On the so-called ‘Kalat Independence Day’ on Aug 11, Mir Suleman Dawood, grandson of the last ruler of Kalat, announced the creation of a council of Baloch separatist elements in Pakistan and Iran who will press for the formation of an ‘independent Balochistan’.
Mr Dawood’s demand for an ‘independent’ Baloch state clearly cannot be countenanced; tomorrow marks the 62nd anniversary of Pakistan’s creation and there simply isn’t any room for debate about altering the physical boundaries of the country today. Pakistan’s problems — and, yes, there are many — can only realistically and viably be solved within the framework of Pakistan. Yet, while Mr Dawood’s demand must necessarily be dismissed, it points to ongoing problems in Balochistan that show no sign of abating, and this 18 months after national elections to usher in a new, democratic government in the country. Continue reading