02 August 2013

Dismissal of NAP government in Balochistan


In 1972, the remaining Pakistan was at its turning point. Military regime of Yahya Khan had given up power and Z.A Bhutto had got control of the reins of the country. He had a golden opportunity to create a new Pakistan and reverse all the injustices of the past. He had full authority and public support but He missed the opportunity. Instead, he spent his entire 5 and half years stint to increase his powers by hook or crook. One of the blunders that he Committed was the dismissal of NAP government in balochistan and subsequent military operation which took lives of thousands of persons. History will never forgive Bhutto for this act as it laid the foundations of an approach which never allowed Balochistan to be part of Mainstream power structure in Pakistan. Current conflict in Balochistan can be traced down to the dismissal of NAP government.

NAP had won majority of seats in Balochistan assembly in 1970 elections. Awami League had won majority in National Assembly but the ruling elite of West Pakistan refused to give power to Bengalese. This triggered a liberation movement which culminated in formation of Bangladesh. In remaining Pakistan PPP formed government in centre, Punjab and Sindh. NAP, which was an alliance of left wing nationalist parties of small provinces, formed government in Balochistan and NWFP (Now Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw). Since day one Bhutto was against NAP government and didn't accept them from heart. First he delayed their formation for 5 months and finally both governments took power in May 1972. Immediately after taking power NAP government in Balochistan started facing different conspiracies masterminded by Bhutto to get rid of it. Saradr Attaullah Mengal was the Chief Minister and Ghaus Bux Bizenjo was Governor of Balochistan. These two charismatic politicians not only had to manage governance issues but also handle the difficulties created by Bhutto for them.

First problem that was created for NAP government was the issue of Surplus-pool employees. When the west Pakistan government in one unit was dissolved its surplus employees were shifted to Balochistan. At that time it was agreed that after sometime these employees would go to their own provinces. When NAP government assumed power it asked for the transfer of these employees to their provinces. It was decided in the chief secretaries committee of all four provinces that these employees would go in four batches with gap of 3 months between each batch. Ghulam Mustafa Khar, then governor Punjab, asked all Punjabi employees to return from Balochistan in one month. This was against the understanding on this issue and created huge problems for the newly formed government of NAP. This seriously hampered the governance of NAP government because employees in huge numbers left Balochistan within two months. This was first step to deliberately create difficulties for NAP government by PPP.

In January 1973, A huge cache of Arms was discovered from Iraqi embassy in Islamabad. Bhutto alleged that these Arms were to be supplied to the NAP government in Balochistan so that they can wage war against state. This was a very ridiculous allegation by Bhutto and his cronies and hard to digest for any sensible person. If weapons were For NAP government it could have been easily smuggled through vast coast of Balochistan or also through Karachi. It would be idiotic to first deliver the Arms to Islamabad then back to Balochistan. These weapons were displayed in Islamabad and then transported throughout the country in order to develop a case against NAP government. This just reflected the mentality of Bhutto that How much he could fall to achieve his objectives.

Last conspiracy planned and carried out by Bhutto and his cronies was the Revolt of Jams in Lasbela against NAP government. In January Bhutto and Abdul Qayyum Khan (Interior Minister) supplied weapons to the Jam of Lasbela, Jam Ghulam Qadir to revolt against the provincial government. After their revolt NAP government ordered Militia (FC) to quell the revolt of Jams but the commander of Militia Naseerullah Babar refused because federal government had ordered him. Then Chief Minister, Attaullah Mengal gathered Rural Police and asked people of Khuzadr to Help against this revolt. Together these two groups entered Lasbela and Bhutto created the impression that NAP government is using private Lashkars to attack its political opponents. Using this as pretext, Army was ordered to enter Lasbela and Bhutto alleged that NAP government had besieged people of Lasbela which was completely untrue. After building a case against NAP government, the civilian dictator Z.A Bhutto dismissed NAP government in Balochistan on 15th February 1973. People of Balochistan stood up or their rights and in ordered to crush them Bhutto sent in the Army and operation was started. After four years the same Army toppled the government of Bhutto and after further two years Bhutto was hanged. As you sow so shall you reap. 

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