Increasing Chinese influence in Balochistan is a matter of concern. Once again, the government of Balochistan and the natives of the province have been utterly snubbed in a major decision by the federal government to handover the Gwadar Port to China for operational purpose.
In its annual Pakistan Security Report 2010, the Islamabad-based independent think-tank, Pakistan Institute for Peace (PIPS), has described Balochistan as the country’s “most violent” province during the year 2010. While the resource-rich province witnessed a 7 percent decrease in the overall number of violent attacks as compared to 2009, an alarming 43 percent increase in murders and 4 percent upsurge in injuries was recorded last year. According to PIPS statistics, 737 terrorist attacks in the province killed at least 600 people and injured 1,117.
Those who were hoping that 2010 would gradually see an improvement in the state of affairs in Balochistan now have to review their opinion. In the first week of the new year, three more missing Baloch persons’ bullet-riddled dead bodies have been recovered from the province. This comes a week after the publication of a report in The New York Times saying that the Obama Administration was alarmed about the growing enforced disappearances in Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan.
In a period of barely ten days, both the governor and chief minister of Balochistan have narrowly escaped two separate assassination attempts. Last week, the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) accepted responsibility for attacking the convoy of Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi. The governor was returning from Kalat to Quetta when his convoy came under a remote-control IED attack.
Malik Siraj Akbar – Another bullet-riddled dead body of a kidnapped Baloch lawyer, Ali Sher Kurd, was found from a desolate place in Khuzdar district, some 300-kilometer in southeast of Quetta, on late Thursday night, officials confirmed.
Traditionally, the Americans have pretended not to pay much attention to the Baloch insurgency in its ongoing phase. It is this reason that unlike London, Washington did not ban the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), the fiercest Baloch armed group. The Americans did not react angrily even after one of their nationals John Solecki, the Balochistan head of UNHCR, was kidnapped by the Baloch Liberation United Front (BLUF).