The separatist movement in Balochistan dates back to the beginning of Pakistan itself.
By Yasir Babbar, Islamabad
The separatist movement in Balochistan has gained momentum, and relations between the province and the centre are at an all-time low. Just two months back, three Baloch nationalist leaders, Ghulam Muhammad Baloch, president of the Baloch National Movement (BNM), Lala Munir Baloch, member of the BNM’s central committee, and Sher Muhammad Baloch, joint secretary of the Balochistan Republican Party (BRP), were killed. Their killings prompted another bout of violence in Balochistan and have further strengthened support for separatists. The Baloch believe that state agencies are responsible for the killings, while the government has claimed that non-state elements who want to destabilise the country are responsible. There are also reports that separatists are threatening schools and colleges that hoist the Pakistani flag and sing the national anthem.