When heckled by a protester who demanded to free the restive Balochistan province PM Nawaz Sharf seemed panicked. As Sharif began delivering his address at the US Institute of Peace, a prominent independent think-tank , a protester raised slogans including “Free Balochistan”, besides calling him a “friend of (Osama) Bin Laden”. Soon after the incident which forced the premier to briefly pause his speech, security forces accompanied the protester out of the auditorium.

PM Nawaz is currently on his second bilateral visit to the US. The premier met US President Barack Obama on Thursday who appreciated Pakistan’s on-going efforts to degrade and ultimately defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates, noting that it had disrupted terror plots against the US homeland as the two sides renewed their resolve to counter all forms of extremism and terrorism in the region. However, nothing was said regarding Balochistan. The protestor, identified as Ahmar Musti Khan of the Free Balochistan Campaign USA , claimed the army is blatantly engaged in abductions, torture and killings.

It is not that surprising that the Pakistani media has glossed over the incident- which became was a major international story. This clearly shows that Pakistani media cannot challenge the military narrative on Balochistan, and that is not a good thing for the army. By stifling debate the issue is made even more sensitive and mysterious, currently the only stain on the military's reputation. Additionally, such dissent does not look good for the PM who needed all the support he could get during this sensitive visit.

The latest wave of Balochi insurgency was triggered after the Pakistan Army, under the direction of the then President General Parvez Musharraf, bombed and killed Baloch tribal chief Nawab Akbar Bugti in 2006. The prince of the Kalat state has warned that if the government fails to settle by the end of 2015 the Balochistan issue according to the aspirations of people, it will soon lose all control over the situation. What is government waiting for?

Regional powers have increasingly becoming interested in Balochistan and are trying to take advantage of it, because of its strategic position. All they want is to exploit its resources at the cost of Baloch people. Pakistan says it is winning the battle against separatists in the restive southwestern province, but Baloch activists say abductions, torture and killings by the army are deepening hostility towards the government.