Why is Baluchistan Important to India: The Aftermath of PM Modi's Speech
Politics | Sep 2, 2016 / by Gunjan Sharma
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“An enemy should be struck at his weakest point”. This Kautilyan doctrine seems to have found representation in the Honourable Prime Ministers speech celebrating seventy years of Indian independence. Following in on his foreign policy approach the thinly veiled remark exclaimed, “I am grateful to the people of Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK who have thanked me in the past few days.” The Prime Minister included the reference of Baluchistan to remind the world of the hypocrisy in the Pakistani stance on Kashmir and the disparity in its quest for Human Rights. The statement had a resounding effect, with news channels getting much out of often-mundane prime ministerial address. India’s neighbor in question was understandably not in appreciation. The nationalists of balochistan however, saw this as a welcome gesture to garner attention if not aid towards their cause for Azaadi. In an interview to The Indian Express,BrahumdaghBugti founder of Baloch Republican Party said, “We hope not only the Indian government but every Indian citizen will support our struggle. The Indian media and film industry can play an important role by highlighting the struggle. The Baloch are the only people who are natural allies of India and the civilized world because of their secular identity and tolerance for all nationalities and religions. If the world fails to support them, it loses its only friend in the region ridden with religious extremism and terrorism.” all validating the prime ministers claim, but the question rests, does it bode well for our national interests?

Baluchistan is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. Despite its mineral rich topography it remains the least developed. Pakistan’s annexation of Baluchistan in 1948 gave rise to many nationalist armies. These armies were formed to rebel against the Pakistani governments arbitrary annexationof the Khan of Khalat (the then ruler of Balochs) under military force. Pakistan’s treatment towards Baloch only seemed to get worse which agitated the nationalists. Despite being rich in its own natural resources, they weren’t able to sustain their own economic development.In the face of human rights violations the sense of administered exploitation grew exponentially. They expect the involvement of supranational bodies and foreign nations including India to help them with their struggle. In another reverence to Kautilya, an enemy’s enemy should act as their friend.

India is the first country to come forward to speak of their struggle despite their repeated demand for humanitarian intervention. This political rebuttal has peeved Pakistan, which has reacted by turning the heat on Kashmir. 22 envoys were recently appointed by Islamabad at various international forums to further this cause. They argue that Baloch is one of India’s many smokescreens to divert the global attention away from Kashmir. They accuse India not only of diversion but also of actively participating in instigating the rebels in Baloch. India denies all the charges. It has given rise to a lot of tension between both the nations. Pakistan has so far failed to produce any substantial poof against India. India’s recent involvement hashowever, made people aware about Baloch’s current situation, with the global media giving them a lot of attention. But this isn’t enough, Baluchistan and the international community needsto be more adamant if freedom is to be achieved.

India is already at war with Pakistan over the killing of Burhan Wani, a glorified militant in Kashmir. After which the people of Kashmir have developed a deep sense of alienation and suppression with regards to India. Kashmir has been under curfew for the last 40 days. Islamabad makes the same argument, ‘Kashmir is facing human rights violations by India’. The two cases however, couldn’t be further apart. The existence of conflict is perhaps the only common thread. Its roots and genesis in the two cases lie in induced militancy and terror by a neighboring country on one hand and arbitrary oppression by the native government on the other.

Baluchistan’s condition has worsened and it needs intervention to restore a state of social and political equilibrium. The human rights violation, missing reportsof children and women and ill treatment of the people by Pakistanis still prevails. The world order that was envisaged by the creation of the United Nations attempted to cleanse the world of territorial ambitions, unwarranted loss of human life and in the process establish a world that would signify the true essence of human evolution in peace and prosperity. Balochistan stands as an antithesis to this possibility. It presents itself however as an opportunity for the much maligned global powers to reclaim legitimacy for humanitarian intervention. Does the reality of politics allow this, a question that only time can answer.

One should keep in mind however, India and Pakistan’s problems shouldn’t be allowed to overshadow Baloch’s struggle. But any help by the Indian contingent might lead to further insurgency in Kashmir. China might also view this cautiously as its economic corridor runs through the province. More importantly however, India might lose its high moral ground in Kashmir. India’s intervention wouldn’t lead to benevolence by any nation. It would only make matters poorer for the province.For now, Modi’s remarks have gotten the intended attention. No one knows the actual gravitas of the interference. People around the world with perplexed minds are all waiting for the Indian government to react further. Will Baluchistan get freedom is a difficult question to address, however one thing’s for sure, the two neighboring countries have now signed in rivals forever.

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Written By Gunjan Sharma

Currently studying economics majors in KC College. Aspiring to specialize in field of finance.

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