Title: Buffer Zone, Colonial Enclave or Urban Hub? Quetta
Author: Gazdar, H. Kaker, S. Khan, I.
Institution: Crisis States Research Centre
Publication Date: 2010
This paper argues that the city of Quetta, the provincial capital of the border-province of Balochistan, could help to make Pakistan more stable. Currently, the central Pakistani state is in conflict with Baloch separatists, Islamic clerics and local elites who dominate the city. The paper argues if the central state were to engage politically with these actors, the city could become a consensually managed “urban hub” that would help bring the region under central control, rather than a “colonial garrison” used to advance the central state’s interests and control political rivals. If the Pakistani state changes its approach to engaging with Quetta’s political elite, they could help contribute to the stabilisation of Balochistan and encourage a more united Pakistan.