Militant Landscape of Balochistan
Balochistan has been experiencing terrorist violence from multiple shades of militant groups including Baloch nationalist insurgent groups, so-called religiously inspired local and international militant groups such as Pakistani Taliban and ISIS-affiliates, and violent Sunni and Shia sectarian groups. Some religious-nationalist groups have also been active along the province’s border with Iran mainly Iranian Jundullah and its splinter Jaishul Adl. While the Baloch insurgent groups aim to achieve nationalist goals, including also secessionist, the religiously inspired militant and sectarian groups have largely religious-political goals, which at times also overlap. There has been a gradual decline in incidence of terrorist violence in Balochistan, in particular since 2013. Weakening of different brands of militant groups due to a continuing counterterrorism campaign across the country including in Balochistan is the main factor. A huge security infrastructure is also deployed in the province, including also to protect CPEC-related projects mainly Gwadar Port, which has also significantly dented militants’ operational capabilities. Still many assert that undercurrents of Baloch insurgency are though largely dormant currently yet the factors of conflict are still there which could retrigger the insurgent violence.