Harried by the Taliban on one side and the State on the other, Balochis remain hunted in their own land, reports QURRATULAIN ZAMAN
IF YOU want to know what is happening in Pakistan’s troubled province of Balochistan, just go to Sariab Road, in its capital, Quetta. Most people who live on its 6-km stretch are Baloch. For the Hazaras, Punjabis and Pashtuns — the other groups in this multi-ethnic city — Sariab Road is ilaqaghair (a no-go area).
After crossing the railway tracks that separate Sariab Road and Quetta Cantonment — or “Pakistan”, as the Baloch nationalists call it — the first thing you notice is an army tank to welcome you, next to a chauki or fortified post. Nationalist slogans and the emblems of banned militant organisations such as the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and the Baloch Republican Army (BRA) adorn the walls: “We want freedom from Pakistan!” “No to Gwadar port!” “Red salute to the martyrs of Balochistan!”