Two Great Pakistan Articles

While doing research for my trip to Iraq in 2007, I came across an article written by independent Basque journalist Karlos Zurutuza. He was one of the very few sources I could find who’d been there recently and did so alone, not in uniform. Since then, he’s continued to travel to places that make this blogger, and surely our Coming Anarchy readers, rather jealous. Like us, he is drawn to conflict zones and approaches them with the preparation, research and sense of adventure that we do. Two of his recent articles (and especially photos) are worth reading.

The first involves Balochistan, a region that has been overlooked and wrongly so. He spent some time with separatists and has a fantastic article and pictures to show for it.

A Day in the Desert With Baloch Guerrillas

Just a few of the Baloch soldiers who patrol one of the most inhospitable deserts in the world. From left: Umit, two unidentified fighters, Girok, and Mir. The departure point was in Pakistani Balochistan. Our hosts, a patrol of Baloch guerrillas, requested that we be no more specific than that.

The driver and his passenger had their faces wrapped tightly so that only their eyes showed. Before we began the trip deep into the desert, Said (my contact) and I were blindfolded for “security reasons.” For two hours we rode like this, our eyes covered, in a 4×4 with tinted windows. “Paadha, Baloch,” a popular tune, hissed on the car stereo the entire time: “Wake up, Baloch, we’re at war!”

You can read the rest here and for more photos, check out the 3 Balochistan sets here.

Second, he writes about a little known Christian section of Quetta.

Meet Quetta’s ‘Untouchable’ Christians

They embraced the religion of their invaders to escape the caste system that had condemned them to a miserable existence. But Karlos Zurutuza reports on how, centuries later, Christians in the Taliban stronghold of Quetta are once again becoming ‘untouchables.’

Dubbed ‘Little London’ when still under British rule, Quetta, in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province, was levelled to the ground by an earthquake in 1935. Yet, although the physical evidence of the city’s colonial heritage was lost in the temblor, reminders remain of the British legacy–locals still add milk to their tea, for example, and when they take to the roads they drive (nominally at least) on the left.

Read the rest here.

About Chirol

Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol (1852 - 1929) was a journalist, prolific author, world historian, and British diplomat. He began his career as a foreign correspondent and later became editor of the London Times. After two decades as a journalist he joined Her Majesty's Foreign Ministry as a diplomat and was subsequently knighted for his distinguished service as a foreign affairs advisor. Additionally, he wrote a dozen books on foreign affairs including The Far Eastern Question (1896), Serbia and the Serbs (1914), The End of the Ottoman Empire (1920) and The Egyptian Problem (1921). He is generally credited with popularizing "Middle East" in reference to the Arabian Peninsula with his book The Middle Eastern Question (1903). "Chirol" is a US citizen and graduate student studying Defense and Strategic Studies and government contractor. As with the historical Chirol, he has traveled to over two dozen countries and lived abroad for many years. Chirol speaks English and German fluently with basic knowledge of manyl of others.
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3 Responses to Two Great Pakistan Articles

  1. Master Cook says:

    From a historians perspective, the Baluchis are fascinating, since their language is quite unlike any of their neighborhors. They resemble in this way the Basques and the Georgians, they are probably what remains of a language group that is much more widespread. They have been linked with the Sumarians and the Indus Valley civilization, but we really do not have enough information to know for sure.

  2. Curzon says:

    Great articles. If the Iranian Baluchi insurgents are Al Qaeda, and the Pakistan Baluchi insurgents are Marxist, what are the Afghan Baluchi?

  3. KZ says:

    Hi there,

    Yep, the Baloch are a fascinating clan. They have strong linguistic and cultural ties with the Kurds. Both languages are very similar and they can sort of understand each other at some point.

    As for the Afghan Baloch, it seems that a lot of them fled to neighbouring Pakistan and Iran (they live in Nimruz and Helmand provinces…) so I guess they´re so busy with surviving that they hardly have any time to think about Marxism or Wahabism. If you´er still curious about the issue, these are two pieces I published a few months ago on both East (Pakistan) and West (Iran) Balochistan: