Pakistan Fights Shadowy War in Remote Baluchistan

By Shah, Saeed | News Sentinel, April 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Pakistan Fights Shadowy War in Remote Baluchistan


Shah, Saeed, News Sentinel


-

Bloodshed escalating in insurgency

QUETTA, Pakistan - The family of Jalil Reki learned from television news that his body had been found, more than two years after the political activist was allegedly abducted by Pakistani security officials.

Reki's body bore signs of severe torture, according to his father, Qadeer Baloch, including broken wrists and knees and burn marks. He was killed by several shots through the back of the head. His grisly story is replicated across the remote and thinly populated western province of Baluchistan, where Pakistani forces are fighting a separatist insurgency that the outside world barely knows about. While the U.S. and other Western powers focus on the country's other war - against Islamic extremists in the northwest tribal areas bordering Afghanistan - the conflict in Baluchistan is raging mostly in the shadows even as violence escalates.

In a congressional hearing in Washington in February, Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director for Human Rights Watch, said that since January 2011, at least 300 people had been abducted or killed in Baluchistan and their bodies abandoned. The acts are widely referred to as "kill and dump" operations, in which Pakistani security forces engaged in counterinsurgency may be responsible, Hasan said.

The increasingly bloody conflict also has another side: Baluch separatists have targeted and killed hundreds of settlers, mostly ethnic Punjabis who've lived in the province for generations, as well as fellow Baluch whom they accuse of siding with the Pakistani authorities.

Though largely ignored, the conflict has geopolitical ramifications. Neighboring Iran, too, has a restive Baluch minority population and is loath to see the insurgency expand. The provincial capital of Quetta is home to the leadership of the Afghan Taliban, which has coexisted peacefully with Baluch insurgents since Afghan refugees began arriving in the area decades ago.

The desolate province is resource-rich, with deposits of copper, uranium, gold and silver, and it produces more than one-third of Pakistan's natural gas. Washington is supporting a proposed giant gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to India that would pass through Baluchistan.

U.S. officials have been pressing Pakistan for permission to open a consulate in Quetta, which so far has been denied.

In February, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., tabled an unsuccessful bill supporting independence for Baluchistan. The State Department quickly distanced itself from the move, but it added to the conspiratorial view here that Washington is seeking to break up Pakistan.

Baluchistan, which runs along Pakistan's western border with Iran, covers 44 percent of Pakistan's territory, yet has just 8 million of the country's 180 million people. Vast deserts and mountain ranges dominate its landscape, the most impoverished in Pakistan. Nationalists here say that the province's natural resources have been exploited by Pakistan's dominant Punjabi ethnic group, with little benefit to Baluchistan.

In 1948, the territory was made part of the new nation of Pakistan - nationalists say it was annexed by force - and there have been five revolts against the central government since then. The current uprising, by many measures the most serious, began in 2000 but gained wider support after the killing of a rebel Baluch tribal chief, Akbar Bugti, during a Pakistani army operation in 2006.

The long-standing grievances have been multiplied by reports of extrajudicial killings and abductions. …

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

Pakistan Fights Shadowy War in Remote Baluchistan
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.