- Balochistan makes 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan
- The reputation of Pakistani army is tarnished among the Baloch population
- There is a total breakdown of dialog between the civilians and the government
New Delhi, August 22, 2017: Balochistan, the southwestern province of Pakistan, makes 44% of the total land mass of the country. However, contrary to the expectations of the development that should have taken place in the province, it is its exploitation that is more evident.
The reputation of the Pakistani army is tarnished among the Baloch population. The anti military feelings among the civilians date back to 1948. The British rule ended in the Indian subcontinent in 1947, after which the princely states were offered with the options of acceding to India or Pakistan or remaining independent. The then ruler, Khan of Kalat of Balochistan chose to remain free. But, according to some, Pakistan, in 1948, against the wishes of the Baloch and their Khan, forcibly converted Balochistan into it’s province. At that time, feelings of betrayal and resentment took roots among the civilians, which only grew more intense with the passage of time.
Inequality and discrimination against Balochistan have continued to increase, resulting in an unrest in the province. Poor representation in the Pakistani army, in parliament, has left them feeling alienated.
Although Balochistan has experienced a dramatic rise in activities of the Islamic State and its local affiliates, the government officials continue to decline the existence of the Islamic State in the province. How would it deny the death of hundreds of innocent people, who were killed in at least three major terrorist attacks is the question.
There’s a total breakdown of dialogue between the civilians and the government. The Baloch have been fighting for their independence from Pakistan since long, and Pakistani government seems to believe that excessive use of force is the right solution. What is perceptible is that Pakistan is unaware, that armies are meant to be used against enemies and not one’s own people.
A lot of Baloch people had been abducted and executed by Pakistani agencies and army, while many of them were killed and dumped across Balochistan. The issue is indeed alarming. “Balochistan has had the dubious distinction of being the world capital of enforced disappearances where more than 2,000 journalists, singers, teachers, lawyers have been forcibly abducted, tortured, killed and dumped since 2009 – in just five years, as many as in Chile during the reign of Augusto Pinochet,” mentioned a DailyO report.
The Human Rights Watch has released several reports on abducted people in Balochistan, The freedom struggle of a province that has witnessed agony, darkness, and perpetual violence for more than a decade is, indeed, real.
-by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha