You ViewsVolume 13 Issue # 08

Balochistan and dialogue

BALOCHISTAN has been neglected for several years. Probably, this is one of the vital reasons that foreign funded non-state actors sabotage peace in the province.

Attacks like the one we saw in Quetta discourage officials from serving in that region. Without recognising that a militarised security strategy in Balochistan has failed to produce results in a province that is beset by a range of security challenges, Balochistan cannot begin to find answers to the complex, layered security threat.

Perhaps now is the time for the civilian government, or one of its partners, to issue an urgent call for a fresh national dialogue on Balochistan. Previous attempts have achieved little. Only a combined civilian and military strategy can give Balochistan a chance to escape from its otherwise seemingly endless misery.

Challenges such as sectarianism, external interference, domestic militancy, radicalisation of parts of the population and a low-level separatist insurgency require different responses. But they all need a coherent state strategy.

At the moment, it is not clear what strategy the state has to respond to this latest wave of violence. A fresh initiative by the civilian leadership can open the door to a permanent peace in Balochistan.

The lack of ideas and initiatives in Balochistan appears to be undermining security in the province. It is time another path was taken.

Muhammad Aized