1947: At the time of Partition, Balochistan consisted of four princely states, namely Makran, Lasbela, Kharan and Kalat. The first three willingly joined Pakistan in 1947, while Ahmed Yaar Khan, the Khan of Kalat declared independence.
April 1948: Pakistani army invaded Kalat and the Khan surrendered. His brother, Prince Abdul Karim, continued to resist with around 700 guerrillas but was soon crushed.
1954: Anti-One Unit movement in Balochistan turned violent. Nawab Mir Nauroz Khan Zarakzai, chief of Zehri tribe, led a resistance of 1,000 militia against the army.
July 1960: Nauroz’s son was hanged after being convicted of treason.
1962: Nauroz ...view middle of the document...
1977: After the imposition of martial law by Gen. Zia ul Haq, general amnesty was declared by military governor Rahimuddin Khan.
1978: Army action ceased; development and educational policies were restarted. The conflict claimed the lives of 3,300 troops, 5,300 Baloch (militants), and thousands of civilians.
Early 1991: Khair Buksh Marri, leader of BLA, returned to Pakistan.
January 10, 2005: President Pervez Musharraf told the Baloch nationalists: “Don’t push us … it is not the 1970s, and this time you won’t even know what has hit you”.
2005: The government concentrated its attention on Dera Bugti and Akbar Bugti, after he became quite critical of the army’s presence.
Late 2005-early 2006: Pakistan military launched artillery and air strikes and sieged Dera Bugti. Many civilians were killed and 85 per cent of the 25,000-strong population fled. The town of Kohlu also came under siege; military operations occurred throughout the province.
2005: 15-point agenda presented by Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and Mir Balach Marri.
August 2006: Akbar Bugti was killed by Pakistan Army in self-imposed hiding.
April 2009: BNM president Ghulam Mohammed Baloch and two other nationalist leaders Lala Munir and Sher Muhammad were abducted and killed; this led to riots and unrest in Balochistan.
August 2009: Khan of Kalat Mir Suleiman Dawood declared himself ruler of Balochistan and formally announced a Council for Independent Balochistan.
Mid 2010: ‘Killing the killers’ campaign against Baloch insurgents increased.
2011: 107 new cases of enforced disappearances were reported by The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
2003-2012: Nationalists claim about 8,000 people were kidnapped by security forces in Balochistan. The government disputes the claim.
The dynamics of a crisis
The recent decision by the Supreme Court to investigate the state of governance in Balochistan has once again put the spotlight on Pakistan’s longest running insurgency which also continues to be the biggest headache for the country’s security establishment.
Over the years, the insurgents’ ranks have swelled, as increasing numbers of Baloch political leaders have opted from the mainstream politics towards the nationalists’ side. Increasingly, they have little choice as the insurgents say whoever is not with them is against them and that call has been gathering massive public support in the province evoking sentiments that no politician can ignore.
Balochistan’s geographical location has always made it a strategically important pivot for the region. Its coastline runs up to the Iranian border — ending just before the straits of Hormuz through which pass a good 30 per cent of the world’s oil supply. It shares borders with Iran and Afghanistan.
Nato officials have consistently stated that Balochistan is the main centre of Taliban recruitment and training and that the Taliban high council — the fabled Quetta Shura — operate out of the provincial capital. Additionally, Iran also...