Announcements :
• Dr. Muhammad Hanif Khalil has resumed the charge as Acting Director of the National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad w.e.f. 25-09-2023
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National Institute of Pakistan Studies
Name of ScholarMohammad Rizwan
Title of Dissertation Political Development in the NWFP and Baluchistan : 1971 to 1976
Issue Date2012
PublisherNational Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
Abstract

The main purpose of this dissertation is to highlight events related to the political developments in the North-West Frontier Province (presently renamed as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Baluchistan during 1971-1976. This is an effort to provide a brief historical sketch of the Pashtoon and Baloch ethno-nationalist movements in their respective areas during the reign of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, which would provide a classic case study in low intensity conflict.

The present study is an attempt to provide an indication of the patterns of political violence in the NWFP and Baluchistan during 1970s and to pinpoint the impacts of ‘counterinsurgency’ on the Pashtoons and Baluch societies. It will try to explain that how Pakistan, despite being a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual country, has continuously been adopting nation-state paradigm in order to achieve integrity. However, it has consistently been a cradle of insurgencies since it achieved independence. Politicization, education, communication and other processes of modernization inevitably promoted identity-consciousness among different communities of Pakistan. However, Pashtoon and Baluch, in their respective areas, have developed a high degree of cultural sub-national awareness. This study considers post-1970 election period as a crucial era because the majority party was refused power which ultimately resulted in the military action in the then East Pakistan. the political agitation soon emerged into a full-fledged was between the Pakistan army and the Awami League workers joined by the majority of the Bengali  population who had many grievances against West wing of Pakistan since 1947. This war eventually resulted in the dismemberment of Pakistan. the formation of Bangladesh out of East Pakistan in December 1971 was a severe blow to the solidarity and integrity of Pakistan. The incident gave a new boost to the ethno-regional forces in the country and at this stage any disagreement over the formation of the governments in NWFP or Baluchistan could have further deepened the political crises.

The present study elaborates this aspect that Bhutto’s political ambitions led him to undermine the elected governments of Baluchistan and the NWFP and their eventual dismissal. This was followed by an extremely repressive policy of Centre towards regional ethnic movements through the use of force. In order to combat terrorism, the policy of hegemonic control by the Central authorities and by stressing on the use of force instead of sorting out a political solution further deteriorated the situation. Consequently, atmosphere had apparently reverted to normalcy but the policies further politicized the ethnic movements, an in Baluchistan, the ethno-nationalist movement threatened to turn secessionist.