The Baloch liberation movement is continuing since 1948 after Pakistani forces occupied Balochistan forcefully. This essay will highlight the importance of the institutionalisation of movement for sustainable resistance. The first part of essay will highlight the concentration of Irish leadership on institutionalisation and refusal of British state as whole. In the second part the essay will look into the concept of institutionalisation according to social scientists and the third part concludes how institutions can began in the Baloch national struggle.
“They can even conscript us!, they can use us as cannon fodder in the Somme but we have a weapon more powerful than any in the whole arsenal of the British Empire, that weapon is our refusal, Our refusal to bow to any order but our own, Any institution but our own” Michael Collins
Almost in every liberation movement, leaders have indicated the significance of institutionalism in the liberation struggle but why it is expressed by every oppressed nation to have their own institution and suggested to their nations that not to rely on the oppressive state? In 1916 the Irish Easter rising had failed and most of the leaders were arrested by British Imperialism. Éamon de Valera was also among those leaders. He wrote to the central leadership of Irish movement (all of them were in jail) that we have to change our tactics and follow new strategy, and the new strategy was the refusal of British Imperialism. He said to his comrades that we have to act as an independent republic in other words a movement with its own institutions.
The liberation movement is not just a resistance struggle to kick out the oppressive forces from the occupied land but to make sure that resistance forces will evolve in institutions, which will then run the state. Unfortunately the Baloch struggle was never planned in such context but always considered as a force to kick out Pakistani occupying forces and not as a force, which should be in the capacity to manage the newly established state.
The lack of institutionalism is not the result of lack of ambitions within the struggle to be institutionalised but it is rather the ‘lack of approach toward institutionalisation’. According to Hague and Harrop ‘An institution is a formal organization, often with public status, whose members interact on the basis of the specific roles they perform within the organization. In politics, an institution typically refers to an organ of government mandated by the constitution’.
The question arise what is a formal organization? It is an institution, which provides members a platform where they would be able to practice their expertise for the benefit of the organization as whole. However as Hague and Harrop briefly defined institution/organisation in regards to politics as an institution typically refers to an organ of government mandated by the constitution. Undoubtedly both scientists are referring the institutions of a free state, but Baloch intellectual Shaheed Saba Dashtiyari had described the importance of institutionalisation of movement in his last days. His description shouldn’t be ignored or just understood as a political speech but must be adopted by the comrades of the movement as a strategy. According to Huntington ‘Institutionalisation is the process by which organisations acquire value and stability over time’.
The study of social science is not fixed or limited in a certain circle, the definitions of institutionalisation varies according to individual’s theoretical approach or their own views. As Huntington have been quoted above, the institutionalisation does not mean to expand the structure of the organization, centralise or decentralise it, but to make sure that the organisation is utilising all of her assets according to the social needs, the word social need depends on the political situation, as far as Baloch struggle is concerned, the social need is the sustaining of resistance until the political independence has been achieved. The institutionalisation does not want new title for political positions or new descriptions but managing organisation as an ‘organisation’. Modern democratic states have been evolved through different stages and institutional norms are deep rooted in the society itself, in other words the institutions reflect the mentality of their society. Baloch as an occupied nation will rely on those organisations which are struggling for the political independence of Balochistan and in my view the same organisations will be the first institutions of a sovereign Baloch state.
In the current political situation stakeholders of Baloch movement have two options, first to continue the struggle in accordance with old norms (organisations insufficient or no evolving process), which have resulted in the inefficiency, or secondly critically review our organisational strategy, implement and monitor the policies in scientific ways.
First Step of Institutionalisation of movement (Unification of institutions)
In 65 years of struggle immature alliances were made which broke several times, lack of accountability and weak procedural codes never allowed Baloch movement to act as a national institution. However the current Baloch leadership is trying to work hard on such plan, which not only can strengthen the independence movement but also can easily evolve the movement as an institution after achieving the political independence. The unification is not just about the ‘unity’ but the unification/agreement on agenda and policies.
Balochistan Liberation Charter in the current Baloch politics can prove to be such a document which can precede the struggle towards the first step of unification of all those powers who believe in nothing less than independence of Balochistan. Institutions cannot be created in just one day, or in few months, it is a long process, which needs the honest determination of all stakeholders. However the unification on charter will not be effective until the agendas and the stakeholders won’t continually assess policies – share their views and communicate with each other. The reluctance of some pro-independence leaders to give their views for the improvement of the BLC is delaying the first important step toward the unification of pro-liberation Baloch parties.
Conclusion: It is entirely up to Baloch leaders to turn the disorganised insurgency into more organised movement and adopt strategies to rise up as a unified force to sustain the Baloch democratic movement for the emancipation of Balochistan. The resistance movement may liberate Balochistan but without institutionalisation the process of democratisation would badly fail. The occupation is not just the exploitation of resources, the genocidal policy or the oppression but political slavery that injects corruption in the vein of society. Baloch nation and the international community want to see the Baloch pro-liberation political parties as a united force with a clear vision. They need guarantees that an Independent Balochistan will be different than fundamentalist states of Iran and Pakistan. In my view that guarantee to International Community and pledge with Baloch nation is the Balochistan Liberation Charter.
This aritcle was published in BalochWarna on 6 October 2012 http://balochwarna.com/features/articles.48/The-need-to-institutionalise-the-Baloch-Liberation-Struggle.html