Remembering Bizenjo

Published on – August 11, 2017 – 7:00 am

Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo died of cancer some two decades ago and still there is deep footprint of Bizenjo on the politics of Balochistan and the entire region as a whole.

Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo died of cancer some two decades ago and still there is deep footprint of Bizenjo on the politics of Balochistan and the entire region as a whole.

At the end of Kalati politics in 1950s, Bizenjo is considered as father of modern politics in Balochistan making the assemblies as centres of serious politics and constitutional behaviour.

He was a master agitator, a seasoned parliamentarian and a statesman with an anti-imperialist in his approach. He was the only leader on the political scene of Pakistan whose speeches were heard in pin-drop silence with complete attention inside the National Assembly highlighting serious constitutional, political and economic issues of national importance.

He got tremendous response when he addressed mass public meetings in any part of Pakistan or undivided India. He was a progressive man and remained a member of the Communist Party of India. He was in the forefront of the Indian national struggle for independence and remained in jails of undivided India.

When the red Army contingents invaded Afghanistan, General Zia and his Generals Staff were perturbed and sought advice from Bizenjo on the security situation in the entire region. Bizenjo reportedly suggested to President of Pakistan not to train and arm the Afghans as they will change their loyalties on bigger offer for money and turn their guns against Pakistan whenever they are asked to do so.

His prophecy proved correct to this date and Taliban, a splinter group from the Afghan Mujahideen, are fighting the most deadly war against Pakistan and its people. On the issue of the Red Army contingents, he predicted that they will return to the defunct USSR sooner or later ending their occupation without any pre-condition.

Pakistani establishment, throughout the history, considered him as an ‘undesirable person’ and treated as a threat to the undefined security interests. Thus he was kept in jail on issues of political issues. He was given 14 years jail term for opposing notorious One Unit.

Both Bizenjo and Wali Khan were declared as undesirable persons during the 1988 general elections when the security establishment decided to establish a parallel Government of Afghanistan at Jalalabad. The proposed National Assembly was supposed to accord recognition to such a parallel Government of Afghanistan, both Bizenjo and Wali Khan was barred from the NA and by design. Bizenjo contested NA elections from Mekran and Central Balochistan.

A powerful section of BSO in the pay of security establishment and undivided BNM under Dr Hayee opposed Bizenjo in the election and ensured his defeat at the behest of the Establishment.  Prominent leaders of both the organizations claimed to be progressive, Baloch nationalists and democrats were responsible for defeat of Bizenjo while Wali Khan lost against Maulana Hassan Jan who was gunned down years after by his fellow Islamists.

BSO and BNM leaders used to bag votes against Bizenjo and collected door to door funds to ensure his humiliation at the behest of the establishment. Following disintegration of Pakistan in 1971, power was transferred to PPP and Bhutto formed the Government. In Balochistan NAP formed the Government with Bizenjo as Governor and Sardar Mengal as first democratically elected Chief Minister of Balochistan.

Bhutto had embarked on an official visit to Iran seeking financial assistance for bankrupt Pakistan following serious constitutional, political and economic crisis. Shah of Iran refused to help Pakistan for unexplained reasons. Bhutto summoned Bizenjo as Governor of Balochistan to help him securing substantial financial assistance, preferably cash, from the Shah of Iran. Bizenjo rushed to Tehran where he was received by the Shah of Iran personally at the Meharabad Airport.

It totally stunned Bhutto and his entire team of foreign policy experts that the Shah of Iran had accorded a personal welcome to Bizenjo. After meeting with Bizenjo, Shah paid 300 million US dollar aid to Pakistan to help repair its crippled economy which was on the verge of complete collapse.

Besides this, the Shah promised to provide fund for construction of Gwadar Deepwater Port as back as in 1972, an engineering college in Khuzdar and two huge textile mills at Uthal and Quetta to provide jobs to more than 20,000 families at the two mills. In return, Bizenjo helped the Shah and reach as agreement with the Baloch militants ending their war against the Iranian Government.

The peace is holding to this date and there is lasting peace in Iranian Balochistan—the fatherland of Baba Bizenjo. Bizenjo was a political stalwart and he organized the people on political line giving them a sense about parliamentary and politics of militancy for regaining the democratic rights of the people.

He was the towering person among the political leaders like Mir Gul Khan Naseer, Sardar Ataullah Mengal, Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, Nawab Akbar Bugti and hundreds of other stalwarts on the political scene of Pakistan as a whole. He had developed an art of forging alliance to defeat the anti-people force and forming national fronts for defending national rights of the nationalities during the long military dictatorship.

He was one of the real brains behind forming the Pakistan National Party under Abdul Ghaffar Khan, NAP under Maulana Bhashani and later on the splinter group of NAP under Khan Abdul Wali.