Saturday, September 17, 2011
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and the changing map of the Mideast? Have you heard about the Free Baloch Movement?
Islamabad, Pakistan is a long way from Osawatomie. Yet, Sitemeter alerts me to a growing interest in this blog from Pakistan. Go figure! As best as I can surmise all of this interest centers around the map of Pakistan. Apparently there is an effort to carve a "Free Baluchistan" from parts of Iran, and Pakistan, with Afghanistan annexing a large section to the north of Baluchistan. That's going to be some radical cartography.
For more background I found an interesting article at: http://www.paklinks.com/gs/pakistan-affairs/302915-is-united-states-changing-the-map-of-pakistan.html. The article was written by a person called "saregamapa", who is probably not to be confused with Indian rock stars from Zee TV sometimes spelled as Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. But that last part is just a guess because when I clicked on the link I was sent to a site called Gushup forums. Gushup, it turns out is a word meaning gossip or chit chat in the Urdu and Hindi languages, according to the Urban Dictionary, their link is found at http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Gupshup.
The Department of State's official Map of Pakistan
A map showing regional ethnic area divisions in Pakistan
The current Pakistan Map compared to a new Pakistani Map
(from the New York Times)
That article contained a link back to the New York Times with the map in question. Here is the link to the New York Times: for the image, http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2008/11/23/world/23pstan.graf01.ready.html?ref=asia and for the article http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/world/asia/23pstan.html?pagewanted=1&sq=pakistan%20map&st=cse&scp=1.
Thanks go out to the Pakistanis for bringing this to my attention. After a decade of war I can but little imagine the traumas through which these folks have lived. The New York Times article helps explain the disconnect between America's grief and anger over the attacks on civilians and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 and near total lack of knowledge of attacks by Pakistanis. We may have routed the Taliban, but we totally failed to let the Pakistanis, and I am guessing the Afghanis, know why we were compelled to wage war on their homelands.
If foreign troops were on the outskirts of Osawatomie, waging war into America's heartland, we'd be fighting mad and fighting like hell to rid them from our country. That goes double if we had no idea why they were here and goes triple double if they'd been here for a decade!
Nobody likes to see their country invaded. When one nation, for its own defense and the defense of the planet, acts to rid a volatile source of active terror from another nation they must make those reasons clear to the citizens of the invaded nation. Don't you think that if the Afghanis and the Pakistanis knew what Al Qaeda and the Taliban did on 9/11 they'd have pretty much taken care of those bad apples on their own. I suspect that these folks, who practice Islam, would have seen the attacks as egregious violations of their religion. They probably could have administered their own corrective sanctions on the offenders.
At least, after a decade, they would know why we went to their homelands. Now some Pakistanis are concerned that a new round of nation building will take a huge chunk of land from their southwestern region, while Afghanistan takes another chunk to the north of that. I just can't imagine Iran with its bifurcated government going along with that plan. By bifurcated I mean that there is a civil government and there is also a theocratic government.
Aside from the Iran problem, Pakistan has a problem with Baluchistan. There is an active movement to expel Muslim Punjabis from Baluchistan. The Baloch Freedom Movement's blog opens with this call to arms:
"Freedom is not free , it grows from the guns of free men . Baloch brothers and sisters , it's time to close ranks and fight Punjabi [P]akistani oppression and secure our freedom for our future generations . Together We Stand & Fight - Together We Win." See, http://freebaloch.blogspot.com/.
There is a Baloch Liberation Army with its own flag. These are serious times.
The Baloch Freedom Movement's Flag
Soldiers of the Baloch Liberation Army
Pray for reason and peace to prevail. I hope the many nations of the world can begin to raise up their own versions of Mahatma Gandhi to lead us, each of us, to the paths of nonviolence.