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جمعرات، 13 اکتوبر، 2011

Baloch youth in Pak Army

 It was really a fascinating scene to watch on Tuesday when thousands of young Balochs participated in a thrilling passing out parade at the EME Centre at Quetta marking their regular formal induction into Pakistan Army after their normal training. The spirited and motivated youths from the province pledged allegiance to the country and saluted  national flag, which was a reassuring development in the backdrop of intensive propaganda campaign launched by some quarters.

The prime minister may have reiterated his offer of dialogue with what he calls angry Baloch leaders, expressing readiness even to go to their doorsteps to listen to their “grievances”. But, bluntly, they are no leaders but hereditary princes holding their tribes in their serfdom with their ferocious private armies at their command. And it is not the wellbeing of the Baloch people that sits at the heart of their “anger”. It is their own vaulting ambitions for greater personal economic affluence and more strength to their muscle power that solely impel them and lead up to their grouses out of their frustrations in not getting wholly what they want on this count. This is the palpable bland truth. Their own demands they artfully dress up as the Baloch people’s grievances.And no lasting peace can even be hoped for in Balochistan by going after massaging these princes’ large egos and appeasing them by conceding their endless demands. A meaningful venture to this end could only be the emancipation and empowerment of the enslaved Baloch commoners, particularly their youth. And this Baloch youth is, demonstratively, a mountain of oceanic hidden treasures of boundless talent and unfathomable energy. The Baloch youths who have somehow broken out from their oppressive princes’ shackles have impressively shown the enormous mettle this youth is intrinsically made of. They have admirably made their mark in various fields, rising to the pinnacles of diverse professions and services. They have made respectable professionals, renowned doctors, prominent lawyers, reputed civil servants and remarkable generals. But this Baloch youth is chronically the nation’s most wronged and neglected segment. He indeed is the pathetic forlorn victim of a double whammy. The princes callously use the Baloch youths in their serfdoms as the gun fodder for their feuds and fracas. The federal governments have throughout followed the policy of keeping the princes in good humour, while dealing an ignoble total disinterest to the commoners. All the time, they have been hankering after keeping the princes happy by satiating their unquenchable thirst for fattening up their financial and muscle powers in every manner. And all along they have given a short shrift to the uplift of the Baloch commoners, especially their youth brimming with talent, promise and energy.It is only now that opportunities are being opened up to the Baloch youth to grow, flourish and advance as a fuller respectable human being. Apart from recruitment to its officers corps and ranks by lowering the qualification criterion, the army has laid out a remarkable chain of educational institutions for Baloch youths’ schooling, higher learning and training in various trades and skills. In thousands, the chain will produce professional and skilled manpower on its conveyor belt regularly for the province to meet its trained hands’ needs from its own human reservoir. More, Balochistan is admittedly enviably rich in natural wealth. Yet, while appallingly the princes have all through been self-servingly bemoaning of the province’s rich mineral resources being plundered for others’, not its residents’, good, they never ever raised a voice for even establishing an institute of mineralogy in the province for producing specialised trained local manpower to exploit this natural wealth. Nor they acted to this end when not infrequently they held the reins of state power in the province. It is the army that has taken an initiative in this regard, not even the incumbent provincial administration. Anyway, some measures like giving jobs to the province’s educated youth under the Balochistan package should certainly help bring the Baloch youth upfront. But far more robust efforts are still needed to help this promising youth to show its mettle fully and vibrantly. The state hierarchs must understand that the key to permanent peace and tranquility in Balochistan as well as its socio-economic advancement lies not in appeasing and mollycoddling the Baloch princes. The surest way to it is the emancipation, empowerment and advancement of its commoners, the Baloch youth in particular. And it really hurts that Levies force has been revived in a patently politically expedient move. Since the recruitment to the force is to be from the tribes, Levies will predictably be crammed up with the Baloch princes’ favourites and appointee. Resultantly, the recruits will be loyal not to the state authorities but to their benefactor princes whose muscle power they will beef up muscularly.On another plane, while the security forces in the province must be bound on the pain of penalty to strictly abide by law in their actions, the commission on missing persons must be energised in every manner to find out the whole truth, establish the facts and bring the real culprits to justice. This is an extremely saddening humanitarian issue that must be brought to a denouement sensitively. And the state authorities imperatively must be very elaborative on their stance about the foreign hands’ involvement in the province’s disturbed conditions. They must identify unambiguously these foreign hands and their local collaborators. No hedges are acceptable. At stake is our most sensitive strategically-located province’s peace and stability.

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