By Dr Hani Baloch
“….an armed resistance movement takes place in the womb of oppression, its seeds are to be found in the eternal quest for equality and freedom.”
Presently guerrilla war is being fought in many places between states and nations, like Baloch, Kurds, Palestinians, etc, for “national self-determination“. Guerrilla war is an extension of politics by means of arm conflict; it is a form of war guided by political rather military considerations. Before Guerrilla war begins all other peaceful solutions should have been proved worthless and people must believe that there is no alternative and guerrilla war is compelling. Since the occupation of Balochistan in 1948 by Pakistan ( Punjabi) Army, Baloch people failed to get their cultural, political and economic rights with peaceful struggle, like so called Pakistani Parliament and ultimately they decided to fight for independence. Bengali people, after 25 year oppression got independence sacrificing 3 million people and disgrace of 100,000 innocent Bengali women by army, it is also unique that majority fought to liberate it from a minority.
Basically guerrilla war is a war of masses. People’s full help is indispensable. “The principle weapon for guerrilla force is not their rifles but their close relationship with their people for home they are fighting. People are guerrilla’s camouflage, his quartermaster, his recruitment office, his communication network, his efficient all seeing intelligence service”.
The role of guerrilla leader is very important; he should be brave and visionary. There is a Balochi aphorism, “if a tiger lead one hundred jackals they fight like tiger and if a jackal leads one hundred tiger they run away like jackal.”
In guerrilla warfare deception, constant mobility, secrecy are main tactics. Ernesto Che Guevara said about deception, “hence when able to attack we must see unable, when using our forces we must see inactive, when we are near we must believe enemy we are faraway, when faraway we must make him believe we are near.” Chairman Mao said about tactics, “the enemy advances we retreat, the enemy camps we harass, the enemy tires we attack, the enemy retreat we pursue and when enemy is in superior strength we evade him.” Regarding mobility Che advises, constant mobility, one night in one place. We saw in Baloch movement many Sarmachar (guerrilla) were killed or captured due to stay in one place e.g., at home, in cities, towns. Secrecy is also important, due to unnecessary sharing secrecies and use of mobile phones our struggle suffered a lot. We should have training courses to overcome such weaknesses, as the army has modern US, Chinese intelligence equipments.
In guerrilla war terrorism is generally said to be, ineffective and harmful in its results, usually it victimizes innocent people. It can only be used for death of some high profile oppressor leaders, it is important to know that killing low profile opposites, informers etc; are harmful, such people can be neutralized easily by other means, if one is killed many will turn against movement. Sabotage is very useful in warfare. In Balochistan giving economic loses is much more effective and painful to enemy.
The perfect knowledge of the ground is also very important, Che say’s ground should be as clear before guerrilla as creases of his palm. It benefits a lot if guerrilla is from war zone as they have good knowledge of ground and people. If guerrilla group comes encirclement of enemy they should engage enemy till night, night is best friend of guerrilla. A wounded companion must never for any reason be left at the mercy of enemy. It is advised with each combating group there should be 2-3 unarmed persons to carry snatched ammunition or wounded comrades to safe place. Fundamental principle of guerrilla war is, “that no battle, combat or skirmish to be fought unless it will be won”. Che said “you should attack from one side only if other three sides are safe to escape“. There is aphorism, “know yourself and your adversary then you will be able to fight hundred battles without a single disaster”. Sun Tzu said “do many calculations before war, leads to victory and little calculations to defeat.”
General Giap said, “American wants to fight quickly; to fight a protracted war is big defeat for them”. An American General wrote, “Giap knows if casualties and expenses increase than France and United States will be defeated in Paris and Washington”. Similarly if guerrilla war is protracted and economic losses increase Pakistan will be defeated in Islamabad. We see some above basic principles of combat are ignored in our movement.
Unfortunately Baloch guerrilla organizations are not united although having no ideological difference; if they get unite, they can easily defend their motherland. Baba Khair Baksh Marri said “if we unite, imperialist forces are compelled to negotiate with us on our terms, he also desired, for a strong organization and a protracted War”. In national liberation movements unity is must, General Giap wrote, “The war of liberation of the Vietnamese people proves that, in the face of an enemy as powerful as he is cruel, victory is possible only by uniting the whole people within the bosom of a firm and wide national united front based on worker and peasant.”
When Pakistani establishment decided to turn Baloch people into minority in Balochistan, by settling Punjabis, Pashtuns, Beharies and Chinese in Gwadar, our heartland, Baloch waged a war, a holy war, for their survival, identity, to protect their homeland and resources. They know well it is their war; they have to plane it, fight it and win it. They are sacrificing their lives, about 35 thousand Baloch political workers are missing, mutilated bodies are being dumped, and many mass graves were found in Balochistan. China Pakistan economic corridor is a nightmare for Baloch people.
French General, Andre wrote his experiences in Algeria and Vietnam in 1973, he said “the weak seem to have defeated the strong, but actually just the reverse was true from a moral point of view, which bring us to the conclusion that limited wars are primarily fought on the field of morale.”Today the main aim of Pakistan army is to destroy the strong morale strength of Baloch people.