M KABIR -
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s two-day official visit to Iran is certainly going to bring the two neighbouring countries more close to each other. Pakistan and Iran have a very long history of cordial relationship. Iran was the ever first country to recognize Pakistan’s sovereign status after its independence in 1947. Moreover the Shah of Iran was the first head of state that paid an official visit to Pakistan. According to a survey conducted by the PEW Research Center, Pakistan is a country where Iran is viewed positively. The conclusion report of that survey says, “Polls have consistently shown that a very high proportion of Pakistanis view their western neighbor Iran positively.” But in spite of all this cordiality, things have not always been very good between these two countries and ‘credit’ of creating rather ‘encouraging’ misunderstandings between Iran and Pakistan certainly goes to the Indian agents of R&AW who have ever been very active in the bordering area of the two countries. On both sides this area is known as Balochistan; on Iranian side this area comprises of 180,726 km² and a population of 2,775,014, whereas on Pakistani side the total area of Balochistan is 347,190 km2 and population is 12,344,408. Balochistan is a treasure land on both sides having immeasurable mineral deposits of Chromite, Copper, Lead, Iron, Zinc, Titanium, Manganese and Gold. On Pakistan’s side reserves of Copper and Gold were discovered in district Chaghai at Saindak and Rekodiq. Experts say that the deposits of Gold at Saindak and Rekodiq are of finest quality. In short the mountains of Balochistan are simply heaps of gold and other precious minerals and these minerals are making every one’s mouth water. By killing innocent people in Balochistan sometimes in the name of sectarianism and sometimes in the name of racial identities, the agents of R&AW are trying to give the world an impression that there is no writ of the government of Pakistan in that region. When the security agencies start taking seriously strict action against such culprits, the agents of R&AW sitting in different western and Indian media houses start a blame game against the security agencies of Pakistan.
A few days back on 18th of April, more than fifteen terrorists camouflaged in Frontier Corps uniform barricaded the road and stopped four buses traveling to Gwadar from Ormara on the Makran Coastal Highway, Balochistan. They checked the identity cards of all the passengers and off loaded fourteen of them who in fact belonged to the security forces of Pakistan. They were made to stand in a queue and then all shot dead. It was reported that the terrorists had come there from the Iranian side of Baluchistan and after ‘performing’ this massacre they ran back to the area they belonged to. As the terrorists had camouflaged themselves in the uniform of the Frontier Corps, it is very much obvious that they simply wanted to give an impression that this cowardly act was done by the security personnel of Pakistan. Though BRAS, an alliance of three terrorist organizations has claimed responsibility for this terrorist act but still things are not very much clear. But one thing is very much clear that the terrorists had come from the Iranian area and returned there after completion of the task assigned. The foreign office of Pakistan has written a letter to the Iranian Embassy which says, “The information about the hubs of these Baloch terrorist organizations in Iran, having training camps and logistics bases across the border, was shared with Iranian intelligence in the recent past, and on a number of occasions earlier. Unfortunately, no action has been taken by Iran in this regard, to date.” The letter further says, “Killing of 14 innocent Pakistanis by terrorists groups based in Iran is a very serious incident that Pakistan protests strongly. Pakistan awaits Iran’s response to its request for action against these groups based in Iran, whose locations have been identified by Pakistan a number of times.”
Whatever is happening there in Balochistan has a direct link with the CPEC, with Gwadar Deep Sea Port Project and the recently discovered huge oil reserves close to the Iran border located 230 km of Karachi’s offshore. Hu Weijia said reporting in the Global Times, “Pakistan may soon hit the oil jackpot, and that will be good news for not only the country itself but all of South Asia as well as China and Gulf nations.” According to different media reports, US oil giant Exxon Mobil and Italy’s ENI have been involved in drilling process since January 2019. Experts say that on one hand these oil reserves would prove another CPEC like game changer for Pakistan and on the other hand these reserves would play a very important role in bringing the South Asian countries closer. This closeness would certainly bring a new spring of peace and prosperity in the region. Other than Mobil and ENI, there are so many other international companies which are willing to be a partner in different projects related to digging of the ‘oil-wells’. Experts are of the opinion that if Pakistan succeeds in attracting more companies to the project, it would certainly help Pakistan in fighting its present financial crisis. In short, it is being predicted that in near future Pakistan is going to gain a new identity; the identity of a leading oil producing country. It seems that some of the neighbouring countries are taking this new expected identity of Pakistan as a threat and a challenge to their own existence.