BALOCHISTAN: Despite being a treasure of natural resources, Pakistan's Balochistan falls under the poor category and so the state needs to figure out the reason behind the inability to bring socioeconomic upliftment to this resource-rich region, Mukhtar Ahmed writes in local media.
Balochistan is not only suffering an economic crisis but also a security issue. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) took responsibility for the recent attack in Chaman where five security officials belonging to the Levies were also killed. This was in addition to attacks in Kohlu, Zhob and Turbat by Baloch separatists, reported the New Pakistan website.
According to the New Pakistan website, the growing presence of the TTP in Balochistan has made the province's people more worried especially after the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan last year. Despite being a naturally rich province, the people of Balochistan suffer due to the apathy of Provincial and Federal government.
The Afghani Taliban refused to help and the TTP is now on the rampage in two provinces of the country, and in the federal capital, it is time the Pakistani state actually rethought its security calculus.
Recalling Abbas Nasir, former Editor of Dawn, wrote "Balochistan is on the boil again and precious lives continue to be lost in the province, with little or no acknowledgement that the so-called iron-hand policy being pursued there since the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti in 2006 has delivered nothing but spiralling death and destruction."
As Nasir notes, "The policy pursued so far has inflicted considerable pain and agony on the law-enforcement personnel and the Baloch population alike. While the paramilitary forces are armed with the 'writ of the law' in taking on the 'terrorists', the general Baloch public is furious at being treated like a hostile, alien presence on their own soil," New Pakistan reported.
Earlier, the Dailytimes reported citing the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) report that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces had suffered close to 376 terror attacks the previous year.
The report claimed that the majority of the attacks were carried out by banned terror outfits such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Daish (Islamic State Khorasan) and Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province as a whole had an exponential surge in violence, with a corresponding rise in fatalities.
Government officials, law enforcement officers, and civilians made up the majority of the victims of violence. According to the study, there were several foreigners among the civilian population.
According to the Center, after November 28 there was an extraordinary uptick in terrorist assaults in KP and Balochistan, with over twenty strikes occurring in only the month of December.