Everlasting Issues of Mineral rich Baluchistan!

Baluchistan is one of the fortunate regions of the world, full of natural resources, but unfortunately, it is counted among the poorest and most backward regions instead of being the richest in the world. From illiteracy to unemployment and road accidents to drug addiction, this province has been suffering much, and thousands of people lost their lives due to terrorism. These problems can easily be solved, however, due to the lack of government’s attention, the problems are increasing gradually.

Due to the increasing poverty and unemployment, the younger generation is forced to commit suicide in Baluchistan, and they are at higher risk than other provinces.

Tayyab Farooq, a young man from Mashkay Awaran, committed suicide due to constant unemployment, after completing his engineering education. Similarly, a young man from Dera Bugti, which is rich in natural resources, committed suicide due to unemployment.
More than half the population of Baluchistan is living under the poverty line where children of all ages are seen working in garages and other places instead of going to Schools. According to the Pakistan Labour Force Survey, Baluchistan has 0.13 million unemployed. The main reason for unemployment is a lack of awareness, poverty, and lack of attention by the federal and government of Baluchistan. According to the report of December 2019, over the past (three) months, more than 30 people committed suicide in the Makran division in view of unemployment. Suicide incidents have risen alarmingly in recent months in Baluchistan’s remote districts of Kech and Gwadar, and most of the suicides include young youth.

In addition, youth in different areas of Baluchistan have also been compelled to commit suicide in view of unemployment.

A young man from Gwadar, named Nabil son of Allah Bakhsh committed suicide by putting a noose around his neck. Comparably, a few months earlier, four youths committed suicide in Gwadar due to unemployment. Likewise today, Gwadar is one of the most important cities in Baluchistan which has the honor of being geographically important because of the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor. If the youths of Gwadar are compelled to suicide then imagine what will happen to the rest of Baluchistan?
And because of the unemployment, graduate students are compelled to supply diesel in vehicles, however, whenever a road accident happens, the government of Baluchistan ban their transportation and deprive them of this employee, too.

If we look at road accidents in Baluchistan, thousands of people lose their lives each year. From 2015 to 2017, 156 fatal accidents occurred on the Quetta to Karachi highway. About 175 people lost their lives on the spot and, 436 were injured. Likewise, In January 2019, a passenger bus traveling from Panjgur to Karachi collided with a Mazda truck that set both vehicles on fire. As a result, 27 people were burned and 6 were injured. In addition, there have been many dangerous accidents where hundreds of precious lives have been lost and the biggest reason for road accidents are bad roads, drivers’ attention to their cellphones, and speeding. Occasionally, it happened that passengers on the bus forced the driver to go faster and the result was a bloody accident. It is the responsibility of the government of Baluchistan to improve the condition of roads and, only provide a license to the capable drivers, and get severe penalties against the law violators. This is a unique way to save the lives of thousands of innocent people. Neither, emotional speech in assemblies reduce road accidents nor banning of Iranian diesel.

Baluchistan, being the largest and mineral-rich province has the lowest literacy rate among all the provinces of Pakistan, it currently stands at 41% in-country. Due to this, the young youth of Baluchistan is utterly devastated and has taken the path of drug addiction. According to the latest reports, drug use has reached eighteen percent of the population in Baluchistan and the majority of them are young youths, and forty to fifty thousand people annually are being addicted to drug abuse. Children, the elderly, and even people of all ages have become addicted to drugs. The age at which children are to be in school is begging in the streets for Charas and other drugs. It is not the fault of these innocent children that they are addicted to drugs at such a young age, it is the responsibility of the Government of Baluchistan to provide education to every citizen, but the bright lights of Baluchistan are still out of education.

If someone raises his/her voice against drug dealers would be threatened and killed. Yet this is a recent example: Samihullah Mengal, a courageous student from Nushki, was brutally murdered when he raised his voice against drugs.

In addition to unemployment, poverty, and road accidents, terrorism is costing lives on a daily basis. According to a statement released in 2018 in The News International newspaper, over 1050 innocent persons were killed and 1570 were injured in some 52 major terrorist attacks in the past 12 years.
On the 13th of July, a suicide blast in Mastung proved the worst terrorist attack in the history of the province where at least 150 innocent people were killed.
In 2018, around 129 innocents lost their lives in eight terrorist attacks, around 73 people died in seven major attacks, and more than 224 people killed in 2016, the worst year in the history of Baluchistan.
In 2013, around 107 persons were killed and 146 injured in two separate bomb blasts on Alamdar Road in Quetta. The majority of them were young lawyers who lost their lives in these two attacks.
At least 74 persons were killed and over 100 others wounded in a suicide bombing at the emergency ward of Quetta’s Civil Hospital. Along with it, there have been many such terrorist incidents in Baluchistan.

After all, what are the reasons that mineral-rich Baluchistan is suffering from so many deprivations? First, of all, the lack of representation at the decision-making level and low quotas for political representation are the prominent factors that have added more misery to the ongoing problems. Baluchistan’s situation will never improve if children are going hungry and the youth is unemployed. Moreover, the only way of Balochistan’s future possibilities for development and property depends on the long term development and investment strategy along with justified distribution of resources.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.

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