The problem of Balochistan

Published: May 24, 2012
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A more holistic view is required to put things into perspective and decide on a way forward for the mutual benefit of the nation and the province.

A more holistic view is required to put things into perspective and decide on a way forward for the mutual benefit of the nation and the province.

The Supreme Court’s warnings regarding Balochistan are no doubt apt. That the province is indeed sliding into anarchy right before our very eyes and that the Court has noted the apathy on the part of both the central and provincial governments in this deteriorating situation is a step in the right direction. Certainly, measures should have been taken a long time ago to restore order, but what is crucial now is to address the root causes of the persisting problems in the province. How did we reach this state? Why has Balochistan crumbled into anarchy and is the government simply to blame? Such questions need to be taken up urgently.

The law and order situation in Balochistan is, as we all know, linked to a multitude of factors. How much of it the government is directly responsible for, remains somewhat ambiguous. The problems of Balochistan range from people going missing, tortured bodies being discovered in streets and the anger this creates to the prevailing sense of rage which in turn leads to targeted killings, kidnappings and acts of vendetta against a state which the Baloch people widely believe has treated them unfairly. We also know that the acts of illegal disappearances, which in many aspects are at the core of the problem, are the work of agencies. More than one report by human rights monitoring groups has pin-pointed this and the apex court, too, has reached a similar conclusion. Given the history of Balochistan, and the military’s involvement in it, it is also not difficult to say which forces truly determine events in the province.

The old paradigm of national security interests has been used repeatedly to justify this and it is far from clear if the government has any say at all in the matter. It is because of these paradoxes that our state operates with and runs affairs that need to be sorted out in order to regain the trust of the people of Balochistan. Simply blaming the government alone is pointless given the nature of the problem. A more holistic view is required to put things into perspective and decide on a way forward for the mutual benefit of the nation and the province.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Shahid Jamil
    May 25, 2012 - 2:47AM

    Simply blaming the government alone is pointless given the nature of the problem.

    I think it is the responsibility of Abdul Sattar Edhi and his foundation that the situation has reached where it is today. Other likely possibilities are the Red Crescent, Red Cross or Dalai Lama …

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  • Adnan
    May 25, 2012 - 8:48AM

    @Ejaaz:
    You OK? My apologies if what you wrote was sarcasm but if not, I think people like you are worse than the agencies responsible for the enforced disappearances. People like you paint this coat of patriotism over the dirty deeds done in the name of Pakistan.
    You are either an Indian inciting hatred and if not you are mentally disturbed.
    NOTE – I am a Punjabi and my prayers to Allah: Make Balochistan a safe and prosperous place. Make every Baloch household a prosperous and happy household. Ameen!

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  • Aristo
    May 25, 2012 - 11:59AM

    Is that it? I thought the editorial would enlighten us and not skim on the surface like all other reports on this unfortunate province. It is the journalist’s responsibility to inform the Pakistani public as to what actually is the problem with Baluchistan.

    The editorial has completely missed the target.Recommend

  • sharifL
    May 25, 2012 - 3:59PM

    I think the chief Justice pointed at Gilani, the PM when he said that if things do not improve, emergency may be imposed. Very strange assertion from CJ. But look at it closely, may be he was telling Nawaz Sharif that Gilani, in the courts opinion, is still Prime Minister. No long march anymore then?

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  • Mir Baloch
    May 25, 2012 - 5:18PM

    Firstly, the balochs has long history of resistance against the barbaric acts of the state. they have been killed and many of them were exile and numerous people were executed using the name of so called “Development” in the province. Secondly, Our media is notoriously famous for concealing the facts and real issues of Balochistan. they always potray other side of picture. thirdly, the tribal system of Balochistan never been a hurdle for the development since it is prior for people and sever their interests. the prevailing issue of the province is of the decomposed bodies of the innocent people. which is the core problem and is been sparked violence and unrest in Balochistan.

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  • vigilant
    May 25, 2012 - 9:51PM

    @Adnan:
    Spot on

    @Mir Baloch:
    would u like to enlightened us about role of ur sardars and elders in balochistan development and prosperity

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  • R.A Alizai
    May 26, 2012 - 12:30AM

    Difficult as it may be to acknowledge that either our rulers have been failed to understand the proximate reasons which have caused unrest in balochistan and bolstered the sense of deprivation in the province or they are no longer interested in getting the matter taken up by following the pragmatic realism.So far,many reasons and suggestions have been put forth by political scientists but the irony of the fate is that nothing seems to have been nudged towards a negotiable change.General apathy on the part of the government together with the hard-nosed nationalists,who seem not to be ready to budge an inch from their stance is another factor to be blamed.Similiary to contend that equally responsible are the sardars is somewhat wrong,for the overwhelming majority of the said chiefs have been witnessed as pro-development and moderate.Given the severity of the situation and prevalent conditions in balochistan which are proving to be instrumental in swelling the already amassed sense of alienation the matter requires to be given a serious consideration before it is too late.Peace in balochistan can only be established if there will no more forced disappearances,no double standards on the part of the overdeveloped and overcentralised federal government,no carrot and stick policy,no mutually exclusive and parallel solutions and no absence of political will,which happens to be the catalyst to cultivate a culture of trust and mutual respect.Furthermore,it would be unsafe to assume that the problems which have their roots in the past can be taken up overnightly rather it would take time to stem the tide provided that all the stakeholders demonstrate their faith in negotiation and mutual respect,

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  • Adnan
    May 26, 2012 - 1:11AM

    @Mir Baloch:
    Bhai Sahib, As bad as our corrupt leaders are and have been to Baloch brothers, you have to understand that many in Punjab (civilians) want to do something for the Baloch people. This government will not do anything for you or me. It is upto the youth to help themselves. I am a medical graduate now in US for post grad training but I used to go to a library in Lahore study purposes. I saw many Baloch students and befriended them. And it is through them I learned of the problems in Balochistan. Why is it that the Baloch people keep to themselves? After I heard of their problems, I spread the message to my friends and family and asked them to spread the message. Many were previously aware of the problems but they said whenever they want to help they are treated badly. You tell us – how do the people in the other parts help?

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  • @Areeba
    May 26, 2012 - 6:56PM

    @Ejaaz:
    dear Bros your interest in baloch land not baloch people long live balochsitan & baloch people.

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  • Jun 30, 2012 - 12:45PM

    Solution = Education+Investment+ behavior + Political System. (need by Balochistan)

    Today the president of Pakistan is baloch, If he did’t any thing for baloch, what will be expected from others?

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