The Ripple Effects of Pakistan’s Balochistan Insurgency

The Ripple Effects of Pakistan’s Balochistan Insurgency

KARACHI, Pakistan - The status of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the octogenarian chieftain of a tribe in the restive southwestern province of Balochistan, almost reached the mythical this summer when a late-August operation by the Pakistani military resulted in his death in a cave in the mountains of Dera Bugti.

Government officials moved swiftly to bury him quietly and suppress any news of the follies committed during the military operation, which occurred amid nationwide protests and deadly violence in Balochistan.

Ten people had already died in bomb blasts, attacks and clashes with police during August, following a year of pitched battles and skirmishes between Bugti's loyal tribesman and Pakistani paramilitary forces in the mountains of Kohlu and Dera Bugti. Both areas are long-time strongholds of the the chieftain, who for some five decades had exerted his influence over a province that in recent years has come be to known in the West as the birthplace of the Taliban.

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