Should Baloch take part or not take part in the elections?

By Meerin Baloch

Recently Sardar Akhtar Mengal ended his self-exile and landed in Karachi. The next day he announced that his Balochistan National Party (BNP) will take part in the upcoming election in Pakistan. The other Baloch nationalist parties who are also gearing up to take part in the elections includes BNP(Awami) of Sardar Israr Zehri, National Party (NP) of Dr. Malik Baloch and Hasil Bizenjo and JWP of Shaheed Nawab Akber Khan Bugti now headed by Talal Bugti and his son Shazain Bugti.

All Baloch militant groups who are fighting Pakistan for complete independence are asking the Baloch people to boycott these elections. They have even threatened to kill whoever goes to polling stations to vote or run for any seat. The Interesting thing is that most of these militant leader, who are asking the Baloch people to boycott the elections, are one way or the other taking part in these election through their cousins and relatives. For example, Brhamdagh Bugti, head of BRP, issued a statement from Geneva, asking Baloch people to boycott the elections, but his close relatives Aali Bugti, Talal Bugti of JWP, and his brother-in-Law Bakhtiar Khan Domki, are all participating and running for seats.

Nawab Khair Bux Marri, who is known as Baba E-Aazadee and is the God father of BLA, who enjoys cockfighting in Karachi defense area and at the same time inciting Baloch youths to fight Pakistan army, is also opposing the elections along with his self-exiled sons Mehran Marri, Hair Biyar Marri and Gazzin Marri, but his other son, Changez Marri, who is in Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Party (PML-N), is taking part in the elections.

The same is the case with Sardar Ataullah Mengal and his sons. His one son Sardar Akhtar Mengal taking part in the elections while his other son Javed Mengal, the head of Lashker Balochistan, and his Nephew Noordin Mengal are strong anti-Pakistan and both are against the taking part in the elections.

All these Nawabs and Sardars are conspiring against the ordinary middle class Baloch leaders to keep them away from taking part in the elections so that they can have a free ride to these Assemblies with being challenged.

So the question is should the ordinary Baloch take part in thees election or not and Who will benefit if they boycott them?? Will the boycotting help Baloch people to wake up the UN and world community to take any action against Pakistan? Most likely the answer is NO, because for the last six years, despite the gross human right violations and genocide by Pakistan’s army in Balochistan, the UN and the world community have ignored Balochistan’s crisis and Baloch sufferings.

Many people in Balochistan believe boycotting will only help Pakistan’s ISI and FC to strengthen their control over Balochistan and continue their loot and plunder of Baloch resources through their agents without being challenged. Those who claim that taking part in these election will legitimize Pakistan’s illegal occupation are also wrong, because, many argue that if this was the case, then Baloch people have done that many times in the past. Sardar Ataullah Mengal and Mir Ghus Baksh Bizenjo did it in 1970’s. Nawab Akber Khan Bugti and Mir Balaach Marri also took part in elections. Balaach Marri was a member of Balochistan assembly until he got killed by Pakistan’s army.

We all know ISI uses different tactics to pitch Balochs against each other and they are trying to use these elections to create a civil war like situation where every Baloch fight the other Baloch and kill each other but Baloch must understand that these ISI tactics and games will only help ISI and not the Baloch people. If Akhtar Mengal, Dr. Malik or any other Baloch nationalist leader wants to take part in these elections, let them do so. After all Baloch Sarmachaars are not in a position to stop the election from happening. If Akhatr Mengal doesn’t take part, some one else will and the ISI will bring its agents and puppets like Aslam Raisani, who will kill more Baloch.

So, the Baloch Sarmachaars should not make a big deal out of this and they should concentrate on their fight on the mountains. If Sardar Akhtar Mengal have made a deal with Pakistan military or ISI, as they claims, then they should make a Balochi deal with him too. Instead of issuing death threats and certificates of traitor-ship to him and Dr. Malik, they should ask him to not compromise on Baloch rights and genuine Baloch demands, which includes the withdrawal of FC from all over Balochistan and replacing it with local Balochs and ensuring the Baloch’s rights over their coasts and natural resources.