The so-called “Baloch Liberation Army” issued a video ultimatum to China over the weekend to discontinue its CPEC development projects in Pakistan’s Balochistan or face a renewed wave of terrorist attacks against its interests there, with this message unambiguously proving that the group is far from the “national liberation movement” that it purports to be but is really just a bunch of regional feudal terrorists that are doing the Hybrid War bidding of foreign powers.
South Asia As The Center Of The US’ “Pivot To Asia”
The US’ much-discussed “Pivot to Asia” was naively assumed by many to mostly concern East and Southeast Asia as America finagled to “contain” China there, but the reality is that South Asia seems to be taking the central focus in this new strategic paradigm. The US’ alliance with India is a geopolitical game-changer in Eastern Hemispheric affairs because it positions the South Asian state as the key component of the “Chinese Containment Coalition” that’s gradually being assembled against the People’s Republic, which in turn marries the two Great Powers’ interests and makes the US a stakeholder in India’s regional security. Accordingly, the overlap of interests that both of these allies have in stopping China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) has taken the form of the Hybrid War on CPEC against that global vision’s flagship project, ultimately manifesting itself in the upsurge of terrorist attacks committed over the past year by the so-called “Baloch Liberation Army” (BLA).
The Tip Of The Spear
While purporting to be a “national liberation movement” and being treated as such by the Mainstream Media, the BLA is really just a bunch of regional feudal terrorists that are doing the Hybrid War bidding of foreign powers. It’s enough to pair their directly stated objectives with the tacit ones of the US and India to realize this, especially keeping in mind the group’s latest video ultimatum to China over the weekend to discontinue its CPEC development projects in Pakistan’s Balochistan or face a renewed wave of terrorist attacks against its interests there like the recent Gwadar hotel storming that it proudly claimed credit for. There should be no doubt among objective observers that the BLA is an anti-Chinese terrorist organization tasked with being the tip of the US’ “Pivot to Asia'” spear by waging the Hybrid War on CPEC and destabilizing BRI as part of one of the most important proxy conflicts in the New Cold War, with the US and India also doing all they can to publicize the group’s goals and generate sympathy for them among the international audience.
That second-mentioned point is actually much more difficult to do than it may seem because the BLA doesn’t even make a pretense of supporting anything “noble”, instead openly saying that it’ll continue carrying out terrorist attacks against civilians in order to forcibly drive out foreign investment from this historically underdeveloped province so as to safeguard the feudal structure that has survived there for centuries. Unlike the US’ usual terrorists of choice, the BLA aren’t pursuing a religiously fundamentalist vision but a separatist one, albeit a future where the traditions of the past predominate to the detriment of the locals’ socio-economic development. Baloch culture is still very tribal and controlled by chieftains who the locals are expected to remain loyal to, even though those communal leaders sometimes behave more like feudal lords by treating those below them as their personal property and depriving them of their wealth.
Chinese-Driven Socio-Economic Changes
That’s begun to change in recent years, however, as billions of dollars of Chinese investment flooded into the region and consequently saw the construction of modern-day transportation, health, educational, and social infrastructure through CPEC. China knows that Pakistan is the global pivot state because of its irreplaceable role at the crossroads of Eurasia’s many countries and civilizations, with its province of Balochistan being the fulcrum of this entire vision because it hosts the CPEC terminal port of Gwadar, hence why it’s investing so heavily in its potential all across the board. Be that as it may, some of the traditional feudal lords feel threatened by these changes because they know that their power over the people will naturally decline as the province becomes more developed, which is why they’re more than eager to engage in acts of terrorism against their homeland and its Chinese partner in order to preserve this failing system in which they have a key stake.
The Amero-Indian Proxy War
The US and India are well aware of this state of regional affairs and are attempting to exploit it to the utmost, taking advantage of the fact that this terrorist campaign is actually decades old but is being revived in response to CPEC and resultantly receiving a bunch of global news coverage because of it unlike before. To be clear, the Pakistani state is meeting the needs of the local population and addressing their various grievances, so those who are engaging in the BLA’s terrorism aren’t “freedom fighters” but loyal feudalists who are treasonously cooperating with foreign powers in order to suppress their own people. Even so, that angle of their campaign is conspicuously left out of the Mainstream Media’s coverage and only the anti-Chinese one is emphasized for reasons of “political convenience” since there’s a clear contradiction between the “democratic” principles that the US and India allege to support and the anti-democratic goals being advanced by the BLA.
BRI-Aid + PBU + Veterans = Democratic Security
It’s therefore important for Pakistan and China to draw international attention to the feudalist goals that foreign-backed Baloch terrorism is trying to achieve, as well as to highlight their own joint actions in bettering the lives of the local people there. The most effective “Democratic Security” (anti-Hybrid War) measure that could be implemented in the province is to promote patriotic organizations such as Dr. Jumma’s Pakistani Baloch Unity (PBU, formerly Overseas Pakistani Baloch Unity before its recent rebranding) and establish a workflow where Chinese humanitarian aid (“BRI-Aid“, the author’s name for this proposed concept modeled off of USAID) is distributed to the locals through the Baloch veterans of the Pakistan Armed Forces who could act as reliable conduits between civil society and the state. The creation of this interconnected structure linking together Chinese aid, local patriotic organizations, and reliable veteran conduits between the two would go a long way towards stabilizing the region, and this model could even be transplanted upon perfection to other BRI countries where similar Hybrid Wars are being waged such as Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
China’s multibillion-dollar investments in Pakistan’s Balochistan are helping its people move from feudalism to the future, but some stakeholders in the old system militantly refuse to go along with this progressive process because they stand to lose power once their “subjects” are socio-economically liberated. In turn, they’ve renewed their terrorist campaign in the region with foreign assistance from the US and India in exchange for prioritizing these two Great Powers’ anti-Chinese objectives in the Hybrid War on CPEC, which explains why the so-called “Baloch Liberation Army” would so audaciously brag about its desire to kill as many Chinese and other civilians as possible yet doesn’t fear being branded as the terrorist organization that it truly is by the Mainstream Media. Far from being the “national liberation movement” that they purport to be, these fighters are nothing more than regional feudal terrorists who are doing the bidding of foreign powers, but the combination of kinetic and non-kinetic “Democratic Security” measures by the Pakistani state, its Chinese partners, and local patriotic organizations can eliminate this Hybrid War threat once and for all.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.