Insurgency by definition means an armed attempt by native elements acting outside the government to out throw the government or repudiate its control over the region. It is as old as the institution of government. This process consists of three primary elements. First is government which holds all the cards and most importantly holds the command of the armed forces. Secondly, it is obvious to have an insurgent group in opposition to the government to differ and lastly but most important aspect for an insurgent group is to have a will to use armed force otherwise it’s considered as civil disobedience. Contrary to common American beliefs, the armed forces of most third world countries exist not to defend against external enemies but to keep the local population under control. A few thousand troops armed with rifles are sufficient to control any situation within the state. Insurgent groups are not so lucky in that as they mainly kidnap and brain wash people to increase their followings. On the other hand armed forces have a totally different criteria of recruitment based on fitness, intelligence etc. The disadvantage for a government is that they can’t take any step unless an antigovernment action is taken because of the fact that a state has to maintain its legitimacy representing law and order, civilization and stability. As it can also affect international relations. Precautionary measures can be taken as the infrastructure is under control of the government. This is also an Advantage to the state that the infrastructure which is the web of basic services such as transportation, communication and medical services which are essential for carrying out a conflict are under the hands of the government. It can control hard pressed communication, moving of weapons, medical services, spreading of propagandas to masses and more.
Many countries have faced such events and one of the most successful examples is of the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam (LTTE)who in the name of separatism and Tamil rights stood against Sri Lankan government. Formed in 1975 with its base in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka, the group vowed to form a separate state called Tamil Eelam. At its peak in 2000, the LTTE was in control of 76% of the landmass in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka and were regular in human rights violations such as Attack on civilians, forcing young soldiers to commit suicide bombing, ethnic cleansing, execution of prisoners in war and were also involved in Criminal activities such as Sea piracy, Arms and people Smuggling, money laundering etc. After making several attempts to bring peace and on continuous failures, the Sri Lankan military launched a major offensive against the Tigers, defeating the LTTE militarily and bringing the entire country under its control. Although many human rights groups criticized the nature of victory against LTTE but the state came out of the mess. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 16 May 2009 declared the victory over the tigers.
Pakistan has no less examples to state when it comes to insurgent groups. Pakistan focuses more on Punjab province, despite the fact that Baluchistan is the largest region of the country comprising of 44 percent of the geographical area, enriched with minerals and resources that can run the states economy. Ignoring Baluchistan because of the fact that it has only 5 percent of Population has given rise to the rebellious groups. They started this separatist movement to gain a separate state where they could have equal rights and opportunities and could be paid attention. However, Pakistan is not in the condition to afford another separation like east and west Pakistan like in the past. The only option Pakistan had was to use armed force to use these insurgencies, as a result Guerilla war started against the state. Famous Baluch tribal leader Akbar Bughti demanded 50 percent revenue of Pakistan to be invested in Baluchistan and 50 percent in the rest of the state. Baluch Tribes tend to put demands in front of the government which in refusal created more killings and bombardment in Baluchistan. Both tribal civilians and troops had to face losses of several lives, and there were also rumors that RAW was supporting Baluch tribes, one refusal of Akbar Bughti’s demand, Baluch tribes got more rebellious and by the orders of the Pervaiz Musharraf, the army bombarded the cave Akbar Bughti was hiding in. After the death of their leader, insurgencies got controlled. There are many more examples to state like these.
It can be argued that the electronic news media in Pakistan has yet to come of age, especially when it comes to responsible reporting and holding a logical debate on current affairs. Being on the neglected side, Baluch local media was suppressed, Local Newspapers and channels were banned. National Media only showed on side of the picture and portrayed Baluch as rebellious and against the state. Although Army had surrounded Baluchistan all around and it was hell for people living over there. Family heads were kidnapped but Media did not show it and that is what is now keeping Baluchistan and its people distant from the rest. Media must play a neutral role and at least be biased when it comes to their own state.
This Article is written by Abdul Kareem, Student of BS Media Studies. under supervision of Mr M. Taimoor Fahad Khan at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad.