Published on 11 Oct 2011 | over 6 years ago
The Balochistan conflict is an ongoing conflict between Baloch nationalists and the Government of Pakistan over Balochistan, the country's largest province. Recently, separatists have also clashed with Iran over its respective Baloch region, which borders Pakistan. The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) The Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) Baloch Republican Army are freedom movement group based in Balochistan, a mountainous region within southern Iran and Pakistan. The organization is a participant in the Balochistan conflict and strives to establish an independent state of Balochistan, free of Pakistani and Iranian rule. The Baloch Liberation Army became publicly known during the summer of 2000, after it claimed credit for a series of bombings of attacks on Pakistani authorities.
The Baloch mainly inhabit the Pakistan Iran and Afghanistan. Many of the rest live in Turkmenistan, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and in some parts of Africa, namely Kenya, and Tanzania (Tabora has a large community). Small communities of Baluch people also live in Europe (particularly Sweden) and in Perth, Australia, where they arrived in the 19th century. A significant number of Baloch people also live in Sindh and South Punjab in Pakistan. The Baloch people mainly speak Balochi, which is a branch of the Iranian languages, and more specifically of the North-western Iranian languages, that is highly influenced by that of Mesopotamia and shares similarities with Kurdish and other languages of the region. It also contains archaic features reminiscent of Old Persian and Avestan. The origins of the word "Baluch" or "Baloch" are shrouded in controversy. According to German archaeologist and Iranologist Ernst Herzfeld, it is derived from the Median word brza-vaciya, which means "loud cry", while others claim the word derives from ancient Iranian languages.
Balochistan's landscape is composed of barren, rugged mountains and fertile land. During the summer, some regions of Balochistan are the hottest. Most of the land is barren, particurarly in the Iranian and Afghan side of the region, and it is generally sparsely populated. In the south Makran lies the desert through which Alexander the Great passed with great difficulty.
Jundallah, literally meaning Soldiers of God, also known as People's Resistance Movement of Iran (PRMI), is an organization based in Irani Balochistan that is fighting against the Irani government for the rights of Baloch. It was founded by Abdul malik Rigi who was captured and executed in Iran in 2010. It is believed to have 1,000 fighters, and claims to have killed 400 Iranian soldiers and many more civilians.
In April 1948, Baloch nationalists claim that the Pakistani government sent the army, which allegedly forced Mir Ahmed Yar Khan to give up his state, Kalat. Prince Abdul Karim Khan,, who was brother of Khan, decided to initiate an insurgency against Pakistan. On the night of May 16, 1948 Prince Abdul Karim Khan initiated a separatist movement against the Pakistani government. He conducted guerrilla warfare based in Afghanistan against the Pakistan army. In 1958 Nawab Nowroz Khan took up arms in resistance to the One Unit policy. He and his followers started a guerrilla war against Pakistan. Nowroz Khan and his followers were charged with treason and arrested and confined in Hyderabad jail. Five of his family members (sons and nephews) were subsequently hanged under charges of aiding murder of Pakistani troops and treason. Nawab Nowroz Khan later died in captivity.
In 1973 former Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto dismissed the Balochistan governments and NWFP and imposed martial law in those provinces. Dismissal of the provincial governments led to armed insurgency. Khair Bakhsh Marri formed the Balochistan People's Liberation Front (BPLF), which led large numbers of Marri and Mengal tribesmen into guerrilla warfare against the central government. According to some authors, the Pakistani military lost 300 to 400 soldiers during the conflict with the Balochi separatists, while between 7,300 and 9,000 Balochi militants and civilians were killed.
In August 2006, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, 79 years old, was killed in fighting with the Pakistan Army in which at least 60 Pakistani soldiers and 7 officers were killed. In April 2009, Baloch National Movement president Ghulam Mohammed Baloch and two other nationalist leaders (Lala Munir and Sher Muhammad), were killed by Pakistani forces. Written By Aziz Sanghur
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