BLACKTOWN, AUSTRALIA: This is with reference to Haider Nizamani’s article of February 23, titled “States do let go of territories”. The fact of the matter is that present-day Pakistan is different from that of 1947. The situation now is that the population of three smaller provinces is less than the population of the largest province. Not only our armed forces but also the civilian administration is dominated by the most populous province. It is precisely because of this that I see no peaceful solution to the issue of Balochistan.
In the past, the establishment would deal directly with the sardars and wouldn’t care much about the ordinary Baloch, many of whom continue to live in abject poverty. The difference now — and it is very serious — is that apart from the sardars, many among the ordinary Baloch are also not very keen about staying in the federation. Clearly, bloodshed is in store for us in the future, because the federal government, dominated as it is by one province, will not give in either.
Of course, what needs to be done immediately is to reverse all the policies that are currently in place vis-à-vis the province — since they clearly have not worked. And after that, a whole new set of policies should be put in place so that the aggrieved party knows that the government is serious about addressing its concerns.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2012.