Balochistan has been making the headlines for quite a while now. That the Baloch leaders are now openly demanding independence has come as a real shock to many. However, even if they do get a separate state of their own, will it guarantee the safety and rights of the Balochis? The province is littered with extremism and radicalism as the editorial ‘Hazara Killings’, published in Dawn on the 16th of April, rightly pointed out. Sectarian violence, kidnapping, constant disappearences are just a few of the countless problems being faced by Balochistan. In addition, the fact that feudal system is still ripe in the region doesn’t really help Balochistan’s case.
While the Baloch leaders and the government play the blame game, it’s the common man who suffers. The ‘Baloch freedom fighters claim to be struggling for their rights. But what exactly are the freedom fighters doing to safeguard the rights of their people? What measures do they plan to take to stop the constant Shia killings in the region? Are they ready to let go off their hatred for people of other religions and sects? Are the Baloch feudal lords ready to delegate their power to the common people? It’s true that the Balochis are suffering. But it’s also true that the people Balochis are putting their faith in are mostly those who don’t really know what they are fighting for. Even if they get rid of Pakistan’s indifferent government, how will they get rid of the terrorist elements present in their territory?
It’s time that the both parties let go off their personal grudges and thirst for power and think rationally about the problems that the people in Balochistan are facing and ways to tackle them. Security, both financial and personal, should be provided to the Baloch population as urgently as possible.