Balochistan is going through the fifth of insurgency led by Baloch extremists who claim their demands are justified, but there is evidence of foreign support behind them. There is a difference between the current insurgent movement and what has happened before in the province. Previously, these extremist movements were led by Baloch Sardars who held political influence in the wider region, but the current insurgency is led by a militant organization. There can be a difference of motivations behind them as the dynamics of security in the region has changed. To understand the dynamics of security in Balochistan, it is important to look into the motivations, targets and tactics these insurgent have been using in their activities.
Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan by area with its geographical significance that can be traced back from history as well. From Mehargarh-the first civilized society after migration in the subcontinent- to now, Balochistan has attracted world’s attention for being at the juncture of important regions like South Asia, Persian Gulf and Indian ocean. Major shift in the motivations, targets and tactics of extremist organization working in the province have occurred after the launch of CPEC. As it is well known that extremist and terrorist factions use the most suitable mean to coerce the government fulfil their demand. After CPEC, a flagship project of BRI that can prove to be a game changer for Pakistan, this became the epicentre of these Extremist factions’ activities.
Baloch insurgent organizations like BLA, BRA, BLF, and many others have been targeting developmental infrastructure and foreign nationals in the country. The first attack on a Chinese national was carried out in 2004 by BLA. After 2013, there are total 10 attacks against foreign nationals, most prominently Chinese. Because CPEC is the joint venture of Pakistan and China, so attacking the Chinese nationals promulgates insecurity in Beijing ultimately impacting development of the region. The most recent attack was carried out by Sheri Baloch, a female Baloch school teacher who blew herself up near a van having teachers of Confucius centre in Karachi University. Moreover, these Baloch insurgent soften targets security forces that are to provide security to the province.
The tactics they use range from assault, ambush, use of heavy weapons and suicide bombings. Majeed Brigade, an outlet of Baloch Liberation Army is notorious for its suicide bombings. The commander Aslam Baloch sacrificed his own son Rehan Baloch. In 2018, Rehan blew up near a bus carrying Chinese nationals, resulting in five death including three Chinese workers. It gave the look that Baloch insurgents are actually fighting for the people of the Balochistan, but the tactics they use tells something else. They often attack infrastructure, developmental projects, and towers etc. The official telegram website of the BLA releases press after every activity and they ask China to leave the region. They say that their attacks will not stop until armed forces and China stops exploiting Balochistan resources.
But, it is not about China or the armed forces. Although removing check posts from certain areas can be a solution, but analysts have agreed that Balochistan problem is political not military. It requires political solution. What these insurgents have been doing directly impacts the people. Destroying a tower or developmental project do not hurt the government rather the people of the region. Their activities orate that they represent the Baloch people and development is not what they want. But that is not what a local Baloch wants. He needs good education, political representation, good infrastructure, development, coherence with the other provinces and many other social rights. Government is trying to provide them with these rights. But these insurgent organizations are halting the development. The responsibility lies at both ends. When government is responsible for managing these extremist outfits, Baloch people must also understand who is fighting for their cause. They must no stand with these organizations. Afterwards, the government must focus on resolving the issue with greater concern and with all means possible. Because a developed Pakistan is dependent upon a developed Balochistan.