Roadmap for the development of Balochistan | By Dr Muhammad Khan


Roadmap for the development of Balochistan

WITH 43% of its total landmass, Balochistan province of Pakistan has been bestowed with tremendous-natural resources and long coastal area. The people of the province are hard workers, tough, intelligent and loyal to their motherland. In the last 75 years, there has been continual bad governance, exploitative Sardari system, regional and international conspiracies which kept the province away from the path of progress and development in the province. Indeed, there is nothing wrong with the people of the province and their loyalty with the motherland, but, they (masses of the province) remained unaware of the plans of the exploiters and conspirators. The foreign-sponsored exploiters have been inciting and misleading the poor masses for their own vested interests. These foreign conspiracies created a sense of deprivation among the masses and forced them to opt for sub-nationalism in the province as a way forward. These foreign plots could influence only a few in the province whom they have been using for their vested interests since the last few decades. Nevertheless, there is a realization among the youth of the province that they are on wrong path, thus started rejecting the anti-state narratives, which mislead them and kept them backward for decades. The people of the province have now started realizing that their youth bulge was wrongly diverted towards those activities, which run counter to their interests and future development of their province. The people of the province are now more vigilant and futuristic about their youths and development of their respective areas.

In order to mislead the youth of the province, Indian spying agency RAW has established its own network in the province under people like Kulbushan Jadhav, who was planted to promote terrorism and sub-nationalism in the province. He was arrested by the ISI in March 2016 during a counter-intelligence operation from Mashkel, Balochistan, while he was travelling to Pakistan on an Iranian passport. As a serving Indian Navy officer, Jadhav was involved in espionage, acts of terrorism and sabotage against the State of Pakistan. He used to hold meetings with Baloch insurgents and collaborated with them to carry out terrorist activities, leading to the killing or maiming of thousands of Pakistani citizens who were later declared as missing persons. In the past thousands of Baloch youth have been taken away by foreign spying networks for training and anti-Pakistan activities that were later claimed as the missing persons. During interrogation Jadhav accepted this and also revealed that he was in contact with many militants of province and provided them huge financial assistance for promotion of the separatism in the province. Yadhav remains a living proof of Indian hostility and state-sponsored terrorism against Pakistan, the world needs to take note of it as Indian inimical designs and policy of aggression against Pakistan.

Balochistan is changing and there is a return of normalcy with the wind of peace, stability, awareness and economic prosperity. The farsighted people of the province get the credit of this change; after all, nothing could have been possible without their willingness to reject the militancy and centrifugal forces. Indeed, over the years, the locals of the province, particularly the Baloch populace was misled through various misperceptions, created against the state and military through vested interests.

It merits mentioning that the province has been host of foreign conspiracies for years and years, beginning with the pre-partition phase. In the post-partition phase, these so-called separatists have acted as a tool in the hands of foreign spying networks, which had their own agendas for this geographical pivot of Pakistan and a regional crossroad. In order to do away with these misperceptions, the military created a campaign of awareness among the local masses. The awareness campaign was followed by motivation for the mainstreaming of the masses and particularly of those elements, who were betrayed and had adopted militancy as a profession.

The Pak Army changed the strategy and now rather combating the militants, adopted the motivational approach which changed the whole scenario.

To achieve this, border control along Afghanistan and Iran was enhanced and men of the Pak Army and FC dedicated themselves for the service of the people, particularly in the far-flung areas of the province. The most significant and the needed aspect was the promotion of basic education among the masses of rural Baloch population. It was lack of education, which held the people, in fact generations, the hostage of the miscreants. Local educational institutions are revitalized and new institutions established for promotion of education in various far-flung areas of the province by military and the FC.

Regarding the development of the Balochistan province, the State of Pakistan is committed for the development, economic prosperity and provision of basic facilities to the people of Balochistan. The resources of Balochistan belong to the locals and all projects being planned and executed while considering the socio-economic uplift of the masses of the province. It is expected that, recently concluded deal on Reko-Diq will bring significant socio-economic progress and infrastructure development in the province. The project will create job opportunities for the youth of the province. Marine resources of the province belong to the coastal belt where Government must ensure that the rights of local fishermen are fully protected. The youth of Balochistan is a ray of hope for the province. They are well on their way to progress and development. They are no longer available to be used as explosives by local sub-nationalists who are sponsored by foreign spying networks. Baloch youths are joining Pak Army, Navy, Air Force and other branches of the civil armed forces. Besides, they are being educated in all academic institutions of Pakistan at various levels. There is a need that Provincial Government of Balochistan and local feudal lords of the province must realize their duties towards the masses especially, the youth.

— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.

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