Reformist Muslim

Exploring possibilities for the future of Islam and other thoughts

Location: London, United Kingdom

Monday, January 30, 2006

Thoughts On Baluchistan

Sepoy at Chapati Mystery has an excellent essay on the origins and present state of Baluchistan's disaffection with Pakistan. With most eyes focused on Afghanistan and Kashmir, Baluchistan doesn't get a lot of attention, but if it isn't handled properly it could have significant local and international repercussions.

One of the things which I find interesting about the matter is the fact that there isn't really an educated elite which is heavily involved in the resistance, which comes almost exclusively from tribal leaders. This brings to the fore many of our attitudes towards less developed regions of the World and in particular the tension between reform and self-determination, respecting indigenous culture and promoting Human Rights. The difference in this case is that both parties are part of the developing world and it isn't easy to lay the blame on a powerful foreign entity.

Personally, I would be worried about the state of affairs in an independent Baluchistan. However if the Pakistani government denies it opportunities of economic development and engages in a systematic repression of its people, I don't see how it can make a moral claim to the land considering the historical background of the case.

President Musharraf has made a lot of his 'enlightened moderation' - he needs to put it into practice here. Get the Baluchi's to the negotiating table, arrange a more equitable distribution of its natural resources and put in place economic policies which encourage economic development in the area. The Baluchi's must feel involved in the process - if not, then as Sepoy points out, we may be on the path to another Bangladesh and more instability in a region which could do without it.

Cross-posted on DesiCritics


Anonymous eteraz said...

thanks for your excellent commentary on my blog. i see you have your own high quality playground. i've added it to my blog roll (which are blogs i read) and will frequent as much as i can.

6:32 am, January 31, 2006  
Blogger reformist_muslim said...

'High quality playground' - definitely like that description. Thanks for adding the link - I've done likewise. It's good to see that you have your own blog now.

12:03 pm, February 01, 2006  
Anonymous subheer said...

Reformist, the more I read your blog the more compelled I am to revisit my anti muslim [read anti pakistani muslims] prejudices.
i thank you for that.
in lieu of a comment, i have posted a link to a paper on baluchistan by the carnegie people. extremely enlightining, to say the least.

2:11 pm, February 05, 2006  
Blogger reformist_muslim said...

Thank you for the kind words Subheer. As you say the Carnegie paper is very enlightening. As the author suggests, I'm not sure that Pakistan could afford to lose another province.

2:15 pm, February 06, 2006  

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