Three thousand years ago, a group of Indo-Iranic tribes (called Balaschik at that time) settled in the northwestern Caspian region of Balashagan. Circumstances forced them to disperse and migrate towards the south and eastern parts of Iranian plateau. In medieval times, they finally settled in present-day Balochistan where they became known as the Baloch. During their long and tortuous journey from Balashagan to Balochistan, the Baloch faced persecutions, deportations, and genocidal acts of various Persian, Arab and other regional powers. During the 17th century, after dominating Balochistan culturally and politically, the Baloch carved out a nation state (the Khanate of Kalat). In 1839, the British occupied Balochistan and subsequently it was divided into various parts. In the wake of the British withdrawal from India in 1947, Balochistan regained its sovereignty but soon Pakistan occupied it in 1948.
Balochistan stretches from Southeastern Iran to the east bank of Indus in Punjab, and from the lower reaches of Helmand in Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea. This logical sequel to Naseer Dashti’s earlier ‘The Baloch and Balochistan’ about a conflict with potential to flare up regional tension and instability in a strategically crucial and volatile region that has been subject to violent and protracted conflict.
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