oct 11th, 2006
selig harrison is a sensible person, and no friend of pakistan (unlike that alleged 'south asia' expert stephen cohen, who is not sensible and is a friend of pakistan).
india, japan, vietnam -- all non-friends of china and thus of china's poodle pakistan -- should get together and fund, arm and train the baluchis. the yanks may also be interested in balochistan's mineral wealth. i don't think, despite all the lip service, that the yanks are wedded to musharraf. they just find him useful to keep india off balance. so the yanks may drop old mushy one day like a hot potato and help the baluchis.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
A sophisticated armed fight for a province's autonomy
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.