Taking the long view on Balochistan
Updated on 06 December 2023
Balochistan, in the north of West Pakistan (Quetta is capital), does not get much international press coverage. The Carnegie Endowment for Peace has just published a lengthy report on the politics of the region https://bit.ly/11iW904
Any aspiring diplomat should be able to write/gather such reports. I recommend pro-actively spending the time of perusing this report asking oneself: how can I report in this way? The key word – next to clarity – is depth, depth, depth.
I’m not arguing that this report is the “truth” – simply that the author has gathered enough lead points to allow for a nuanced and informed view.
On the substance:
- The interplay between regionalism and religion is worth noting. In order to defeat regional political movements the center played the fundamentalist religious card.
- The ghost of policies past: regionalism defeated Pakistan in Bangla Desh. The “lesson learned” is applied by analogy to Balochistan. With disastrous results.
- The interplay with developments beyond the border (Afghanistan).
- Worth noting is the UN role: by overseeing some form of fact-finding and transparency it may be the precursor of a national political process.