Security forces in Balochistan have claimed the arrest of a serving Indian navy officer who had links to the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). While a situation like this might be unheard of in Punjab or Sindh, Balochistan is another ballgame. The country felt a flicker of hope for peace in the conflict torn province when five leaders and 400 militants laid down their weapons before authorities in Quetta on Pakistan's Independence Day in August last year. But is peace really possible when the allegations of external involvement are not mere accusations anymore and truly are a reality?

The Indian Foreign Office in response to the incident admitted that although the alleged RAW agent arrested was indeed an Indian citizen, he had already taken early retirement from the Indian Navy and was on his own. If that is indeed true then our Indian counterpart should have no problems with Islamabad acting as they see fit in regard to his case. Time will tell as to what the truth really is and what is the extent of RAW’s involvement in Balochistan.

Earlier in the year it was also claimed that RAW was not the only external threat to national security and that Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) were also behind funding and training of the Baloch Republican Army (BRA) militants. It was alleged that both the RAW and NDS personnel trained BRA militants in its camps and provided arms, ammunition and transport to the separatist group. If this is common knowledge at least in the province if not in the country, why hasn’t strict action being taken against the perpetrators behind this violence and unrest? If the army is capable of carrying out a large scale operation like Zarb-e-Azb and find a certain degree of success in diminishing terrorism in the country, surely a similar operation can be recreated to suit the cultural and ethnic misgivings of Balochistan and find a solution to peace?

If we allege time and time again that external factors are responsible for the violence in Balochistan then we are not looking hard enough within its perimeter. Weak governance, deep-rooted anti state sentiment and decades of mistrust are all causes of the dismal situation of Balochistan. The government must make this province a top priority and do what it takes to resolve the decades long crisis if it hopes to witness a prosperous era that relies heavily on the CPEC and ultimately the situation in Balochistan.