QUETTA: Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, the president of the National Party, has highlighted the crucial issue of Balochistan’s natural resources, emphasising that despite the implementation of the 18th constitutional amendment, the province’s people still lack control over their resources.

While talking to media after inauguration of a party worker’s election office, Dr Baloch pointed out that despite the discovery of gas in Dera Bugti, the region has not reaped the benefits. Similar concerns were raised regarding the exploitation of resources in Saindak and Reko-diq.

Expressing deep concern over the existing imbalance, Dr Baloch noted that a substantial 93 per cent of Gwadar Port is currently under China’s ownership, while only seven per cent is allocated to the federal government, leaving no share for Balochistan. Drawing on his experience as the former chief minister of Balochistan, he emphasised that National Party’s electoral manifesto addresses all necessary aspects for the public’s representation.

“With a firm commitment to rectify this disparity, the National Party, upon assuming power, pledges to diligently pursue and secure Balochistan’s rightful stake in the strategic Gwadar Port,” he said, adding that National Party is the only political party in the province that has presented its election manifesto to the public.

“The National Party will strive to bring the process of negotiations to the forefront, and through dialogue to move Balochistan forward,” he said, adding that another significant issue is missing persons; the youngsters are missing, and there is widespread protest.

Dr Baloch said the National Party is exerting all possible efforts to resolve the issue of missing persons and secure their recovery. He underscored the critical importance of political representation for Balochistan, advocating for an increase in national assembly seats.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2024

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