By Sikander Hayat
These days it is becoming fashionable to invoke East Pakistan every time someone talks about Balochistan. Now I am all for learning from history but there are some comparisons which cannot be made basically because of facts related to such situations.
Here are some of the major differences between East Pakistan & Balochistan:
1. When East Pakistan became Bangladesh it had greater population than West Pakistan whereas Balochistan is 5% of Pakistan’s total population.
2. Population mix is an indicator as well because East Pakistan was nearly 100% Bengali while the population mix in Balochistan is 50% Baloch and the remaining 50% is made up of Pashtuns, Brahwis, Sindhis and some Punjabis.
3. Capital of Balochistan Quetta is a Baloch minority city as it dominated by the Pashtuns in addition to a sizable Sindhi and Punjabi population.
4. Dhaka which was the Capital of East Pakistan was never a Bengali minority city and it does not bode well for any secessionist movement if the proposed capital of your state has the minority of your ethnic kin in the name of whom you claim to fight for.
5. According to an article in Institute of defence studies and analyses "The trouble is that while many of the tribal Sardars, in their hearts might be supportive of the Baloch cause, or are being forced by public sentiment as well as the circumstances on the ground to pay lip-service to the aspirations of the Baloch people (for example, Akhtar Mengal insisting on a dialogue with the Pakistani authorities under the aegis of the UN!), they are not willing to put aside their personal egos in the service of Baloch nationalism. Their personal ambitions, feuds, rivalries, a desire to be one-up on their fellow sardars makes it impossible for all of them to come together for the larger cause of their people".