Suhail Khan Mandokhel
Progress in Balochistan seemed to have been ossified for many years. While vying for stakes in political structures, the efforts of political parties have been either half-success or fruitless at all. This gnawing fact impels us to find a thought-out plan for Balochistan that would be aimed at solving core issues. One can hardly name a problem to which people of Balochistan are not wary. Corruption, terrorism, Bad governance, political instability and its type are blistering the prosperity of people. How can government bring province out of this chaotic situation? Certainly, through a crystallized mechanism based on the consensus of federation and province.
Not unlike the past, efforts are underway to appease people through salutary measures. At present, self-explanatory project of CPEC is the mainstay of hopes. People want it to be the harbinger of peace and prosperity rather than discontent and atrocities. It can be responsive to the desires of people if it is used as a carrier of internal security. Since the formal ground-breaking of CPEC, a number of hellish blasts and misadventures have got scores of civilians killed including lawyers, police cadets, members of workforce and commoners. Such mystifying ripple of terrorism has impressed an apprehension on people, who are in fact the most susceptible targets, that CPEC is a clarion call to the foes of Pakistan for attacking the soft targets.
Subsequently, the statement by Daniel Coats director of National intelligence US that, “The emerging China-Pakistan economic corridor will offer soft targets to militants”, sounds quite relevant. Ironically, the response of China to this particular issue is low-key. Chinese authorities are interested in the security of their nationals only and seem unconcerned to by-and-large security condition of Balochistan. China foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a press release after the heinous attack on Police training academy Quetta in Oct 2016 ” The attack on Police Training Academy last night was a reflection of Pakistan’s internal security risk; it happened in the province that the CPEC passes but didn’t target the CPEC”. Of course, it was a statement made up of conflicting clauses. To China, security of province is not synonymous with the security of CPEC. Long and short of this topical issue is that US in collusion with India might be trying to sabotage this flagship project of OB-OR initiative and meanwhile, People have to bear the brunt.
The Million dollar question in this regard is, whether CPEC can improve the security condition of Pakistan in general and of Balochistan in particular or it will tinker with law and order for a short-term plan. A contrarian and optimistic voice affirms this improvement. It tells altogether different story. To the exponents of this voice, CPEC is based on the principle of gradualism and it shouldn’t be expected to fructify on early-harvest basis. They have convincing arguments which are to be read minutely. A security division has been added to the master plan including a full system of real monitoring, and the construction of explosives detectors, and scanners for crowded places, major roads, case-prone areas and 24-hour surveillance in major cities. In this token, another interesting point, that appeals more to critics of state policies, is that China is nudging Pakistan to stop using terrorist outfits as strategic assets. 2017 BRICS declaration, wherein China put finger on militant organisations, is reflective of the fact that CPEC may eviscerate the alleged double-handed policy of our state regarding war against terror. These facts provide us a reason to believe that CPEC can shore up the fundamental demands of people.
Central to this debate is the point that the plain-sailing of this gigantic project is possible only if local people are provided with rights of proprietary. Their reasonable fear of being submerged by foreigners is to be addressed with decency. If it happens so, all intrigues of our enemies will be in vain.
Further, the most relevant expertise preferably from Balochistan must be engaged to ensure unhindered functioning of CPEC. The network of real-time monitoring must also be spread to the metropolitan cities of Balochistan. Too importantly, India and Afghanistan should be invited whole-heartedly to become the part of CPEC so that chances of sabotage would get minimized. Though the attainment of these prerequisites is a tall order, yet it is to be achieved in the durable interest of our country. Following this, People of Balochistan will call CPEC the harbinger of peace and prosperity.
The writer is a Student of LL.B at University Law College, Lahore. He hails from Zhob. His area of interest is Federalism of Pakistan, Inter-state relations, Legal systems of world, modes of diplomacy and geostrategic partnerships.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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