Aslam Raisani, the chief minister of Pakistan’s Balochistan Province, cautioned the US against launching drone strikes against the province, saying that they could jeopardize US interests in the region and might imperil the flow of supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Minister Raisani has similarly spoken out against proposed attacks on his province in the past, insisting repeatedly that the Taliban leadership is not in Balochistan and the so-called “Quetta Shura” simply does not exist.
The US issued an ultimatum to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari last week demanding that he move against the “shura,” though they provided no information about exactly where the shura could be found. Officials say the US might launch not only drone strikes against Quetta, but might send ground forces into the Baloch capital as well.
Though Pakistan has privately endorsed US attacks against the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, they have vowed to block any attacks on Quetta, and a US move against the nation’s largest province could have an enormously destabilizing effect.