The poor socio-economic conditions of Balochistan have aided many other issues amongst the people of the province. Rising inflation, poverty and unemployment are the major stressors amongst the youth of Balochistan. Even after completing education, many remain unable to find a job which results in a sense of despair and helplessness. Consequently, people resort to committing suicide.
In addition, traditional cultural values and norms often compel women within the province to commit suicide. Women often feel pressured and regressed by their families and see suicide as a form of escape. Resultantly, the rate of suicides is drastically rising and needs to be addressed effectively. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 1,735 persons — 1,086 men and 649 women — committed suicide in 2020. This demonstrates that the problem is not just limited to Balochistan.
The government needs to take measures on several fronts to tackle this issue. Firstly, the provincial government of Balochistan must work collaboratively with the federal government to introduce economic opportunities and relief programmes for the youth to support them. These must be extended to other provinces as well. In addition, Pakistan suffers from a dearth of therapists, psychologists, psychiatric specialists, as well as rehabilitation centres. Much of the time, people commit suicide because they are unable to talk about their mental state with others. Therefore, the government should initiate a far-reaching campaign promoting the importance of seeking help when needed and de-stigmatising mental health. The government must urgently act against the increasing suicide rates. Otherwise, it may reach an uncontrollable level.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2022.