CPEC: Solution for Deprivations of Balochistan?

Bilawal Ali Kanrani
CPEC has turned out to be talk of town since Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif signed memorandum with Chinese Premier in 2013. This project is considered one of the most pivotal and game changers for the south Asian countries, especially for Balochistan. After taking huge step of materializing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in realistic way, law and order situation has much improved than that of previous regime. The extremists and outlawed that created unrest in Balochistan have surrendered. A good mark to bring peace and tranquility in Balochistan.
However, CPEC, an official dream, has highlighted the significance of geographical location of Balochistan. The Province which rich in mineral resources having value in trillion dollars and a big source of livestock production. Not less than this, Hub of natural gas reservoirs was discovered at Sui in 1952. Unfortunately, that very discovery could not change the fate of Baloch nation especially local people living in adjoining area of Sui. They are still living in miserable condition after 64 years of discovery of gas field which fulfills half of the country’s requirements. On the other hand, Naseerabad Division, not far from Sui, is the most populated but have been deprived of the blessing of natural gas, resulting in deforestation in most areas. The Division is the only agriculture sector of Balochistan with fertile land but deprived of Agricultural Research Institute. Till now no attention has been paid to Education and infrastructure in adjoining areas. Government has not taken steps to change the lives of ordinary people living in deprivation. In addition, not a single College and University have been established to enlighten the young generation where they could contribute towards nation building. Moreover, Health situation is worse than that of other provinces, sarcastically, hospitals are there but presenting the situation of Ghost-hospital. Local people are deprived of basic health facilities.
A part from this, there are scads of mineral which have been mined in the area of Rekodiq a small town in the Chagai District. Below the sands lie some 12.3 million tons of copper and 20.9 million ounces of gold. Furthermore, Saindak Copper-Gold, there are huge deposits of silver, copper and gold were found in Saindak. These two projects are included in the world’s mega project lists. Here it is worth mentioning that Government built first metal industry at district Chagai in the area of Rekodiq but still poverty and dark-pitched ignorance are prevailing in the region.
In contrast, there are no as such projects in Punjab Province which is largest province in terms of population but difference in life style can be seen, whether it may be educational sector or health and infrastructure of Punjab. If these projects were in Punjab, the province would have competed with Singapore, Qatar and other developed cities of the world. What is it? it is all about the policies and priorities of provincial government.
These bitter realities display that the rudimentary components like consistent policies and supporting infrastructure and priorities of government are lacked. These gigantic projects could not deliver and improved the life style of common people across the Balochistan. The ratio of unemployment is increasing day by day. To get a job in a government sector is not less than crying for moon. Then what can be expected from CPEC, a fate-changer, will it change the fate of Baloch nation or ordinary people in Balochistan? Would it mitigate the deprivation of young minds of respective province? Would it heal the wounds which received by the Province? What Balochistan would get in return?? A hidden reality must be answered but more annoying fact is that people of Balochistan are living on the city of gold but similarly, on the island of ignorance.
The situation demands more serious attention and concrete steps to make the lives of people better and more satisfy. And need to utilize the economic potential of Balochistan but to secure the future of Pakistan. It is high time for upcoming central and provincial governments to resolve the issues of seriously. Thomas Hardy says that Happiness is but general episode of painful drama. The inhabitants of Balochistan have been watching the episode of painful drama since long time and now it’s time to bring and play happiness episode in the region.
The writer is a Mphil Scholar and belongs to Sohabatpur district.
DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
Share your comments!