The strategic importance of Balochistan
Murtha, Jason R.
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Balochistan, the southwestern province of Pakistan, is taking on increased importance in regional affairs. With the discovery of vast fields of natural gas, along with other valuable minerals, the region is experiencing increased interest from foreign investors and developers. Along with this, the terrain of Balochistan makes it a prime location for the development of roads, railroads and pipelines to connect the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. To augment this development, the construction of a deep-water port at Gwadar has the potential of bringing globalization to the region in an exponential manner. In the face of this development and growth are the Baloch whose continued insurgencies have created an unstable environment. Although deterring large-scale growth, interest in the region continues to grow, and with it, the threat of international politics and agendas colliding in a violent manner as Balochistan grows. As such, the strategic importance of Balochistan lies in its potential to either take the forefront in development in South Asia, or be the epicenter of the next large-scale multinational conflict.
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