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Counter insurgency in Balochistan in the Long View

Syed Mukarram Shah Gilani

The security situation in Balochistan has been critical over the past
two decades. The separatist movement (insurgency) initiated by Baloch
tribal Sardars keeps the Pakistan Armed forces engaged in a prolonged
operation. The Army and the para-military forces (FC, Levis) were
originally deployed in Balochistan for the maintenance of law and order.
The forces presence, however, in the due course of time, began to
undermine the interests of local political leaders as well as of other state’s
institutions. The pre-dominant role of the army along with intelligence
agencies has restricted the role of the civil administration and human
rights activists in the province. On the other hand, some external forces
have been interfering to exploit the insurgency in Balochistan. The trust
deficit between the state of Pakistan and the Baloch tribesmen has mostly
resulted in creating tension on the power relations between the center and
the province. The tensed relations between the province and the center are
prone to conspiracy theories. Particularly the Baloch Nationalists are very
much concerned about the alleged misuse of state authority by the paramilitary forces.