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A Proxy war is going on in Karachi


Veteran Baloch journalist and former leader of Baloch Students organization (BSO), Siddiq Baloch has covered internal and external politics of Pakistan from a refreshing point-of-view. Baloch has also been private secretary of ex-Governor Balochistan and eminent Marxist leader Ghaus Baksh Bizenjo. He is also Editor, Balochistan Express and has been a staffer of Pakistan’s leading English daily Dawn for more than 30 years
SHAHID HUSAIN | Issue Dated: October 20, 2013, New Delhi
Tags : Karachi | General Mirza Aslam Beg | Baloch | Veteran Baloch |

How do you see the prevailing situation in Karachi, a city essentially established by Baloch people? Is a proxy war going on in the port city of Karachi?

 Absolutely! It’s a proxy war! Pakistan is a victim of terrorism and many countries of the world are suspected to be participating in the proxy war. It is very easy for any country to recruit hundreds of people; to provide them money, weapons, shelter and valuable information in regard to destabilizing Karachi. So millions of aliens from all over the region-from India, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and other countries are brought and settled here. They are all non-Sindhis and illegal immigrants. No government is taking action against them. It seems the government is least interested to crack down on illegal immigrants.

There are lots of conspiracy theories with regard to Pakistan. For instance there are theories that the American, Jewish and Indian lobbies are adamant to disintegrate Pakistan. Some say we have learnt nothing from the 1971 tragedy and we ourselves are pushing the country towards chaos and disintegration...

To be precise, it was Pakistan that interfered in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and tried to overthrow the nationalist government there.

You are referring to the so called theory of “strategic defiance” enunciated by former Chief of the Army Staff General Mirza Aslam Beg...

The strategic defiance theory of General Aslam Beg stood defeated when the Americans destroyed two armies-that of Iraq and Afghanistan and both the countries are still building their armies from scratch.
Would you agree that the military junta led by former military dictator General Aga Mohammad Yahya Khan played a vital role in the disintegration of Pakistan since it not only declined to accept the outcome of 1970 elections held on the basis of adult franchise but also gave a false perception to the nation that America’s Seventh Fleet will come to rescue Pakistan if India attacked it?

Basically, I disagree with the narrative regarding Bangladesh. The army started believing in the late 1960s that the East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) is ungovernable. Thus they decided to kick the Bengalis out of Pakistan despite the fact that Bengalis being the majority never wanted to part with Pakistan. The 1971 military operation was planned and executed to kick out the Bengalis from Pakistan. The decision of Pakistan Establishment was known when One Unit was disintegrated and the four provinces were restored since they no more needed parity with East Bengal.

The government of Pakistan under the pressure of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank is withdrawing subsidies and selling national assets such as Pakistan Steel that happens to be the mother industry. Don’t you agree that such moves will endanger Pakistan’s national interests?

Basically the present government is a government of traders and businessmen. So they are abusing state power and minting billions. During the last tenure they disposed off the entire financial sector. Banks were sold at throw away price only to get personal control over the national capital. So you should not be surprised if a government of commission agents and traders is selling Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan Railways and Pakistan Steel.

The class divide in Pakistan has become very sharp. Thirty per cent population in the country is living below the poverty line. There are no jobs; there is lawlessness and anarchy. Can progressive and nationalist forces grab the opportunity and try to bring a genuine change?

The powerful Establishment has destroyed the political and democratic system in Pakistan. It is recruiting politicians as their agents. So I don’t see chance for any positive political development in the country. We should not expect positive attitude from the agents of the Establishment. Major political parties are heavily interested to have a rapport with the agents of the Establishment. So we should not think of a change in present circumstances. In Balochistan, around 80 per cent people are living below the poverty line.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017