baluch nationalism. The Baluchistan People’s party, one of the leading Baluch groups in Iran, said on 5 August that a radical Shia cleric, Hojatol Ibrahim Nekoonam, recently installed as the justice minister of Iran’s Baluchistan province, has launched a campaign of military and police repression spearheaded by the Mersad clerical secret police, in which hundreds of Baluch have been rounded up and, in many cases, executed on charges of collaborating with the US.
Apart from being smaller in number, the Baluch in Iran are not as politically conscious or as well organised as those in Pakistan, and their principal leaders dismiss the idea of secession or of union with the Baluch in Pakistan. The Baluchistan People’s party is part of a coalition with groups representing other disaffected minorities in Iran — the Kurds, Azeri Turks and Khuzestani Arabs — which is seeking a federal restructuring in which Iran would retain control over foreign affairs, defence, communications and foreign trade, but cede autonomy in other spheres to three minority autonomous regions.
Goal of the insurgency
In Pakistan, where the Baluch have been radicalised by their periodic military struggles with Islamabad, many Baluch leaders believe that the goal of the insurgency should be an independent Baluchistan, unless the military regime is willing to grant the provincial autonomy envisaged in the 1973 constitution, which successive military regimes, including the present one, have nullified. What the Baluch, Sindhis, and a third, more assimilated ethnic minority, the Pashtuns, want above all is an end to the blatant economic discrimination by the dominant Punjabis.
Most of Pakistan’s natural resources are in Baluchistan, including natural gas, uranium, copper and potentially rich oil reserves. Although 36% of the gas produced in Pakistan comes from the province, Baluchistan consumes only a fraction of production because it is the most impoverished area of the country. For decades, Punjabi-dominated central governments have denied Baluchistan a fair share of development funds and paid only 12% of the royalties due to it for its gas. Similarly, the Sindhi and Pashtun areas have consistently been denied fair access to the waters of the Indus River by dam projects that channel the lion’s share of the water to the Punjab.
In a television speech on 20 July, devoted mostly to Baluchistan, Musharraf dismissed Baluch charges of economic discrimination and announced a $49.8m development programme for the province, half for roads and other infrastructure projects. The “real exploiters” of the Baluch, he said, are the tribal chieftains, known as sardars, who “have stolen development funds for themselves”. He claimed that the armed forces have been sent into Baluchistan to protect the Baluch from their leaders while development proceeds. Musharraf blamed the insurgency on the sardars, principally Akbar Bugti, who was killed on 26 August when the army blew up a cave where he was hiding. But the current insurgency is not being led by the tribal elders but by a new generation of politically conscious Baluch nationalists.
What makes negotiations on autonomy difficult are the economic issues relating to taxation and to the terms for sharing the resulting revenues from the development of oil, gas and other natural resources. In most proposals for a devolution of power to the provinces, Baluch and Sindhi leaders have argued that taxes collected by the central government should not be allocated, as at present, solely on a population basis, which favours the Punjab; instead, it has been suggested, half should be allocated on a population basis, while the rest should be distributed in accordance with the amount collected in each province. Since the provinces have equal representation in the Senate, even under the 1973 constitution, the upper chamber should be given greater powers, with the Senate, rather than the president or prime minister, empowered to dissolve a provincial legislature or to declare an emergency.
A more extreme demand is that Baluch, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Punjabis should have complete parity in both chambers of the National Assembly as well as in civil service and military recruitment, irrespective of population disparities. All factions among the minorities give priority to radically upgraded representation in the civil service and the armed forces, and all want constitutional safeguards to prevent the central government from arbitrarily removing an elected provincial government, as Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto did in 1973. The issue of safeguards against arbitrary central intervention is likely to be a non-negotiable one for the minorities, since they are seeking not only the substance, but also the feeling, of autonomy.
A tiny minority
The Baluch are only 3.57% of Pakistan’s 165.8 million people, and the three minorities combined claim only 33%. Yet they identify themselves with ethnic homelands that cover 72% of Pakistan’s territory. To the Punjabis, it is galling that the minorities should advance proprietary claims over such large areas. For this reason, the prospects for a restoration of the 1973 constitution appear bleak.
In the final analysis, the possibility of a constitutional compromise is inseparably linked with the overall course of the struggle for democratisation. With continued military rule, the Baluch insurgency and the growing movement for Sindhi rights will be radicalised. But it is unlikely that the Baluch could prevail militarily over Pakistani forces and establish an independent state, even with Sindhi help, unless India intervenes as part of a broader confrontation with Islamabad. The prospect in late 2006 is for a continuing, inconclusive struggle by the Baluch and Sindhis against Islamabad, that will debilitate Pakistan.
In the eyes of the Baluch and Sindhis, the US has a major share of the blame for the present crisis because US military hardware is being used to repress the Baluch insurgency, and a cornucopia of US economic aid to Islamabad since 11 September 2001 has kept Musharraf afloat. Military aid to Musharraf since 9/11, including the sale of 36 F-16s, recently approved by Congress, has totalled $900m so far, and another $600m is promised by 2009. Economic aid has not only included $3.6bn in US and US-sponsored multilateral aid but also the US-orchestrated postponement of $13.5bn in overdue debt repayments to aid donors.
Instead of pressing Musharraf for a political settlement with the minorities, as some European Union officials have done, the Bush administration has said that its ethnic tensions are an “internal matter” for Pakistan itself to resolve. Human rights organisations have called for international pressure on Musharraf to pursue a settlement, and critics in the US argue that the diversion of US-equipped Pakistani forces from the Afghan frontier to Baluchistan undermines even the limited operations against al-Qaida and the Taliban that Musharraf is pursuing in response to US pressure. Until Bush’s departure, however, the US commitment to Musharraf is likely to remain firm, barring the outside possibility that he will step down in the face of growing domestic pressure and permit former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif to participate in the presidential elections scheduled for next year.