How is the Kashmir Dispute Linked to Balochistan Insurgency? Is the Indian-Afghan Nexus behind the Balochistan Insurgency? The Balochistan Freedom Movement is a deeply sunk movement in the Balochistan region but the world knows very little about it. The Balochistan region is spread across vast lands that boast of natural resources reserves and stung by repressive state policies. How true are Pakistan’s acquisitions that Indian RAW and Afghanistan’s NDS are funding the Balochistan Insurgency?
On Tuesday, around 7 Pakistani officials were killed and many others were injured after 3 suicide bombers blew up in Quetta. All three suicide bombers blew themselves up one after the other, amidst heavily secured areas to welcome Pakistan administered Kashmir PM. This Balochistan Insurgency is a war like situation that needs to be dealt with, to save the innocent and bring about peace.
The Rising and All-Pervasive Balochistan Insurgency
Spread across regions that are bountiful resources of gas, copper, gold, uranium and other natural resources; the Balochistan insurgency has gripped a large territory. The exploitation of these resources by Pakistan, along with the repressive state policies has given way to more than 5 violent and armed movements, since 1948 after the territory was annexed by Pak.
The then tribal leader, also known as the ‘Godfather’ of the Balochistan Insurgency, had stated back in 2009 that the state-run politics was not the solution and thus the politics are forced to be led with weapons. The legacy was carried on by the tribal leaders’ son who leads the liberation army of Balochistan up until he was assassinated in 2007. It is believed that the current leader of the army and the Balochistan insurgency is the brother of the former leader who has been granted political asylum and lives in the UK.
A Commander of the Balochistan Insurgency movement claimed that around 7 Baloch groups operate in different regions and that these are all ‘secular and nationalist’, as reported in, and to, The Diplomat. He also said that the Balochistan insurgency groups and army host camps in the Baloch region and ‘guerrilla warfare’ in other urban regions.
Balochistan Insurgency Encompasses Many Individual Groups
From the infamous killing of thirteen bus passengers in 2013 to the destroying of Pakistan Founder’s house – Jinnah – the Baloch liberation army has claimed responsibility of numerous operations carried out by the groups. The most recent operation of Balochistan Insurgency groups was last month when an explosive hit the convoy in which the Pak President’s son was travelling.
In 2006 a military operation was carried out that killed the then leader of the Balochistan Republic Party (BPR) before he appealed for political asylum after moving to Geneva in 2010. Pakistan believes that the BRP is the political wing of the army carrying out the Balochistan insurgency. However, the party spokesperson stated that there was no connection between the Baloch republic party and the liberation army.
In the Makran region of Balochistan, is another armed group the Balochistan Liberation Front. This group is led by a doctor who told The Diplomat that the attack earlier this month that killed many labourers in Turbat was linked to the Pakistan army. The leader also stated that the attack was carried out on the road to the newly built Chinese investment- Gwadar Port- as this investment was a threat to the demographic balance in the Baloch region. Other groups propagating the Balochistan Insurgency are the United Baloch Army, Lashkar-e- Balochistan, Baloch Republic Guard and more.
As reported in The Diplomat, a Balochistan Insurgency analyst s:, :
“Despite the little international attention the Baloch insurgents have been able to establish before the world that they want a free country, nor provincial autonomy, and that they want to be treated as the masters of their land.”
India’s Take on Balochistan Insurgency and Kashmir Dispute
Various Defence Experts from Pakistan state that Balochistan Insurgency is directly linked to the Kashmir Dispute, as India is pressuring Pakistan in the Balochistan region by supporting local insurgents in association with Afghanistan. This will help India to use Balochistan as a bargaining chip in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
In a significant shift in policy on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a reference to the Baloch freedom struggle in his Independence Day speech, saying the people in the conflicted Pakistani state of Balochistan, as also in Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, had reached out to him. Pakistan responded by saying the statement “confirmed” India’s role there.
Indian PM Narendra Modi said:
“Today from the ramparts of Red Fort, I want to greet and express my thanks to some people. In the last few days, people of Balochistan, Gilgit, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have thanked me, have expressed gratitude, and expressed good wishes for me. The people who are living far away, whom I have never seen, never met — such people have expressed appreciation for 125 crore indians,”