A man is comforted by his relative after he arrived at the local hospital in Quetta.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Unbeknown to the citizens of Israel, their country has been cast by Pakistan – the world’s only nuclear-armed Islamic republic – as the dreaded foe behind the secessionist movement in France-sized Balochistan.
Pakistani newspaper reports have routinely accused the State of Israel of being one of the main sponsors of terrorism in Balochistan, the strategically sexiest Pakistan province that forms the 1,050 km. northern lip of the state of Hormuz in Pakistan and Iran.
In the past Baloch nationalists in Pakistan, influenced by Soviet communism, used to nurture a soft spot for the Palestinian national movement. However, apathy of Muslim and Arab countries toward their plight spanning seven decades have changed their minds. Last July, former Balochistan communications and works minister Hyrbyair Marri, who is widely believed to be the operational commander of the Baloch Liberation Army, termed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement in support of an independent Kurdistan a positive step.
Marri said just like Kurds are a very important factor for the peace and stability in the Middle East, Baloch are a necessary factor to establish peace and stability in the region situated between Gulf, Central Asia and Middle East. As if to hint at a strategic alliance with Israel, Marri said an independent Balochistan will have diplomatic relations with all nations including Israel and as a responsible and dignified state will strive for peace and stability in the world alongside other peace-loving nations. He also cautioned the world against the dangers of Pakistan’s nuclear arms.
“The day Pakistan became an atomic power, it became a threat to world’s safety,” he said.
Marri has also announced plans for a month-long campaign against Pakistan’s nuclear arms beginning April 19.
Two years ago, Oren Kessler in an article in The Tower
cited another exiled Baloch leader, Khan Suleman Daud, as saying it was in the mutual interests of Israel and Balochistan to join forces.
“The world has interests – yours is that Iran shouldn’t be nuclear, and also that Pakistan be weak. I have my interests – independence,” Daud, who lives in exile in Cardiff, Wales, told Kessler. He said the Baloch are the region’s only secular people and are disgusted by the political ideologies of the Islamic republics of Pakistan and Iran, adding, “I’d love to come to Tel Aviv someday – hopefully soon.”
Though there is no tangible evidence of Israeli support, Pakistani intelligence believes Israel, along with India and the US, desires to seize Gwadar port and dismantle the nuclear assets of Pakistan, which are growing at a rapid rate and which experts say could equal those of the UK by 2020.
In contrast to newfound Baloch sympathy with the State of Israel, the religious Right in Pakistan is in the habit of seeing a Zionist conspiracy behind the nuclear-armed but failing state’s many woes. For instance, when the Saudis attacked Houthi rebels last month in Yemen, not only Shi’ites but also the Wahabi supporters of Saudi Arabia were blaming Zionists of Israel in statements and street protests. Pakistan is one of the most anti-Semitic Muslim nations on the face of earth, where children as young as five years old are taught Jews are enemies of Muslims. It’s worth mentioning here that when Pakistan conducted its nuclear tests in May 1998 in Chagai district, Balochistan, Pakistan’s Islamists took to the streets in major cities like Karachi, commercial capital of the country, to rejoice, and had replicas of nuclear missiles with names of three countries on them. Israel was one of them; India and the United States were the other two.Ahmar Mustikhan is a senior Balochistan journalist who now lives in the Washington, DC, area.
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