Karachi Photo Blog

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How is the Baloch insurgency being funded?

How is the Baloch insurgency being funded?

Pakistani establishment is quick to point fingers at the Indian security agencies for funding the current insurgency in Balochistan.  On the other hand Baloch leaders deny they are getting any help from outside. So what’s the scoop? Idealogical motivation is definitely not enough to carry on a fight hiding in the mountains, or being on the run in urban centers—you still need to eat, and buy arms and ammunition in the black market.  Where’s the money trail then? The answer can be found in the story of two young Czech tourists kidnapped in Balochistan by armed men in March 2013.  Their release was made possible in March 2015 after the Czech government allegedly paid six million US dollars to a group in Afghanistan that was keeping the two tourists captive.  The Czech government negotiated with the captors through the Turkish NGO Insani Yardim Vakfi operating in the Taliban dominated areas of Afghanistan.  It is almost certain that the group that negotiated the ransom was not the original abductor. In all likelihood, the tourists were kidnapped by a Baloch group in the Baloch dominated Nok Kundi area of the Chaghi district.  Since the release of the tourists was apparently made possible in Afghanistan, it is not hard to understand that after kidnapping the two tourists the original perpetrators sold the two women to a group more skilled in negotiating ransoms—eventually both Baloch and Taliban groups profited from the ransom deal.
Kidnappings for ransom, drugs, and human trafficking are the industries that are providing money for the two active armed struggles in that region.

Photo, courtesy of AFP

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