This is Part-3 of three articles series on this topic.
To sincerely sort out these deeply seated issues of Balochistan, apart from some half hearted and negligible economic measures, the body politic has largely relied upon successive military operations to crush and quell pervasive dissent and contain the simmering insurgency. Therefore, all these ill-conceived measures have so far resulted in an utter failure, thus further widening the existing distrust and mistrust already insidiously existing in the province. Now it is highly imperative to begin introducing far reaching political, economic educational and security related reforms wholeheartedly with a mechanism of proper checks and balances.
To begin with, both federal and nationalist provincial set up headed by the National Party (NP) should embark upon genuinely reforming the servitude and toothless 38,000 police force of the province. It is imperative to supplement police number by inducting educated youth through competitive examinations and proper vetting ; it should also be provided with modern training, equipped with sophisticated weapons , armored vehicles and needed helicopters ; it must be completely depoliticized; competent salary packages with adequate medical and educational amenities should also be given so that personnel live a sort of descent life and shun ending up with massive corrupt practices and around the clock basic intelligence coordination with premier intelligence agencies should also be ensured. To boost its moral, effectiveness and efficiency, honest, valiant and competent personnel and officers should be rewarded with promotion and national awards.
Secondly democratic political reforms meant to instigate good governance are also badly needed. For viable, workable and result oriented democracy, elections for the provincial assembly and local bodies should be transparent, participatory, fair and inclusive for the willing educated youth. Equally significant, sinister and obstructive sway of affluent landlords and dynastic politicians must also be deliberately cut down. To hinder massive political corruption and irregularities, the FIA and the provincial judiciary need to be reformed and fully empowered intended to clamp down upon loot and plunder of development funds by keeping vigilant eye over the moves and actions of politicians and lethargic bureaucracy. The central government, too, should refrain from needlessly interfering in domestic politics of the province.
Thirdly, to educate people is equal to resolving all sorts of provincial adversities. In this regard, new educational institutions equipped with all necessary wherewithal should be immediately established; special arrangement for higher education such as establishing modern colleges and universities and providing adequate seats to province students with reasonable financial assistance are required ; issues of numerous costly ghost schools numbered 3,500 in 2009 and politicized ghost teachers should be solved; parents should also be encouraged to get their daughters educated; private sector ought to be induced into investing educationally in Balochistan and extra measures for qualitative technical education meant to make the youth skilful ought to be taken and adequate job facilities for the graduates should also be arranged by the process of small and medium level industrialization.
Lastly, prudent economic reforms are also required to bring the province at par with the rest of Pakistan. Adequate road and rail infrastructure should be built, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a right start; Gwadar deep sea port should be made operational as soon as possible and skilled and educated locals should be afforded reasonable vacancies and both small and large scale industrialization ought to be commenced so as to tape and exploit regional natural resources; national and international private investors should be lured into investing in Balochistan and in this regards, bureaucratic red tape and security issues should be minimized ; provincial fish market of 155,000 tonnes excluding those smuggled to Iran should be regulated, facilitated and properly taxed and unchecked smuggling of large catch of fish to neighboring Iran must be stopped; stringent measures must be taken to hinder drug smuggling via Baluchistan’s littoral areas; a potent dragnet against ministerial and bureaucratic corruption should also be spread and sluggish politicized provincial bureaucracy must be reformed for good governance and effective administration.
A federation is strong and effective when its all federating units are justly treated politically and economically. Unfortunately, the federal polity in Pakistan treats Balochistan as a subservient and inferior province which has so far produced only armed insurgencies and bitter resentment in the province. For the sake of a viable and powerful federalism, it is the need of the hour to identify all socio economic, political and security related issues of the province and accordingly plan to resolve them forever.
(To Be continued)
Author is a former assistant researcher at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA). He can be reached at AyazAhmed6666@gmail.com
Published in The Balochistan Point on August 7, 2015
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and The Balochistan Point not necessarily agrees with them.