Balochistan, one of the largest provinces of Pakistan is also one of the richest regions of the World. Despite the presence of vast natural resources the province is confronting all sorts of social, economic and political crisis; and no doubt, it is the most backward province.
However, the state, intelligentsia and decision makers blame the tribal system and Sardars for backwardness in Balochistan. But this time the province was govern neither by a Sardar nor by a Nawab, actually, this time it was governed by ‘DR Abdul Malik’ generally, known as a nationalist and a doctor who belongs to a middle-class family.
After the general elections of 2013, when Dr Abdul Malik Was elected as the Chief Minister, he was a ray of hope for the suppressed, oppressed and the marginalized masses. The poor had great expectations from him since he belonged to a middle-class family; most importantly he himself was a nationalist.
At the beginning of his government, he had promised a lot to public, but he had three agendas in particular. First agenda was to improve law and order, second was to improve education system and the third was to improve health sector. However, he ended up with doing nothing. Yes indeed, law and order across the province has been controlled to some extent and abduction for ransom and cases of target killings have wasted, but in this regard the credit goes to Military and Intelligent Agencies, and not to his government.
Earlier this week, On the occasion of first anniversary of Peshawar’s Army Public School (APS) carnage, adviser to Chief Minister on education, Raza Mohammad Barrech said that over 1.6 million children of school-going age, majority of them are girls, were deprived of education in Balochistan. On December 04, last year, the same adviser to Chief Minister on education, said that over 1.6 million children were deprived of education. He just quoted what he has said a year ago abd there was no improvement.
Of course, CM did well, when he allocated 24 percent of its budgets towards education sector, but just increasing the budget was not enough. CM should have imposed rigid strategies to get the comprehensive results.
In spite of increasing the education budget, there are more than 5,000 non-functional schools and 95 percent of schools that are functional and lack basic facilities such as toilets, drinking water, electricity and other basic necessities.
However, If a CM who has even failed to improve the education system of his own district how he can bring changes in a large and backward province. Two months ago, a large number of girls protested in district Turbat press club (Home district of Dr Baloch) against lack of basic necessities in their schools, and finally ended up their protest without getting what they demanded.
Dr Malik also promised to improve the health sector, but he as well failed in this. No doubt, Malik’s government has raised much money to improve health services, but we cannot see any changes on the ground. The funds allocated to improve the health sector were under the control of ministers and bureaucrats, who have not even spent 20 percent to improve health.
There are hospitals in every district of the province with specialists but the lack the basic facilities such a medicine, ambulance services, modern technical and other facilities.
Beside all these, the majority of the province lives below the poverty line, and they are deprived of their basic rights including education, health and drinking water and the last two years of a middle-class led government has resulted in unemployment on an unprecedented scale.
Well, the Federal Government has always accused the Sardars for backwardness of the province, but a middle-class man’s two and half years tenure as Chief Minister has proved that the Sardars are not responsible for this; in fact, this is due to the apathy of Federal Government that the province remains backward.
The writer is a student in Turbat, Balochistan. He tweets at @Bahramsayad and can be reached at Bahramsayad30@gmail.com
Published in The Balochistan Point on December 28, 2015
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and The Balochistan Point not necessarily agrees with them.