Central Asia Journal No. 64

Insurgency Factors in Balochistan


Dr. Mansoor Akbar Kundi*



Insurgencies and its methods are one of the oldest modes of warfare against established/ing order. Insurgents are non state actors involved in doctrinal, tactical, and strategic tactics against state actor(s). Insurgencies in large have secessionist tendencies caused by social, economic and economic injustices and inequalities. They in large are the product of undemocratic and authoritarian societies which are inclined towards change in status quo. Insurgent movements entail three major purposes: struggling for autonomy or more autonomous status; the sabotaging or controlling of the government; and breaking away from the state with internal and external support as determining factors.

Balochistan, since 1947 has faced four insurgencies with internal unrest and military actions. The insurgencies of 1948, 1956, 1973-75 and the present unrest in Marri-Bugti and Mekran areas since 2005 where military operations resulted in huge human and property losses are the ultimate result of many factors. The important of them are the lack of power sharing; sense of ethno-centric nationalism; financial grievances and praetorian ruler type role of army in politics.

 This article is an attempt to highlight insurgency factors in Balochistan. The paper is divided into two parts. Part one will highlight in short the three insurgencies between 1948-75 and the unrest and military actions since 2005, while the part two will focus in large on the factors accountable for the insurgencies and unrest.




Insurgency involves doctrinal, tactical, and strategic tactics by non state actors to fight a stronger state actor force for a cause. In order words insurgency is in large targeted against the state order. The term insurgency has been differently defined. The Joint Publications of the Defence Department of US defines insurgency as an “organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through use of subversion and armed conflict”. O’Neill defines it as “struggle between a non-ruling group and the ruling authorities in which the non-ruling group consciously uses political resources (e.g., organizational expertise, propaganda, and demonstrations) and violence to destroy, reformulate, or sustain the basis of legitimacy of one or more aspects of politics.” In Gallagher’s viewpoint “insurgency is an organized armed political struggle” with multiplicity of the control of the government, breaking away from the state, or more autonomous status. To him, insurgents in large have less resources than the dedication to the cause. They must be understood before they are countered. The important tactics of the insurgents are guerrilla warfare, strikes, demonstrations, target killings, coercion and the destruction of economic and political symbols. They include attack on military installations and taking away of weapons.The basis of the insurgency can be political, economic, religious, or ethnic, or a combination of factors. But political factors leading to the crises of legitimacy and participation are determining factors in the development of insurgencies. Insurgency is a kind of asymmetric, low intensity, or guerilla conflicts with political power as one of the major pursuits of insurgents. It has internal and external support which play an important role in its intensity. An insurgency without internal and external support is short lived and easily subdued. The decisive or motivating factors in the success of an insurgency are quality of leadership; an effective organization; favorable terrain which can restrict the mobility of the security forces; an effective intelligence system for observing the pattern of activity of security forces; the quality of insurgents with good training; safe sanctuaries in neighboring countries; and exemplary conduct of insurgents for garnering popular support.


1948 Insurgency: The first insurgency was led by Prince Karim, the younger brother of Khan of Kalat. The problem began soon after Khan of Kalat on 15 August 1947 unilaterally announced independence. This led to bitter dialogue between him and Quaid-e-Azam until April 1, 1948 the Pakistan army attacked his palace actually in Kalat city and forced the Khan to sign an instrument of accession. The Khan’s declaration of independence as head of the state made him lost his status and privileges he enjoyed under the British. This led Khan’s brother Prince Karim in retaliation against the Pakistan government by moving to border areas of Afghanistan in May 1948. Prince Karim led a limited level insurgency against Pakistan government by saying that Mohammed Ali Jinnah and his grand colleagues, in whose hands the English have given the Government, wished to enslave our dear homeland, every inch of which was secured by our forefathers at the cost of blood. We are not prepared to be unworthy sons of our ancestors, we are resolved to fight for every inch of our homeland to maintain its freedom. The insurgency was also motivated by Prince Karim’s personal grievance about his removal from the Governorship of Mekran and replaced by Sardar Mirbai Gichki by the Pakistani authorities soon after the independence. Although his successor was in power for short as the seat of Governor was abolished, but it offended Prince in large. Prince Abdul Karim Khan decided to lead a national liberation movement for Balochistan. He invited members of the Kalat State Party as well as tribesmen. Many prominent tribal and political figures who had joined him included Mohamed Hussain Anka (the secretary of the Baloch League and the editor of Weekly Bolan Mastung), Malik Saeed Dehwar (the secretary of the Kalat State National Party), Qadir Bakhsh Nizamami, a member of the Baloch League and prominent members of the Communist-Party”, and Maulwi Mohammad Afzal, a member of Jamiat-­Ulm-e-Balochistan. He moved to Afghanistan in order to get help and to organ­ize the liberation movement there. He is said to have organized a liberation force called the Baloch Mujahedeen, comprising the ex-soldiers and officers of the Khanate’s army. His force included different ranks with him being the supreme commander.

The major demand of Prince Karim was the autonomy for Balochistan. While in Afghanistan he tried to secure help from foreign embassies in Kabul but did not see any success as the Afghanistan government was reluctant to let him continue his activities on Afghan soil. He was told by Afghan authorities either to live in asylum or return to Pakistan. Being under pressure from Pakistan government, in his absence, a farman by the Khan of Kalat was issued on May 24, 1948 according to which no connection of any sort with the Prince and his party was to be maintained nor any one helped him with manpower or ration, and those violating were to be punished. It discouraged the prince to use Afghan soil and returned to Pakistan.

Army action against his men was launched under the command of Maj. General Akbar Khan, then GOC of Balochistan who was assigned the task of dealing with the insurgency. The action involved the deployment of the 7 Baloch Battalion under the command of Lt. Col. Gulzar. Gen. Akbar Khan 12 years later on August 14, 1960 in the Independence Day Supplement in his article Reminiscences of a Solider gave a detailed account of the military counters and skirmishes between the troops and the insurgents. Akbar Khan was interviewed by Quaid-e-Azam himself in Ziarat over the situation. He writes that Quaid-e-Azam was touchy about the incident and had a very soft corner for the Baloch tribesmen. He had directed GOC for quick solution of the situation without bloodshed. He also advised him personally not to release reports to the press about the military actions.

There were regular clashes between the army and his men in the remote hilly terrain of Balochistan. To avoid popular unrest in Balochistan, the Khan of Kalat sent his maternal uncles Hajji Ibrahim Khan and Hajji Taj Mohammed at Sarlath to bring Prince Karim back to Kalat. Khan made his return conditional. Prince Karim’s morale was down. The Baloch nationalists were divided into two groups. One favoured armed struggle in the form of guerrilla war, while other which included Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo wished to resolve all issues through dialogue.

Losing internal and external support, it was hard for Prince Karim to continue his struggle. Under the circumstances he agreed to return to the Kalat and negotiated for his demands peacefully. He is believed to have been arrested while the negotiation were under why, but another fact is that he was surrounded and had no way except to surrender. He surrendered to Major-General, Akbar-Khan along his 142 followers and were taken to Mach jail. His surrender was unconditional. Prince Karim was tried along many his followers by Jirga constituted by Agent to Governor General and headed by Khan Sahib Abdullah Khan, the Additional District Magistrate Quetta. He was sentenced to ten years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5000. He remained in jail until 1956.


1958-59 Insurgency: The second insurgency was led by Nauroz Khan. Nauroz Khan belonged to Zarakzai tribe and was the chief of Jhalawan, a position coming after Khan of Kalat and Chief of Sarawan or third in the Sardari hierarchy of the Kalat confederation established in 1666. The immediate case of the insurgency was the storming of the palace of the Khan of Kalat by Pakistan army and his arrest on October 6 1958. Khan was arrested on the grounds that he was showing defection from Pakistan. Khan of Kalat describes the situation in his autobiography, Inside Balochistan as

“The 6th day of October 1958 will ever remain fresh in the memory of the peoples’ of Balochistan; for it was on this day that the forces of tyranny, oppression and bloodshed were let loose on the simple and innocent Baluchs of Kalat for no fault of theirs……. I gave up myself to the army which paraded with me on the road and streets of Kalat. I witnessed several of my men falling dead on the ground by the indiscriminate firing of the army.”


This led Nauroz Khan to armed resistance. He had forwarded three demands to the government before he led the insurgency. They were i. the release of the Khan of Kalat and restoration of his power; ii. Abolishing of One Unit System or its non-applicability to Native Balochistan and restoration of the traditional rules (not defined) ; and iii. exempt his area from the land reforms in offing by the government.

 His insurgent action began by attacking Karghk Tehsil and killed Naib Tehsildar and threatened Deputy Commissioner Kalat to meet the same fate. His men ambushed government convoys and installations. His men were involved in hit and run raids on troops and government convoys. They did not attack civilians and private instalments. There were reports of looting private lorries/attacks carrying government men or goods. The insurgents respected tribal values and codes. They were spread largely on the area between Khuzdar and Wadh. The area comprising tough mountainous terrains was in those accessible by a shingle dirt road.

The struggle lasted for more than two years and gave the government very hard time. The action against them was conducted by a fighting brigade which was deployed in the Wadh and its surrounding areas. The brigade was under the command of Brigadier Mahmood Jan, a local of Quetta. The Chief of the Army Staff, General Tika Khan also participated in the campaign as Colonel. It involved casualties on both sides and day to day skirmishing in the mountains. Nauroz Khan finally surrendered surrendered on May 15, 1959 along his 163 companions. His surrender was the result of the deal brokered by Doda Khan Zarakzai, a tribal notable, on holy Koran. But the deal was not honoured and rather the policy of “everything is fair in love and war” was adopted.

Nauroz Khan and his men were tried by a Summary Military Court in the Mach Jail. They were a total of 164 arrested. They were sentenced to different imprisonments. He, his sons and three others were sentenced to death sentences but Nauroz Khan’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment due to his old age. As the plagues on the graves say, they were hanged on the same day on 15 July, 1960 but in different jails of Sukker and Hyderabd. They included Mir Wali Mohammad Zarakzai, Mir Ghulam Rasool Nichari, Mir Masti Khan, Shabzal Khan Zehri, Mir Bawal Khan, Jamal Khan and Batay Khan.

Nauroz was a proud and man of principle whose courageous resistance is not widely known. Those who knew saw him spoke very high of his nobility, courage and patience. He died in Hyderabad jail on December 25, 1965. He was sick and very old. Selig Harrison mistakenly narrates his death in Kohlu jail (p. 26). The insurgency fueled nationalists’ feeling amongst Balochs and became deeper and was expressed more clearly in the Balochi literature. Like music, dances and songs serving as cultural vehicles for expressing nationalism, his action, in Fanonian terminology, provided literature of combat. In Fanonian sense, the literature of combat plays an important role in the development of militant nationalism and motivating factor for further action.

It was true in case of Nauroz Khan whose struggle is regarded as a fight against tyranny and injustice. It provided literature of combat because it moulds the national consciousness, giving it form and contours and flinging open before its new and boundless horizons. It comes true in case of Balochistan. Where there are other factors such as common language, cultural heritage, and social values as the ingredients of Baloch’s consciousness, there are actions, events and heroes who struggled and breathed their last for the rights of Baloch nation including military actions.


1973-75 Insurgency: The third insurgency resulted in Marri-Bugti areas in 1973-75. It was the ultimate result of the worsening political situation after Z. A. Bhutto dissolved Balochistan coalition government under Ataullah Mengal. The Ministry was dissolved under the Interim Constitution of Pakistan 1972 after being in power from 1 May 1972 to 15 February 1973. The dissolution was seen as a big setback to Baloch rights, and was a major political blunder of Bhutto. After the removal of Ataullah Mengal, Jam Ghulam Qadir was installed as Chief Minister who commanded the support of only seven members. Those in opposition were 14 (later on many put behind bar under Hyderabad Conspiracy and other charges). Jam Ghulam Qadir continued as the head of the government in the province until 31 December 1975.

The 1973-75 insurgency was the biggest and severe of all. An army division was involved, including regular actions by the Special Groups Forces and Frontier Corps (FC). Insurgency started on May 18, 1973 when Marri tribesmen attacked convoy of Dir Scouts and killed a number of men. Commandos or Special Services Group (SSG) played a very important role in the insurgency and greatly weakened the insurgents’ tactics. The insurgency intensified after August 1973 when the government took leading Baloch leaders into custody. The insurgency continued until August 1975 after their militancy weakened and majority of the Marri tribesmen fled to Helmand in Afghanistan under the command of Mir Hazar Ramkhani and Sher Mohammad Marri. They were the part of the “Parari movement” which the both initiated. In Selig Harrison’s analysis, “was due to the fact that the Parari movement alive was to operate out of sanctuaries in southern Afghanistan. Leaving behind a skeleton force in Pakistan Those migrated to Afghanistan returned in 1992 under the government of Taj Jamali after the federal government allowed and facilitated the honourable return of Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri. Thousands of Marri started returning home through Helmand/Dalbandin route to Quetta.

The exact number of casualties was never exactly known, but it is believed to have involved “5300 Baloch and 3,300 troops killed”. There were many encounters between the insurgents and military during the period. Selig Harrison based on possible information from different sources say that there were 178; 84 took place in Marri area. The heaviest of the fighting was believed to have been fought in the Chamalang area on September 3, 1974. It left 125 Marri tribesmen and 446 soldiers dead with 900 Marri captivated alive. The action involved air raids by airforce with the use of Chinook helicopters, a kind of Huey Copra, with commandoes in action on ground, a decisive factor in the weakening of insurgents’ resistance. There are two versions of using Cobras. One says that Cobras were not used and they were rather Chinook. The other says that they supplied by Shah of Iran for suppressing insurgency were used for a very limited period as it feared leading to indiscriminate killing. The action involved innocent killing too. It included a German who in his military like Wagoner along his wife and two kids was traveling from India took the Rankni/Qumbaz en rout to Quetta. He was mistakenly ambushed by insurgents and killed along his family; one son survived. I was told the story by Lt. Col. Farhatullah Umarzai of FF in 1990 who served in the area from 1973-77 was then a Major/Wing Commander with Loralai Scouts.


Military Actions in Balochistan since 2005


There has been unrest and military actions in Balochistan in Marri and Bugti areas since December 16 2005 the action began by army and paramilitary troops. There was unrest in some other parts of Balochistan which is the ultimate result of frustration-aggression due to rising discontent. They include attacks on government installation and target killing in many cities of the province with mining in Dera Bugti and Kohlu area.

The situation was worsened after the military action against Nawab Bugti in the Bamboor mountains in Kohlu Agency on 26th August 2006 which resulted in the death of Nawab Khan Bugti. The action against Nawab, and his two paternal grandsons as well as a number of his sub-Sardars actually began in 2005. The three immediate causes were: the raising of an cantonment for brigade in Sui, growing military interference in Dera Bugti and Marri area for more drilling rights to Chinese, and support for rival tribal forces to Nawab by the government. The raping of Dr. Shazia by unknown persons poured oil on the flames after Nawab alleged military authorities for itself doing it in attempt to disgrace tribal values and people.

The skirmishing between Bugti tribes and forces already in progress finally led to the deployment of Frontier Corps and army in Dera Bugti area against the Nawab which went on for two months before he fled to the adjunct mountains in Kohlu area. The premises of his fort were captured. His death serves as a martyr role model for nationalists and non-nationalists in the pursuit of their interests. Similarly, military actions in Marri areas is abhorred in large and raised nationalists’ feeling. A major change in nationalists’ feeling after the incident is that they support the role of Sardars who are against government as the custodian of their resources.

 The assassination of 42-year-old Balach Marri in Afghanistan was greatly resented in Baloch areas of the province including the cosmopolitan capital city of Quetta where there is a considerable settler population. The death of Balach is taken by Baloch elements as martyrdom of another Baloch hero and will boost nationalist sentiments at a time when the country is suffering from crisis of political development. Balach Marri who was known for leading guerilla warfare for the rights of the Baloch people. Balach like his father, Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri believed in the doctrine that the Baloch couldn’t get their political and economic rights without an armed struggle.


Part II


Factors Accountable for Insurgencies/Unrest


Lack of Power Sharing


Power has been characterized as the fundamental concept in social sciences like the energy is in physics with major role in social relationship. Power is also regarded as a phenomenon of social interaction which one affects another. The question of mine and thine began as the man crawled out of his cave and decided to live in civilizations where his immediate concern was how to influence or exert influence others for doing something otherwise they would have done. The concentration and abuse of power led to the anti-thesis of power sharing that if power is not to be abused or usurped then it is must that there is a check on its use or then shared. In other words power sharing formula is solution to power abuses. The definitions of power sharing may have expanded with the advancement of political terminology but it can simply be defined as a system of governance in which all major segments of society are provided a permanent share of power. Power sharing is empowerment of the opportunity and means to effectively participate and share authority.

Power-sharing establishes comparatively an equitable balance of power, makes negotiation an attractive alternative to violence, promotes and expands citizen participation in the political process, and strengthens voter confidence in open methods of choosing government, and encourages a competitive political environment. It is believed to have reduced the risk of violent conflict by reconciling principles of self-determination and democracy in multiethnic states by allowing small groups to pursue legal political activities instead of violence. The power sharing devices promote government legitimacy and a sense of political fairness among the citizenry. Power-sharing arrangements such as allotment of quota in civil services and resource distribution experience good conflict management. The lack of power sharing over ownership distribution witnesses political and ethnic/racial conflicts.

Balochistan has far lagged behind the other provinces in power sharing. Punjab is the leading province and enjoys the lion’s share. NWFP despite the politically grievances and economic problems is comparatively a privileged province by having an established educational and social structure and enjoying a sufficient share in the higher echelons of the military/bureaucratic and other organizational structure of society; and an increasing level of political maturity. Sindh may not seem that deprived. It being below par administratively and economically with an ethnic bifurcation between rural and urban has not been without enjoying a share in government. Karachi being its port city and a nerve of the economic inflow of Pakistan stands an international importance. Sindh rural has witnessed three Prime Ministers and a President and enjoys a political value under a representative system. But Balochistan indeed has found no feeling of spring in the changing political weathers since the creation of Pakistan. Balochistan has lagged behind and economic backwardness of the province and government misrule has been responsible for the emergence of Baloch question and. The Baloch question largely supported by political and financial grievances and deprivations is a strong unifying factor for Baloch nationalism.


Baloch Nationalism


Nationalism is one of the terminology being most difficult and controversial to define. There are many ways to define the term, and so are its kinds relevant to a particular situation. Breseeg in his book defines Baloch nationalism as the feeling of a group of people linked by either ethnicity or territorial bond, and the belief that the corporate interests of that group can best be protected by the control of their own state. Baloch communities across borders are highly ethnocentric and are marked by strong nationalist feelings based on demography, religion, ethnicity and sense of deprivation. Ethnocentrism is a phenomenon which is supported by a number of factors important of them is nationalism. Ethnocentrism promotes spirit of sacrifice and readiness for martyrdoms. It gives strength and support to faiths and beliefs. Ethnocentrism encourages nationalism and patriotism. It is true in case of Baloch nationalism. The term nationalism is generally used to describe two phenomena: (1) the attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their national identity and (2) the actions that the members of a nation take when seeking to achieve (or sustain) self-determination. Nationalism can broadly be defined in three kinds. They are Unifying Nationalism, Ethnic Separatist Nationalism and Ongoing Patriotic Nationalism.

The roots of nationalism are stronger in Baloch area. Nationalism has been a pronounced phenomenon in Balochistan since 1947. Baloch nationalism has the elements of all three, but due to lack of power sharing and viable political institutions, it tilts towards ethnic separatist nationalism. Baloch feel humiliated at the hands of federal government which is dominated by Punjabi bureaucrats and generals. The major ingredients of the Baloch nationalism are ethnicity,cultural, history and geography attributes. But political deprivation since 1947 has added to the separatist trends and Baloch nationalism with higher sense of alienation. They, as Harrison argues, find their integrity at stake due to political and financial injustices.


Overbearing Centre and Political Grievances


Federal-provincial relations have been a scene of political and constitutional debate since the establishment of Pakistan in 1947. Pakistan which is divided into four provinces, has been dominated by Punjab, the largest province with is dominance in bureaucracy and the army. East Pakistan showed its discontent and resulted in the separation in 1970. And so are the three units of NWFP, Sindh and Balochistan over the allocation of powers between the federal and province and have raised their voices more autonomy and political safeguards. The praetorian character of Pakistan with the army ruling the country for most of the period has added to the problems of federalism. It is also due to the lack of development of democracy and representative institutions. They facilitate the good management of nationalism and mitigate sense of alienation. Democracy matters in managing nationalism because democracy presents myriad opportunities for the expression of views and public discourse on policy. In the presence of constitutional setup and division of power sharing the flames of nationalism among the people are hard to fan. But unfortunately it has not happened. Such checks and balances on the actions of government are absent in non-democratic systems. In Pakistan since 1947 for the larger period of its existence, unfortunately, it has been ruled by undemocratic forces where legitimacy to rule was drawn from authoritarianism and pseudo democratic methods rather than the legal-rational authority. It has led to a stronger role of centre at the cost of small provinces’ rights, particularly Balochistan. If look deeper into all the insurgencies and military unrest, they were the ultimately result of political crises. Had there been a representative system since 1947 with political dialogue the insurgencies could have been averted, particularly the 1973-75 one which was the direct result of the dissolution of Balochistan government by Z. A. Bhutto in 1973.


Financial Grievances


The lack of financial power sharing is one of the leading factors for the Baloch discontent. Balochistan since the inception of the National Finance Commission (NFC) complaints that its financial rights have been ignored/violated at the hands of federal government. Its leaders blame the federal government that the basis of the distribution, as necessitated in the article 160 (2) of 1973 Constitution are neither vertical nor horizontal. Vertical distribution requires an adequate divisional pool of taxes to enable provinces to discharge constitutional functions autonomously and meet socio-economic targets assigned by the federal government. Horizontal when share is distributed equitably among the provinces to meet their requirements.

The major complaint and grievance of Balochistan is that since 1974 the major criterion for the distribution of resources is based on population. Other parameters of disparity such as inverse population density, backwardness and lack of sufficient revenue collection infrastructure are not considered. Its leaders are justified in claiming that no where in the world under a federal form of government there is a formula where resources are divided on population basis per see. Balochistan constituting a large portion of the country’s area needed development of infrastructure on war/crisis basis with the allocation of funds on area basis which unfortunately had been denied to it in the past.

The population of the province in 2007 is shown 7,900,000 compared to 40,00000 in 1981; it has almost doubled. The density of population is mere 12 persons per square kilometer, around 85 percent of its population is scattered in rural areas. The rural areas have been isolated and underdeveloped largely due to the lack of roads. Reference to a number of studies over the lame situation of underdevelopment and under privileged masses focus on the lack of roads as the major cause of underdevelopment

Balochistan has highest inverse population density (IPD) 18.8 compared to Sindh 1.6, NWFP 1.50, and Punjab 1. IPD is an economic parameter for equalization of provision of public services and development per capita. Thus it will have highest cost ratio due to the fact that the two parallels indicators of IPD are that per capita cost of development and providing public services increases as area decreases. Per capita cost of development and providing pubic services increases as population decreases.

The NFC does not redress their hardship and grievances. Having established in 1935 India Act and adopted under 1956, 1962 and 1973 Constitutions the award is a distribution of revenues between the Centre and Provinces on the basis of population in which Balochistan got very little. Balochistan received the minimum (5.11%) funds to develop the maximum of 43.6% area of the country. Under the Raisman Award implemented in 1952, Balochistan was given just 0.64 compared to the share of East Pakistan 45%, Pubjab, Sindh 27%, and NWFP 12%. Under 1974 Award Pakistan got the share as 3.86% compared to Punjab 60.25%, Sindh 22.5%, NWFP 13.39%. It negated the very principle of the distribution of the resources in article 160-3 under the award between federal and units.

Out of the ten sectors of the diversity of economic resources: coast, mineral, petrol, human, hydel, industry, forest, agricultural and tourism Balochistan has first four important ones. The gas being the important one. The gas in Balochistan was discovered in 1952. Within three year of its discovery the gas was supplied to different areas of Pakistan, particularly Punjab. In 1984 it reached Quetta but actually to the cantonment area, the seat of the 11 corps. In December 2000 in Balochistan the total number of gas connections were 112,700; the number smaller than the total connections in the Faisalabad city only.

According to a report published in 2003/4, Pakistan has 25.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven gas reserves, and currently produces around 0.8 Tcf a year, all of which is consumed domestically. Natural gas producers include Pakistani state-owned companies Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (PPL) and Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC), as well as BP, ENI, OMV, and BHP. The largest currently productive fields are Sui in Balochistan, by far the largest at 650 million cubic feet per day (120 Mmcfd), Adhi and Kandkhot (120 Mmcfd), Mari, and Kandanwari.

The Balochistan government proposed a formula for resolving the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award. According to the new proposal, 50 percent of the NFC of a province should be based on scattered population, 10 percent on land share, 10 percent on backwardness, 10 percent on revenue collection and 10 percent on an equal basis, and 10 miscellaneous.

Balochistan justified in demanding a raise in Gas Surcharge and royalty. Balochistan being the largest producer of gas is believed to lose a huge amount of its due share every year in shape of Gas Development Surcharge (GDS) and royalty. The participant public including nationalists demand a raise in GDS. They argue that since the well-head price for Balochistan fields is low, its contribution margin, per unit of gas, to the total GDS is more than the contribution of gas fields in other provinces. To them the due share of Balochistan in total GDS is around Rs. 14.723 billion (65%) and not Rs. 4 billion budgeted in FY 04-05. The royalty on crude oil & development surcharge on natural gas, after deducting 2 percent collection charges, is transferred to the province on the basis of well-head production. It is same in case of royalty and excise duty on natural gas in accordance with Article 161 (1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Balochistan is contributing from 53% to 65% but a share of roughly 35% in the GDS distributed between the provinces directly from the center on account of its ownership of gas.

As decided under the 1991 NFC Award, the excise duty on gas is based on production volumes. The excise duty is set at a low rate of Rs. 5.30 per BTU, which was established several years ago. The royalty on gas is paid by the center as a recognition of the ownership right of the province, while the GDS is determined on the basis of the cost of exploration and the stock of assets. The royalty on gas, the official said, is fixed at the rate of 12.5% of the gas sold and valued at the well-head price.

The Parliamentary Committee in September 2004 was formed to forward its recommendations to federal government about Balochistan. It comprised 29 members. Later on 9 more members were appointed. It was subdivided into two sub-committees to promote inter-provincial harmony and protect rights of provinces with a view to strengthen the federation (with the grievances of Balochistan in large with matters related to gas royalty, development projects, job quota, NFC Award, etc. It included 31 issues ranging from Sui gas royalty to check posts to development of Gwadar. The committee forwarded the recommendations including clearance of gas royalty arrears, revision of the concurrent list, National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, provincial autonomy and development of gas-rich areas. About the NFC Award the committee recommended that the degree of backwardness and poverty should be made foremost part of the criteria for the NFC Award. But so far no concrete results of the report.




Balochistan since independence has been a scene of insurgencies and unrest. Although the insurgencies were curbed down and subdued, but they left behind sense of frustration and alienation which was ultimately accountable for feeling of depressed nationalism amongst Baloch people. The major factors accountable f or the insurgency scenes were the lack of power sharing, Baloch nationalism, federal-province relations, and financial grievances. The involvement of the external factor cannot be ruled out. It is particular in the military unrest since 2005. Balochistan was taken like a neglected backyard without any significant development after the independence until 1970 it was raised to a province status. It was raised to a province status in 1970 under an ordinance by Yahya Khan. Our rulers majority of those having suffered from the crisis of legitimacy and policy integration failed to perceive its geo-strategic and political importance about which the founder of Pakistan in 1929 raised voice to in his famous Fourteen Points and continued insisting until the last days of his life in Ziarat in 1948. His two vocal demands for the province were province status and reforms better reflected in Balochistan: Case and Demand, a 50 page pamphlet written by Qazi Muhammad Isa as a future strategy for the development. It primarily focused on development of roads and promotion of literacy with allotment of quota for the people irrespective of caste and creed. Had it been truly implemented there would have been visible change of economic and political development over the years, but unfortunately it was not.




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*   Professor of Political Science, University of Balochistan, Quetta. dera1955@yahoo.com

  Col. Bhaskar Sarkar, Tackling Insurgency and Terrorism: Blueprint for Action New Delhi: Vision Books, 1998, p. 13.

  Joint Publications 1-02, USJFCOM JWFC Code JW2102 Suffolk, VA, p. 275. Department of Defense, Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, 207

  Bard E. O’Neill, Insurgency & Terrorism: Inside Modern Revolutionary Warfare (Washington, D.C.: Brassey’s, 1990), p.13.

  James J Gallagher, Low Intensity Conflict New Delhi: Lancer Publishers, 1992, p 33.

Baloch, Inayatullah. The Problem of Greater Balochistan, A Study of Baloch Nationalism, Studgartt: Steiner, 1987, p. 145

Awan, A. B. Balochistan: Historical and Political Process, London: New Century Publishers, 1985, p. 219.

  Maj Gen ® Akbar Khan, “Reminiscences of a Solider” Independence Day Supplement Dawn: Karachi, August 14, 1960, p 33.

  Maj. Gen ® Akbar Khan, “Reminiscences of a Solider”, The Dawn, Karachi, 14 August, Independence Supplement, 1960.

  Ahmed Yar Khan, Inside Balochistan: Political Autobiography of Khan Azam: Mir Ahmed Yar Khan (first published in 1975, reprinted in 1985 and 2009) Karachi: Royal Books Company, 2009, p 33.

            Ibid, p.186. Awan, A. B. Balochistan: Historical and Political Processes, London: New Century Publishers, 1985, p. 307.

            Breseeg, Taj Mohammad. Baloch Nationalism: Its Origin and Development, Karachi: Royal Book Company, 2004, p. 85.

            Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, New York: Grove Press, 1963, p 240.

            Speech by Frantz Fanon at the Congress of Black African Writers, 1959, Wretched of the Earth. Reciprocal Bases of National Culture and the Fight for Freedom http://marxists.anu.edu.au/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ot/fanon.htm

Mansoor Akbar Kundi. For detail about insurgencies see Chapter 23 in Politics in Pakistan: Bending the Rules: Karachi: Federal University/Faridi Books, 2005, pp. 122-127.

            S Selig Harrison,. In Afghanistan’s Shadow: Baloch Nationalism and Soviet Temptation, New York, Carnegie Endowment, 1981, 39.

            For detail see Mansoor Akbar Kundi, "A Migration after Migration" The News Rawalpindi, Pakistan, 25 August 1992.

            Janahmed, Essays on Baloch National Struggle in Pakistan: Emergence Dimensions Repercussions Quetta: Gosha-e-Adab, 1989, p. 306.

            ibid. footnote 22, p.349.

            Mansoor Akbar Kundi, “Balach Marri and Baloch Discontent” in Weekly Pulse, Lahore, Pakistan, December 6, 2007.

            Anthony T. Cobb, “An Episodic Model of Power: Toward an Integration of theory and Research” in Academy of Management Review 8:3, 1984, p. 482.

            Timothy D. Sisk, “Power Sharing” Knowledge Based Essay, September 2003

            Mansoor Akbar Kundi “Balochistan needs Heed” Weekly Independent, Issue 49 June 4-10, 2007.

            Feroz Ahmad, Ethnicity and Politics in Pakistan, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1998, p 76.

            Breseeg, sTaj Mohammad. Baloch Nationalism: Its Origin and Development, Karachi: Royal Book Company, 200, p. 1.

            Dr. M.S. Baqai, Social Order in Pakistan Society, Quetta: National Book Foundation 1975. p. 33.

            Andrew, Oldenquist. “Three Kinds of Nationalism” in Croatian Journal of Philosophy 1:1, 2001, p. 63.

            Harrison, S Selig. In Afghanistan’s Shadow: Baloch Nationalism and Soviet Temptation, New York, Carnegie Endowment, 1981, p. 23

            Mansoor Akbar Kundi, “Federalism in Pakistan: Problems & Prospects” in Asian and African Studies, Vol 11, No 1, 2002, Institute of Oriental and African Studies, Slovak Academy of Sciences, p. 37.

            "Nationalism and democracy-points of departure in East Asia " handout by Mitsuru Kitano Japanese Minister for Public Affairs The Washington Times, September 23, 2005.

            Anwar Syed, “One Nation under God” Dawn, Karachi, Pakistan, January 13, 2008.

            Mansoor Akbar Kundi “Balochistan’s Financial Grievances” The Nation Lahore, December 3, 2005.

Mushtaque Rajpar, National Conferene on NFC Award,

 Organized by the Participatory Development Initiative and Action Aid Pakistan, 18 July 2005, (http://sindh.ws/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=31)

Mansoor Akbar Kundi, “Balochistan’s Financial Grievances” The Nation Lahore, Pakistan, December 3, 2005


            Report of the Senate Parliamentary Committee on Balochistan, November 2005 Report 7, p 9 & 13.