South Asia and Beyond

‘Despite Recent Successes, Baloch Insurgents Have Difficult Fight Ahead’

NEW DELHI: The long-simmering insurgency in Balochistan directed against Pakistani army excesses including human rights abuses and exploitation of its economic resources, seems to have taken a new turn with multiple attacks on Pakistani army posts resulting in casualties.

Alok Bansal, director of the India Foundation think tank and a specialist on Balochistan, in a chat on The Gist, believes that the Taliban victory in Afghanistan could have spurred the new wave of attacks by the Baloch Liberation Army. He argues that the Baloch guerrillas are prepared to die for their beliefs: witness the suicidal nature of their attacks on entrenched army posts.

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Whether this could force Islamabad to negotiate is hard to say. Bansal notes that the Baloch are constrained by the fact that other ethnic groups in the province like the Pashtuns, may not share Baloch aspirations. Nor can they rely on support from Iranian Balochistan where the insurgency there is at a low ebb.

Tune in for more in this conversation with Alok Bansal of the Indian Foundation.