Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest by-area province and home to an estimated eighty different kinds of God-given resources, is plagued by crises. The province encompasses approximately 347,190 square kilometers of the total land, accounting for 44 percent of the total area of the country (Pakistan).
The land is abundant and famous for its unique and expensive minerals, high mountains, friendly valleys, natural resources, and beautiful shorelines. But unfortunately, this province lacks to be benefited from being riches, however, is astonishing.
The province’s indigenous people receive nothing but deadly roads, barbarous leaders, fragile constructions, poor health and the worst educational system all over Asia. For its people, the healthcare system remains a dream. Progression has been an utopian dream for its citizens, the inhabitants have so far procrastinated on legislative and primary rights to perpetuate.
Water scarcity, unemployment, poor education, a non-existent healthcare system, and drug culture are all part of the basic crises. The government has repeatedly failed to take timely and immediate actions to eliminate the current burning problems of Balochistan.
The Barrick Gold Company plans to invest billions of dollars in one of the world’s largest gold and copper deposits in Reko Diq too, but nothing in bag for Balochistan’s people.
Apart from that, the so-called government has recently made a new Reko diq agreement for its self-interest. The main goal of this agreement was to get rid of the World Bank’s $11 billion penalties imposed on Pakistan.
Concurrently, the province is home to a number of projects that will be known as game-changers for the country, the most prominent of which is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which was started on April 20, 2015, with a $46 billion dollar agreement, which is equal to 20% of Pakistan’s annual GDP. Even so, divulging the truth has never benefited for the people of Balochistan.
According to the new agreement, Barrick owns 50% of the company, and the remaining 50% is divided, with 25% going to the federal government and 25% going to the Balochistan government, which is completely unfair to the people of Balochistan. Because the announced percentage is often not awarded or is secretly preyed upon by the powerful or in-power group.
Besides this, people in Balochistan are held back in every way, whether it is their right to resources, education, business, agriculture, industries, or so forth.
What’s more, Reko diq is located in a small town in the Chaghi District. Despite multi-billion-dollar projects, the people of Chaghi lack basic infrastructure. Although it is a mineral-rich area, but only for the capitalists. According to estimates, 75% of people in Chaghi live below the poverty line, and the literacy rate is 30%. Schools, hospitals, and other infrastructures are in dilapidation.
According to the Mines Act of 1923, each mining firm is required to work for the betterment of the local citizens, which includes health, education, and other infrastructures, but the ironic part is that no one pays attention.
Every era’s so-called government has only seen Balochistan’s resources, not its residents. They do not require a prosperous and luxurious life, but rather their fundamental rights. People who are involved in violating the rights of Baloch people should be held accountable, but the question is: who will hold them accountable?