The head of the province is the Governor, who is nominated by the President of Pakistan. While, the head of the Government of Balochistan is the Chief Minister who is elected by the Balochistan Assembly. Government of Balochistan consists of 26 departments and some allied offices. These departments are headed by Provincial Secretaries. Chief Secretary heads the Provincial Secretaries. Currently, there are 47 ministers who look after 27 Departments.
The Balochistan assembly is the unicameral (single chamber) legislature of the province that was set up according to the Article 106 of the Constitution of Pakistan. The provincial assembly of Balochistan has 51 directly elected Members, representing constituencies from each district, as well as 11 seats reserved for women and 3 for non-Muslims.
Balochistan’s government was the first government to hold local body elections that is an indicator of the political progress of the province. Currently, the speaker of Balochistan’s provincial assembly is a female candidate, Raheela Durrani, but there is no woman in the provincial cabinet.
Before accession to Pakistan in1947, there were three independent rulers in independent Balochistan; Khan of Kalat in Baloch areas, Nawab Jogezai in Pashtoon areas, and some other Pashtoon areas were independent. Geographically, Balochistan was divided into four states or regions. They were (1) Bela (2) Kallat (3) Makran (4) Kharan. The four states were under the Khan of Kallat before the arrival of British.
Two agreements were signed in 1878 and in 1939 between Khan of Kalat and the British government. The British got Quetta, Noshki, Bolan and Naseerabad on rent from Khan of Kalat. The area of railway line from Jakababad to Taftan was also on rent. In 1947, The Khan of Kalat and other Baloch sardars wanted an independent Balochistan. For this purpose, they formed Kalat National Party.
In August 1947, the Chief Commissioner’s Province of Balochistan immediately became part of Pakistan, followed by the princely states of Makran, Kharan, Las Bela, and the Khanate of Kalat, who decided to accede to Pakistan in March 1948.
Union Councils are the lowest tier in the governance structure. Elected representatives from village and ward levels form these bodies. These bodies have an important role in allocation of resources for local development works. Union Councils can play an important role in advocating demands of communities to the District Councils and DM Authorities.
- Governor Balochistan: Muhammad Khan Achakzai
- Chief Minister: Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo
- Chief Secretary: Aurangzeb Haque
Roles of Provincial Government Departments in Balochistan
The following government departments in Balochistan perform different functions in their areas of mandate that contribute to development:
1) Agriculture and Food Department
The Agricultural Engineering Department is composed of engineers specialized in rural agriculture. They are responsible for fieldwork, workshops maintenance, running departmental stores, maintaining accounts and dealing with administrative affairs. The department mainly deals with provision of machinery for creation and maintenance of access roads to agricultural areas in the province.
2) Livestock & Dairy Development Department
Livestock & Dairy Development Department caters to the requirements of livestock sector in the province. Livestock is a very vital sector for the rural people’s livelihood in the majority of Balochistan, contributing even more than all the other agricultural crops combined.
Established in 1973, the mission of Livestock and Dairy Department is to create an environment for enhancement of livestock production as a vehicle for social security, poverty alleviation, and rural development and to contribute towards domestic requirements of food and exportable surpluses in Balochistan.
3) Irrigation and Power Department
The Irrigation network in Balochistan comprises irrigation canals, drains, tube-wells, small dams and flood protection infrastructure on the main rivers flowing in the province. The areas under canal irrigation and minor (including groundwater) irrigation are comparable and are 140,000 HA.
4) Environment Department and Environment Protection Agency
The Environment Protection Department of Government of Balochistan plays an important role in improving the plight of common man and bringing about a perceptible change within the society by minimizing and eliminating adverse environmental effects of effluents being discharged from industrial activity, wastes of all kinds and pollution detrimental to public health, safety and welfare.
The department enforces qualitative and quantitative standards for discharge of effluents, waste, air pollutants or noise either for the general applicability or for a particular area. The department functions under the provisions of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997.
5) Health Department
The Health Department, an executive unit of the provincial government, is responsible to provide health services and deals with all matters related to regulating the health sector in the light of federal and provincial health policies and programs’ guidelines. The provincial set-up provides technical assistance, policy cover, and implementation of some preventive programs only.
The mission of the department is to provide health services to all through augmentation of sustainable health initiatives focusing on human resource development and private sector and community participation.
6) Public Health and Engineering (PHE)
The mission of PHE is to facilitate the deprived rural population to have access to safe drinking water in order to eliminate sufferings of women fetching drinking water from far-flung areas and to eradicate water borne diseases.
7) Planning and Development
The mission of the Planning Department is to plan judiciously the scarce financial resources to improve socioeconomic conditions of the masses of the province.
8) Local Government and Rural Development
Local Government and Rural Development Department is public business, managed by the elected representatives of the people. Local Government as such is the legal institution created by statute, whose decisions have the force of law within a specific geographic area and these are a part of the integrated system and share responsibility with other levels of government for provision of varied public services.
9) Finance Department
The department offers financial services and advisory as well as management of certain government funds.
10) Communication, Works, PP&H (C&W) Department
The mission of the department is to contribute in socio-economic uplift of Balochistan by developing road infrastructure and constructing buildings to support development activities.
11) Information Technology Department
The mission of the department is to promote Information Technology (IT) as a viable commercial industry, with special emphasis on the area of human capital development, e-government, e-commerce and to highlight the potential for capital investments and business development opportunities in the province. Following the National IT Policy and Action Plan, Balochistan Government is coordinating with the Ministry of IT & Telecommunication for identification and formulation of large scale IT projects.
12) Industries Department
The mission of the Industries and Mineral Development department (I&MD) is to promote and facilitate industry and mineral development, Information Technology and technical, commercial/vocational training in Balochistan.
13) Forest, Wildlife and Fisheries Department
The department takes care of the protection of the forest, wildlife and the aquatic resources.
14) Mines and Minerals Department
In pursuance of National Mineral Policy 1995, the Government of Balochistan created Mines and Mineral department in 2002. The main function of the department is to facilitate the exploration and mining activities and extend services in this regard. The following are the key roles:
- Grant of Concessions of minerals.
- Regulation of Balochistan Mining Concession Rules.
- Collection of royalty and rent, and resolving the boundary disputes.
- Technical assistance / advice to the mines owners for scientific exploration of minerals.
- Identification, implementation and monitoring of development projects.
15) Education Department
Education lies at the heart of the dynamic and complex relationship that profoundly influences the destiny of individuals and society as a whole. Both formal and non-formal education and particularly basic education and training especially for girls, are vehicles of empowerment as well as essential to addressing the root causes of poverty, inequality, and exclusion. A powerful correlation exists between education and attainment of goals aimed at building the resilience of communities.
16) Social Welfare and Special Education Department
The Social Welfare department aims at providing a better social milieu by helping the neglected handicapped and socially disadvantaged people. The objective is achieved through use of techniques and methods, which are designed to enable individuals, groups, and communities to solve their problems and felt needs through cooperative actions, and relying on their own resources.
17) Power Department – Renewable Energy
The Government of Balochistan assigns a high priority to provide electricity to lesser developed areas of the province. As the traditional methods, depending upon hydro energy, are not sufficient to meet the demand and that the thermal energy resources are expensive and environmentally unsafe, renewable energy resources are to be exploited, wherever feasible, for sustainable development at village, district, and divisional levels in the province.
18) Sports, Culture, Tourism, Youth Affairs Department
The Department of Culture, Archives and Tourism strives to protect the cultural heritage of Balochistan, both tangible as well as intangible, and promote tourism in the province. The Gawadar project, coastal highway, and communication linkages connecting Pakistan to central Asia will open up attraction sites to the whole world.
19) Legal Department
The mission of the law department is to watch and protect the interest of the state in the courts of law and to put into proper form provincial legislation and assist the provincial government in its legal matters under the Balochistan Government Rules of Business, 1976.
20) Information Department
It is an attached department of the provincial government responsible for the over all publicity and public relation. It is through this department, that the government in the province keeps contact with mass media including newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, and cinema. The department is crucial for raising public awareness on disaster risk management initiatives in the province.
21) Women Development
The main mission of the department is to eliminate gender discrimination against women and to help women achieve equal status to that of men in all walks of life.
22) The District Police Department
The mission of the police force is to improve the quality of civic life by working in partnership with the community to preserve peace, to reduce fear, and to maintain law and order. Main functions in most times are to respond to emergencies to ensure public safety.
23) The Traffic Police
They mainly participate in preparedness and response. Their capacity should be developed to be equipped with disaster risk management knowledge.
24) The Civil Defense Department
The Fire Civil Defense mainly develops its capacity for disaster preparedness and response in the province.
25) Provincial Meteorological Department
The Provincial Meteorological Department is both a scientific and a service department. It is responsible for providing meteorological service throughout Pakistan to wide variety of interests and for numerous public activities and projects, which require weather information. The department provides information on meteorological and geophysical matters with the objective of traffic safety in air, on land and sea, mitigation of disasters due to weather and geophysical phenomena, agriculture development based on climatic potential of the country, prediction and modification of weather forecast. The department also appraises weather data and trends for longer term predictions and preparedness.
Past Chief Ministers of Balochistan:
Past Governors of Balochistan