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History of the war in Balochistan

Free Balochistan Movement holds protest in London. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi Aug 14, 2019, 03.22 PM (IST) Edited By: Puniti Pandey

Since its accession, Balochistan has witnessed years of brutal crackdown and faced genocidal policies from Pakistan due to the rich resources.

Mass graves were found in Balochistan for the first time in 2014 in Turbat, and since then, every year the people of the region discovered similar graves in different areas, a report stated.

Independent investigations and international humanitarian organisations' access to the areas in question has been banned for 'security reasons'.

The enforced disappearances are an urgent issue in Balochistan. The Pakistani army and security forces have abducted and disappeared, at least 20,000 Baloch political and human rights activists since 2000. So far mutilated bodies of about 6000 of these victims have been discovered in different parts of Balochistan.

For several years political activists have accused Pakistan of taking away the resources and eliminating the people of Balochistan, the province with immense geo-strategic importance and huge untapped natural resource reserves.

Here's a brief history on the accession of Balochistan--

The Khan of Kalat, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan, declared the independence of Balochistan from Britain on August 12, 1947.

The newly independent region was again annexed by Pakistan in 1948. After the accession, the Pak army entered Balochistan on April 15.

Before joining with Pakistan on March 27, 1948,  the Balochistan Parliament had rejected several proposals of merging with Pak between December 14, 1947 and February 25, 1948. 

The Pak army attacked the residence of the Khan of Kalat on October 6, 1958. In the same month, several political leaders of the province were arrested including the Khan of Kalat. 
Pakistan had also imposed Martial law in Balochistan in October 1958.

During the 1960s, protests led by Nawab and tribesmen erupted against the government in several parts of the region. Students also formed organisation and joined the protest movement against the Pakistan establishment by 1967.

The Balochi protest groups fought with the Pakistan government in 1967 and 1968. The clashes led to widespread oppression and fall of the Balochi rebels in 1969.

The government announced the formation of the province of Balochistan in July 1971 after elections. The region was later declared as a province with Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo as the Governor.

With assistance from Iraq and Afghanistan, the rebels continued their fight against the Pakistan government which was being provided military support from the US, France and China.

The then prime minister Benazir Bhutto dismissed Governor Bizenjo and Provincial Assembly of Balochistan on February 12, 1973, and appointed a new governor Sardar Akbar Khan Bugti. 

The clashes in the region led to the death of around 1,000 people.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

For several years political activists have accused Pakistan of taking away the resources and eliminating the people of Balochistan, the province with immense geo-strategic importance and huge untapped natural resource reserves