The secret war in Balochistan

Mourners at the funeral of Shi'ite Muslims killed in a bomb blast in Quetta.
Mourners at the funeral of Shi’ite Muslims killed in a bomb blast in Quetta.

In the aftermath of the bomb attacks in Quetta, I wrote a piece for the New Statesman explaining the situation in Balochistan, the lawless province in Pakistan’s south-west.

Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest province, making up 44 per cent of the country’s land mass, but it has the smallest population, just half that of Karachi, capital of the neighbouring Sindh. Its vast mineral riches, including gold, copper, oil, gas, platinum and coal, are largely untapped, while its deserts and long borders with Afghanistan and Iran make it an attractive terrain for unsavoury characters. Between Islamist militants, an aggressive separatist movement and a crackdown by the central government, the province is beset with violence.

You can read the rest of the piece over at the New Statesman, and the cutting is below.

balochistan cutting 1


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