The CPEC would bring a new era of affluence and prosperity to the people of Balochistan.
by Ali Sukhanver
Views expressed in this article are author’s own
(February 13, 2018. Islamabad, Sri Lanka Guardian) Let me introduce to you a very unique type of war in which the commanding warriors have never entered the battle-field. It is the war being fought in the name of the Liberation of Balochistan; a war in which warriors are simply sitting in luxurious rooms, smoking precious cigars, riding the most comfortable limousines and enjoying a lot of VIP protocol in European countries. Seems their masters are taking a good care of them for their services in the so-called war of ‘Liberation of Balochistan’ from the ‘cruel clutches of Pakistan.’ It is also noteworthy they have been doing this difficult ‘assignment’ without any moral or political support of the local people of Balochistan. The Baloch are a very brave and honest people and the most sacred thing to them is their motherland. Furthermore God has blessed them with a precious ability of differentiating between their friends and foes. They are the real owners of Pakistan as their forefathers had played a very active role in creation of Pakistan. It seems that the so-called and self-claimed ‘freedom-fighters’ are trying to liberate Balochistan from these real owners of the land. It is also noteworthy that with the proceeding development work on CPEC project, these ‘freedom-fighters’ are becoming more eager and more fervent in depriving the ‘owners of Balochistan’ of the benefits they would be gaining out of this project. Another important point to be noted is that they are trying to liberate a province which has a sovereign political and democratic system, where there is a sovereign Provincial Assembly and the politicians belonging to that ‘captured-territory’ have a very strong representation and say in the National Assembly and the Senate.
As far as the CPEC is concerned, the whole of the country is going to get a huge benefit through this project but the second biggest share would certainly go to the people of Balochistan. The Institute of Strategic Studies Pakistan published a research paper in 2016 with the title ‘CPEC: Benefits for Balochistan.’ The paper said, “Pangjur, a district in the west of Balochistan, comprises of three tehsils with a population of around 350,000. Now, with the construction of the western route of CPEC, property value has skyrocketed in these areas where roads have been built. Other cities like Qalat, Quetta and Zhob will also become more vibrant with the completion of planned road network which will give a boost to economic activities and other development projects under CPEC.” The research report by Mir Sharbaz Khetran further said, “Social and economic activities have picked up in Balochistan following the construction of road networks as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Local people have started setting up hotels, shops and houses along the completed portions of the CPEC’s western route linking Gwadar with China. Boom in construction industry and mining of marble and granite industry is expected. New oil storage facilities will also come up. Already social and economic change in Balochistan is becoming visible and this will be further strengthened as more jobs and business opportunities for youth of Balochistan are created. Along with the CPEC projects, completion of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and its linkage with CPEC would bring new economic dividends for Balochistan.” It is difficult to understand the aims and objectives of those who are doing so-called struggle for the independence of Balochistan.
It has ever been a hard-luck of the people of Balochistan that a handful of miscreants start creating hurdles and hindrances whenever a project leading to their progress and prosperity is in the process. Opposition of the CPEC by the so-called ‘Freedom-Fighters’ of Balochistan is also a matter of the same nature. The value and importance of the CPEC could be well estimated by a recent statement of the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. A few weeks back, addressing a news conference at World Economic Forum in Davos he said, “Through China Pakistan Economic Corridor, Pakistan is working to promote connectivity among the countries of the region and across the world as well.” The people of Balochistan are also well aware of the fact that they are going to play the central role in the difficult task of bringing the nations close to one another; certainly this all is an honour too for the people of Balochistan because they are accomplishing a task which always remained an unfulfilled dream even for the super powers like US. How brutal is the approach of the so-called ‘Freedom-Fighters’ of Balochistan that they are trying their people deprive of this honour in the name of a war which never belonged to the real owners of Balochistan. The CPEC would bring a new era of affluence and prosperity to the people of Balochistan. New opportunities of jobs, trade and business activities would be available to the local people; their living standards would be uplifted and the comfort level of their life would reach new heights. So anyone who opposes the CPEC project could not be a well-wisher of the people of Balochistan.