Quetta: All agreements for the extraction of Balochistan’s natural resources were signed by “weak and non-political governments”, National Party chief Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said on Wednesday.

“Balochistan will not get a 25-35 percent share out of the Reko Diq project. Instead, its share won’t be more than 10 percent.

“Like all previous arrangements, the Reko Diq agreement is unjust for the province,” Dr Malik said during an informal discussion with journalists.

Dr Malik, a former chief minister, said the Constitution was clear that the people of a province had the “first right” to its natural resources. “But, unfortunately, weak political parties have always compromised on the province’s rights. The present agreement on Reko Diq is no different from the previous ones,” he said.

Dr Malik said he had resisted “multiple pressures” to extend the agreement when he was chief minister.

“I refused to do so because the agreement was not in Balochistan’s interest . The same goes for the agreement signed last month.”

The National Party chief lamented that Sui gas reserves were used freely, but areas like Dera Bugti and Chagai didn’t even have drinking water and other basic facilities.

In reply to a question, he said the “rulers claim to have turned Gwadar into another Dubai and call CPEC a game-changer”. But fishing, the bread and butter of the people of Gwadar, is being taken away by illegal trawlers, he added.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2023

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