War on Terror: Is this how the United States attempts to win hearts and minds?
As part of the Global Offence Against Terror (G.O.A.T.) , the Unites States has been trying
to win hearts and minds especially among Islamic peoples, a very noble gesture indeed. A case in point is the helicopter relief operations in the recent earthquake in Pakistan and setting up M.A.S.H. relief units there which has supposedly improved its image
in that region.
But, Nitin Pai brings attention
to some of the bloodiest military battles being fought in the other end of Pakistan in the province of Balochistan:
At least thirty thousand army personnel, twelve helicopter gunships, four fighter jets, several spy planes of different sizes, heavy artillery and missiles are now waging a bloody war in Balochistan. The reason they are there is because Gen Musharraf is determined to restore the ‘writ of government’ where challenged. Reporters are not being allowed to cover the conflict, so no one really knows the exact number of casualties. But scores of people have been killed since December 2005. The writ of government is being restored with all the bloody-mindedness the Pakistani Army can manage.
Note that the anti-Baloch operations conducted by the Pakistani military have nothing to do with the 'War on Terror' operations against Taliban and Al-Queda in Warzistan and NWFP provinces. Read this excellent post
by Jaffna of Secular-Right on the dynamics behind the Baloch separatist movement and reasons for the hardline position taken by General Musharraf.
We came across gruesome images of the victims of bombings through blogs and Internet forums. We are finally convinced
by Nitin not to link any of these due to the highly violent nature of them.
But we would like to bring attention to the military hardware being used by the Pakistani military against the Baloch people. Earlier, B. Raman reported
that helicopters which were being used to provided earthquake relief were being diverted towards anti-Baloch military operation. Now pictures of mortar shells and rockets
used against the Baloch people have been released.
One of them reads
MOTOR LAUNCH ROCKET (TOW) M114
The first line refers to the Raytheon (Hughes) BGM-71 TOW
air-to-ground/ground-to-ground missile used against bunkers, tanks, etc. M114 refers to the Hercules M114 solid-fueled rocket. The second line refers to the source of the weapon: Radford Army Ammunition Plant
in Radford, Va. They have been fired abord the gunships of an AH-1S Cobra
helicopter which have a deadly reputation to have inflicted damage during the Vietnam War.
There is a clear evidence of American-made weapons abord American made helicopters being used to perpetrate such genocide-level crimes. Letting aside the shocking lack of outrage by the usual human rights groups
and self-styled champions
, the least we can do is to stop supplying the Pakistani military with military hardware
paid by the American taxpayer to stop further extermination of the Baloch people.
If it decides to follow the path of callous ignorance, the United States should expect no sympathy from the Baloch people in its effort to reach out to Muslims around the world.