Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2019


The Balochistan Insurgency is an enduring armed and nationalist struggle between Baloch Insurgents and the Pakistani government, embroiling Pakistan in five insurgencies since 1948. This research aims to analyze why the current insurgency has outlasted its predecessors by over two-fold, with over fifteen years passing since the most recent conflict erupted. Using historical primary source news articles from 1973-1977, secondary research, insurgency trend data, and the data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD); this study examines the evolution of the current conflict and analyzes how and why the contemporary insurgency is far more resilient. This study finds that the support base for the ongoing insurgency has become more robust and expansive, and suggests that this aspect unique to the current conflict is the major contributor to the insurgency’s endurance. The findings suggest the following reasons for an increased support base that in turn contribute to the resilience of Balochistan insurgence: first, the movement is now lead by an expanding middle class; second, there is no violent inter-group rivalry among the separatist actors; third, the support platform has expanded to include cyberspace and social media; fourth, the current insurgency adds the Gwadar Port as an additional and urbanized grievance; and fifth, pre-existing grievances have yet to be resolved. The current insurgency’s distinct manifestation reflects a change in Balochistan’s status quo through a wide-ranging engagement of popular support in contrast to the past.