Pakistan’s Plans To Uplift Balochistan And Its Significance – OpEd


Balochistan is not just the largest province of Pakistan; it is also the richest region in natural resources, making it a significant prospect for the economic development of Pakistan. The province is known for its abundant natural resources, including natural gas, coal, copper, gold, and other minerals. However, it remains largely underdeveloped. To achieve socio-economic potential, it is of utmost significance that a comprehensive plan for the development of Balochistan is curated after input from entire spectrum of community and stakeholders. 

Moreover, it has a significant potential for socio-economic development, primarily due to its vast natural resources. It is home to the country’s largest coastline, stretching over 750 kilometers along the Arabian Sea and vast resources of natural gas, coal, copper, gold, and other minerals. It also has the largest reserves of natural gas in Pakistan, making it an important source of energy for the country. The Sui Gas Field in Balochistan has been producing natural gas since the 1950s, and it continues to be a significant contributor to Pakistan’s energy needs. The significant coal reserves found here can be used to generate cheap electricity and provide employment opportunities.

Without political will and objective planning, it won’t matter that the province has the world’s fifth-largest copper reserves, or that the Reko Diq mine is one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the world. The mining industry in Balochistan has significant potential for employment generation and revenue generation for the country. However, the lack of infrastructure and security issues have been major impediments to the development of the mining industry in the province.

Balochistan’s economic development is significant for Pakistan for several reasons. First, the province is rich in natural resources, which can be used to reduce the country’s reliance on imports and generate revenue for the government. Second, its strategic location makes it an important hub for regional trade and commerce. The province borders Iran and Afghanistan, and the development of trade routes through the province can connect Pakistan to Central Asia and beyond.

Economic development can also create employment opportunities for the people of the province. The province has suffered from high levels of poverty and unemployment, and the development of natural resources and other sectors can help address these issues. 

However, the province is facing several challenges in terms of economic opportunities and feudal hurdles, compounded by Indian propaganda. It is largely governed by a feudal system, which limits economic opportunities for the common people. The feudal lords control most of the land, resources, and power in the province, leaving little room for others to prosper. The feudal lords also hold significant political power, which has resulted in poor governance and corruption.

Balochistan has the potential to become an economically developed region, but several factors have hindered its growth. The province lacks basic infrastructure such as roads, railways, and ports, making it difficult to transport goods and access markets. There is also a shortage of skilled labor, limiting the province’s ability to compete in the global market. Moreover, the ongoing security challenges backed by hostile elements have further hindered economic development in the region.

India has long been involved in spreading propaganda against Pakistan and Balochistan, in particular, to create instability and unrest in the region. India is supporting separatist groups in Balochistan and providing them with funding and training. Indian media outlets have also undertaken a systematic campaign of spreading false information.

Despite these challenges, there are several initiatives underway to boost economic opportunities. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a major development project that aims to connect China’s western region with Pakistan’s Gwadar port, passing through Balochistan. The project includes the development of roads, railways, and other infrastructure, which will help to improve connectivity and facilitate economic growth in the region.

Balochistan has the potential to become a key player in Pakistan’s economy, but it faces several challenges, including feudal hurdles, lack of infrastructure, and Indian propaganda. The government of Pakistan must take measures to address these challenges and promote economic development in the region. Initiatives such as the CPEC and Reko Diq mining project are promising steps towards achieving this goal. The people of Balochistan also have a role to play in the development of their region by advocating for their rights and holding their leaders accountable for their actions.

The author is a Karachi based journalist and an independent researcher on socio-economic policy issues besides commentary on political economy. She has a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences from University of London and a Master’s in Development studies from PIDE and she can be reached at [email protected]

One thought on “Pakistan’s Plans To Uplift Balochistan And Its Significance – OpEd

  • March 8, 2023 at 7:37 am

    What a pity you did not refer to Soviet ambitions when they moved into Afghanistan. The objective was to create an “independent Baluchistan/Balochistan. It failed but they had eyes on another warm water port. I should not need to remind a distinguished writer about the lessons of history.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *