Pakistans south western province of Balochistan is focus of interest among key players of regional politics. The US, India, Russia, and even that little US-satellite called Afghanistan, are in favour of Balochistan becoming an independent state in their own respective geo-strategic interests. Balochistan is extremely important because of its strategic location. Just across from the all-important oil sea-lanes of Persian Gulf and having a shared common border with both Iran and Afghanistan, it is a crucial link of the future energy chain. But it is beset by a condition of insurgency caused by an ethnic crisis and feudalism. External intervention has catalysed these problems to increase instability to the point of debility now and presently the local rebels, led by Baloch Liberation Front (BLF), are demanding an independent Balochistan. But one wonders if an independent Balochistan would be possible or viable as it would bring nothing but depression for the people. With the present slew of conflicts within Balochistan, independence would probably bring further political instability in its wake which may actually lead to a civil war. Lack of education, inexperience in statecraft, and tribal infighting for power among Balochs is creating such chaos at present that one tends to think Balochistanif it was to indeed become an independent statewould suffer the same fate as Afghanistan had after freedom from the Soviets. A free Balochistan would find itself to be a submissive satellite that serves only the respective purposes of its American, Jewish and Hindu masters. There is, then, the matter of Balochistans most important problem that has afflicted it since centuries, the feudal system. The elite of this giant region, the tribal Sardars, have all classes in subjugation for so long now that there is no way people could get their rights from them. Most people in Balochistan dont even know their rights. Their enemies, of which there are many, can take advantage of this instability. India, for instance, is already doing that by using the insurgency to its diplomatic advantage. India began interfering in Balochistan in the mid 1970s. After helping East Pakistan to separate in 1971 by promoting insurgency there, India tried to produce same condition in Balochistan by exploiting the hostility between the state and rebels. The purpose was to destroy Pakistan by dividing it in fragments and making it economically unviable. India is deeply involved in Balochistan, its various intelligence agencies working to train rebels. Indians have been brainwashing them in such a way that they have turned against even development initiatives in Balochistan. The Gwadar Port, for instance, is being opposed by rebels even though it is very important for Pakistans naval security. But since India dislikes the Chinese presence in Gwadar, it has instigated terrorist activities there through the rebels. On Indian behest, the Baloch rebels are also opposing the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and other economic programs. Balochistan is also very important for America because of several reasons. It is the only available route for transportation of oil and gas from Central Asian and Caspian Sea region to Atlantic. The alternate routes via Russia or China are simply not viable. And Balochistan itself is full of precious resources that any imperial power would hunger for. Like the Indians, Americans also dislike Chinese presence in Balochistan and that is justification enough for superpower intervention. -HUMA KHAN, Rawalakot, July 28.