Balochistan means the land of the Baloch, the inhabitants and owners of this mineral-rich land. Yet they are downtrodden and are far behind as compared to the Punjabis, Pakistan’s upper-hand nation.
Very few scholars have researched and written about the history of the Baloch nation. Some of them believe that the Baloch is an Aryan people who conquered and settled the region now called Balochistan.
The pre-history of Balochistan is unknown but most historians agree that Balochistan and the Baloch nation existed there even prior to Afghanistan.
Dr Farooq Baloch of the Balochistan University wrote in his book that the Baloch presence in Balochistan is crystal clear even in the pre-historical period.
The Baloch has a scattered population and a vast area in the present Pakistani-administered Balochistan. While the Baloch society had been basically tribal, it has become very complex in recent times, particularly after the forced annexation of Balochistan with Pakistan without the consent of the Baloch nation.
Different areas of Balochistan have their own means of production and economy. In some areas, there exists a compact tribal society, like the Marri, Bugti, Zarkani, Mazari and Laghari tribes in the eastern Balochistan. The first two tribes, the Marris and Bugtis, are no longer integrated in their composition due to the recent freedom struggle while the others are in Punjab and Sindh.
In some areas, life is nomadic while in others semi-nomadic. Some areas like the Naseerabad district are agrarian while some are semi-agrarian. 0nly in Hub in Lasbella district there are few industries, but their laborers mostly come from Karachi, a sister city.
The problem arises how the Baloch political and militant organizations and their leadership seeking freedom will manage these different components of a scattered Baloch population.
There are several pro-Pakistan parties that the freedom seekers call the enemy’s fifth column. The pro-federation parties claim to achieve the Baloch rights through peaceful means, albeit they are seen as collaborators by the pro-freedom leadership as they are part of apex committees which have the authority to crush the freedom movement and even kill its sympathizers.
The pro-freedom political and militant organizations should be aware of the revolutionary technology. Whatever cruelties the Pakistani army is committing in Balochistan the rest of the world is unaware of it. The social media activists and the Baloch diaspora has created some awareness in the world but it is not enough.
The social media is the most useful tool for the Baloch cause but the situation there is very bleak. They are using this media for leg pulling of each other while they claim that their common goal is freedom and the common enemy is the occupying Pakistan.
Unfortunately, even some head of these organizations, who see themselves as elite descendants, do not want organizations and never tolerate each other. They are racing against one another, not against their enemy.
Likewise, the lake of political vision, logic, tolerance, wisdom and organizational behavior are hindering the freedom movement.
Therefore, understanding the complex Baloch society is very important for any future alliance and the success of the Baloch freedom struggle. Most of the leadership is in dark about the geography and psychology of the Baloch. Living in exile, they have lost touch with the Baloch and their war. Secondly, keeping sycophants and courtiers around them have widened the gulf between them and the common people.
The analysts of the recent phase of the Baloch liberation movement have termed the presence of an educated middle class as the main factor for the sustainability of the movement. They say the previous rebellions led by the tribal chiefs were short-lived and fruitless.
It is my humble request to the stakeholders of the Baloch freedom movement to get united and visionary in preparing an effective strategy. Otherwise, Pakistan with the help of an economic giant has started the genocide of our people, threatening our existence and demography.