I wish I had not lived to see this day. Writing a letter from the relative comforts of my room in the Washington DC area – even though it is a cheap rented room — when you are in the mountains of Balochistan with a firm resolution to throw out the Pakistani occupiers. We always saluted your bravery and courage. Your picture on a stretcher, hands cuffed frail and weak in the custody of the intelligence agencies of the Pakistani occupiers made any Baloch blood boil. That picture was a living reflection of the chained slavery of Balochistan for more than six decades. You were our Robin Hood, the soldier with the shining armor, and I called you the shining star of Balochistan.
We made posters and banners of you and hung it at our events in Washington DC and Houston.
The first shock came when my old friend Maula Bakhsh Dashti was gunned down allegedly by your loyalists. I had seen Dashti for the first time way back in 1979 fixing scotch whiskey drinks for General Sher Mohammad Marri, aka General Sherov Marri at the Frontier Hotel in Karachi.
You denied having a hand in the killing nearly three months after the happening, but that was too little too late. Already a full-fledged campaign was launched against all human ethics against the dead man by your sympathizers. So the writing, condemning a dead man, made everything clear who the killers really were. Maula Bakhsh Dashti was not alive to answer those attacks and his attackers were worse than vultures.
Let me first begin by Maula Bakhsh Dashti’s killings on July 11, 2010 that badly polarized Balochistan politics. I firmly believe oneof the main causative factors was Imam Bheel joining the National Party in spring of that year. Balochistan journalist Malik Siraj Akbar noted, “Optimists who are still unwilling to equate the situation in Balochistan with a state of “civil war” would at least agree that the situation has gone beyond mere political polarization. The current situation could at best be termed as “polarization plus.”
Akbar correctly noted, “What needs to be understood is the fact that Baloch leaders, whether they believe in armed struggle or parliamentary politics, are equally under threat. They are unacceptable to the country’s Establishment…..”
Though a shadowy Baloch Defense Organization, claimed responsibility for Dashti’s gruesome killing, The National Party pointed a finger of blame at you. I would never have trusted what senators Malik Baloch or Hasil Bizenjo were saying since they defend the presence of Inter-Services henchmen Imam Bheel in their party ranks. But I had no reason to mistrust the words of the victim family members; they too accused at least two members of your organization one of whom has already been killed in Pakistani military custody while the other is wanted.
Journalist Akbar noted, “It is the time the armed groups and the moderate nationalist parties provided ample breathing space to each other. There is no questioning each others’ commitment to the rights of the Baloch people. They should focus on fighting for the rights of the people of Balochistan rather than engaging in an internal battle. This battle is no longer confined to a war of words but it has reached a point of physical attacks …. on each other’s leaders.
“Such confrontation does not serve the interests of Balochistan. The fight for the rights of Balochistan is a political battle. It should not be taken personally. Groups should try to perform better than each other in the political battlefield by winning the hearts of the masses rather than physically harming one another.
“We earnestly hope that sanity prevails and this crucial moment in our history is handled wisely and responsibly by all stakeholders in the greater interest of the Baloch people.”
More than 80 days after the killing of Dashti The News on Sunday carried a very nice interview of you. Excerpts from the article are being reproduced here to refresh your memory:
Strangely Dr. Allah Nazar prefers books to guns. “I’d like to have both though. But if I have to choose one I’ll prefer the book. It’s the book which guides my gun.”
Dr Allah Nazar, blamed by the government for the assassination of Maula Bakhsh Dashti, Habib Jalib and other moderate politicians, has denied killing his political opponents. “It’s the government’s propaganda. I don’t believe in eliminating political opponents. I’m a political worker, not a bandit and I’ve taken up arms for a political ideology,” he stresses.
Apart from the government and military authorities, the National Party (NP) has also held Dr Nazar responsible for the murder of its leader Maula Bakhsh Dashti in Turbat. Some media reports suggest the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), a militant group believed to be headed by Dr Nazar, claimed responsibility for the killing. However, this politician-cum-militant leader says the NP was providing “an excuse to the military to knock him out”.
“I’ve worked with Maula Bakhsh Dashti and other leaders of the NP during my student life. I’ve had political differences with them since then, but it doesn’t mean I’ll kill them for having ideas other than mine. I believe in political process and I’ll prefer to persuade them through dialogue.”
I was at a loss to understand why you did not own the work of two members of your organization but told myself maybe it meant they acted on their own, without your approval. But of course I had this question in my mind there may be organizational weaknesses in the B.L.F.
Any ways I was in California for some work when I got a call from a dear friend who had always sided with the Balochistan independence demand here in the USA, Rashid Baloch.
He was aghast and devastated.
His close relative, Mohammad Hussain, was gunned down in Kosh Kalat in a brutal Taliban-style.
I spoke with Samandar Askani, producer of Radio Gwank, the following day and he said the agencies killed Hussain, even though Senator Malik Baloch had named your organisation.
But then the B.L.F. owned responsibility for the killing and said that Hussain was killed because he was a “spy.”
The most troubling thing about the killing was the killers also took away Rs. 5,000 and cell phone from the dead man’s pocket. Sorry my Robin Hood, as much as I respect you, I do not think freedom fighters indulge in such acts.
I had email my request to you to please stop killing Baloch unarmed civilians and political party members. This will bring a bad name to the freedom movement. In your interview to the BBC, you said you believe in international law and conventions. Such killings of unarmed civilans violate international laws.
Though we appealed to you not to touch unarmed civilans a second member of the National Party, Dr. Lal Bakhsh, was gunned down on Monday. A reign of fear and terror has now engulfed the peaceful Kech Valley.
We have serious differences with Malik Baloch and Mir Hasil Bizenjo over politics as they have allowed international drug kingpin Imam Bheel in their party for fine Scotch whiskey and they advocate provincial autonomy which is not a solution for Balochistan, but this does not mean their party workers should be terrorized, bullyied or killed.
Hasil Bizenjo is a son of Baloch statesman Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo who was one of the first advocates of an independent Balochistan.
Political battles should be fought in a political away, not at the point of gun.
I am told in most nationalist movements you find three kinds of people: those who advocate autonomy, those who advocate self-determination and those who advocate outright independence. Andrew Eiva, an American friend who has spoken at some Baloch events internationally and had worked for Lithuania independence from Russia, surprised me by telling me “All these three different sets of people in Balochistan must be accusing each other of being government spies?”
I learn from former student of the Bolan Medical College, Dr. Munir Marri, who knew you from your college days that you are an extremely mild-mannered and loving person, but I have some statistics for you that is very disturbing and will provide food for thought. According to Wikipedia, Pakistan’s fourth largest army in the world has 6,17,000 active soldiers and 3,04,000 paramilitary troops. This deadly army, which is infamous for its inhumanity, has killed nearly 250 freedom activists since the killing spree that started after the killing of Maula Bakhsh Dashti in July last year. In other words it took Pakistan 3,684 soldiers to kill one Baloch.
In your interview with BBC you said you had 2,000 men with you and we believe that figure. In addition to four National Party “spies” – Maula Bakhsh Dashti, Mohamad Hussain, Dr. Lal Bakhsh and Nasim Jangiyan – a fifth “spy” Imtiaz Baloch of Balochistan National Party was also allegedly killed by your organisation. This means so far in the last year it took the B.L.F. just 400 sarmachars to kill a Baloch civilian.
If you divide 3,684 by 400 it will show the B.LF. is nine times more deadly and brutal when it comes to killing of unarmed Baloch civilians than the Butchers of Bengal. This does not augur well for an independent Balochistan that we all have dreamed and yearned for for decades. I am really scared.
I hope you will announce your men will never point their gun on unarmed Baloch civilians again.
I always envisioned you as a great general of an independent Balochistan. Your courage and valor to challenge the fourth largest army in the world on the soil of Balochistan has already made you a legend in your lifetime.
Please do not listen to bad advise that all National Party members should be killed as they are part of a spy network. Or to the slogan the entire Mengal family should be wiped out for their parliamentary politics.
We are not trying to dictate strategy and tactics. All we are trying to ask you is please do not put us in a situation where we won’t be able to assist the independence movement of Balochistan. Also please ask your young sympathizers on Facebook and elsewhere that we are not your enemy but your friend and they should have the tolerance for criticism. Please tell them you are not a Pakistani general who does not answer to the people, but that you believe in democracy and criticism that comes from any writer in the United States.
We need your help to dismantle this terror monster Pakistan. We only hope you will listen to us so we can be of help to you in this joint endeavor for a Free Balochistan.