Thursday, August 24, 2017

Balochistan sans gas



It is deplorable that Balochistan, the richest province in terms of minerals, remains deprived region in the country when it comes to the supply of gas – a natural resource which it has in abundance. Despite being the site of Sui gas, Balochistan continues to shut out of the supply. Many promises were/are made but the current situation shows the neglect. The saddening news is that 62 years have elapsed only fourteen towns out of thirty four districts have the access to natural gas. The other regions are deprived of rudimentary facilities. Gwadar, the area which has come to be the Pakistan’s economic hub and the backbone of CPEC lacks the basic gas facility. The city population is also flourishing due to CPEC project and the crisis will become more serve if strong measures are not taken. These days, many promises are being made to turn the city into a hub of industry, trade and development. It is odious that Gwadar lacks the most basic amenities such as drinkable water and gas. Not only that, only some 12% of the population enjoys the gas supply while the rest waits for the fulfilment of grand promises. Hence, the people of Balochistan are living in primitive days. The unavailability of gas has caused the people to cut trees to use the wood for cookingand the smoke and ashes of the firewood in turn causes numerous diseases of eyes and lungsand other infections of skin. It is pertinent to note that the Article 158 of Pakistan’s Constitutionstates that, “The Province in which a well-head of natural gas is situated shall have precedence over other parts of Pakistan in meeting the requirements from that well-head, subject to the commitments and obligations as on the commencing day.”  Sadly, the reverse is turn in the case of Balochistan. Being deprived of a fairshare of Sui gas for 62 years is one of the key grievances of the people of Balochistan. JAHANZAIB MENGALIslamabad

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