Baluchistan’s genuine demand

PLANNING and Development department of Baluchistan has sent a letter to Federal Secretary, Ministry of Communication requesting therein approval and execution of rail projects in the province under the umbrella of –China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The 10th meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of CPEC is likely to be held in the last quarter of the current fiscal year. Baluchistan government wants that rail projects need to be taken up in the meeting. The letter states that the “Early Harvest Phase” of CPEC has ended, during which not even a single infrastructure project has been completed in Baluchistan. On the contrary, construction work of eastern alignment is nearing completion, whereas progress on western alignment in Baluchistan is negligible, including the 750 kilometer Surab-Quetta-Zhob-Dera Ismail Khan road. The letter notes that the province is being ignored in the construction of railway infrastructure and industrial development.
The neglect of western alignment dates back to tenure of last PML-N government. At that time the political leadership of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa strongly agitated this issue. In sharp contrast, the ruling leadership of Baluchistan like Chief Minister Nawab Sanullah Zehri and Mahmood Khan Achakzai were not that vocal. The APCs held on the western route of CPEC did not go beyond formality of “assembled, discussed and dispersed.” It is worth appreciation that current elected leadership of Baluchistan had made a genuine demand of rail projects and industrial zones for the province. According to the Memorial Nobel Prize winner economist Kari Gunnar Myradal, flagship projects like CPEC certainly cast backwash effects on less developed regions whereas such areas must be benefited from the their spread effects .This is what the incumbent government of Baluchistan is asking for from the federal government.