Our honorable and highly qualified federal interior minister, Dr Rehman Malik recently offered to withdraw all criminal cases against the aggrieved Baloch leaders living outside the country, namely Brahamdagh Bugti, Harbiyar Marri and other Baloch leaders, if they return back to the country- Indeed a probable step to solve the Balochistan issue. And as was expected, the Baloch Nationalists leaders took no time in rejecting this offer followed by immense criticism.
For all the atrocities and injustices meted out to the people of Balochistan in sixty five years, this is what the Government has to offer them? The province has been denied of any kind of rights and has been neglected since the beginning, regardless of a democratic or a military regime. Law and order situation is at its worse and Anti-Pakistani sentiments in the people of Balochistan are rising with every passing day. Apart from providing the people of the province with some relief in terms of provision of health or education facilities or even clean drinking water. The federal government thinks that by taking back the cases against the leaders will help pacify the relations? A perfect initiative it must be said!
On Friday 24th, 2012, Our federal Government requested the leaders of the Afghan Taliban movement to enter direct peace negotiations with the Kabul government, a probable sign that Pakistan is stepping up support for reconciliation in neighboring Afghanistan. Ironically, this development took place after terrorism struck the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa twice in two days- recent one, being just few hours before the Governmentâ€™s plea.
After this move, it is obvious that our Government is still ignorant of the fact that Taliban are the real perpetrators, who are the cause of disruption and instability in the region. Despite of this simple fact, our delusional Government is still asking them to come to a negotiating table.
On Monday, participants from different religious parties and banned outfits gathered under the so called Difa-e Pakistan Council (DPC) umbrella at Islamabad. Banners were explicitly strung up days before the programmed rally, advertising the event. It was actually surprising that despite the warnings by the government, and a bold move of suspending a station house officer earlier this month for allowing a banned group to hold a public procession, by our beloved interior minister, they were actually allowed to carry on with the event. Will our interior minister now be suspending the SHO responsible for this rally as well? If the state of Pakistan, with all its might cannot stop them from rallying in the capital, how can we expect to win the war on terror? Most importantly, how can we expect the world to trust us, when the extremist groups roam and operate within the country with impunity?
Recently, Qari Yaqoob of Pakistan Defense Council (PDC), while speaking at the rally in Karachi, accused the media of following a Western agenda and warned of literally grave consequences, due to their sudden abstinence from coverage of events arranged and participated by the organization. In response a senior anchorperson Hamid Mir in his TV show Capital Talk also warned the militant group of a bleak outcome. Here we have to remind ourselves that according to law the media cannot give exposure to banned outfits, but until recently the group and its leaders seemed to be the apple of the mediaâ€™s eyes. Now that the media has finally refused coverage, both are at daggers drawn and the media instead of showing restraint has stooped to the level of the radicals themselves.
In a recent statement the interior minister announced that the SHO of the concerned police station will have to face the consequences, if a banned organization initiates any activity in their jurisdiction. In fact station house officer of a police station in Islamabad has already been suspended on this premise, where Sipah-e Sahaba held a procession in G-9 sector of Islamabad. Is the government really serious this time for dealing with these banned organizations or is this only superficial? According to news reports the above mentioned procession was organized by the group after acquiring permission from the administration. If the machinery of the state is giving these banned groups a free hand, how can a SHO stand in their way?
Recently, on the call of student organization, various news channels have been shutdown in Baluchistan. The organization claims that this action has been taken as a protest, due to the lack of coverage and attention given to the situation in Baluchistan. We can debate the authenticity of this measure and to some this might seem as victimization of media, but one aspect is certainly evident in all this that media literacy has developed among the consumers. As a certain segment of the consumers feel that their voices are not being sufficiently accommodated and media has not been acting responsibly, so they have decided to take the situation in their own hands. It is also unfortunate that media sector in Pakistan does not have equal representation in all areas, this also certainly adds to the discontent. It is now for the media to decide, what measures should be adopted to address the grievances of their consumers.