The striking ethnic and linguistic diversity within Pakistan's highly centralized state makes it a prime target for social mobilization, especially in the form of secessionist movements. However, Pakistan's various states and territories have experienced extreme variation in social mobilization since the nation's creation. This article addresses this variation by looking at two opposing cases: Baluchistan and Azad Kashmir. Baluchistan, a tribal land of distinct culture and tradition, has experienced five ethnonationalist movements since 1947, including the ensuing insurgency. Azad Kashmir, by comparison, has experienced no major anti-Islamabad movements despite its independent culture and ample grievances.

Employing a comparative case study methodology, I argue that social mobilization in the Pakistani state is the result not simply of grievances, as other scholars have argued, but of a combination of unique opportunities that encourage rebellion, including economic viability and organizational advantage.

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