Guidance

Understanding Balochistan from India’s perspective

By October 26, 2016 No Comments

The age old issue of Balochistan was surfaced recently when India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the reference of Balochistan in his recent Independence Day speech. Mr. Modi has previously given a statement saying, Pakistan should answer the world for the atrocities they have committed in Balochistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. With the direct reference to the issue of Balochistan from the from a paramount podium of the Independence Day Speech, Indian Prime Minister undoubtedly stirred the global diplomatic equation. Some welcomed this move of our Prime Minister, and some people criticized it. In this article, we will understand both of the sides and analyze the possible outcome.
What is the issue of Balochistan?
Balochistan is the largest but least developed mineral rich province in Pakistan. It is situated on the western side of Pakistan, which is also a home to around 13 million people (around 40%). Like India’s Kashmir, the province of Balochistan was under the command of Britishers and the rulers of the Khanate of Kalat, when Pakistan got its independence. Pakistan forcefully acceded the province of Balochistan despite the hostility from Baloch Nationalists. The region has witnessed five waves of insurgencies which were put down by the Pakistani army. The issue of Balochistan was always handled with brute force, and many instances of human rights violation were reported.
How is this issue connected to India?
Pakistani officials have always falsely accused India, UAE, and Russia of meddling in the internal politics of Pakistan. Since, the inception of the Non Alignment Movement by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, India has always followed the policy of ‘Panchsheel.’ India has also refrained itself from commenting and getting involved in this issue since independence. India has always followed the policy of noninterference in the domestic affairs of any neighboring country. But, with the recent comment by Indian Prime Minister, the issue is Balochistan is on the radar. If his aggressive remark becomes a reality, then we will have a tectonic shift from our traditional foreign policy of non-interference.
Why have we taken a sudden interest in Balochistan? 
The question is quite relevant, as being the greatest country in the geopolitics of Indian hemisphere India has brought this issue again for discussion. Till now, we have witnessed such separatist movements in Sri Lanka and Tibet. The Indian outlook towards these regions is neutral and of non-interference. So, why we have suddenly developed an interest in the issue of Balochistan, out of the sudden?
The reason lies in the Indian politics with an idea of nationalism. The Indian politics, whether it’s at Centre level or state level, is always related to the fundamental emotional issues. The Indian Political parties tap the emotional side of people to grab the vote share. In India, the Pakistan is considered as an enemy country, and there is always an ongoing direct or indirect battle between the countries, whether it’s a cricket match or a real war. A typical conception among the Indian masses is to have a tit for tat diplomacy with Pakistan. The possibility of appeasing these masses in India on the day of independence is possible. But we need to understand that a country’s foreign policy cannot be devised based on the emotions of the majority of the masses. If such thing happens, it is a weak diplomacy. India has previously suffered in the hands of such soft diplomacy purely based on the demands of the masses. In the conflict in Sri Lanka, India hurried to intervene due to the constant pressure of Tamil state government who was looking for the rights of Tamil people.
Long back in 2009, former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held talks with former Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani during Non alignment Movement Summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh. During these negotiations, both the parties agreed to share the real-time data on any future terrorist attacks. The joint statement released by both the parties was somewhat legitimized Gilani’s allegations regarding India’s role in Balochistan. This move was not well received in India and Indian government had faced a massive opposition from opposition & media.
Pakistani High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has recently given a controversial remark stating that Pakistan will continue its support of Kashmir Freedom. The recent statement of our Prime Minister might just be a verbal answer to Abdul Basit. The possibility of it being just a verbal battle is high, but what if India sincerely thinks about raising the issue of Balochistan on an international forum?
Let’s consider the possibility of India’s possible involvement in Putting Balochistan for discussion in UN, G20 & other relevant forums of world organizations. Then doing will be a stand of hypocrisy from our side. It is so, as we are neutral on the issue of Tibet, and we are not raising their issue in any international forum, but we are providing shelter for Tibetan refugees in Humanitarian ground. So, If tomorrow we raise the issue of Balochistan, are we going to take responsibility for Baloch refugees? Are we ready to provide an exception for the Baloch refugees in our recently proposed citizenship amendment bill? Meddling into a domestic issue of a neighboring country is not favorable for us on many accounts.
If we decide to go with an aggressive policy towards Balochistan, we have to be ready to tackle many of our domestic issues which are evident in a clear-cut human rights violation. We have to be willing to answer the atrocities in Kashmir, Dadri mob lynching, Naxalism in India, atrocities against the protesters of the Kudankulam nuclear reactors and much more. We also need to answer for our domestic nationalist policies have shunned international organizations like Greenpeace and Amnesty International.
What are substantial changes we should bring to be ready to handle the issue of Balochistan on the international level?
To get a serious international attention towards the issues like Balochistan and Tibet, we have to change ourselves first. It should be done by the core of the roots, which is the system if policy making in India. The system should be of inclusive and comprehensive in nature. Let’s take an example of Kashmir. Currently, the Kashmiri population is led by the elements which have no sensible future vision for Kashmir. Kashmir cannot survive as an independent country near China, not it will be benefitted by being with Pakistan. It has a fair chance of progress if they stay with India. But the India should be ready to take one step ahead. We need to create a better framework for communication where we are on equal footing with the Kashmiri people. f
To get a serious international attention towards the issues like Balochistan and Tibet, we have to change ourselves first. It should be done by the core of the roots, which is the system if policy making in India. The system should be of inclusive and comprehensive in nature. Let’s take an example of Kashmir. Currently, the Kashmiri population is led by the elements which have no sensible future vision for Kashmir. Kashmir cannot survive as an independent country near China, not it will be benefitted by being with Pakistan. It has a fair chance of progress if they stay with India. But the India should be ready to take one step ahead. We need to create a better framework for communication where we are on equal footing with the Kashmiri people.
To get a serious international attention towards the issues like Balochistan and Tibet, we have to change ourselves first. It should be done by the core of the roots, which is the system if policy making in India. The system should be of inclusive and comprehensive in nature. Let’s take an example of Kashmir. Currently, the Kashmiri population is led by the elements which have no sensible future vision for Kashmir. Kashmir cannot survive as an independent country near China, not it will be benefitted by being with Pakistan. It has a fair chance of progress if they stay with India. But the India should be ready to take one step ahead. We need to create a better framework for communication where we are on equal footing with the Kashmiri people.

Akshay Palande

Author: Akshay Palande

Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.

Akshay Palande

Author Akshay Palande

Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.

More posts by Akshay Palande

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