Lack of inclusive developments in Balochistan is one of the major factors that has driven outfits such as the Baloch Raji Ajoi Sangar (BRAS) to protest against CPEC, China-Pakistan's flagship bilateral project.
Signs are emerging of trouble brewing for Pakistan in the Balochistan region. On Tuesday, Baloch and Sindhi pro-freedom organizations announced their union under one umbrella to fight the bilateral China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
Baloch Khan, spokesperson for Baloch Raji Ajoi Sangar (BRAS) said in a statement to the media, "Sindh and Balochistan are equally affected by the expansionist and oppressive resolves of China. Through the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China aims to subjugate Sindh and Balochistan and occupy the coasts and resources from Badin to Gwadar."
A session between leaders of pro-freedom organizations was held at an unknown location where the larger geopolitical situation was discussed and it was decided to form a United Front and joint strategy to liberate 'oppressed' Balochistan and Sindh from Pakistan, Baloch Khan added. Organisations that fall under the umbrella of Baloch Raji Ajoi Sangar (BRAS) include Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), Baloch Republican Army (BRA), Baloch Republican Guards (BRG), and the commanders of Sindh pro-independence organisation Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA).
While the CPEC comprises infrastructure projects with great benefits to Pakistan's Punjab and Sindh provinces, it offers the people of Balochistan virtually nothing. This has added to the fury of locals who have been protesting against the Pakistan government's exploitation of the province. Lack of inclusive developments in Balochistan is one of the major factors behind the unrest. Continued disregard for the Baloch and their demands is the reason why the region will remain restive, leading to increased threats to Chinese investments.
During the session, leaders of all of the BRAS groups unanimously agreed that the Sindhi and Baloch nations have had political, historical and cultural ties that have persisted for thousands of years. "Currently, both nations aim for independence and both consider Pakistan state (Punjab) an arch-enemy", the statement issued by spokesperson Baloch Khan said.
An armed rebellion in the provinces will raise the cost of CPEC that runs from Karachi all the way to Gwadar Port, a critical base for China and Pakistan.
India has expressed reservations with the CPEC project as it runs through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, the area illegally occupied by Pakistan