Insurgency in Balochistan
The insurgency in Balochistan is a guerrilla war waged by Baloch nationalists against the governments of Pakistan and Iran in the Balochistan region, which covers Balochistan Province in southwestern Pakistan, Sistan and Baluchestan Province in southeastern Iran, and the Balochistan region of southern Afghanistan. Rich in natural resources like natural gas, oil, coal, copper, sulphur, fluoride and gold, this is the least developed province in Pakistan. Armed groups demand greater control of the province's natural resources and political autonomy. Baloch separatists have attacked civilians from other ethnicities in the province. In the 2010s, attacks against the Shia community by sectarian groups—though not always directly related to the political struggle—have risen, contributing to tensions in Balochistan.
|Insurgency in Balochistan|
Map with the Balochistan region in pink.
Jaish ul-Adl (since 2012)
Jundallah (since 1996)
Al-Qaeda (since 1988)
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (since 1996)
Sipah-e-Sahaba (since 1985)
|Commanders and leaders|
Arif Alvi |
Asif Ali Zardari
Muhammad Rafiq Tarar
Ghulam Ishaq Khan
Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf
Yousaf Raza Gillani
(Until 26 August 2004)
Zafarullah Khan Jamali
Muhammad Khan Junejo
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
(Until 20 December 1971)
Feroz Khan Noon
Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar (Until 16 December 1957)
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
Mohammad Ali Bogra
Liaquat Ali Khan
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Dad Shah †
Muhammad Dhahir Baluch
Jundallah: 700 -2,000
|Casualties and losses|
164 killed (security forces and civilians)
Surrendered: 3,093 (Since 2015)
SATP - Surrendered:
5,868 (Since 2005)
SATP - Arrested:
5,209 (Since 2005)
~6,000+ civilians (1973–1977),4,000+ civilians (Since 2004) and 473 non-specified killed in Pakistan|
~140,000 displaced (2004–2005)
3 Chinese civilians killed
5 oil tankers damaged
In Pakistan's Balochistan province, insurgencies by Baloch nationalists have been fought in 1948, 1958–59, 1962–63 and 1973–77, with an ongoing and reportedly stronger, broader insurgency beginning in 2003.
This insurgency has begun to weaken. In an article titled "The End of Pakistan's Baloch Insurgency" Baloch analyst Malik Siraj Akbar reported that Baloch militants began killing their own commanders. However, Akbar called anger towards Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch "growing and often uncontrollable". Baloch militants have taken some reconciliation offers from the government and offered to hand in their weapons. In April 2016, four militant commanders and 144 militants had surrendered under reconciliation. 600 rebels were killed and 1,025 surrendered after accepting reconciliation as of August 2016. In April 2017, another 500 Baloch rebels surrendered to the state, including members of BRA, UBA, and LeB.
Baloch separatists argue they are economically marginalised and poor compared to the rest of Pakistan. Being crucial for Pakistan's economic future, China has invested $46 billion in the region. The Balochistan Liberation Army, designated as a terrorist organisation by Pakistan and Britain, is the most widely known Baloch separatist group. Since 2000 it has conducted numerous deadly attacks on Pakistani troops, police, and civilians. Other separatist groups include Lashkar-e-Balochistan and the Baloch Liberation United Front (BLUF).
In 2005, a rebellion by Baloch against the Islamic Republic of Iran began. The fight over the IRI Baloch region bordering Pakistan has "not gained" as much ground as the conflict in Pakistan. Human rights activists have accused nationalist militants and the Government of Pakistan of human rights abuses.
The News International reported in 2012 that a Gallup survey conducted for DFID revealed that the majority of Baloch do not support independence from Pakistan. Only 37 percent of Baloch were in favour of independence. Amongst Balochistan's Pashtun population support for independence was even lower at 12 percent. However, a majority (67 percent) of Balochistan's population did favour greater provincial autonomy. The government has since taken democratisation steps, in 2013 provincial elections were held and a Grand Alliance of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Pashtun and Baloch local parties were formed. The Supreme court ordered local government elections to be held which by 2015 helped to further decentralise policy making for local population regarding health, education and sanitation, the ruling coalition re-affirmed its mandate in the Balochistan province and won the majority.
Area of disputeEdit
Historical Balochistan covers the southern part off Sistan o Baluchestan Province, Iran, in the west, the Pakistani province of Balochistan in the east, and, in the northwest, Afghanistan's Helmand Province. The Gulf of Oman forms its southern border. Mountains and desert make up much of the region's terrain. Most Balochis live in part that falls within Pakistan's borders.
Geographically, Balochistan Province is the largest region of Pakistan (comprising 44% of the country's total area), but it is the least inhabited, with only 5% of total population, and the least developed. Sunni Islam is the predominant religion.
Stuart Notholt, in his Atlas of Ethnic Conflict, describes the unrest in Balochistan as a "nationalist/self-determination conflict".
The Baloch nationalist struggle is centred on the Khanate of Kalat, established in 1666 by Mir Ahmad. Under Mir Naseer Khan I in 1758, who accepted the Afghan paramountcy, the boundaries of Kalat stretched up to Dera Ghazi Khan in the east and Bandar Abbas in the west. However, in November 1839, the British invaded Kalat and killed the Khan and his followers. Afterwards, the British influence in the region gradually grew. In 1869, the British Political Agent Robert Sandeman ended up mediating a dispute between the Khan of Kalat and the Sardars of Balochistan, and established the British primacy in the region. The tribal areas of Marri, Bugti, Khetran and Chaghi were brought under the direct administration of a British Agent, eventually to become the Chief Commissioner's Province of Balochistan. Lasbela and Kharan were declared Special Areas with a different political system. The remaining areas of Sarawan, Jhalawan, Kacchi and Makran were retained as the Khanate of Kalat, supervised by a Political Agent of Kalat.
In the 20th century, the educated Baloch middle class harboured hopes of an independent Balochistan free of the British. They formed a nationalist movement Anjuman-e-Ittehad-e-Balochistan in 1931. One of their first campaigns was to fight for the accession of Azam Jan as the Khan of Kalat and a constitutional government to be established under him. They were successful in establishing Azam Jan as the Khan but the new Khan sided with the Sardars and turned his back on the Anjuman. His successor Mir Ahmad Yar Khan was more sympathetic to Anjuman but he was averse to upsetting his relations with the British. The Anujman, transformed into the Kalat State National Party (KSNP), continued to fight for independence from the British. It was declared illegal by the Khanate in 1939 and its active leaders and activists were exiled. This paved the way for the formation of new political parties, Balochistan Muslim League allied to the Muslim League in June 1939 and Anjuman-i-Watan allied to the Indian National Congress in the same year.
During British rule Balochistan was under the rule of a Chief Commissioner and did not have the same status as other provinces of British India . The Muslim League under Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the period 1927-1947 strived to introduce reforms in Balochistan to bring it on par with other provinces of British India.
During the Pakistan Movement, public opinion in Balochistan, at least in Quetta and other small towns, was overwhelmingly in favour of Pakistan. The pro-India Congress, which drew support from Hindus and some Muslims, sensing that geographic and demographic compulsions would not allow the province’s inclusion into the newly Independent India, began to encourage separatist elements in Balochistan, and other Muslim majority provinces such as NWFP.
The Khan of Kalat lent great support to the Pakistan Movement but also desired to declare independence. Lord Mountbatten, however, made it clear that the princely states with the lapse of British paramountcy would have to join either India or Pakistan, keeping in mind their geographic and demographic compulsions.
On 19 July, Mountbatten called a Round Table Conference meeting between representatives of the State of Kalat and Government of Pakistan. Mountbatten discussed with them the status of the Kalat State. The representatives of Kalat argued that Kalat, as per the treaty of 1876, was an independent and sovereign state and not an Indian state. Mountbatten accepted this position only for the purpose of negotiation. Although state of Kalat has always been a princely state. Thus, Mountbatten confined the topic of discussion to the leased areas of Quetta, Nushki, Nasirabad and Bolan. He explained that Pakistan rejected Kalat’s claims that these areas should be returned to Kalat.
Pakistan's position was that it would inherit all treaty obligations incurred by India to the foreign states. Kalat argued that the leases clearly stated that the other party besides Kalat was the British Government alone. Kalat argued that it was a personal agreement and there was no provision that the leases to the British would be inherited by others. Therefore, since the agreement was between Kalat and the British Government, Pakistan could not be the latter's successor party.
Pakistan did not agree that the agreement was personal as personal agreements by nature implied that only a particular person was involved. Mountbatten also said that according to international law, treaties such as the one being discussed were inherited by successors and not invalidated by a transfer of power. Mountbatten also suggested that in case there was no agreement the matter could be put before an Arbitral Tribunal.
Kalat wished to have further discussions on the matter. Kalat also argued that in case of a vote in the leased areas between joining Kalat and joining Pakistan then the vote would go in favour of the former. Pakistan did not agree that the vote would have such a result.
Kalat also expressed its deepest desire to remain on friendly terms with Pakistan and stated that it understood that Jinnah, who was anxious for a correct decision, wanted more time to study the issues between Kalat and Pakistan. Mountbatten, however, suggested that Jinnah not be brought into the discussions.
Mountbatten insisted that Kalat and Pakistan sign a standstill agreement, which both countries did. The Standstill Agreement also stipulated that both parties would discuss as soon as possible about their relationship concerning Defence and External Affairs. According to the Article I, 'The Government of Pakistan agrees that Kalat is an independent State, being quite different in status from other States of India'. However, the Article IV stated:
a standstill agreement will be made between Pakistan and Kalat by which Pakistan shall stand committed to all the responsibilities agreements signed by Kalat and the British Government from 1839 to 1947 and by this, Pakistan shall be the legal, constitutional and political successor of the British.
Through this agreement, the British Paramountcy was effectively transferred to Pakistan.
However, without making any agreement with Pakistan and in violation of the Standstill Agreement the Khan of Kalat declared independence, to Jinnah's shock. Later on, the ruler of Kalat unconditionally signed an Instrument of Accession with Pakistan on 27 March 1948, contrary to the wishes of his state's legislature.
Balochistan contained a Chief Commissioner's province and four princely states under the British Raj. The province's Shahi Jirga and the non-official members of the Quetta Municipality opted for Pakistan unanimously on 29 June 1947. Three of the princely states, Makran, Las Bela and Kharan, acceded to Pakistan in 1947 after independence. But the ruler of the fourth princely state, the Khan of Kalat, Ahmad Yar Khan, who used to call Jinnah his 'father', declared Kalat's independence as this was one of the options given to all of the 535 princely states by British Prime Minister Clement Attlee.
Kalat finally acceded to Pakistan on March 27, 1948 after the 'strange help' of All India Radio and a period of negotiations and bureaucratic tactics used by Pakistan. The signing of the Instrument of Accession by Ahmad Yar Khan, led his brother, Prince Abdul Karim, to revolt against his brother's decision in July 1948. Princes Agha Abdul Karim Baloch and Muhammad Rahim, refused to lay down arms, leading the Dosht-e Jhalawan in unconventional attacks on the army until 1950. The Princes fought a lone battle without support from the rest of Balochistan. Jinnah and his successors allowed Yar Khan to retain his title until the province's dissolution in 1955.
Nawab Nauroz Khan took up arms in resistance to the One Unit policy, which decreased government representation for tribal leaders, from 1958 to 1959. He and his followers started a guerrilla war against Pakistan, and were arrested, charged with treason, and imprisoned in Hyderabad. Five of his family members, sons and nephews, were subsequently hanged on charges of treason and aiding in the murder of Pakistani troops. Nawab Nauroz Khan later died in captivity. Nawab Nauroz Khan fought a lone battle as the rest of Balochistan did not support the uprising.
After the second conflict, a Baloch separatist movement gained momentum in the 1960s, following the introduction of a new constitution in 1956 which limited provincial autonomy and enacted the 'One Unit' concept of political organisation in Pakistan. Tension continued to grow amid consistent political disorder and instability at the federal level. The federal government tasked the Pakistan Army with building several new bases in key areas of Balochistan. Sher Muhammad Bijrani Marri led like-minded militants into guerrilla warfare from 1963 to 1969 by creating their own insurgent bases, spread out over 45,000 miles (72,000 km) of land, from the Mengal tribal area in the south to the Marri and Bugti tribal areas in the north. Their goal was to force Pakistan to share revenue generated from the Sui gas fields with the tribal leaders. The insurgents bombed railway tracks and ambushed convoys. The Army retaliated by destroying vast areas of the Marri tribe's land. This insurgency ended in 1969, with the Baloch separatists agreeing to a ceasefire. In 1970 Pakistani President Yahya Khan abolished the "One Unit" policy, which led to the recognition of Balochistan as the fourth province of West Pakistan (present-day Pakistan), including all the Balochistani princely states, the High Commissioners Province, and Gwadar, an 800 km2 coastal area purchased from Oman by the Pakistani government.
Fourth conflict 1973–77Edit
The unrest continued into the 1970s, culminating in a government-ordered military operation in the region in 1973.
In 1973, citing treason, President Bhutto dismissed the provincial governments of Balochistan and NWFP and imposed martial law in those areas, which led to armed insurgency. Khair Bakhsh Marri formed the Balochistan People's Liberation Front (BPLF), which led large numbers of Marri and Mengal tribesmen into guerrilla warfare against the central government According to some authors, the Pakistani military lost 3000 to 4000 soldiers during the conflict with the Balochi separatists, while between 7,000 and 9,000 Balochi militants and civilians were killed with majority being unarmed civilians.
Assisted by Iran, Pakistani forces inflicted heavy casualties on the separatists. The insurgency fell into decline after a return to the four-province structure and the abolishment of the Sardari system.
Fifth conflict 2004–to dateEdit
In early 2005, rape of a female doctor (Shazia Khalid) at the Sui gas facility was the spark igniting the conflict. Her case and the unusual comment by then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf about the controversy, stating on national television, that the accused officer, named as Captain Hammad, was "not guilty", led to the violent uprising by the Bugti tribe, disrupting the supply of gas to much of the country for several weeks. In 2005, the Baluch political leaders Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and Mir Balach Marri presented a 15-point agenda to the Pakistan government. Their stated demands included greater control of the province's resources and a moratorium on the construction of military bases. On 15 December 2005 the inspector general of the Frontier Corps, Major General Shujaat Zamir Dar, and his deputy Brigadier Salim Nawaz (the current IGFC) were wounded after shots were fired at their helicopter in Balochistan Province. The provincial interior secretary later said that, after visiting Kohlu, "both of them were wounded in the leg but both are in stable condition."
However, a 2006 cable from the American Embassy in Islamabad leaked by WikiLeaks noted that,
“There seems to be little support in the province, beyond the Bugti tribe, for the current insurgency.”
In August 2006, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, 79 years old, was killed in fighting with the Pakistan Army, in which at least 60 Pakistani soldiers and 7 officers were also killed. Pakistan's government had charged him with responsibility of a series of deadly bomb blasts and a rocket attack on President Pervez Musharraf.
In April 2009, Baloch National Movement president Ghulam Mohammed Baloch and two other nationalist leaders (Lala Munir and Sher Muhammad) were seized from a small legal office and were allegedly "handcuffed, blindfolded and hustled into a waiting pickup truck which is in still [sic] use of intelligence forces in front of their lawyer and neighboring shopkeepers." The gunmen were allegedly speaking in Persian (a national language of neighbouring Afghanistan and Iran). Five days later, on 8 April, their bullet-riddled bodies were found in a commercial area. The BLA claimed Pakistani forces were behind the killings, though international experts have deemed it odd that the Pakistani forces would be careless enough to allow the bodies to be found so easily and "light Balochistan on fire" (Herald) if they were truly responsible. The discovery of the bodies sparked rioting and weeks of strikes, demonstrations, and civil resistance in cities and towns around Balochistan.
On 12 August 2009, Khan of Kalat Mir Suleiman Dawood declared himself ruler of Balochistan and formally announced a Council for Independent Balochistan. The council's claimed domain includes Sistan and Baluchestan Province, as well as Pakistani Balochistan, but does not include Afghan Baloch regions. The council claimed the allegiance of "all separatist leaders including Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti." Suleiman Dawood stated that the UK had a "moral responsibility to raise the issue of Balochistan's illegal occupation at international level."
The Economist writes:
"[The Baloch separatists] are supported—with money, influence or sympathy—by some members of the powerful Bugti tribe and by parts of the Baloch middle class. This makes today's insurgency stronger than previous ones, but the separatists will nevertheless struggle to prevail over Pakistan's huge army."— The Economist, April 2012
US-based exiled Baloch journalist and newspaper editor Malik Siraj Akbar writes that the ongoing Baloch resistance has created "serious challenges" for the Pakistan government, "unlike the past resistance movements", because it has lasted longer than previous insurgencies, has greater breadth—including the entire province "from rural mountainous regions to the city centers", involves Baloch women and children at "regular protest rallies", and has drawn more international attention—including a 2012 hearing by the US Congress. Islamabad has accused its neighbour India of supporting the insurgency in Balochistan. However infighting between insurgent groups as of late 2014 has weakened the movement. On November 23 Chinese Consulate was attacked By BLA fighters.
Decline in insurgencyEdit
The fifth insurgency has been in the state of decline. The separatist insurgency peaked after the killing of nationalist leader Akbar Bugti in 2006. However, since 2013, the strength and intensity of insurgency has gradually declined. 2013 Elections resulted in the formation of coalition among Baloch and Pashtun ethno-nationlist political parties and they ruled the province for the next four years. The decline of Marxism ideology is also one of the factors which limit the scope of the nationalist insurgency. The separatist groups follow Marxism ideology. However, the ideology itself has died across the world. Hence, the founding fathers of Baloch revolution are dead and there are no ideologies to succeed them. Similarly, Disagreement which most of the time lead to clashes among the separatist groups and attacks on pro-government leaders and politicians who are willing to take part in election has also contributed to the decline in separatist appeal. Another factor which limits the scope of nationalist insurgency is the infighting among the separatists groups. Separatist have also been fighting among themselves. On 30 June 2015, Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) clashed with United Baloch Army (UBA), which resulted in death of twenty separatist on both sides. Previously, BLA had attacked and captured one of the commander of UBA and killed four other members of UBA.
Moreover, the separatist have been losing ranks. Though the exact strength of Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) is not known, analyst believe that BLA now only has several hundred fighters based out of Afghanistan Balochistan borderland. The group is the only one to survive out of other separatist groups (UBA, BLF, BLUF and LeB) who once operated in the region.
Furthermore, Baloch separatist themselves stand accused of rights abuses. Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a 40 page report which criticised Baloch nationalists of killing, threatening and harassing teachers. Human Right Watch (HRW) has also held separatist responsible for attacks on schools across the province. Another factor which limits the scope of nationalist insurgency is the lack of support from locals as majority of locals don't support separatist groups. Locals support political parties who use legislature to address their grievances. Morover, Baloch nationalist and some others observers also allege that the extensive crackdown by Pakistani security forces and use of anti-nationalist militia, enforced disappearance and other harsh tactics has also weakened the insurgency.
Conflict in IranEdit
In 2014 there were about two million ethnic Baloch in Iran.
In 1928, the new Pahlavī government of Iran was sufficiently well established to turn its attention to Baluchistan. Dost Mohammad Khan Baloch refused to submit, trusting in the network of alliances he had built up over the whole of the province south of the Sarḥadd. However, as soon as Reżā Shah's army under General Amīr Amanullah Jahanbani arrived in the area, the alliances dissolved. Dūst-Moḥammad Khan was left with a relatively small force and few allies of any consequence. The Persian army had little difficulty in defeating him. Once again Baluch political unity proved highly brittle. Dūst-Moḥammad eventually surrendered and was pardoned on condition he live in Tehran. After a year, he escaped while on a hunting trip. In due course he was recaptured, and having killed his guard in the escape was hanged for murder. Baloch activists complained that the new governance was centralised and dominated by the Persians, "forcing the Baloch community and other minorities to fight to protect their rights."
Baloch people in Iran have several grievances. The Shi'ite Islamic revolution perceived the predominantly the Sunni Baloch as a "threat". Sistan-e-Balochistan, the province where Baloch have traditionally lived in Iran, has the country's worst rates for life expectancy, adult literacy, primary school enrolment, access to improved water sources and sanitation, infant mortality rate, of any province in Iran. Despite its important natural resources (gas, gold, copper, oil and uranium), the province has the lowest per capita income in Iran. Almost 80% of the Baloch live under the poverty line.
Attacks by insurgentsEdit
In the early 2000s the radical Islamist group Jundallah became active in Balochistan. The al Qaeda-linked terrorist organisation has branches in both Iran and Pakistan. From 2003 to 2012, an estimated 296 people were killed in Jundullah-related violence in Iran. Attacks in Iran included bombings in Zahedan in 2007, which killed 18 people, and another bombing in 2009 that killed 20 people. In 2009, 43 people were killed in a bombing in Pishin. In July 2010, 27 people were killed in bombings in Zahedan. In 2010, a suicide bombing in Chabahar killed 38 people.
Among the deaths in the Pishin bombings were two Iranian Revolutionary Guards generals: Noor Ali Shooshtari, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards' ground forces, and Rajab Ali Mhammadzadeh, the Revolutionary Guards' Sistan and Baluchistan provincial commander.
In 2010 the leader of Jundallah, Abdolmalek Rigi, was killed, causing fragmentation of the group but not an end to insurgent attacks. In October 2013, the group Jaish al-Adl (JAA, Army of Justice), killed 14 Iranian border guards in an ambush in the town of Rustak, near the town of Saravan. Shortly there after, the Iranian authorities executed 16 Balochs, on charges ranging from terrorism to drug trafficking. Another group, Harakat Ansar Iran (Partisan Movement of Iran, HAI) killed two Basij officers and wounded numerous civilians in a October 2012 suicide bombing against the mosque of Imam Hussein, in the port city of Chabahar (Sistan and Baluchestan Province).
According to analyst Daniele Grassi, "Salafism plays an increasingly central role" for the "post-Jundallah" militants of JAA and HAI. "The rhetoric of groups such as HAI and JAA uses strongly anti-Shia tones. The two groups often refer to the Iranian Islamic Republic as a Safavid regime, in reference to the Safavid dynasty which introduced Shiism in Iran." Iran is also concerned about anti-Shia co-operation between the two groups and ISIS.
Iran has accused America of supporting Jundallah "for years". The US government, which has officially designated Jundallah a terrorist organisation, has denied this charge. Iran has been angered by JAA's use of Pakistani territory as a refuge, and has threatened military operations in Pakistan to counter terrorist groups "on several occasions".
Drivers of insurgencyEdit
In Balochistan, Pakistan, "drivers" of insurgency have been economic, cultural, involving immigration and human rights.
Economic inequality, and Balochistan's status as a "neglected province where a majority of population lacks amenities" is a dimension in the conflict. Since the mid-1970s Balochistan's share of Pakistan's GDP has dropped from 4.9 to 3.7%. Balochistan has the highest infant and maternal mortality rate, the highest poverty rate, and the lowest literacy rate in Pakistan.
On the other hand, according to a report published in the Pakistani English-language Dawn newspaper, members of Balochistan's elite society, including provincial government ministers and officials, own "pieces of land greater in size than some small towns of the country", and had luxury vehicles, properties, investments and businesses valued at millions of rupees.
Balochistan receives less per/unit in royalties than Sindh and Punjab provinces, since Balochistan's wellhead price five times lower than in Sindh and Punjab (the gas wellhead price is based on per capita provincial income in 1953). Furthermore, the government has returned little of the royalties owed to the province, citing the need to recover operating costs. Consequently, Balochistan is heavily in debt.
Balochistan Province receives Rs 32.71 per unit on gas revenues, including a royalty of Rs 13.90, excise duty of Rs 5.09, and gas development surcharge of Rs 13.72. Many private individuals with gas deposits on their land also receive payments. Many Balochs argue that such royalties are too low. In response, in 2011 Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani announced an addition of Rs. 120 billion (US$2.5 billion) to the gas development surcharge and royalty portion of the "Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan" package. However, royalties often do not trickle down to the common people in Balochistan due to the corruption and wealth-hoarding of Baloch tribal chiefs. This has hindered the growth of infrastructure.
Extensive road and rail links developed by British colonialists in northern parts of Balochistan province have brought greater economic development to areas mainly inhabited by ethnic Pashtuns, which has also heightened nationalism among ethnic Balochs within the province.
Another grievance is the construction of the megaport of Gwadar, which began in 2002 and is run entirely by the federal government. Baloch complain that construction of the port relies on Chinese engineers and labourers, and few Balochs have been employed. There has been little improvement in living standards for Balochs in the area. A parallel town for workers at Gwadar is being built close to the old one to segregate Balochs from the growing influx of outsiders. Government officials illegally sold much of the land around Gwadar, making massive profits at the expense of local Balochs. The Pakistani government responded to the Baloch's increased resentment and resistance to their economic marginalisation in Gwadar with a hardline approach, stationing soldiers in the area to secure it from insurgent attacks.
The construction project resulted in the employment of a large number of non-Balochs, especially Punjabis, even though there is an excess in the number of unemployed Baloch engineers and technicians.
Multiculturalism and immigrationEdit
Due to the historical shortage of skilled labour in Balochistan, skilled workers are often imported from other regions. Their arrival means new industries can develop, boosting the local economy; however, nationalists argue that this creates resentment amongst the local inhabitants. Like Karachi, which after migration from Balochistan, Central Asia, Iran, East Asia and especially a large number of people arriving from other areas of Pakistan in search of daily living settled there, it has been a national financial hub in Pakistan, thus the local inhabitants (Sindhis) became a minority in the largest city of their province. Nationalists argue against multiculturalism and non-Baloch immigration. Karachi city has been playing a key role as a financial hub for Pakistan and its economy has exploded to become on the major cities in Asia as a seaport. However, the city continues be a home for ethnic and sectarian violence. Balouch nationalist argue that migration leads to such events, and they are opposed to similar situation in Baluchistan. Mir Suleiman Dawood claims that the people in Balochistan remain deeply resentful of Pakistan's policies in the region and he, apart from other, rather militant, Baloch nationalist organisations have openly called for India's assistance in Balochistan's separation from Pakistan. On 12 August 2009, Khan of Kalat Mir Suleiman Dawood declared himself ruler of Balochistan and formally made announcement of a Council for Independent Balochistan. The Council's claimed domain includes "Baloch of Iran", apart from Pakistani Balochistan, but does not include Afghan Baloch regions, and the Council contains "all separatist leaders including Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti."
After the soviet invasion, around 4 million refugees from Afghanistan arrived and settled in the region which has resulted in substantial demographic imbalance. Perceived marginalisation as a result of increased Pashtun migration from Afghanistan during the Afghan War drives the insurgency.
A major factor in the Balouchistan conflict is education, which nationalists feel has been neglected. The government of Pakistan recognises that importing skilled labour from other regions has caused tensions in the region, and has thus sought to encourage scholarships for Balochi students so they can participate in development programmes. The quota for Baloch students in Punjab university was doubled in 2010 under the Cheema Long Scheme, on the order of CM Shabaz Sharif. The provincial governments of Sindh, Punjab and KP said they would take steps to encourage Balochistan students to enroll and benefit from 100% scholarships. However, nationalists argue that not enough education development is taking place, and that the government has neglected its duty.
Many Balochis have not tended to look favourably on Pakistan and the army's intervention in politics as they see the military as dominated by Punjabis and the interests of the Punjabis (who make up 45% of Pakistan's population) and lacking Baloch representation.
In the insurgencies themselves, the military's "harsh response" has led to "a spiral of violence". (See Human Rights Issues below.) A report by the Pakistan Security Research Unit notes, "Islamabad's militarized approach has led to ... violence, widespread human rights abuses, mass internal displacement and the deaths of hundreds of civilians and armed personnel."
According to the International Crisis Group the attempt to crush the insurgency as in earlier insurgencies is feeding Baloch disaffection. Moderate Balochs have been alienated from the government by the imprisonment of civilians without charges, and routine kidnapping of dissidents.[Note 1]
The former Pakistani ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, wrote that in the 1970s training camps were set up in Afghanistan by Daoud to support Baloch separatists in Pakistan. According to a student paper, "Pakistan's fear that a communist Afghanistan would embolden the Baloch and Pashtun Marxist separatists in the western Pakistani province of Balochistan was confirmed when Daoud began supporting Marxist Baloch and Pashtun groups in eastern Afghanistan".
|“||As president, Daoud started antagonising Pakistan [...] He set up a training camp outside Kandahar for Baluch rebels to foment trouble across the border in Pakistan...||”|
|— Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (2011), p.103|
Daoud Khan was removed from power in Afghanistan in 1978 by a communist coup.
In 2012, Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik stated that Baloch Republican Party chief Brahamdagh Bugti was operating militant training camps in Afghanistan, which were dismantled only after Islamabad conveyed its knowledge of these camps to Kabul. Malik said that the camps in Afghanistan were responsible for training up to 5,000 insurgents, and that Bugti had hired three large houses in Kabul. The Pakistani minister claimed that the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, had accepted that militants based in Afghanistan were fuelling terrorism in Balochistan. The Pakistani Tribune wrote that "in response to Islamabad's request, Kabul has formally given its assurance [that it will] stop the infiltration of militants from Kandahar to Balochistan's border district Chaman." Previously, Karzai had always denied that Balochs in Afghanistan were supporting an armed struggle in Balochistan. According to WikiLeaks cables, Karzai said in a 2007 conversation with US officials, "that Baloch leader Bugti had once tried to call Karzai but he had refused for the sake of good relations with Pakistan. Now he cannot forgive himself for refusing. Karzai assessed that Pakistan had troubles with many other tribes too, as a result of its trying to divide and conquer and turn the tribes against each other. Pakistan needed to address the bigger picture, Karzai urged." Baloch leaders such as Bugti left Afghanistan for Switzerland.
Chief of FC troops in Balochistan, Major General Obaidullah Khan Khattak, said in June 2012 that "over 30 militant camps" had been established in Afghanistan. Those camps are receiving support from Afghanistan and they are used "to launch terrorist and anti-state activities in Balochistan". Malik Siraj Akbar, a Washington based analyst claim that Afghanistan has always been a relatively safe hideout for the Baloch nationalist militants.
On 25 December 2018, Aslam Baloch alias Achu and six other Baloch liberation army (BLA) commanders were killed in suicide attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan. BLA spokesman confirmed the death of Aslam Baloch and five other BLA commanders. Afghan sources claim that General Abdul Raziq Achakzai has housed Aslam Baloch and other separatist in Kandahar for years. Moreover, Afghan news channel, Tolo News reported that Aslam Baloch has been residing in Afghanistan since 2005.
Similarly on 23 May 2019, another attack took place in Aino Mina, Kandahar. The target of the attack was Laghari Bugti house. As a result of the attack, Laghari Bugti along with three other Baloch insurgents were killed while twelve other Baloch insurgents were injured. Afghan provincial council member Yousaf Younasi claim that the target of the attack were insurgents belonging to Baloch Liberation Army (BLA). The attack had wounded twelve people. Younasi claim that the attack was a second attack on Baloch Liberation Army in recent years in Kandahar's posh Aino Mina residential area. He claimed that in 2018, Aslam Baloch alias Achu was also killed in the same area. Baloch Separatists leader Sher Muhammad Bugti confirmed that the attack took place. However, He claimed that target of the attack was a senior separatist leader Shah Wali Bugti. He claimed that 'Baloch separatist are not safe in Kandahar and they have come under attacked in three places over the past few months'. Kandahar Police Chief, Tadin Khan claimed that the attack in Aino Mena took place outside the house of former National Directorate of Security (NDS) official.
Avinash Paliwal claims that during the 1970s, Junior level Indian intelligence officers were actively involved in operations in Balochistan. Those officers claim that "we gave Baloch everything, from money to guns, during the 1970s, everything". He made these claims in his book. Paliwal further claims that, like Pakistan and India, Iraq and Iran were also bitter rivals. As a result, Pakistan and Iran had developed closer relations with each other other. Likewise, India and Iraq also had developed similar relations. Arming Baloch insurgents on Iranian and Pakistani side was in the interest both Iraq and India. Militant group like Pasthun Zalmay which was made up of Baloch and Pashtuns militants, was in direct contact with Kabul as well as with Indian and Iraqi mission in Afghanistan. Pashtun Zalmay was responsible for series of bomb blasts and other insurgent activities in Pakistan. As a consequence, relations between Iran and India deteriorated so much that in 1975, Indian diplomat, Ram D. Sathe sent a secret letter to Indian ambassador in Tehran. In the letter, Mr Sathe claimed that "it will be a few more days before Iranians will stridently back Pakistanis (on Kashmir) ... Personally I do not think we should be under any illusion about this matter. I think Iranians will definitely back the Pakistanis". Later on in the 2008, Paliwal claims if there ever was India-Afghanistan axis on Balochistan, it was likely to be full play during this period. Afghan intelligence chief Amarullah Saleh and Indian diplomat Mayankote Kelath Narayanan were closely engaged with Baloch militants. Paliwal claims that even if Indian intelligence agencies deny direct support to Baloch insurgents, it was unlikely that they remained aloof from unfolding dynamics. Atul Khare, who had observed these events on regular basis, confirmed that India had contacts with Baloch militants. India had given (limited) protection to sons and grandsons of Baloch leaders as well as Akbar Bugti. However, Khare claims that India did not help Akbar Bugti when he was killed during the fight with Pakistan Army. In January 2009, Baloch militant continued their attacks against Pakistan. Both Pakistan and United Kingdom believed that India was providing support to the Baloch militants.
According to Malik Siraj Akbar, a Baloch journalist living in exile, there is a consensus in Pakistani authorities to allege that India is behind the insurgency in Balochistan without feeling a need to share evidence for Indian involvement. Pakistan has repeatedly accused India of supporting Baloch rebels, starting with an attack in Gwadar in 2004 where three Chinese engineers were killed.
Wright-Neville writes that Pakistani government and some Western observers believe that India secretly funds the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). The former American Af-Pak envoy Richard Holbrooke said in 2011 that while Pakistan had repeatedly shared its allegations with Washington, it had failed to provide any evidence to the United States that India was involved in separatist movements in Balochistan. He did not consider Pakistan's accusations against India credible. Holbrooke also strongly rejected the allegation that India was using its consulates in Afghanistan to facilitate Baloch rebel activity, saying he had "no reason to believe Islamabad's charges", and that "Pakistan would do well to examine its own internal problems". In 2009, a Washington based think tank Center for International Policy, published its report stating that No evidence of India’s involvement in Balochistan had been provided by Pakistan and the allegations made by Pakistan lacked credibility as Baloch rebels had been fighting with "ineffectual small arms".
India has categorically denied the allegations, pointing to Pakistan's failure to provide evidence.
Brahamdagh Bugti stated in a 2008 interview that he would accept aid from India, Afghanistan, and Iran in defending Balochistan. When asked about the alleged link of his group with India, he is reported to have laughed and said, "Would our people live amid such miserable conditions if we enjoyed support from India?" Baloch National Front secretary Karima Baloch claims the allegations against India are an "excuse to label ingrown Balochistan freedom movement as a proxy war to cover up the war crimes Pakistani state has committed in Balochistan".
On 29 March 2016, Pakistan claimed that it had apprehended a serving Indian naval officer, Kulbhushan Yadav who was allegedly tasked by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to destabilize Pakistan. The Indian government recognised Jadhav as a former naval officer but denied any current links with him and claimed that he took premature retirement and was abducted from Iran.
In 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized Pakistan and alleged human rights issues in Balochistan during an Independence Day speech. Pakistan condemned Modi's remarks, calling it an attempted diversion from violence in Kashmir and a reiteration of Pakistani allegations vis-a-vis Indian involvement in Balochistan. Modi's comments were welcomed by exiled Baloch separatist leaders but sparked anti-India protests by political organisations and locals in Balochistan.
On 8 October 2015, Indian Newspaper, The Hindu confirmed the presence of Balaach Pardili (representative of Balochistan Liberation Organisation BLO) in India. Balaach Pardili hails from Afghanistan and has been living in Delhi since 2009. Hyrbyair Marri leader of Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) had assigned Balaach Pardili with the task of representing him in public events in India. Mr. Pardili appeared in Public on 4th of October 2015 under the banner of Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena (BSKS). His presence in India had angered Pakistan. A Pakistani diplomat claims that in response to Pardili presence in India, Pakistan could take up the issue in India's troubled North-Eastern region. Moreover, Naela Quadri Baloch and her son Mazdak Dilshad Baloch also live in India. Mazdak Dilshad Baloch, organises campaign in India to support the Baloch cause. While his mother, Naela Quadri Baloch is trying to gain support to establish Baloch Government-in-exile in India. However, Naela Quadri Baloch proposal of Government-in-exile was strongly opposed by other Baloch separatist leaders like Brahamdagh Bugti. Moreover, Bugti claimed that Naela Quadri does not represent the Baloch people.
On 10 February 1973, Pakistani police and paramilitary raided the Iraqi embassy in Islamabad, seizing a large cache of small arms, ammunition, grenades and other supplies, which were found in crates marked 'Foreign Ministry, Baghdad'. The ammunition and weaponry was believed to be destined for Baloch rebels. Pakistan responded by expelling and declaring persona non grata the Iraqi Ambassador Hikmat Sulaiman and other consular staff. In a letter to U.S. President Nixon on 14 February, Bhutto blamed India and Afghanistan, along with Iraq and the Soviet Union, for involvement in a "conspiracy ... [with] subversive and irredentist elements which seek to disrupt Pakistan's integrity."
According to author Mark Perry, CIA memos revealed that in 2007 and 2008 Israeli agents posed as American spies and recruited Pakistani citizens to work for Jundallah (BLA affiliate) and carried out false flag operations against Iran.
The Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA) was a Baloch lobbying group founded in 2004 in Washington D.C. by Dr. Wahid Baloch, a graduate of Bolan Medical College who had gone into self-imposed exile in the United States in 1992. Between 2004 and 2014, his group had been trying to gain American (as well as Israeli) support for the independence of Balochistan. He held meetings with several American Congressmen and allegedly had meetings with several CIA officials. Dr. Baloch had long claimed that the Pakistani government was committing acts of genocide against the Baloch people, and that Islamabad's aim was to plunder the province's vast mineral resources. In January 2014 he released a letter appealing to the United States and Israel for direct assistance in preventing an alleged "killing spree of Baloch people" by the "Pakistani army".
In May 2014, Dr. Baloch disbanded the BSO-NA, claiming that the War of Independence of Balochistan was actually a "war of independence of Khans, Nawabs and Sardars". He has since formed the Baloch Council of North America (BCN), which has dedicated itself to working with all democratic and nationalist forces in Pakistan to secure Baloch rights through democratic, nonviolent means, within the federation of Pakistan.
The US State Department's official policy rejects secessionist forces in the Pakistani part of Balochistan, in support of the country's "unity and territorial integrity". The US has, however, expressed concerns over human rights issues and urged parties in Pakistan to "work out their differences peaceably and through a valid political process." In February 2010 a Jundullah leader captured by Iran, Abdulmalek Rigi, alleged on Iranian TV "that the US had promised to provide" Jundullah "with military equipment and a base in Afghanistan, near the Iranian border" for its fight against Iran. Rigi did not mention assistance in fighting Pakistan (which Iran accuses of backing the Jundullah, according to the BBC). The US has denied links with Jundullah, and according to the BBC, "it is not possible" to determine whether Abdolmalek Rigi "made the statement freely or under duress."
In late 2011, the Balochistan conflict became the focus of dialogue on a new US South Asia strategy brought up by some US congressmen, who said they were frustrated over Pakistan's alleged continued support to the Afghan Taliban, which they said led to the continuation of the War in Afghanistan. Although this alternative to the Obama Administration's Af-Pak policy has generated some interest, "its advocates clearly do not yet have broad support".
In the 1980s the CIA, the Iraqi Intelligence Service, Pakistani Sunni extremist group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, and the Mujahedin e-Kalq supported a Baluchi tribal uprising against Iran. A February 2011 article by Selig S. Harrison of the Center for International Policy called for supporting "anti-Islamist forces" along the southern Arabian Sea coast, including "Baluch insurgents fighting for independence from Pakistan", as a means of weakening the "rising tide of anti-American passion" in Pakistan and heading off any alliance between Islamabad and Beijing – Pakistan having granted China access to a naval base at Gwadar.
Human rights issuesEdit
In the period 2003 to 2012, it is estimated that 8000 people were abducted by Pakistani security forces in Balochistan. In 2008 alone, more than 1100 Baloch people disappeared. There have also been reports of torture. An increasing number of bodies "with burn marks, broken limbs, nails pulled out, and sometimes with holes drilled in their heads" are being found on roadsides as the result of a "kill and dump" campaign conducted by Pakistani security forces, particularly Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Frontier Corps (FC) – which, until the September 11th attacks, had sided with the Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaeda against the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. A 2013 report from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan identified ISI and Frontier Corps as the perpetrators for many disappearances, while noting a more cooperative stance from these agencies in recent years as perceived by local police forces. The Pakistan Rangers are also alleged to have committed a vast number of human rights violations in the region. No one has been held responsible for the crimes.
During a camp at Broken Chair, Geneva, Baloch Republican Party (BRP) leader Sher Baz Bugti alleged that Baloch youth, women and children were kept in "torture cells". BRP chief Brahumdagh Bugti called upon human rights organisation, including the United Nations, to take steps to stop the alleged "Baloch genocide".
In 2005, 32 Hindus were killed by firing from the government side near Nawab Akbar Bugti's residence during bloody clashes between Bugti tribesmen and paramilitary forces. The firing left the Hindu residential locality near Bugti's residence badly hit.
Sunni extremism and religious persecution of ZikrisEdit
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and other independent national and international media sources, the efforts of Pakistan governmental agencies in countering Baloch nationalism, as well as the activities of terrorist organisations such as Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Pakistani Taliban, have produced a surge in religious extremism in Balochistan. Hindus, Shias (including Hazaras) and Zikris have been targeted, resulting in the migration of over 300,000 of them from Baluchistan.
Supreme Court investigationEdit
There are more than 5,000 cases of 'forced disappearances' in Balochistan. Many are innocent and stuck in Pakistan's slow court system whilst other are in prison awaiting charges on a range of things such as gun smuggling and robbery. The chief justice of an apex court of Pakistan asked about the situation and said it was going out of control in Balochistan. The Supreme Court is currently investigating the "missing persons" and issued an arrest warrant for the former Military Dictator Pervez Musharaff. Furthermore, the Chief Justice of the court said the military must act under the government's direction and follow well-defined parameters set by the Constitution.
Missing people foundEdit
In June 2011, the prime minister was informed that 41 missing people had returned to their homes, false cases against 38 had been withdrawn and several others had been traced. The PM urged police to trace the missing people and help them to return to their homes.
Supreme Court ordersEdit
The Supreme Court apex court headed by Justice Iqbal decided ordered the government to the grant of subsistence allowance to the affected families. Justice Iqbal advised families not to lose hope. He said the issue of missing persons had become a chronic problem and, therefore, the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, constituted on the orders of the apex court, should be made permanent.
Effect of and remedies for the insurgencyEdit
The government of Pakistan has repeatedly stated its intention to bring industrialisation to Balochistan, and continues to claim that progress has been made by way of the "Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan" package of political and economic reforms issued in 2009. This is challenged by Baloch nationalist groups, who argue the benefits of these policies have not accrued to native Baloch residents of the province. Baloch nationalist groups continue to highlight the extraction of natural resources, especially natural gas, from the province, without discernible economic benefit to the Baloch people. Nonetheless, the government of Pakistan continues to insist that industrial zones are planned along the new Gawadar-Karachi highway. According to the government, this development is envisaged to bring accelerated progress in the future for the Baloch.
In February 2006 three Chinese engineers assisting in the construction of a local cement factory were shot and killed in an attack on their automobile, while another 11 injured in a car bomb attack by BLA. China recalled its engineers working on the project in Balochistan. The progress in the hydro-power sector has been slow since then.
The people of the region have largely maintained a nomadic lifestyle marked by poverty and illiteracy. The indigenous people are continuously threatened by war and other means of oppression, which have resulted in the loss of thousands of innocent lives over many years. Presently, according to Amnesty International, Baluch activists, politicians and student leaders are among those that are being targeted in forced disappearances, abductions, arbitrary arrests and cases of torture and other ill-treatment.
Economic effects and shortage of skilled workers and goodsEdit
The chief minister of the province has said
"A large number of professors, teachers, engineers, barbers and masons are leaving the province for fear of attacks, This inhuman act will push the Baloch nation at least one century back. The Baloch nation will never forgive whoever is involved in target killings... He said the government has approved three university campuses, three medical colleges and hospitals for Turbat, Mastung, Naseerabad and Loralai districts but there was shortage of teachers in the area".
Rice traders from Punjab have also been killed in target killing, this has resulting in higher prices of foods items in Balochistan. Almost 40 people of non-Balochi ethnic groups were killed in 2009.
MPA personal development budgetEdit
Funding for Balochistan's annual development programme in 2010–11 was R27 billion, as compared to R13 billion in 2007–08. This allowed each Member of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan a personal development budget of 180 million for his or her constituency, with the figure increasing to 250 million in 2011–2012. However, critics argue that development funding is not a fix for deep political issues, and that MPAs have no incentive to find political solutions with the insurgents when they believe they will receive more funding as long as the insurgency continues. There have also been allegations that MPAs are exploiting the PSDP programme to arrange kickback schemes and other forms of corruption.
Gadani Energy CorridorEdit
Four coal-fired power plants will be built Gadani, creating a power corridor in Balochistan based on the Houston Energy Corridor. This was announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during a visit to the region. The Gadani Power Park and it is expected to generate 5200 MW. Some nationalist groups objected to the project, saying they had not been consulted and instead favoured expanding access to electricity in the province rather than increasing capacity. However, Nawaz Sharif's PMLN party is the largest party in the Provincial Assembly.
The Federal government announced it would transfer Rs4 billion subsidy to Provincial Government to be passed onto farmers in Balochistan to promote for tube-wells. The Provincial Government announced it would spend further Rs3 billion to support the Federal Programme. However, high levels of corruption amongst civil servants and senior ministers may mean the common man only gets partial benefit.
Army Education City at SuiEdit
In January 2011 then Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, announced the establishment of Education City in Sui. The military said it had built colleges in Balochistan, such as Balochistan Institute of Technical Education (BITE) and the Gwadar Institute of Technical Education (GITE) with approximately 1,673 graduates. Around 22,786 Baloch students attend military-run educational institutions.
- Researcher Mickey Kupecz credits the political domination of Pakistan by the military to the tendency to respond to the insurgency with "overwhelming force" rather than with a political approach. "That the Baloch issue has been handled militarily rather than politically makes sense given the lack of civilian control over the country. Despite the restoration of democracy after the departure of General Pervez Musharraf, the military remains the dominant political authority and pays no heed to the commands of the civilian government. ... Unsurprisingly, its response to nearly any problem has been one of overwhelming force. As a consequence, Balochistan has become a third front for the military ..."
- "FC placed under Balochistan govt's control". Dawn News. 2 November 2011.
“Since January 2008, military has conducted no operation in Balochistan,” said Gen Abbas, dispelling a perception that the army was still in the field there.
- "No military operation in Balochistan". Nation. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- "No army operation in Balochistan: Kayani". Dawn News. 7 September 2013.
"Not a single soldier of Pakistan Army is involved in any operation in Balochistan,” Gen Kayani said.
- "FC accelerates intelligence-based operations in Balochistan". Dawn News. 27 August 2017.
- Abubakar Siddique (20 October 2009). "Jundallah: Profile Of A Sunni Extremist Group". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
- B Raman (25 January 2003). "Iraq's shadow on Balochistan". Asia Times.
- S. Fida Yunas. Afghanistan: Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan. p. 193. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
- C. Christine Fair and Sarah J. Watson. Pakistan's Enduring Challenges. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 283. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- "Suicide Bombing Kills Pakistani Insurgent Wanted for Attack on Chinese". New York Times. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
Afghan officials confirmed that General Raziq had housed Baluch separatist leaders in Kandahar for years.
- "Baloch Separatist Leader Killed In Kandahar Attack: Reports". Tolo news. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
The Baloch separatist Aslam Baloch was living in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province since 2005
- "BLA commander Aslam Baloch killed in Kandahar bombings, say sources". Business Standard. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
- Paliwal, Avinash (2017). My Enemy's Enemy: India in Afghanistan from the Soviet Invasion to US Withdrawal. Oxford University Press. p. 38, 240 and 241.
- Aryan, Hossein (22 October 2009). "Iran Offers Short-Term Solutions To Long-Term Problems Of Baluch Minority". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
- "Iranian group makes kidnap claim – Middle East". Al Jazeera. 10 October 2010.
- "Over 300 anti-state militants surrender arms in Balochistan". Dawn News. 9 December 2017.
The largest province of the country by area, Balochistan is home to a low-level insurgency by ethnic Baloch separatists.
- "Is Balochistan insurgency dying?". Foreign Policy News. 14 August 2015.
- "Zehri meets Khan of Kalat in London". Dawn News. 15 August 2015.
- "IB advise talks with Baloch separatists". Dawn News. 29 February 2012.
- "Baloch rebels 'linked with Afghanistan'". Press TV. 3 September 2009. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
- "Militant leader surrenders in Quetta". Dawn News. 5 June 2015.
Kalati claimed that he had been fighting for independence of Balochistan since 1970 and spent 45 years on mountains. “Now I have realised that this fight has been launched by tribal chiefs to protect their own interests,” he said, adding that internal fighting among leaders of banned organisations had helped him to come to that conclusion.
- "Butchering settlers on Independence day". Pakistan Observer. 16 January 2013. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015.
- "Sunni insurgent leader hanged at Evin prison". France 24. 20 June 2010.
- Ray Fulcher (30 November 2006). "Balochistan: Pakistan's internal war". Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières.
- Krishna, Maloy (10 August 2009). "Balochistan: Cruces of History- Part II". Maloy Krishna Dhar. Archived from the original on 23 February 2015.
- "Jundallah a wedge between Iran, Pakistan". Asia Times. 7 August 2009.
- "Iran gets its man". Asia Times. 25 February 2010.
- "Minor Atrocities of the Twentieth Century". Users.erols.com. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Balochistan Assessment". Satp.org. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
- "Jundallah: Iran's Sunni rebels". Al Jazeera. 20 June 2010.
- "10 border guards killed in clashes with outlaws in southeastern Iran". Press TV. 26 April 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
- 556 (2015) , 800 (2016) , 1,222 (2017) , 465 (2018) , 50 (2019) 
- Kiyya Baloch (27 March 2015). "Chinese Operations in Balochistan Again Targeted by Militants". The Diplomat.
- Qasim Nauman (17 August 2016). "What Is Pakistan's Balochistan Insurgency and Why Is India's Modi Talking About It?". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Baloch separatists attack traders". BBC News. 27 July 2009.
- Kine, Phelim (5 July 2014). "Pakistan's Shia Under Attack". The Diplomat.
- "We are the Walking Dead" – Killings of Shia Hazara in Balochistan, Pakistan. Human Rights Watch. 29 June 2014.
- Hussain, Zahid (25 April 2013). "The battle for Balochistan". Dawn.
- Akbar, Malik Siraj (3 November 2014). "The End of Pakistan's Baloch Insurgency?". World Post.
- Akbar, Malik Siraj (17 May 2015). "Betrayal in Balochistan". The World Post.
- "144 militants including four commanders surrender in Balochistan". Dawn. 18 April 2016.
- "Second, third tier Baloch militants surrendered or killed". Geo.tv. 29 August 2016.
- "Around 500 Baloch rebel militants surrender, pledge allegiance to Pakistan". Hindustan Times. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- Kemp, Geoffrey (2010). The East Moves West: India, China, and Asia's Growing Presence in the Middle East (1st ed.). Brookings Institution. p. 116. ISBN 978-0815703884.
- "Proscribed terrorist groups or organisations". Home Office (Government of the United Kingdom).
- "Balochistan: "We only receive back the bodies"". The Economist. 7 April 2012.
- "Waking up to the war in Balochistan". BBC News. 29 February 2012.
The civil war has left thousands dead – including non-Baloch settlers and has gone on for the past nine years, but it hardly made the news in Pakistan, let alone abroad.
- ""Their Future is at Stake": Attacks on Teachers and Schools in Pakistan's Balochistan Province" (PDF). Human Rights Watch. December 2010.
militant Baloch groups such as the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and the Baloch Liberation United Front (BLUF) seeking separation or autonomy for Balochistan have targeted Punjabis and other minorities, particularly in the districts of Mastung, Kalat, Nushki, Gwadar, Khuzdar, and Quetta.
- G. S. Bhargava (12 April 2007). "How serious is Baluch insurgency..?". Asian Tribune.
- Kupecz 2012, p. 106.
- "World Report 2016: Pakistan". Human Rights Watch.
- "37pc Baloch favour independence: UK survey". The News International. 13 August 2012. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017.
- "Balochistan and 2013 elections". The Nation. 1 April 2013.
- "Balochistan LB polls end, ruling coalition wins majority". Dawn. 28 January 2015.
- "Technical Assistance – Islamic Republic of Pakistan: Balochistan Economic Report" (PDF). Asian Development Bank. December 2005.
- "Baluchi – Introduction, Location, Language, Folklore, Religion, Major holidays, Rites of passage". EveryCulture.com.
- Notholt, Stuart (2008). Fields of Fire: An Atlas of Ethnic Conflict. Troubador Publishing Ltd. pp. 5–25. ISBN 978-1906510-473.
- Siddiqi 2012, pp. 53–55.
- Siddiqi 2012, pp. 55–58.
- Chawla 2012, p. 81–106.
- Siddiqi 2012, p. 59.
- Pervaiz I Cheema; Manuel Riemer (22 August 1990). Pakistan's Defence Policy 1947-58. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 60–. ISBN 978-1-349-20942-2.
- Hasnat 2011, p. 78.
- Yaqoob Khan Bangash (10 May 2015). "The princely India". The News on Sunday.
- Bennett Jones, Owen (2003). Pakistan: Eye of the storm (2nd Revised ed.). Yale University Press. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-300-10147-8.
- Qaiser Butt (22 April 2013). "Princely Liaisons: The Khan family controls politics in Kalat". The Express Tribune.
- D. Long, Roger; Singh, Gurharpal; Samad, Yunas; Talbot, Ian (2015). State and Nation-Building in Pakistan: Beyond Islam and Security. Routledge. p. 82. ISBN 978-1-317-44820-4.
- Siddiqi 2012, p. 71.
- Harrison, Selig S. (1981). In Afghanistan's shadow: Baluch nationalism and Soviet temptations. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. pp. 27–28. ISBN 978-0-87003-029-1.
- "Asia Report No. 119". Pakistan: The Worsening Conflict in Balochistan. International Crisis Group. 14 September 2006. p. 4.
- Jalal, Ayesha (2007). The State of Martial Rule: The Origins of Pakistan's Political Economy of Defence. Cambridge University Press.
- Abbas, Hassan (2005). Pakistan's Drift Into Extremism: Allah, the Army, and America's War on Terror. M.E. Sharpe. p. 79. ISBN 0-7656-1496-0.
- Sherry points out loopholes in Dr Shazia’s rape probe
- Musharraf’s Rape Cover-Up
- "In Remote Pakistan Province, a Civil War Festers". The New York Times. 2 April 2006.
- "Pakistan general hurt in attack". BBC News. 15 December 2005.
- Kupecz 2012, p. 96–7.
- "Tribal Leader's Killing Incites Riots in Pakistan". The New York Times. 28 August 2006.
- Carlotta Gall (11 July 2009). "Another Insurgency Gains in Pakistan". The New York Times.
- "Riots as Baloch chiefs found dead". BBC News. 9 April 2009.
- "'Council of Independent Balochistan' announced". The Nation. 21 August 2009.
- "Karachi attack: China consulate attack leaves four dead". BBC. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
- "Balochistan's Separatist Insurgency On The Wane Despite Recent Attack". Gandhara Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 18 April 2019. Archived from the original on 18 April 2019.
- "Baloch movement stilled by lack of leadership, strategy". First Post. 26 January 2016. Archived from the original on 14 February 2019.
- "Clash between two militant groups leaves 20 dead in Dera Bugti". 30 June 2015. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015.
- "Factionalism in the Balochistan Insurgency – An overview". STRATAGEM. Archived from the original on 22 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Ex-Balochistan Militants Recount Paths to War With Pakistan". 30 August 2015. Archived from the original on 31 August 2015.
- "Pakistan: Balochistan Militants Killing Teachers". Human Rights Watch. 13 December 2010. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012.
- "Their future is at stake". Human Right Watch. Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "What's behind the Baloch insurgency in Pakistan?". TRT World. 19 April 2019. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019.
- Grassi, Daniele (20 October 2014). "Iran's Baloch insurgency and the IS". Asia Times Online.
- Spooner, Brian (15 December 1988). "BALUCHISTAN i. Geography, History and Ethnography (cont.)". Encyclopædia Iranica.
- Naseer Dashti (8 October 2012). The Baloch and Balochistan: A Historical Account from the Beginning to the Fall of the Baloch State. Trafford Publishing. p. 280. ISBN 978-1-4669-5897-5.
- "Government of Iran – Jondullah". Uppsala Conflict Data Program.
- "Iranian commanders assassinated". BBC News. 18 October 2009.
- Robert Wright (15 January 2012). "Is America Helping Israel Kill Iranian Scientists? The View From Iran". The Atlantic.
- "Baloch ruling elite's lifestyle outshines that of Arab royals". Dawn. 21 March 2012.
- Rajsree Jetly (2012). "Resurgence of the Baluch Movement in Pakistan: Emerging Perspectives and Challenges". Pakistan in Regional and Global Politics. Routledge. p. 215.
- Sanaullah Baloch (March 2007). "Balochistan Conflict: Towards a Lasting Peace". issuu.com. Pakistan Security Research Unit (7): 5–6.
- "Conflict in Balochistan" (PDF). Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. January 2006: 56.
In Balochistan the wellhead price is $0.38 while it is approximately $2 in the other provinces
- Gulfaraz Ahmed (March 2010). "Management of Oil and Gas Revenues in Pakistan" (PDF). The World Bank: 11.
- ICG 2007, p. 9.
- Kupecz 2012, p. 100.
- "Balochistan for increased share in gas revenue". Dawn. 28 September 2009.
- "Aghaz-e-Haqooq package: Reassurances aside, much left to be done in Balochistan". The Express Tribune. 11 October 2011.
- Kupecz 2012, p. 103.
- Adeel (December 2009). "Renewed Ethnonationalist Insurgency in Balochistan, Pakistan: The Militarized State and Continuing Economic Deprivation". 49 (6). Asian Survey: 1079.
- Robert D Kaplan (2010). Monsoon: The Indian Ocean & the battle for supremacy in the 21st century. Griffin Press. ISBN 978-1-863-95502-7.
- Umair Jamal (11 February 2016). "Pakistan's Balochs Fear Minority Status in Their Own Province". The Diplomat.
- "Productive Sectors". Government of Balochistan.
- "Karachi". Findpk.com.
- Aleem Maqbool (7 January 2010). "Balochistan reaches boiling point". BBC News.
- "545 Balochistan students to get admissions in Sindh, Punjab professional colleges". Balochistan Times via The Free Library. 20 March 2009.
- "CM doubles Baloch students' quota". The News International. 11 November 2010.
- Kupecz 2012, p. 104.
- Adeel Khan (27 May 2010). "Baloch Ethnic Nationalism in Pakistan: From Guerrilla War to Nowhere?". Asian Ethnicity.
- ICG 2007, p. 2.
- Kupecz 2012, p. 105.
- R. T. Naylor (22 June 2014). Satanic Purses: Money, Myth, And Misinformation in the War on Terror. McGill Queen's University Press. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-0773531505.
- Haqqani, Husain (2005). Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military (PDF). Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. p. 46.
- Sabri, Rabeah; Mullen, Rani (4 May 2009). "Balochistan: AF-PAK's Forgotten Frontier". p. 12.
Pakistan's fear that a communist Afghanistan would embolden the Baloch and Pashtun Marxist separatists in the western Pakistani province of Balochistan was confirmed when Daoud began supporting Marxist Baloch and Pashtun groups in eastern Afghanistan
- Parenti, Christian (2011). Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence. Nation Books. p. 103. ISBN 978-1-56-858600-7.
- Gishkori, Zahid (5 March 2012). "Kabul helped dismantle Brahamdagh camps: Malik". The Express Tribune.
- "Karzai admits Balochistan unrest emanating from Afghanistan, claims Malik". The Express Tribune. 4 March 2012.
- "US embassy cables: Karzai admits to sheltering Baloch nationalists". The Guardian. 1 December 2010.
- Bari Baloch (3 June 2012). "39 training camps in Afghanistan fuelling Balochistan unrest: FC IG". Nation.pk.
- "Pakistani separatists vow to target Belt and Road projects". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- "Alleged leader of Chinese consulate attack in Pakistan reported killed". Reuters. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
- "Car Bomb targets Baloch insurgents in Kandahar". Daily Times. 25 May 2019.
- Amir Shah (24 May 2019). "Two dead, 16 wounded in Kabul mosque blast". Daily Telegraph.
- "Two dead, 16 wounded in Kabul mosque blast". news.com.au. 24 May 2019.
- "Afghan police official says blast at Kabul mosque kills 2". Washington Post. 24 May 2019.
- Butt, Qaiser (7 August 2011). "Balochistan conflict: 'PM's talks with leaders unlikely to succeed'". The Express Tribune.
- "No evidence that India aiding Pak Baloch rebels". The Indian Express. 27 May 2009.
- Hamid Mir (28 July 2009). "India and the Baloch insurgency". The Hindu.
- David Wright-Neville (11 May 2010). Dictionary of Terrorism (1st ed.). Polity. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-0745643021.
- "US bails out India from Balochistan wrangle". The Times of India. 31 July 2009.
- "'No evidence that India aiding Pak Baloch rebels'". Indian Express. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
- "Bugti's grandson ready to accept help from India". Oneindia. 24 July 2008.
- Malik Siraj Akbar (11 August 2009). "A Home-grown Conflict". The Times of India.
- Desai, Shweta (24 April 2016). "Pak's 'RAW' agent drama fake, excuse to label homegrown Baloch freedom movt India's proxy war to cover its war crimes: Baloch Students Organisation". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- "Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav confesses to spying in Pakistan in video". The News International. 29 March 2016.
- "Press statement on video released by Pakistani authorities". Archived from the original on 24 April 2016.
- "Rijiju Slams Pakistan for Releasing Doctored Video on Arrested Man". The New Indian Express. Press Trust of India. 30 March 2016. Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- Revealed: 'Spy' Kulbhushan Yadav not caught but abducted by extremist Sunni group Jaishul Adil Archived 9 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine, India Today, 30 March 2016.
- Venkataramakrishnan, Rohan (15 August 2016). "Independence Day speech: Narendra Modi brings up Balochistan in a clear signal to Pakistan". Scroll.in.
- "Modi's Balochistan reference self-incriminating: Aziz". The Express Tribune. 16 August 2016.
- "Brahamdagh Bugti is a traitor, says Balochistan CM Nawab Zehri". Business Standard. 18 August 2016.
- "Indian flags set ablaze in Balochistan following Narendra Modi's I-Day diatribe against Pakistan". International Business Times. 19 August 2016.
- "Pakistan outraged at presence of Baloch activist in India". The Hindu. 9 October 2015.
- "No visa for Baloch leader Naela Quadri". The Hindu. 3 October 2016.
- "Baloch activist Naela Qadri Baloch in Delhi to form government-in-exile". India Today. 11 October 2016.
- "Naela Quadri Baloch Doesn't Represent Balochistan, Says Brahamdagh Bugti". News 18. 12 October 2016.
- Shahid Saeed (March 2011). "Caught! (But what?)". The Friday Times.
- Mark Perry (13 January 2012). "False Flag". Foreign Policy.(subscription required)
- "Welcome to BSO_NA". Baloch Council of North America. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014.
- "Influential Baloch lobby group in US decides to end activism against Pakistan". Terminal X. 15 July 2014. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015.
- "Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA)". Baloch Society of North America. Archived from the original on 27 December 2014.
- Hasnat 2011, p. 99.
- Iqbal, Anwar (24 August 2016). "US says it doesn't support Balochistan's independence". Dawn.
- "Iran Jundullah leader claims US military support". BBC News. 26 February 2010.
- "Should the US support an independent Balochistan?". Al Jazeera.
- "Free Baluchistan". The National Interest. 1 February 2011.
- "Pakistan: Security Forces 'Disappear' Opponents in Balochistan". Human Rights Watch. 28 July 2011.
- "We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years: Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan". Human Rights Watch. 28 July 2011.
- "Balochistan: "We only receive back the bodies"". The Economist. 7 April 2012.
Since July 2010 over 300 battered corpses have been flung on roadsides and in remote areas across the province. Baloch activists and human-rights organisations believe these men, insurgents and activists, were victims of a "kill and dump" policy run by the Frontier Corps (FC), a paramilitary force that works with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency. With burn marks, broken limbs, nails pulled out, and sometimes with holes drilled in their heads, the bodies are discarded, becoming food for dogs. The security forces deny any connection to the corpses. No one has been held responsible.
- Walsh, Declan (28 July 2011). "Pakistan's military accused of escalating draconian campaign in Balochistan". The Guardian.
- Balochistan: Giving the people a chance (PDF) (Report). Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. June 2013.
- Christopher Catherwood; Leslie Alan Horvitz (2014). Encyclopedia of War Crimes and Genocide. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-81-309-0363-7.
- "Balochistan launches crackdown on Lashkar-e-Jhangvi". The Nation. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
- Khan, Moosa Kaleem | Momina Manzoor (5 December 2017). "Few answers for the families of the disappeared". Herald Magazine. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
- "Senior police official killed in targeted Quetta attack". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
- "BRP sets up camp in Geneva to highlight 'state atrocities against Baloch'". Dawn. 2 July 2016.
- Zaffar Abbas (22 March 2005). "Journalists find Balochistan 'war zone'". BBC News.
- "Human Rights Commission of Pakistan worried over mass migration of Hindus from Balochistan". DNA India. 13 October 2014.
- "Meanwhile, in Balochistan". Dawn. 8 September 2014.
- "Pro-Taliban takfiris hail ISIS: Zikri-Balochs, Hindus threatened to death". The Shia Post. 25 August 2014. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014.
- "Gunmen target minority sect in Pakistan". Al Jazeera. 29 August 2014.
- Qaiser Zulfiqar (26 February 2011). "Lawlessness: 'Government's writ severely challenged in Balochistan'". The Express Tribune.
- "Guns smuggling on the rise in Balochistan". Central Asia Online. 9 April 2010. Archived from the original on 30 April 2012.
- "Military must act under govt direction: CJ Iftikhar". PakTribune. 10 December 2011.
- "PM hopes all missing people to be traced". Dawn. 5 June 2011.
- "Missing persons' families may get allowance". Dawn. 21 June 2011.
- William Ascher; Natalia Mirovitskaya (2013). Development Strategies, Identities, and Conflict in Asia. Palgrave Macmillan.
- "Remains of killed engineers back home". Xinhua English. 18 February 2006.
- "Balochistan: August 11 Independence Day, Struggle against Pakistan Continues". UNPO. 13 August 2014.
- "The 5th Baloch war". rediff.com. 2 February 2006.
- "Balochistan: Resource-rich and volatile". BBC News. 25 June 2006.
- "Pakistan urged to investigate murder and torture of Baloch activists". Amnesty International. 26 October 2010. Archived from the original on 27 October 2010.
- Baloch, Shahzad (9 August 2010). "Raisani seeks mandate for talks with insurgents". The Express Tribune.
- "A recipe for failure". Dawn. 28 June 2011.
- "China agree to set up 4 coal-fired power plants at Gadani: Nawaz". The Nation. 1 August 2013.
- "PM Announces Gadani Energy Corridor". CNBC Pakistan. 23 July 2013. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013.
- "COAS inaugurates military college in Balochistan". The News International. 3 January 2011. Archived from the original on 22 January 2011.
- Kupecz, Mickey (2012), "Pakistan's Baloch Insurgency: History, Conflict Drivers, and Regional Implications" (PDF), International Affairs Review, 20 (3)
- Siddiqi, Farhan Hanif (2012), The Politics of Ethnicity in Pakistan: The Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir Ethnic Movements, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-68614-3
- Hasnat, Syed Farooq (2011), Global Security Watch–Pakistan (1st ed.), Praeger, ISBN 978-0-313-34697-2
- "Pakistan: The Forgotten Conflict in Balochistan" (69). International Crisis Group Asia. 22 October 2007.
- Chawla, Iqbal (2012), "Prelude to the Accession of the Kalat State to Pakistan in 1948: An Appraisal", Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan, 49