While both internal and external forces are looking to secure their interests in Balochistan, a lasting solution that is agreeable to both the government and the insurgents can only come to pass if a ceasefire is first agreed upon. It is perhaps this realisation that has led the Balochistan National Party – Mengal, President Sardar Akhtar Mengal to state that tribal leaders including himself, are ready to play the role of mediators in the on-going conflict in Balochistan, but only if the government and Baloch insurgents agree on a ceasefire. However, given the shaky history that surrounds the fulfillment of promises by Mengal and the government itself, it is only a question of how long this streak of goodwill might last this time.

The end of the tribal feud between Satakzai and Kurd tribes can be of great benefit to the government if it uses this opportunity to appeal to the common sense of the alienated people of Balochistan. The BNP leader’s involvement in the end of the fighting between the Kurd and Satakzai tribes imply that his participation can be useful to the government going forward. Previously, the BNP leader has urged the federal government to allow Balochistan and its people to make important decisions about different projects in Gwadar and vowed to oppose anything that went against the interests of the Balochi people. The government should heed this advice, for only through allowing the Baloch populace to take ownership of the development of their province can the right issues be prioritised.

The Baloch people should be seen as more than a ‘tribal society’ and treated as equal citizens of the country, if the government is earnest in these small attempts for negotiations between the separatists and the state. Empowering the locals in large-scale economic projects proposed for the province will be a major step in winning their confidence as well. The reason the insurgents so wantonly destroy state structures and pipelines in the province is because they see no Balochis reaping their benefits. If that were to change, the hostile attitude would also transform into something more positive. The missing persons remain a burning issue, where unless resolved, normalcy is a distant dream.

The state must finally start focusing on the demands of the local people, and only rely on tribal leaders as a means of establishing contact with the separatists.