Balochistan National Party

Balochistan

Balochistan or Baluchistan is an arid region located in the Iranian Plateau in Southwest Asia and South Asia, between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch (or Baluch, Balouch, Balooch, Balush, Balosh, Baloosh, Baloush) tribes, who moved into the area from the west around 1000 A.D. All natives are considered Baloch; Balochi, Pashto, Persian, and Brahui languages are also spoken in the region. The southern part of Balochistan is known as Makran.

Landscape

Balochistan’s landscape is composed of barren, rugged mountains and fertile land. During the summer, some regions of Balochistan are the hottest in Pakistan. Most of the land is barren, and it is generally sparsely populated. In the south – the Makran – lies the desert through which Alexander the Great passed with great difficulty.

History

Main article: History of Balochistan

This article is about the Pakistani controlled Balochistan. For other uses, see Balochistan

The province of Balochistan (or Baluchistan) (Urdu: بلوچستان) in Pakistan is the largest in the country by geographical area. It contains most of historical Balochistan and is named after the Baloch. Its neighbouring regions are Iranian Balochistan to the west, Afghanistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas to the north and Punjab and Sindh to the east. To the south is the Arabian Sea. The principal languages in the province are Baluchi, Pashto, Brahui, and Persian. The capital and largest city is Quetta. Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest province, and is said to be the richest in mineral resources. It is also a major supplier of natural gas to the country.

Geography

Balochistan is located at the eastern edge of the Iranian plateau and in the difficult to define border region between Southwest, Central, and South Asia. It is geographically the largest of the four provinces at 347,190 km² and composes 42% of the total land area of Pakistan. The population density is very low due to the mountainous terrain and scarcity of water. The southern region is known as Makran. A region in the centre of the province is known as Kalat.

The Sulaiman Mountains dominate the northeast corner and the Bolan Pass is a natural route into Afghanistan towards Kandahar. Much of the province south of the Quetta region is sparse desert terrain with pockets of inhabitable towns mostly near rivers and streams.

The capital city is Quetta, located in the most densely populated district in the northeast of the province. Quetta is situated in a river valley near the border with Afghanistan, with a road to Kandahar in the northwest.

At Gwadar on the coast the Pakistani government is currently undertaking a large project with Chinese help to build a large port. This is being done partially to provide the Pakistan Navy with another base, and to reduce Pakistan’s reliance on Karachi and Port Qasim, which are currently the only major ports.

Climate

The climate of the upper highlands is characterized by very cold winters and hot summers. Winters of the lower highlands vary from extremely cold in the northern districts to mild conditions closer to the Makran coast. Summers are hot and dry. The arid zones of Chaghi and Kharan districts are extremely hot in summer. The plain areas are also very hot in summer with temperatures rising as high as 120 °F (50 °C). Winters are mild on the plains with the temperature never falling below the freezing point. The desert climate is characterized by hot and very arid conditions. Occasionally strong windstorms make these areas very inhospitable.

Demographics and society

Historical populations

Census

Population

Urban



1951

1,167,167

12.38%

1961

1,353,484

16.87%

1972

2,428,678

16.45%

1981

4,332,376

15.62%

1998

6,565,885

23.89%

Balochistan has a population of around 7 million inhabitants. Pashtuns form majority of the Province, however the Baloch numerically dominate the province, while the Pashtuns are the majority in the northern districts bordering with Afghanistan. In addition, 769,000 Afghan refugees can be found in the province including Pashtuns, Tajiks, and Hazaras. Sindhi farmers have also moved to the more arable lands in the east.

History

Main article: History of Balochistan

Ancient History

Balochistan was the site of the earliest known farming settlements upon the Iranian plateau bordering South Asia, the earliest of which was Mehrgarh dated at 6500 BCE. Pakistani conrolled Balochistan corresponds to the ancient Achaemenid province of Gedrosia that would later be invaded by the Greeks.

Balochistan was sparsely populated by various tribes, possibly of Dravidian and Indo-Iranian origin, for centuries following the decline of the nearby Harappa-Mohenjo-daro civilisation to the east. Over time, Balochistan was invaded by various Eurasian groups including the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Kushans, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, Mughals, Afghans, and the British. Aryan invasions appear to have led to the eventual demise of the Elamo-Dravidian with the exception of the Brahui tribe of Baloch who may have arrived much later as did the Balochis themselves. The Balochis began to arrive from their homeland in northern Iran and appear to be an offshoot of the Kurdish tribes that would mainly populate the western end of the Iranian plateau.

Muslim Arab invaders annexed the region during the Abbasid period and conversion to Islam was coupled with the Balochi assimilation of Arab culture as well. Today, many Balochis believe that their origins are Semitic and not Iranian contrary to linguistic and historical evidence. Balochi tradition holds that they left their Aleppo homeland in Syria at some point during the 1st millennium CE and moved to Balochistan, but it appears more likely that the Balochis are an Iranian group who have absorbed some Arab ancestry and cultural traits instead. Balochistan subsequently was dominated by empires based in Iran and Afghanistan as well as the Mughal empire based in India. Ahmed Shah Durrani annexed the region as part of a “greater” Afghanistan. The area would eventually revert to local Balochi control, while parts of the northern regions would continue to be dominated by Pashtun tribes.

British Era

During the period of the British Raj, there were four Princely States in Balochistan: Makran, Kharan, Las Bela and Kalat, the largest and most powerful.

In 1876 Sir Robert Sandeman concluded a treaty with the Khan of Kalat and brought his territories–including Kharan, Makran, and Las Bela–under British suzerainty. 2) After the Second Afghan War of 1878-80, the Treaty of Gandamak concluded in May 1879, the Afghan Mmir ceded his districts of Pishin, Sibi, Harnai, and Thal Chotiali to the British. 3) In 1883 the British leased the Bolan Pass, southeast of Quetta, from the Khan of Kalat.

In 1887 some areas of Balochistan were declared British territory.

In 1893, Sir Mortimer Durand negotiated an agreement with Amir Abdur Rahman Khan of Afghanistan to fix the Durand Line as the boundary between the Afghans and the British.

There were two devastating earthquakes in Balochistan during the British colonial rule. The 1935 Balochistan Earthquake devastated Quetta. The 1945 Balochistan Earthquake occurred in Makran region and was felt in other regions of South Asia.

1990s to Present

In 1998 Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in Ras Koh and in the Kharan desert, both in the Kharan District in north-western Balochistan.

2001 Military rulers intensified their exploitation plans and announced to construct more garrisions in province to supress the baloch people.

2002 Militay rulers ent troops to Balochistan, increased number of check posts and started arrests , killing and disappearing of political opponents.

2003 Military operation started against people of Balochistan whic is continued till date for details visit

2006 On August 26, Balochistan tribal leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was killed by

Pakistan Military.

Exploiting Balochistan

Today there are several multi-million dollar Islamabad and Beijing controlled mega exploitation projects started in Balauchistan aim to extract illegaly the natural wealth of region. The Gwadar deep sea port Located at the entrance of the Gulf and about 460 kms from Karachi, Gwadar has had immense Geostrategic significance on many accounts.

This port will facilitate as hub of the energy and trade corridor to China and the Central Asian repuplics. Some consider it as the Chinese outpost in the Arabian sea
Gwadar’s strategic value stems from its geographical proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, and is situated 470 km away from Karachi. It has military and economic significance .

In March 2002, the Chinese Vice Prime Minister Wu Bangguo laid the foundation for Gwadar port without taking people of Balochistan in to consultation.

There is a huge China’s involvement in the project. The total cost of the project is estimated at more than US$2 billion. China has invested in building a highway connecting Gwadar port with Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, and the other port on the Arabian Sea.
China is also mining Copper and Gold in Saindak whic is the World fifth largest copper-gold project. The people of balochistan have been deprived from socio-economic benifit of both Gwadar and Saindak project.
Mirani Dam another major project being built in Balauchistan to provide water to the future city of Gwadar, where pakistan military with help of Beijing wants to settle more then 12 million Punjabi and Mohajir ethnic groups to out number the local Baloch population. The Mirani Dam multipurpose project, is located on the River Dasht which is about 30 miles west of Turbat in the Mekran Division of Balauchistan.

Government

The Provincial Assembly of Balochistan is unicameral and consists of 65 seats of which 4% are reserved for non-Muslims and 16% for women only .

Provincial Assembly has no controll on socio-economic and political issues of province. ISI, MI and GHQ take All major political and administrative decisions about Balochistan.

Administrative division

There are 29 districts in Balochistan, Two districts have recently been created to please Pro-Taliban MMA ministers.

Economy

The economy of the province is largely based upon the production of natural gas, coal and minerals. The province’s natural resources significantly help to meet the energy needs of Pakistan and Punjabis as a whole. Infrastructure outside of Quetta is still in development as is the province as a whole.
Balochistan remains and will remain underdeveloped till the colonial and exploitation policies of Punjab and Islamabdand. Islamabad military rulers dominated by Punjabis want to keep Balochistan backward and use it for stratgic benifts (Nuclear+Missile Tests and Talibanization) .

Education

According to Military stratgic plans Balochistan have been keep backward in field of education intentionaly and Islamic regligious schools and “Madressas” have been promoted on behalf of ISI to produce “Jihadis”.

Balochistan is one of the least litrate region in South Asia, Province has more Nuclear and missile testing sites and garrissions then University and Collages.


 

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