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This is apropos a Business Recorder "Flawed approach to Balochistan conundrum?" carried in the newspaper yesterday. The newspaper has expressed its reservations about PTI government's strategy of bringing under greater focus the nine southern districts of Balochistan.

It has argued, among other things, that "while none of the measures announced can be objected to, there are troubling unanswered questions. Concentration on southern Balochistan begs the question what is the 'sin' of the rest of the Baloch areas of the province for which they are ignored in this package? After all they suffer from the same poverty and deprivation as the south. If tribal chieftainship is considered an obstacle in the rest of the Baloch areas, is it not a fact that they are no longer as isolated as may have been the case in the past? Strictly speaking, what is the 'sin' of the non-Baloch areas? ... But the elephant in the room is how to deal with the insurgency. Simply labelling it a tool of neighbouring hostile countries closes the door on any possibility of resolution of the conflict".

The newspaper seems to have lost the sight of a key fact that the areas dominated by sardari system such as those inhabited by the Bugtis, Marris, Mengals and others no longer constitute any potent threat to the state and its interests. The government has taken the right step by focusing on the nine southern districts of Balochistan which are presently infested by growing lawlessness. One of the southern districts is contiguous to Iran. The government must lay its focus on other Balochistan districts that are populated by Baloch and non-Baloch people as well but the priority should be the nine southern districts of Balochistan.

Hashim Nazar (Islamabad)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020