Crisis in Balochistan: A Seminar by the United States Institute of Peace


WASHINGTON, D.C. Convenor of the World Baloch Jewish Alliance (WBJA) and journalist Ahmar Mustikhan lauded Pakistani Senator Sanaullah Baloch`s excellent exposition of the Balochistan conundrum and rebuked the claim that he was trying to internationalize the occupation issue. Mustikhan briefly spoke at a seminar entitled "The Crisis in Balochistan" organized under the auspices of the United States Institute of Peace. "The crisis in Balochistan is objectively an international problem and it has always been so," Mustikhan said. Senator Baloch, the keynote speaker, addressed the conference from London through video. Other speakers were eminent scholars Selig Harrison, Asia chief at the Center for International Policy; Frederic Grare visiting French scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and J. Alexander Their, senior advisor at the USIP Rule of Law Program. The WBJA is determined to combat anti-Semitism in all its forms and believes the Baloch are one of the lost tribes of Israel. The Alliance`s aims and objects include promoting friendship between the Jewish people and the Baloch people. Though the WBJA is apolitical, it is supportive of the Jerusalem-based rudimentary Government of Balochistan in Exile, which has been formed by Mir Azaad Khan, a Baloch of Jewish descent now living in Israel. Mustikhan rebuked a questioner`s notion that Senator Baloch was trying to internationalize the Balochistan crisis by saying that Islamabad has leased out Balochistan to the Chinese. "Baloch are a nation on the one hand and Punjabis and Persians are nations on the other," Mustikhan observed at the conference. "The problem between them have always been international in nature," he said. The WBJA convenor also pooh-poohed the complaint of a Punjabi settler in Balochistan who asked Senator Baloch that when he claims the Baloch were liberal and secular, then why Punjabis were being discriminated in Balochistan. "It is interesting the rulers are now complaining they are not being treated right," Mustikhan said about the complaint of the Punjabi settler, Adil Sultan, who is now a Visiting Fellow at the Henry L. Stimson. Mustikhan later circulated a written statement among the seminar speakers. He said he is concerned at the myopia at the highest level of the U.S. administration. "I mean they want to do the undoable, but don't want to do the doable. This is a cruel joke with American soldiers who are serving overseas," he said. He regretted that the Baloch, just like the Kurd further northwest in the Middle East, were still in chains. Mustikhan said Pakistan is the elephant in the room no one wanted to see. "It is home not only to world's most hated terrorists, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zwahiri, but equally dangerous and one of world's worst nuclear proliferators, Abdul Qadeer Khan." He deplored that Pakistan has successfully hoodwinked the U.S. it is helpless getting bin Laden, and the rogue army there has told the U.S. under no circumstances would they hand over Khan for interrogation. He pointed out Balochistan has the potential to generate $58 billion per year, $42 billion from oil. Balochistan can produce 2 million bbl/day plus it has a strategic coastline that is approximately 1,000-km, of which 780-km is occupied by Pakistan, while the remainder is controlled by Iran. The WBJA convenor said while the U.S. is spending monies and losing men in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Chinese are building up their wealth. The Chinese are actively working in Balochistan, from the copper-gold mine projects in Saindak to the port of Gwadur, bribing the Pakistani generals and army officers to have their way, in spite of all kinds of concessions that are already in place. "Small wonder if Wal-Mart is stuffed with Made in China goods," he said. He countered the notion Musharraf of Pakistan is an ally of the U.S., saying the Pakistani general is an ally of China. "I personally think it's criminal to say Pakistan is a U.S. ally in the war on terror," he said. He recalled that while the puppet Taliba'an government was removed from Afghanistan following the 9/11 terror attacks, it conveniently shifted base to Pakistan`s Frontier and Balochistan provinces. "The Taliba'an were nothing but show boys of Pakistan's dreaded Inter Services Intelligence. Does it need rocket science to prove this assertion?" he asked. He said Afghan president Hamid Karzai has rightfully complained about Taliba'an getting help from Pakistan. This is also a Baloch complaint, as they are being Taliba'anized. "Here, I am not counseling please don't let Balochistan down. What I am urging is please don't let Americans and America down. Please help the Baloch. Please help the Kurds. Please help them get their freedom," Mustikhan said.

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