January 12, 2018

2006 cable from the American Embassy in Islamabad

OA 2006 cable from the American Embassy in Islamabad leaked by Wikileaks noted that  _not all of the tribal leaders have turned against the state, mentioning in part, “There seems to be little support in the province, beyond the Bugti tribe, for the current insurgency._
The actions of the Pakistani military appear to confirm this statement; the military specifically targeted the Bugti tribal chief, Nawab Akbar Bugti, and have focused their efforts primarily on Bugti areas. Additionally, the military has been able to negotiate with tribal leaders one-by-one, preventing them from joining in a common cause against the government.While the military continues to see the Bugti tribe as the main sponsor of the anti-state insurgency, other tribal leaders have used their forces as leverage against the state to achieve their own ends. Indeed, the *cable from the American Embassy goes as far as to suggest that nationalist leaders do not truly believe in secession, and instead use political rhetoric to extract revenues from the national government.13 In particular, they desire a larger voice in the province’s development and a greater percentage of its natural resource revenues.

Tribal leaders Nawab Marri and Attaullah Mengal are said to each possess 4,000 to 5,000 troops and have used them to pressure the government to cede to their demands.




Wikileaks, interesting note , exposes Pakistani game plan and mindset wrt Sardars

Many US Embassy contacts noted the advanced ages of the three rebel sardars, arguing that Islamabad could wait for them to die of natural causes, while whittling down tribal power so their successors inherit weakened fighting forces. The GOP could simultaneously exploit the anger among the common people of Balochistan over the insurgents destruction of provincial infrastructure. When the militants blow up electric pylons or gas pipelines, people in Balochistan suffer along with people in Punjab. The sardars have often been derided by those outside their tribes for failing to develop the province when they held political power. Rahila Durrani, PML, asserted that Nawab Bugti and Sardar Attaullah "did nothing when they had the chance."_

Pashtun leaders view the Baloch tribal sardars as placing more importance on sustaining tribal law -- and their unassailable positions as the heads of their tribes -- than fighting for the general welfare of the province. --------

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