Balochistan is the richest province of Pakistan in minerals as well as blue economy but the poorest with respect to economic and financial condition of the common public. Sardars are billionaires but a large population have not seen currency note of 5 Thousand pkr. Balochistan is the destination of the flagship project of China Pakistan that would (if they are telling the truth and it is not a political promise only) connect not the countries only but the regions in the network of shared development but the people of this unfortunate and ignored province are living below the line of poverty.
Now when government change is in the offing, people of this province expect that new faces , instead of traditional Sardars and Khans , will be brought in the care taker set up of the province. Two prominent citizens of Balochistan from Pashtoon part visited National Press Club Islamabad and discussed their plight with us the other day. They were Haji Nizam ud Din Achakzai, a local politician and social worker and Malik Abdul Qayyoom Kakkar advocate who runs a think tank in Quetta raising awareness among the public about their rights and the ruling class’ duties. both belong to Pashtoon part and they shared the plight of Pashtoon people there. But certainly I exchanged views as a whole and we discussed the Baloch leaders’ conduct and real issues there as well.
As they shared, all powerful classes in the province are in alliance to exploit the commoners either they are Balochi or Pashtoons. They made clear that Punjabi laborers are our brothers. They are not killed by who our establishment blames most often. They live with us and we give them space and care. The armed conflicts around our region have not only took many innocent lives but spread diseases that were never observed here earlier. It is due to continued use of weapons and ammunition and Allah know what else they use and what are the effects of it on the environment.
They said the picked up leaders have no respect to law of the land. They run their own private jails. Mir Abdur Rehman Khaitran has his own jail. Provincial advisor, Wali Mohammad’s brother has his private jail. Dozens of poor people are imprisoned there. They lock their prisoners in containers as well.
Haji Nizam ud Din disclosed that Gulistan Tehsil of Qala Abdullah Disrtict was a peaceful place where no one had any weapon but now it is a lawless land. People have lethal weapons that may not be in military even. 55 drug factories are working there. Who can run a drug factory? He siad that ICE was preliminarily manufactured here and now being supplied to whole country.
Nizam ud Din Achakzai counts 5 Sardars or Families that are ruling the province and playing on both sides. They are Mengals, Maris, Bugtis, Achakzais, Nawabs of Qalat. About first three, Nizam said that one family member is in government federal provincial both and second is with Separatists who demand free Balochistan. Akhtar Mengal always questions about where his brother is who was lifted from Karachi in the deep past but he drove the car of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the occasion of Nuke Tests in Chaghi. Why he does not asks the question to Nawaz Sharif.
Abdul Qayyom Kakkar who is grandson of Malik Abdul Aziz, a local leader of Pakistan Movement, deplored the situation in the Pashtoon region. He said that Pakistan needs good relations with Afghanistan and open border at Chaman. The people on both sides are families. They can not meet due to extraordinary restrictions on the border. Our children and elderly suffer a lot only to cross the border to meet their relatives. Our women are misbehaved by the personnel at the crossing points.
He said, the leaders of Independence Movement would stay at Muslim Bagh hosted by our grandfather MAlik Abdul Aziz. We want Pakistan develop and prosper where our children are safe, can have proper education and get employment on merit. But the situation on the ground is highly disturbing. We don’t have colleges and universities in Pashtoon region. We have no industry there. The only income generating works are either you pick up weapon for a lord and indulge in illegal activities or deal in drugs business.
Smart girls and boys are forcibly taken away from the parents. Our children are being exploited and molested by the powerful elite of the region. The traditional leaders in the province and in Pashtoon region of the province are not serious to solving the problems of the public. Therefore we appeal to the higher authorities and decision makers to look into the issues seriously and giver representation to the people who are from the public and understand the problems of the public. The leaders and representatives from the gross root level can help the oppressed people of this region.
Regarding Gawader and CPEC game changer benefits , they expressed no interest as if there is no hope for them in the most trumpeted project in the history of Pak-China. The province accomplishes the project with land and port to the nearest attractions of the world’s busiest sea trade, Middle East and Africa. But the representatives of the region where CPEC enters into Balochistan are not happy. They said that Gawader is very far from us and even the local people of Gawader are not satisfied there.
About traditional leaders who are Sardars , they said , these leaders are not considered the representatives by the local people. Most of them have links in Quetta Cant that is not liked by the public. The people say that these leaders are focusing on how to satisfy the Cant only and not the local population.
Former Deputy of Brahamdagh Bugti, Head of So Called Balochistan National Army Gulzar Imam Shamby Arrested
I sought their attention towards the second side of the picture. Bureaucracy , both civil and military are mainly from Pashtoons after Punjabis. A large number of officers and personnel in Military are Pashtoons and now Baloch youth is also getting jobs in Military preferable because Gov and Military are serious in taking Balochistan onboard in all spheres to bring this province into mainstream of national integrity. You are supposed to raise voice against the leaders who are from your own Pashtoon and Baloch regions.
Speakers Determined not to let the Militants Hijack Peace and Prosperity in Balochistan
Regarding good relations with Afghanistan, I shared that Pakistan is always ready to maintain good relations with all neighbors including especially Afghanistan. Pakistan has sent trade trucks to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan through Afghanistan. Pakistan has signed agreement on Trilateral Train from Tirmiz Uzbekistan to Afghanistan and Peshawar Pakistan. Also we can not overlook the cross border firing and attacks on our soldiers who have embraced martyrdom in large number.
Both of them acknowledged the sacrifices of the military personnel and sincerity of the government to upgrade the conditions in the province with addition that the caretaker set up should be consisted of the representatives of the common public. We demand solution of our problems and safety of the future of our children only. We have seen conflicts, war of power, killings, diseases, unemployment and exploitation only so far. Now we look forward to some relief from the policy makers. Relief is possible only when we have place and share in decision making process in the provincial government. They said that we are available to further discuss the issues and solutions of our region with anyone interested.