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An Exploited Province

In 1947 when the British were leaving the subcontinent, the Princely states were given three options: independence, accession to India or accession to Pakistan. One Princely state declared Independence and soon the army of one the nations marched into the state and forced the leader to sign the Instrument of Accession.

Later the central government dismissed the provincial government and when the people reacted violently, a massive deployment of army was done. The rebels were dismissd as miscreants and the army was given a free hand to crush the rebellion. 80,000 troops were deployed to bring into control 55,000 rebels. The rebellion was crushed, and the rebels moved into a neighboring country where they received support and money.

Does this all sound familiar ? It is not what you think. The Princely state was Balochistan, the invading country was Pakistan and the country which offered the rebels support was Afghanistan.

As Mary Anne Weaver wrote in her book, Pakistan, it is the tribal rule that runs here. Pakistan has exploited Balochistan for its gas supplies and oil, but still the province remains backward. There have been recent violence and even the Chief Minister was ambushed.

The clash in Balochistan is between aggressive modernisation (backed by military force) and the Baloch people

One Response to An Exploited Province

  1. The Acorn January 12, 2005 at 2:19 am #

    Baloch insurgents do not care for Musharraf’s warning

    Is it time to call it a freedom struggle?

    “Don

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