Balochistan: Behind looming crisis
Dr Raja Muhammad Khan
The crux of the Supreme Court interim order of the October 12, 2012 was that, the Government of Balochistan has failed to fulfill its constitutional duties with respect to the protection of the basic human rights in the province. There should be no doubt about this interim order of the SC. The lives and properties of the people of the province are most unsafe today, then ever before. The people of Balochistan province are suffering the worst law and order situation in their entire history.
Indeed, in the last 4-5 years, there have been killing of thousands of the people, which could have been avoided, had there been an effective system functional at the provincial level. Then this practice of killing is taking place under the elected democratic Government. Over and above this is the only Government in the history of Pakistan, which has all members as misters or with some portfolios, except one, Mr Yar Muhammad Rind, currently under detention.
Furthermore, this is the only Government which has been bestowed with billion of rupees either as part of the provincial budget or else given to the province as part of special developmental packages by Federal Government. Its debt has been written off and even given the cost of its natural resources, pending since decades.
The question arise, what did the people of province get in return. Has their living standard improved? Are their lives and properties are safe and secured? Has the developmental projects in various parts of the province completed. Where has gone the unprecedented amount of the funding given to the provincial Government in the last 4-5 years? These are just few questions, SC and indeed the Baloch masses would like to ask the incumbent Government.
Since the democracy is a form of the government, which is; for the people, by the people and of course, of the people. Has any clause of the democracy been fulfilled in Balochistan. Today, the geographically largest province of Pakistan having just 8 million people have been compelled to spend the worst form of life style in the entire Pakistan. Security wise, they are the most unprotected people in the entire country. After all, who is responsible for this entire uncertainty and chaos?
It is very easy to blame the people in uniform for this entire mayhem, as we have mastery of passing the muck to others and present ourselves as neat and clean. Have anyone really glanced in, to see, as what role the people in uniform are playing for the security of the people internally as well as all along the borders under the extreme circumstances.
While tracing their roles, people in uniform are not responsible for the development of the area and socio-economic development, yet they have undertaken much of this legendary developmental work in the province. They are not responsible for the provision of education and educational facilities, yet they are doing that for the thousands of the children of the province form their own allotted budget. These people in uniform are providing the medical facilities to everyone in the far flung areas of the province from their own entitlement. Neither media nor intellectual class of Pakistan or for that matter, the political elites have ever dared to project these noble jobs of the people in uniform. I think not yet.
But, how long should this passing of the muck to others be allowed to continue? Let there be an end to that. Should this process absolve those responsible for creating this entire mess in the province? After all, the people of the province and those observing from outside are absolutely clear as to what is really happening all along and who is doing that. If today we are silent because of unknown reasons, the history and historian would write every single event, which would expose us all.
Today, some people criticize the SC for such interim orders or other actions; it has taken for the common good of the people of province or for a common Pakistani. I think, we should appreciate the role of this important state pillar, for its most needed and daring observations and decisions. Rather criticizing the role of SC, those responsible for this chaotic situation, must correct themselves and start acting as per their laid down duties or face the law of the land.
Today, the people of Balochistan Province question as where is the package promised to them in 2009, as Aaghaaz-a-Haqooq Balochistan. Who allotted the amount to whom? Was someone responsible at the provincial level and whose responsibility it was to ensure implementation at the Federal level? After all, where has that national money gone? The package included some political and financial concessions in it. Had those given to the Baloch people as promised? The Federal Government has promised for the provision of 5000 additional jobs to the Baloch youth, had that been done.
Then, what about the promise that, every Baloch graduate would be given government job? Is that process completed? If not then, who is responsible for these flaws? If nothing has been done on ground, then have those responsible at the Provincial and Federal level been asked for their failings? If not, then there are many culprits in these entire happenings.
To the reckoning of the realist class in Pakistani political analysts, there is a chain of such culprits all over. They cover the actions of each other and collectively eat away the national and provincial wealth, otherwise the right of a common Balochi or a common Pakistani. This is perhaps the beauty of our form of democracy, where nothing is for the people of Pakistan and everything for the selected few.
There is a need for a mature handling of the current Balochistan Government crisis. Apparently, it is constitutional issue, to be settled within the Provincial Assembly. Nevertheless, if mishandled, would have far reaching consequences for the future of the province, already passing through disorder.