‘Balochistan politicking’: Govt accused of changing demographics

Stats reveal Balochi speakers’ percentage dropped sharply

Zahid Gishkori September 09, 2015
Stats reveal Balochi speakers’ percentage dropped sharply.

ISLAMABAD:


A lawmaker from Balochistan stunned many on Tuesday after he revealed that the government had secretly brought some demographic changes in various districts of Balochistan.


“The government settled four million people in various parts of Balochistan in the past three decades,” Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini told lawmakers in a meeting of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Interior. “With broader demographic changes in the province, the government is converting the majority into a minority.”

The senator’s claim came at a time when the government’s latest statistics revealed that Balochistan had witnessed the highest population increase (of approximately 250%) among all the provinces.



The percentage of Balochi speakers in the province has gone down drastically. The figures of the Pakistan Statistics Department revealed that only 35% of the province’s inhabitants speak Balochi, 25% Pashto, around 20% Brahui, and the rest speak Punjabi, Sindhi and Urdu.

“A new settlement is being established by bringing in people from other provinces,” Jamaldini, who represents the Balochistan National Party-Mengal, informed the panel, which was discussing multiple issues relating to issuance of identity cards to foreigners, Afghan and Indian nationals in particular. “Four to five million more people are being settled in various districts of the province. The settlement of Afghan refugees also helped the government accomplish its purpose.”

He later told The Express Tribune that he thought “deliberate efforts are being made by some non-Baloch politicians in the province”.

Another senator from Balochistan, Mir Kabeer, sought legislation over the issue so that the new settlers are either barred from voting or living in the province. “Thousands of settlers are being settled in various constituencies just to change election results.”

Fake CNICs for foreigners

In a fresh crackdown against the issuance of fake computerised national identity cards (CNICs) to foreigners, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested more than 200 people, the FIA DG Akbar Hoti informed the panel.

National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) Chairman Usman Mobin also informed the participants that more than 100 officials of the department had been dismissed from service following the arrests. “NADRA has also closed its office in Karachi’s Baldia Town, where almost all officials were involved in issuing CNICs to people of Afghan, Indian and other nationalities.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th,  2015.

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COMMENTS (14)

Ahsan | 4 years ago | Reply | Recommend I think a lot has to do with people migrating form the area due to unrest. I remember Dr. Abdul Malik said that in an interview as well that baloch people are leaving their province due to arm conflict and security concerns. I hope govn´t tries to re-settle those baloch who left due to violence and security concerns.
IBN E ASHFAQUE | 4 years ago | Reply | Recommend This is life. People have been migrating for centuries, only feudals and tribals think that nothing moves. Karachi started as a part of Balochistan, then became a Sindhi city, then it became a majority Urdu speaking city, now it has a growing Pukhtoon population. Hence, Karachi is mini Pakistan where Baloch, Makrani Sindhis Punjabis and other communities live. The tragedy is that we have not learnt how to resolve conflicts in an amicable manner by respecting sensitivities of different communities. Since armed forces are dominant in Pakistan every problem is solved via boots, bullets and bayonets. There are some issues that you may resolve that way, but most can only be aggravated by using only boots, bayonets and bullets. One practical way to go forward is to make Baluchi and Pashtu languages optional language in Baluchistan's schools so that children learn these two languages and establish relationships with those communities.
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