"Anthropologists should shed light on the violence in Balochistan Province in Pakistan, anthropologist Hafeez Jamali writes in Anthropology News May 2007. Balochistan is presently the scene of a bitter and violent struggle. Multinationals are exploiting the region’s mineral resources. Hundreds of ordinary Baloch died, some 84,000 civilians predominantly have been displaced and hundreds of political activists have been arrested and tortured.
Jamali criticizes the "apathy of the discipline and of anthropologists toward the appalling human rights situation" there: There is hardly any effort by anthropologists who have worked amongst Baloch people to raise this issue in their ethnographic work, he writes. Most of the current work on Baloch people does not address current political issues:
Indeed (...) much of the past and recent anthropological work on the Baloch people has tended to focus on pastoral-nomadic aspects of Baloch social organization by employing concepts of ecological adaptation and kinship networks. These ethnographic works (...) give the impression that the Baloch are pre-modern beings living in bounded cultural groups which are relatively unconcerned with larger geo-strategic and political developments in the region and the world.
This approach is misleading because Baloch tribes’ resistance movements against colonial rule of the British Raj as well as against inequities of postcolonial states such as Iran and Pakistan were intrinsically linked to regional anti-colonial struggles. The present day struggle in Balochistan also draws inspiration from contemporary movements for self-governance in other parts of the world and in that sense is comparable to the struggles being waged by Palestinians, Kurds and other marginalized ethnic groups.
In view of this situation, it is important that anthropologists who work in and study Balochistan take the influence of regional geo-strategic politics as well as the intrusion of neoliberal globalization in the Baloch people’s lives and the response of the Baloch to such intrusion more seriously in their work.
Hundreds missing in conflict-torn Balochistan (IRIN, 10.5.07)
Pakistan's battle over Balochistan (BBC, 26.8.06)
By the way, in Anthropology News April 2007, there are several articles on the Oaxacan Rebellion (Mexico)