Trouble in Baluchistan

There have been problems in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan recently. I haven’t been following the news closely. But Chapati Mystery has a good overview of the history of Baluch grievances as well as info about the current troubles. Definitely worth reading.

Avari-Nameh also has a post on the topic.

KO also promises to write about Baluchistan. His posts are always informative and full of intelligent analysis. I am looking forward to his post.

While we are on the topic of Baluchistan, here is KO’s travel log of a road trip from Karachi to Quetta and the corresponding photographs.

UPDATE: Danial has a post as well.

Categorized as Pakistan

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer


  1. Zack: Does Pakistani (i.e. Punjabi, if you let me exaggerate to get the point across) civil society not see that the situation their attitude is creating will ultimately lead to a ‘71 type scenario? Or do they know it but are just too arrogant to do anything about it? As I wrote to you, I think that federalism(and language policy) is something about which India can give valuable lessons to the whole world (despite the problems in the Northeast). Of course, none of this is rocket-science, and the only reason that one would think the Punjabi elites don’t want decentralization is that they want that they alone should run the country. I’m actually surprised why there’s no public outcry in the whole country about your policy about Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, (rural) Sind, etc.

  2. One of my patients from balochistan told me that there is going to be lots of troube in the province in the few coming days. there are plans of guirrella type resistance by baloch people.

  3. Faraz: The powerful don’t care. I am not sure if they see the problems of their approach or not, but I have found that it is very easy to deceive oneself. Federalism is definitely something which Pakistan lacks completely and needs desperately. India is not perfect in this respect but a lot better than Pakistan and can provide good lessons.

    About public outcry, there is not much for several reasons. One is that the media does not highlight the issues well. Another is that the regular folk are involved in their own daily struggles. And also there is not a lot of camaraderie among the different regions either.

    Moiz: From what I have heard, the recent rape issue has been like a spark but the development plans of the last few years have resulted in a lot of carpetbaggers in Baluchistan who are resented by the locals. The development of army cantonments was also eyed suspiciously.

  4. Chapatimystery has given a brief history of Baluchistan, correct in general, but I fail to agree with the last part of it. Instead I agree with KO (post of January 14, 2005).

    I have visited Baluchistan thrice; (1)December, 1960 as college student(2)January, 1975 in a team of senior managers on study tour of administrations in provinces (3) December, 1996 as member executive committee of Pakistan Engineering Council when I also met the then Chief Minister, Zulfiqar Magsi. In the last two trips, I specially paid attention to what was happening in Balchistan.

    Unfortunate for our country that collusion of Civil bureaucracy, Army Generals and Waderas / Sardars / Land lords / Maliks did not allow and public sporting development in Pakistan. This collusion started after murder of Liaquat Ali and removal of Khwaja Nazimuddin’s government. Ghulam Muhammad (a characterless person) and Major General (Retd) Sikandar Mirza (anti-Pakistan) came and took support from the generals making Ayub Khan (then C in C) Defence Minister and another General or equivalent a minister. This trio of Waderas – civil bureaucrats – Generals has eaten up Pakistan.

  5. Further to my above post, an engineer, who had remained Secretary Works in Baluchistan, became my friend during 1996. I asked him why no development had taken place in Baluchistan in spite of funds allocation. He said that 80% of the funds allocated for development used to go in to person pockets of people from Sardars/Nawabs down to the sub-divisional engineer and only 20% was left which used to be hardly sufficient for maintenance of existing structures.

    All above being true, there is no justification for military action. Action is needed on administrative side to stop the public money going in to personal pockets.

    Another reason for unrest in Baluchistan is grabbing of vast lands by influencials and Generals in the name of Gwader development.

    It may be interesting to know that Baluch in Baluchistan are a minority but they are being supported by non-Baluch because they find shelter under them or are afraid of them.

  6. A good article about Baluchistan is being published in Nawa-i-Waqt under Adarti Mazameen with title Baluchistan Valcano. First installment is at:
    And second installment is at:

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