16 December 1971-Uncanny resemblance: Is Balochistan the next Bangladesh?

Express Tribune: bu Abdul Majeed:  It has been 41 years today. 41 years ago, Pakistan was broken up into two parts, the former West Pakistan and Bangladesh. Apart from a distance of around 1000 miles separating the two parts of Pakistan, there was enough resentment on part of East Pakistani populace that manifested in a demand for provincial autonomy.

East Pakistan supplied so much of revenue to the federation but got little development in response. Moving the capital from Karachi to Islamabad and limited participation of East Pakistanis in the bureaucracy were some other contentious issues. In the national elections held in 1970, Bengali Nationalist Party, Awami Party, won majority of seats in the National Assembly. Following palace intrigues and a military operation, there was no transfer of power and after the military’s defeat in December, 1971, Bangladesh came into being.

I am reiterating all this today because I am extremely worried about another part of Pakistan following a similar fate. There is little to no understanding or national dialogue on the issue of Balochistan, what our state has done there and what lies in the future.

Let’s talk a little about Balochistan today. I’d like to start with brief history of the province and then the problems it has faced.

The term ‘Balochistan’ is a Persian origin word made of ‘Baloch’ and ‘Aastan’, which means ‘The place of the Baloch (people)’.


1 reply

  1. The article :”Uncanny resemblance: Is Balochistan the next Bangladesh?” by Abdul Majeed appeared in USA sponsored, The Express Tribune and of course Muslim Times did not waste any time to circulate it to its readers. One more feather in the cap of MT’s editorial staff. I have gathered some information from various sources-articles and books and here is some facts to take into considerations when we talk about Baluchistan and its situation at present.
    First is the stated desire of neo-con Think Tanks in US, which talks about the American plans to establish permanent military bases in Afghanistan and a direct unimpeded rout from Arabian Sea, through Baluchistan and Afghanistan into Central Asia, an important source for oil and gas for the future. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to see an economically weak and politically destabilized Pakistan.
    In order to realize full benefit from Baluchistan, it would be highly desirable for the US to carve the province out of Pakistan’s map and install a few local puppets as the leaders just as has been done in Pakistan, Afghanistan Iraq and Libya. Regarding Baluchistan, the American imperial designs may be similar to what the British East India company adopted in mid 18th century in Bengal, the eastern province of India.
    There is evidence that the Indian intelligence agency RAW is funding and training saboteur in Baluchistan from their various consulates in Afghanistan. There are only a handful of Baluch Sardars (chieftains) who are demanding for separation. A very large percentage of Baluchistan population is illiterate and traditionally follow their tribal chieftains. The Pashtoons and others who make up 45% of Baluchistan’s population do not support the separation movement.
    It is important to bear in mind that the Baluch make hardly 3% of the total population of Pakistan. They cannot be allowed to blackmail the 97% of the total population in their secessionist movement at gun-point in an attempt to carve out 43% of the total Pakistan land mass. It is nevertheless, important to pay attention to their grievances and reasonable demands; they should be dealt with fairness as any other segment of Pakistan’s population in any other province. There are no parallels between Baluchistan and East Pakistan.

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