Dynamics of Baloch Youth in the Mainstream Discussion in the Prevailing Traditional Threat Matrix

Coastal Highway Balochistan, Pakistan

Balochistan has been witnessing a shift in the traditional threat matrix. Where the miscreant’s elements from across the border have been trying to ensure their footprints in the province. For this drive, they are using the Baloch sub-nationalists and youth. The involvement of youth in anti-state activities is the biggest challenge for the state. The Balochistan province of Pakistan forms over 43% of the Pakistani landmass. However, it is thinly populated and constitutes only 5% of the total population of Pakistan. Strategically and economically, the province is a significant part of the country as it is going serve as Pakistan’s economic hub for regional connectivity and trade due to the presence of Gwadar port.  The youth of any nation have the potential to play a transformative role in shaping the sociopolitical landscape of their communities and beyond. Pakistan has more than 64% of youth which is below 30. 52% of the population of Balochistan is youth. They can bring about positive change and build a more just and equitable world by working together and leveraging their collective power and benefiting from the economic development projects like China Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC). In this way, Baloch youth can work for socio-political change. Young people have historically been at the forefront of social and political movements.

Moreover, Baloch youth can create networks of like-minded individuals who share a common vision for change and come forward for the development and progress of the provincial economic hub. Baloch Youth can use their collective voice to influence policymakers and public opinion on important issues and make their contributions to their province. By advocating for policy changes that address social and economic inequalities, promote human rights, and protect the environment, they can help shape the future of their communities and Balochistan.  The youth of Balochistan can challenge existing status and power structures that perpetuate social and political inequalities as we witness the existing feudal system has been the reason behind the grievances of the Baloch people. They can use their unique perspective to question the status quo and push for change. They can help create a more equitable society by promoting diversity and inclusion and challenging discrimination and prejudice.

Balochistan and its people have been victims of hostile agencies and foreign state-sponsored terrorism. This terrorism has long been a hurdle in the development and progress of Balochistan and its youth. The main objective of foreign elements is to create instability in Balochistan and generate grievances in youth for the state. These foreign elements have been thriving in their agendas in the name of Baloch nationalism. Baloch youth should rise against these as they ultimately want to sabotage the peace and prosperity of Balochistan. The youth of Balochistan needs to make answerable these so-called nationalist organizations what they have provided to their province except misery and also question those leading them astray and encouraging them to kill innocent citizens and security officers in Balochistan in order to help achieve the objectives of hostile foreign agencies.  The younger generation of Baloch should pause and consider the possibility that a state can turn against its citizens. This separation is brought about through miscommunication and disinformation spread by adversarial agencies. These antagonistic neighbors oppose Balochistan’s need for peace and stability, which is the only way to ensure the province’s prosperous and safe future.

In fostering the growth and development of its youth, the state always assumes the role of a mother. However, it is people who abuse this power and attempt to bite the hand that feeds them. The state of Pakistan has initiated peace talks and negotiations with the Baloch Nationalist organizations numerous times and has made an effort to resolve their concerns. However, their leader’s demands always result in a deadlock in the negotiations. The government, especially in Balochistan, constantly works to clear up misperceptions, emphasize the state’s maternal role, and instill trust in the populace. The government is not the adversary of dissidents (Baloch sub-nationalists). The state constantly works to encourage youth participation by emphasizing the importance of international organizations, particularly Indians capitalizing on our shortcomings. In order to involve Balochistan, Pakistan has launched a number of initiatives including the Youth Pehchan Programme and the Balochistan Youth Action Committee, both of which will be implemented in 2020.

The bravery and patriotism of the Baloch people and youth are seen in their steadfast loyalty to their homeland. But in order to achieve their goal and disturb the peace in Balochistan, their loyalty to their country has been abused by foreign handlers and agencies. The new generation in Balochistan has been misled, and it has issues that need to be revised in light of the current circumstances. The true game-changer in Balochistan is peace. For a better and more affluent Balochistan and Pakistan, integration, reconciliation and confidence-building measures (CBMs) are the end state and peace is the ultimate goal. Pakistan’s state is engaging with Baloch youth in discussion for this to happen because ultimately youth of Balochistan can bring change to Balochistan which for the last 75 years is in a state of limbo. 

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