The issue of “war of independence” from Pakistan is not new for Balochistan
It’s a land whose people are in love with Pakistan and its ideology.
I know this because I’ve lived in Quetta for the majority of my childhood.
To be frank, my love for Pakistan was born playing with my sibling in the foothills of Quetta.
And to be brutally honest with you, it’s quite a paradox to deal with.
The 1970s uprising in East Pakistan worked as a catalyst to bring the Western wing under pressure.
Sure, at that time, most horrendous of crimes were going unnoticed, but so was the flower that blossomed afterwards.
And was almost trampled upon…
Balochistan is not a stranger to ‘fake’ liberation movements.
Sardars who want to secede this province for their personal profit while keeping the majority of the population enslaved.
Playing on their fear of denial of rights, these Sardars partner up with foreign agencies to beat the drums of a vicious propaganda war.
The riches of Balochistan are second to none
To list the vast amount of minerals and resources available in Balochistan will have to stand as its own article.
But for the purposes of giving you a taste of how rich Balochistan truly is…
It has the Tethyan Copper Belt which is a streak of minerals traveling all the way up towards KPK and westwards into Iranian Balochistan.
Most surveyors have ardently declared that the amount of gold available in Balochistan alone is enough to eclipse a great chunk of the mineral’s market.
Balochistan’s plateaus are brimming with platinum and uranium ores.
Traveling via Bolan Express, me and my sibling gawked outside the compartment window.
This was year 1993.
What we saw amazed not only the children, but the adults too.
Our parents looked on over our shoulders in amazement at the spectacle they had just witnessed.
What we saw were green diamonds (most likely Emerald) scattered across on mountains and pathways that snaked across Kalat Valley.
I’ll never forget the glow of those minerals and neither will the passangers of the train that day.
Keep in mind, this is just a small area scattered across a few thousand squarefoot we’re talking here.
Who knows how much more is there, waiting to be discovered and exploited.
All that glitters ‘is’ gold…
Presently, Balochistan is one of the poorest areas of Pakistan.
It houses only 4% of the total population of Pakistan, yet, only a handful are well-off, financially.
It is estimated that 500 trillion tonnes (approximately) of Gold is what Balochistan is sitting on top of!
Starting a mining business in Balochistan would make a prospector very rich – no doubt about that.
But there is another problem that plagues this auspicious piece of land: political terrorism.
We’re used to seeing awry images of a gigantic turban-wearing, AK 47 weilding Balochi insurgent.
But what we don’t see are the financial backers of these useful fools.
Though their concerns are genuine, Balochis are very simple people who don’t need much in life to be happy.
I’ve seen this phenomenon up close and personal.
But due to the horrifying aftermath of the Soviet-Afghan war, a lot of its territory remains in shambles.
Infrastructure has collapsed, and corruption is widely rampant.
Playing on the fears of Balochis, many foreign countries are playing the game of “breaking Pakistan from within.”
This game was set in motion much earlier than one would expect – since after the assassination of Liaqet Ali Khan.
Before the time of separation of East Pakistan from West Pakistan.
Minar-e-Pakistan still has the declaration of independence written in the Bangla language in the city of Lahore, Punjab province.
If the government is ever able to come to its senses, it will realize what kind of a mythical blunder it has allowed itself to make with regards to Balochistan.
The growing-but-now-stinted foreign influence
Thanks to the efforts of FC Balochistan, a large chunk of the insurgency has subsided.
Balochis are now realizing that they also made a big mistake trusting foreign backers like Indians, Israelis, and Americans.
The Sardars betrayed them, selling them a dream of “Independent Balochistan” while playing cat and mouse in the corridors of Pakistani Parliament.
The infamous Bugti tribe comes to mind.
Majority of the Bugtis are fiercely patriotic Pakistanis.
They love their homeland and don’t want secession from Pakistan no matter the scale of propaganda or media’s perception management.
But their “elders” like Akbar Bugti, Shahzen Bugti, Brahmadagh Bugti, and others took up arms against the state just to lay claim on a gas-pipeline!
The nerve of these people!
In the end, it always comes to money and resources. No matter the race, creed, or language.
Exploiting this opportunity, India spent YEARS building an antagonistic perception of the Federal State of Pakistan in all of its provinces.
From the beautiful rivers of Kashmir, to the high seas of Makran coast, the weaknesses of the Pakistani government showed in full force.
This led to nearly a decade long war in all of Pakistani provinces.
Which cost hundreds of thousands of lives and livelihoods.
That foreign backed influence still lingers in Balochistan. Albeit its force has been drastically reduced.
For Pakistanis to take the full opportunity and exploit the God-given resources in the Balochi region, they must be willing to cooperate and work together.
Past linguistic, and ethnic lines.
United under one language and one common goal: to make Pakistan a place where all nationalities can live peacefully.
And then (as they say) the rest will be history.