Negative Rhetoric about Balochistan

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The part of a discussion on the predominant situation of Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province likened the current circumstances of the area to that of East Pakistan before it separated and became Bangladesh. The session was held to mark the book launch of A Cry for Justice Empirical Insights from Balochistan by Kaiser Bengali. Kaiser Bengali briefly outlined how his book was a cry for justice of the Baloch who had been deprived of development and the basic necessities of life. He said that the book was an honest reflection of the unfortunate condition of the Baloch.

Furthermore, he said that East Pakistan was a part of Pakistan and there are reasons why it’s not a part of Pakistan now. The Indian invasion and the war of 1971 was just a small episode. We lost East Pakistan due to our criminal governance. Ashraf Qazi said that conflicting to popular belief the hostility of the people of East Pakistan proved to be the catalyst that ended up in their departure from Pakistan. He said that the Indian invasion had occurred as the ground had already been prepared due to decades of discrimination. The same phenomenon is in effect today. We think there are small pockets of confrontation in Balochistan that we can crush easily and we are crushing them as well. But this is wrong since the people of Balochistan are very much united despite their different languages

Some critics believe that there is no say of Balochistan in the national policy. CPEC is a big project for Balochistan; the western route will pass through Gwadar, Turbat, Bismah, Surab, Qalat, Quetta, Zhob, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Kohat, Peshawar and Islamabad onwards which will make Balochistan more prominent in all. Dr. Abdul Malik was a member of the Senate between 2006 and 2012 and has played a major role in the drafting of the 18th Constitutional Amendment that was passed in 2010 which increased the level of provincial autonomy in the administrative, financial, social and economic sectors. Ex-Chief Minister of Balochistan Nawab Sanaullah Zehri has lauded Pakistan Navy for establishing Cadet College at Ormara and said that besides the commitment to safeguarding the sea frontier of the motherland, Pakistan Navy has always remained proactive in welfare-oriented projects.

China Overseas Ports Holding Company Chairman Zhang Baozhong initiated series of events by organizing the first ever International Exhibition ‘Gwadar Expo 2018’ in Gwadar Free Zone. China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC) and Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) had jointly organized the first ever international exhibition in Gwadar Free Zone in January. Moreover, Gwadar Free Zone (Phase-1) has also been inaugurated during the expo. The expo is set to be a mega event in Balochistan’s history which would help the exhibitors and the participants to understand the real potential of Gwadar port. He further said this event will prove to be a milestone for the mega project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said under this exhibition more than 3000 exhibitors and over 10,000 visitors applied to participate however due to flight and accommodation limits, around 200 exhibitors and 5000 visitors were allowed to participate in the event.

Moreover, The Gwadar Free Zone is spread over 60 acres which will be operated by China Overseas Port Holding Company, which has also set up a business centre for the handling of operations. Now, this business centre will be having multidimensional tasks, for instance, it will be dealing with visa procedures, customs and immigration. As far as the industrial complex is concerned there will be the industry of fishery, stone processing, householding stuff and many others. The provisional government assured that in the special zones there will be tax exemptions. On the inauguration of the Expo of Gwadar 2018, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Hasil Khan Bizenjo said that the main objective of holding the Gwadar Expo 2018 was to highlight the significance of Gwadar. The world has been known about the active Gwadar now and it is expected that the foreign direct investment will be increased after this Expo. Moreover, the export will become vibrant as Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under CPEC will double the generation of economic activity and promote regional connectivity.

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