Is Brahamdagh Bugti right in applying for asylum in India?

Published: September 28, 2016


It’s popularly said that times change and so do people, but sometimes after years of changes, a lot does not change at all. In classical warfare, the shrewd commander would keep a force at the front as a façade and keep a surprise for his enemy. The surprise could be an ambush from the side, moats prepared to drown the infantry, a fire hazard to cut one part of the infantry from the other and create a kill zone and so on.

Modern warfare introduced more brazen tactics such Hitler’s blitzkrieg, which caused massive damage to the Allied forces. It also gave us the ‘shock and awe’ campaigns, which the Americans so amply demonstrated with their Daisy Cutters in Afghanistan and midnight bombing runs in Iraq.

As time passed, governments started to realise that a military victory can be more costly than actually imagined. The land, which was won through the ‘shock and awe’, now needs to be policed from the looters and the masses need to be provided with basic amenities. If these issues are not met, the victorious army may end up fighting the hungry masses. Barack Obama changed all that when he decided to pull US forces from the conquered lands.

Even when they had installed their puppet government in Afghanistan and the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq, the US was dishing out heaps of dollars to control the ever-incontrollable territories. Once the forces were pulled out, the Taliban resurged and Daesh took root in Iraq. To be ‘fair and balanced’, these resurgences were imminent and in motion before Obama took office. To counter this Obama decided to revisit a classical warfare policy – black ops and proxies.

In the world of open information and high tech surveillance, the real enemy is not lack of information but rather access to secret information. Therefore, no matter how much governments try to hide it, their underhanded and covert actions do end up seeing the light of day. Since an analytical look around the world can easily identify proxies fighting in conflict zones and their masters, governments have become shrewd in supporting indigenous groups more so as to avoid suspicion.

Balochistan is a great example of this. No sooner than Pakistan and China signed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement, the hawks started to up the ante. In order to be factual, it would be incorrect to say that Balochistan does not have an insurgency problem. The Balochistan insurgencies have been a problem since 1971 onwards when the separation of East Pakistan sparked hopes in the hearts of some Baloch nationalists. The 70s saw the quelling of the first separatist movements in Balochistan carried out by none other than General Tikka Khan during the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto government.

Balochistan came back on the international radar after 9/11, once military supplies started to move from Karachi to Afghanistan through Balochistan. It is rumored that well before 9/11, the province was a conduit for illegal arms and narcotics which were moved to and from the shoreline towards Afghanistan, Iran and beyond. The promulgation of CPEC caused numerous world actors to move the assets towards Balochistan, largely to create dissent and discord to hamper projects.

I recently saw a newspaper article where the separatist Balochistan Republican Party (BRP) leader Brahamdagh Bugti announced that he would apply for a political asylum in India. For some reason the news made me laugh hysterically. Sometimes I cannot tell whether Narendra Modi is trying to reach out more than he can or if Brahamdagh Bugti is stupid enough to believe his banter.

Modi’s government like some other world ‘governments’, has no real interests in the freedom of Balochistan. All he wanted to do was to give the Baloch the public impression that he is with them. It is highly likely that his visits to Afghanistan have given him the opportunity to speak to members from Baloch separatist movements. However, I cannot assert that without any proof.

The porous border shared between Iran’s Sistan province, Afghanistan’s Helmand, Zabul, and Kandahar provinces and Pakistan’s Balochistan have been a hotbed of terrorist activity. Arms, ammunition, smuggled goods and narcotics pass through freely, making it a very strategically beneficial locale for those seeking to recruit mercenaries for personal gain. That said it almost becomes unnecessary to name any names since we all know who is going to benefit from the chaos in Balochistan.

I am one for human rights, dignity and self-respect. However using these as slogans to defame Pakistan’s security forces is a game as old as time itself. I do urge ‘certain media houses’ who uphold these slogans to stop being hypocritical. How can they show the atrocities in Kashmir on their news and fill their entertainment channels with 24 hours of Indian programming?

Balochistan is a province, which has been systematically ignored and relegated to the 20th century, time and again by our politicians. As long as having a larger population passes of for receiving more funds from the State, which is how our National Finance Commission (NFC) awards are doled out, Balochistan and its people will continue to suffer.

For people like Brahamdagh to stop rising and asking for help from our regional and international rivals, we need to address Balochistan’s issues rather than point our fingers outward. Balochistan deserves a fair share from the Sate and from its natural resources, which it graciously gives to other provinces such as gas and minerals.

Modi can learn a thing or two from Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

Even after courting Ashraf Ghani’s rhetoric against Pakistan during his visit to India earlier this month, Rouhani proposed that Iran and Pakistan should work together and that Chabahar and Gwadar were complimentary. Everyone who understands any politics the world over knows that the time for the East to rise is nigh. Trying to delay or hamper this ominous politico-economic transition is a really stupid thing to do.



The author holds an MPhil in Public Administration and has taught Politics and Public Policy at the University of Karachi.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Rohan

    Bogus article, typical ghq nonsense, bugti doesn’t need your permission to apply for asylum in India and why don’t Kashmiris who are wronged in india apply for asylum in Pakistan??
    Because Kashmiris know Pakistan is a failed state and has nothing to offer to Kashmiris ,it’s just an ideological game played by the Punjabi establishment Recommend

  • Lalit

    and i also have been laughing hysterically every time Pakistani expresses fake sympathy towards Kashmiris… people who couldn’t tolerate their own countrymen in 1971 are vouching for Kashmiris.Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    ” Balochistan is a province, which has been systematically ignored and relegated to the 20th century, time and again by our politicians. As long as having a larger population passes of for receiving more funds from the State, which is how our National Finance Commission (NFC) awards are doled out, Balochistan and its people will continue to suffer.”

    so you are agreeing that Baluchistan has been cheated for 70 years. How do you expect them to remain in Pakistan. They are right in demanding a separate country for themselves. They will never get Justice from Punjabi majority. Punjabi army killed 3 million Bengalis (almost half of what Nazis did- in less than 1 year). Now you are talking about “human rights” and “self-respect”.Recommend

  • harkol

    Offcourse Bugti is right in asking for an asylum.

    Please take away all the Kashmiri Separatists (Gilani & other Huriyat leaders) and grant them asylum in Pakistan too. A good exchange.Recommend

  • Keyboard Soldier

    I have yet to see even ONE Kashmiri from the Indian side apply for Asylum in Pakistan.

    Not EVEN ONE. Even their so-called freedom fighting leaders have never done so.

    In about 10 to 15 years time, it would not even matter if a plebiscite is done in Kashmir because India’s economic growth would have made it an ideal choice for the Kashmiris to choose India over independence.

    The Pakistani army is brainwashed. It is hard-coded to believe and practice International Jihad.

    What it does not understand is that the countries with highest science and trade numbers are the real puppet masters.

    The USA is USA because of SCIENCE and COMMERCE.Recommend

  • Mohammad Azeem Khan

    Brahmdag is very pretty looking man instead of seeking asylum in India which will not achieve anything for him he should come back to Pakistan and join Lollywood become an actor . He is nice looking comparable to Fawad Khan.Recommend

  • Shar

    The admittance of one’s mistakes is the first step towards fixing them. If we don’t own up to our problems, we can never rectify them. Numerous states have such groups active in their provinces. India itself has a number of separatist movements.
    Just because its a separatist movement doesn’t mean we break the country to agree to their demands. If the political and economic deficiencies of impoverished areas are addressed, these issues can be resolved.Recommend

  • Shar

    Dear Lalit,
    I unfortunately have to agree to your second statement. Our politicians did not give the East Pakistanis their due respect and share in resources. I guess its high time we learn from our mistakes, rather than allow neighboring countries to destabilize us any further.Recommend

  • Jabbar malik

    nobody is destabilizing you. u started poking your nose in other peoples affairs . starting from Afghan jihad. then making an enemy out of west, india, now even Afghans have become hostile. Dude the entire world cant be wrong right ? When u play with fire u will get burned someday ….Recommend

  • Patwari

    Matric failed cyber warrior, with bad bad English, writing comments
    in ET. At Rs.12.50 per comment. [Checks from BJP/Shiv Sena received
    after one month]Recommend

  • Parvez

    On this subject its worth reading credible books on the East Pakistan debacle of ’71……Pakistan’s political / military mismanagement, India’s covert and then overt involvement, the roles played by the bigger global powers then and lessons need to be learnt especially by Pakistan.Recommend

  • sterry

    Then by your own estimation, India is ready to be burned. India has used Afghanistan as a puppet since 1947 sending criminals over to Pakistan to play games of terrorism and mischief. It failed in KPK / Peshawar and it has failed in Baluchistan where majority are pro Pakistani. All that happened is that Afghanistan slipped into greater poverty and instability with millions of Afghans begging and smuggling themselves into Western countries. The real issue is that India cannot hide the oppression of illegally held Indian occupied Kashmir and no amount of diversion by bullying others can erase the truth. Bugti can be an asylum seeker in Switzerland or India or anywhere else but it doesn’t matter since no one cares about him in Baluchistan. They know he is an Indian stooge which is why even his own tribe has disowned him and is ready to fight India these days.Recommend

  • Farrukh Jamal

    a traitor and rebel of Pakistan. He thinks him self a patriot. A person who has left his mother land where he was born and raised and had some education. He is a real Daagh(stain) for Pakistan, and stains always removed.Recommend

  • Dheeraj

    @disqus_v9RaKKg8Nz:disqus You are probably the first rational Pakistani I’ve seen anywhere on the internet. I appreciate that, although I do not agree with you. People seek asylum in countries where there is a freedom of speech. Take India as an example for instance. There are a ton of ‘presstitutes’ who’ll probably even go to the extent of harming India’s self-interests, but are tolerated nevertheless. And this is impossible in a hardcore Islamic country, where anything that doesn’t agree with Islam is blasphemy and thus a crime. I suggest you read articles of reputed news agencies of the west to actually get a grasp of what’s going on, since the Pakistani and Indian (to some extent) media are obviously going to publish biased news.Recommend

  • Lalit

    But i don’t think anyone,including LeT or JeM would take the risk to employ likes of you, even for free…You are unemployable.Recommend

  • fze

    Certainly not your language but your media + gov fed language. Recommend

  • M.Saeed

    At least he is better than the MQM’s fugitive chief, being open in his hate and revolt against his ancestral land.Recommend

  • farsar

    Pashtun and Muhajir didn’t have government help in improving their life. Baloch need to get educated, get rid of sardari system and work hard. This insurgency is supported by India and done only by a small portion Bugti tribe.Recommend

  • farsar

    Stop killing the you rar worshiper.Recommend

  • farsar

    On the contrary India is failed state. 500 million live below poverty level.Recommend

  • farsar

    You are ignorant.Recommend

  • farsar

    why should the apply for asylum and leave the territory for Hindus. Hindus from Kashmir should apply for asylum in IndiaRecommend

  • farsar

    Pakistan should give asylum to Khalistan leaders.Recommend

  • harkol

    Yes. It should… If they seek it…Recommend

  • Rohan

    The other 700 million have better life style than even raheel sharifRecommend

  • Sane

    Let all the garbage and dirt go to India. We want a clean Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sane

    Bangalis were not killed by Pakistani soldiers, but by Mukti Bahni garbed as Pakistani soldiers. Basically they were Indian army personnel. Indian PM also confesses that he was an Indian terrorist planted in former East Pakistan.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Indeed moon is made of camel milk green cheese. There are almost now 1 Million Biharis living in camps in Dhaka and they consider themselves Pakistanis. Pak govt promised them to bring them to Karachi. When are you going to do that?Recommend