Basis of disputes in Balochistan

Shiza Afzaal
Islamabad

The issue of Balochistan has continued to be a conflict between the residents of Balochistan and the government of Pakistan. The way the government has continued to deny Balochs their rights, it is not too hard to identify the main causes of the conflict. While all the blame of disorders and disputes are attributed to foreign hands, no one ponders over what is happening to Balochistan on account of discrimination.
Talking about the province, Balochs are the main ethnic group in the province followed by the Pashtuns. The natural resources in Balochistan include; Chromite, Fluorite, Marble, Gold, Gas, Iron and Petroleum. These are of prominent importance and if these are tapped fully, Balochistan will become the richest province of Pakistan and will help it sustain economically as well.
The province has been marginalized throughout the history. It dates back exactly to the days of Pakistan’s independence in 1947. The first conflict arose in 1948, when Kalat, which is a part of Pakistan, chose independence. This was followed by other conflicts in 1958 and 1963. These were about the One Unit policy and military bases in Balochistan. Then in 1973, Z.A. Bhutto dissolved the provincial government of Balochistan which led to an armed insurgency and revolt.
Talking about ethnicity and political drawbacks, Balochs have never had their required representation and participation in politics. This exacerbated the ethnic conflict in Balochistan and the issue of independence. The military in 1999 brought Pervaiz Musharraf into power and this increased the sense of general alienation amongst the Baloch. The lack of representation of the Balochs in Pakistan Army has led to further rifts. There are many other issues but I have named a few with a request to the government to take benevolent steps for ending sense of deprivation of Balochs.

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