If the enemy thought the Mastung massacre would put the Pushtun and the Baloch in Balochistan on a collision course, it should think again. It has not, thanks to political maturity and farsightedness shown by the political leadership of the province. In fact, by now it is amply evident that the principal source of trouble in Balochistan is none but the Indian intelligence agency RAW, and the so-called ‘liberation’ outfits active in the province are its hired guns.
Not that the RAW is a newcomer to Balochistan, it has been there for quite some time, promoting India’s anti-Pakistan agenda. But the recent spike is essentially geared to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which has the right potential to effectively checkmate India’s long cherished ambition to emerge as the regional hegemon and uncontested controller of waters between the Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca.
The corridor brings China to the Gwadar seaport that sits at the mouth of Gulf, with all its strategic, political and economic strengthens outbidding India’s infantile exploitative capabilities. Given this reality the Modi government is in a state of panic, which aptly reflected from Indian leaders’ recent statements, including Defence Minister Parrikar’s owning up acts of terrorism in Pakistan and seems to have recharged the RAW-special mission to foment ethnic hatred in Balochistan. Having heard right from the horse’s mouth there are no more any buyer of the Indian prescription that trouble in the province is indigenous aimed at securing liberation of its people from the federal Pakistan.
No surprise then the All-Party Conference organised by Chief Minister Dr Malik and chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Quetta on Monday unanimously declared that the “anti-state elements are trying to make the situation deteriorate in Balochistan by implementing the agenda of their foreign masters'” The enemy’s attempt at pitting brother against brother has been foiled, the APC noted.
Juxtaposed with the everyday scenario of rowdy politics the consensus clinched by the Quetta APC that the Mastung massacre was the enemy’s attempt at putting Pushtun and Baloch communities on a collision course unambiguously brings out the hard fact that on matters of national importance, the people of Pakistan would get together, close their ranks and act as one unified force.
Following the Peshawar school tragedy there was unambiguous national consensus that terrorists must be confronted head-on and the APC unanimously agreed on the 20-point National Action Plan. And when the controversy on the route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor erupted there was an APC that accorded unanimous approval to the corridor in all its dimensions and asked the government to go ahead with its implementation.
And earlier, in 2013, the people of Pakistan thumbed their noses at the terrorists and jam-packed the polling stations to exercise their democratic right of vote. Last week again, they vigorously participated in the local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. No doubt these years and months have been hard times for the people of Pakistan. In less that two decades Pakistan lost tens of thousands of lives at the hands of foreign-funded and misguided terrorists and suffered some $110 billion worth of economic losses. But the spirit to live as an independent nation has remained alive.
But at the end of the tunnel there is light: there are clear signs that the country is emerging from the long shadow of terrorism. The Operation Zarb-e-Azb is progressing successfully and most of the tribal areas have been cleared of terrorists and the internally displaced persons are returning to their homes. In urban areas, particularly Karachi, the paramilitary forces have largely succeeded in breaking up terrorist networks and have to some degree controlled the organised crimes.
And in Balochistan, the show of unanimity across the ethnic divide expressed at the Quetta APC amply suggests that the Mastung carnage is the last hurrah of the dying monster of ethnic-based terrorism. And as for the sectarian strife its days are numbered too – for, their masters are now threatened by their common enemy, the so-called Islamic State. The long held hostage to threat of terrorism the Pakistan Day was celebrated with full flourish and the Zimbabwe cricketers were in Pakistan last month to play international cricket after a hiatus of six years. Things have begun to change in a meaningful manner.
The text appeared in the Editorial of Business Recorder today.