What Purpose Does Raising Afghan Flag In Balochistan Serve?
Balochistan is getting affected by the civil war-like situation in Afghanistan in all aspects. Let’s have a look at what’s going on in the northern parts of the province. Although Pashtuns dominate northern Balochistan, they have different ideological roots: religious fundamentalism advocated by religious parties, including the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Pashtun Nationalism championed by nationalist parties, including the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).
Keeping in view the current situation in the western neighbour country, both are supporting their ‘heroes’ in Afghanistan while coming out on the roads in Pakistan. On one hand, religious fundamentalists organised pro-Taliban rallies in the provincial capital to extend their support to the apparently upcoming regime change in Afghanistan. On the other hand, the Pashtun nationalists have been seen waving the Afghan flag in their rallies to show solidarity with the Kabul government.
But the irony is that none of them are ready to live for a single day in the war-torn Afghanistan. This is how they are doing their practical politics in the name of so-called ideology to re-gain their support and strengthen their roots in areas where they had lost their support. Interestingly, both of them had never demonstrated any such support on public fora when they were given a chance to rule.
The JUI-F is supporting the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan while it is itself demonstrating every other day against the fall of democratic values in Pakistan. JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman extended support to the Afghan Taliban from Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)’s platform. PDM is a movement to democratise Pakistan by criticizing the intervention of the establishment in politics. So — democracy for us and Islamic Emirate for them? This is a classic case of hypocrisy.
Similarly, PkMAP is chanting slogans against the establishment’s role in the intra-Afghan conflict while it has itself been part of a coalition government that was chosen by the same establishment. Nobody can form government, even win an election, in Balochistan without the establishment’s will. Besides, its befooling people in the name of ethnic ties with Afghanistan to gain electoral support while doing nothing for the development of these areas.
How many universities have been established by the PkMAP while it was in government? Had the PkMAP ever waved the Afghan flag when they were part of the coalition government from 2013 to 2018?
The situation in the region is worrisome. Those living near the frontiers are particularly disturbed because of the ongoing violence across the border. Having said that, it is the common who is going to suffer a lot from the brunt of such extremism, violence, and war. However, the major political parties are taking advantage of such crises to strengthen their lost electoral support. The people of northern Balochistan need to understand the fact that such political opportunism can never change their fate. They need to focus on demanding their fundamental rights within the constitutional limits of Pakistan rather than waving the flags of the Taliban and Afghanistan to emotionalise people for a cause that will remain unfruitful.
In short, supporting a peaceful resolution of the conflict and handing over the state machinery to the people of Afghanistan to decide who and what is better for them is the best possible option.