Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 81

Foreign hand in Balochistan

[b]Foreign hand in Balochistan[/b]

By Alok Bansal

More than 3o years after the last insurgency that was sparked off by the Bhutto’s senseless dismissal of Ataullah Mengal’s government, Balochistan is once again in the throes of a full fledged insurgency. The year 2004 saw Baloch nationalists making attempts to hog the headlines against the backdrop of more high profile problems in Pakistan. The operations in Wana and operations against Al Qaeda tended to eclipse the happenings in Balochistan through out 2004.

However, 2005 began with a bangThe acts of violence in Sui in January and Dera Bugti in March forced the Pakistani establishment to sit up and take notice of happenings in Balochistan. When the troops moved in Kohlu district on December 17, it was for the third time in 2005 when troops were fighting pitched battles with the Baloch nationalists. In last one month the fighting has engulfed the entire Dera Bugti and Kohlu districts, there have been sporadic clashes across the length and breadth of Balochistan. Pakistani elites have rather simplistically attributed the triggering of violence in Balochistan to mainly two factors, firstly the rejection of nationalist parties by the voters in the last elections and their consequent removal from power, and secondly the apprehension of feudal lords that the mega developmental projects will expose the population to outside world and thereby weaken their hold on them. However, a careful analysis of the events shows that ethnicity intertwined with a sense of political isolation and relative economic deprivation continues to be a potent force in evoking Baloch mobilization. Such a feeling is more intense amongst the Balochs as compared to other ethnic groups in Pakistan for historical and economic reasons.

Share this