One of the four provinces of Pakistan, part of the historical region of the same name, located at the junction of the Middle East and Hindustan. Balochistan is the largest administrative-territorial unit of the country by area but the smallest in population. Baluchistan is rich in natural resources, including oil, gas, copper and gold, but remains one of the poorest regions in Pakistan.
The titular ethnic group of Baluchistan is Baluchi that account for slightly more than 50% of the region's population. Language is the defining marker of their differences from the rest of the country. The Baloch language belongs to the north-western Iranian languages; it is close to the Kurdish. Likewise, Balochs differ in their tribal structure. Like most of the Pakistani, they profess Islam of the Sunni type. The territory of Balochistan is inhabited unevenly: Pashtuns that constitute 30% of the regional population reside in the northern and northeastern (the most logistically developed) parts of the province. The proportion of Punjabis in Balochistan is small - about 2%.
In the province, there are high nationalist sentiments ranging from radical separatist to relatively moderate autonomist. At the same time, unlike other regions of Pakistan where ethnic parties representing the titular groups are strong, Baluchi nationalist parties do not have significant support in the parliamentary elections. From time to time, a violent conflict between the rebels of the Liberation Army of Baluchistan and the central government of Pakistan breaks out. Also, there are conflicts between Balochs and other ethnic groups, in particular, Pashtuns.