• Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Pashtun-baloch tensions

Discussion in 'Pakistani Siasat' started by Marwat Khan Lodhi, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Marwat Khan Lodhi

    Marwat Khan Lodhi BANNED

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    QUETTA: People in Balochistan hate it when the self-styled armchair experts sitting in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi generalize about them. Baloch intellectual Dr Janazeb Jamaldini is incensed every time “my Punjabi friends” call him Balochi. “Well, I like to tell them that I am a Baloch and my language is Balochi.”



    Pashtuns are equally upset when others mix Baloch with Balochistani. “It pains me to explain that I am not a Baloch but a Pashtun who lives in Balochistan,” said former National Assembly Speaker Nawab Wazir Jogezai. Dr Jamaldini asked a group of media persons recently to “please go and tell your tv anchors to stop generalizing us as if we are a monolithic monster.” Balochistan is so huge-44 per cent of Pakistan and the size of Britain-that every area has its own set of unique issues. The issues of Mekran which does not have a strong sardari system and lively political culture are different from, let’s say, Dera Bugti where Nawab Akbar Bugti has left a huge vacuum. Or the issues of Zhob vary from the problems in Sibi or Mastung. But there is one generalization that can be safely attempted: the story of Pashtuns in Balochistan is different from the reality of Baloch. Both live in their own ethnocentric worlds.



    The Pashtun belt is relatively stable. Their lands are more fertile, endowed with finer flora and fauna. They also have better availability of water which translates into better orchards and agriculture, which remains the biggest employer in the absence of any industry. Pashtuns would like to claim that they are more industrious and hardworking. Their superior work ethics is reflected by their dominance in business, trade and transportation in Balochistan.



    Pashtuns are definitely better educated-girls more than boys. Loralai girls win most top educational positions in Balochistan. This places Pashtuns at advantage in job market, services and educational quotas wherever merit is concerned. These are, of course, also the bounties of living in a belt that is relatively safer.



    Pashtuns have their share of problems like the ever growing crime, the spillover of Afghanistan in the shape of talibanisation, drugs and arms smuggling. But the nature of their issues is different from the ones that Baloch face. Insurgency hardly exists in Pashtun areas. Never has. Here it is more kidnappings for ransom than target killings. This goes without saying that they are equally weary of army’s over reach in Balochistan and want more power and resources for the province. But their bigger grouse is now directed against the estranged bedfellows-the Baloch.



    Pashtuns feel they are being held back and squeezed by Baloch. “We don’t have any insurgency in our areas,” says Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami’s former Senator Raza Mohammad, “why should we suffer; Pashtuns are the biggest ethnic group and they should be adjusted in jobs and quotas accordingly.”



    Pashtuns, like Hazaras, fume that their students get admission in medical college by securing more than double marks of Baloch.



    Pashtuns claim they are equal in population if not more. However, they lag behind Baloch in area who are in majority in 20 out of 30 districts. Understandably, Pashtuns would like the distribution of resources on the basis of population and merit. Interestingly, Pashtun nationalists have always opposed Punjab for favouring the population formula but in a twist of irony they now want this to be exercised in Balochistan.



    It makes sense that Baloch should support the continuation of the affirmative action of sorts through district quotas. This is the only way Baloch can try to match Pashtun dominance such being the nature of their reality. The total collapse of law and order, the rampant targeted killings and bomb explosions in Baloch areas has exacted a huge tall on ordinary people. The abundant natural resources of the Baloch areas cannot be used because of lawlessness. The long coast line, including Gwadar Port, fails to take off under the circumstances.



    Business is down. Unemployment particularly among the youth is increasing. Movement is restricted because of insurgency. The clock of life stops ticking after sunset. Markets and offices remain frequently closed because of violence and strikes. People in most Baloch towns live without basic amenities like clean drinking water, sewage system or electricity supply. Life in thousands of remote villages that pockmark the rugged plains and barren mountains is even more miserable.



    The biggest loss is in education. The educational structure in the Baloch belt has crumbled in the face of lawlessness. Schools are either closed or partially functional in the absence of teachers and resources. Examination cheating is rampant. The ones who manage to get degrees are handicapped in skills because of bad schooling. They drop out even when they get admission in higher or professional colleges. Information Technology University in Quetta enrolls 90 per cent students from Balochistan on open merit. Only three students from Gwadar have managed to pass out in seven years out of an annual badge of 1500 students. The rest simply drop out.



    A whole generation of Baloch is growing up with little or no education. “Our future generations will also pay for the educational lapse,” said BNP’s Munir Baloch, pointing out that the leadership in earlier insurgencies was conscious about this. “The present lot of leaders who have no ideological training do not understand. Or they do not care.”



    Baloch dominate the executive political power-only one Pashtun became Chief Minister in 42 years. But their ratio in government machinery will continue to shrink because of the relative educational backwardness.



    Much to the Baloch chagrin, the gap left by the settler teachers is being filled by the better qualified Pashtuns. Almost all replacement of roughly 80 Punjabi teachers in the Balochistan University who left because of tension are Pashtuns. Baloch lag behind Pashtuns in competitive examination, promotions and postings because of their better schooling. As other ethnic groups are scared to work in Balochistan the gap is filled by Pashtuns from other provinces who easily gel with their local tribesmen. This will lead to more Pashtun dominance —hence more Baloch anxiety.



    The reality of Baloch and Pashtuns, it seems, is going to grow further apart.

    Eyewitness Balochistan-12 The two realities of Pashtuns and Baloch - thenews.com.pk

    @Armstrong, @nuclearpak, @Leader, @mafiya, @Hyperion, @Spring Onion, @Awesome,
     
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  2. Bratva

    Bratva PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    As long as there is insurgency, things can not become normal for any ethnic group
     
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  3. Marwat Khan Lodhi

    Marwat Khan Lodhi BANNED

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    Balochistan is the only province of Pakistan that shares boundaries with the two most strategically important countries of the world: Afghanistan and Iran. At the same time, besides Punjab, it is also the only province that has direct inland connection with all of the provinces of Pakistan. Therefore, the status of Balochistan as a prime strategic location is axiomatic. Representing the five percent of total population, Balochistan constitutes the 42 percent of total area of Pakistan.

    Furthermore, it is also the only federating unit where two significant ethnicities, the Baloch and the Pashtuns, reside in almost equal proportions. This article aims at highlighting the critical dimensions of relations between both communities.

    Though, at the moment both communities are at relative peace, there can be no speculations about peace in future. Each group has a history of wars and feuds, and there exists a visible crack in the socio-economic outlooks of both societies. Before delineating Pashtun-Baloch relations, it will be pertinent to have a glimpse of the comparative view of their social build-up.

    The Baloch is a loosely interconnected ethnic group, majority of which is residing in Balochistan. It is divided into two major sub-groups; Sulaimani and Makrani. Contrary to this, the Pashtuns are more interconnected and divided into hundreds of larger sub-groups. The majority of Pushtun resides in NWFP. They are proud of their rich cultural identity. Except few tribes, Pashtuns speak Pashto. However, from lingual perspective, the Balochs are divided into several lingual groups in Pakistan: Seraiki speaking Baloch, Sindhi speaking Baloch, Balochi speaking Baloch, Makrani Speaking Baloch and etc.

    In Balochistan, the Pashtuns are more educated and developed than the Baloch people. Overall, both populations have different socio-economic outlooks. Though, the Pashtuns have not asserted their presence on the landscape of Balochistan so far, however, the chances of their likely dominance are understandable to anyone interested in the affairs of the province.

    Up till now, the Pashtuns have proved to be tolerant towards other ethnicities in Balochistan. They have never resented for Baloch-dominated governance of the province. At the moment, the highest officials of the province, the Governor and the Chief Ministers, belong to the Baloch tribes. Interestingly, since the creation of the office of chief minister in Balochistan, only one Pashtun held the office only for one year. Currently, out of thirty eight ministries, thirteen are held by the Pashtuns. And these do not include key portfolios. Despite being comparatively ignored in political terms, the Pashtun people are happy and want to live in peace.

    Contrary to this, certain Baloch militant groups have manifested violent resentment to the Pashtun people. Time and again, the Baloch student federations have created mess at campuses particularly for demanding fixation of quota for the Pashtun students in all public sector universities and medical colleges in the province. Responding to this, the Pashtun student federations have stressed for open merit. On the issue of education, two decades ago, the relation between both ethnic groups saw a period of extreme stiffness when an agriculture university was shifted from Kalat to the Pashtun dominated Pishin.

    Decision was taken in the view of suitability of land for agriculture experiments and research. However, the move was withdrawn later. Even today, Pashtun belt has not a single public sector university to name despite the fact that the Pashtun students constitute the majority of university students in the province. Similarly, in business sector, the Pashtuns are restricted to conduct their activities in the areas where it is not possible for the Baloch people to bar them whereas the Baloch businessmen can carry on their businesses freely in Pashtun areas. Karachi-Quetta highway is the only road that passes through the Baloch areas and on which the Pashtun transporters can move. However, visiting Yousaf Goth bus stand in Karachi, one finds that not even a single Pashtun transport company exists to provide travel facilities from Karachi to Gawador. Likewise, whenever ships are unloaded at Gawador Port, one can feel the absence of Pashtun transport companies trucking goods across country.

    During last month, education minister of Balochistan was assassinated by a certain Baloch militant group. Though, the event went unnoticed, however the Pashtuns gravely felt the brutal disappearance of their leader at the hands of the Baloch militant group. Inaction aside, there exist a thinking among the Pashtuns of being targeted by the Balochs far unjust reasons. While the names of Pashtun parties suggest that they only breathe for Pashtuns on this planet,
    however, their leadership has been silent so far and has compromised the freedom and equality of Pashtuns.

    In certain aspects the Pashtun tolerance towards the Baloch response is a positive sign. However, the perennial compromise of the interests of Pashtun community may evolve into a volcano of rage and rack the already messy province. Therefore, the leadership of both communities should gauge the underpinnings of contemporary relations between the Pashtuns and the Balochs and should establish durable basis for lasting peace and harmony between them. Whoever supports anti-Pashtun attitude must bear in mind that the word Balochistan does not mean that Pashtuns deserve a secondary status in the province.

    Pashtun-Baloch Relations in Balochistan | The Pakistani Spectator
     
  4. Spring Onion

    Spring Onion PDF VETERAN

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    The issue is NOT Baloch-Pukhtun differences in Balochistan.

    The issue is BLA Terrorism.

    The BLA terrorists are eleminating Pukhtuns in Balochistan to change the demography and thus brandish their fake propaganda on pretext of "Majority Baloch" area.

    The common Balochis are also kidnapped and killed by BLA terrorists.

    And NO i am not saying this on basis media reports but my own collegues from Balochistan were threatened by BLA because they dint listen to terror agenda of BLA
     
  5. truthseer

    truthseer SENIOR MEMBER

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    Serious topic, Should be moved to Seniors Cafe, trolling Indians will be here.
     
  6. SEAL

    SEAL SENIOR MEMBER

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    Exactly, in 2009 BLA leaders were booked under terrorist clauses in UK but somehow they were declared not guilty IK also defended and testified for them :hitwall: Now even if we put them behind bars , BLA can work under their foreign bosses and they also have alliance with Lej and Ttp, clean sweep is the only solution left along with massive economic activity in Baluchistan.
     
  7. Leader

    Leader ELITE MEMBER

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  8. Leader

    Leader ELITE MEMBER

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    @Pak-one I am sorry but this PkMAP has lost all my respect due to their nonsensical General Secretary zafar shah's statement about Jinnah's residency being colonial heritage.

    secondly ethnic oriented thinking never bring about a positive change...

    lets hope balochistan gets along well under nationalist parties.
     
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  9. rashtriya.rifles

    rashtriya.rifles BANNED

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    balochs should be independent !
     
  10. Areesh

    Areesh ELITE MEMBER

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    They are already independent. Independent to eat, drink and wear whatever they like to. Any more independence is not needed.
     
  11. DESERT FIGHTER

    DESERT FIGHTER ELITE MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    Yeah send karina kapoor to liberate my........