PROFESSOR ALI SUKHANVER
Nothing but a wastage of time and energy; a lot of conferences, lectures and seminars, discussions and dialogue sessions; all simply ending over a cup of tea; that is how every year we celebrate the days of our national importance. What we do is not what we need. At present Pakistan is passing through the ever-worst phase of its history; political fragility, economic instability, catastrophically disastrous law and order situation particularly in Karachi and Balochistan, rampant corruption throughout the country and above all a warlike scenario along the borders; the situation really does not need words but action. The most important thing is that we must recall to our minds the motive and objective behind the creation of Pakistan. At present the nation is looking towards four pillars of society that are supposed to provide vigor and strength to our national infrastructure; the armed forces, the judiciary, the media and the politicians. As far as the armed forces and the judiciary are concerned, they are doing their best. The media is also trying to play a vital role. But unfortunately the politicians are not showing the required seriousness and concern over the deteriorating situation. Certain political factions are creating doubts and speculation in the minds of Pakistani youth by projecting religious, ethnic, regional and chauvinistic themes. Their political agenda seems based on personal advancement and achievements instead of common national interests. It is the first and the foremost responsibility of the politicians and the political parties to make efforts to instill new vigor of faith and values in our youth by blowing spirits of enlightenment, courage and perseverance as per the dreams of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. They must try to promote an urge of harmony and unity among all ranks and files by putting aside all their petty disputes and conflicting interests. Today the religious intolerance has penetrated deeply into our society and has added a brutal aggression and cruel violence leading to disharmony and polarization. All these factors are maligning the image of Pakistan as a land of moderate and temperate people. The religious and political parties of Pakistan will have to join hands together to make the world aware of the reality that Islam is a religion of equality and peaceful co- existence. All Muslims are taught to remain above sectarian divide and protect the rights of minorities. Without a forceful projection of this ideology, things would never get better.
The Pakistani nation expects a very vibrant type of role from the political leadership. People have sacrificed a lot for the restoration of democracy in Pakistan. But unfortunately the results of this entire struggle are not corresponding to their expectations. Except a few ones, most of the politicians are conveying a very indifferent and self-centered type of attitude. They seem least interested in the actual problems of the nation. Increasing dearness, growing corruption, rising rate of unemployment, worsening law and order situation, unceasingly painful lack energy resources; the list seems never ending. This indifference is simply shifting the burden of responsibilities to those who are already over-burdened and over-occupied. It is because of this dormant, lethargic and sluggish behaviour of our politicians that in Balochistan things are getting worse and worse. If Pakistan army had not taken the responsibility of making lives of the Baloch people safe, secure and comfortable, things would have been in a very different form and shape. At present Pakistan army is supervising a lot of social and educational development projects in Balochistan including Sui Education City project, Balochistan and Gwader institute of Technical Education. These Projects are going to prove a very fruitful attempt of bringing the Baloch youth into the mainstream. On the advice of General Kiyani the Pakistan Army is introducing new recruitment and induction plans for the young Balochis. The only purpose behind these plans is to enhance the contribution of the young generation in the socio-economic uplift of Balochistan. The Pakistan Army is doing its best to bring a positive change in the field of education in Balochistan along with so many other projects regarding social and economic development in the region.
Kassa Hills Marble Project is also one of the examples in this reference. This project was initiated by the Pak Army somewhere in 2010 but was unfortunately stalled due to some tribal dispute. Pakistan Army negotiated with the tribal elders and Kassa Agreement was signed in July 2010. After its completion the project will prove a turning point in the social and economic development of Balochistan. As far as the role of political parties in the development of Balochistan is concerned, we find no remarkable contribution or achievement in this regard. In the name of politics various anti-state elements are trying their best to malign the situation. In the garb of so-called nationalism, some nationalist leaders have become instruments in the hands of foreign forces and are working against the interests of Pakistan. Most of the Baloch people are well aware of the daylight fact that the fate and future of Baloch nation is associated with Pakistan. They are always ready to sacrifice all they have for the stability and prosperity of Pakistan but the foreign-supported anti-Pakistan elements are constantly trying to promote an air of suspicions and confusions.
From the precious gold and copper reserves at Reko Diq to the world’s most favourite Gwader deep-water port, Balochistan is no doubt blessed with matchless treasures. The exploration work in Reko Diq is likely to turn the fortune of apparently barren mountains of Balochistan into a prosperous future. Pakistan has been importing 100,000 tons of copper every year since very long but now after the completion of exploration projects in Reko Diq Pakistan would become one of the few major copper exporters of the world in the next few years. It was all because of the mishandling of the politicians that the Reko Diq like projects fell into the hands of the world foreign companies which very successfully earned huge profits from these mines. The situation could have been altogether different if indigenous technical capacity and locally trained manpower were utilized. However, now things are taking a new turn. The people of Balochistan are demanding that the exploration work in Reko Diq must be completed under the supervision of the Pakistan Army and the local people. They are of the opinion that Pakistan should carry out mining itself, instead of paying for foreign expertise. This demand is certainly the beginning of a new day and a glittering ray of hope for a brighter future.
The writer is a Pakistan based analyst on strategic and defence affairs.