View Full Version : Solution to Pakhtuns’ woes in Balochistan

Michin Khel
06-14-2010, 07:32 AM
Solution to Pakhtuns’ woes in Balochistan
Jan Assakzai
With the political and economic situation in Balochistan deteriorating rapidly, the now-approved 18th Amendment completely left out Pakhtuns, nearly half of the province’s population, consequently the frustrated community’s intent could quickly change, posing a significant challenge for Pakistan during an already difficult time. The defunct constitutional committee ignored even the minimal demand of Pakhtun representative - equality between Baloch and Pakhtuns - as seen in the reiteration of 18th Amendment: “to promote harmony, stability and goodwill between the Baloch, Pakhtun and all the communities in the province of Balochistan, the committee recommended that equity be maintained in all spheres of life till the structural problems involved are resolved by mutual dialogue and consensus”. (Recommendation No.11 Dated 31-03-2010). The Bloch insurgency has shifted the focus away form the plight o Pakhtuns, overshadowing their long list of grievances: Pakhtuns are facing acute sense of identity crisis. They are happy that at least people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa got their rightful identity, and hope one day they will follow suit by getting their own name which they refer to as Southern Pakhtunkhwa. You may take it for granted wherever you meet someone from Balochistan who is even speaking Pakhto, that he/she is a “Balochi”. When I was a student in 1980s in Quetta, I was touring Punjab, Sindh and Pakhtunkhwa, and would have to explain every time that there was a considerable number of Pakhtuns in districts: Quetta, Pishin, Chaman, Loralai, Zhob, Muslim Bagh, Kuchlak, Sibi, Hernai, Ziarat, Sharaq, and Barakhan, so on and so forth. And that I was a Pakhtun, not Baluchi, they would be stunned. It really starts to drive me up the wall even today. The population of the province is equally split between Pakhtuns in the north and east and Balochsin the south. The census data regarding the Pakhtun population have been manipulated by the Baloch-dominated administration. Despite the bias, however, Pakhtuns are around 30 per cent of the population while they put their numbers to nearly 50 per cent of the entire population. Pakhtuns lost a separate administrative status when the One Unit scheme came into existence in 1955 for the establishment of West Pakistan’s parity with East Pakistan. When one unit was dissolved in 1970, what had been a Chief Commissioner’s Province before 1955 was combined with the former Balochistan States Union, together with the enclave of Gwadar, to form a new larger Balochistan province. Today, even the convention of a Pakhtun being governor of Balochistan if the chief minister is Baloch, has been broken They have no authority for the development of their own areas. Frustration among them grew intense when the reconciliation process started. None of the actions or statements relating to reconciliation in Balochistan talks about Pakhtuns. The emphasis of this reconciliation is only on the issues, which excludes Pakhtuns as an ethnic group in the province. Same was witnessed in Musharraf regime, none of the mega projects were started in Pakhtun districts. The overall development scenario of Pakhtun districts presents a sad story. About 70 per cent of them are deprived of the basic education and health facilities. There are no post-graduate colleges or universities in the areas. The higher educational institutions in Quetta are beyond the reach of the poor families. The religious extremism is getting its roots deeper here. The quality communication sources among these areas and their links to other provinces are absent. There are no direct communication links, no direct train and there are no direct flights between Peshawar and Quetta. It takes nearly two days to get to Peshawar via train, en route Sindh and Pujnab provinces. The only one economic source, agriculture, is facing serious threat, because the underground water sources are becoming dry rapidly. It is time that the present government redresses the dire situation of Pakhtuns in Balochistan as suggested below: The ideal solution for Pakhtuns is going to be the integration of Southern Pakhtunkhwa with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as this will go a long way in meeting the aspirations of Pakhtuns in Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and Balochistan to be unified in a single administrative and political unit in Pakistan as a single ethnic and geographically contiguous entity. Second option is the restoration of the old Chief Commissioner’s Province. Restoration means not creating something afresh. Even if it is deemed afresh, Indian Government carved out two new states - Haryana and Himachal on the demand of a minority who wanted separation from Indian Punjab, and amended constitution accordingly. Third option for Pakhtuns would be to live in existing Balochistan on parity principle which means Pakhtuns and Balochs will be equal in all walks of life. This solution would perhaps be more palatable politically. Even the then Mushahid Hussain committee under the rule of Gen Pervez Musharraf recognised this principle in its report, though it was later shelved in the cold storage. What is obvious, however, is: the18th Amendment did not reflect the aspirations of Pakhtuns in Balochistan and threw them to the wolves. It is also ironic that to get noticed, you have to take the law into your hands as is the case with Hazara division, or you have to be trouble maker as Baloch militants are. But the federal government would ignore the Pakhtuns at its peril: given the ongoing political violence, combined with the de-legitimisation of the mainstream ruling political parties of the province and the severe ongoing economic problems, create a cauldron of insecurity and tension that will provide fertile ground for existing capable militant and criminal groups to expand their operations. (

Michin Khel
06-14-2010, 08:33 AM
Balochistan is also the only federating unit where two significant ethnicities, the Baloch and the Pashtuns, reside in almost equal proportions.
Though, at the moment both communities are at relative peace, there can be no speculations about peace in future. 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 year, 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.

Levanaye Zalmaye
06-14-2010, 08:59 AM
I'm afraid the Pashtuns living in Balochistan will not find relief any time soon. I wonder why the ANP went for the renaming issue before the unification issue. The latter should have come before the former - or at least that's what common sense dictates.

By the way, the identity issue is very strong. A Sindhi friend of mine refers to our mutual Quettawal friend as Pathan-Baloch despite my telling him that he's Pashtun from both sides. He just can't get it in his system that the northern population of the province of Balochistan is 100% Pashtun.

Michin Khel
01-02-2011, 12:07 PM
Graveyardofempires please read this thread.

01-02-2011, 12:29 PM
Graveyardofempires please read this thread.
ive no time reading anything coming from you mr luffy.
im not interested in anything coming from anti pashtun unity and islamophobes.

01-02-2011, 01:49 PM
Graveyard Have you even been to Quetta?

It was not long ago that Anti Pakistan Balochi Rebels started shooting and killing Innocent Pashtuns.

The Pashtuns are oppressed by Balochis, Pashtuns are not given good jobs by Balochi who choose their own and you expect them to live under your Loy Afghanistan?

Baloch hate Pashtun gutts! I know this because I am from the Region. So please burn your european passport or trade it with a Grateful Person from that region and taste some reality hahahaha!

01-02-2011, 02:03 PM
wait, what! I thought the baloch loved pashtuns and want to be part of the mythical loy afghanistan dearly? You don't mean to say that they're using afghanistani soil for their own benefit (terrorism)? They could be benevolently ruled by the afghanistanis and could provide ferticle ground for farming, 'ocean access', and (wives), etc.It's time to raise the flag of afghanistan in gwadar, quetta, and peshawar!

Michin Khel
01-02-2011, 02:29 PM
I had a baloch friend during college days, i once said to him that baloch are much like pashtuns, he mind it. He said we are unique and distinguished people and we have nothing to do with pashtuns.

Michin Khel
01-02-2011, 02:36 PM
My naive afghani friends are salivating for baloch lands to get access to sea. They dont know about balochs, who are of very independant nature, they are struggling for their own country. If azad balochistan come into existence, they would definately demand baloch areas of afghanistan.