Balochistan: energy-rich but deprived

Published Apr 27, 2011 08:03pm

BALOCHISTAN has six zones and 31 districts. It has almost 10 to 15 mega projects. According to the federal government, the ongoing development projects in different districts of Balochistan will benefit the people of the province. However, I regret to say that instead of having job opportunities, the people of Balochistan suffer from a number of problems such as poverty, unemployment, child labour and corruption. Nature has blessed Balochistan with enviable wealth in the form of energy resources and minerals. The first and foremost energy resource, which fuels the economy of Pakistan, is natural gas which was discovered in 1952 at Sui, a tribal area of Balochistan.

The agriculture in Balochistan is another factor which boosts our economy. The chief Rabi crops like wheat and gram and Kharif crops such as rice, corn, cotton and sugarcane bolster Pakistan’s economy.

Recently, according to a Dawn report, 19 districts in Balochistan have been identified for the growth of cotton. Such regions can surely strengthen economy, making the country prosperous.

Sadly, the province has multiple issues related to politics, society, economics, education, health and infrastructure.

We have targeted killings, cases of missing persons, while the number of suicides as a consequence of inflation is on the rise.

It is because of this dismal scenario that men, women, children and even parliamentarians, bureaucrats and army personnel are not safe here. We have seen many governments getting elected and then quietly completing their tenures without fulfilling their promises.

Balochistan should be given autonomy according to the 1973 Constitution. A political dialogue should be held by all revolutionary and political leaders to find out a solution. Force should be curbed in order to bring an end to targetted killings.

All missing persons must be brought to courts if they have committed a crime. Let the judiciary take decision about these persons by putting them on trial.

Natural resources in Balochistan, particularly natural gas, must be provided to all districts of Balochistan. The workers for the mega projects should be hired from the province.

Last but not least, everyone should be united to play a positive role in solving Balochistan issues.

MAHAN ABBAS Turbat

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