Fate may have moved Malik Siraj Akbar from the bucolic terrain of Balochistan to the beltways of Washington D.C, but Akbar’s fight for Balochistan continues even though he is far from home.
An underground religious extremist group has warned all private schools in Balochistan’s western Panjgur district to completely shut down girls’ education or prepare for ‘the worst consequences as prescribed in the Quran”.
It is unclear what Balochistan Chief Minister Dr. Malik Baloch actually means when he says he will ‘take’ a jirga to exiled Baloch leaders Harbiyar Marri and Bramdagh Bugti to convince them to sit on the negotiation table with the Pakistani government. A Jirga is normally ‘convened’ not ‘taken’ to a place. However, since the enraged nationalist leaders are currently living in exile, the head of the provincial government plans to send a delegation of tribal notables and influential political figures to Europe to negotiate with them.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan’s recent remarks during his visit to India regarding the latter’s support for the uprising in Balochistan are not only regrettable but also totally misleading.
A number of religious organizations, including those known for their intrinsic connections with the jihadist groups, have infested Awaran, a district that was devastated by two powerful earthquakes in September. Apparently, these organizations are out there to carry out relief operations and assist the victims of the earthquake. But their presence has raised eyebrows given that the federal government is restricting credible, non-religious international humanitarian groups.
Gwadar and its neighboring districts of Kech (also known as Turbat) and Panjgur have become the new centers of nationalistic violence. A change in the government has not necessarily led to the improvement of the state of law and order in Gwadar and its surroundings.