Diplomacy, International Court of Justice, International politics and the approach of Baloch political parties
Author: Hakeem Wadhela
According to Environmental Scientist Saleem Ali Diplomacy is considered to be an art and science of maintaining relations between nations, groups or individuals. The job of a diplomat, according to established definitions, is to practice diplomacy among nations, understanding the concerns and needs of all and, if possible, guiding them toward decisions that are mutually agreeable. In most practical form Diplomacy is accomplished by negotiation, or bargaining. Usually, each group in a negotiation will ask for more than they expect to get. They then compromise, or give up some of what they want, in order to come to a mutual agreement. Often, a third party will help with the negotiations. For example, Martti Ahtisaari, a Finnish diplomat working for the UN, helped Namibia gain independence from South Africa in 1990.
During the ancient times the art of diplomacy was exercised in devising Treaties between different cities in Mesopotamia, what is now today’s Iraq. Leaders of Egypt and Canaan (an ancient country in the Middle East) exchanged diplomatic letters in the 14th century B.C. Embassies were first established in northern Italy in the 14th century. For most of history, diplomacy was concerned with bilateral relations, or negotiations between two nations. In the 20th century, diplomacy expanded. Today, the United Nations (UN), an international organization that works to promote cooperation and settle conflicts among nations, plays a large role in diplomatic relations between countries and nations.
International Court of Justice and expectations of Baloch:
Although, I am not a lawyer neither a legal expert to discuss the legal complexities of International court of Justice (ICJ). I am sharing the information, which I studied from the ICJ’s own official website. Like all Baloch activists, I always read and heard from Baloch political leaders and activists the questions that why we are not lodging case against Pakistan in International court of Justice. After a study of international Court of Justice, I discovered that, “Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this basically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their dealings with the authorities of any State, whatever. However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States.” This makes it clear there is no chance that, we as Baloch nation without a state bring Pakistan into the ICJ. Therefore, in my opinion we should look for other alternatives.
Approach of Baloch political parties towards diplomacy;
The brief definition and function of Diplomacy and ICJ, makes it easy for us to understand the needs of our diplomacy and the expectations of the world powers from Baloch as a nation. On 3rd of October 2018 Dr Allah Nizar ex-chairman and founder of BSO-A and a leader of current Baloch resistance movement tweeted about the Baloch diplomacy and raised concerns over the failure of international diplomacy by Baloch entities. He has also mentioned the double role of war profiteers and their dirty politics.
Furthermore, the Leader of Balochistan Liberation Front said that “Because of the erroneous strategy for international diplomacy the occupier has intensified its brutal military operations, enforced disappearances and kill and dump policy.” Foremost, I want to share my experience, from what I have learned in past seven years of my political career in United Kingdom and in the UN. Before arriving to UK, I also believed like other political activists that we are achieving our targets or may be doing far better than what we were expecting.
The day when I reached UK, I started analysing our international political structure and the way of activism and so-called diplomacy. What I found was that our activities are only limited to demonstrations, seminars and general events within the Baloch community. Those were actually the same things which, we have been doing back home from years. The only difference here was that instead of Urdu language people deliver their speeches in English.
After a while, I was told that diplomacy is not something that you expose show to the people that who you are working with. As an activist, I believed these hollow words until I saw some war profiteers running around American senators, who had arrived in London. At that moment, I just like many other activists was happy and hopeful that something positive will come out of these so-called meetings.
Unfortunately, people had their own agendas and intentions in meeting with US senators. Some attempted to sell the merchandise of human rights while others tried to prove that they are the only power and Balochistan and nothing can happen without their will in Balochistan. This has resulted in a long-term damage to the Baloch nation.
The most important question always arises in my mind that, why we gave so much power to such individuals that wasted no time in turning to war profiteers? Everything that they are doing today is because of the power and support they got from the people working on ground. Even though these individuals and war profiteers have long been exposed but why we are still unsuccessful in achieving our goals?
I believe in today’s situation the biggest need is that we must understand the value and responsibilities of an organisation. We must understand that no individual can bring the change on the diplomatic front. You need a delegation of responsible activists, workable, trustable and honest enough to play their due rule with honesty, integrity and dedication. To create these delegation, you must have a strong political structure, which can make foreign policies and assign tasks to the diaspora.
Our parties must bring reforms in their policies and modifications if required on international level. It is the way of working and it must have the potential to bring forward the best cadres, who must have the will to work more effectively and productively. We should understand that the recent tweets, which were referring to the international diplomacy, were mostly raising concerns and questions about our activities and were expecting a better result from us rather than anyone else.
The organisation must have an active foreign leadership and an active diaspora committee, which can directly deal the international issues of organisation with the consent of central leadership. The diaspora committee should regulate the foreign policy on foreign zones. The diaspora committee should also be empowered enough to make accountable any person who has been given responsibilities.
I believe if we start understanding the value and power of organisation we will never miss our chance to convey a strong and loud message to the world. The Baloch national question should be the most important question at every platform. No doubt there is a huge crisis of human rights in Balochistan, but we must make the world realise the reasons behind the genocide and humanitarian crisis in Balochistan.
The reason is simple we are demanding our right of self-determination according to the, Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples Adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV), 14 December 1960 and Article 1.2 Charter of United Nations. These are the legal options with us to fight our case on international forums.
We must understand that the world politics and the international organisation does not work in the way we wish them to. We need to find out the interests of world in our region, so we can reach to a mutual understanding on a greater interest of both the world and for the Baloch. Currently, CPEC is one of the hottest issue in front of western powers. They do not want China to reach out to the international markets and take control of strait of Hormuz. If Baloch diplomats succeed to draw the attention and to gain support of western countries, this will be a milestone on diplomatic front.
Finally, we need to bring some changes within our political structure and understand the need of international politics. We must understand that no individual even from the parties can bring change or can be a good choice for diplomacy. We need a unified leadership and delegations of diplomats who must be given the task to work on diplomatic grounds.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Balochistan Post or any of its editors.