Wednesday, September 23, 2009


In response to my latest article on Gilgit-Baltistan, I was in receipt of a mail from a highly-respected US analyst asking me whether what is going on in Balochistan and Swat is good for India. I am giving below my reply, which I have sent separately:

Many thanks for your kind message. Balochistan has nothing to do with India or vice versa.It is a question of the on-going freedom struggle in Balochistan being good or bad for Pakistan. It is definitely not good for Pakistan, which has already once suffered a traumatic split in 1971 due to the inability of its political and military leadership to understand the extent of the alienation of the Bengalis and the inability of US policy-makers to realise the implications of the alienation.Thirty-eight years later, one is facing a similar situation. Neither the political nor the military leadership of Pakistan has been able to understand the extent of the alienation of the Balochs and they are dealing with them in the same way Yahya Khan, Tikka Khan, Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto and others dealt with the Bengalis---through brute force. The failure of the US policy-makers to realise the serious implications of what is going on in Balochistan and their inability----as surprising as theirs in 1971-- is aggravating the situation both for Pakistan and the US. I have been studying Pakistan and the US from the sub-continental perspective for four decades. The US policy of solidarity with Pakistan right or wrong has repeatedly proved to be the kiss of disaster for Pakistan. Swat is a mosquito bite compared to what has been going on in Balochistan. Both Balochistan and Swat are the internal affairs of Pakistan and policy traps of the US. India, as a sub-continental power, watches the situation closely and as a genuine friend and well-wisher of the US feels concerned over the blindness of US policy-makers and think-tanks. Like the old Bourbon kings of France, US policy-makers dealing with the sub-continent have nothing to learn and nothing to forget. The US is unable to come out of its karma. Warm regards. B.Raman