Today’s Daily Times reported that the Musharraf regime has blocked local access to a number of Baloch websites.
The PTA cited “misinformation” as the reason for banning the websites. The banned sites are:This news got me thinking.
First thought that occurred to me was that the military regime does not appear to be so sensitive about news from Waziristan as it is about Balochistan.
Why would this be so?
Well after a few moments though I concluded (rightly or wrongly) it’s because Waziristan is recognised as an international issue because of its ‘War on Terror’ dimensions and its complexities are well understood.
The same is, however, does not apply to Balochistan. The insurgency in the province is an act of political dissent against Islamabad (to be more precise: Mush & his Khakis) and has not, as yet, acquired an international dimension. Hence the regime is quick to quell all stories contradicting the official sanitised version originating from Islamabad.
As your Blogger believes that undemocratic regimes generally resort to banning alternative news sources, especially more so when they fear being caught out lying, so he decided to check out these banned websites to see what this bout of official nervousness was all about.
(If the reader is in a hurry, then I suggest you skip over the review of the first three websites and get to the last on the list)
This website provides information on the culture, history and geography of Balochistan and its people. It is basically non-political and insists it ‘doesn’t belong to any specific group or organisation.
Comment: What probably annoys Islamabad about this website is that it lists dozens of links to other Baloch websites while carrying an advisory: ‘listing a web site herein does not mean we approve of such web sites’. Sorry Baloch2000, obviously the Mush boys don’t like you providing those links to anyone no matter how innocent your claim may be.
This website belongs to Sanaullah Baloch, a senior representative of Balochistan National Party and currently member of Pakistan’s Senate. The website is currently under re-construction but I was able to obtain a Google cache of its previous main page which contained nothing more harmful than a brief political bio of Sana Baloch
Comment: As the website is currently under construction and therefore unavailable, Islamabad’s ban is inexplicable. One can only imagine is that they are already nervous about its potential to spread news contrary to the official version.
The website belongs to an organization called the Balochistan United Front of Iran (BUF-Iran) which uses this Balochi language website ostensibly: “to let the world know what is going on in Balochistan as well as in Iran. One of the aims of BUF-Iran is to voice the grievances of an oppressed people whose weeping and cry cannot be heard by the outside world”
Comment: As 99% of the people in the world don’t understand a word of Balochi, the websites’ aim ‘to let the world’ is doomed from the very start’. Preaching to the already converted is not going to get them very far.
At first sight this website seems to provide articles and news items on the Baloch insurgency but then you hit the jackpot – there are downloadable photos and videos that clearly contradict all of Islamabad’s recent assertions.
The Baloch Voice website insists that Pak air force jets has been busy bombing Marri tribesmen using MK-82 bombs and provides digital photos to prove its case.
The crater shown in the above photo (taken from this website) clearly demonstrates that aerial bombing is indeed taking place in Balochistan.
There are several photos showing shattered metal parts from aerial bombs with US markings still on them. There is one solid metal cylinder piece marked ‘Valve Solenoid’ manufactured by ‘Wright Components Inc, Clifton Springs, New York”. Other bits and pieces have things like ‘Fin Guide’ and ‘For use on MK’ visibly written on them.
Comment: Just by Googling ‘MK-82’ and ‘Valve Solenoid’ your Blogger discovered the following:
From Wikipedia:Add in the 'valve solenoids' and the 'fins' then you get an upgraded version: Mk82 Snake-Eye which is described in a defence discussion group as:
The Mark 82 is an unguided, general-purpose bomb…and one of the most common air-dropped weapons in the world.
The Snake Eye uses folding fins to slow the bomb down and give a more precise hit, also on low level missions it gives the plane a chance to escape the blast zone. The fuse extender is used for anti infantry type work and it may also work on the soft skinned APCs and such. All it does is explode the bomb several feet above the ground. The ultimate troop dispersal weapon.Hmmm…I would also ban Balochvoice.com instantly, otherwise unsuspecting people will quickly discover that Musharraf and co have been lying through their teeth once again.
Clearly apart from being rocketed by the US provided helicopter gunships (actually given to deal with Al-Qaeda/Taliban) the Baloch insurgents have also been getting pummelled by the Air Force jet bombers as well.
Bravo Mush the Courageous!