The separatist insurgency that has been shaking Paksitan's Baluchistan province--strategically bordering Afghanistan--since the beginning of the year seemed to have come out of nowhere. Finally, a Jan. 29 account in the BBC sheds some light. It seems the natural gas field at Sui lies at the heart of the unrest. Typically, it is a source of much of Pakistan's national wealth, yet little of it returns to the local peoples.
More violence in Pakistan's semi-autonomous Northwest Tribal Areas. This time rival clans in a land dispute in Miranshah, North Waziristan, decided to settle scores with live fire in the middle of a crowded market, leaving seven dead. (Bahrain's Gulf Daily News, Jan. 27)
Baluchi guerillas shut down Pakistan's top gas field with rocket attacks on the pipeline. Why is nobody paying attention?
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Supplies from Pakistan's main gas field have been fully restored, officials said on Saturday 11 days after a bloody attack by militant tribesmen seeking greater autonomy forced the field to be shut down.
If it hits the fan in Pakistan, Bush's victory in neighboring Afghanistan could be a Pyrric one... From AP:
QUETTA, Pakistan - Three rockets fired by unidentified assailants
landed in a residential area of this deeply conservative southwestern
Pakistani city, but no one was injured, police said Saturday.
Nobody's paying much attention, but Pakistan is on the brink of civil war. Taliban-types have taken power in much of the Northwest Tribal Areas along the Afghan border, while tribespeople in Baluchistan--also along the Afghan border, to the southwest--have launched an insurgency and apparently want to secede. US-Pakistani attempts to hunt down Osama and al-Qaeda elements believed to be hiding in the border region have only inflamed the situation. Now comes a claim that Iran is aiding the Baluch insurgency. Seems unlikely, given the depth of the Shi'ite-Sunni divide (a source of much bloodshed in Pakistan), but it could sure make convenient propaganda for Bush's new campaign against Iran...