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More changes to the map of Asia on the way?


Following on from my lengthy ramble about the prospect of Iraq breaking up the other week, there's another West Asian state that could be on the verge of some serious trouble: Pakistan.

I like to think I have a fairly good knowledge of secessionist movements and the like, but was unaware of quite how serious the Baloch independence movement in Pakistan is. Le Monde Diplo has the details, in English.

It refers to 'a slow-motion genocide being inflicted on Baluch tribesmen' and notes 'Already, in neighboring Sindh, separatists who share Baluch opposition to the Punjabi-dominated military regime of General Pervez Musharraf are reviving their long-simmering movement for a sovereign Sindhi state, or a Sindhi-Baluch federation, that would stretch along the Arabian Sea from Iran in the west to the Indian border. Many Sindhi leaders openly express their hope that instability in Pakistan will tempt India to help them, militarily and economically, to secede from Pakistan as Bangladesh did with Indian help in 1971'.

India was not exactly grief stricken when Bangladesh sheared off from Pakistan, and as the regional superpower with 'issues' with Pakistan over Kashmir and quite what its neighbour is up to vis a vis India's Muslims, I imagine New Delhi would be quite happy to see Pakistan broken up. Although getting hold of weaponry in this particular part of the world is not exactly difficult, defeating Islamabad is a pretty big ask - it has F16s, helicopter gunships etc, and Balochs amount to less than 4% of the population. I suspect one of the reasons why Musharraf is cosying up to Washington is that this way not too many questions will be asked about how it is dealing with the Baloch insurgency. Also, if he stops playing ball or the Madrassa Boys take over in Islamabad, there would be distinct advantages for many in encouraging Baloch separatism - together with the Sindhis (no sniggering at the back) - they would control the coast and most of the country's natural resources. On the downside for Washington, the Baloch look to be fairly conservative on the Islamic interpretation front - the hijab is de rigeur.

At the very least worth keeping an eye on, I reckon.
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Anonymous verity said... 1:27 pm

One good way to redraw the map of Asia would be to Photoshop Pakistan, wiping out the word Pakistan and putting in, in big letters, USA. Some American flags dotted about wouldn't hurt. Then send it to wossname in N Korea.  



Blogger dearieme said... 2:00 pm

That uncoloured bit of Afghanistan - Boratistan?  



Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 3:17 pm

I say we set the jews on them.
I know how to make curry and I have the recipe for kasmiri naan. we no longer need a pakistan.
And shoot the ones we have over here, they are nothing but trouble, we dont even get to sleep with their women.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:12 pm

Interesting, especially as Pakistan has the bomb, and one of its scientist received a Presidential pardon, despite help other states to get on the band waggon.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 6:18 pm

Peering at the map a bit more closely it marks the area to the North as the Soviet Union too, so maybe Dearieme is right.  



Blogger CityUnslicker said... 10:26 pm

Shurely most of the pakistanis will have decamped to merry engerlund and Dubai in short order?

There will be plenty of land for everyone else to fight over; they will then discover why all the inhabitants were so desperate ot leave.

I haev been to karachi but for a day, it makes slough look like the paradise the Ummah are always going on about.  



Blogger istanbultory said... 6:22 am

Washington will never allow or sanction the partition of Pakistan - it's geo-political interests are reasonably well-served by the existing state. By contrast, the dissolution of Iraq is now creeping faster up the US agenda. The Turks are not best pleased at the prospect. They would invade any independent Kurdish state in the North of Iraq at the drop of a hat....watch this space.  



Anonymous Colin said... 10:12 am

Peter,

"we dont even get to sleep with their women." although "I know how to make curry"

Seems to be the wrong recipe. Don't give up.  



Anonymous Colin said... 10:16 am

Croydonian,

I wasn't aware of the situation. Thanks a lot for this interesting information.  



Anonymous Gedroshian said... 4:29 pm

Writing about us, the Baloch, makes us feel that we exist. Thanks for that.

All sorts of think tanks have been predicting a 'Free Balochistan' for quite some time. Balochistan was supposed to get independence in 2006, 2010, 2015, even 2020 has been mentioned.

I guess that you might be aware that UK banned our little Liberation Army that we are running over in Balochistan, although no Baloch has ever threatened UK.
http://governmentofbalochistan.blogspot.com/2006/07/government-of-balochistan-exile.html  



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