“Rouse him, and learn the principle of his activity or inactivity. Force him to reveal himself, so as to find out his vulnerable spots.”

― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Analysis of Balochistan’s security requires close examination of its manifold socio-economic and political problems. Balochistan’s geography influences the power politics of the regional powers, their spheres of influence, territorial expansion, propagation of ideologies, military intervention, coercion etc. while the application of economic aid has been used to create dependency, confusion and instability. Apart from the problems of poor communication links between Balochistan and the rest of the country, this province has seen five major insurgency eras. Military might was the only solution available for the statecrafts sitting in the echelon of the state. Such Short sightedness and myopic ideas push the resentments of Baloch people in another quagmire.

Two days ago Government of Pakistan suspended internet services in three major districts of Balochistan. Chaman, Pashin and Qila Abdullah are the districts where the internet services as well as wireless data services, 3G, 4G/LTE, GPRS of Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) and PTCL has been suspended due to some security concerns. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MOIT), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the Law Enforcement Agencies are in the loop for this suspension of technology from these three districts. These state organs even did not give any specific date that on what date suspension will be restored.

One can find the lead back in 2oo9 when Government of Pakistan had issued a regulation, as per Telecom Act of Pakistan, for possible termination of Telecom services in a particular region or whole of Pakistan, due to any concern relating to national security, told a highly reliable source at Ministry of IT and Telecom. For the government, it is just a safety measure but for ordinary people living in a specific region, it is an act of sophistry.

It’s not only in Balochistan but the services have been suspended in FATA and Mohmand agency since March 2017. The reason for that blockade of the internet is the ongoing military operation over there. It was all started with the clash between Pakistan army and Afghanistan army on Torkham border back in 2016.

The issue raised in the parliament when the Senates Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication indicated that position is more aggravated than it seems. It was being discussed that people could not access anyone due to this unpleasant access. Furthermore, it’s been more than 6 months which is peculiar in nature when you are living in a globalized world.

In this milieu, the question arises in mind that Balochistan districts have been marginalized in the technology or it is just a matter of time. Discussing the purpose of this suspension of telecommunication, it lies under the pretext of national security and is it fruitful yet. Not even a single unpleasant event witnessed in the holy month of Muharram whereas history witnessed Hazara killings in every year. Furthermore, these measures are not only fruitful in Balochistan but recently Pakistan Army recovered five foreign hostages: a Canadian, his US national wife and their three children. It is pertinent to mention they have been rescued from Kurram Agency FATA where the services have been shut down since March. So rather questioning the authorities, cooperation of nation and harnessing the efforts is the need of the hour. The prime responsibility of authorities is to enlighten the people about the situation so the things may not be forged in the wrong pretext.


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