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  • Strategic Salience of the Gwadar Port: An Analytical Study

    Gwadar Port has gained currency in the light of recent international developments that are increasingly focused on maritime-related economic activities. It has become an important reference point for people discussing the geopolitics and geo-economics of the South Asian region. The article explores in detail the strategic salience of Gwadar against the backdrop of the ongoing Baloch insurgency, the current activities being undertaken at Gwadar, the strategic outlook of Pakistan and China on the port and the implications it holds for China–Pakistan ties.

    January-March 2021

    Abysmal Human Rights Situation in Balochistan

    The movement of the Baloch people is likely to continue because of the strong undercurrent of popular disaffection in the province against the Pakistan state, and the sustained enthusiasm of the people to fight for their freedom, autonomy and rights

    May 30, 2020

    Political Indifference and State Complicity: The Travails of Hazaras in Balochistan

    Pakistan is a forbidding place for minorities—confessional, sectarian and ideological. Violence, direct and structural and exacted with eerie regularity has ghettoised minority communities and forced them to flee. Among them, no other community is being subjected to such annihilatory violence as the Hazaras in the Balochistan province. Hazaras are an ethnic group predominantly based in Afghanistan, but also with a sizeable population in Pakistan, with estimates ranging between 650,000 and 900,000.

    July 2019

    Balochistan: On The International Drugs Superhighway

    Pakistan’s Balochistan province, which shares borders with Iran and Afghanistan, has quietly functioned as one of the main arteries through which Afghanistan’s massive opium crop reaches the outer world. Six of the nine major drug trafficking routes from Afghanistan transit through Balochistan en route to Iran, Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Afghanistan’s opium production peaked at 9,000 tons in 2017, on account of the country’s rampant instability and lack of viable options for families to sustain themselves.

    September 2018

    The Other Kashmir: Society, Culture and Politics in the Karakoram Himalayas

    The Other Kashmir: Society, Culture and Politics in the Karakoram Himalayas
    • Publisher: Pentagon Press

    The book deals with the historical, cultural, geopolitical, strategic, socio-economic and political perspectives on the entire Karakoram-Himalayan region. It is based on the papers contributed by area specialists and experts from the region.

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-797-5,
    • Price: ₹. 1495/-
    • E-copy available

    Peace or War Journalism: Case Study of the Balochistan Conflict in Pakistan

    Analysing peace journalism is a difficult task, especially within the context of an ongoing conflict. This study looks at peace journalism as it relates to the Balochistan/Pakistan conflict. Balochistan is a Pakistani province that makes up a large part of the country and is rich in natural resources. The Pakistani government has employed a policy of resource exploitation in the province, withholding any due share of profit from the Baloch.

    September 2013

    Abhishek Ratkal asked: Should India be taking "proactive" steps in the Baloch national movement, like it had in Bangladesh in 1971?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: India's role in the so called "liberation movement" in Bangladesh was facilitated by several enabling factors, i.e., shared border with Bangladesh, overflow of refugees into its territory, unity and legitimacy of the group leading the movement, international sympathy and withering capacity of the Pakistan military. The historical as well as geopolitical conditions were also quite favourable for the Bangladeshis. India's proactive role in 1971 was considered necessary and legitimate against this backdrop.

    Baloch movement has been different. Interestingly, unlike in the case of Bangladeshis, where both the leadership and the people fought for Pakistan, neither the Baloch leaders nor the Baloch people expressed any enthusiasm for Pakistan. In fact, they argued vociferously against the principle of religion forming the basis of partition. The Khan of Kalat was coerced into signing the instrument of accession. The Baloch people never supported such accession. They have been rooting for independence and confronting the mighty Pakistan army ever since. There have been five phases of insurgency in Balochistan so far; however, the military of Pakistan has been able to maintain its control over the Baloch territory. Because of lack of unity (Balochis utterly divided along tribal and ideological lines), international apathy, and unfavourable demographic conditions, the Baloch movement for independence has not been able to pose any critical threat to Pakistan.

    Because of Pakistan's ongoing policy of using subversion as an instrument vis-à-vis India, there is a strong argument in favour of India paying back Pakistan in its own coin. This would entail nourishing subversive constituencies like the Balochis in Pakistan and enable them to continue their militant struggle against the Pakistan state. While this may sound perfectly realistic and rational as a counter-strategy, India may not be able to justify and sustain any such action in the long run. Moreover, this does not go well with India's stature as a rising power with a moral grand-standing (as a nation committed to principles of non-violence and non-interference) and increasing global commitments. While the temptation to try out such an option may have led to discussions on the issue among the members of the strategic community, there is no enthusiasm for any such option at the leadership level. India can at best take a moral position and appeal to the world community against the incidents of excesses and disappearances to bring in international pressure and opprobrium on the Pakistan military. Any proactive policy on Balochistan (like on Bangladesh in 1971) is therefore ruled out.

    Balochistan is no Bangladesh

    Unless Baloch nationalists get their act together in pursuit of ‘achievable nationhood’, it will be only a matter of time before this latest upsurge in Balochistan will be brutally crushed.

    January 19, 2010

    Balochistan in Turmoil: Pakistan at Crossroads

    Balochistan in Turmoil: Pakistan at Crossroads
    • Publisher: Manas Publications

    The book covers the developments in post colonial Balochistan, its geo-political significance, and the underlying grievances of the Baloch. It makes an attempt to analyse the reasons for current revival of violence in Balochistan and highlights the current situation in the region.

    • ISBN 978-81-7049-307-5,
    • Price: ₹. 595/-