Balochistan: Seeking a solution

“It’s time to abandon the bloodied iron hand and reach out with the healing touch. Tell me how that wouldn’t be more desirable than a bloody divorce,” asked Abbas Nasir in his column ‘A new leaf on Balochistan?’.

A very valid question when it comes to the developments taking place in Balochistan recently. Last month, Sardar Akhtar Mengal, the self-exiled Baloch leader, came up with his six-point demands for the state to start the process towards normality in Balochistan.

After Mengal’s demands were presented, Gen Ashfaq Kayani pledged the army’s support for any political process within the constitution for an end to the province’s woes, stating that the armed forces abided by the government’s directives.

Shortly after, both the National Assembly and the Supreme Court added their weight to the ‘campaign’ for a solution to Balochistan. On Friday, the National Assembly also asked the government to immediately set up an “all-parties commission” to bring the restive province’s estranged leadership to political mainstream.

Who is exactly in charge of seeking the solution then? Since the politicians happen to be the least trusted and the most easily blamed, would they be able to succeed if they are left in charge of this effort?

In your opinion, is Balochistan suffering from a law and order issue or should the unrest be seen as more of a political problem?


Comments Guide: encourages its readers to share their views on our forums. We try to accommodate all users' comments but this is not always possible due to space and other constraints. Please our read our comments guidelines below for more information:

1. Please be aware that the views of our bloggers and commenters do not necessarily reflect's policies.

2. Though comments appear to have been published immediately after posting, they are actually forwarded to a moderation queue before publication.

3. Dawn reserves the right to remove or edit comments that are posted on this blog.

4. Language that is offensive to any race, religion, ethnicity, gender or nationality is not permitted.

5. Avoid posting comments in ALL CAPS. Commenters are also encouraged to avoid text contractions like 'u r.'

6. Do not cross-post comments across multiple blog entries.

7. Any comments posted to a blog entry should be relevant to the topic or discussion.

8. Do not spam the comment section.

27 Responses to “Balochistan: Seeking a solution”

  1. A.Bajwa says:

    Even the most militant Baluch leaders have said it is human rights situation. So it should not be difficult to address the situation. Restore human rights.

  2. NASAH (USA) says:

    Whatever you do keep in mind — army was no solution for East Pakistan — army is no solution for Baluchistan.

    • ashok says:

      After so many murders you could not win back Bangalis,After so many murders of Balouchis you ca not find a solution of balouch problem.

  3. Sid says:

    The best is to hand it over to India and let them face the problem, why should we carry this cancer for sor long a time

  4. Ali Khan says:

    Musharraf is the solution to Baluchistan – See his latest interview with one of the TV channels on Baluchistan issue. He had everything under control.

  5. Indusonian says:

    Mush should be put on trial for the murder of Mr. Bugti and in addition for not arresting Capt. Hammad. Going forward, PTI is the only hope for Pakistan and their agenda is to end military operations in Pakistan. Good thing is that PML (N) has always had good relationship with Baloch Politicians. Our Baloch brothers need to be given extra incentives e.g., income and property tax breaks no matter where they live in Pakistan just to show solidarity with them. Parties responsible for missing persons abductions should be punished with harshest of sentences irrespective of their affiliation, whether be with the state or with terrorists. One thing for sure, PPP has no intentions to resolve any issue because they don’t think there is any problem and all they care about is the past. Situation can be improved if this government puts in 10 % effort under the leadership of AAZ or under Sir Dr. Rehman Malik.

  6. Syed says:

    These are self created problems of Sardar Sahiban on the patron of Jia Sind or Pakhtoon Zalmain an now Taliban. In an interview Akbar Bugti confessed that he killed a person when he was 12 years of age, merely because he didn’t like the guy’s face. When asked if he was charged for this murder, he replied that as the son of tribal chief that was his right to kill anyone.
    In another interview in 1976, when Qaisar Khan Murri was asked as to why were they fighting Pakistan Army, sent by Bhutto, while Army was constructing Roads, schools and dispensaries / hospital in their area. he flatly replied, if roads were constructed in their area how would they control their people.
    Now this Mengal Sahib has come up with Six Points, should he not first give his achievements of the period when he was CM. He did nothing other than humiliating ISI lower ranks,who were performing their normal duties. He is demanding that FC and ISI should be pulled out of Baluchistan, so as to get a free hand for creating another Mukti Bahini. Funniest part is that other politician are also supporting the Sardars’ demand for expulsion of ISI and Army, just to gain their sympathy and to get a foot hold in Baluchistan.

    • Zafar says:

      The sad part is everyone consider voices of the vadaras and sardars to be the voice of common people. These sardars do not want common person to excel and challenge their dominance. Thsi problem is story of Paksitan, formed by Nawabs trying to protect their interest, deceived common person in beleiving that PK is land for Muslims.
      In my opinion First step has to be elimination of sadarism /wadaraism in whole pk, but that needs education. The hold of these landlords has to be broken, before development can be brought to imppverish regions.

  7. jalaluddin S. Hussain says:

    In the Confederation of Pakistan, full provincial autonomy should be granted to all the Provinces and FATA regions. However, this cannot be done in one day. Let there be held a transparent, free and fair general elections, at the appointed time in 2013 first and then the new elected National Assembly appoint an All-Parties Commission to formulate the rules of devolution of powers.

    It will take some time. But the landlords and tribal chiefs must go and education must spread far and wide in Pakistan. It is easier said than done. We need a revolution for all this. Iran is the most recent example.

  8. Khanm says:

    The poorest province in Pakistan with the highest fleet of land cruisers……..Those who are airing their views to bring in the changes, are it for common people or for its elite??????

    • Pakistani Nation has no say in their affairs. The policies are drafted abroad and given to Pakistani Govt and Establishment for implementation. No body bothers for wishes of Pakistani Nation. It is not only Balochistan but all over Pakistan. the Media is foreign funded. Pakistani have to wake up and shake the system for their National benefit.

      • rahim uzaal says:

        I agree. Unfortunate.

        • Zafar says:

          IF that is the case then why are these people not tried for treason. Problem is lack of education, lack of determination in Pakistani nation. We like to blame others for our shortcomings, as we are perfect, it is others who cause us act in non patriotic way. Did anyone stand up and ask for resignations after Abbotabad? After every drone attack why questions are not raised as to how difficult is it to take control on these plane.

          Pakistan is not a stupid nation just lazy nation who like to have a escape goat for their failure as it is never anyones fault, it is policies of others that caused our leader to be traders.

  9. ali says:

    There are several issues and observations which are as follows:
    1- Education
    We do not have quality education till now for everyone. Sardars and feudal landlords everywhere in pakistan control the masses for their own agenda. Even in election.
    For whole Pakistan the education is insufficient . Even in cities its not the same level.
    2- Would the Sardars and landlords agree to provide basic human right of quality education to their own people?
    3- There can be mistakes on both sides. Best is to solve them by discussion and action as we have new democracy or democracy in infancy which will mature over time. There is no short cut to maturity. We are at the moment to avail this opportunity instead of going on negative track.
    USA went through decades of turbulent period before democracy and writ of law was established.
    4- We should think collectively as a nation, there is nothing to gain by splitting, plus Balochistan is combination of ethnic groups.
    5- We should be aware that others are taking advantage of our internal quarrels.It could not be through direct involvement bu there are other several ways.
    6- Its high time for other provinces to open eyes and involve Baluchistan in development, but at the same time the Sardars should also be equally responsible for betterment of their own people if they hold an office.
    7- Its a test now for both to reach amicable solution and then monitor the situation through judiciary or a local independent commission to monitor if the commitments on both sides are fulfilled or not.
    Please do not fall for greed and self interest for the sake of whole nation.

  10. Mikal says:

    Baluchistan is suffering from a law in order problem that stems from a deeper political malady. If we state facts, then it is apparent that the separatist movement lacks sufficient momentum to achieve its objective. Similarly, the territorial integrity of Pakistan is not open to negotiation. Thus, we should approach the problem from the perspective of resolving the underlying political issues and bringing the province into the mainstream. For this to occur, Pakistan is in need of strong and visionary leadership, indeed this would help in many departments. Lastly, let me reiterate, separation is not a option that will ever be on the table.

  11. farooq ali says:

    since last fifty years we are hearing that baluchistan is a problem province when their is a constant and consistent problem it is the responsibility of no other than baluch leaders to do their honest self assesment as to what is to be done to resolve the issue and what was wrong with the past performance for example education of youth particularly girls has it been done as per international standards or lacking , breaking of a country phenomenon is now out dated and is no cure of the problem.

  12. Cyrus Howell says:

    The nationalists know the imperialists in Islamabad only intend to rob them of their natural resources.
    The solution is to fight for what is theirs.
    Pakistan is very experience at losing pieces of the country due to greed.

    • jet says:

      well Pakistan is not going to lose any more land…this is not 1971 …its 2012 and with non tactical nuclear capability Pakistan ensures not an inch is lost to any power on the planet…..people need to wake up and realize all this crap is out dated and is not on the table any more… what happens in Balochistan is a different story and can not be justified…..the issues are different and should be treated as such.

  13. Keti Zilgish says:

    It is very clearly a social, anthropological and linguistic problem.

  14. Mohammad Syed HUsain says:

    The Baloch grievances are about money derived from their land and not put into use there. Further more thieir leaders who have been airing this view have been put behind bars or hunted as traitors and conveniently disposed off as a solution.
    Their legitimate problems cannot be put under the carpet anymore in this time of open media, it needs to be addressed seriously and acted upon when the Parliament and Supreme Court decide on it. The voice of their leaders has to listened to and demands implemented if constitutionally legal. The threat to Pakistan’s integrity will come if this continues to be ignored

  15. saythetruth10 says:

    If a person is sick you take the person to the doctor and ask for advise and look for cure. In case of Baluchistan one must go back to the people living in Baluchistan and ask them why so much violence and the root cause of the problem. Due the name Baluchistan people assume that Balouch are the only inhabitant of Baluchistan and that is the core of the problem. One must separate fact from fictions and than a solutions can be found.

    Facts about Baluchistan
    a) Majority of the people living in Baluchistan are not Balouch and this is a fact

    b) Pathans are the majority next are the non-locals (Pathans, Panjabis, Hazara, Shidis ……..) and Blouch
    Urdu is the common language of Baluchistan

    c) Economical activity of Baluchistan is in the hand of Pathans they hold most prime lands of Baluchistan and are involve in all kinds of legal and illegal businesses. Non local are mostly small businessman and extremely hardworking. Blouch are denied education by Balouch leadership due to this reason they can only take nominal jobs i.e peons, guards and some are farmers and are extremely poor.

    d) Non locals are the most oppressed people of Baluchistan, they get daily harassed by Balouch’s and Pathans. They are kidnapped, abused and taken advantage of on a daily basis.

    e) Most of the wealth and power is in the hands of Sardar and Nawabs and they don’t see any value in fairness. They don’t like the common people but mainly Balouh or Pathans to get educated. This is by design because only if they can do this they can keep their families rich and prosper while the common people suffer.

    f)Uneducated Balouch & Pathan always votes for his Sardar or Nawab and due to his reason. You will always find a son or daughter of Nawab or Sardar getting tickets to run for election. Bottom line it does not matter if you are with the government or against the government if you are son or daughter of Sardar or Nawab you will ahve a good life because the system is design for this purpose.

    Based these fast and my own experience in Baluchistan, unless the Sardair system of oppression is eliminated there will never be a peace in Baluchistan. The Sardars and Nawabs know how to use the system in their favor. Since the creation of Pakistan we have this system in place, if a Sardar or Nawab is unhappy all they to do is to say Pakistan is not giving them a due share and the majority of the uneducated population both Balouch and Pathans believes them and start violence against the non-local.

    Our government has failed to provide security and education to common Balouchs and Pathans. Due to this reason instead of blaming their Sardar for the wrong doing they blame the government and since they can not do anything against the government the common Balouch/Pathan turns against the non-local and commits act of violence. This is the truth about Baluchistan and the sad story of the non locals and Baluchistan. As much as I have unconditional love for all Pakistanis the sad reality is that we the non locals get abused due to our government wrong policies. The common people suffer and it includes everybody Balouch, Pathans and non local.

    • ashok says:

      ignorance does not help it further complicate the problem.It seems to me that you have no clue of Baluchistan history or Pakistani political ground reality. All the past or present rulers in Pakistan have ignored tribal areas because of enormous complications in implementing Pakistan’s writ and therefore Balouch were alienated in Pakistan for last 60 Years.Now after Dictator after Dictator tried to implement their will by force over baluch tribe have killed thousands of people and those people have now revolted against Pakistan and nothing will convince them to status quo and they will want to have nothing less then freedom.

    • Haseeb says:

      its strange to see a person having experience of balochistan talking baseless. i guess you forgot to mention that not only in Quetta but in other cities of balochistan majority power ranks lies with non baloch non locals, major government officials are non local. if one is threatened for life they should have left by now. don’t they? but they didn’t because every non locals know what kind of a heaven it was along with those Sardars, Balochs and Pathans. why this never happen before? Weren’t there baloch or pathans lived before? and secondly if you are talking about sardars than i guess it all started again with the martrydom of One sardar in 2006 not by killing a common baloch, which clearly shows that until and unless one is bent in front of establishment in every situation nobody can guarranttee his life. the third if you really ever been to balochistan then you may know that there are no sardars in south balochistan but the situation over there is even worst. why? the litracy rate is highest over there among balochs. then why literate people are doing this while no influences from sardars? mostly those Educated Balochs are being against the establishment and has felt the real discrimination from the very first. i guess one should not be blindly dictated by as they are being dictated. this is the problem of pakistan being always biased, never acknowledging their shortcomings or mistakes, just trying to put the blames on other. this behaviour already led to one partition and now they are preparing grounds for another one. something cannot be learned if you are not willing to PRACTICALLY.

  16. imran says:

    Lets get one thing clear. The territorial integrity of Pakistan is not open for negotiation. Short of that anything and everything should be up for discussion within the constitution of Pakistan.

    • Zamir says:

      Totally agreed, though everyone should join hands on resolving the current conflict instead of just talking. This includes sardar (incl. respected Mengal Sb.), government, establishment, judiciary and public. No one can cause harm unless there are traitors from within.
      We all want a united, peaceful and prosperous Pakistan and will make it insha Allah soon.

    • Mikal says:

      I must agree with you completely.

  17. adam memon says:

    There should be political solution rather than milttary action but there should be no compromize for nationality.Law and order should be should be mentain strictly .No body should be above the law.No body should have a right to obstruct children to go to school. on Facebook on Facebook