Balochistan: Why Persistent Mistrust?
Balochistan is complementary to the very existence of Pakistan for four main reasons. One, it is the largest province which occupies about 44% of the total landmass of the country. Pakistan minus Balochistan means reducing its geographic size to almost half which brings it into the list of very small countries. With such a reduction in its geographical size, the country would not be able to sustain its independence against disproportionately large and potentially hostile neighbours. Second, Pakistan without Balochistan especially Makran coast loses its geostrategic relevance. In view of the evolving geoeconomic scenario, whosoever controls this long coastline would enjoy dominance in the region. Pakistan, in this case, would shrink to irrelevance and find itself at the mercy of those controlling the Makran coast. Third, the natural resources of Balochistan represent the lifeline of Pakistan. Without these, it would have to look towards India and Iran. Its other two neighbours i.e. China and Afghanistan would not be able to help even if they wished to do so because of geographical restraints and geo-political environments respectively. Fourth, it would speed up the process of disintegration, which started in 1971 with the departure of East Pakistan and the making of a separate country.