Bleeding Balochistan: An aspiration to be free from Pakistan

Bleeding Balochistan: An aspiration to be free from Pakistan

Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-08-17 19:35 New Delhi: A simple reference towards the end of his Independence Day speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thrown open Pakistan's festering Balochistan wound, rattling a neighbour India has for decades blamed for stoking trouble in Jammu and Kashmir. Modi, in tit-for-tat tactics, has thrown open a Pandora's Box that has geopolitical implications and holds the potential of changing the direction of India's foreign policy. Balochistan has been as troubling for Pakistan as Kashmir has been for India. But Pakistan's largest province has not received as much international attention as Kashmir -- mostly because the region, often described as a "black hole", is "no-go area" for journalists -- unlike Kashmir. On the other hand, Pakistan has always raked up the Kashmir issue globally and spoken about the alleged rights violations in India's only Muslim-majority state. The Pakistani province -- almost the size of France -- is rich in gas, gold, copper, oil and uranium, but it has been plagued by an unending cycle of violence and underdevelopment since the 1947 division of the sub-continent and the formation of India and Pakistan as separate nations. The restive province, spread over 40 per cent of Pakistan's total land mass but consisting of less than four per cent of its population, has never made global headlines despite activists alleging that security forces have been committing alleged genocide of Balochis to kill their aspirations for a free, sovereign nation. The history of the region is that of broken promises, rights abuses, induced poverty and repressive rule of elite Punjabis. Pakistan has been alleging that India's spy agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (R