From Balochistan to Islamabad – Pakistan’s Internal Turmoil

Protest in Balochistan

Pakistan witnessed protests against army in Balochistan with a simultaneous undermining of the democratic power and security in the country, part of which many attribute to the government’s handling of Covid-19.

Crux of the Matter

Unrest In Balochistan
Protests in Balochistan turned severe as the Pakistan army was forced to abandon its check posts as protesters pelted stones. The actions have come in the light of the murder of a 4 year old child with his mother, done by terrorists allegedly backed by Pakistan army.

History Of Balochistan
Balochistan is situated in the western part of Pakistan. It was under British rule at the same time as India. After independence in 1947, it wanted an independent existence. Eventually, the demand changed to ‘union’ with India. On 27 March 1948, it was announced on India’s All India Radio that Balochistan “was pressing” to join India but “India would have nothing to do with it”. On the same day, the Pakistan army marched to Balochistan and forcefully annexed it.

Karachi Blackout
On 9 June 2020, an alleged blackout was observed in Karachi. The blackout came as a result of the spotting of some jets near the city which was reported on social media as imminent invasion by the Indian Air Force. However, later it was revealed that the jets belonged to the Pakistan Air Force and were merely patrolling.

Army Strengthening – What It Means?
As civilian disapproval of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan increased due to the country’s handling of Covid-19, several experts have claimed that the army is now ruling the country with Imran Khan merely residing on paper. Many defence analysts even say that Gen Qamar Bajwa is the real power behind Imran Khan’s throne.

The claims came out after the appointment of 3 military officers in major government roles in the last 2 months, increasing the tally of army officers in government roles to 12. The claim is further strengthened by the assigning of important projects like the recent China-belt road to senior military leaders.

By appointing an increasing number of current and retired military officials in key positions, the government is ceding what little space civilians had in developing and executing policy in the country.

Uzair Younus, nonresident Senior Fellow, the Atlantic Council
  • Operation Lyari is a Pakistan Government crackdown against local gangs and other crime syndicates and a part of the greater Karachi Operation. Notorious Lyari gang leader, Noor Muhammad alias Baba Ladla was killed in Lyari during a shootout with Pakistani Rangers.
  • The Port of Karachi is one of South Asia’s largest and busiest deep-water seaports, handling about 60% of the nation’s cargo (25 million tons per annum) located in Karachi, Pakistan. The administration of the port is carried out by the Karachi Port Trust, which was established in the nineteenth century.
  • Benazir Bhutto was a Pakistani politician who served as Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996. She was the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority nation. Posthumously, she came to be regarded as an icon for women’s rights due to her political success in a male-dominated society.