Monday, October 2, 2017

A disappointment for Balochistan

http://www.bexpress.com.pk/2017/09/a-disappointment-for-balochistan/

Published on – September 30, 2017 – 7:00 am

By Editorial

The people of Balochistan were totally disappointed when the Central Government concluded an agreement with the Chinese company MCC extending the contract for five more years to exploit gold, copper and other precious metals.

The people of Balochistan were totally disappointed when the Central Government concluded an agreement with the Chinese company MCC extending the contract for five more years to exploit gold, copper and other precious metals.

There is a criticism on the Central Government decision from all section of population in this province claiming that the Chinese are most unpopular and unreliable partner in development of Balochistan. They are here for loot and plunder.

The people of Balochistan had lost their trust on Chinese and that is why people from all section of political opinion are opposed to the extension of the agreement with the MCC of China. The Nawaz Sharif Government in 1990s did a disservice to the people of Balochistan when it refused to finance the Saindak project deliberately forced its closure in 1998.

Pervez Musharraf, while defying the Pakistani establishment, had ordered operation of Saindak Project, building of Gwadar Port, coastal highway, Mirani Dam and Kachhi Canal simultaneously. The credit of these mega projects go to the military dictator Pervez Musharraf.

The Pakistani parliament passed the 18th Constitutional Amendment granting more powers to the provinces as pledged during debate in the Constituent Assembly of 1973. The Establishment disapproved it as it was in favour of stronger centre to an extent eliminating all the Federating Units.

When the 18thAmendment was approved by the Parliament, almost all the news channels, at the behest of Establishment, blacked out the news. Instead, all the TV channels were covering the dance at the wedding ceremony of Sania Mirza, the Indian Tennis Player who married Pakistani cricketer.

For three long days, the TV channels covered wedding of Sania Mirza with a criminal purpose to deny the news to the people that the 18th Amendment was approved. It shows the deep contempt of the Establishment to the concept of autonomy and devolution of powers and it resented that the concurrent list of the Constitution abolished and powers handed over to the Provinces.

The Establishment, to this date, is opposed to it and resisting its implementation in any form. In line of this opinion, the Central Government again handed over the Saindak Project to the MCC of China for five more years. There is a strong resentment among the people with totally different point of view considering the Chinese as exploiters out to plunder the resources of Balochistan. The people are demanding immediate cancelling the agreement extending the contract for five more years.

Balochistan gained nothing from the Saindak and it rich copper, gold and other precious metals gone to outsiders and it did not benefit the people. They are within their right to doubt similar treatment with other projects, including Gwadar Port or the so-called CPEC projects. The Chinese had lost the trust of the people of Balochistan and they are no more reliable partners in development.

We suggested in these columns that the Government of Balochistan should create a pool of administrative officers to implement the mega economic development project seeking control over Saindak when the present Chinese contract expires in October next. The Balochistan Government, with pool of its competent officers, should run the project.

In future, the Reko Dik Copper and Gold reserves should also be part of the mega project for exploitation by the Provincial Government. The purpose is to retain all the gains and profit for the indigenous people and foreign companies and multi-nationals be barred from invest plundering it.

The foreigners pay less than 30 per cent as corporate tax and take away rest of the income under the cover of direct foreign investment. Balochistan Government should close all the doors for foreign investment in profitable mines and miners or oil and gas resources or developing Gwadar and other ports on the Mekran Coast for economic reasons.

The developed countries and their multinational companies should not be allowed to exploit the riches and resources of Balochistan keeping it exclusively for the benefit of local people.

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