A series of raids by the FC (Frontier Corps) in several Balochistan districts over the last few months, has resulted in the seizure of a huge cache of arms and ammunition. The Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said paramilitary troops had carried out four large scale raid operations in November, seizing weapons and explosives that were being smuggled in from Wana, South Waziristan Agency. On Monday, a raid on a truck entering Quetta led to the uncovering of almost 5,000 kg of explosives and weapons including land-mines, improvised explosive devices, rocket launchers and rifles. Arms and ammunition raids in Balochistan’s troubled districts and tribal belts are not uncommon, and remain necessary due to the smuggling of weapons from Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Afghanistan via specifically Zhob district with which it shares an international border. Ethnic strife aside, as Operations Zarbe Azb and Khyber-1 continue, the threat and volatility of militants is at an all time high. Coupled with this is the unstable political and military situation on ground in Afghanistan as NATO forces partially leave, and border management along the Durand Line. This makes Balochistan a geo-strategic hotbed for militancy.

Last week, four polio workers were brutally gunned down on the outskirts of Quetta city, leading to the suspension of the polio vaccination campaign. There is no doubt that once these arms fall into intended hands, violence will and has come to the fore. Despite the success of a few raids, the frequency of militant attacks in Balochistan’s districts demands better intelligence and a focus on a more comprehensive solution. Security raids, admittedly important, are dealing with only one dimension of the problem and not the root cause. The problem at hand continues to be the accessibility of weapons and explosives, and the solution as ever, is better intelligence, better policing at manufacturing points and points of sale, especially in tribal areas and within KPK; Darra Adam Khel particularly. Ultimately, politics and institutional controversies continue to play havoc with security in Balochistan. Not enough of the truth is known, which makes it difficult to gauge the integrity of security operations.