Along with the Islamist insurgency on its northwest frontiers, Pakistan has been facing another challenge from within: the separatist movement in the southern province of Balochistan. Last week an unknown group called the Balochistan Liberation United Front abducted an American citizen working for the UN refugee agency in the Baloch capital of Quetta. The military regime under Pervez Musharraf came down hard on the Baloch nationalists through military operations, killing several top Baloch leaders. But the new democratically elected government under Asif Ali Zardari has promised to resolve the conflict.
Pakistan para-military forces patrolling in the Baloch district of Dera Bugti.