Mengal’s Myopic Political Vision
Date 2012-10-04 | Topic: Opinions
The dilemma with Balochistan National Party (Mengal) has always been that it has never had a crystal clear approach to Baloch nationalism. The party has failed to define the border of its vision of Baloch nationalism. It has always adopted a shuffling stand regarding its demand of “right to self-determination”. The surprise came recently when Akhtar Mengal ended his self-imposed exile to return to Pakistan to help the Supreme Court of Pakistan in tracing out all enforced-disappeared persons. The act came at a time when a UN WGIED delegation ended a fact finding visit in Pakistan and Balochistan.
However the real purpose of Mr Mengal’s visit is much more than just to assist the court [of occupying state]. Perhaps the case of enforced-disappeared person was used as an excuse to provide a reason to come back and to start campaign for Pakistan coming elections. Since the start of the fifth War of liberation, the Baloch people have demanded from its leadership to abandon Pakistani Parliament and join the liberation struggle. Even National Party, alleged to be an apple of eyes of Pakistani secret agencies, could not dare to take part in 2008 elections and boycotted it to save their faces.
Mengal’s return to Pakistan is aimed at paving the way for BNP to cut a deal with Pakistani establishment to rule Balochistan for a term of four years in Balochistan Assembly. Mengal knows very well that a powerless Supreme Court cannot end the miseries of Baloch people. Even the Court revealed in the very session which Mengal appeared that “the court had issued 60 orders during the 68 hearings on the cases but no practical steps were taken.” Despite the courts confession of being powerless Akhtar’s returning to Pakistan has motives to start campaigning for upcoming elections. The BNP’s senior leaderships had been pushing Akhtar Mengal to return to the parliamentary politics and he eventually seems to have caved in. He confessed that his party had not abandoned parliamentary politics.
Mengal’s expression of hope to solve Balochistan issue within parameters of Pakistani states has been met with several criticisms from all corner of Baloch society. Malik Siraj Akbar, The editor in chief of Balochal, an online newspaper alleged to have pro-BNP stance, even criticised the visit as Mengal’s visit by calling it a “Political Blunder” in an editorial. The editorial also terms his returning back as harmful to Baloch cause. “With such a dramatic decision, one is compelled to doubt the depth and clarity of B.N.P.’s political vision for Balochistan. The B.N.P. had previously asked for provincial autonomy for Balochistan but subsequently hardened its stance and began to ask for the right to self-determination. People seek the right to self-determination when they fully lose confidence in a state. Expression of trust in the Pakistani Supreme Court completely disqualifies B.N.P.’s plea for international intervention in Balochistan.” The editorial further harshly goes on stating that “We agree with the Baloch Students Organization (BSO-Azad) that Sardar Mengal’s action amounts to joining hands with those who are responsible for killing the Baloch people.”
Almost all nationalist parties in Balochistan and Baloch political leaders in exile have also criticised his decision harshly. Some of them even said that Mengal broke a deal with ISI before returning to Pakistan.
Baloch activists on twitter have poured scorn upon him. They term his expression for hope in Pakistani Supreme Court as “selling of Baloch blood”. Sohaib Mengal, a Baloch student activist in London tweeted that “Akhter Mengal has sold the blood of Baloch sons very cheap.” BNM in a statement also adopted a similar approach. BSO Azad, a student organisation, harshly criticised the visit as selling the blood of Baloch martyrs. It seems that Mengal’s rating as a nationalist leader has greatly dropped among Baloch intelligentsia who have always expected that BNP might take a huge turn in its policy of boycotting Pakistani parliament. The turn has come. BNP is campaigning for the next elections. It aims at taking control of the government in Quetta which is derided as a puppet in the hands of the military and the intelligence agencies.
It is pertinent to mention here that political landscape in Balochistan has greatly changed in recent years. BNP and NP, once powerful parties in Baloch affairs, now have no say in the Baloch politics. The Pakistani establishment is well aware of this fact. These parties will only be used to double cross the international community that reconciliation has been achieved with Baloch leadership. Pakistani state wants mislead the civilised world that nationalists rule the province. They should know that real power vested in the Baloch people who have decided continue the struggle for national liberation until the last drop of their blood. The pro-establishment parties no longer represent the genuine aspirations of the Baloch people. Baloch demand nothing less than an independent Baloch state.
The writer is a Baloch blogger - received via e-mail