Balochistan: CIA’s Crumbling Project

Ahmed Quraishi:

A photograph has surfaced that shows a terrorist wanted by Iran visiting a US military base in Afghanistan. Another terrorist wanted by Pakistan has also been spotted meeting Indian spies under American watch—in Afghanistan.  Iran arrests one such terrorist but Pakistan’s pro-US government refuses to take a stand on a terrorist insurgency openly backed by rogue US elements, with Indian support.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—After occupying Afghanistan, rogue CIA elements launched a campaign to create a new state of Balochistan out of two conjoined provinces in Pakistan and Iran.

This was done to create the shortest possible supply route from the sea to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.

The Sunni-Shia divide was exploited in Iran and a language-based divide was used in Pakistan. In other words, the result was a sectarian Balochi insurgency in Iran and an ethnic one in Pakistan.

This is how Jundullah was born in Iran and Balochistan Liberation Army in Pakistan. Both were armed and supported by CIA using the Afghan soil.

But this American terror infrastructure is now crumbling. Fast.

The idea of using Afghan soil for regional US strategies – against Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China, as the need be – has failed miserably. One reason is exposure. Eight years is enough time for everyone to understand the double game being played in the region in the name of war on terror, which is America’s war no matter how many millions of dollars the US government invests in propaganda in the region to convince the people it is otherwise.

Despite a pliant Pakistani government, Pakistan, for example, is not ready to cooperate with the United States if Pakistani interests are not protected along with US interests. Pakistan took a long time to take a stand. But it has come around finally. Of course CIA was not operating alone. It enlisted the help of India and several Western intelligence agencies, turning Afghanistan into a source of regional destabilization. That’s exactly what al-Qaeda was doing before 2002.

The arrest of the ringleader of CIA-backed Jundullah group, Mr. Abdolmalek Rigi, is a major development. Iran’s intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi showed damning evidence today to the media, confirming beyond doubt the terror group’s link to US intelligence in Afghanistan:

In a press conference Moslehi showed a photograph of the leader of the group, Abdulmalek Rigi, 24 hours before his arrest at a US troops camp in Afghanistan, as well as an ID card, an Afghan passport and a Dubai visa belonging to Rigi and prepared by the US to facilitate his travels in the region as evidence to show the terrorist leader’s cooperation with Washington and certain other countries.

Last year, his younger brother Abdolhamid Rigi was arrested by Pakistani intelligence and handed over to Iran. The younger Rigi admitted on television to meeting US diplomats, or possible intelligence agents, in Karachi and Islamabad.

The worst part of the story is that former President Musharraf might have allowed CIA-backed Jundullah to use Pakistani soil, along with Afghanistan’s, to mount operations inside Iran. Of course there were times when Iran did the same: organize and arm sectarian militant groups inside Pakistan as part of Iran’s policy of militarizing Shia minorities in neighboring countries. But that was a different time. What the Americans were doing in Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan was tied to the parallel terror insurgency in Pakistani Balochistan.

It is possible that this was one more concession that Mr. Musharraf granted US in Pakistan. But it is Pakistan and its intelligence that arrested and handed over Jundullah leader’s younger brother to Iran last year. Pakistani intelligence might have had something to do with the arrest of the elder Rigi too. But Iranian officials are denying that Pakistan helped them in any way in this arrest, and won’t say where Abdolhamid Rigi was seized.

Pakistan has been bound by many of the secret understandings and concessions that Mr. Musharraf made with Washington. The Zardari government that succeeded him is suspected of having more secret understandings than its predecessor. But the Pakistani military has been gradually relieving Pakistan of many unreasonable unilateral concessions [Example: US passport holders can no longer use a separate gate to enter and exit from Pakistani airports without scrutiny]. But at same time, the Pakistani military is bound by other government-to-government commitments made by Mr. Musharraf and now the Zardari government.

But there are enough signs that elements within the US intelligence community continue to support terrorism inside Pakistan in the name of Balochistan.

With US nod, India has recently recruited around 100 poor Pakistanis from Balochistan and transported them for training in India. New Delhi is doing this using Afghan soil.

Another evidence is a conference in Bangkok, Thailand, this week that called for breaking up Pakistan and creating an independent state called Balochistan. The conference was organized by a Paris-based group called Baloch Voice Foundation, which has not been known before. Unconfirmed reports suggest that this foundation is funded by Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based think tank that shows a lot of interest in the potential for separatism in Pakistan and Iran. The US think tank’s website says that it provides unbiased information from Russia, China and “the world of terrorism,” which pretty much sums up how it views Muslim-dominated regions.

India actively supports terror groups that claim Baloch representation but it is American citizens and groups that have been making the loudest noises over Balochistan since 2002.  This has to do with Indo-US sharing of ideas over Pakistan after 2001 and that story makes for interesting reading.

It is interesting how the government of Thailand allowed the use of its soil for an anti-Pakistan activity. Pakistani protesters outside the Bangkok hotel didn’t miss this point and raised it on their placards.  But Pakistan’s pro-US government remains silent on this blatant act of war on the part of the Thai government.

Taking cue from Iran’s action against Jundullah, and Israel’s action against a Hamas activist in Dubai, Pakistan needs to get firm on eliminating the Afghan-based nursery of terrorism inside Pakistan.

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