Saturday, 28 February 2009

Balochistan - Troubles Of A Demographic Nature

BY SIKANDER HAYAT


Today, I am thinking about writing on the issue of Balochistan and its delicate ethnic balance but first here are some facts about the demographic situation in Balochistan. According to various sourses on the web,


“Balochistan has a population of around 10 million inhabitants. Overall, the Baloch and Brohi tribes comprise 50% of the province's population. The rest are mainly Pashtuns, Hazaras and Sindhis. Baloch are concentrated in the sparsely populated north-west, west, east and south; Brohis in the centre of the province, while the Pashtuns are the majority in the north. Quetta, the capital of the province, has a Pashtun majority with Baloch, Hazaras and Punjabi minorities.
Near the Kalat region and other parts of the province there are significant numbers of Brahui speakers. Along the coast various Makrani Balochis predominate. In addition, 769,000 Afghan refugees can be found in the province including Pashtuns, Tajiks, and Hazaras. Many Sindhi farmers have also moved to the more arable lands in the east. There are also a growing number of other(s) ethnic groups consisting of Kurdish, Panjabi, Mohajir and Iranians who have made Balochistan their home in recent decades.”

“Balochistan's landscape in the 1980s changed markedly as Afghan refugee camps were established throughout the northern parts of the province. In many instances, temporary mud housing eventually became transformed into concrete structures. The refugees also caused the demographic balance to change as ethnic Pashtuns from inside Pakistan came to settle in Balochistan.”

Given the above information I beleive that demographics is the issue at the heart of present unrest in Baloch areas of Balochistan. The common people have been told by the tribal chiefs that due to large number of mega projects like Gwadar port, a large body of non Baloch are moving into the area of Balochistan and soon Baloch will be a demographic minority.

It is evident from the census records that Baloch who were once the majority in Balochistan by a long way are now nearly 50% of the total population with a large number of Pashtuns living in the area as well. Other large minority are Sindhis speakers with a small number of Punjabi speakers present as well.

Hence the targeted killing of innocent non Balochis, especially Punjabis.


These demographic trends have emerged more by accident then design and as mentioned earlier Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, brought more than 3 million Afghan refugees into Pakistan and these people settle all along the Pakistani side of Afghanistan Pakistan border. Many of these Pashun people have settled in Pakistan and in the process changes the demographic landscape of Balochistan.

Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan is 50% Pashtoon and Baloch are a minority in Quetta.


It seems to me that all three major outfits of the Baloch cause have decided that instead of taking on hard targets they should pick on soft targets and apart from killing Punjabi speakers, they have also kidnapped an innocent UN worker who has been in their captivity for last many months.



At one level, the trouble makers have found a very good way of correcting the demographic trends by killing people but it may backfire when Pakistan government will have to complete army garrison towns in parts of Balochistan to control these restive regions.

The history of garrison towns in Pakistan suggest that once they are established and start functioning they have a habit of exponential growth in terms of civilian population and examples of this phenomenon are littered all over Pakistan. Currently there are plans to build at least three such towns in the Balochistan region. Baloch, who already are at 50% of the population see this as an attempt by the Pakistani government to bring there demographic percentage further down and eventually dilute it to the point where they do not have any claim to the cause of Baloch ethnic group.



I believe that building these cantonments will be a great stride towards providing prosperity to the Baloch region as it will bring increased investment and skills to the region. I also do not buy the argument that these garrison towns will compromise Baloch identity because Punjab has the highest number of these towns and is the most prosperous of them all. These towns bring with them prosperity and continuous employment for the local people and Punjab has experienced that phenomenon first hand.



If these cantonments were actually a tool of occupation then there would not have been any of them in Punjab as surely Pakistan army has not occupied Punjab!

I do admit that mistakes have been made in handling the issue of Balochistan and it is high time that both sides sat together and resolved the issues once and for all.


Related Posts:

1. Balochistan - Bugti, Marri & Mengal Sardars Are Keeping People in Their Areas Underdeveloped To Further Their Own Political Cause

2. Why Balochistan is Not East Pakistan?

3. Pakistan & The Provinces – The Question of Provincial Autonomy & Its Impact On Pakistan’s Future Prosperity

4. Pakistani Balochistan - Call for creation of Pashtoon province

22 comments:

  1. what about expeling the afghan and Hazara Refugees,as they have no right to remain in Pakistan, as the are afghanies and should leave now.

    Most of the moral corruption and terrorism is caused by the hazara and Afghanies.

    Hazara Girls are famous in Quetta for selling out their body, followed by the afghani girls.

    One can also not differ to the fact that most of drug and weapon bussiness is carried out by the Afghan Refugees, Robberies and Kidnappings are mostly work of the Afghanies.

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  2. Very informative!

    You are right, they should not fear people moving in there.

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  3. BTW, very nice pictures.

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  4. The Pakistan government allows the Afghans to move into Balochistan because they see them as a counterweight to the Balocj insurgency. Having created the taliban and Afghan islamists, they are now being badly bitten by their own creation. Yet they still don't learn.

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  5. hazaras are the beauty of balochistan.
    afghanis their case is different.

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  6. ONLY BALOCHS ARE the beauty of Baluchistan. It is our home land. Even word Baluchistan means" land of balochs". Our concern is right and no sarder or nawab is telling about this conspiracy being hatched by Pakistanis. main balochistan azad beet. wasee balochistan kis ha nah dain. balochistan main hain thain nain. Hazaraz are Afghanis too and they must be expelled.Many pashtoons who have arrived in my land from pashtoonkawa should leave either.

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  7. you baalochis are traitors, indian raw agents, you are all full of money hungry backward sadars and nawabs

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  8. Mr Bloach, under what bases you are seeking separation from Pakistan. Bloachistan has Pashtoons, Brahui, Bloachs, Makranis, Punjabis, Hazaras, Sindhis, Afghanis and Iranians living in different parts of the province. If you want a separate homeland based on your Bloach identity, why all other people should not ask for separate homeland within Bloachistan as well. I mean Makranistan for Makranis, New Afghanistan for Afghanis. New Pakhtoonkhawa for Pashtoons. Brahuistan for Brahuis etc. Your Sardars are accepting money from RAW and giving you lectures that other people are looting your wealth and identity. Mega projects in your province are for your welfare as they will bring employment and raise the prices of real estate in the province. You can choose to live in Punjab if Punjabi come and live in your province, no body stop you from doing this. Infact a lot of Bloach tribes own southern Punjab, Lagharis, Mazaris, Khosas and Khar. Did Punjabi ever cried on this. Muslim nation is already divided and yet people like you want to keep it dividing unless every person has his own country. One country per person, right. Look at USA, it accepts people from all over the world and yet it the most prosperous country.

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  9. ^^^^Why you are crying men? we baloch are not seeking separation because we were never part of pakistan and sub-continent ...we are fighting against occupiers, who occupied our land on 27 march 1948. first you should read our history...M.ali jinnah was our(baloch's state) legal adviser then how can we recognize a servant of our nation as our leader.We are fighting for national liberation and identification so dont call it separation

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  10. Dear Mr Jamal Nasir Baloch,

    Thanks for putting forward your point of view. But as you have a right to say your mind, we, the other Pakistanis, have that right too. Baluchistan, was part of Pakistan from the day one and will remain so. Yes, there have been mistakes but which part of Pakistan is immune from these mistakes or injustices. Baluchistan can have a lot of autonomy over the affairs of the province but within the constitution of Pakistan. If some Baloch Sardars think that they can wrest it away than there will be a long period of conflict in the province and given the current geopolitical climate in the world, it will not be possible for the province to break away. Look at the Tamils in Sri Lanka, look at the Chechans in Russian Federation, look at the Basque in Spain, look at the Kashmiris in India. The days of winning separation by force are over even if you keep fighting for 100 years.
    Once again many thanks for your input to this debate.

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  11. First of all Boluchistan is internationally recognized part of Pakistan, nor it is a disputed terrority.The current status of Boluchistan province was given by Yahya Khan after the break up of one unit.There are various ethnic groups living in the province who are over 50 per cent are not supportive and symphatheic towards seperatist groups.Even among Boluch population majority groups and tribes consider Pakistan as their country.Just for Mari, Bugti and Mangal sardars Boluchistan can not be surrendered.The so called concept of Greater Boluchistan is is an old relic of former Soviet Union and its crony India.Now some of these seperatist groups are on pay roll of New Delhi to destabilize Pakistan and stop China to build and develop Gawadar port.Since Phatans of Boluchistan are dihard Pakistanis and they are brave enough to encounter anti Pakistan thugs in Boluchistan.MASOOD RAJA

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  12. Dear Masood,

    Thanks for your input to the issue of Baluchistan, its demography, its ethnic balance, its sardars & the other issues regarding Baluchistan. I hope that you will visit again and put forward yuor views regarding this or any other issues discussed on this blog.

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  13. How can you ever have peace within your borders when no apparent attempt is made to embrace multi-ethnic issues? While in the West, we are urged to accept those of totally different racial backgrounds to our own, Baluchistan is a good example of people pulling against each other.

    As for the derogatory remarks re. Hazara girls, you can bet they are trafficked by men as no girl or woman would dare to offer herself independently.

    And in any event, she, whether Hazara or Afghan girl, is feeding male desire.

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  14. The first above comments pointing girls of a particular tribe is absolutely derogatory and against morality. I am not Hazara, but I appreciate Hazaras for their hardworking efforts for maintaining their identity. If Baloch or any other tribe had been in so minority instead of Hazaras they would have been now extincted. It is an organized fact that Baloch girls and Pashtoon girls in Quetta are selling their bodies too. More, Tajik girls and Pashtoon Qandari girls also sell their bodies in disguise of being Hazara. One should differentiate between them. Again, a large number of Zahidani Baloch girls also sell their bodies in Quetta.
    Gul Muhammad Khan, Quetta, Balochistan

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  15. Very right......
    fight & abuse each other. separatism & racism is all we need. we do not need unity among us. ethnicity is greater than religion.
    next time when you see Muslims being targeted by Christian, Jews & Hindus don't ask why this is happening.

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  16. i have one question for all of you that is why cant we all live togther with peace,love and unity. all muslims r brothers irrespect of any cast.islam teachs us unity.now a days muslim r divinding and unity among them is almost ended.what psthun wht baloch what sindhi n wht punjbi come on just forget it be a true muslim and true pakistani. we all r recognized as pakistani in all over the world not as pasthun or baloch or punjabi or sindhi or any other cast.i cant understand all that. muslims r facing a bad downfall. once again i will say be a good muslim and forget ur cast.india n other non muslim countries wants muslims to be finished n destroyed.allah helps us.

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  17. so far as defaming Hazaras are concerned they are totally baseless and is an attempt by Baloch separatist who want to conceal all their ignorance, backwardness as an act of jelousy. you should look at the ground realities that Hazaras are almost 90% educated and you may hardly find any begger among them. Today what ever development you see in Quetta is all due to the efforts made by Hazaras. you beasty basterds are beggers in your own land.

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  18. To my knowledge as well, Hazaras of Balochistan are a law abiding community but due to their predominantly Shia faith gets targeted by the sectarian groups. Also Baloch insurgents do not like them due to their compliance with the laws of the state and see them as the tools of federation.
    I would urge the readers of this blog to not defame anyone just because of their race or creed. Everyone is welcome to share their opinion but please keep it within the realm of sobriety.

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  19. Its weird how indians going on about balochistan, when im a baloch and i love my Pakistan!! FUCK OFF Indian kafir slumdogs!!

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  20. Hello everyone, I am sorry for missing out the main battle but I have joined now.Dividing Old provinces on administrative base seems fine, but dividing it on false claims of oppression and occupation is unfair. I served in a military unit and read its history very thoroughly. The unit was a Baloch regiment and had a Company of Hazara soldiers and a company of Baloch soldiers. Now this was back in 30's and 40's. Two companies out of four are a sizable representation. Still we have a lot of Baloch officers and soldiers in Army. I have spent some 20 years in Balochistan, got my early education from Quetta and most of my friends are from Balochistan. None of my friends ever said or felt oppressed by Pakistan. The problem of provincial depravity is also not one sided. The governments of Balochistan were always headed by Balochis and the failure to progress should be theirs too. Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti remained a Chief Minister, but during his time too the province could not progress, the reason was not his incompetence, but the stubbornness of Baloch sardars who did not let him do any good to the province. The expatriate sardars get the financing from some renowned interested parties and creat this feeling of oppression and unfairness.

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  21. Hi Bilal,

    Thanks for your comment on this blog. I hope that you will keep visiting.

    Regards
    Sikander Hayat

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  22. hello to every one ..
    Anonymous you have not permision to abuse hazara people i am hazara i am prout to be hazara is peace lover and well educated people in balochistan hazara people are never septralist....hazara are pure pakistani.... ...
    hazara love and respect all other nation baloch pakhthun......
    if we are shia does not matter...
    we respect all religon either it is isalm or hindu etc....

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