Army encouraging induction of Baloch youth
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Army is encouraging induction of kith and kin of ethnic Baloch tribal chieftains in a bid to promote greater stability in the restive province, sources informed.
Well-placed military and political sources told TheNation that Pakistan Army had been successful in cultivating majority of the Nawabs and Sardars of the province to encourage their kith and kin to join the Pakistani armed forces.
“This should have been done twenty years ago”, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran said adding that his son was one of the young officers who had joined the Pakistan Army. He was of the view that there were a large number of Baloch officers and soldiers in the armed forces.
Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran was talking to TheNation on the sidelines of the mega event held in Quetta on October 29 where 4000 Baloch recruits formally joined the Pakistan Army under the special package announced by the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The package envisages raising more than 10,000 ethnic Baloch recruits.
The passing out parade was attended by vast majority of Baloch Nawabs and Sardars including grand son of late Nawab Akbar Bugti, Mir Hahamadan Bugti and Sardar Aslam Bizenjo. Interestingly, a young Army officer major Mir Kamran Mengal trained those recruits, despite the fact that majority of his ethnic Mengal tribe, which still remains estrange because of the influential tribal chiefs including Sardar Attaullah Khan Mengal and his sons.
Sources informed that except one or two Baloch Nawabs out of total seven including Nawab of Kalat and two Sardars out of seventy-two including Mengals and Marris had graced the historic Baloch recruits passing out parade.
Sources further said that those recruits who had been imparted seven months hard training did not include ethnic Pushtoons from Balochistan who formed sizeable part of the Balochistan population. “By their tradition, Puhstoons follow regular recruitment schemes announced off and on by the armed forces, therefore, they had no problem”, sources said, adding only ethnic Baloch had been shying away in the past from joining the armed forces precisely because of their political consideration. However, the trend was fast changing and large number of Baloch youths were forthcoming now, as services of the armed forces have become major source of attraction for them. “An ordinary Baloch recruit is drawing Rs18000 salary a month in addition to other perks and privileges.
Apart from these thousands of recruits inducted in Pakistan Army, there are nearly 10,000 officers and soldiers from Balochistan currently serving in the armed forces of Pakistan under the regular schemes.