Political instability, the status of human rights and quality of life are worsening for those living in one of Pakistan’s provinces called Balochistan. Many are calling out to deaf ears in the Pakistani government for the upholding of human rights while disgruntled Balochis are turning to alternatives as violence against non-Balochis and the Pakistani federal government increases. International human rights organizations are calling out for transparent investigations of human rights abuse cases.
Ever since the mid 1900′s, Balochistan has been seeing a series of conflicts that is continuing up to this day between Balcohi tribal militants, nationalists, separatists, religious radicals and the federal government of Pakistan, and in some cases, with the military of Iran.
The then fledgling Pakistani government’s inability to cope with issues ranging from education to the economy in the province worsened the chaos.
In the 1960′s, Pakistan’s government sent an entire army in cooperation with an Iranian military task force to suppress dissidents in Balochistan.
Thousands of deaths occurred during this military operation and successfully shoving the illnesses of the province out of the world’s eyes for the most part.
Then in the 1990′s, violence escalated after insurgents, many from the Balochistan Liberation Army, again took up their arms citing the Pakistani government’s incompetence and tyranny. Security forces were again sent in to quell the resistance but largely failed to do so.
The ongoing conflict (many liken it to a ‘crisis’ while others have criticized it as “Pakistan’s dirty and secret war”) was worsened by recent conflicts in the Middle East, particularly the war in Afghanistan and the war in Northern Pakistan.
Tens of thousands of Balochis have been displaced and driven into inhumane poverty as a result of the conflict and the cold attitude shown by Pakistan’s out-of-touch government towards the province.
Civilian protests, sometimes violent and sometimes not, are not uncommon to see. Most of the protests are carried out by the Balochi National Front, an organization deemed as a “terrorist” group by the Pakistani government.
(Cover Photo: UNHCR/J.Redden)