Is Balochistan the New Bangladesh?

Topics: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nationalism Pages: 7 (2509 words) Published: November 19, 2012
Despite the similar unfair treatment towards Balochistan, like Bangladesh; Balochistan is not the same situation as Bangladesh.

Ever since Pakistan came into being it has faced numerous challenges, some of which have been crucial to overcome in light of its handicapped economy, and lack of a headstrong goverment. A very crucial point along these years has been the loss of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, which revolted against the government of Pakistan due to unfair treatment of their people and gained independence for themselves with the help of the Indian Army, when matters were beyond bad. The case in discussion here is the recent turmoil in Balochistan; their lack of autonomy, lack of security, and extraction of resources. Does that make Balochistan the next Bangladesh? According to the following analysis, not so much. Social

The cry for independence in East Pakistan that led to the formation of Bangladesh started from the language riots. When East Pakistan, which made up 60 percent of Pakistan’s population, was denied their right to Bengali being the national language; they became infuriated since most people there couldn’t speak Urdu or English very well. This need for their language brought about the start of the Bengali nationalism. The angry Bengalis of East Pakistan started rioting massively, fighting for their language; hence uniting the youth and the students towards one cause and starting the Bengali Nationalist Movement. The nationalism in Bengalis and their protests towards the wrong being done to them in other ways such as politically and economically brought about their first cry for independence. Similarly in Balochistan, the exploitation of their people, the atrocities done to them, and unfair conditions has led to the Balochistan Nationalist Movements. Organizations like BLA (Balochistan Liberation Army), BRA (Balochistan Republican Army), and BLF (Balochistan Liberation Fund) are all working towards supporting Baloch nationalism and fighting for their rights. Even though the cause of this nationalism in Balochistan does not have much to do with language, the fact that this nationalism has evolved and is now pressing the Balochis towards wanting independence, is a striking similarity between Balochistan and Bangladesh. It can be said that this nationalism is what is driving both Balochis and Bengalis towards the larger picture of wanting independence. Differences:

Even though socially Bangladesh and Balochistan are similar with their nationalism standing high and above, there are a lot of social differences that keep them apart from falling under the same situation. In Bangladesh, the Bengalis were a lot more united as a whole. Since the beginning Bengalis never wanted to be divided, but when they were done so against their will and then given to a federation that didn’t allow its language, agitation had built up amongst the Bengalis. This nationalism amongst them was very uniting, and helped them in the later years when they faced other unfair conditions politically and economically. So the fact that their leader Sheikh Mujib Ur Rehman and their different Nationalist movements led by the students were very united in their goals made their nationalism even stronger. It can be said that those leading the protests in Bangladesh wanted the goodwill of all the Bengalis and wanted their voice heard. However, in Balochistan that unity is seen missing. Historically, Balochistan was a large land mass which had different tribes living together, divided into borders, each on their own. Balochistan as a primordial ethnicity never existed. The Mughals had first set up Kaalat, with a king/emperor given the title of ‘Khan’. Slowly, five different states were set up in Balochistan, each with their own leader. Later on when Pakistan came into being, these 5 states were still pretty much separate without a larger name of a geo political entity. The name Balochistan was given to...
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