Pakistan raises Balochistan at bilateral talks

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Pakistan brought up the Balochistan issue during official bilateral talks with India. It did not allege, as Gen Musharraf and the Jam Yousaf did, that India was providing financial or material support to the Baloch insurgency. Instead, it charged India with interfering in its internal affairs.

Calibrating the issue in this manner suits Pakistan. Gen Musharraf dare not make too much of his allegations of Indian mischief in Balochistan without risking drawing attention to his own management of the insurgency. But why bring it up in bilateral talks at all? First, after all the to-ing and fro-ing through the media, Pakistan could not avoid mentioning it during bilateral talks without appearing to back off. Second, it can use this allegation to counter Indian pressure on its support for cross-border terrorism in India. And third, bringing it up now, albeit in a low-key manner, gives it the option to level more serious charges in future, especially if the situation in Balochistan gets out of hand.

In response, India must not allow Pakistan to control the thermostat. It must seize on the momentum created by its own initiative and compel Pakistan to prove its more serious allegations, and in so doing, draw international media and diplomatic attention to the bloody conflict underway in Pakistan. That may or may not help the Baloch insurgents. But the fear of exposure in Balochistan should make Musharraf a little more inclined to deliver on the commitments he made to India.

Tailpiece: The Indian media’s general lack of interest in the Balochistan conflict is unforgivable.

8 thoughts on “Pakistan raises Balochistan at bilateral talks”

  1. Pakistan establishment may be trying to deflect the attention of fundamentalists, after what happened after the recent US bombings on Eid celebration. Particularly since Cricket results weren’t much helpful during the weekend.

  2. cynical,
    just read the [ballsy] hindustan times piece on balochistan.
    very interesting comments on iraq, btw. opinions, one doesn’t read in the stateside press.

  3. Bharat should openly support the separation of the Baloch area, and these so called tribes are being wrongly called pakistanis, they are hindus and were forced into this hideous religion, and are linked with Chitral, Kalash, Tajik and into Khurdish which are all connected to the Dwaraka era of history.

  4. External Affairs Ministry should tread on this path of peeking and commenting on the internal matters of Pakinstan directly as that amounts to breach of India’s policy of non interference in the internal matters of its neighbours. It may generate unnecessary suspicion among India’s other neighbours like Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka each one of them have their own problems as well.
    India should not loose ground on the environment of general bonhomie that has been created though talks in these last couple of years between wo countries, and shoul refrain from creating more unecessary irritants at bilateral and multilateral forums.
    New Delhi use diplomacy tacticly and as said media will surely have to make its contribution in highlighting the poor conditions of human rights in Baluchistan. Countering the same against the situation in Kashmir and making that a point of bargain in the bilateral talks will test maturity of External Affairs Ministry.

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