'It's War Now'; A Major Rebellion in Baluchistan Puts President Pervez Musharraf's Tribal Policies to the Test

Newsweek International, January 16, 2006 | Go to article overview

'It's War Now'; A Major Rebellion in Baluchistan Puts President Pervez Musharraf's Tribal Policies to the Test


Byline: Zahid Hussain

Their faces partially covered by huge white turbans, the heavily armed tribesmen dig into their positions on the edge of a rocky outcropping. Others stand guard on the surrounding parched brown hills. There is no sign of civilization save a few thatched huts that serve as the fighters' camp. One of the men, a veteran rebel named Javandan, sits quietly playing with his AK-47. His group is fighting the Pakistani military, which he says is "bombarding our areas and killing innocent people. We don't have any choice but to resist." The menacing rattle of machine-gun fire echoes in the distance. Nearby, another fighter listens to a wireless unit to extract information about the movement of government troops.

The guerrillas belong to the shadowy Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), an insurgent group that's said to have 5,000 men under arms, waging a bitter war in the southwestern province of Baluchistan against Pakistan's government. Baluchistan is the largest, poorest and least-populated province in the country--but it has large quantities of natural gas, coal and copper, and it supplies half of all Pakistan's energy needs. The rebels, like most of the 6.5 million people in the province, want greater political autonomy and more control over the region's abundant mineral resources.

The Baluchs have chafed at Islamabad's treatment for decades. One of their chief complaints is that the government has been stingy with royalty payments for gas supplies. The province has its own assembly, but observers say the Pakistani Army effectively runs the place, a major irritant in a fiercely independent tribal region.

Tensions flared last year when President Pervez Musharraf established three new Army garrisons in the province. The military already has 70,000 troops confronting Qaeda-backed Islamic militants in neighboring North-West Frontier province. Now it's locked in a new battle with a secular separatist movement in Baluchistan that, analysts say, could become Musharraf's toughest crisis. "Instability in Baluchistan would seriously destabilize an already fragile Pakistan," says Samina Ahmed, South Asia project director for the Brussels-based International Crisis Group. And it could further unsettle neighboring Afghanistan. (Baluchistan is home to an untold number of Taliban sympathesizers, who've been stoking resistance to the U.S.-backed government of Hamid Karzai.)

The fighting in Baluchistan escalated last month, after Musharraf narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. The president was visiting a military garrison in the rebel stronghold in Kohlu district, heavily populated by Marri tribesmen, when several rockets exploded close by. A senior government official said it was a close call for the president, who has survived at least three assassination attempts by Qaeda supporters.

Musharraf has vowed to crush the rebellion. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

'It's War Now'; A Major Rebellion in Baluchistan Puts President Pervez Musharraf's Tribal Policies to the Test
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.