Baluchistan: the more-wealthier the most-deprived

Baluchistan is the largest province of Pakistan, containing 44 percent land area of the country and is considered the least populated province of Pakistan. It has a great geographical importance, being blessed with mineral resources. According to the survey Alif Aillan survey almost 50 precious metals are found in Pakistan out of 50 approximately40 precious metals are found in Baluchistan.

Above all, Baluchistan is having world’s 3rd largest gold reservoir, which is a great blessing not only for Baluchistan but also for Pakistan. Baluchistan also has 6th largest copper reservoir of the world. Another key factor and importance of the province is having the deepest seaport of Gwadar,increasing the geographical importance of the Pakistan. Baluchistan is the only region of the world which connects the East to the West through sea and also shares its longest borders with Afghanistan and Iran.

According to the Mackinder’s Heartland TheoryBaluchistan is considered the heart of the world, whoever rulesBaluchistan will rule over the world. By virtue of its minerals and its geographical importance Russia, America and India have tried their best and used various tactics to enter Baluchistan and foreign agencies have also created instability in the province to maintain their dominance.

Sui gas of Baluchistan discovered in 1952 in Sui Baluchistan in very short period of time gas transferred to Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar. Ironically, Quetta capital of Baluchistan was deprived of such facility till 1985 and was transferred after 32 years. Surprisingly, majority of the districts of Baluchistan have no gas facility and only 5 percent of province is facilitated with gas and 95 percent of the province is deprived of such blessing.

Baluchistan is also facing an unprecedented rate of unemployment and was given only 3.3% share in federal jobs; recruitments of non-local in various jobs and civil bureaucracy in the province further added fuel to the fire. The most important sectors of Health and Education are in worse condition and considered most backward as compared to other provinces. According to the report of Alif Aillan out of twenty seven lake children only nine lake children go to school. There is also scarcity of educational institutions.There are only 12347 primary schools and only 6% consists of high school, including 76 percent government schools and 19 percent private schools. The report showed that 14 percent teachers get their salaries and remain absent throughout the year. Students leaving school percentage is very high that 86, 50000 children were admitted to primary schools and only one lake went to middle class.

High illiteracy rate has kept the province very backward, only 37 percent male are literate and 15 percent women respectively.  Shortage of water is another glaring issue which needs to be addressed. It is a matter of grave concern, merely 15 percent of the population gets clean water, in 21th century human beings and animals drink from the same pond. Paucity of clean water causes disease of hepatitis C.

Scarcity of electricity generates problems and has badly affected the agriculture sector in the province. One can imagine that only 12 percent area of Baluchistan has the facility of electricity the weak infrastructure of roads have affected the daily life.There are only five highways which are in deteriorating condition. The worst condition of health sector is crystal clear that out of thirty two districts only Quetta city has the proper central government hospital which bears the burden of the whole province. The heath sector dilemma increased the death rate of fragrant women in the province.

The government, on the other hand, recruited non- locals in various departments which by all means is injustice with marginalized people of Baluchistan. A question that needs to be answered is who is accountable for aforementioned issues of Baluchistan? To be honest, insincere leadership of the province and the ignorance of the federal government are more responsible.Political instability, disunity among political parties, religious extremism, politics on ethnical basis and low literacy rate are the most common issues that need to be resolved without further delay. Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Qamar Javed Bajwa righty says that “Pakistan is incomplete without Baluchistan”. A fragile and week Baluchistan will not guarantee the success of China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). For the success of CPEC, policy makers need to engage into introspection and ponder over issues of Baluchistan.