A B Khan
Demographically the largest province of Pakistan, Balochistan, has a population of 12.34 million comprising of just 5.94% of the total population (207.77m) of Pakistan. Census 2017 revealed that the population of Karachi city alone is 14.91 million which is almost 2.57 million greater than the population of Balochistan. With such a small population, the province still faces a very big job deficit.
Due to a lack of employment opportunities in Balochistan, the youth of the province is more vulnerable compared to other provinces. Due to this unemployment, in June 2019, Nazar Muhammad a student of BS (Chemical Engineering) lost his life and was burned alive, on Kech highway, while transporting oil illegally to earn his living. The fate of Hidayat Ullah was not different from Nazar Muhamamd; he also lost his life while appearing in a marathon for the recruitment test of the Levis Sepoy in June 2019 in Ziarat. Similarly, in the month of July 2019, for the test of the vacant post of junior clerk, in District Khuzdar, several female candidates appeared. All these and many more cases which are not reported are proof that the burning issue of unemployment is soaring in the province and it needs to be addressed.
According to the Pakistan Labour Force Survey (2014-15), Punjab has 2.32 million unemployed population, Sindh has 0.66 million, KP with 0.51 million and Balochistan has 0.13 million. Clearly from the figures, Punjab has the highest unemployed population, but when we compare the unemployed population with the current total population to find out the percentage of unemployed population in each province, the scenario completely changes and the province with unemployed population of just 0.51 million becomes the most vulnerable having 4.13% of unemployed population.
To address the issue of unemployment and the sense of deprivation Aghaz e Haqooq package was announced for Balochistan by PPP government. Under the Aghaze Haqooq Package, one of the key points was that the Federal Government will create additional jobs for Balochistan and will strictly observe the provincial quota while providing employment to the province. Aghaz e Haqooq like other projects was made dormant with the passage of time and it all faded away in the time.
In 2013, PM Nawaz Sharif imposed ban on all recruitments and the posts to be filled under Aghaz e Haqooq were not advertised. In June 2013, Principal Secretary to CM, Naseem Lehri, was communicated in a reply from Joint Secretary (Establishment Division) Dr. Masood Akhtar that almost 4,000 posts under Balochistan Quota are laying vacant however the government has imposed ban on the recruitment. In September 2018, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Khan, informed the Senate that there are four thousand vacancies yet to be filled under the Aghaz e Haqooq. These posts were deferred and the tyranny of the province is that none of the political leaders asked or inquired about it.
Provincial and Regional quotas prescribed in 1973 has been reviewed from time to time and it has been decided by the Federal Government that following provincial quota shall be observed in filling the vacant posts in all Federal Government Organizations.
The premier recruiting organization of Pakistan, FPSC, follows the same recruiting policy for its recruitment. Unfortunately, the recruitment policy prescribed in the paper is not followed generally and especially in the case of Balochistan. The claim is not made on the basis of one’s perception rather on the basis of figures and statistics provided by the Establishment Division’s Annual Statistical Bulletin of 2017-18 (autonomous bodies, corporations).
According to the report, Balochistan has just 4.34%, against its due share of 6%, whereas Punjab, including Islamabad, has 56.06%, Sindh has 21.67% and KP has 14.82% share in the jobs of Federal Government corporations/autonomous bodies. According to the report, all three provinces are getting more than its recommended quota whereas Balochistan is the only province that is getting less than its actual share. The unusual thing in the report is that in table 5 “domicile wise working strength section”, Islamabad is mentioned separately from Punjab and in few cases, Islamabad alone is getting more number of jobs in different autonomous /corporate bodies than the province of Balochistan which is a clear violation of the provincial and regional quota.
Article 38 (g) of the Constitution of Pakistan ensures that the shares of the Provinces in all Federal services, including autonomous/ corporate bodies, under the control of the Federal Government shall be secured any omission in the allocation of the shares of the Provinces in the past shall be rectified. Unfortunately, the political leadership of the province seems to be ignorant whereas the unemployed youth of Balochistan are helpless and cannot find any savior who can advocate for the right of these youth.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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