Saturday, December 02, 2006

Trouble Continues in Baluchistan, Pakistan

The International Herald Tribune reported on Wednesday, 11/29/06, that "four bombs exploded minutes apart on a railway line linking Pakistan with neighboring Iran." No casualties and no indication of who did it.

On the same day the Pakistan police detained about 50 people "for breaching the peace." The detainees included a former chief minister of Baluchistan (Chief Ministers are locally elected but the province that elected him has been generally restive for a long time, so he is not liked by Pakistan's army, which actually rules the country). In the previous few days police also picked up as many as 200 workers and supporters of the Baluch National Party (BNP). The problem was that the BNP were planning a rally on the 30th. They have been agitating for a greater share in profits from the province's vast natural resources, including its gas reserves. And they became more insurgent after their 79 year old leader, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was killed in a military operation on August 26. Two BNP members of the Pakistan parliament resigned in protest.

Besides the worry of the police about the BNP there was also the problem of the radical group, Baluchistan Liberation Army, which has been bombing gas pipelines. The group has claimed responsibility for the killing of three Chinese engineers in the province in February this year.

There are a lot of issues in Baluchistan for the Pakistan administration to worry about.


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