Balochistan background

In a nutshell

There is serious turmoil in Balochistan, irrespective of whether the rest of (Pakistan) is willing to acknowledge it. [Ilyas Khan/Herald]

From the HeraldFor a cogent summary of the twentieth-century history of Balochistan, head over to Chapati Mystery.

Baloch Voice and Baloch Tawar tell the story from a Baloch angle.

This quote from Owen Bennett Jones’ book highlights Pakistan’s competing nationalisms.

‘I have been a Baloch for several centuries. I have been a Muslim for 1,400 years. I have been a Pakistani for just over fifty.’ The tribal chief Nawab Akbar Bugti Khan has little love for Pakistan. Secure in his heavily guarded, mud-walled fort deep in the Baloch desert, he runs a state within a state. Pakistan may have been in existence for over half a century but he still considers any Pakistani troops in his vicinity as part of an occupation army. Other tribal chiefs, feudal leaders and politicians in Balochistan, rural Sindh, NWFP and even some in southern Punjab share his attitude towards Pakistan. Islam was meant to be the binding force–but, for many, ethnic ties have proved to be stronger. [Pakistan: Eye of the Storm via Far Outliers]

4 thoughts on “Balochistan background”

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  3. This comes as no surprise. The figures of money earned from the sale of Gas (I read these somewhere) by the Pak govt and foreign agencies versus the one allocated to the Baloch govt (1% !!) is bound to cause resentment. Add to that a lawless land and its a potent combination.

    What is worrying is Mush’s tough reaction. India can only afford so much trouble in the neighbourhood. This is just one more fire that is going to be hard to put down for the Pak govt.

    Who knows where it might lead. Still, with all this going on, there are people in Pak who are still more worried about Kashmir than their own burning chaddis.

  4. I think the Iranian angle needs to be kept in mind here. Iran has a restive Baloch population of it own just across the border, and as a result they’ll probably push Pakistan to deal harshly with the Baloch seperatists. This, in turn, could present a quandry for India. Providing support for the seperatists would be a great way to give Pakistan a taste of its own medicine, and might not be hard if prior reports of Indian contacts with the Balochs are true. But doing so could come at the cost of upsetting Iran, not to mention making the pipeline plan even riskier.

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