Can Nationalist Parties of Balochistan Dare to Establish a Parallel Assembly?
Can Nationalist Parties of Balochistan Dare to Establish a Parallel Assembly?
Beberg Baloch

In an intriguing turn of electoral events, the nationalist forces of Balochistan have seemingly joined hands to protest the ‘controversial’ results of the recent polls. However, they have not presented anything new except for one thing: a threat to establish a parallel assembly while disallowing whom they call “fake imposed representatives” from entering the parliament. This stance could be seen as a turning point in the intricate political landscape of Balochistan. While their popular rhetoric of defending “Baloch Watan” or “Pahstun Watan” may be decomposing into mere statements, but this idea, proposed by whichever party among the BNP, NP, PkMAP, or HDP, undoubtedly holds the capacity to be paradigm-shifting, paving the way for unlimited alternative political developments.

To bolster this debate, this piece attempts to provide a historical reference, drawing a parallel with the formation of the “National Assembly” during the French Revolution. Undoubtedly, academics may point out thousands of dissimilarities between the two situations; however, they cannot deny the parallel between 18th-century French Monarchy and the current power structure in Balochistan. When 18th-century France was experiencing economic crisis, high taxes, food shortages, and extravagances of the aristocracy were not lessening, the “Third Estate” of France, which included the bourgeoisie, peasants, and city workers, moved towards the establishment of a “National Assembly” as a counterforce to the aristocratic structure. When the Estates General denied the Third Estate a voice, they convened on a tennis court and took an oath to defend what they called Liberty, Equality and Fraternity! It is time for the nationalist parties of Balochistan to take up a similar oath and not retreat back to the doors of compromise. Just as it wasn’t easy for the French Third Estate, it wouldn’t be easy for the nationalists of Balochistan to take such a concrete measure.

Balochistan’s miseries, grievances, and complaints have echoed enough in populist speeches, boycotts, the 18th amendment, Aghaz e haqooq e Balochistan package, PSDP’s share, and everything else, but all they have brought is disappointment, except for some minor changes. This has led to a reduction in the support of the nationalists among the masses. This piece does not claim that BNP, NP, PkMAP, and other parties of the nationalist school of thought have lost all their support, but in recent times, the “People’s agitation” in the form of Sammi Deen Mohammad and Dr. Mahrang has led the youth to refrain from participating in the entire electoral process. Of course, this abstention from voting is not new in Balochistan, but the hope associated with the Parliamentary Nationalists has started to diminish. In such a time, when all these parties were not allowed to enter the parliament, instead of doing the same with those they call “fake representatives,” they should consider the idea of the parallel structure, a counterforce, an assembly of their people.

But they have to be daring this time if they want their lost supporters to return, if they want the people to start believing in their version of the “democratic struggle” once again. This resolute “NO” to the powerful elites, which always remain under their criticism, can be a more concrete resistance. There is no denial of the fact that both Baloch and Pashtun nationalist parties have huge mass support in Balochistan, which can back this counter structure. Let’s hope the nationalists, instead of confining themselves to speeches and populist rhetoric, further develop this debate on a parallel assembly. The nationalists have to be daring now!