From the settlers in Balochistan the target has now been expanded to include any Punjabi in transit, as the killing of five workers returning to Lahore from Iran would indicate. Scores of Punjabis including traders, teachers, doctors, even labourers have died in acts of targeted killing. Hundreds have been forced to sell their property and businesses or leave their jobs and have been forced to return to their native province. This is reminiscent of the happenings in what was once East Pakistan. What Baloch extremists are indulging in is ethnically-profiled murders. Pure and simple, despite their claims that the Pakistan army alone was carrying out an exercise of the type. What needs to be noted is that acts of the sort were unheard of till the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti and Punjabis lived in the province without being discriminated against with the sole example perhaps of an act or two of the sort in 1973.

Three prominent nationalist leaders have blamed the center for the lawlessness prevailing in Balochistan. PPP Senator Lashkari Raisani maintains that prospects of peace which emerged after the revival of democracy have gradually faded out. According to the Senator, the mischief lies in the rule by security agencies who have taken away all authority from the provincial government. Baloch nationalists maintain that the federal government has been stopped from implementing the grandiose plan called Aghaze Haqooqe Balochistan by invisible powers that have continued to run the province since the take over by Musharraf in October 1999. While Sen. Shahid Bugti of JWP maintains that the credibility gap between the centre and the province is of an unprecedented nature, former Senator Abdul Hayee Baloch opines that if the PPP goes beyond cosmetic measures, things can still be improved.

Security agencies have ruled for too long in Balochistan producing only unintended results, including interference by outside powers. Meanwhile, they have failed to provide security of life to the common man. Unless politicians take the issue into their own hands there is a possibility of Balochistan slipping into total anarchy. For this, full powers have to be given to the provincial government, Baloch nationalist leaders have to be taken on board and the Balochistan package implemented in letter and spirit.