Bengaluru: While the entire world has been discussing and debating the abrogation of articles 370 and 35A, social media is discussing the issue of Balochistan and how it is not a part of Pakistan.

Pakistan has four provinces - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh – apart from Balochistan.

Reportedly, the total area of the province is 44% of total area of Pakistan and the population is 1.3 crore, which is 7% of the entire population.

This controversial province of Balochistan is a land blessed with natural resources like oil, gas, copper and gold. This being the case, it is a very important province for Pakistan. Moreover, the province also shares its border with Iran and Afghanistan as well. The Gwadar port is also of great importance to Pakistan.

The province wants to extricate itself from the stranglehold of Pakistan as people of this province are ethnically, socially and culturally different from Pakistan.

It needs to be mentioned here that in spite of Balochistan being blessed with natural resources, it is one of the most backward regions.

There is an army called the Balochistan Liberation Army which yearns to liberate Balochistan from the clutches of Pakistan, but Pakistan has accorded it the status of a “terrorist organisation”.

Many in Baloch accuse Pakistan of destroying the region and suppressing rights in order to keep them subservient. It is also said that Pakistani army has carried out mass atrocities against people of Balochistan.

What is India’s stand?

India has never broached the issue of Balochistan on any international platform, dismissing it as an internal conflict. However, in one of his speeches, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the people of Balochistan as a response to the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s touching upon the issue of Kashmir in his Independence Day speech.

Experts feel that India should consistently bring in the issue of Balochistan as it hurts Pakistan the most.