Contribution Of Pakistan Army In Infrastructure Development Of Balochistan – OpEd
By Talha Imran
The situation in Balochistan is often baselessly portrayed in negative light by international media. A malicious campaign has been underway to create division between people of Balochistan and the rest of country and negative perception about the state’s role. Hostile elements want to create an internal threat for Islamabad by manipulating deprivation of the locals. Pakistan like all developing countries is a victim of poverty and uneven development. However, there exists an acute understanding that the gulf between haves and have not is a real threat to Pakistan’s security.
The government of Pakistan has launched various projects to improve infrastructure throughout the country, including in Balochistan. Given the security situation, Army has to play a significant role in assisting operational development in Balochistan. A lot has been talked about military’s role but what usually missing from the debate is contribution of military towards development of the region.
Despite being the largest province, Balochistan is the least developed in terms of infrastructure; there are districts within province without road connection.
It was none other than FWO that undertook the construction of the 331-kilometer-long Quetta-Zhob Highway. Before the construction of the highway, the area was inaccessible, and the people living in the region faced many difficulties. Similarly, the 892-kilometer-long Gwadar-Ratodero Motorway passes through some of the most remote and underdeveloped areas of Balochistan are also developed by FWO. The construction of the motorway has not only improved the infrastructure of the region but has also provided employment opportunities for the local population.
The FWO has also played a significant role in the construction of dams and canals in Balochistan. One of the significant projects that the FWO has undertaken in Balochistan is the construction of the Mirani Dam. The Mirani Dam is a multipurpose dam that was built on the Dasht River in Turbat district of Balochistan. The dam was constructed to provide water for irrigation, which has had a significant impact on the agricultural sector in the region. The construction of the dam has also helped to control floods in the region.
The responsibility for the development of Southern Balochistan under the Southern Balochistan Project (SBP) has been delegated to FWO. The SBP is a comprehensive development plan aimed at improving the infrastructure, social services, and economic opportunities in the southern region of Balochistan. The region is characterized by arid terrain, harsh climatic conditions, and a lack of basic amenities, such as access to clean drinking water, healthcare facilities, and education. The SBP aims to address these issues by investing in infrastructure development, social services, and economic opportunities.
Under the SBP, the FWO will be responsible for the construction of highways, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects in the southern region of Balochistan. The FWO has a proven track record in infrastructure development, having completed several large-scale projects in the past. The FWO’s involvement in the SBP is expected to have a significant impact on the region’s development, and it is hoped that it will bring about positive changes in the lives of the people living in the region.
The SBP is a long-term development plan, and it is expected to take several years to complete. However, the project has already started, and work is underway on several infrastructure development projects in the southern region of Balochistan. The FWO’s involvement in the project is expected to play a significant role in the success of the project, given the
The completion of these projects will help improve the socio-economic conditions of the people living in the remote areas of Balochistan, who previously faced significant challenges in accessing basic amenities and services.
The FWO’s role in the development of the western route of CPEC highlights the organization’s expertise in infrastructure development and its commitment to the socio-economic development of Pakistan. Its timely completion of these projects has helped expedite the development of the western route of CPEC and has created new opportunities for trade and commerce in the region. The FWO has been able to complete these projects on time and within budget, despite the challenges posed by the rugged terrain and difficult weather conditions in Balochistan.
Along with providing security, assisting in infrastructure development and ensuring peace the military remains vigilant to all traditional and nontraditional threats. Hostile elements and Pakistan’s adversaries continue to destabilize the region. But come what may, the development of Balochistan and reparations for decades long deprivations ought to be the primary focus.
The author is an independent researcher and Lecturer at National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamabad.