Baluchistan Crisis | CSS Essay

Baluchistan is situated in southwest of Pakistan and it covers over 347,190 sq km of total are of Pakistan.  About 43% of Pakistan’s territory comprises of Baluchistan.  Baluchistan has common border with Iran and Afghanistan in northwest.  There is a long coastline on the Arabian Sea in south.  Baluchistan mostly comprises of mountainous areas although there are some plain and deserted areas too.  Baluchistan is a rich part of Pakistan in mineral resources.  Apart from coal and gas Baluchistan also holds large proven reserves of aluminum, uranium, gold, silver, silica, ochre and other metals as well.  Land of Baluchistan is mostly barren and rugged.  It is said that Baluchistan also contains oil in substantial quantities. 

Estimated population of Baluchistan is 12.34 million out of which almost 52% population consists of Baloch, 36% Pashtuns and remaining 12% comprises of Uzbeks, Sindhi, Hazaras and Turkmens etc.  Pashtuns are situated mostly in northern areas of the province along the Border with Afghanistan.  Baloch has concentration in Baluchistan and other provinces of Pakistan as well, whereas most of them inhabit the southeastern area of Iran that is Irani Baluchistan.

The Balochis have conserved their prehistoric tribal erection. Each tribe has its leader and consists of several bands. Generally, the connection to the Tumandar is due to powerful tribal chief and the Balochis thoughtlessly follow him. 

The bulging Balochi societies in Pakistan are Mengal, Bugti, Mohammad Hasni, Zehri, Bizenjo, Marri and Raisani. Differences between tribes and clans are not exceptional.

Relating the way of life of the Balochi people, Encyclopedia Britannica perceives:

“The Baluchis are traditionally nomads, but settled agricultural existence is becoming more common; every chief has a fixed residence. The villages are collection of mud or stone huts; on the hills, enclosures of rough stone walls are covered with matting to serve as temporary habitations. The Baluchis raise camels, cattle, sheep and goats, and engage in carpet making and embroidery. Their agricultural methods are primitive.”

In 1952, the States of Baluchistan including Kalat, Kharan , Mekran and Las Bela were endorsed to form ‘The Baluchistan States’ Union’.

In 1955, these States were prepared a portion of the ‘One Unit’ or the sole domain of West Pakistan to enable the mounting of a composition on the basis of the belief of ‘parity’ between the two wings of the state. But by mid-1957 it became superficial that the partisan system recognized under the Structure of 1956 was not likely to endure.

Forestalling the break-up of the ‘One Unit’, it is supposed, the Khan of Kalat prearranged a agitation to separate from Pakistan. On 6 October 1958, under the instruction of President Iskandar Mirza, Pakistan Military took control of the Kalat Palace and in detention the Khan on the custodies of sedition. Another account is that it was the consequence of a scheme devised by Iskandar Mirza who sought one more validation for commanding martial law.

He had stimulated the Khan to petition renovation of his state, and the Khan fell into the con. On 7 October, Iskandar Mirza levied martial law on the country, and on 27 October 1958, the Chief Martial Law Superintendent, General Mohammad Ayub Khan, removed Mirza as the president to don full power.

The detention of the Khan led to conflicts in some parts of Balochistan that persistent for about a year. It was during these turbulences that the sad incident connected to Nauroz Khan, one of the Khan’s Sardars, arose leaving permanent marks on the Balochi psyche. After struggling for several months, Nauroz Khan planned to surrender to the government of Pakistan.

It is appealed that his surrender was tenable through ‘etabar’ or promise on the Holy Quran. But instead of given pardon by the government, he and his buddies were tried in a military court and sentenced. The government disallowed their pity petitions and seven of them were hanged. This incident made Nauroz Khan a champion in the Baloch folk-lore and the government of Pakistan unreliable in their eyes. The Khan of Kalat was later excused and unrestricted.

Though the Marris were radicalized through the 1960s, which caused in some severe problems in 1962, the next major “insurrection” in Balochistan surfaced in 1973. Under Yahya Khan’s martial law, ‘One Unit’ was eliminated and united province of Balochistan, including previous Balochistan States and unswervingly ruled Balochistan terrain, was created on 1 July 1970. In the General Votes of December 1970, the National Awami Party and Jamiat-ul Ulema-i-Islam held mainstream of seats in the Balochistan Provincial Assembly. After the shocking events of 1971, which overdue the transmission of power, they formed their union government in Balochistan under the Temporary Constitution of 1972.

This administration, in which Sardar Attaullah Khan Mengal was the Chief Minister and Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo the Governor, was discharged by the federal government in less than a year on the charges that it was in receipt of weapons from foreign countries and making for revolt or departure. Before the discharge of the Balochistan government, arms and bombs, allegedly meant for source to Baloch dissenters, were exposed in a attack on the Iraqi Embassy.

The definite reasons for dismissal of the NAP-JUI administration were many: President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (he was not then Prime Minister) was not ready to let the provincial government controlled by the antagonism parties function and pursue a distinct agenda, the military founding had suspicions about the NAP due to the past association of many of its leaders with the Congress, their unproven links with India and the Soviet Union and their connotation with the ‘Pakhtunistan’ program. The Shah of Iran did not like the self-governing institutions to embellishment in Pakistani Balochistan for that had the abilities to destabilize Iranian Balochistan; and he also pushed Bhutto to act.

As a result of the release of widely elected government, an supreme revolution took place in Balochistan in which the Marris were in the frontline and Sher Mohammad Marri became a fabled figure. The fatalities on the sides of the rebels and the government hordes were in thousands. Reportedly air power was also used and the rebels had to withdraw to the mountains from where they showed rebel warfare.

Poignantly, Sardar Akbar Bugti, the Tumandar of the Bugti tribe, and Ahmad Yar Khan, the Khan of Kalat, were on the side of the federal government under Bhutto and were accordingly rewarded for their parts.The insurrection continued from 1973 to 1977 when General Zia-ul Haq performed a coup to oust Bhutto and inwards at an understanding with the imprisoned NAP leaders and the rebels.

With this contextual in mind we come to the present state in Balochistan that needs to be looked at from national and international viewpoints, for it is far more multifaceted than what had been happening in the past.The geopolitical changes in the post-Cold War era, together with the catastrophic events related to 9/11, have instructed great importance to Balochistan and pulled Pakistan into what is referred to as the new ‘Great Game’, which is all about control of, and access to, the energy resources of Central Asia.

The most significant of all the projects is the Gwadar port that is being industrialized with the monetary and technical help of China. The agreement for the building of this deep-sea harbor on the Arabian Sea coast of Baluchistan was decided in 2001. The work on the project began in 2002 and its first phase was finalized in January 2005.

The common Baluch, unschooled and cultivated in tribal culture, has strong promise to his chief and military action may lead to the participation of the Pakistan Armed forces in a prolonged and costly struggle. It is easy said than done that Pakistani hordes can flush out the troublemakers or destroy their reservations. No hesitation, the Baloch nationalists do not seem to have strength to safe parting of Baluchistan, but they do have the competence to damage transport and communication network at will through paramilitary warfare.

The sons of Khair Bukhsh Marri have established a foreign-based network to obtain monetary support and weapons and ammo. The Baloch Liberation Army is said to be under their device. Akbar Bugti has his own power of about ten thousand tribesmen.

If the Baloch nationalists are not ready to accept these circumstances, the Pakistan government would have authentic reasons to possibility to discerning military action against the troublemakers.
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