The introduction of the CPEC that passes through Balochistan and terminates at Gawader port brings many opportunities for the development and political stability/transformation of the Balochistan province. Since Pakistan’s creation, due to the tribal structure of the area, tribal-centred ideas of the people and the distance involved from the other provinces of Pakistan, the Baloch people generally preferred living in their own conservative environment rather than travelling to other provinces to get jobs or to work there. Due to their this tendency the people of Balochistan lead a closed life that was dependent on Sardari System, which gave primacy to the Sardars as the people could never challenge their supremacy. Rather the people accepted Sardars’ authority and cooperated with them in the exercise of their authority willingly or being under pressure.
Based on willing as well as the manipulated cooperation of their people the Sardars maintained their authority in their areas and to keep their people under control. And to keep the people isolated from other provinces of Pakistan, Sardars discouraged the socio-economic development efforts of the provincial and central governments. During the elections, Sardars were always elected since they contested the election almost unopposed. Thus, the Sardars always dominated the government of Balochistan and wielded sufficient influence in Pakistan’s parliament and the central government by playing politics in coordination with the elected representatives of other political parties.
Due to Sardars’ control of different Balochistan governments and influence in the centre they were always able to get sufficient development funds for their areas. But they never carried out the desired development by using those funds. And, whenever the provincial and central governments introduced special development projects in various parts of Balochistan, those only partially succeeded since those were opposed and delayed by the Sardars on one pretext or the other.
And to cover their opposition to the projects Sardars propagated that Balochistan was being ignored by the governments of Pakistan in the development as compared with the other provinces. Due to Sardars aforementioned negative role and because of some other factors the province of Balochistan lacked in the field of socio-economic development, as compared with other provinces, especially in areas of education, health, provision of jobs in the provincial government departments and the central services of Pakistan. In this context young population of Balochistan remains frustrated due to lack of economic opportunities. To blackmail the government for giving them more funds, some Sardars also encouraged the already frustrated young people to carry out propaganda against the governments of Pakistan, its military and demand for autonomy and even for a separate state..
With the start of the construction of the CPEC, while the majority of the young Baloch people are hopeful of availing CPEC-related economic opportunities and development of Balochistan, India and some other hostile countries that are opposing the CPEC are misleading the young Baloch people about the advantages of the CPEC, and terrorism is being used to disrupt the CPEC construction. In this context some Balochistan sub-nationalists, including those who had fled abroad and have been given visas by some western countries to stay there, are playing to the tune of the hostile forces to carry out propaganda against Pakistan and the Pak Army.
For example, water scarcity and low rainfall in the far flung areas of Balochistan, that has contaminated water sources, particularly in Awaran District, leading to waterborne diseases and deaths are being used for propaganda purposes. This natural calamity is being propagated by Baloch Sub Nationalists (BSNs) as a deliberate effort by the Armed Forces to eject locals from villages in order to deny support to Baloch sub nationalists in their hideouts in the province from where they are carrying out anti-state activities and also trying to discourage the development of the CPEC. This propaganda is being done despite the fact that the Frontier Corps (FC) has initiated timely response by establishing medical camps in the affected areas.
In view of the above, keeping in view India’s and other hostile forces’ efforts to mislead the Baloch young people about the CPEC and the Pakistan military, which is providing security to the Chinese working on the project, there is a dire need that the Government of Pakistan should conduct a well-planned campaign on TV Channels and Social Media to project the advantages of the CPEC to the Baloch people. This campaign should also be reinforced by some practical steps, such as providing maximum jobs to the Baloch people in the CPEC-related projects. Moreover, it is also important for the Government of Pakistan to focus on completing the construction of the CPEC on time and make use of its economic advantages to improve Pakistan’s economic position to the advantage of the people of all provinces of Pakistan. This CPEC-related economic development will greatly help in long time political stabilization of Balochistan.