Baloch Nationalism and the Geopolitics of Energy Resources: The Changing Context of Separatism in Pakistan

  • April 01, 2008
  • Dr Robert J Wirsing

The author examines the energy context of the simmering Baloch separatist insurgency that has surfaced in recent years in Pakistan’s sprawling Balochistan province. In particular, he looks at how Pakistan’s mounting energy insecurity--a product of rapid increase in demand coupled with rising scarcity and the region’s intensified energy rivalry--has both magnified the economic and strategic importance of this province while at the same time complicating Pakistan’s efforts to cope with the province’s resurgent tribal separatism. The author concludes that Pakistan’s government needs to overhaul its counterinsurgent policies to avoid protracted conflict and to enlist the Baloch as partners in energy development, not antagonists of it.