Balochistan’s Dilemma

Posted by Faheem Belharvi
A sense of insecurity, a feeling of deprivation and a scenario coloured with dejection; what else the people of Balochistan have in their life. Countless targeted killings mingled with a continuous series of missing persons have added more miseries to the lives of the Baloch people. The situation is neither encouraging nor hopeful but the Supreme Court of Pakistan under the magnanimous command of the Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is doing all its best to resolve this issue which has been ever most painful since after the creation of Pakistan. It is being hoped that things would get alright and the people of Balochistan would also live a life full of peace and prosperity. The situation in Balochistan could have never been so painful if the people of Balochistan were treated on the basis of justice and equality and given the same rights as given to the people of other provinces.

No roads, no bridges, no industry and no development work; that was the situation in Balochistan just a few years back. The helpless people of Balochistan were searching for dry wood to light their burners when people of other provinces were enjoying winter season in their gas-heated cozy rooms without realizing this blessing of Sui-gas was a gift from Balochistan. The youth of Balochistan had to wander here and there aimlessly in search of a job in other provinces of Pakistan. Precious minerals-bearing mountains were handed over to foreign investors and the unfortunate Balochs were deprived of any benefit they could get from them. In such a precarious situation what else must have been the reaction of the people of Balochistan; they could have done nothing but protest over this injustice and discrimination. Thank God Almighty that the Pakistan army realized the gravity of situation and chalked out a development program out of its own resources for the betterment and prosperity of Balochistan. This magnanimous contribution in the development of the Province includes development in all sectors regarding education, health, mining, provision of jobs in Army, infrastructural development and other socio-economic development. Various schools and colleges were established under the control of Pak Army and Frontier Corps and more than 18000 Baloch students were provided with the opportunity of getting education in these educational institutions. The Pakistan army managed to facilitate these students with free boarding and medical facilities along with regular monthly stipends. Moreover Pak Army took initiative to revive the Chamalang Coal Mines project. This project had ever been a disputed project since early 80s. The revival of the Chamalang Coal Mines Project brought an industrial revolution in Balochistan and more than 73500 individuals of Luni and Marri tribes got job opportunities at the project whereas more than 2000 individuals belonging to different tribes were employed there as guards to provide security to the project’s installations.

Unfortunately, few of the Baloch sardars did not feel happy over the efforts the Pakistan army did for the people of Balochistan. They feared that such efforts would prove a challenge to their authority and mar their popularity and position among the Baloch people. They felt frightened that such efforts by the army would compel the people to think about the indifferent role which these sardars had been playing since long. That is why they started a campaign against the army and unluckily the anti-Pakistan elements took full advantage of their rage and fury in this situation. If these Baloch sardars had spent their precious time in making plans for the betterment of their people and in doing sincere efforts to materialize these plans , they might not have needed to blame baselessly the Pakistan army. It is very much true that the security agencies have nothing to do with the development projects in any country; opening schools and colleges, beginning industrial projects and making new hospitals is not the job of security forces but they have to take care of all these matters when the political governments fail in doing so. Even in Balochistan developmental work must be the sole responsibility of the Provincial government which is empowered to initiate projects regarding new hospitals, schools, roads and improvement in the living conditions of people. Provincial government’s failure in this regard provided an opportunity of coming forward to the security forces. The political government could have won the hearts of the Baloch people if it had performed its duty in the real sense.

Whatever be the circumstances and reasons if the situation in Balochistan is getting worse day by day, it is simply because of the inefficiency and inefficacy of the political government. Today there is a lot of complexity and complication in scenario. The Baloch sardars are annoyed with the army because army has exposed their incompetence and inefficiency through its development projects for the betterment of common people. The army is not willing to leave the people of Balochistan in lurch and on the other hand the foreign intelligence agencies are making hay because sun is shining. The situation demands very serious attention and a strong determination. Things could take a very positive change if the sardars realize what their duty is and what their people expect from them.

(Prof. Ali Sukhanver)

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