As the overarching political priority for the Pakistani leadership becomes the TTP, an old breed of terrorism continues unabated. Yet another attack on a train in Sindh has killed eight people and wounded over twenty as the BRA claimed responsibility. Beyond verbal condemnation, no serious efforts have been made on the ground by the Government to deal with such widespread ethnic militancy in Balochistan.

Of course it is potent to ask why the BRA and BLA have resorted to this kind of violence, which began roughly around 2002 and seriously escalated by 2006.

Though the state has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, the legitimacy of the state’s oppression in this case comes into serious question. The use of effective policy, that first important tool in the Government’s arsenal of force, has not come close to addressing the conflict in Balochistan. Policy that allows for real and fair integration with the rest of the country’s economy, society and politics might be a good start. In fact, constructive negotiations could have a place in this conflict, where they seem to have none in the bargaining processes proposed with an incoherent TTP.

The Baloch separatist movement gains sympathetic support each time a civilian is killed out of hand. The missing person’s case continues to be a gross miscarriage of justice. People with no direct connections to the separatist movement are tortured and killed, with roadsides converted into dumping grounds for mutilated bodies.

The HRCP and various NGOs have tried time and again to get the government to do something. The previous regime was also approached, and just when it seemed that something might happen, the entire issue was brushed off as if it never existed. As we stand united in condemnation of the BRA bombings, the state must also reflect on its own mistakes. Ethnic violence and terrorism in Balochistan warrants seriously this analysis of motive.