Uncanny resemblance: Is Balochistan the next Bangladesh?

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Blackwater, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    It has been 41 years today. 41 years ago, Pakistan was broken up into two parts, the former West Pakistan and Bangladesh. Apart from a distance of around 1000 miles separating the two parts of Pakistan, there was enough resentment on part of East Pakistani populace that manifested in a demand for provincial autonomy.

    East Pakistan supplied so much of revenue to the federation but got little development in response. Moving the capital from Karachi to Islamabad and limited participation of East Pakistanis in the bureaucracy were some other contentious issues. In the national elections held in 1970, Bengali Nationalist Party, Awami Party, won majority of seats in the National Assembly. Following palace intrigues and a military operation, there was no transfer of power and after the military’s defeat in December, 1971, Bangladesh came into being.

    I am reiterating all this today because I am extremely worried about another part of Pakistan following a similar fate. There is little to no understanding or national dialogue on the issue of Balochistan, what our state has done there and what lies in the future.

    Let’s talk a little about Balochistan today. I’d like to start with brief history of the province and then the problems it has faced.

    The term ‘Balochistan’ is a Persian origin word made of ‘Baloch’ and ‘Aastan’, which means ‘The place of the Baloch (people)’.

    Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan and by area constitutes 47% of the country. Before the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Balochistan primarily comprised of four ‘princely states’ and a ‘British Baluchistan’ province during the British Raj that were later amalgamated to form the Pakistani province of Balochistan later. These states were, Kalat, Lasbela, Makran and Kharan.

    The periods of 1948, 1958, 1962-69, and 1974-77, and the current post-2000s eras are pertinent where political tensions have led to varying degrees of violence in Balochistan. Nationalist elements allege of a forced accession of the old Baloch princely states of Kalat and its vassals in March 1948, as well as crackdown on nationalist activity throughout the last 64 years as cause of deepening animosity towards Pakistan among the Baloch.

    Khan Abdul Karim Khan’s rebellion, with nearly a hundred followers over Kalat’s controversial accession to Pakistan, was the first phase of conflict in Balochistan until he was apprehended and jailed by the authorities. The second phase was over the dissolution of the Balochistan States Union and its incorporation into the ‘One Unit’ system of West Pakistan in 1958. This phase began by the arrest of the Khan of Kalat, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan, by the regime of General Ayub Khan, and reached its peak with the Jhalawan disturbances led by a Khan of Kalat loyalist, the elderly Nawab Nauroz Khan Zarakzai and his Zehri tribal militia.

    He and his followers were later arrested and incarcerated for life.

    The third phase was led by the Baloch Peoples Liberation Front (BPLF) of Sher Muhammad Marri against the Ayub regime. The fourth phase was in wake of the dismissal of the National Awami Party (NAP) government in Balochistan by Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and the arrest of NAP leaders. This caused a large scale rebellion by various Baloch tribes against Pakistan and the military was called in to quell the rebellion with added help from Iran. It only ended when Bhutto was deposed in a military coup by General Zia-ul-Haq in 1977 and general amnesty was announced to Baloch rebels to end the hostilities.

    After a lull period for nearly 25 years, different militant groups like the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) had started to utilise the power vacuum in Afghanistan to launch sporadic attacks inside Pakistani Balochistan.

    However, the recent phase of conflict escalated due to the killing of former Balochistan Chief Minister and prominent tribal chief Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti during a military operation against his armed militia in 2006.

    What initially began with disputes over royalty and rental payments for extraction of natural gas from Dera Bugti district of Balochistan, spiralled out of control and became an armed insurgency.

    The comparisons with Bangladesh are apparent.

    Balochistan is providing the rest of Pakistan with natural gas and coal and has abundant mineral reserves at Saindak and Reko Diq. According to the Pakistan National Human Development Report 2003, Balochistan and its districts were assessed to be the worst off in Pakistan. Amongst the top 31 districts with the highest HDI, Punjab had by far the largest share at 59 per cent, while Balochistan lagged far behind at nine per cent.

    According to the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC),

    “An overview of the development scene in Balochistan is appalling and the extent of relative deprivation in the province is unspeakable”.

    92 per cent of Balochistan’s districts are classified as ‘high deprivation’ compared to 50 per cent in Sindh and 29 per cent in Punjab.

    The story at the population level is equally grim. The Pakistan Integrated Household Survey 2001-02 revealed that Balochistan had the most poor (48 per cent of the province’s population) and the worst level of rural poverty (51 per cent).

    Balochistan has the highest infant and maternal mortality ratio in South Asia; 25 per cent of the population has access to electricity (national average, 75 per cent) and the male literary rate is 18.3 per cent and the female literacy rate, a mere seven percent.

    For a lot of apolitical/recently political youth of Pakistan, there is a lot to be known about Balochistan and even now, it’s not too late. Balochis are as equally Pakistanis as the rest of us. They need to be given equal share of attention as is given to insane political feuds in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. In the progressive circles, sympathy with Baloch nationalists is a fashion statement. The only news we get from Balochistan is bad news.

    Target killings, missing persons, sectarian trouble and dumped corpses are the only few issues that are deemed important by national media to be discussed in Balochistan’s perspective. Superficial steps including the Balochistan Rights Package have improved nothing. I believe that until youth in other provinces start taking interest in the affairs of Balochistan and what is happening there, very little is going to change.

    We can’t afford another Bangladesh and for that not to happen, we need to learn about Balochistan. For starters, we need to talk about it.

    Uncanny resemblance: Is Balochistan the next Bangladesh? – The Express Tribune Blog
     
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  3. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    naara-a taqbeer-Allah -hu -akbar:thumb::thumb:
     
  4. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    not possible. first of all there is no cold war going on. secondly leadership in india is not like indira gandhi who can bring about anything like bangladesh liberation. third and most importantly- west just want to have access to CAR and they dont care how they get it and who provide it- they will be happy with pakistan too thus giving ample support to pakistani establishment in keeping it in one piece or whatever islamabad wishes
     
  5. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    for the sake of debate :- west doesnt want dragon influence and connection to the oil-rich states around the arabian sea area via b-stan - so although the out come will not be like b-desh , nevertheless we could see some interesting innovations politically here
     
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  6. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    you forgot ameerikaaa ,and nato leardership:cool2::cool2::cool2:
     
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  7. datguy79

    datguy79 Regular Member

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    west can access the CAR just fine through the Georgia-Azerbaijan route.
     
  8. musalman

    musalman پاکستان زنده باد

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    Difference between East Pakistan and Baluchistan.

    1. East Pakistan was separated from West by more than 1000 KM. India which was the enemy was between the two. Same is not the case, in case of Baluchistan.
    2. Baluchistan region is sandwich between Pakistan and Iran. Both co-operate in suppressing the Baluchistan rebellion.
    3. In case of E Pakistan, Pakistan was unable to send supplies to its army. This is not the case now.
    4. East Pakistan was predominately one nation which was Bengalis. In case of Baluchistan predominate nation there is Pushtun followed by Baluch, Braohis and Hazara. Pushtun and Hazara are 100% loyal to Pakistan. In case of Baluch if one clan in pro Independence than other will be pro Pakistan. e.g. Kalpars hate Bugtai. Kalpars are in favour of Pakistan etc. Even half of the Bugtais are pro Pakistan.
     
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  9. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    :whistle::drunk::puke::puke::fu::bplease::bplease:
     
  10. spikey360

    spikey360 Crusader Senior Member

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    India would be best served by instigating a revolution there and propping up a secular autocratic regime like that of Saddam/Gaddafi. That autocrat must be a strong pro-India, mildly anti-Pakistan like Karzai. He must have friendly relations with Iran and shouldn't be too welcoming towards China or the US. The country Baluchistan must be poor enough that we have to send contractors to build up infra there. Also, they should be importing a lot of things from us.
    If ever we were to have a win-win situation in SE Asia, this would be the stepping stone.
     
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  11. musalman

    musalman پاکستان زنده باد

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    Not possible to have that kind of regime in Baluchistan and have good relation with Iran. Iran would never like an independent Baluchistan as it holds half of Baluchistan.
     
  12. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Pakistan may disintegrate again, warns AQ Khan

     
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  13. spikey360

    spikey360 Crusader Senior Member

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    ^^Well, well, well.. Look who's started speaking some home truths.
     
  14. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    If the condition in Baluchistan worstens, can Iran instead encourage it thinking to get rid of the Baloch by letting them have their country out of Pakistan?
     
  15. Agnostic Muslim

    Agnostic Muslim Regular Member

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    One other point on the demographics of Balochistan is that the the overall population of the province (even with combining the Pashtun,Baloch and other ethnic groups) is tiny compared to the population of then East Pakistan.When you consider this fact in conjunction with the fact that half (or perhaps more) of the population of Balochistan is non-Baloch, an East Pakistan style insurgency and separation, even with foreign support, is just not feasible.
     
  16. Agnostic Muslim

    Agnostic Muslim Regular Member

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    Why would an 'Independent Balochistan' not instead lend support to the insurgents in Iran, and why would the Iranians assume that the US and its allies would not use an 'Independent Balochistan' to destabilize Iran's Sistan province?
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
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  17. Agnostic Muslim

    Agnostic Muslim Regular Member

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    WRT to the 'economic deprivation' arguments of the author of the article in the OP:

     
  18. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Photochor Khan has a serious grouse against the Paki establishment for treating him shabbily. I hope RAW has worked on him and tried to bribe him with money/women/whatever it takes to get info on the Paki nuke program.
     
  19. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    @Agnostic Muslim
    Agreed. But hasn't Iran already wired its entire boundary with Pakistan (or perhaps it is under progress).
    Preparing for a contingency ??
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  20. Agnostic Muslim

    Agnostic Muslim Regular Member

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    The Iranians already accuse the US and its allies of 'supporting terrorists in Sistan', and the Iranian relationship with Pakistan has deteriorated because the Iranians have accused Pakistan of being complicit, directly or indirectly, in US support for terrorists in Sistan.

    The increased Iranian security on the Iran-Pakistan border is for a variety of reasons:

    - suspicions that the US is funneling support to insurgents in Iran through the Iran-Pakistan border
    - drugs and weapons smuggling across the border
    - preventing insurgents in Sistan from easily escaping into Balochistan and receiving resources from sympathetic Pakistan based Baloch insurgent/terrorist groups.
     
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  21. datguy79

    datguy79 Regular Member

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    An independent Baluchistan will still inherit the current borders as a new state. Iran can't like it, but it can't do much about it without facing major backlash.
     
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