Anarchy in Balochistan

Published: November 23, 2011

People feel they have once more been left to the mercy of the security agencies and to the kind of nationalist anger. PHOTO: AFP

Tensions in Balochistan between nationalist elements and security forces seem to be soaring. Soon we may not be far from a situation similar to the one we saw in the 2000s, when what amounted to all-out-war rocked the province. This would be a tragedy — both for the people of the province who so badly need peace and for a country that so greatly needs stability. This stability cannot come until some means can be found to draw Balochistan back into the core of the country and, for the moment at least, this certainly does not seem to be happening.

The latest episode of violence has come in the Musa Khel district where militants attacked a convoy of Frontier Corps personnel. At least 14 soldiers, including a major, died in the action — responsibility for which is being taken by the Baloch Liberation Army, one of the more established outfits engaged in the conflict. There have been other attacks on FC personnel before in various parts of the province, while human rights monitoring groups have consistently reported that there is in the province deep distrust for the security forces who many in Balochistan believe are involved in the disappearance of hundreds of people.

It also seems clear, even as the graph depicting violence rises, that the civilian authorities simply do not seem to be in charge of the situation. This adds to the concerns of people who feel they have once more been left to the mercy of the security agencies and to the kind of nationalist anger that lies behind the latest attack and others like it. The situation is a tragic one and needs to be resolved urgently. This is possible, however, only through dialogue, negotiations and discussion with all stakeholders. Guns and grenades will solve nothing, but instead only add to the violence that has already claimed far too many lives in Balochistan. A start should be made by seriously investigating the abductions and subsequent deaths of hundreds of Balochistan’s residents.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Grace
    Nov 23, 2011 - 12:50AM

    I don’t think the actions of anti state criminals on the payroll of foreign agencies really affects thr gorund reality. Most people in Baluchistan, including Baluch and Pashtun support Pakistan which is why they all are joining up for the Pak military in record numbers. All the anti state agents can do is cause some trouble but eventually they will run out of steam since they do not command the support of the majority of people who are sick of the anti state violence. My cousin who is in Quetta says that most people blame the BLA of being associated with Indian agencies who work out of bases in Afghanistan. Most of my relatives in Baluchistan are ethnic Pashtun but they really have no sympathy with the criminals there who are hurting the native Baluch people the most. Pashtun areas are mostly safe because they have resisted these criminals. Most Baluch and Pashtun in Baluchistan just want jobs, education and opportunity which is being compromised by the anti state agents. When Pakistan closes the border with Afghanistan, a lot of this will be brought under control.

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  • Chakar
    Nov 23, 2011 - 3:19AM

    Well every Baloch know that your ethnic group is the major stakeholder to occupy Balochs resources and help occupiers. Time will show you how the Baloch nation deal with you guys. Just wait few years… Baloch Zindag Bad

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  • Proud Baloch
    Nov 23, 2011 - 8:38AM

    Situation in Balochistan is tragic. Young men take pride in Pakistani heroes and cricket teams but agencies keep letting them down. I owe my life to Pakistan yet if the establishment keeps ignoring whats happening in Balochistan, many Pak patriots like me in Baloch will turn into rebels.

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  • zarak baloch
    Nov 23, 2011 - 9:37AM

    we balochs are proud citizens of pakistan.we will never let miscreants to rule our motherland.we have started to resist them now.and successfully restricted them to hide in remote mountains.

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  • Lashkar Bugti
    Nov 23, 2011 - 11:33PM

    We, Baloch, are with our country Pakistan. Pakistan zinda bad. Balochistan zinda bad. Baloch zinda bad.

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  • A Baloch From western Balochistan
    Nov 24, 2011 - 12:42AM

    What are the numbers you are talking about@! Baloch in the Army? how much?
    The Baloch nation never wanted to join Pakistan, nor they will ever do! They are fighting for their freedom like any other freedom movment, and the rest of Pakistan cares more about Imran khan than the poor Baloch. The Baloch are devided by the cloinial pwores in the last centurey, and they want to unite in one independent country as the were. Pakistan loves only the gas and minerals of their homeland nothing more!

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  • Tahir
    Nov 24, 2011 - 5:49AM

    @ all proud balouchi brothers.
    The situation in Balochistan is no doubt tragic. But we all stand with our proud balouchi brothers and sisters. We will definitely defeat the coward enemy. Balouch zinda bad, Pakistan zinda bad. I am please to read that our baloch brothers are not sleeping and they are aware of the conspiracy.

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  • Chakar
    Nov 26, 2011 - 4:57AM

    Hey muslims, if you are real muslim ( as Iran and Panjabi says), respect Baloch people and let them to re unite there home land as they had it in pre coloneal era.

    If you say no to Baloch then you are materialistic, its not Islam, Islam gives rights to human.. Ask your scholars then support Baloch freedom movement. if you dont then they will snatch it some day. Today Baloch nation is weak but they will be strong some day, Baloch needs once again Chakar and Noori the greats.

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