Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A festering wound in Pakistan

The conspiracy of silence over Balochistan is finally breaking but the alienation of the province runs too deep for any easy solutions. If Pakistan manages to weather the crisis it is facing with the demand for an independent Balochistan gathering steam, the nation may have to thank an American for it. An American who is presently a dartboard for the political class and opinion makers of a country that has mostly turned a Nelson's eye to this festering province. What Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has succeeded in doing with his two interventions on Balochistan in the U.S. Congress is break the conspiracy of silence in Pakistan on its resource-rich but most backward, sparsely populated and largest province which makes up for 44 per cent of the country's land mass. Despite the perennial violence, disappearances and the ‘kill-and-dump' phenomenon of mutilated bodies of the missing turning up along roadsides frequently, Balochistan has seldom been more than a footnote in mainstream discourse — in politics, the media and elsewhere. The Internet, which gave the Baloch a chance to tell the world what's going on in their land, has a limited reach in Pakistan because many of these websites and blogs have been blocked here.    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/article2943229.ece?homepage=true

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