Balochistan: Where Promising Cakes Doesn’t Work Anymore – Brighter Kashmir
When Khan reiterated that the future of Pakistan was linked with that of Balochistan and announced his willingness to talk with Balochi insurgents
After he came to powerin 2018, Prime Minister Imran Khan told Balochis that the “Centre will work with Balochistan as a partner,” and assured them that “We will not make any such promise for which we may have to excuse later on.”OnNational Minority Day a day earlier, Khan publicly admitted that “Balochistan is impoverished [since] Pakistan has always neglected the region.”Though it’s no secret that the people of Balochistan have been historically marginalised by the country’s powerful Punjab lobby and brutalised by Pakistan Army, Islamabad has never admitted this earlier.
So, when Khan reiterated that the future of Pakistan was linked with that of Balochistan and announced his willingness to talk with Balochi insurgents, his willingness to undo the wrongs of the past expectedly raised a lot of hopes amongst Balochis. There was another compelling reason why the people of Balochistan had high expectations from him-before becoming Prime Minister, Khan had been vocally quite critical of Pakistan army’s horrific excesses and atrocities in Balochistan.
His Khan’s concern for the pitiful condition of Balochis is apparent from an undated video in which he can be heard saying, “Our Army bombing people in Balochistan, how can we bomb our own people?” Not only this, heeven said, “It is our own people with their children, but it is important to understand are we just bombing out people, just think about the immorality of bombing villages with the women and children.” So, the oppressed Balochis genuinely believed that after becoming Prime Minister, the cricketer turned politician would walk his talk.
However, while Khan’s assurances fooled the people of Balochistan for two years, his pretence finally crumbled in November when thousands of Balochis in Gwadar city took to the streets in response to a call from Jamaat-i-Islami [JI]leader Maulana Hidayatur Rehman. Initially, while the government tried to play down this massive protest,Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian dismissed reports of this humungous protest as “fake news” aimed at maligning China-Pakistan Economic Corridor [CPEC] project.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbinclaimed that “China-Pakistan Gwadar Faqeer Middle School, the vocational training institute in Gwadar, and China-Pakistan Fraternity Emergency Care Center in Gwadar, which have been completed, have played important roles in and made China’s contributions to creating education opportunities, improving employment skills and responding to COVID-19 for the benefit of the local people.” He also said that “… all CPEC projects including the Gwadar Port will, play a more positive part in improving people’s livelihood in both countries.”
But with large scale protests …….