‘Balochistan politicking’: Govt accused of changing demographics

Published: September 9, 2015
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Stats reveal Balochi speakers’ percentage dropped sharply.

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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Reader Comments (14)

  • Aziz
    Sep 9, 2015 - 7:25AM

    Badly written and edited story. The author should have asked and written as to how the assertions made were substantiated. Sen Jamaldini should have presented some supporting evidence such as: in tehsil and district so and so 1000 families of xyz origin have settled in the last xx years. That would make the story worth penning and reading. without such supporting claim such assertions are just accusations.Recommend

  • globalobserver
    Sep 9, 2015 - 7:46AM

    This is not surprising at all. Pakistan’s official policy has been to change the demographics in Balochistan, AJK, Gilgit/Baltistan and Northern areas. This has been going on for decades. In fact, there used to be a “state subject rule” in Gilgit/Baltistan that prevented non-natives from settling in GB. Around 1974 or so, Pakistan forcibly rescinded this longtime policy.

    Read:
    http://skardu.blogspot.com/2014/07/gilgit-baltistan-state-subject-rule.htmlRecommend

  • Neutral
    Sep 9, 2015 - 8:08AM

    Is this really something to note down ? if this is the case then Karachi should be the biggest complaint lodger which holds almost 10% population of country and where Sindhis are less than other groups/people moved from different provinces/cities including myself living there for job. Recommend

  • cheebz
    Sep 9, 2015 - 8:23AM

    so does that mean all balochis will be barred from living, studying or staying in Punjab, sindh or KPK? please stop spreading crap and sensationalize this issue.. more the mix is better as it creates more job opportunities for overall people in the region.. its a good news that other ethnics are taking risk with their lives and money to invest in the region… but then the politicians are worried that they “foreigners” from other province will uncover the atrocities done by the Baloch Waderas/Politicians against their own people.Recommend

  • Ali khan
    Sep 9, 2015 - 9:14AM

    If they have such a problem get out of karachi then. All these balochi waderas in karachi should be barred too then. People in a country have a right to move around and settle where ever they want or where ever job opportunity presents itself. Stop creating rifts maybe welcome ur fellow Pakistanis. Recommend

  • Avi
    Sep 9, 2015 - 9:17AM

    And you people were accusing India about changing demographic of Kashmir haan ?
    Shame on you liarsRecommend

  • Mare
    Sep 9, 2015 - 10:14AM

    Pushto speakers used to be at 39% so it means they have dropped the most. In other words much more needs to be ascertained before this claim can be made.

    You also need to take into account Brahui, Hazaraqui, Makrani and Sindhi are all native languages of Balochistan. Pushto is not native but since the pakhtoons conquered it and settled there centuries ago, it should also be considered native.

    Keeping all that in mind more than 90% of the populous there is still native to Balochistan.Recommend

  • Mare
    Sep 9, 2015 - 10:15AM

    @globalobserver:
    Because the local populous wanted it changed. You do realize that there are protests all over Gilgit-Baltistan to be made a province in Pakistan?Recommend

  • Baluchi
    Sep 9, 2015 - 11:23AM

    Interesting. So does that mean that the millions of Baloch settled in Sindh and Punjab should be sent back to Balochistan?Recommend

  • Jameel ur Rasheed
    Sep 9, 2015 - 11:27AM

    I am from Quetta and I wanted to learn Balochi for quite sometime until recently. I searched through the length and breadth of the Quetta city, there isn’t even a single book for learning Balochi. However, you can find guides for persian, arabic, pashtu and sindhi. Further to what I said, the existing sitting government has more Baloch representation than any other ethnicity. He should, perhaps, go and ask Dr Abdul Malik about decline in Balochi speakers.Recommend

  • Jalbani Baloch
    Sep 9, 2015 - 11:45AM

    This is a state-sponsored policy, IF NOT, then totally weakness from the very beginning of the creation of Pakistan. The demography of all urban cities of Sindh including but not limited to Karachi and Hyderabad, has totally changed. Once these cities were predominantly inhabited by original Sindhis but now majority belongs to people from other areas including Indians, Punjabis, Pukhtoons, Afghanis, Burmese, Bengalis, Iranis and etc. The original Muhajreen from India were not enough to outnumber local Sindhis, but this wave of migration remain unchecked and still continues to affect the demography of the whole province. This ill planning has given rise to nationalist feelings in Sindh and now in Balochistan to an extent that they are now vouching for more rights including signals of freedom from the State of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sep 9, 2015 - 12:36PM

    BNP ( Baluchistan national party ) has no slogan for their politicization, as they are rejected both by Balochs and Pakistani state, so the only slogan left for them is rise the issue of Afghan refugees. For this naive demands they even name the natives Pashto speaking population as Afghani. Though i admit that every Pashtoon living in every corner of the world is Afghan.Recommend

  • IBN E ASHFAQUE
    Sep 9, 2015 - 12:38PM

    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.Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Sep 9, 2015 - 12:39PM

    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.Recommend

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