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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. Baluchistan is the largest administrative-territorial unit of the country in terms of area, but the smallest in terms of population. Baluchistan is rich in natural resources, including oil, gas, copper, and gold, but remains one of the poorest regions of Pakistan.
The titular group of Balochistan are the Balochs, who make up just over 50% of the region's population. The defining marker of their difference from the rest of the country's population is their language. Baluchi language belongs to the northwestern Iranian language, which is close to Kurdish. Balochs also have a tribal structure and, like the majority of the population of the country, practice Sunni Islam. The territory of Baluchistan is unevenly populated: the most logistically developed northern and northeastern parts of the province are mainly populated by Pashtuns, who constitute about 30% of the population. The share of Punjabis is small, about 2%.
Nationalist sentiments are strong in the province: both radical separatist sentiments and relatively moderate autonomist ones. At the same time, unlike in other regions of the country, where ethno-regional parties representing the titular group turn out to be strong, Baloch nationalist parties do not have significant support in parliamentary elections. From time to time there is a renewed violent conflict in Balochistan between the rebels of the Baloch Liberation Army and the central government of Pakistan. In addition, there are conflicts between the Baluchis and other ethnic groups, in particular the Pashtuns.