Balochistan Conflict – Essay

Published: 2021-09-10 10:55:09
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The movement gained momentum during the 1960s, and amid consistent political disorder, the government ordered a military operation into the region in 1973, assisted by Iran, and inflicted heavy casualties on the separatists. The movement was largely quelled after the imposition of martial law in 1977, after which Baluchistan witnessed significant development. After insurgency groups again mushroomed in the 1990s and 2000s, the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and the war in North-West Pakistan exacerbated the conflict, most recently manifested in the killings of non-Baloch settlers in the province by separatists since 2006.
Background:- 1. First conflict 1948 (led by Prince Abdul Karim Khan) In April 1948, Baloch nationalists claim that the central government sent the Pakistan army, which allegedly forced Mir Ahmed Yar Khan to give up his state, Kalat. Kalat was a landlocked British protectorate that comprised roughly 22%–23% of Baluchistan. Mir Ahmed Yar Khan signed an accession agreement ending Kalat’s de facto independence. His brother, Prince Abdul Karim Khan, was a powerful governor of a section of Kalat, a position that he was removed from after accession.
He decided to initiate an insurgency against Pakistan. On the night of May 16, 1948 Prince Abdul Karim Khan initiated a separatist movement against the Pakistani government. He conducted guerrilla warfare based in Afghanistan against the Pakistan army. 2. Second conflict 1958–59 (led by Nawab Nowroz Khan) Nawab Nowroz Khan took up arms in resistance to the One Unit policy, which decreased government represenation for tribal leaders. He and his followers started a guerrilla war against Pakistan.
Nowroz Khan and his followers were charged with treason and arrested and confined in Hyderabad jail. Five of his family members (sons and nephews) were subsequently hanged under charges of aiding murder of Pakistani troops and treason. Nawab Nowroz Khan later died in captivity. 3. Third conflict 1963–69 (led by Nawab Khair Baksh Marri) After the second conflict, the Federal government sent the Army to build new military bases in the key conflict areas of Baluchistan in order to resist further chaos.
Nawab Khair Baksh marri appointed an unknow shero marri to lead like-minded militants in guerrilla warfare by creating their own insurgent bases spread out over 45,000 miles (72,000 km) of land, from the Mengal tribal area in the south to the Marri and Bugti tribal areas in the north. Their goal was to force Pakistan to share revenue generated from the Sui gas fields with the tribal leaders. The insurgents bombed railway tracks and ambushed convoys. The Army retaliated by destroying vast areas of the Marri tribe’s land. This insurgency ended in 1969 and the Baloch separatists agreed to a ceasefire.
Yahya Khan abolished the “One Unit” policy. This eventually led to the recognition of Baluchistan as the fourth province of West Pakistan (present-day Pakistan) in 1970, containing all the Baluchistani princely states, the High Commissioners Province and Gwadar, an 800 km2 coastal area purchased by the Pakistani Government from Oman. 4. Fourth conflict 1973–77 (led by Nawab Khair Baksh Marri) Citing treason, President Bhutto dismissed the provincial governments of Baluchistan and NWFP and imposed martial law in those provinces.
Dismissal of the provincial governments led to armed insurgency. Khair Bakhsh Marri formed the Baluchistan People’s Liberation Front (BPLF), which led large numbers of Marri and Mengal tribesmen into guerrilla warfare against the central government. According to some authors, the Pakistani military lost 300 to 400 soldiers during the conflict with the Balochi separatists, while between 7,300 and 9,000 Balochi militants and civilians were killed. 5. Fifth conflict 2004 – to date (led by Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and Mir Balach Marri)
In 2005, the Baluch political leaders Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and Mir Balach Marri presented a 15-point agenda to the Pakistan government. Their stated demands included greater control of the province’s resources and a Moratorium on the construction of military bases. On 15 December 2005, Inspector-General of Frontier Corps Maj Gen Shujaat Zamir Dar and his deputy Brig Salim Nawaz (the current IGFC) were wounded after shots were fired at their helicopter in Baluchistan province. The provincial interior secretary later said that “both of them were wounded in the leg but both are in stable condition. The two men had been visiting Kohlu, about 220 km (135 miles) south-east of Quetta, when their aircraft came under fire. The helicopter landed safely. In August 2006, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, 79 years old, was killed in fighting with the Pakistan Army in which at least 60 Pakistani soldiers and 7 officers were killed. He was charged by Pakistan’s government of a series of bomb blasts, killings of the people he professed to protect and the rocket attack on the President Pervez Musharraf.
In April 2009, Baloch National Movement president Ghulam Mohammed Baloch and two other nationalist leaders (Lala Munir and Sher Muhammad), were seized from a small legal office and were allegedly “handcuffed, blindfolded and hustled into a waiting pickup truck which is in still use of intelligence forces in front of their lawyer and neighboring shopkeepers. “The gunmen were allegedly speaking in Persian (a national language of neighboring Afghanistan and Iran) Five days later on April 8 their bodies, “riddled with bullets” were found in a commercial area.
The BLA claims Pakistani forces were behind the killings, though international experts have deemed it odd that the Pakistani forces would be careless enough to allow the bodies to be found so easily and ‘light Baluchistan on fire’ (Herald) if they were truly responsible. The discovery of the bodies sparked “rioting and weeks of strikes, demonstrations and civil resistance” in cities and towns around Baluchistan. On August 12, 2009, Khan of Kalat Mir Suleiman Dawood declared himself ruler of Baluchistan and formally made announcement of a
Council for Independent Baluchistan. The Council’s claimed domain includes “Baloch of Iran”, as well as Pakistani Baluchistan, but does not include Afghani Baloch regions,and the Council contains “all separatist leaders including Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti. ” He claims that “the UK had a moral responsibility to raise the issue of Baluchistan’s illegal occupation at international level. ” Alleged Foreign Support for Baluch rebels Pakistan has repeatedly accused India, and occasionally the U. S. , of supporting the Baluch rebels in order to destabilize the country.
India has however categorically denied the allegations on its part, stating that no concrete evidence has been provided. The facts are controversial, but Pakistan still continues to insist. Iran has repeatedly accused America of supporting Jundullah. After his capture, Jundullah leader Abdulmalek Rigi confirmed these allegations. The US has however denied this. However, neutral observers have repeatedly noted that the Baloch nationalist groups are poorly-trained in military tactics and strategy, and are currently outgunned by the Pakistani state.
The groups are mainly armed with small non-automatic weapons and AK-47s, which are widely available in Pakistan, and they currently are not skilled at using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which is seen as strong circumstantial evidence that they are not supported by outside powers, contrary to the repeated statements of the Pakistani state. Baluchi rebels in Pakistan are said to receive major support from the Taliban in Afghanistan. In the 1980s the CIA, the Iraqi Intelligence Service, Pakistani Sunni extremist group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Mujahedin e-Kalq all supported a Baluchi tribal uprising against Iran.
Pakistan has also accused India of giving citizenship to senior Balouch SeparatistSelig S. Harrison of the George Soros funded Center for International Policy has been calling for dividing Pakistan and supporting an independent Baluch province as a means to thwart growing relations between Islamabad and Beijing, as Pakistan has given China a base at Gwadar. These views have been separately promoted by Ralph Peters, an zionist strategic affairs analyst and former U. S. Army officer, and an expert on the Middle East and the Islamic world.
Projects in Baluchistan Saindak Copper Gold Project: Saindak Copper-Gold Mine is located in Saindak town, district Chaghi Baluchistan, Pakistan. The discovery of copper deposits at Saindak was made in the 1970s in collaboration with a Chinese engineering firm. The Saindak Copper-Gold Project was set up by Saindak Metals Ltd, a company wholly owned by the government of Pakistan, by the end of 1995 at a cost of Rs. 13. 5 billion. Pakistan and China signed a formal contract worth $350 million for development of Saindak Copper-Gold Project.

The court must now haul up senior officers of the FC to explain the role it is playing in Baluchistan. However, the Supreme Court alone cannot solve Baluchistan’s problems. The utter lack of confidence the Baloch have in the army and the federal government requires much greater action. Separatist sentiment is now running deep in the province and the provincial government lacks legitimacy because most political figures have boycotted mainstream politics. Bringing them back into the fold should be an immediate priority.
This would require the army to recede and take a low profile, and an accounting of all those who went missing in the province. Following that, a far greater share in the spoils of Baluchistan’s economic development needs to be given to locals. From the development of a deep-sea port in Gwadar to royalties in mining projects, the Baloch feel they have been deliberately cheated out of profits from their resources. Only after this is rectified, will the separatist parties begin to tone down their

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