I first heard the term ‘war profiteer’ when I was in the fourth class. Our teacher would use it in the context of Afghanistan insurgents and Pakistani generals after Afghanistan lost its buffer zone status in the aftermath of the interference of former Soviet Union during the regime of Hafizullah Amin.
Pakistani generals like Akhtar Abdul Rahman, Ziaul Haq himself and the then ISI chief Hameed Gul became multimillionaires from the Afghan conflict. Later in the Ojhri Camp incident, the ISO blew up the ammunition depot to cover up embezzlements.
When America and its Western allies were showering dollars over the Afghan mujahedeen, Jamat Islami or other groups didn’t want to be left behind in chasing dollars. Similarly Rafsanjani of Iran became a billionaire and one of the biggest landlords during the Khomeini regime. He later became the president of Iran.
Every war has its own profiteers. Whether is a about a regime change or independence these elements are omnipresent.
There can be several kinds of war profiteers in the war zone. It has happened that bandits have been allowed by the state to loot the people in order to defame the revolutionaries.
Secondly, there are those who collaborate with the state or the seemingly stronger party to get certain benefits. National Party in Balochistan is standing shoulder to shoulder with the state and its army. They have been openly advising Pakistan on how to eliminate the Baloch struggle for an independent state.
The BNP Awami and other pro-federation parties do not want to be left behind in this race. Every party is waiting for their turn to make some profit out of the Baloch war. They are so shameless that they do not even care when children and women are abducted by the army. Two-and-a-half-year-old Beebagr with his six-month-old sister Mahen were recently abducted by the army along with their mother and dozens of other children and women. None of these parties even condemned it.
The third group of war profiteers are from the revolutionaries — the leadership or individuals. Some freedom fighters cannot afford even a car or a shelter, while some drive luxury cars and live in posh houses in Europe. In countries like the UK and Poland. Hamza Marri is a business tycoon in Poland. Many have lucrative businesses in the Middle East. It is no known to everyone that profiteers are enjoying luxuries in Europe and the Middle East at the cost of the common people and real fighters.
They do not even hide it. One day I was watching a television interview of Mehran Marri, a son of the late Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri. The anchorperson asked him if he will come back to Balochistan. He answered why he should come and get himself caught by “dogs with rabies”. “My brother has been killed. If I return, I will be killed too,” he said.
Similarly, when asked in an interview why the multimillionaire Hairbiyar Marri dined in five-star hotels he said he was said he was not insane to go back to Balochistan and get killed by the ISI.
Were those Baloch who sacrificed their lives insane?
Once Attaullah Mengal, the father of Javed Mengal, told the BBC that the death was the plight of the poor Baloch while the son of Sardar will never show up in the battlefield.
I think of the three brothers: Majeed Senior, Sagar Baloch and Majeed. They all sacrificed their lives in the Baloch struggle. Did they not have families? Or was their blood cheaper?