Factoring Baloch Unrest

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Since 1947, the Baluchistan province has been the weal point for Pakistan security establishment due to lack of concern shown from all the previous governments, federal and provincial. The ensuing mess has resulted in it being subjected to non state actors’ infiltration from across Afghanistan. Contemporarily several violent separatist movements are working in this province under foreign hands; Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Republican Army (BRA) and Baloch Liberations Tigers (BLT) are some of the terror groups who have been operating with impunity.

Most recently, two earthquakes of Richter scale more than seven shook Baluchistan on 24 September 2013 respectively. This resulted in hundreds of death with scores of injuries, financial losses to be settled in the aftermath. As the associations’ not-for-profit and the National Disaster Management Authority (operating under the patronage extended by Pakistan’s security forces) moved in to help the local Baloch populace in Awaran and Kech districts, these terror groups, ironically portraying themselves as Baloch rights champions, turned their guns on those who whole heartedly extended their support to their fellow countrymen. The militants belonging to Nazar Baloch group fired their rockets at the helicopters carrying relief goods. Likewise threats were also issued to earthquake victims to deter them from accepting relief goods from any Punjabi or Sindhi non-governmental organizations.

Previously on June 15, several armed men of Baloch Liberation Army group attacked Quaid-e-Azam’s residency and burned it down to ashes. Furthermore, they desecrated the Pakistani flag and replaced it with the BLA flag. This was not just an attack on Jinnah’s residential place, but an attack on the whole nation’s heart.

The unrest of Baluchistan needs to be observed in the context of the development of Gwadar, the all weather deep seaport linking central Asian markets. Less than 50 miles from here to the west, Chahbahar port of Iran is situated. As it is the only deep seaport besides Gwadar linking the Persian Gulf with Asia, India has heavily pumped money in it , with an investment volume of over $100 million. The 215 km-long Delaram-Zaranj highway (Route 606) which links Chahbahar with the south western city of Zaranj in Afghanistan has also been constructed by India at a cost of around US $110 million. Delhi has also expressed its interest in building a 600 miles railway track line linking Chahbahar to Hajigak, Bamiyan province in central Afghanistan.

By letting China take control of the Gwadar seaport, the Government of Pakistan has clearly earned the wrath of the Indian government, whose million dollars investment in Chahbahar might sink in water. Dubai has also shown similar concerns, as they fear that the revenues earned from Dubai port could diminish in future.

The Government of Pakistan has provided all the evidences to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh incriminating Indian agencies in their involvement with the Baloch insurgents. These insurgents are known to frequent New Delhi for instructions and funding. In fact, BLA leader Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri has expressed his willingness to accept foreign aid for separatists cause multiple times.

The subversive acts done by the Indian agencies in Pakistan have raised eyebrows in many quarters. US Defense Secretary Mr. Chuck Hagel statement is on the record in which he iterated that India is financing terrorist activities in Pakistan. The confession of former Indian armed forces Chief General VK Singh about the formation of TSD unit for the sake of terrorism in Pakistan also conforms to the terror networks development in the Balochistan province. It is no more hidden that the Indian intelligence has been working hard to ferment anarchy in Pakistan.

At the same time, we need to cement the internal fault lines. Those advertently or inadvertently are being used by the non state elements needs to be closely monitored. Media should play its part maturely and be supportive rather than promoting anti-Pakistan factors. Though these terrorists have done a lot more than this, but still they failed to achieve what they are in for; they are unable to dig out the love for Pakistan from the hearts of Baloch people.

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is a college student who takes interest in the contemporary happenings around the globe. In his spare time, he watches cricket and football. Arqum tweets @MalikArqumZ

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