Thursday, March 15, 2012

Balochistan: Pakistan’s second Bangladesh?

Balochistan rally That religion alone cannot constitute the sheet anchor of national identity was convincingly demonstrated by the breakup of Pakistan leading to the emergence of Bangladesh as a sovereign, independent country in 1972.
Indeed, as pointed out by Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, a respected political figure of Balochistan, which had stridently opposed its inclusion in Pakistan in 1947,”We are Muslims but it is not necessary that by virtue of being Muslims we should lose our freedom and merge with others. If the mere fact that we are Muslims requires us to join Pakistan then Afghanistan and Iran, both the Muslim countries, should amalgamate with Pakistan.”
A distinct ethnic identity and a fierily independent nature along with a rich past makes an essentially tribal Baloch population yearn for a separate nation. Being secular and liberal minded, Balochs are not swayed by the kind of religious fundamentalism sweeping through parts of Pakistan. All along, Balochs have been despising the ruling dispensation in Islamabad as an exploitative colonial lordshipdominated by Punjabi elites and Urdu speaking Mohajirs. It is against this backdrop, that Baloch separatist rebels have abducted and killed many Chinese technicians involved in the infrastructure development projects in this largest Pakistani province rich in natural resources. 

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