The election of Narendra Modi and the Bharatia Janta Party was always going to be a hurdle for the Pakistan-India peace process, and apart from a few failed attempts at engagement – the Ufa meeting, Katmandu, and Modi’s inauguration –the prediction has held true. The upsurge in cross-border violations is exponential and the verbal jousting between the nations has reached the point where threats of war as commonplace. It can be contended that relations between the both countries have always hovered around this mark, even in the times of the much more reasonable governments, and as such Modi’s promises of a “stern stance” has been only restricted to words. Yet after a year in power, reports indicate that force has replaced words.

According to military sources, the Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has stepped up activity in Balochistan in a bid to foil government effort to bring peace to the restive province. With a media gag intact in Baluchistan, the veracity of these statements is always going to be under doubt, and the RAW bogeyman has been used by the military before. Yet overt statements given by surrendering Baloch militants and implied ones given by Baoch separatist leaders, such as Brahamdagh Bugti – lend credence to the military’s claims.

Occupied Kashmir is facing unrest and in the circumstances the Indian government, especially Modi’s hawkish one, could be expected to retaliate – after all, tit for tat subversive attacks have defined the first half century of the two nation’s relationship. And while Indian actions need to be certainly guarded against, Pakistan is already doing the most prudent thing to counter this threat; carrying out a through reconciliation process with the Baloch leaders.

Estranged leaders, such as Brahamdagh Bugti head of Balochistan Republican Army (BRA) and Javed Mengal chief of Lashkar-e-Balochistan (LeB) have already given favourable responses. While other leader such as Nawab Harbiyar Murri, head of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Khan of Kalat Khan, Suleman Dawood Khan, have yet to publically back the peace process, but have shown a willingness to negotiate and compromise. If the reconciliation process is seen to its conclusion, then RAW’s subversive activities would be stunted – since the disgruntled leaders it used to sow unrest are back in the government’s fold. The solution to Balochistan’s troubles is not a tougher stance with India, it is a much more compromising and positive stance on Balochistan.