Animesh Roul was quoted in IBTimes on "Balochistan"

Animesh Roul was quoted by International Business Times in an article titled "Balochistan: Pakistan’s ‘Dirty War’ In Its Poorest, Most Lawless, But Resource-Rich Province."(September 14, 2013)

Animesh Roul, a Delhi-based South Asia analyst with the Jamestown Foundation and executive director of the Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict, told the IBTimes that since the death of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the original Baloch liberation movement has been severely diluted and weakened. “Most of the rebel leaders have fled the land and settled in Geneva, London or other European cities, including exiled pro-Baloch hardliners, Munir Mengal and Barahamdagh Bugti, to name a few,” he said. “Now the Baloch separatist tendencies are replaced by political and social reconciliation, but with demands for greater autonomy and control over natural resources and administrations.”

Roul also noted that Iran has to be careful in how it deals with the Baloch puzzle in Pakistan. “Not long ago, Iran was a passive spectator of the whole Balochistan-Pakistan saga,” he said. “[But] with the advent of the Chinese and the construction projects [in Pakistan], Iran became suspicious and is reportedly siding with some Baloch nationalist leaders,” he said. “The killings of Shias and Hazara by the Taliban and other sectarian groups like Lashkar e Jhangvi in Balochistan also irritates Iran.”

But Iran doesn’t want to see the formation of a so-called Greater Balochistan: Because it has its own restive Baloch region, such a development would mean the loss of territory and resources to the Islamic Republic. “So Iran tries to remain balanced,” Roul said. “The strategic location of Balochistan is one of the critical factors, too. So it’s more complex than it seems.”


International Business Times, September 14, 2013