The Pakistan government has made yet another futile, mischievous and laughable attempt to consolidate itself domestically. Pakistan has drawn up a new “map”, which includes certain parts of India; namely, parts of the Indian state of Gujarat and the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
The Pakistan Cabinet gave clearance to the so-called “map” and later, it was unveiled before the media. The new ‘map’ of Pakistan drew ridicule from its own citizens. The “map” was launched after the approval by the federal cabinet. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had earlier briefed the legislators from opposition parties on the map during a meeting at the Foreign Office.
India totally rejected the claims made by Pakistan. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said, India has seen a so-called “political map” of Pakistan that has been released by Prime Minister Imran Khan. This is an exercise in political absurdity, laying untenable claims to territories in the Indian State of Gujarat and our Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and of Ladakh. These ridiculous assertions have neither legal validity nor international credibility. In fact, this new effort only confirms reality of Pakistan’s obsession with territorial aggrandisement supported by cross-border terrorism.
Meanwhile, unrest among various sections of Pakistanis continue, while the government of the day is busy performing histrionics. A group of Baloch and Sindhi groups have come together to form a united front against the government. The Baloch Raj Ajoi Sangar (BRAS), a conglomeration of various Balochi groups, and the Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA) have joined hands to launch a joint front against Pakistan. The front held a meeting at an undisclosed location recently. The participants agreed that the Sindh and Baloch nations have had political, historical and cultural ties for centuries. They should renew the centuries old bonds.
Successive Pakistan governments since the formation of the State of Pakistan have always discriminated against the Sindhis and Balochis. The situation is so bad in the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan that both want to be independent nations.
The front said, the $ 60 billion worth China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has affected both the provinces and the Sindhis and Balochis are sceptical of China’s expansionist and oppressive resolve. They fear subjugation by China in the future.
It should be known that Sindh and Balochistan both have huge coastlines and are connected to the larger Indian Ocean. The Baloch and Sindhis feel the long coastline is of strategic significance. In the session at the undisclosed location, the Sindhi and Balochi front participants also said that the Sindhis are the custodians of the thousands of year old Indus Valley civilization. The Baloch too have a history of thousands of years. The Mehrgarh civilisation is the legacy of the Baloch people. The Sindhis and Balochis have protected their land, civilization and independence from various conquerors and plunderers throughout their history.
However, after the formation of Pakistan, they continued to be treated as second class citizens. Even in the 21st century, they do not enjoy the same rights like other Pakistani citizens. There is rampant corruption, nepotism and other ills in the two provinces. Unemployment among the Sindhi and Baloch youth have led to social strife in the two provinces.
The Sindhi and Balochi front leaders agreed to launch joint protests against the oppression and plunder by the Pakistani government. The Sindhi-Baloch front are in the process of contacting other oppressed nations and resistance organizations. They are also trying to contact various governments of the world and the UN for seeking redress.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan should focus on building the ‘naya Pakistan’ that was his election promise. Instead of wasting time unveiling imaginary “maps”, Mr. Khan should provide the balm that Sindh and Balochistan need to heal the wounds.
Script: Kaushik Roy; AIR: News Analyst