Wednesday, September 23, 2009


In response to my latest article on Gilgit-Baltistan, I was in receipt of a mail from a highly-respected US analyst asking me whether what is going on in Balochistan and Swat is good for India. I am giving below my reply, which I have sent separately:

Many thanks for your kind message. Balochistan has nothing to do with India or vice versa.It is a question of the on-going freedom struggle in Balochistan being good or bad for Pakistan. It is definitely not good for Pakistan, which has already once suffered a traumatic split in 1971 due to the inability of its political and military leadership to understand the extent of the alienation of the Bengalis and the inability of US policy-makers to realise the implications of the alienation.Thirty-eight years later, one is facing a similar situation. Neither the political nor the military leadership of Pakistan has been able to understand the extent of the alienation of the Balochs and they are dealing with them in the same way Yahya Khan, Tikka Khan, Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto and others dealt with the Bengalis---through brute force. The failure of the US policy-makers to realise the serious implications of what is going on in Balochistan and their inability----as surprising as theirs in 1971-- is aggravating the situation both for Pakistan and the US. I have been studying Pakistan and the US from the sub-continental perspective for four decades. The US policy of solidarity with Pakistan right or wrong has repeatedly proved to be the kiss of disaster for Pakistan. Swat is a mosquito bite compared to what has been going on in Balochistan. Both Balochistan and Swat are the internal affairs of Pakistan and policy traps of the US. India, as a sub-continental power, watches the situation closely and as a genuine friend and well-wisher of the US feels concerned over the blindness of US policy-makers and think-tanks. Like the old Bourbon kings of France, US policy-makers dealing with the sub-continent have nothing to learn and nothing to forget. The US is unable to come out of its karma. Warm regards. B.Raman


Orso Raggiante said...

Baluchistan may have nothing to do with India now, but it could if New Delhi wished so. Pakistan keeps sapping India's strength as does China with their support of Islamic fundamentalists or Naxalites and yet there is no response from India save weak expressions of consternation?

It is in India's interest to be in Baluchistan AND Sindh if the MQM or some local group is willing to collaborate. NWFP will take care of itself...what will Punjab do on its own?

India should also be in Afghanistan, Sinkiang and has been too long that our national bird has been the ostrich. Time to return the presents India's beloved neighbours have given us time and again.

Politics is not about morality but about survival. In the Mahabharata, even Krishna abandons the idea of dharma yudda when he sees that the opponent is impervious to reason and logic.

Raymond Turney said...

As an American, I'd offer the view that the US collectively hasn't noticed Balochistan because the situation there hasn't resulted in any spectacular events in the US, and neither of the big rival powers {Russia and China} are involved.

After all, the US ignored Afghanistan before the Russians invaded, financed and armed a guerilla war against the Russians, went back to ignoring Afghanistan after the Russians left, and suddenly became interested in Afghanistan on 9/12/2001. Balochistan is like Afghanistan before the Russians invaded.

As to whether or not India has anything to do with the situation in Balochistan, this is pretty much impossible to determine. The Indians say India is not involved. The Pakistanis say India is involved. Here in the US, it is impossible to be sure if the CIA is or isn't involved in Balochistan. Since the senior leaders of the Taliban are reportedly in Balochistan, I tend to assume that it is. So it is pretty much impossible for me to determine whether Raman's claims that India is not involved are right or the claims of various Pakistanis are right.

Hopefully, the mess in Balochistan will remain in Balochistan and not explode into a civil war big enough to catch the attention of the rest of the world.

ambi said...

kudos to u sir! just love your views & analysis. we all indians r really greatful to u for ur services to the nation. ur r my hero. wish to meet u once. ofcourse that is not possible.
RAW is a great asset to india. india lost only one war that is with china, among the many reasons one i feel is that, in 1962 RAW was not there. u KOA boys r simply great. keep up good work sir.

Giani said...

Couldnt have said it better than Ambi. Enjoyed your book!