Causes of the Balochistan Crisis
Balochistan, the biggest area-wise province, has a plethora of crises. It is an impoverished province with the least developed districts. According to a World Bank study, among all provinces in Pakistan, it has the least growth rate. Balochistan is immensely rich in natural resources. These resources include gas, oil, gold, and copper. Despite the huge amount of minerals in this province, this is the poorest region in Pakistan. The majority of its populace lives in very unhygienic conditions. Health issues are common here. Moreover, its districts have the lowest Human Development Index ranking in the whole of Pakistan. Balochistan crisis includes socio-economic problems, marginalization, lack of development, insurgency, religious extremism, and ethnicity.
Causes of the Balochistan Crisis
1. The Demand for Provincial Autonomy
The main complaint of Balochis has been to demand the right to self-determination. They are demanding it through the decentralization of powers. In 1973, administrators promised it but didn’t recognize it so far. Furthermore, the insurgency dealing policy has added fuel to fire. The silent war by the paramilitary and army has raised the level of rebellion in Balochis. The government’s action against the Balochis also shows the imperialism of the state. Furthermore, we have also seen the setup of military cantonment with the intention to suppress them.
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2. Stand for Exploitation of Resources
There are two main sites in Balochistan that Pakistan is using for its economic growth. These two sites are the Rekodiq gold mines and Gwadar deep Seaport. Different countries are taking interest in these both sites. Moreover, they are making different strategies to get benefits from these sites. But there is unfortunately that Balochis have been kept away from it completely. They are unaware of it. This is a complete injustice with the profit sharing of the Saindak Agreement. Balochistan government gets only 2% of its profit. While China and Pakistan’s federal governments get 50% and 48% respectively. Even unemployed youth doesn’t get small-scale jobs on these sites. All employees come from all over Pakistan or outside Pakistan.
Whenever Balochis raise their voices against injustices they are called troublemakers. Their rebellious voices are considered separatist movements. Balochis have been treated with injustices by both types of governments. Whether it was military dictatorship or so-called democratic government, they have been treated the same.
Everyone has one’s axe to grind in the Balochistan crisis. Since the inception of the crisis, foreign hands are actively participating in igniting the trouble. Every country is trying to secure its respective interests. There is a tug of war to reach the natural resources. There is a high-level insurgency in this province. they are training and brain-washing the Balochis. They are trying hard to make the situation like Bangladesh. Moreover, these insurgent groups are all directing Balochis to rise to rebellion against Pakistan.
India is trying hard to incite trouble in Balochistan for a long time. It has been proved many times. Some of the incidents we know and some of them we don’t. In 2016, ISPR (Inter services public Relations) released a video. This video had a confession by an Indian agent Kulbhushan Yadav. He confessed to being involved in terrorism in Karachi and Balochistan. Law enforcement agencies caught him red-handed at the Saravan border during infiltration. The Saravan border connects Balochistan, Pakistan with Iran. In a press conference, he revealed that he was a serving officer of the Indian Navy. it proved India’s involvement in the Balochistan insurgency.
Then, in August 2016, Indian PM Narendra Modi discussed the Balochistan crisis. It was also a clear interference. It made obvious that India has a clear involvement in Balochistan’s separatist movements. Furthermore, the Indian PM crossed the red line while discussing Pakistan’s internal issues. Balochistan’s chief minister of that time also condemned it.
Iran is also one of those countries that are involved in the Balochistan crisis. Kulbhushan Yadav had also an Iranian passport. It also raised question marks on Iran’s role in allowing RAW to operate.
There is another complaint about their unique cultural identity. Whenever people from different ethnic groups feel their acknowledgments on national levels, they feel neglected. This creates frustration among such groups. Consequently, they become against developments and modernity. They are afraid of losing their cultural identity and traditions.
Pakistan Supreme Court recognizes extra-judicial killings. It has even condemned the government. According to an estimation, 201,000+ persons are missing. Its responsibility is on the shoulders of government agencies. This topic has become so much sense for government agencies. It has silenced media through a focused campaign. According to another estimation, more than 30 journalists have been killed till now. A case study in this stance is Sabeen Mahmud’s murder. She was a women’s rights activist.
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1. Transfer of power
The federal government and the opposition should put the Balochistan issue on their priority list. Government should take Balochistan’s people in their confidence. The tribal leaders and common Balochis should have all the decision-making powers regarding Balochistan. Regarding the withdrawal of the army, their demands should be fulfilled. The upcoming solution for this is that power should be transferred to the true representative of the people. Furthermore, management of natural resources should also be in the hands of the Baloch themselves.
2. Socio-economic Conditions
The social-economic conditions of the people of Balochistan should be improved. At least local jobs should be given to the Balochis. Security and law improvement are necessary to attract foreign investors. The provincial government should ensure the security of national and international personnel. They should build more houses and schools in Balochistan. central government should give an additional share to Balochis in the federal bureaucracy.
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3. Dialogues and Discussions
Dialogue, table talks, and negotiations should be the order of the day. Instead of using force, discussions should be the priority. The Balochistan crisis should be a political issue. It is essential to resolve them through talks. Because of using force, human rights are violated. The state of affairs has been badly affected because of it. Education and health are the basic human rights being affected because of these crises. Hundreds of persons have been missing. Government must develop an effective enforcement mechanism to make sure laws and standards.
There should be an uninterrupted democratic process to ensure the basic rights of Balochistan. The military should not contain the insurgency in Balochistan. India factor has been involved in these issues but we must think so that why did it happen? These situations have been aggravated because of our uneasy relations with others also like Iran. Islamabad should not exploit the resources of Balochistan. Furthermore, it should give the due share of the province to them. All detained and missing persons should be given back to them.