The modern political theorists of the world examine politics as power. Power can be categorized in two aspects; hard and soft power. Relationships of power and force are nonpolitical and political rule is based on natural differences between human beings. States always use the tool of soft power after the settling of a conflict because the population of that area is usually docile and their perception can be molded easily.

In case of Balochistan, Pakistan faced five major insurgencies since its inception. In the history of these insurgencies, there was long-term instability. There was involvement in the use of armed force in the province which was principally an ideological and even theological struggle but it could not contain the violence. In the contemporary era, there has been an addition to the international and often religion-linked terrorist groups like IS in Balochistan.

Still, there are elements of insurgency and terrorism in Balochistan but it cannot be won by the belligerent armed operations. It has to be won by the development of a fresh narrative which provides a peaceful, humane, viable, motivating and effective alternative to the terrible visions of the Islamic State (IS), Lashak e Jhangvi (LeJ), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), to violence in Balochistan. Such a narrative will only be developed with soft power in collaboration with allies and stakeholders. It is the only way of avoiding the alternative narrative.

Federation always lies on the institutions. The backbone of the state is strong institutions. The key institutions that are capable of exerting soft power for the common good of the country and province should be supported by the federal and provincial government. Soft power can be used in Balochistan for the harmonization of state institutions. Recently there is a national event going in Pakistan called the Pakistan Super League. There is a strong team which is representing Balochistan in this league named Quetta Gladiators. For a layman, it’s merely a sports team but on a larger picture, it’s the identity of one province. Identity, culture and heritage always act as a vital tool for soft power. A sense of ownership is required in Balochistan for combatting ideological threats.

Discussing another domain of soft power it’s the media outlets. Balochistan government must have to make the media vibrant in the province. On the entertainment side, Brahui, Balochi movies and dramas should be crafted to engage the mindset of an audience sitting in the province. Moreover, these dramas and movies should be inculcated on National Television. The sole responsibility lies on the shoulders of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). When the media industry will be aware of new trends in Balochistan, other big investors will also be interested to invest in Balochistan. This will create revenue both for the state and people of Balochistan. These measures should be adopted by federal and provincial government to use soft power of endorsing development in the Balochistan.


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