“It Is War Now”
It is an historical fact that the Baloches were continuously engaged in the war of resistance against the occupation of their motherland, and history has witnessed several heroic events. Since the creation of Pakistan, the Baloches already fought four rounds of the war of resistance against the mighty military of Pakistan for their identity, their political, economic status, and the autonomy of their province. It is true that whenever they demanded their rights, instead of the political and constitutional dialogues, the federal government always used force.
It was the closing of the year 2005 when on 17th December the army launched the brutal operation against the innocent Baloch people. The army operation was carried out throughout the Mari and Bugti tribal areas, and then, extended to Noshki, Makran districts and other parts of Balochistan where the Baloches were heavily populated.
According to reliable sources more than 30,000 army personal, 12 Gunship helicopters, 4 fighter jets and several spy planes of different sizes, heavy artillery and missiles were used. During the 10 days of brutal military operation resulting in the killing of about 100 innocent people and more than 200 seriously wounded. Among the victims were elderly men, women and children who were indiscriminately targeted. It was further said that about 12,000 innocent people were arrested. The Pakistan army denied that no army operation was carried out in Balochistan.
Thanks to General, who at least confirmed that “Only some 1,000 army personnel were helping the paramilitary and other security forces in Balochistan” however, U.S intelligence sources reported ‘Six army brigades plus paramilitary troops, some 25,000 in all.’
Undeniably, the Army operation of 17th December 2005 broke the peace agreement of March 27, 2005. However, the fight flared immediately and turned into a full-fledged bloody war.
As in the past, the Baloches were repeatedly harassed, bullied, threatened and then provoked. No doubt then General pushed them into the unlawful and unconstitutional war of resistance. When all doors of constitutional and parliamentary process were closed, only then did Nawab Bugti on January 2, 2006 thunder;
“We are a nation not subservient to anyone”(Asian Tribune January 2, 2006)
During the ruthless military operation Nawab Bugti was advised by his friends, relatives and tribesmen to leave Dera Bugti and take asylum to another country, but bluntly, he vowed to fight and die for the honour of Baloch Nation and the mother land of Balochistan.
As later on, in one of his interviews, Nawab Bugti said that “It’s better to die – as the Americans say – with your spurs on instead of a slow death in bed. I’d rather death come to me while I’m fighting for a purpose. We, the Baloch people, believe that the best way to die is to die fighting. We Baloch are the masters of our own destiny and if that is taken away from us then life doesn’t really matter.”
(June 20, 2006. Time Magazine)
Only then under the above chaotic circumstances the old ‘Tiger of Balochistan’ jumped up and furiously roared; “It is war now”
(Newsweek January 15, 2006)
Hence, in early 2006 Nawab Bugti along with his militants left his ancestral abode of Dera Bugti to the mountains with the will of steel and resolute determination to fight against the mighty army of Pakistan. Certainly, it was not an easy decision. It was a hard and awful decision. It was the decision of life and death, but it was the decision of Nawab Shahbaz Akbar Khan Bugti. He put his own life at risk. Absolutely by leaving his Dera Bugti, he knew that he would not come back, but it was his nature that whenever he made any decision he always carried it out to the end. There was no way back for him. Under the circumstances he vowed to fight.
Nawab Bugti, instead to live a comfortable and luxurious life, he chose to live a hard life in the mountains sacrificing everything for the sake of the Baloch Nation, for the honour of the Baloch mothers, for the pride of the Baloch fathers, for the honour of the Baloch sisters and for the inspiration of the Baloch brothers and the Baloch youth.
Describing the dealing with the pain and suffering Nawab Bugti said to Time Magazine,
‘How I deal with pain, temperatures of 450 C, using a rock for my pillow, and the perils of waging a guerrilla war against 26,000 Pakistani soldiers in Balochistan; physical hardship, pain, the extreme heat, this is all a state of mind. You either give into it or not, and I choose not to’
Selig Harrison reported;
“Musharraf’s ‘other war’ against the Baluch, an ethnic minority of 4.5 million, has become increasingly bloody in recent weeks. According to U.S. intelligence sources six Pakistani army brigades plus paramilitary forces totalling some 25,000 men, are battling Baluch Liberation Army guerrillas in the Kohlu Mountains and surrounding areas.
Although negotiations with the Baloch leadership could have helped to defuse tensions before they reached current dimensions, the military, it seems in only one solution to enforce the writ of the state by force. He has increasingly been forced to divert ground forces and U.S supplied air power from the Afghan front and from Kashmir earthquake relief efforts to combat a bitter, little-noticed insurgency, in his strategic southern coastal province of Baluchistan.
Indiscriminate bombing and strafing by 20 U.S. supplied Cobra helicopter gunships and four squadrons of fighter planes, including U.S. supplied F-16 fighter jets, resulting in 215 civilian dead and hundreds more wounded, many of them women and children”
(The Washington Post, February 15, 2006)
It is on record that both General Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz ruled out the amnesty in Balochistan; they several times warned the proud baloches with “the writ of the government will be ensured at every cost. The time has come to end the sway.You can stop fighting or you won’t even know what hit you”.
NawabBugtiwas repeatedly labelled as a ‘Terrorist’, ‘Bhatakhor’, ‘Desert Relic’, ‘Cruel’ etc.
According to the above mentioned facts and circumstances we are sure that one can easily judge how Nawab Bugti was forced to leave Dera Bugti, this includes other Baloch nationalists who were pushed to the battlefield.
In one of his interviews Nawab Bugti said that;
“Pakistan is a terrorist state; uniformed terrorists are killing the people and destroying anything and everything”.
(BBC Urdu Service June 19, 2006)
Nawab Bugti told told Haroon Rashid that;
“At the moment, war is being imposed on us. If someone survives it, then we will see. General Sahib has promised to hit us in such a way that we will not know what hit us. In one sense, he is promising quick death to us. They could do this to a few Baloch leaders, but not the whole Baloch Nation”.
News Line. 23.06.2006.
It is important mentioning that Nawab Bugti bluntly said;
“State tried her best to make the brave Baloches to surrender on her terms, but it was just an underestimation of ignorant forces. They are determined to eliminate me, but I am transferring my legacy to young generation, and it’s now youth who will continue the fight till absolute freedom”.
(Daily Times, 2006)
Dr.Hayee emotionally said;
“It is barbarism and height of brutality unleashed on civilians by the military rulers. It is apparent that Islamabad is intent on treating Balochistan as a mere colony”
Daily Times, Karachi,July 24th 2006
According to reliable sources, by the evening of August 25, 2006 the horrific attacks and counter attacks continued. Nawab Bugti was fighting vigorously in the mountains like a ‘Tiger’ despite of his old age and bad health of Balochistan for the noble cause.
In his last Interview referring to the intention of General Musharaf to murder him; Nawab Bugti clearly told Hamid Mir:
“The Baloch have always resisted unconstitutional measures. I am not a traitor; the people who go against Article 6 and take control of Pakistan are the real traitors. I, like Mir Gul Khan Nasir, only put forward the demand for Baluchistan’s rights. But in General Musharraf’s view this is a crime punishable by death……your commando General will rest only after he martyrs me, but after my martyrdom he will be held responsible. So now it’s up to you people either choose Musharraf or Pakistan. The choice is yours.”
Nawab Bugti, August 2006
Let us conclude with the poem of late Mir Gul Khan Naseer
“Phada Phada Warna Jangain”
“Wake up, wake up oh youth, its war.”