The Baloch people, not sardars or tribes, are at war with the State. The best testimony to this can be seen in the plight of military officers serving in Balochistan who are bunkered into their cantonments and cannot leave without taking the strictest security measures. Their families cannot go to marketplaces or parks or interact in the public sphere like normal citizens. Many Punjabi teachers and government officials have left Balochistan, and those who remain feel unsafe. The 14th of August is a Black Day in Balochistan, not Independence Day. You won’t see the Pakistani flag flying on rooftops or even on most government buildings. This cannot be the handiwork of ‘a few hundred guerrillas’. It is the response of an entire nation which has been utterly dispossessed and which has seen other nations progress at, what it can only construe as, its expense.
Regardless of our individual points of view on the matter, we need to recognise a simple reality first and foremost: the Baloch feel like a colonized people, whether or not you or I agree that they are so. [...] If we are able to understand the Baloch psyche, our heads will drop in shame at the realisation that it is our country, our military, and of course our silence, which is primarily (though not solely) responsible for what is happening in Balochistan today. Our responsibility in the present scenario is not to be the criminal investigators or the arbiters of justice. Our responsibility is, as the people of Pakistan, to oppose the colonial domination of Balochistan and accept the wishes of our Baloch brethren, whatever those wishes may be. The State will never do this, but we – the people – can. (Alia Amirali)