A multipronged approach required to solve the problem
For the first time after 1973 Balochistan has a government led by a nationalist party. The elected government has introduced a number of improvements in the province. Funds are being used more carefully, there is greater coordination between the civil administration and law enforcement agencies and the incidences of disappearances have come down. Cultural activities have picked up, providing a breath of fresh air to people after years. On the flip side, acts of sabotage and attacks by Baloch separatists have increased, the latest and most dastardly being the killing of 20 labourers from Punjab and Sindh.
The incident brought COAS to Quetta on Wednesday. General Raheel Sharif warned foreign powers and agencies to desist from destablising Pakistan. He also declared that the armed forces would go to any extent to establish the writ of the state. There is a need on the part of the military and elected government to work together to put an end to terrorism in the province. Before starting operation Zarb-e-Azb, the federal government had held talks with the TTP leadership, with full support from the army, to resolve the issue of terrorism peacefully. Balochistan government too had initially contacted separatist leaders but failed because the talks were not seen to be having the support of the army. There is a need to make a final attempt in the direction with army’s and federal government’s visible backing.
Foreign powers and their agencies have become more active than ever to create lawlessness in Balochistan. With preparations afoot to make Gwadar port functional in near future, some feel threatened because of the deep sea port’s economic potential while others are unhappy with the prospect of Gwadar assuming a strategic importance. They want to create lawlessness in Balochistan to pose problems both before and after the completion of the project. Pakistan cannot allow terrorists to play havoc in the province. A multipronged and coordinated move, including talks, rewards and force needs to be undertaken by the civil government assisted by the army.