Pakistan Army in Balochistan (1973-present)

SOURCE: HERALD – July 2009

In 1973, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto took drastically heavy-handed measures in Balochistan and the Frontier province: he sacked two provincial governments within six months, arrested two chief ministers, two governors, 44 legislators and charged them with treason and also banned the National Awami Party. These measures led to the 1973-1975 insurgency, which saw heavy army deployment (the Special Services Group was initially brought in but since they could not take on such massive terrain, regular Pakistan Army personnel were inducted) and was brutally put down (by one account, the army suffered 25 deaths while the insurgents lost 5,000 people). Many insurgent leaders left the country mainly for Afghanistan and Russia. Brigadier (retd) Javed Hussain says: “The Baloch insurgency was on a very small scale” but even then the “army was finding it very difficult to adapt itself to the new warfare where the enemy was elusive”. In many ways, however, the insurgency continues till today, though with lesser intensity. Brigadier Hussain says the federal government claims to be aiming for development but in reality it is otherwise. “It is mere rhetoric. There has been no sustained effort at development and the Baloch people continue to feel degraded in their own homeland at the hands of the security forces, sentiments that feed into the insurgency.”

1 Comment

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One response to “Pakistan Army in Balochistan (1973-present)

  1. Bhutto was bribed by Shah of Iran to dismiss the
    elected government of Balochistan. Bhutto realizing
    the gravity of the situation in Balochistan, asked the
    Shah to assist him to crush Baloch resistance. As such Iranian Air Force took part in bombarding
    Baloch villages and towns indiscriminately, which
    resulted in killings of thousands of peaceful citizens of Balochistan. The thirst of Bhutto & Shah for shedding the blood of thousands of innocent Baloch and plundering their houses an properties and seizing their live-stock and auctioning them in Punjab, created hatred against the Paki army and the people of Punjab, who shared the army in looting the poor people of Balochistan. Now the Shah & Bhutto have been
    vanished from the scenario with GODLY punishments but the people of Punjab are still looting and plundering the wealth of Baloch nation on one hand and abducting, killing and torturing Baloch social & political activists and
    imprisoning thousands of Baloch men & women on the other hand and looting the mineral wealth of Balochistan; are still waiting for the day of
    GODLY punishments in the hands of Baloch.
    Punjab has never learnt a lesson from the tragic Fate of SHAH, BHUTTO, AYUB,Tikka, ZIA, and disgraceful end of Musharraf, would undoubtedly
    face their tragic end sooner or later; and there would be no one to mourn. As Punjabi Poet IQBAL
    has warned them . of course with little alteration.

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