Ongoing insurgency by autonomy-seeking Baloch groups; a critical analysis of crisis management in Balochistan
Table of contents
Glossary of Terms
Statement of the problem
Significance of the study
Limitations of the study
Glossary of Abbreviations
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
BLFBaloch Liberation Front
BLABaloch Liberation Army
BLUFBaloch Liberation United Front
USAUnited States of America
Crisis management is a very crucial part of resolving the issues as they arise from a certain dispute or conflict. In the case of Balochistan, the crisis management is purely pertinent to coping with the issues related to the low intensity, but persistent insurgency that has spread to every nook and corner of the society. This insurgency has been led by the hard core nationalist elements and backed by the chauvinist political parties, but the mismanagement at the part of the government and despotic measures at the part of the establishment have not only intensified this insurgency, but the failure of the crisis management has driven an irreparable wedge between the local population and state. This research is based on the quantitative method of the research which will be based a questionnaire. The questionnaire will be distributed among 200 respondents in order to attain accurate results keeping in view the hypothesis and objectives of the research.
When the early societies were formed, they perceived the regulation of their interests a priority based necessity and a matter of concern since the interests of many groups were in clash with other groups. The concept of might is right was the order of the day. As the interests clashed, the groups who were mightier subordinated the others. The case of Baloch insurgency is quite similar. It is the direct outcome of the deprivation of the people and the growing dissent among the people toward the state policies fuels the Baloch nationalism. The deprivation is mainly caused by the denial of greater provincial autonomy, the lack of control of their natural resources (106 kinds of minerals are found in Balochistan) and the non-participation of the locals in the mainstream development process have alienated the public which allows the insurgents more space to gain sympathy from the people. CITATION Qui83 l 1033 (Carroll, 1983)
As far as the crisis management by the central as well as the provincial government are concerned, they have mostly relied on seeking solution to this conflict through coercive measures which only deepens the distrust and hatred rather than mitigating the crisis. Measures like the Balochistan Package have been few and far between and more of certain measures are required. CITATION BRe08 l 1033 (Reidal, 2008)
As a result, Punjab saw high rate of development, even Sindh and KPK saw more development in terms of health, education, roads and infrastructure, but Balochistan could not pace with them. One of the major causes of the backwardness of Balochistan is the exploitation and misuse of the powers and the resources by the federal bureaucracy as well as the provincial bureaucracy. CITATION Cha12 l 1033 (Debalina, 2012)
The elections have not been fully transparent and most of the times the Sardars have come to power that the public do not follow if not despise. They are not the role models of the public and they have never done anything to liberate them from the clutches of poverty. In fact, their mismanagement of the resources and owing to their greedy corruption, the public have suffered irreparably. The politics has shattered the dreams of the public. CITATION Tel08 l 1033 (Tellis, 2008)
Everyone wants peace and everyone wants to live a prosperous life, but the peace cannot be achieved at the cost of prosperity. The political leadership is so divided and the party politics is so deep that often nationalism is dragged into politics to justify their heinous acts of human rights violations and to justify their billions of rupees of corruption. The establishment too has never accepted the right of the Baloch over their resources. The misperceptions have been further intensified by the use of military power to cope with the insurgent mindset of the people. When the latest wave of insurgency rose in Balochistan and nationalism took to its new peaks, a political dialogue and a more comprehensive development plan (development based on participation of the local population not mostly of settlers) along with the greater control of the resources within the constitutional purview could avert a large scale security crisis in Balochistan. Instead of managing the crisis in the most appropriate political means, coercive measures like dumping mutilated bodies of hard core nationalists and insurgents along with the abduction and torture of the youth from the student wings of the nationalists led to the deterioration of the crisis rather than mitigating it. CITATION MNa13 l 1033 (M, 2013)Background of study
The first wave of insurgent started in 1948, but it was too low to be noticed. It reached to its height in 1958, it cooled down in the 1960’s, it resurged in 1970’s, but the current wave which started in 2003 is the strongest and the most widespread. The militant organizations which are operating in the province are BLA (Baloch Liberation Organization), BLF (Baloch Liberation Front), BLUF (Baloch Liberation United Front) and BRA (Baloch Republican Army) are the major insurgent organizations operating in the province. CITATION PIP12 l 1033 (PIPS, 2012)From another perspective, the public also fall victim to the deprivation dilemma which translates their grievances into rebellion against the writ of the state. Many people engage in insurgency and other criminal activities just because of poverty and lack of opportunities. Thus, lack of development and lack of career opportunities is a major factor in the proliferation of insurgency. CITATION Vin08 l 1033 (Vinay Michael Bhatia, 2008)The federating units only get their due share of power and their due share in the resources if there is a democracy at the center. Often the dictatorships grab more power and the provinces remain at the mercy of the center. Much to the nation’s chagrin, for most of the part, Pakistan has been under authoritarian regimes and democracy has never fully thrived to its maximum potential. CITATION Mis12 l 1033 (Misra, 2012)Statement of the problem
The crisis management measures have been poorly adapted by the government and the outcome is still the persistent deprivation of the public, disarrayed youth and the nationalism is still alive among the lives and hearts of the public. The main problem dealt with in this research is that the crisis management is always handled by the military establishment as far as Balochistan is concerned; therefore, it has not brought affirmative results. A political pathway is needed to seek a more moderate route to dealing with the crisis.
This research intends to explore the root causes of the insurgency that has plagued the security of Balochistan for decades.
To explore the crisis management measures of the provincial government with the aid of the central government and the establishment.
To suggest remedial measures for ascertaining a viable solution for conflict resolution in Balochistan
What are the main causes of the insurgency of Balochistan?
Why is the nationalism in Balochistan gaining momentum?
What are the key crisis management measures undertaken by the government of Balochistan?
What are the key crisis management measures undertaken by the central establishment?
What can be the possible remedial measures to find out a viable solution?
H.1- The provincial government of Balochistan along with the central establishment has failed in their crisis management endeavors to cope with the insurgency of Balochistan.
H.2- The provincial government of Balochistan along with the central establishment has partially succeeded in their crisis management endeavors to cope with the insurgency of Balochistan.
Significance of the study
The insurgency of Balochistan is decades old, but a viable political solution for this has never been sought. Coercive measures added by the military operations have fuelled nationalism in Balochistan. The war on terror led to the expansion of the insurgent networks throughout Balochistan. Their logistical and weapon support has been maintained through the Pak-Afghan borders that is why they have been always in availability of weapons. These groups have so organized structures that they are regarded as states within the state of Pakistan. They are the most potential threat to the national security of Pakistan at the moment. This study aims at seeking out a moderate pathway for managing the security crisis of Balochistan.
Limitations of the study
The financial constraints and the shortage of time frame were the main limitations that confined to the study mainly to Islamabad and Quetta. All the respondents of the questionnaire were from Islamabad and Quetta as the researcher did not have the financial means the time to visit the other areas of Balochistan.
(Martin, 2008) is of the view that one of the current reasons of its backwardness is also the insurgency that has remained of low intensity, but continued for decades deviating numerous youth toward nationalism, in fact, extreme nationalism. As a result, they are families are in dismay and their careers have been destroyed. The tribal system has added to the problems emerging as a major hindrance in the way of unity. The tribal system hinders homogeneity and strongly discourages interaction with the other casts and other tribes, however, the intra tribal interactions are highly consolidated. CITATION Mar08 l 1033 (Axmann, 2008)
(Naimattullah, 2015) the current insurgency in Balochistan, heavy presence of militant groups and subversive activities of militias involved in ethnic violence have been accelerated by Afghan Jihad and war on terror. War on terror has left deep imprints on the Pakistani society and its role in the internal instability of Pakistan cannot be ignored, especially, in the context of proliferation of small arms and light weapons of legal and illegal nature. The espionage activities of India in close collaboration with USA in the bordering areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan have fuelled the insurgency. CITATION Nai15 l 1033 (Gichki, 2015)
(PIPS, 2012) Since the war on terror, the NATO supplies have been a major cause of the recent boost in smuggling of weapons. Most of the NATO supplies come to the coasts of Pakistan and then they are taken to the Pak-Afghan border through containers. Many times the containers are attacked and the weapons are taken by unknown people in the mountainous regions of Balochistan and tribal areas. The borders are still insecure and the weapons across the border are finding their way into the black market form where then the given weapons are transported to different corners of Pakistan. Smuggling of weapons from the borders into Pakistn is constant and it keeps growing. CITATION PIP12 l 1033 (PIPS, 2012)(Natasha, 2013) Weapons smuggling from Afghan border into Pakistan is not only a concern for Pakistan, but the international community too is worried about the excessive number of weapons going to the militants. Pakistan has to bring the international community into confidence and must take a supporting hand from them in order to create a bulwark against weapons smuggling. CITATION MNa13 l 1033 (M, 2013)
(Baluch, 1987) That is why there should be a systematic and well-planned process and must be carefully adopted since the mobilized people can be targeted from the mafias and other gangs. That is why the whole process must be guaranteed with security and back up from the government with the support of the intellectuals of the society. CITATION Ina87 l 1033 (Baluch, 1987)(Reidal, 2008) The local intellectuals must also come forward to play their role and participate in the social awareness campaign and try to mold public opinion toward peace, tranquility and co-existence with other ethnic groups. These measures once fully injected in the minds of the public will have lasting effects on the society. The people once liberalized will incline toward co-existence and the trend of insurgency will diminish gradually. CITATION BRe08 l 1033 (Reidal, 2008)Research gap
The main research gap the researcher found while gathering data for the literature review was the lack of literature on the policies and measures pertaining to the crisis management in relation to the insurgency. About the insurgency, its causes and effects and about the military operations and the deprivation of the public, there was much literature, but how the given security crisis was being managed lacked proper research. Therefore, this research intends to work on this gap.
This research is mainly based on the quantitative mode of the research. Sampling will be used in which the probability technique was applied. A questionnaire containing 25 questions will be designed and were distributed among the research population. Descriptive statistical method would be incorporated based on the questionnaires collected from the respondents and this given literature would be tested through SPSS to compare it with the hypothesis of the research. Then, the given data which will be collected through these sources would be analyzed and interpreted through software.
A population of around 200 people has been selected as participants among whom the questionnaire will be distributed. Out of them, 120 will be the Baloch students from different universities of Quetta and Islamabad, 50 of them will be the official people from the government including politicians and the rest of them will be the human rights activists.
If the public is prosperous and facilitated, it will relinquish and reject the mafias and gangs. They will reject the illegal entry of weapons in the society and will resist the organized criminal activities. Therefore, prosperity, development and public confidence in the government are quintessential so that the government can strongly adopt the initiatives against the insurgents’ widespread activities in the society. Public is the ultimate cause of proliferation of insurgency in every nook and corner of the society once it is ignored by the state, but the same public is the ultimate source to discourage and eliminate the presence of insurgents from the society if it is taken into confidence and given what it expects from the state.
There is no denying the fact that both the center and the provincial government have failed in their crisis management efforts in Balochistan, especially, in changing the public perception toward insurgency. It is true that the wave of insurgency is at its lowest at the moment since it re-sparked into its fourth phase in 2005 and hundreds of insurgents have relinquished insurgency by surrendering, yet the sense of deprivation, sympathy to the cause of nationalism are not mitigated. Political problem cannot be dealt through military operations. Deprivation is the only problem of Balochistan. As the deprivation is removed, the oxygen of the insurgency is cut-off, thus, a long lasting peace will ensue.
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