The Government of Balochistan in Exile

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Wrong Battle in Pakistan


KALAT, Balochistan -- The New York Times published an editorial titled "The Wrong Battle in Pakistan". This article is reproduced below for the convenience of our readers:

The Wrong Battle in Pakistan

EDITORIAL (The New York Times)

There are dangerous international terrorists hiding out in the mountain caves of Pakistan. But 79-year-old Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the Baluch tribal leader, politician and rebel, was not one of them.

Now Mr. Bugti is dead and the impoverished but energy-rich province of Baluchistan is in an uproar after an ill-explained military operation last month. After a week of contradictory government statements, the only things now clear are that Mr. Bugti’s body was buried in the rubble of his blown-up mountain hideout, and that antigovernment fury in the restive province is at a new pitch of intensity.

The last thing Pakistan needs is an upsurge in violence and repression in Baluchistan. That would only be a distraction from far more important challenges, like developing a chronically underachieving economy; restoring a ravished democracy; and placing a dangerous nuclear weapons establishment, including exports of bomb-related technology, under firm and reliable civilian control.

And there are far more crucial things that Pakistan’s military could be doing than hunting down Mr. Bugti and his followers. For example, it could finally seal its scandalously porous border with Afghanistan, making it much harder for the Taliban to infiltrate into that country the fighters killing American, NATO and Afghan soldiers. It could permanently shut down the Pakistan-based Kashmiri terrorist groups that have survived past crackdowns by reopening under new names, with little interference from Pakistani authorities. Not least, it could make a more serious effort to find and arrest Osama bin Laden, widely believed to have spent much of the past four and a half years on Pakistani soil.

Any of these efforts would stir up opposition in one part or another of the Pakistani military, the only constituency that Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, ever really cares about. So long as elections are brazenly rigged, opposition parties are banned and Washington’s uncritical support remains guaranteed, General Musharraf has little incentive to take up any of these vital challenges.

When General Musharraf comes to the United States, he loves to be lauded as a leader in the war on terrorism. Back home, his government too often acts like a garden-variety military dictatorship.

Baloch News Bureau Report

Mir Azaad Khan Baloch
General Secretary
The Government of Balochistan in Exile


  • Afghan chief: End terrorist sanctuaries
    Associated Press
    KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan President Hamid Karzai told the United Nations on Wednesday that terrorist sanctuaries elsewhere must be destroyed to eliminate the violence engulfing his country.

    In a clear reference to neighboring Pakistan, Karzai told the U.N.'s General Assembly in New York that "terrorism does not emanate from within Afghanistan" but that his country "is its worst victim."

    "We must destroy terrorist sanctuaries beyond Afghanistan, dismantle the elaborate networks in the region," he told world leaders. "We must ensure that political currents and entities in the region are not allowed to use extremism as an instrument of policy."

    Karzai's call for military action against terror cells outside Afghanistan comes about two weeks after Pakistan signed a truce with Taliban-linked militants in the tribal North West Frontier province where the government has little control.

    Afghan officials repeatedly accuse Pakistan of not doing enough to stem the flow of insurgents and weapons across the border.

    Pakistan, which has deployed 80,000 troops along the porous border, rejects the accusation and says it does all it can.

    In Washington, NATO's top commander, U.S. Gen. James Jones, said after weeks of prodding that European nations have agreed to provide more troops for the alliance in Afghanistan. Romania has agreed to send a battalion in October, and the United Kingdom and Canada are adding to their forces, Jones said.

    Clashes and bombings killed 34 Taliban fighters and one policeman in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

    Karzai told the U.N. assembly that millions of Afghans have voted in elections and the country's per capita income has doubled since 2002. But he said an increase in terrorist attacks has resulted in schools and medical clinics being razed, and the country's schools now have 200,000 fewer students than two years ago.

    He said a lack of security has allowed a record-breaking narcotics trade to flourish.

    By Blogger Sal, at Thursday, September 21, 2006  

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