What is Balochistan like?

Published: October 12, 2013

Hopes, dreams and aspirations have always been a part of Balochistan, but we haven’t ever really looked to be able to recognise them. PHOTO: Twitter @FatimaAli52

With every day we believe, through the media, that we are coming closer to one another. In reality, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. We see only what the media wants us to see.

That being said, along with many realities, there is much more to each city than our eyes can see. Hopes, dreams and aspirations have always been a part of Balochistan, but we haven’t ever really looked to be able to recognise these.


When you read this word, what is the first image that pops into your mind? Flashes of violence? Target killing? Poverty, discrimination and illiteracy?

It is not your fault that you think like this, that is all you’ve ever heard or seen on TV.

After reading a blog on The Express Tribune’s blogs page about Karachi, I thought I could take you for a little trip around my homeland, Balochistan, through these pictures.

I hope you find Balochistan to be as beautiful as I do…

We have been destroyed,

Photo: AFP

Yet we have hope.

Photo: Qaisar Roonjha

We are old-fashioned,

Photo: Qaisar Roonjha

Yet we strive for modernity.

Photo: Qaisar Roonjha

We are warriors,

Photo: Scott Eells for The New York Times

Yet we are artists.

Photo: Culture Of Pakistan (http://friendsbook.pk/pages/89/page_4/page_5/)

We have been hurt,

Photo: Reuters

Yet we are positive.

Photo: Qaisar Roonjha

We have seen droughts,

Photo: Ehsan Khanmohammadi

Yet we light up.

Photo: ishaq_ali (http://www.panoramio.com/user/3011211)

We have suffered from discrimination,

Photo: Qaisar Roonjha

Yet we stand up for the rights of others.

Photo: Qaisar Roonjha

We are hunters,

Photo: Internet

Yet we love animals.

Photo: Internet

We have those with no access to education,

Photo: Baloch Ar Man Photography

Yet we are eager to learn.

Photo: Qaisar Roonjha

We have seen violence,

Photo: Reuters

Yet we dream of peace.

Photo: Badria Al-Balushi

We have sun sets filled with sadness,

Photo: Qaisar Roonjha

Yet we rise to a beautiful new morning everyday.

Photo: junaidrao (http://www.flickr.com/photos/junaidrao/10023436375/in/photostream/)

I wish I could show you more of my beloved Balochistan but, until then, I hope that I changed your mind about my province just a slight bit.


Qaisar Roonjha

A young activist who uses citizen media as tool for raising awareness. He has won many prestigious awards like the Global Creative Art Contest and the Honour of Global Change-makers by the British Council. He is based in Lasbela. He tweets @QRoonjha (twitter.com/QRoonjha?lang=en)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Imran Haider

    Great work, Qaiser. And a great attempt to break the stereotypes. Stay blessed.Recommend

  • N

    Nice pictures.
    Can anyone tell me what the red cap, the little boy in the first picture’s wearing, is called ? Is it part of Baloch culture ?Recommend

  • Mufasa101

    I love this! I hope I get to visit Balochistan one day :)Recommend

  • N

    Which cities are the 11th picture ( in the valley )…and the last photograph (seaside settlement) ?Recommend

  • Asad Khan

    Kudos, Nice…
    The reason people have stereotypes about Baluchistan is due to watching too much talk shows & political issues rather than documentaries, dramas & cultural shows. I’ve been to Baluchistan many times & all I found is just people who wants to progress & prosper like any-other & yet remain attached to their culture & heritage…….and this is very very good thing.


  • Quratulain fatima

    A beautiful photo-narrativeRecommend

  • skyrust

    after karachi and balochistan.. iam waiting for what lahore is like!!Recommend

  • The Great Pakistani Kaddoo

    Simple yet Beautifully conveyed.Recommend

  • Dr Tanweer Ahmed

    very nice presentation indeed and infact we love balochistan, these indiscriminations are since the birth of Pakistan yet we love Pakistan and balochistan is our heart.Recommend

  • amber

    the 11th picture is of Quetta and last one is of GawaderRecommend

  • Parvez

    The picture captioned ‘ we are hunters ‘ was disturbing for me ……….. on the other hand all the pictures told a story. Nicely done.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    :) Seems to me that you are going to turn vegetarian soon! Or maybe you are already one?
    Being a vegetarian, animal hunting/killing disturbs me no end.Recommend

  • faizaan

    Quite a worthy effort.Recommend

  • Father

    baloch’s are completely different by all means from pakistan and pakistanis.good luck to baloch.Recommend

  • میر بلوچ

    Everything is fine but that kid who holds a pakistani flag is not a baloch .Recommend

  • FI

    Beautiful! Can’t wait to visit this magnificent chunk of land one dayRecommend

  • Baltistani

    Very nice articulated.Recommend

  • Fahad

    Good Job Qaiser!!Recommend

  • zahoor khoso

    very impressive work.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Nandita on both counts its a no……….but I respect those who are vegetarians. I just believe that animals are God’s creatures and deserve respect. Show an animal kindness and it certainly will return it a hundred times over even though it can not talk………..can one say the same with certainty about humans ?Recommend

  • Ammar

    V good…we the Pakistan..:)Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    How are they completely different from other Pakistanis?Pakistan is a diverse country, no two ethnic groups in Pakistan have the same culture but retain similarities.

    Baluchis share many similarities with Pashtuns and Sindhis, the ones living in northern Baluchistan have more in common with Pashtuns and the ones in the southeast have more in common with Sindhis, and all 3 of these ethnic groups are part of Pakistan, and they’re all Pakistani.

    Baluchis just like all Pakistanis speak an Indo-European langauge,their clothes are similar and their cuisine is similar to Pashtun cuisine, and the vast majority of them are Muslims like the vast majority of Pakistanis, so they have the same holidays, except some Baluchis also celebrate Nowrowz, the same way Punjabis celebrate Basant.

    They’re just as Pakistani as any of us.Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    According to a Gallup poll last year, 63% of Baluch oppose independence, so the vast majority of Baluch are against the idea of separation.

    There are 32 districts in Baluchistan, and separatist movements are only in 4 districts.

    Only a minority want independence, whether you like it are not the Baluch are Pakistani, have Pakistani passports and all the rights and responsibilities of every Pakistani…. at least in law.

    @ET Moderators: Please post my comment.Recommend

  • N

    Thank you,Amber.Recommend

  • Anon

    I understand your feelings. Let me comfort you by saying that the deer appears to have been shot & that’s a far less frightful death than those by slaughter,including halal methods…a gun shot wound is also less painful than what any butcher with knives does.
    Quicker death with guns too.Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    Traitors under the name of Nationalism have ruined the province with their lust for power. Recommend

  • Uzair Malik

    Get well soon!Recommend

  • rehman1

    perfection doesnt need description:)Recommend

  • Nandita.

    Hmm..Yes, animals do deserve respect. But it’s kind of perplexing how you feel this way and yet you say you are not a vegetarian or don’t wish to be one. Waise, this is none of my business so I’ll zip my lips ( or should I say – give my fingers a rest ) :PRecommend

  • Hamza A Khan

    I have been in love with Balochistan since I started to search for beautiful places in this province more than 3 years ago. I have been dying to visit beautiful places such as princess of hope, ormara, pir ghaib but all people including balochis in Karachi have advised me against it.

    I pray situation gets better in Balochistan so the whole world can see just how beautiful this province is!Recommend

  • Awais

    I love Baluchistan as much as I love Rest of My Country. I hope people like continue to portray positive image of our beloved Baluchistan. Keep yourself up.Recommend

  • Parvez

    At heart I’m a vegetarian……. :-)Recommend

  • Parvez

    Thanks…….but that really was no comfort.
    When you hunt an animal with a gun FOR SPORT………in my view there are few things lower than that.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    :-) Of that I’m absolutely sure Parvez ji. :)
    Yours is a heart without malice.Recommend

  • Hmm …

    Polls can be manipulated & unreliable.
    A better approach is something along the lines of a census.
    Voting is the gold standard.
    Anyway,most people want to separate only because the govt.takes taxes,but spends no money on development…if they did,there would be fewer people who felt their land was being taken advantage of…eg-if that place looked like punjab,how many people would remain unsatisfied ?Recommend

  • Hasan Umar

    The last picture took my breath away….I never knew Balochistan is so beautiful…Thanks for sharing positive things about a part of my country…..Recommend

  • mhammad ovais khan

    halal method is least painful way to kill animal especially when u cut throat which cut veins and artries which carry blood to make your brain work but when it dont get sufficient amount of blood to work it will result in less pain to feel by animal its simple biology it may looks ghastly but believe me its far better then gun shotRecommend

  • arslan

    “What is Islamabad like?” or “what is lahore like?” there are articles on Karachi and balochistan not on these two yet :)Recommend

  • Father

    I’m well and like to say Balochistan is an occupied state. its not a part of pakistan’s. Recommend

  • Father

    its a occupied state!!!! Recommend

  • Uzair Malik

    You need to free yourselves from the tribal lords, that’s what you need to do. Change begins from inside. You are part of the only Muslim nuclear power, with the best army and intelligence agency in the world-it’s all on record. The day you start being thankful/proud of who you are, your conditions will change overnight.
    The richest countries with respect to resources are Afghanistan/Congo, yet the poorest and you know what I’m talking about. It’s not about the land or the-good for nothing-resources, we all love the people of balochistan but we are totally aware of their reservations but the entire country is going through hard times but we hope for a better future insh Allah. Tc xRecommend