Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik found himself in disagreement with a Baloch Senator of his country, Mir Hasil Bizenjo, when the latter compared Islamabad with Kabul in terms of the vulnerability of the two cities to terrorist attacks.
Bizenjo and Sheikh Asad Rahman, who was actively associated with the Baloch resistance of the 1970s, did not also validate Pakistan’s claim of Indian involvement in the troubled province. “I have no proof of Indian support,” said Bizenjo.
For his part, Rahman said nationalists received no backing from India, Iran or the erstwhile Soviet Union in any Pakistan military operation in the province.
They spoke at the release function here of Bizenjo’s father and legendary Baloch nationalist Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo’s autobiography — In Search of Solutions. The book put together by his political aide, B.M. Kutty, is a collection of the late Ghaus Bakhsh’s personal notes on important events.
“There is no difference today between Islamabad and Kabul,” said Bizenjo. He buttressed the point by recalling his father’s 1984 warning to supporters of the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan: “You should worry about the time when the guns trained at Kabul will be directed at Islamabad…”
“Islamabad resembles a five-star jail where we have to cross 20 police barricades to reach parliament,” said the senator. He felt India, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan had no option but to put up a joint anti-terror front with China. That’s so because it’s impossible for the US and Nato forces to win the war they’re fighting in Afghanistan and along its borders with Pakistan.
“The Americans, British and the French know that they’d be fighting the war in the streets of London and Paris, if they don’t fight it in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” said Bizenjo.
“Religious terrorism has no boundaries. Our parliamentarians and intellectuals must lead the debate for a united response to the threat that will also break India and Iran, if it breaks Pakistan.”
The Pakistan envoy distanced promptly from the parallel drawn by Bizenjo: “I wish improvement of the situation in Kabul but will beg to disagree with the comparison (with Islamabad).” On the diplomatic correctness of his remarks on the Afghan capital, Malik said his reference was to the law and order situation. “I didn't mean anything else.”
In the context of the US plans of drone attacks on Quetta, neither Bizenjo nor Rahman ruled out the possibility of Taliban presence in the Baloch capital bordering Afghanistan’s Kandahar. But they were worried about collateral damage from such strikes that have thus far killed “about two dozen Taliban leaders but 10,000 civilians” in the North-West Frontier Province and tribal areas.