As red as a rag
The Pakistani army brutal campaign against Baloch insurgents is now receiving greater attention from the international media. Newsweek called it ‘a major rebellion’ and has quoted Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti (“It’s war now”). The ‘BBC‘ chips in with reports. The Pakistani army didn’t do the smartest thing by firing at the representatives of Pakistan’s human rights commission. Gen Musharraf, of course, repeated his allegations of Indian involvement which were promptly rejected by Nawab Bugti. Syed Saleem Shahzad, Asia Times’ Pakistan correspondent, writes that it is the United States that is funding the Baloch insurgency as the Bush administration may have lost its patience with Musharraf. (via Secular-Right). Whether or not, it is part of an orchestrated exercise involve the United States, India’s official comments have helped focus the world’s attention on the goings on in Balochistan.
Now B Raman has what he calls ‘a modest proposal’.
There is no scope for any Indian ground action in support of the Baloch freedom-struggle. Such ground action will be unwise and counter-productive for our national interests as well as the interests of the Balochs themselves. It is their freedom struggle. They should win it through their efforts.
But there is scope for gestures. One such gesture could be for India to insist on Baloch participation in the on-going tripartite (India, Iran and Pakistan) exploratory talks on the gas pipeline from Iran . The gas pipeline has to pass through Baloch territory. Its security in Baloch territory can be assured only by the Baloch people, who have to have their due share of the transit fee and other benefits of the pipeline. [Outlook]
Even if the Indian foreign ministry ignores Raman’s proposal, the Pakistani media is bound to get very excited by his suggestion.