CPEC: An Incentive for Estranged Baloch Young Men to Shun Terrorism

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Col (Retd) Muhammad Hanif

It is by now well understood that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), passing through Balochistan and culminating at Gwadar port, Balochistan province, carries many socioeconomic advantages for the people of Balochistan. These benefits are in the shape of carrying hoteling, general stores, vehicle repairing shops, construction and many other such businesses along two routes of the CPEC, and availability of opportunities for jobs in the hotels, petrol pumps, security offices and many other allied areas. Also, lots of business and employment opportunities will be available to the Baloch people at Gwadar sea and air ports, apart from the opportunities that would be available in the industrial zone and other installations which will be set up at Gwadar.

In the overall context, CPEC is a source of countless advantages for Balochistan and its people. In other words, the CPEC mega project is going to transform the entire development pattern of Balochistan which will be much better than other provinces of Pakistan. Hence, CPEC can be termed as a major incentive for the Baloch youth, including the estranged young men, who have fled abroad out of frustration or after having been misled by some hostile forces to Pakistan, to get ready to engage themselves in opportunities like major businesses or the jobs that will be created by the CPEC.

The estranged Baloch young men are led by persons like Braumdagh Bughti, Hyrbyar Marri, Mehran Marri and  others, who first fled to Afghanistan in 2006 and later went to different western countries.  Brahumdagh Bughti, is the founder of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP), which now stands outlawed. Brahumdagh Bughti was initially given sanctuary in Afghanistan, and then he went to Switzerland in October 2010, where he is staying in political asylum. Also, other above mentioned young Baloch men had fled to the western countries via Afghanistan and are residing there under asylum. These young men are being mislead and sponsored by India’s intelligence agency (RAW) for initiating and supporting terrorism, with the India-fed unachievable objective of separating Balochistan from Pakistan.

India’s this game plan against Pakistan was fully exposed with the apprehension of Kalboshan Singh Jadav, a serving officer of Indian Navy and RAW spy, from Balochistan in 2016 and his televised confession that he was assigned to sponsor terrorism in Balochistan. According to India’s Economic Times of 13 July 2018, India is planning to give Indian citizenship to the above mentioned misled Balochi young men to use them to spread terrorism in Balochistan.

But in view of many good political and economic measures taken by the Central and Balochistan governments during the last some years for the Baloch people, and with the introduction of the CPEC, the India-fed narrative of independent Balochistan has not appealed to the Baloch people. Instead of pursuing the path of separatism and terrorism the Baloch people prefer participating in the CPEC-related economic development to realize the objective of their economic well being.

In this regard, in the last few years, about 2000 Baloch militants  have surrendered their arms and returned to their homes to lead a peaceful life. In this context, many sincere Baloch leaders, including, Dr.Jumma Khan Marri, a self-exiled Baloch nationalist leader and intellectual has recently parted ways from Baloch separatist elements like Brahamgagh Bugti, Hyrbyar Marri and Mehran Marri accusing them of being completely controlled by Indian intelligence agency RAW.

Moreover, the resolve of the new government in Pakistan to ensure the CPEC supported the socioeconomic development of  Balochistan and to mainstream it into national politics should also be a source of encouragement for the Balochistan people. Already, the Chairman of the Senate in Pakistan is from Balochistan and now the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly has also been elected from Balochistan. Also, the new government wants to vigorously work for completing the CPEC on time, that will soon create many job opportunities for the Baloch people.

In view of the above, it should be very reassuring for the Baloch people that the above-mentioned measures being taken by the Central Government to bring the Baloch people into mainstream politics and government’s focus on CPEC-supported economic development of Balochistan are going to bring many political, economic and social benefits to them. Hence, the CPEC generated huge political and  economic advantages being available to Balochistan should also act as major incentives for the estranged Baloch young men to shun Indian-sponsored terrorism and return to Pakistan to exploit available opportunities through democratic means to win important government seats in the central and provincial governments and join major CPEC- related businesses to serve the welfare of the Baloch people.

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