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Pakistan: The Balochistan Conundrum

Nominated | Book Awards 2020 | English Non-fiction

Pakistan: The Balochistan Conundrum

Author: Tilak Devasher
Publisher: Harper Collins India

Award Category: English Non-fiction
About the Book: 

Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province, is a complex region fraught with conflict and hostility, ranging from an enduring insurgency and sectarian violence to terror strikes and appalling human rights violations. In his third book on Pakistan, Tilak Devasher analyses why Balochistan is such a festering sore for Pakistan. With his keen understanding of the region, he traces the roots of the deep-seated Baloch alienation to the princely state of Kalat's forced accession to Pakistan in 1948. This alienation has been further solidified by the state's rampant exploitation of the province, leading to massive socio-economic deprivation. Is the Baloch insurgency threatening the integrity of Pakistan? What is the likelihood of an independent Balochistan? Has the situation in the province become irretrievable for Pakistan? Is there a meeting ground between the mutually opposing narratives of the Pakistan state and the Baloch nationalists? Devasher examines these issues with a clear and objective mind backed by meticulous research that goes to the heart of the Baloch conundrum.

About the Author: 

Tilak Devasher has taken to writing after he retired from the cabinet secretariat, Government of India, as special secretary in 2014. He is the author of two widely acclaimed books on Pakistan-Pakistan: Courting the Abyss (2016) and Pakistan: At the Helm (2018). During his professional career with the cabinet secretariat, he specialized in security issues pertaining to India's neighbourhood. Post retirement, he has continued to take a keen interest in India's neighbourhood, with special focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has written articles for various national newspapers and magazines and has also appeared on TV shows on leading news channels like India Today, Times Now, CNN News18 and Rajya Sabha TV. Devasher did his schooling from Mayo College, Ajmer, and studied history at St Stephen's College, Delhi, at the undergraduate level and at the University of Delhi at the postgraduate level. He is currently a member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) and a consultant with the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF).


This is indeed a must read book for any one keen to know about Balochistan and Afghanistan- Pakistan Region.
- ImpactNews

The tragic economic anomaly is that though Balochistan is the richest province of Pakistan by way of natural resources, it has been treated like the proverbial exploited colony of the powerful deep state controlled by the Pakistan army. Consequently the socio-economic development of the province is very poor in relation to other parts of the country, impacting human security indicators like infant mortality and literacy. Endowed with a distinctive strategic geography astride the north Arabian sea and bordering both Iran and Afghanistan, the province has been exploited in a venal manner by a rapacious garrison-state. Long neglected by the powers that be in Islamabad-Rawalpindi, it is currently trapped in poverty, strife, sectarian violence, terrorism, separatism and gross human rights violations.
- Financial Express

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