One of the reasons for the fresh wave of unrest in Balochistan is being linked with the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, which has forced Baloch terror groups, who were operating from hideouts in Helmand and Kandahar in the war-torn nation, to flee into the Pakistani province.
Pakistan in the past has had its problems with the former Ashraf Ghani government in relation to cross-border movement, terror hideouts of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Baloch militants inside Afghanistan and the extended support that Afghan Intelligence agencies along with external actors.
Pakistan accused the US-backed Ghani regime for harbouring and supporting anti-Pakistan groups and using them to spread terror and instability in the country.
Pakistan has maintained that its operation against terror elements forced TTP and Baloch groups to seek flee the country and find refuge in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Islamabad claims that these groups were being facilitated to target Pakistan’s and Chinese interests in the region.
When the Taliban took over control of Afghanistan in August 2021, authorities in Islamabad handed over a list of organisations and individuals from the TTP and Baloch organisations, calling on the new leadership to ensure that these terror elements are nabbed and stopped from spreading chaos in Pakistan.
“Afghan Taliban eliminated the hideouts of Baloch groups on Afghan soil. Most of the Baloch terrorists fled Afghansitan after the Taliban takeover,” said a senior Pakistani official on the basis of anonymity.
Since then, a fresh wave of violence has engulfed Balochistan, while terror groups like the Balochistan National Army (BNA), formed through a merger of various small separatist groups, also claimed attacks in major cities including Lahore, other than a series of terror attacks on various security checkposts in the province.
While it seems that the Taliban cooperated with Pakistan on the issue of Baloch terror groups and eliminated their hideouts in Afghanistan; the Afghan Taliban have been deliberately reluctant in taking a similar strong action against the TTP.
Analysts believe that Taliban have opted the same strategy on TTP as Pakistan opted with the Americans on the Taliban.
As per the same strategy, the Taliban, instead of taking action against TTP installations in Afghanistan, have offered their good offices to facilitate both the TTP and Pakistan to find a solution and have mutual agreements on face saving strategy to end the longstanding conflict.