By Ahsan Zaheer
Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province has been blessed with wonderful natural resources with high mountain barriers and a long coastal area. Baluchistan has substantial untapped potential of energy (oil and gas) and other strategic minerals. Unfortunately it is also the poorest province of the country, due to corruption, bad governance and sponsored terrorism.
The people of this province are hard working and faithful to their motherland. Because of poor development, bad governance and regional and international conspiracies, the province is suffering from instability. The security situation in Baluchistan is much better now but the real issue is bad governance and mismanagement.
No one can deny the importance of Baluchistan for Pakistan. Peace, progress and prosperity of Baluchistan are vital for Pakistan and region. Prosperity in Baluchistan is need of the hour for successful and complete Pakistan.
One of the most important political and legal conceptions in good governance is the concept of the rule of law. Both democracy and good governance are interconnected. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Democracy is for the people by the people and through the people.” Active participation of the masses is important for a democratic setup.
Rule of law and the protection of human rights are critical factors in nation-building and good governance. Good governance cannot be established in the presence of political disorder and power-hungry politicians.
Public participation in political decision-making is pivotal to good governance. Public support and cooperation possesses great importance in good governance. As in the long run, good governance has a positive impact on one’s individual, social, political and economic life.
Baluchistan has changed a lot. China’s developing the Gwadar Port and launching the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has focused international attention to the province. If we talk about Baluchistan and CPEC, we can clearly predict that CPEC will give lots of economic and social benefits to locals of Baluchistan. These projects will create lots of job and business opportunities for youth and it will somehow overcome unemployment related problems of Baluchistan.
Many militants groups have surrendered their activities and requested the authorities for their merger into the mainstream. The federal and provincial governments have played their roles for promoting peace and stability in the province. Least to say, it was not possible without the dedicated and hectic efforts of the military; Pak Army and Frontier Corps Baluchistan.
Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa termed peace and prosperity in Baluchistan as “the bedrock of Pakistan’s progress”, saying security forces would remain steadfast to defeat elements against the province’s stability.
People of Baluchistan still believe in democracy and want to solve their problems in lawful and proper legitimate way through dialogue and elections. Very high turnover and Participation of the public in local bodies’ elections proves that people want to solve their problems politically in legal way.
A legitimate and credible Baloch government can reestablish local control over the province, help reduce violence, and advocate for Baluchistan on the federal level. Baloch parliamentarians and the provincial government must be made liable to strive very hard for the end of the tribal and sardari system by making Baloch people free from the cruel control of the sardars and tribal lords.
Federal government must shift to a more inclusive development approach prioritizing the basic rights, dignity and development needs of the local Baloch people. Federal and provincial government should do its best to reduce corruption in this province.
The federal government should provide all necessary strength and resources to the Baluchistan government to further improve law and order situation.
Ahsan Zaheer is a freelance journalist and Islamabad based analyst. You can reach me at: [email protected]