The western province of Pakistan, Balochistan, has been torn by separatist insurgencies since its annexation into the new born Muslim state in 1948. As the current conflict, which exploded in 2005, has now become less intensive, military actions have also changed their character. There is no open war in the traditional sense but there are new problems, like enforced disappearances, kill and dump operations, death squads, extrajudicial and target killing, which strike Balochistan. A famous phrase of the former president Pervez Musharraf addressed to the militants: "you won't even know what hit you" has got a disturbingly literal interpretation.
Zofia Mroczek is Consultant at FAO