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Understanding Balochistan and its unending conflict with Pakistan for Six Decades

While the Balochi nationalists accuse Pakistan of deliberately keeping the resource- rich province underdeveloped, Pakistan claims the development is slow due to the insurgency

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People of Balochistan. Flickr
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October 4, 2016: In the rugged mountains of South-West Pakistan lies its largest province of Balochistan, far away from the bustling cities of Lahore and Karachi. It is one of the least developed provinces, which is home to 13 million people, mostly Balochis. Baloch people said to have traced their roots from ancient tribes around the city of Aleppo in Syria. They believe these tribes migrated in this region in Pre-Christian times. Over the centuries, they say the rugged landscape sheltered them from numerous invading armies.

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The Baloch uprising against the Pakistan government has received little attention worldwide. Most eyes have been turned toward the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in other areas of Pakistan but the Baloch people have never accepted being a part of this country. The roots of the conflict go back to the country’s independence.

In 1947, when Pakistan was born, the rulers of the Khanate of Kalat, a princely state under the British which is part of Balochistan today, refused to join the new nation. In March 1948, Pakistan sent troops to annex the territory. The then ruler of Kalat signed a treaty of accession, later on, but his brothers and many others continued to fight and the first conflict between Pakistanis and Balochis started. So far, five waves of insurgencies have taken place. After 1948, the rebellion was put down. It again erupted in 1958, in 1962-63 and 1973-77 violent campaigns by the Baloch nationalists took place to get independence from Pakistan. Two decades after that is considered the calmest period in the history of Balochistan.

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Tensions began in 1999 after General Pervez Musharraf seized power. The building of new cantonments in the Balochistan by the military was seen by the nationalists as a way to tighten control over Balochistan and its natural resources and mineral riches. The fifth wave of insurgency broke out in this context.

Innocent Balochistan civilians suffering hard. Source: Pixabay
Innocent Balochistan civilians suffering hard. Source: Pixabay

The Baloch fighters fight in separate independent groups with elusive leaders. In this province, there are several separatists. The strongest among them is known as the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

While the Balochi nationalists accuse Pakistan of deliberately keeping the resource-rich province underdeveloped, Pakistan claims the development is slow due to the insurgency. Apart from this, the major allegation which Pakistan is facing currently is that of human rights violation, both by the army as well as militants. To calm the unrest situation, Pakistan government uses the army and even air force was used against the civilians.

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The province is of great importance to Pakistan’s economic and geopolitical strategies. China, proposed an investment of $46 billion to link the deep water port of Gwadar with the city of Kashgar. The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is also planned to go through Balochistan.

To implement these projects successfully, Pakistan should buy peace with the people of Baloch and deal the issue on its own, instead of internationalising the conflict.

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi

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  • Anubhuti Gupta

    The way Pakistan is using violence to succumb the voices of Balochistan and their cry for freedom is truly despicable.

  • Aakash Mandyal

    Revolutionary movement has already started, now whole world is acquinted with issue of balochistan, hope that this blood shed of baloch people will end soon. Pakistan is a trouble for whole the world.

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

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Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)