Balochistan – Eradicating the Drivers of Conflict


As each one of us is well aware of the fact that Balochistan; one of the four provinces of Pakistan, has always remained prominent due to its abundant natural resources which are incredibly opulent in value. Here it is also evident that if utilized to the maximum capacity these assets can bring home heaps of wealth and immense economic prosperity. It can certainly give us a gigantic breakthrough in the Asian and the European markets. In spite of possessing such rich with the resources the appropriate utilization has always been a question.

Perhaps it is due to the continuous elements of tensions that subsist between the province and the State that the approval of such progressive developmental schemes always remained out of question. Reasons behind the Balochistan’s never-ending underdevelopment phase have been several, among these some are very cultural while many are political but in both cases it is the province that suffers the most.

There are various historical and contemporary gruesome factors that have given unnecessary height to conflict between Baluchistan and Pakistan. If one sheds some light on this issue it becomes evident that the problem of Balochistan goes way back to late forties when for the first time an anti-state movement was initiated by Prince Karim. This movement was silenced through an armed operation on Quaid’s authorization. The irony of the operation was that there wasn’t any contingency plan attached to it. Later during Bhutto’s regime an Iraqi ambassador Hikmat Sulaiman was allegedly found guilty for storing mass destruction weapons. This episode came really heavy on the National Action Plan and it was abolished in a matter of days for the alleged involvement in the promotion of terrorist activities in the region. Later there was a mythical allegation on Musharaf’s administration. The separatists alleged that around 18000 people had gone missing.

The insurgency and tensions that kept going on and off over time, extensively  caught up fire when Akbar Bugti one of the prominent Tribal figure was bombed in a mountain on the basis of Bugti-Sui-Gang-Rape controversy. Many experts on the subject supposedly believed that Musharaf should have not dismissed the idea of resolving the matters through table talks.

The case of Balochistan resides in it many painful events among which the heavily bulged out are in a few words discussed above. Regardless of being imperative in nature it failed to receive the required attention. Probably the ignorance was unintentional and unintended. It was only due to other prominent issues like the area of the disputed Kashmir and the war at the West Pakistan that it became practically challenging for the State to spare out time to resolve this matter.

Through shedding some light on the subject, one can undoubtedly perceive that how some stakeholders intentionally inflated the tragic situation. Russia and US might be interested in controlling the largest resource hub in Central Asia and facilitate their respective states at the cost of Pakistan. While Iran realizes well that how jeopardizing the operational port of Gawadar can be for its Chah Bahar port.

The tribal leaders under the unswerving control of a few exterior powers have purposefully fueled young brains with revulsion against the State. The de-tracked juveniles of the region now live by supporting an anti-state ideology. From here grew the wave of terrorism which was heavily funded and facilitated by the external powers. The terrorist organizations today that are heading such anti-state activities are also a pure creation of these foreign elements. In this case many prominent political figures blamed neighboring countries for being responsible for funding anti-state activities. For the purpose of evidence during a press conference Rehman Malik openly held India accountable for it.

The army intervention was not to provoke hatred but to limit the anti-state insurgency, for now it was a matter of State’s dignity and security. That is why to address this alarming situation the state tried to convince the tribal leaders by means of soft power. While a plan B was formulated to deal with the ones who strongly opposed the idea of going with the state. To deal with this the army planned to vanquish the strength and influence of these tribal leaders. So with the lash of Zarb-e-Azab operation there came a shameful end to the golden age of these militants, although the area is yet to be cleared of the remnants of such outfits.

Although the army will succeed in cracking down the insurgents and abolishing the Sardar-Nizam (Feudal system), still can we totally rule out the possibility that chances of disruption in future will be fairly low?  Experts on the subject deem that the issue regarding bifurcation of Balochistan cannot be resolved until the state will have to have a well-defined post operation strategy. At this point the government should also lock down all potential opportunities for these agents to infuse any further anti-state ideology.

As we don’t want to end up as a depressed nation the idea of oppression and suppression, either it is political, economic or social should be swayed away. Progressive development schemes should be revived while taking in consideration the stakes of the other republics attached to it. Employment opportunities should be widespread. There should be a fair allocation of State’s resources. For instance voluminous distribution of the State’s assets is mostly spotted on the eastern side. This therefore agitates a common Baloch as it inflates the sense of deprivation in them. Thus should be resolved on priority basis with a balance according to relevance.

is currently teaching at SICAS and is a student of Masters in Business Administration, and can be reached at

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