Balochi leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti's killing by the Pakistan army has plunged the province into another crisis. This time round, it may be difficult for Pervez Musharraf to emerge unscathed. India should use the incident to expose Pakistan's double standards. If insurgency in Kashmir is "freedom struggle," how can freedom struggle in Balochistan be insurgency?
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As expected, Pakistan has reacted to India's statement describing Bugti's death as a tragic loss by asking it to keep off its internal affairs. It has termed the Baloch problem an insurgency.
It is an irony that Pakistan, which has been interfering in Kashmir for five decades in the name of supporting a so-called freedom struggle, is terming the actual freedom struggle of the Balochis an insurgency.
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Pakistan has rightly reacted by asking India to put its house in order before expressing concern for the people of other countries. But I wonder why it does not apply the same yardstick when it rakes up the Kashmir issue.
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India's policy seems to be to make use of Pakistan's suppressive measures in Balochistan to embarrass it internationally. But Pakistan is doing much more than offering moral support to insurgents in Kashmir. It will not change its ways because of some diplomatic embarrassment caused to it. An annoyed Pakistan may redouble its efforts at fomenting terrorism in Kashmir and the rest of India. We should be prepared to face the challenge.
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Pakistan's military rulers have had no qualms about physically eliminating leaders such as Z.A. Bhutto and Bugti or banishing Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto to foreign lands. As for Pakistan's reaction to the Indian statement, it would do well to remember Bugti's remark some time ago that India was not supplying arms to Balochis as the U.S. had left behind large stocks of weapons after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.
M.K.D. Prasada Rao,
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Bugti's killing will lead to the agglomeration of different groups fighting for the rights of Balochis. Pakistan should address the grievances of its own people instead of promoting cross-border terrorism and shedding crocodile tears for Kashmiris.
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The manner in which Bugti was killed by the Pakistan leadership using American weapons and helicopters is very distressing for the secular and liberal forces in the country. Unfortunately, the U.S. does not realise that its ally in the war against global terrorism is a terror base in itself. If the Pakistan army fights the extremists with the weapons it used in Balochistan, the world will be rid of terrorism.