Interview by Adnan Aamir
Nawab Ghaus Baksh Barozai is the chieftain of Barozai clan. He served as Minister for Revenue in Caretaker cabinet of Saleh Botani in 2008. In 2013, Nawab Ghaus Baksh Barozai served as the caretaker Chief Minister of Balochistan. Recently, Balochistan Point conducted an exclusive interview with him which is as follows:
Adnan Aamir: Tell us about your family background?
Nawab Ghaus Baksh Barozai: I belong to a family that has ruled an area stretching from Sindh to Qandahar for several centuries. I am the head of Panni tribe which consists of over 30 clans. My father Nawab Muhammad Khan Barozai is a two time Chief Minister of Balochistan and first speaker of Balochistan assembly.
What are achievements of your father as Chief Minister (CM) of Balochistan?
My father was elected CM for two terms. He served in first term from December 1976 to March 1977 and in second term from March 1977 to July 1977 when Zia-ul-Haq toppled Bhutto government. Overall tenure of my father was just 8 months which is a very short period. However, during his short tenure, He established CM Unemployment Cell which was later replicated in the form of Aghaz-e-Haqooq Balochistan Package. In February 1977, 107 officers of Balochistan were appointed in provincial services of Balochistan bypassing Public service commission due to efforts of my father. He was the one who notified the establishment of Makran division.
Nawab Muhammad Khan Barozai notified the establishment of Makran division.
In 1973, a tussle started between Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and National Awami Party (NAP) leadership in Balochistan. Who was at fault?
It takes two to make a quarrel. There can never be one party responsible for any dispute. It’s possible that one party is more responsible than the other. I think NAP leadership was at greater fault as compared to Bhutto. NAP went on a course of head on collision with federal government and what followed was a natural reaction. 1973-77 operation was fault of both Bhutto and NAP and misfortune of people of Balochistan.
You are also a doctor and served in Health department. Tell us about your experiences as a government servant.
I completed my MBBS from Dow medical college in 1982. After completing my house job and training, I started my job in health department of Balochistan in 1984. I served all over Balochistan and was never given an important post due to nepotism prevailing in the political system. I was sent on the trainings conducted by foreign instructors because other doctors could not attend them due to their incompetence. I also won best solutions award in one such trainings. I was ignored for hospital administration training that was to be conducted in USA. I retired in 2004 from government service in grade 20, after death of my father, to perform my duties as tribal chief.
1973-77 operation was fault of both Bhutto and NAP and misfortune of people of Balochistan.
What you achieved during your short stint as caretaker CM of Balochistan?
Today, Dr. Malik claims that security situation has been improved in Balochistan and they take credit for that. In fact, it was me that handed over Balochistan with improved security situation to them. I called a meeting on security matters right on the first day after taking charge as CM. Government officials said that GSM locator is needed to track down criminals. I used the CM secret fund and discretionary fund to pay Rs. 280 million in total to buy GSM locators for Balochistan government. As a result of that the security situation improved in Balochistan. Secondly, I successfully conducted elections in Balochistan when security situation was extremely tense. There were suggestions that elections should be conducted in Balochistan in three phases. I rejected that suggestion and conducted elections in one phase and no major problems disrupted elections in Balochistan. I brought this disturbed province on the right track in just 2 and half months.
You allege that your brother lost through rigging in last general elections in PB-21. How is that possible when you were the caretaker CM?
I was told by in March by someone, whose name I can’t disclose, that 14,000 votes will be polled form Lehri for the opponents of my brother. I didn’t agree as there are just 17,000 votes in Lehri and our opponents could get maximum 3,000 to 4,000 votes even if they rig the polls. To my surprise, on Election Day my opponents got almost 14,000 votes from Lehri. Now, how this was known in March that exactly 14,000 votes will be polled from Lehri? There is no doubt that my brother was defeated in polls though rigging. Secondly, I transferred then Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sibbi before elections but a letter was received form ECP that since he is District Returning Officer so he may not be transferred. That DC then played his role in defeat of my brother.
Balochistan National Party (BNP) claims to be the biggest victim of election rigging in 2013. Your comments on their claims.
BNP should find the people who committed rigging against them. I am not involved in any way in rigging against BNP. In constituencies of BNP results were delayed and there is no doubt about it. However, there was no organized effort to snatch victory form BNP. If it was not for me BNP would not have participated in the elections in the first place. In some constituencies BNP lost because Baloch votes were divided due to multiple Baloch candidates contesting from those constituencies. For example in PB-4, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) candidate only got a little over 5,000 votes and the Baloch candidates collectively bagged three times more votes.
Bugti brand, Marri Brand, Mengal brand and Makran brand are different brands of Nationalism in Balochistan.
Being a tribal Chieftain yourself, what do you think about the role of tribal system in plight of Balochistan?
I am head of Barozai clan which used to be a dynasty. I am not a British raj appointed Nawab. When British came here they imposed corrupt tribal leaders who destroyed tribal system in Balochistan. There are different brands of nationalism including Bugti brand, Marri Brand, Mengal brand and Makran brand. All of these brands are products of a tribal system corrupted by British. Powerful tribal leaders are multiplying their powers with force of the parliament and aid of establishment and bureaucracy and they are responsible for problems of Balochistan.
You are one of the most influential tribal chiefs of Pashtoon in Balochistan. In that context, what you have to say about the issue of Afghan refugees and forthcoming census in Balochistan?
All people who belong from other side of Durrand line are not Pakistani citizens. They have no right to be listed as Pakistani citizens and should not be counted in the forthcoming census. However in the guise of afghan refugees, local Pashtoon should not be called Afghan refugees. This is a petty mater and the nationalist parties want to make it a big deal for their political interests.
Afghan refugees should not be counted in the forthcoming census.
What can be done to improve the situation in Balochistan?
Solution of all problems of Balochistan are hidden in application of just own word – merit. Balochistan needs educational merit, tribal merit and administrative merit. This will result in rectifying the system which is prerequisite for improving situation in Balochistan. Once merit has been implemented in every sphere of life in Balochistan then situation will automatically improve.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee and Balochistan Point not necessarily agrees with them.
Published in Balochistan Point on October 25, 2015