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In praise of prolly: Gawadar, UAE and the Baloch – by Sheherzade Adil

Since LUBP has aimed towards traducing Baloch resistance groups for some unknown reasons, they have started publishing poorly argued pieces by regular and new contributors.

First, they have published a piece based on hearsay against Baloch comrades asking them to keep an eye on those Baloch serving the state intelligence operatus by working as foot soldiers for sectarian militant organisations busy in killing Shia Hazaras in Balochistan and also attacking fellow deobandis to fuel the anti-Shia violence across Balochistan.

The post was rebutted first by me and then by Niaz Betab with more well argued piece in defence of secular Baloch. But now another post published by relatively old contributor who has alleged that Salafists have made inroads in Baloch society with the monetary support by UAE.

He weaved a whole narrative of how Karachi lost its glory to Dubai and how Dubai fears the same with the emergence of Gawadar deep sea port.

In his enthusiasm, the honourable fellow contributor ignored very simple facts.

Apart from attention given by last BB Govt, Gawadar construction gained pace under the military rule of General Pervez Musharraf. With the construction of Gawadar, investments by China and too much hype around it, presenting it as a revolutionary step towards increasing Pak-China strategic and economic ties, Pakistani Nationalists have celebrated it, also the elites have responded to the hype by investing in the residential projects at Singhar, Gawadar.

Baloch who have been complaining manipulation and exploitation of their resources since the very first day of its forced annexation to Pakistan have seen it as a threat to the indigenous Baloch populations who in the absence of pre cautionary measures will turn into minority in their own lands, if Gawadar becomes an attraction for the settlers from the other provinces.

All the complaints and reservations went unheard and Gawadar was constructed with Chinese financial support but it couldn’t come in full operation as the law and order situation is a major irritant in its way. Hence proving that Pakistan Army couldn’t manage to get financially benefited with an economically viable project just because it miserably failed to oppress a genuine resistance by the Baloch, though they left no stone unturned in their oppressive and genocidal tactics against Baloch nationalists leadership and political workers.

As for as the sectarian elements in Balochistan are concerned, If they had any genuine support in Baloch population, they must have started eradicating Zikris sect among themselves who have relatively more non mainstream and different religious views than majority of Sunni Baloch population.

It must be noted that most lethal weapon of radicalisation, the deobandi preachers of puritanical Islam, the Tablighee Jamat has not been allowed to make visits and practice their activities in areas influenced by Baloch resistance groups. A representative of BSO-Azad has confirmed that TJ has not been allowed to operate in Wadd, Awaran, Turbat, Kahan, Bolan, Dera Bugti and many other areas.

In a state built with religio-nationalist ideological fallacies allying with militant radical elements from the Madressas all over Pakistan, its not strange to have a tiny segment of the Baloch too influenced, who considers nationalists aspirations as heretical ideas as they consider fellow muslims from other sects deviant and misguided.

But for this maligning whole of the community by attributing sectarian monster towards an ethnicity which itself faces the worst form of state violence against them aimed at a systematic genocide and ethnic cleansing of the whole group in their own land, proving once again that they are more interested in a piece of land and resources underneath it rather than the people who own that piece of land.

Blaming UAE or any other country can’t absolve the professional assassins aka Pakistan Army of their misgivings and crimes against Baloch and all the other persecuted groups in Pakistan and the region.

PS: Title “In praise of prolly” derived from the shortened version of word “probably” as the post is written as a rejoinder to a poor piece buy Ikhtiar Hussain based on assumptions and probabilities rather than facts and ground realities.

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Jehangir Hafsi

23 Comments

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  • Let me get this right. When another author writes a post on LUBP, that’s LUBP post. When the present writer (Sheherzade) publishes a post on the same blog, that is her/his post. Good joke.

    This post is a classic example of confusion, obfuscation and justification of violence against innocent civilians.

  • LUBP is an independent forum having writers with diverse views and backgrounds. It has published pieces very critical to itself. But since inception it has very clear stance on oppressed nations and persecuted communities.

    Being a part of it, am of the view that it shouldn’t publish articles too averse to their established position, but it is not necessary that my views are implied. I have the option to respond to any post, I disagree to, and criticise others viewpoints also appreciate any criticism of my own views.

    As here one says,

    “This post is a classic example of confusion, obfuscation and justification of violence against innocent civilians.”

    I failed to understand where I have defended violence?

  • Denial is tantamount to justifying the violence. You are in denial that anti-Shia Jundullah is supported by many Balochs and that LeJ in Balochistan is 100 per cent Baloch phenomenon who are never attacked by Baloch insurgents while they don’t feel any shame in attacking innocent Punjabi, Sindhi and other settlers.

    Why?

    You also completely omit violence against innocent settlers by Baloch insurgents.

    Why?

  • Read my previous posts first then start blaming and accusations. If you wanna discuss something below this post, point to the contents of above post. Neither I am a Baloch, nor I advocate or defend any act of violence against non-combatant civilians, whether Pashtuns, Punjabis or anyone else.

    They are fighting against the same people who have created monsters like LeJ, AswJ Etc. Read their statement after attack on Shafiq Mengal house. They have clearly stated that Shafiq Mengal is perpetrator of violence against Baloch political activists also he abets LeJ and Jihadi violent groups.

  • Jundullah links can be traced to Cantonment areas of Quetta. And every body knows who lives in cantonment areas, not the untouchables like Baloch.

  • Jundullah in Pakistan is another offshoot of IJT activists having their roots in Wana Waziristan militantsand Al Qaeda.

    Their activists are mostly Punjabis and Urdu speakers and are involved in many terrorists attacks in Karachi.

  • Actually the critics of Baloch organisations and those linking it to sectarian outfits like Jundullah or LeJ are apologists of Irani mullas and ayatollahs who have made Iran another hell for secular, progressive elements. Irani mullas have killed and persecuted more political workers than the infamous intelligence organisation SAVAK of Iranian Shah.

    Here some people are on the same plan as Iran applied against its opposition. Giving sectarian colour to a political resistance against clergy as well as portraying sectarian elements as the real threat to divert attention from worst kind of oppression against political workers.

  • Fake Shia names above cannot hide the fact that many Balochs support Jundullah.

    It was not the military cantonment but Balochs who mourned Abdul Malik Rigi’s death (Iranian version of Malik Ishaq and Riaz Basra).

    HOW MUCH SUPPORT FOR JUNDULLAH IS TOO MUCH?
    Posted by Malik Siraj Akbar on June 29, 2010

    By Malik Siraj Akbar
    Balochs living in Pakistan’s provinces of Balochistan and Sindh reacted very irritably towards the decision of the Iranian government to hang Abdul Malik Regi, the chief of banned organization Jundullah, by terming it as an act of repression by a regime that is bent upon crushing its Baloch population.
    All available forms of condemnation, such as issuance of newspaper statements, arrangement of press conferences, protest rallies and condolence references, were used to censure the hanging of a leader who fought for the rights of the Sunni Baloch minority population residing in Iranian Balochistan. The outpouring of condemnation was so overwhelming that even an impressed Jundullah spokesman went on to appreciate the Balochs living in Pakistan for their moral and political support offered to the Iranian Balochs at the critical juncture.
    In Eastern Balochistan, the Baloch National Front (BNF) was on the forefront of all protest rallies held in the province to condemn the execution of 28-year Regi who was wanted by Teheran in more than seventy cases. The Front observed three days of mourning and organized a number of programs to vent its frustration of Iran’s behavior towards its Baloch population. Nonetheless, many people, including some components of the BNF, now realize that they went overboard in agitating on the Regi issue which could, at the end of the day, prove counterproductive and detrimental for the secular Baloch nationalist movement.
    A timely expression of this concern has been made by the Baloch National Movement (BNM) which has categorically refused to join the BNF in its announced schedule of anti-Iran protests to express solidarity with Jundullah and the Balochs of Iran. Condoling the murder of Regi and his brother, Abdu Hameed, the BNM central spokesman, however, said here on Monday that his party did not see eye-to-eye with the Jundullah manifesto which underlines religious and sectarian ambitions.
    The BNM believes that the Baloch issue has nothing to do with religion nor can it go an extra mile to join hands with ethnic Balochs living in Iran who do not recognize Baloch nationalism and solely talk of religious rights. BNM is equally disillusioned with BNF leadership for not taking it into confidence while unfolding its schedule of protests in support of Jundullah and said that it could not support a Sunni movement which did not keep in consideration the Baloch identity.
    This is a very crucial development. The BNM stance will surely alert the Balochs struggling in Iran on religious lines that their counterparts in Pakistani Balochistan do not concur with their ideology. The Baloch resistance movement in Pakistan, which is largely leftist, is not compatible with what Jundullah stands for i.e. Sunni rights. BNM has clarified its stance on the right time as the BNF response to Regi’s killing had already begun to raise many eyebrows about the ideological foundations of the Baloch resistance movement.
    By supporting Jundullah, the BNF, which always requests the international community to take notice of the plight of the Balochs, is further confusing the world. Does it mean that the Baloch nationalism has succumbed to religion and begun to endorse suicide bombings on the name of religion as was done by Jundullah inside Iran? If the answer to such a question is in affirmation then BNF will surely find itself in an indefensible position before the larger world which is currently battling the scourge of religious fundamentalism.
    On their part, the supporters of Jundullah do not easily digest the nationalists’ claim that Regi was a secular. For example, Hafiz Abu Ubaid, the acting vice president of Karachi-based Ittehad-e-Tuleba-wa-Sunna, has strongly condemned Abdul Wahab Baloch, chairman of Baloch Rights Council, for calling Regi a secular. The righwing has termed Wahab’s remarks and proposal that Jundullah should operate on nationalistic lines as highly offensive. They have sought an apology from Wahab Baloch for allegedly insulting Regi by calling him secular. This is another point of view which exists and has to be acknowledged, if not agreed with.
    Baloch nationalism and Islamic nationalism cannot comfortably go side by side. If the mere fact that Regi was a Baloch attracted BNF reaction then one wonders if similar reaction would be shown on the death of a Baloch who is a part of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), Pakistan People’s Party and Muslim League? BNF should not judge people merely on their Baloch ethnicity. It should support the people who share the same ideology that the BNF stands for.
    Baloch nationalism cannot live in isolation. No national movement can start and end with a simple demand for national liberation. The Baloch movement needs to have clearly defined answers of several crucial questions to satisfy the rest of the world about the structure of a proposed independent Balochistan. Such a roadmap should implicitly define the relationship between the state and religion; role of tribalism and the status of women and religious as well as ethnic minorities in an independent Balochistan, the ultimate goal for which parties like BNF are struggling right now.
    BNM has adopted a timely stance and rightly warned BNF not to compromise on Baloch nationalist ideology by backing religious fundamentalism. By supporting religious fundamentalists, Baloch nationalists would be compromising on their ideological foundations and make it more difficult for the international community to support the Baloch movement.

    http://gmcmissing.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/how-much-support-for-jundullah-is-too-much/

  • @Sibte Hasan Jhangvi

    I agree with you. Iran must be condemned. Shias too must be condemned.

    Jundullah? That must be a fig of our imagination.

    LeJ Balochistan? That only lives in Quetta cantonment. Mastung is a part of Iran. So is Turbat.

  • Here is how Irani Mullas treats minorities. Shia and Sunni Mullas are the same when it comes to persecution against others when in powers.

    Iran’s war on Sunni Muslims

    Tehran’s leaders are intensifying their repression of the Sunni Baloch people, in a bid to create a Shia-dominated nation

    News is filtering out of Iran of mass arrests of Sunni Muslims living in the south-east of the country, in the annexed and occupied region of Balochistan. It signifies a coordinated crackdown against religious and ethnic dissidents who oppose Tehran’s clerical sectarianism and its neo-colonial subjugation of the Baloch people.

    Iran’s repression, which has intensified since August, is targeting expressions of Baloch identity and culture; in particular expressions of religious freedom and national self-determination.

    The Baloch people are a separate ethnic group within Persian-dominated Iran, and have long suffered racist persecution. In contrast to the Shia Muslim regime in Tehran, the Baloch are predominantly Sunni Muslims. This combination of ethnic and religious dissidence has led to them being harshly victimised by successive Iranian leaders, from the Shah to President Ahmadinejad.

    Tehran’s repression of the Baloch is well documented by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. It has also been reported by Radio Balochi FM and the Baloch People website. The recent crackdown is confirmed by officially-sanctioned Iranian news agencies.

    In a March this year, Iranian parliament member Hossein Ali Shahryari stated that 700 people were awaiting execution in Sistan and Balochistan provinces, many of them Baloch political prisoners. This staggering number of death sentences is evidence of the intense, savage repression that is taking place.

    Balochistan was forcibly incorporated into Iran by Reza Shah’s army in 1928. The reign of the Pahlavi dynasty created a centralised, predominantly Persian state that enshrined ethnic suppression – a policy embraced and strengthened by Iran’s current theocratic rulers, who see Sunni Baloch as a threat to their purist Shia revolution of 1979.

    As Sunni Muslims, the Baloch people experience marginalisation and discrimination within a country where Shia Islam is the official state religion and holds political power. They seek self-rule, either within a federal Iran or as an independent nation of Balochistan (together with the Baloch regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan).

    On both counts, religious and ethnic, they are deemed enemies of the neo-colonialists in Tehran; hence the current wave of repression.

    Reports from the left-wing Balochistan People’s Party and from Balochistan Human Rights Watch catalogue arrests, executions and widespread attacks on Sunni Muslim institutions.

    Mulavi Ahmed Naroi, a high-ranking Sunni leader, was arrested on August 9 and is now incarcerated in a Tehran prison. He was member of the editorial board of Sunni Online, a religious website. Another member of the Sunni Online board, Mohammad Yousef Ismailzahi, was arrested on September 9.

    The Abu Hanifa Mosque, a Sunni mosque and religious school in city of Zabol, was attacked and demolished, using bulldozers and tractors, on August 27. Many important, priceless editions of the Quran and historic Sunni religious books were destroyed. The mosque’s students and staff were also arrested. They have now completely disappeared. No one knows where they have been taken or what has been done to them. There are fears that they are being tortured or perhaps have been executed in secret.

    Soon after the August 27 raid, there were mass raids in which relatives and friends of the arrested people were also arrested by Iranian intelligence agents.

    In a blatant attempt at censorship and cover-up, the vice-deputy head of political and social affairs in Sistan and Balochistan, Mohammad Zadeh Farahani, denounced the videos and photos of the mosque’s destruction as false and fictitious. He warned that anyone who disseminates images of the destruction will be arrested and severely punished.

    Last year, another mosque in the same district was ransacked and destroyed by associates of the Revolutionary Guards. The imam, Hafez Mohammad Ali Shahbkhsh, was arrested on October 27.

    More recently, on 16 June this year, 33 military vehicles packed with Mersad agents (the special security force in Iran) attacked the village of Nasirabad. The aim of the attack was to arrest Moulavai Abed Bahramzahi, the local Sunni religious clerk. Armed officers assaulted protesting villagers; three of whom were seriously injured, hospitalised and later imprisoned.

    Two Sunni religious workers were hanged in Zahedan jail in April after having confessed, under extreme torture, to resistance activities against the Iranian regime. Tehran accused them of supporting armed Baloch nationalist groups, but the evidence against them was purely circumstantial and the conduct of their trials was seriously flawed. They were humiliated in public and their confessions were broadcast on Iranian TV, in a deliberate attempt to intimidate all oppositionists. Three more Baloch rights campaigners were executed in Zahedan prison on August 24.

    Early last month, four Baloch cultural workers, including a young poet, were arrested. Nothing has been heard them since, according to Balochistan Human Rights Watch.

    Even young Baloch children are being targeted by the Iranian regime. Many have been arrested and jailed. Some have suffered severe beatings, which have left them with broken limbs. At least two youngsters have been murdered in violent assaults.

    Much of this repression by Iranian government security agents has racist, anti-Baloch overtones, with the victims being insulted about their ethnicity and faith.

    The democratic socialist Balochistan Peoples Party (BPP) is appealing to the international community to put pressure on the Iranian regime to “stop the arrest and killing of religious workers and activists; stop the destruction of Sunnis mosques, religious sites and Baloch people homes; release all political prisoners and religious workers; and stop the detention, torture and execution of innocent young Baloch men and women”.

    The BPP says the persecution of moderate Sunni clerics and religious students is an attempt by the Tehran regime to suppress non-fundamentalist believers and to strengthen the position of fanatical Shiism in the Baloch homeland. Since most Balochs are Sunni, attacks on the Sunni faith are also de facto attacks on the Baloch people and nation.

    BPP leaders see Tehran’s religious repression as part of a sinister plan to culturally dominate Balochistan and undermine indigenous faith and national sentiment. The aim is the forced assimilation of the Baloch people into a Persian-Shia dominated Iran and the crushing of Baloch national identity and aspirations.

  • Iran�s ethnic and religious minorities are subject to discrimination and, in some cases, persecution.

    After a February 2007 bombing of a bus carrying members of Iran�s Revolutionary Guards Corps in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan, the government arrested dozens of members of the Baluchi minority. Less than a week after the bombings, the government publicly hanged Nasrollah Shanbezehi after televising his �confession� and following a rushed trial in which he had no access to a lawyer. In a March interview, Iranian parliament member Hossein Ali Shahryari stated that 700 people awaited execution in Sistan and Baluchistan. In May authorities hanged seven in connection with the bombings; one of them was Said Qanbar Zahi, mentioned above.

    The government increased its surveillance of the ethnic Arab population of Khuzistan after bombings in 2005 in this southwestern province. In 2006 Revolutionary Courts, whose secret proceedings did not meet international fair trial standards, condemned at least 16 Iranians of Arab origin to death on charges of armed activity against the state. In 2007 at least seven Iranian Arabs were executed in connection with the bombings after secret trials during which they were denied due process rights.

    In the northwestern provinces of Azarbaijan and Kurdistan the government restricts cultural and political activities that stress local languages and identities. The government harassed editors of Kurdish newspapers on the grounds that their coverage of events in Iraqi Kurdistan was aimed at instigating separatist ambitions among Iranian Kurds. The authorities similarly persecuted local newspapers in the provinces of East and West Azarbaijan that covered events in the neighboring country Azerbaijan.

    The government continues to deny Iran�s Baha�i community permission to publicly worship or pursue religious activities. In 2007 the government prevented at least 800 Baha�i students access to National Entrance Examination scores needed for admission to universities in Iran.

  • @Sheherzade

    Who killed Pashtun mine workers? Shafiq Menal?

    Who runs Jundullah? Shafiq Mengal?

    Who shuts down Balochistan in support of Jundullah? Shafiq Mengal?

    Who brutally kills Punjabi, Sindhi travellers? Shafiq Mengal?

    A useful poster child to deny or cover up Baloch militants violence.

  • Lolz. After claiming authority on issues related to Shia Muslims, now you put a step further, one has to get your permission for using Shia pennames. I chose this pen name because Sibte Hasan was one of the first people who deconstructed Iranian sham revolution.

    Jahangir Aslam too is a fake name, there is no comments history with this name, as I have searched within the site. Dont know who is hiding behind fake names.

    Balochs are sunjected to oppression, torture, detentions, execution in sham trial, kill n dumped, displacement in both Sunni majority Pakistan as well as Shia majority Iran, Both prove equally lethal and involved in crimes against humanity, but your tilt toward Irani clergy is clear from your arguments since you are more concerned about Iran than your native country the colonial master and twin of Islamic republic of Iran.

    No wonder, how much misrepresented is Baloch resistance and Baloch society, they are fighting their own war not ready to get involved in sectarian strife. They equally hate Pakistani armed forces as well as their armed sectarian proxiws, who were sent here to divide baloch, and you are serving their purpose.

  • @Sibte Hasan Jhangvi

    I condemn Iran and its murderous Mullahs.

    Do you condemn Balochs’ support to Jundullah?

    Do you condemn Balochs attacks on innocent settlers?

    Do you condemn Balochs tacit support to LeJ Balochistan only because they are their ethnic brothers and also because they are very helpful in destabilizing Pakistani State.

    Why don’t Baloch militants attack Jundullah and LeJ terrorists instead of butchering innocent settlers and non-Baloch labourers?

  • I condemn all form of organised religion, whether it is in power as in Iran openly and Pakistan inthe form of Army, Judiciary and constitutional back up, whether it is LeJ, Jundullah, JI, Irani Mullacracy, Ayatollahs or Shiekhul Islams.

    I dont need a license or “decree of condemnation” from anyone, I condemn any form of violence against non-combatant civilians whether its by state institutions, armed militant outfits or freedom fighter. Violence against common people of any ethnicity can not be condoned.

    I am not interested in Iran, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt or any other place. As having any opinion on any of them need study and analysis not a myopic sectarian view.

    ———-

    LUBP EDITOR’S WARNING: Using multiple pen names within one thread to support your arguments is wrong; cannot go unchallenged. If your arguments are good, you won’t need multiple pen names in one single thread to overwhelm other views.

  • I have travelled extensively in Sindh and Balochistan in the last two decades. Those who are claiming that the secular fabric of these two provinces are unaffected are living in la-la land and being apologists for sectarian hatred. Punjab used to claim the same 20 years ago that it was heart of folk culture.

    NO more

    Every nook and corner of Pakistan has a Gulf-funded Salafist complex with mosque, madrassa and housing facilities. Sheherzade can check for herself that this is not a “sectarian” viewpoint but a fact.

    Every group and movement has been affected. Pretending otherwise just denial.

  • @Sheherzade, aren’t you also publishing on LUBP?

    So what is their veiwpoint.

    Could it not be as simple as the fact that different people are publishing different articles and LUBP is giving space to both you and Ikhtiar.

    Therefore, your saying that Ikhtiar’s viewpoint is the same as LUBP while yours is not makes no sense at all.

    I am a long time supporter of the Baloch cause. But attacking any criticism of the killing of Punjabis, Pashtuns in Balochistan is doing a great harm.

    Also, I have not seen any satisfactory response on the following:

    Why are some Baloch nationalist groups supporting Jundullah/Rigi which has been backed by Pakistan army/ISI? Same Pakistan army also torturing and killing Baloch youth. Do you not see problem in all of this Sheherzade

  • Sheherzade Adil’s arguments are hard to contest in this rebuttal. Ikhtiar has exaggerated in his article. Multiple pen names are being used here is also a reality.

    Let me ask something from Sheherzade Adil. Why hasn’t Baloch Sarmachars taken on the LEJ-SSP nexus the way they have been fighting the powerful FC? Its because LEJ-SSP cadre consists of ethnic Baloch. Many of these LEJ-SSP activists might be brothers or cousins of some Sarmarchars. Some might be of their tribe and close friends. Also, the LEJ-SSP are not harming the Baloch natioanlists, there targets are Shias. So Sarmachars are easy on it. But if Shafiq Mengal’s activists abducts any sarmachar or sarmachars’s supporters, Sarmchars comes into action. That is obvious. Its not clearly mentioned in articles, it is another fact.

  • these pen names are really confusing; Sibte Hassan Jhangvi??

    Combining name of Shia academic with Jhangvi strange, insensitive. has he considered this?

    Ali Ahsan and Sheherzade Adil are also pen names?

    this gets more confusing.

    I think LUBP needs to get their editorial policy revised. Can they not publish someone who is sympathetic to Baloch cause but also is not in denial that extremist groups like LeJ and Jandullah are making inroads amongst secular Baloch.

  • Ahsan, sparking a fire cliche is troubling. Hope you are not a mole of Punjabi establishment with tasks at your hand.

  • “Sheherzade arguements hard to contest”

    Sheherzade’s arguements are good because she is not addressing the main issue

    Have Pakistan army backed extremists infiltrated Baloch cause? Evidence suggests they have.

    If Sheherzade can prove that Jundullah and LeJ do not have Baloch presence and support, then I will agree with her. So far, that does not seem to be the case.

    Even if they have, that in itself does not diminish the Baloch grievance. In long term, it will have very negative effect on Baloch struggle. if true and may I request Sheherzade and LUBP to take note of this.

    Also, isn’t Sheherzade posting on LUBP as much as Ikhtiar if not more. So how can she say which post reflects LUBP opinion. She herself say LUBP provides platform to diverse voice. So please, my request to her is to limit criticism to LUBP.

    Also, very disappointing article bashing Faisal Raza Abidi by Sheherzade. hope she and LUBP don’t mind my comment.

  • Good piece, I personally was not expecting it on a propaganda a forum such as LUBP. Pak establishment has used religion for implementation of its dark policies since day one and they are trying the same in Balochistan. However Baloch are secular Muslims and there is no place for any sort of religious extremism in their society…