Combating or Creating Unemployment in Balochistan?

By Maria Ahmed

Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan. It is rich in mineral resources. Moreover, Sui area in Balochistan holds one of the largest and first discovered gas reserves of the country. It is believed that the world’s 5th largest gold deposit is in Reko Diq, Balochistan. Despite all these facts, Balochistan stands as the most underveloped province of Pakistan. Majority of areas in the province still do not have gas although the province provides gas to a larger population of the country. 4% of the literate population in Balochistan is unemployed. And what makes this situation even worse is the recent discovery of bogus domiciles/locals issued to the people who are not residents of Balochistan and are employed in various departments of federal government on the seats reserved for Balochistan.

For an underdeveloped province like Balochistan this indeed is a great loss. DC Mastung cancelled 400 unverified domiciles and this number is increasing with the data of other districts. Had these posts in federal departments been given to the residents of Balochistan, unemployment definitely would have decreased to a great extent and the overall condition of the province too would have developed a lot. A report published media says that those whose domiciles were cancelled include an Assistant Commissioner FBR, Lecturers, Directors, Sub-Divisional Officers XENs, PIA pilot, Inspectors, revenue officers and so on. This undoubtedly is sheer injustice with the people of Balochistan. But, to whom should we complain?

It may be mentioned here that one of the major nationalist parties in Balochistan BNP-M has been struggling to secure the 6 percent job quota of Balochistan. This was also part of the 6 point agenda agreed between the BNP-M and PTI to form a coalition. However, the latter failed to deliver on the 6 point agenda, leading to the withdrawal of former from ruling coalition. Senator Kabeer Muhammadshai of National Party is one of the vocal voices in Senate on the said issue.

Such unjust actions trigger a sense of deprivation in the people of Balochistan. They push back the development in the province instead of encouraging it. Does it refer to a certain bias that the people have against Balochistan? As a matter of my personal experience, I have faced this bias when I appeared for a job interview for a post of federal government. Everything was going pretty well during my interview. It was then when in replying to a question asked by one of the panellists that I mentioned my background things changed altogether. I mentioned that I am married in a Brahvi speaking family. And one of the panellists asked me to reconsider my decision of applying for the job. I could clearly see myself losing that job just because of what I mentioned about my background. However, I did not lose hope and kept my fingers crossed and believed in the system valuing merit over any other thing. But, to my utter disappointment I was not selected for the job. There might be other reasons too for not selecting me but in the interview room I could clearly feel a discontent towards “Baloch” and “Balochistan”. I always wondered if who would take the seats of Balochistan if not the residents of the province. And I soon got the answer to my question.

The people of Balochistan demand fair and unbiased attitude towards them. They want their rights to be given to them only and not to others. Asking for one’s rights is no crime. After all, we are not demanding to usurp the rights of the people of sister provinces. Government should actively take into account the issue of bogus domiciles and should take every possible measure to prevent this from happening in future.

Maria Ahmed holds an MS degree in English Linguistics and Literature and is also a member of Bolan Tribune’s editorial team.

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