There is tremendous untapped potential with the youth of Balochistan that could be fully utilized with technical education. Once these youth are technically educated, Balochistan, and Pakistan as a whole will benefit significantly by fully capitalizing on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other primarily untapped opportunities, such as mining. Balochistan is naturally rich in many minerals, which is potentially an exceptional economic opportunity. If the government provided incentives and encouragement for investors in mining and other businesses to be established in the region, there will undoubtedly be a boom of countless job opportunities for those who are technically educated. Capitalizing on and incentivizing the vast mineral resources of Balochistan should be considered both urgent and at the top of the Pakistani government’s list for economic growth in the country.
Currently, nearly all schools in Balochistan offer almost exclusively non-technical degrees. Such education is suitable for only government and other non-technical positions. Without technical degrees offered, the undoubted flood of technical positions that will very soon be required as a result of CPEC and other areas of growth can only be filled by outsiders, likely foreigners. Why should Pakistan not prepare our own youth in Balochistan to fill all such technical positions in our own land? Our youth certainly has the potential of achieving technical degrees. We need the government to take immediate action to bridge the gap between the level of local education currently provided, and the level of education required for the upcoming opportunities.
In the short run, I recommend that Balochistan youth with high achievement in local schools be rewarded by sending them to China to further their education to obtain the certifications and degrees needed to fill technical positions related to CPEC. For the long run, however, the Pakistani government should immediately begin construction one or more technical universities in the Balochistan region, so that Balochistan will have the in-house capabilities to educate the countless youth of future generations. I suggest directly seeking financial assistance from China to make this happen, as it will ultimately be a win: win situation. With the establishment of technical universities in Balochistan, I foresee an ever-growing economic prosperity that will ultimately benefit all of Pakistan. Regarding the mineral production growth potential, there is no doubt that it could be used as a significant incentive for China to invest in Balochistan’s education. If China were offered a share of the Balochistan mineral production or guaranteed a discount in mineral purchases in the future, China would have the incentive needed to construct the previously mentioned technical schools and universities in Balochistan.
For the sake of significantly bettering the future of not only Balochistan but all of Pakistan, I implore the Pakistani government to take action starting today and begin truly tapping the potential of the Balochistan youth by opening such dialogue with China.
Government and civil society need to convince and encourage businessmen of Balochistan to invest in establishing small-scale industries as this would also help in cutting down the unemployment in youth and would bring prosperity in province and country.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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