Adnan Aamir

A while ago I came across an article titled Untold Story of Pashtoons in Balochistan published in The Laaltain magazine. Having some serious disagreements on the facts and opinion mentioned in the article, I am writing this rebuttal so that readers can get to know the other side of the story. This writing is not meant to target anyone; it is just a modest effort on my part to clear some misconceptions and undo the distortion of some basic facts.

The said article’s statement that around 7.5 million Pashtoons are living in Balochistan is a misstatement of mythical proportions. The entire population of Balochistan is estimated to be around 8 million; out of which 65 percent are Baloch and 30 percent are Pashtoons according to the Pakistan statistical yearbook.

I am an ardent supporter of the rights of all ethnic nationalities including Pashtoons. I believe that smaller ethnic nationalities in Pakistan have been denied their due rights since 1947 through a framework of centralized political system. Pashtoons are also among the groups that have been suppressed and deprived of their rights. The primary responsibility of such deprivation lies with the state institutions, and not with the other nationalities such as Baloch.

The said article’s statement that around 7.5 million Pashtoons are living in Balochistan is a misstatement of mythical proportions. The entire population of Balochistan is estimated to be around 8 million; out of which 65 percent are Baloch and 30 percent are Pashtoons according to the Pakistan statistical yearbook.[i] Secondly there are 9 Pashtoon districts, 19 Baloch districts, while Quetta and Sibi have mixed populations. Pashtoons constitute a substantial part of population in Balochistan. However the assertion that half of population of Balochistan is ethnically Pashtoon, while Baloch population is less than half of the total population of the province, is far from reality. It must be noted that any demographic claim about Balochistan should not include Afghan refugees as they are not Pakistani citizens.

It’s true that before partition current day Balochistan was divided into two parts i.e. Qalat state and Chief Commissioner’s Province or British Balochistan. Qalat state consisted entirely of ethnically Baloch people while British Balochistan had both Baloch and Pashtoon populations. British Balochistan had Baloch districts of Naushki, Chagai, Bolan and Nasirabad and mixed population districts of Quetta and Sibi. Therefore it’s wildly untrue to say that British Balochistan was a Pashtoon only province. After partition Pashtoon districts were merged with Baloch districts to form current Balochistan but there was never a Pashtoon only province in the history of this region. It is also incorrect to say that under One Unit rule Quetta division consisted of Pashtoon majority areas only. It included Baloch majority areas of British Balochistan as well and therefore it consisted of mixed population of Pashtoon and Baloch. This argument is substantiated by the fact that in 1960, Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, a Baloch leader, was elected from Quetta division as member of National Assembly.

I would also question the racist undertones of a statement in the said article which declares that Baloch people consider Punjabis and Hazaras as invaders while Pashtoons consider them guests. One has to completely discard the reality to believe such baseless statements. The fact is that all of these mentioned communities have been living harmoniously in Balochistan until General Pervez Musharraf forced Balochistan into an armed insurgency. The Baloch civil society has always condemned the killing of innocent Punjabi settlers in Balochistan.

The fact that both nationalities are victims at the hands of the state should always remain the cornerstone of any debate regarding Baloch-Pashtoon issue in Balochistan.

As far as the question of new census is concerned, Baloch people have no issue with it provided it is fair and Afghan refugees are not included in it. Believing that Afghan refugees can be used to multiply the Pashtoon population is like turning one’s eyes, like ostriches, away from reality. Afghan refugees are not Pakistani citizens hence they are not entitled to be counted in any census.

As to the question of proportionate representation and share in government jobs and education, I believe Pashtoons are getting their due share according to their population ratio. And in some cases they are getting more than that. Provincial bureaucracy is considerably filled with Pashtoons. Pashtoons are entitled to get their due share in provincial setup but it is unwise and unfair to demand equal share for Pashtoons while Baloch are in considerable numerical majority.

No wonder Pashtoons have also been deprived of their rights but it is not the Baloch who are culprit in this case. Baloch are themselves victims of suppression and deprivation at the hands of federal government. The fact that both nationalities are victims at the hands of the state should always remain the cornerstone of any debate regarding Baloch-Pashtoon issue in Balochistan. If Pashtoons want to form their own province then Baloch would never have any problem with that. However it should also not be forgotten that whatever funds and resources Pashtoon population of Balochistan is getting from the Provincial revenue are mainly earned from Baloch areas, e.g. Sui Gas, Gwadar Port etc.

Baloch and Pashtoons have always lived side by side as brothers and till today they live in harmony. There are some miscreants who want to sabotage this harmony for their personal vested interests. Such elements should not be allowed to pursue their vested interests at the cost of inter-ethnic and provincial harmony.


"Adnan Aamir is a Freelance writer and Blogger. He tweets at @iAdnanAamir”Adnan-Aamir-Snap-Square

Read ‘Untold Story of Pashtoons in Balochistan’


7 Responses

  1. Jawad Ahmed Khan

    writing a rebuttal of a rebuttal will definitely take it to a confusing debate which was not the aim of the first article But would definitely mention the points which are based on differential experiences by Balochs and pashtoons, I feel endorsing that pashtoons and balochs have NO issue amongst each other and it is certainly a federal issue to identify the populations and give defined rights to both Pashtoons and Balochs.

    * The population of Pashtoons mentioned in the article is taken from BISP (bainazeer Income support programs khana shumari) conducted by PPP government. the data mentioned in this rebuttal is based on the assumptions made by Pakistan statistical year book on the basis of 1997’s fraud elections which government was not conducting proper census in majority of the densely populated pashtoon areas. PkMap , pashtoon qaumi Teheran, pashtoon qaumi jirga and many local coalitions came on roads and asked for re census in a proper way but when the government refused, they had No other option but to have a boycott of the census hence it showed very less population of pashtoons which is still made reference for Electoral constituencies, Admissions in professional educational institutions, jobs and Funds.

    the pashtoons districts are so densely populated that this government (If acted seriously) would definitely make almost 4 new pashtoon districts (dukki, muslimbagh + Karezat, Quetta Rural, Gulistan + toba) for administrative purpose.

    **Balochistan Gazetier, Afghans the frontier passes and Trikh e Quetta will answer all questions about Qta sibbi and bolan and are very valuable books for those interested in knowing the real grounds and solving the minor misconceptions.

    ***talking about Quetta City. which is definitely an amalgam today because of the migrants from different Districts of the province, Quetta has got 6 provincial assembly seats and none is won by baloch in the fairest Elections of the history of pakistan. I do agree that a good number of balochs reside in quetta and it’s our mutual Home.

    *** answering the revenue issue, the Massive business on chaman boarder, coal of loralai, dukki and ziarat, chromite of muslim bagh, khanozai and killa saifullah and the fruites of region are great sources of the revenue even for pakistan and the energy sources of pakistan.

    **** In Census government would (must) look for computerized NIC which will rule out the misconception of the summation factor caused by Afghan Refugees.

    THE AIM BEHIND THE FIRST ARTICLE WAS TO LET THE PEOPLE KNOW THAT PASHTOONS ARE ALSO RESIDING IN THIS PROVINCE as many still call the pashtoons of balochistan as (hamare balochi bhai , though their is nothing bad being called a baloch but identity matters) AND THE AIM OF THESE ANSWERS IS TO CLEAR MISCONCEPTIONS. BELIEVING IN PEACE AND BROTHERHOOD, I wish Pakistan to be a federation of Baloch, pashtoon, sindhi, Punjabi, siraiki, kashmiri, hazara and all others living here with Every one accepting and respecting the other.


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  2. Adnan Aamir

    I always appreciate dissenting opinion and its good that you wrote a rebuttal of my Rebuttal.. But even your rebuttal is full of flaws and inaccuracies…

    1998 census that shows a low Pashtoon population is a fraud and BISP reports which might be showing a high Pashtoon population is fair. What sort of logic is that? There was no proper census for BISP and its data can’t be as authentic as a census and PKMAP and other parties protested against 1998 census because it didn’t provide the results of their choice.
    Entire Pashtoon belt is equal to size in comparison to two Baloch districts of Washuk and Chagai. If more districts have to be made then there is room for many such districts in Baloch areas as well, lets not forget that. Anyone who believe is historical literature can’t deny the fact that Quetta was given by Ahmad Shah Abdali to Khan of Kalat and British took it from Khan…. Lets not distort the history please..

    I can’t literally controlled my laughter after reading that 2013 elections were fairest in the history. These were the most rigged elections in history of Pakistan. On PB5 and PB4 BNP had won but results changed in favour of PKMAP because BNP was suppose to lose the elections. Same thing happened in NA260 and NA269. Anyone who believe in rationality will not go to the extent of justifying a rigged election to prove his false point.

    Business on Chamman border is smuggling and doesn’t count, Just like massive business of Taftan border. The coal of chromite of Pashtoon areas is negligible when compared to SUI gas and one can check the financial data.. Plus What about the massive Coastline and Gwadar port which is considered the future of Pakistan?

    Afghan refugees have been given a lot of CNIC by taking bribe and this needs to be reversed. A fair census will portray a correct picture of the reality in Balochistan.

    I also agree that Pakistan is a federation of many nationalities. However you failed to respond to the racist comment that you made that Baloch consider Hazaras and Punjabis as Invaders and Pashtoon consider them Guests. I have no idea from where that Idea came because it can’t be taken seriously by any rational person. In the end I would like to say that you have all the right to express your opinion but please don’t retort to Racist statements and calling a rigged election fairest…

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    • Jawad Ahmed Khan

      Dear Brother. I mentioned earlier and am mentioning again that I don’t mean to go into an un ending debate { though I am sure it is an un ending debate until the formation of a new province}. No body denies neither did I that baloch districts cover a huge area. complete punjab can be accommodated in balochistan, doesn’t mean that punjab’s population should be less as it can be accommodated in balochistan 😛 .
      The history of Quetta studied by a baloch and the one studied by a Pashtoon is as different as the history of islam after Muhammad (PBUH) studied by SUNNI and Shia Muslims.
      regarding Hazara brothers; even in your rebuttal, you have used the word settlers which clearly means they are not considered amongst you. and in the educational institutes of balochistan and even on main roads it’s clearly and boldly written (balochistan; punjabioun ka qabristan) plz don’t ask me to upload the pictures
      ;p and don’t tell me that you don’t know that punjabis are killed several times by BLA (they have accepted the responsibility several times) recently in much many were identified to be punjabis and shot dead later on accepts the responsibility proudly.

      Pkmap won PB 5 with a huge margin, there is a proper election commission in balochistan with a Baloch chairman, Baloch secretary, Baloch chairman of election tribunal, with a Baloch attorney general backed by a baloch CM 😛 .. any body having any complain about the results of PB4 and 5 can go to all of the above mentioned BALOCH authorities.

      My comments are not aimed to hurt someone so let’s agree to disagree 🙂

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      • Adnan Aamir

        Dear Brother: I also hate to continue this debate but your comments have so far from reality that I am compelled to write back to you.. Baloch have never have any problem with a new province for Pashtoons of Balochistan. However that new province will face huge problems because it doesn’t have the revenue generators such as Gwadar port, Sui gas, saindak etc….

        As far as Quetta has concerned, You can study official documents of British government that from whom Robert Sandeman acquired Quetta on Lease? You will get your answer….

        I think you have not read my rebuttal properly, I have not used the word settlers for Hazaras. I have used it for Punjabis because they themselves call them settlers. secondly, its a terminology used in international relation fro someone who has settled in different part of a country. So this doesn’t mean that I don’t consider them a part of this province. However you can only understand this if you take off your spectacles of Bias and irrationality.

        I don’t think you have read my article properly, I have written that Baloch civil society condemn,n those killings. I never denied those killings by BLA. But they don’t represent entire Baloch nation, do they? So all your claims about wall chalkings are irrelevant in this case. This still doesn’t justify the racist comment that you made in this regard.

        Everyone in PB5 know that BNP was declared winner at night of elections but results changed overnight. BNP was supposed to lose and that’s what happened. Even from NA260 PKMAP win, There can’t be a bigger joke than that. IN NA 269 results was withheld for over a month and after a lot of manoeuvring BNP was made to lose the election by 58 votes. Any independent person can’t call these elections far. These were the most rigged elections in history of Pakistan. People in all four provinces have provided many proofs of rigging. Everyone knows who call the shots in Balochistan and all the Baloch individuals are helpless in this matter. People inside Balochistan know this reality very well and I don’t think you can deny it either.

        You are right, we have to agree to disagree but please don’t use distorted facts to prove your point. I have sympathy with Pashtoon cause but you are blaming the wrong stakeholder for their woes…

      • Jawad Ahmed Khan

        NA 262 includes PB 5 and 6. for your kind information PB 6 has got the biggest number of voters amongst the rest of quetta’s constituencies… and is a pure pashtoon region… noshki has got more than 58000 registered baraich (pashtoon) population… like all those who lose elections, every one has the easiest way to call it a dandli .

        I don’t know what are your fake and illegitimate sources who told you that BNP won election on PB 5 the first night.. there was no announcement for 2 days so who announced BNP’s victory 😛 .. give me the reference of any news channel (any) who showed BNP’s victory. I was the observer in 2 national and 6 provincial constituencies of Quetta so was in polling stations and kachehri on 11th and 12th may and saw all the details before me. SO NO BODY HAS DECLARED BNP’s VICTORY ON FIRST NIGHT.

        BLA doesn’t represent baloch ? so who are they ? isn’t Javaid mengal the brother of akhtar mengal (BNP)??? BLF (baloch liberation front) , BLUF (Baloch liberation United front), BRA (Baloch republican Army), BRP (Baloch Republican Party) , BAM (balochistan Aman mahaz) , BUA (baloch united Army), BSO (A) (giving rise to many as doctor ALLAH NAZAR.. literally conducting references for the state wanted terrorists and involved in all anti state activities in educational institutes. If they all Do not represent Baloch, who do they represent ? they have killed more than 892 pashtoon drivers,conductors and road workers in the last 5 years (who drive on karachi to quetta rout ) name a single baloch killed in pashtoon districts while many travel on the lahore and islamabad rout via quetta ?
        All the members of NP who has accepted the victory of Pkmap and are OK with every thing do not represent Baloch ? Baloch chairman EC, Baloch secretary, Baloch chairman of election tribunal, with a Baloch attorney general backed by a baloch CM , they don’t represent baloch ??? so who actually represent baloch ????

        I mentioned and am doing the honor again; You will not accept the facts that go against you, neither will I accept the ones that go against me. I certainly agree to disagree. PEACE

      • Adnan Aamir

        I hate to continue this debate so this is going to be my last comment…..

        Its NA260 and Not 262 that contains Pb5 and PB6. I know that.. But This constituency also contains entire Chaghi, Noshki and Majority Baloch population in PB 5 and considerable Baloch population in PB6 as well. Now certainly Baloch are in considerable majority in this Constituency. All the Pashtoon population of NA260 (Which is in minority) was not supporting only PMAP. Still PMAP won because it was supposed to win.

        There were a lot of instances on election day which were meant to prevent BNP from winning like Bomb blast near Killi Ismail Polling stations where BNP had support. Polling in areas where BNP had support was slowed down etc. as far as news channels are concerned, everybody knows how much coverage they give to Balochistan so its illogical to ask for such reference. Let there be a fair and free election and see how will PKMAP perform?

        I must say that you have achieved mastery in twisting words of others. I said that BLA and others don’t represent ENTIRE baloch community. You assumed that I have not used the word ENtire and wrote a lengthy and irrelevant explanation.

        Baloch have always condemned the killing of Pashtoons at the hands of BLA but parties like PKMAP never condemn the kill and dumping of Baloch. May I ask you what reference you have for the 892 figure that you have quoted? Many innocent non-Baloch have died in this conflict and common Baloch people condemn them. Security forces who operate in Baloch areas are predominantly Pakhtoon but Baloch have never reacted against local Pashtoons…

        NP is political ally of PKMAP and oppoenent of BNP, so how can they not accept the election results. It won’t take much mental trouble to know that… If someone outside of Balochistan says that BNP can get relief from election tribunals then its understandable but people inside Balochistan Know that its powerless against the secret hands who call the shots here. Not only in Balochistan but in entire Pakistan election tribunals have failed in dispensing justice. Imran Khan still cries about this issue.

        We are diverting from out core point. You mentioned that no Baloch won from Quetta implying that Baloch don’t have numerical strength in Quetta. However in both PB5 and PB6 the Baloch votes are much more than Pashtoon votes. So there is no point in arguing who won and How. Having said that, These were most rigged elections in history of Pakistan and everyone know that. Those who have won choose to ignore this fact. A forensic Audit of Ballot papers (which will never happen) will reveal the truth in all over Pakistan including Quetta..

        Lastly, You have every right to defend your community and have a dissenting opinion. However you must not deny basic facts while doing so. Hope to read your factual articles in future….

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