Skip to main content

Road fatalities in Balochistan

Dost Muhammad Barrech

ROADS are arguably the symbol of development and connectivity, making headway without roads is nothing more than a wishful thinking. To the contrary, narrow roads of Balochistan, instead of development and connectivity, are causing death and destruction. Traffic accidents in Balochistan have become a buzzword, breeding psychological disorders for already marginalized masses of the province. A recent report of National Highway/Motorway Police shows a gloomy picture. It claims that in Balochistan six thousand people are perishing annually and more than ten thousand are wounded in traffic accidents. Surprisingly, killing of masses in traffic accidents has outnumbered the killing of people in terrorist attacks across the province.
A pertinent query to be answered is: why is Balochistan, the largest province areas-wise and smallest province population-wise, confronting with such fatalities? Questionably, Balochistan, being the smallest province population-wise, should have the lesser traffic accidents. However, the aforementioned question has brilliantly been answered by a truck driver: according to him, three bona fide reasons are attributed to such fatal traffic accidents. Firstly, Balochistan is only province of the country which lacks motorways, having single-line narrow highways. The main RCD Highway connecting Karachi and Quetta was built 30 years ago for small traffic but so far has not been upgraded.
By virtue of growing population of the province, the RCD Highway cannot cope with heavy traffic resulting in traffic accidents. The second reason is numerous Frontier Corps FC check-posts on main roads of Balochistan. FC check posts in checking modus operandi of passengers squander precious time of drivers and put them under tremendous pressure by the passengers to reach their destination on time. Reaching destination on time requires speed which leads to serious accidents. Removing unnecessary FC checkposts is likely to mitigate road accidents. The third genuine factor, according to driver, is thriving Iranian smuggled oil. Geographically, Balochistan remains a gateway for smuggled oil and goods having porous borders with Iran and Afghanistan.
Ironically, Iranian smuggled oil is transported across the province with impunity. The leakages of oil tankers are perceived as fire bomb drenching the main highways making roads slippery for the traffic accidents. It is naïve to ban Iranian smuggled oil, unless job opportunities are generated. Balochistan has already been lagging far behind in terms of jobs; banning Iranian oil will further aggravate unemployment situation in the province. The government of Pakistan ought to diversify the economy of Balochistan; solely relying on Iranian smuggled oil would further cause havoc. Both the federal and provincial govts need to introspect and ponder over well-articulated reasons given by truck driver. Suffice to say that, causes given by driver occur in Balochistan only; thus, traffic casualties in Balochistan are higher than those of other provinces.
Grievances of Balochistan are deeply rooted which affect every segment of society. In the recent snow and rain calamity {in Balochistan}, Balochistan was left in predicament by the (Federal) government. The clumsy demeanour of the government in calamity enraged the people of Balochistan. It is the law of Nature, grievances breed hatred and hatred would inevitably pose a threat to national integration. The sooner grievances are addressed, the better. The obliviousness of National Highway Authority (NHA) of not clearing blocked highways added fuel to the fire. Kan Mehtarzai and Muslim Bagh remain the most affected areas of Balochistan in snowfall season. Surprisingly, NHA does not have a permanent centre in Muslim Bagh. NHA should establish a permanent centre in Muslim Bagh for the purpose of clearing roads in snowfall season and monitoring of highways should be regulated to avoid traffic accidents.
Balochistan is the pivot of Pakistan; Gwadar Port of the province connects world’s three billion people. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative of China, will considerably enhance the strategic importance of Balochistan. The province is going to be the hub of regional connectivity in the near future and killing of six thousand people in Balochistan is a big blow not only to Pakistan but also to the regional connectivity.
— The writer works at the Institute of Strategic Studies, a think-tank based in Islamabad.


Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed. Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area” For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number” Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell yo

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میں Please help the deserving persons... Salary: Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows; Welder: Rs. 1,700 daily Heavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Mason: Rs. 1,500 daily Helper: Rs. 850 daily Electrician: Rs. 1,700 daily Surveyor: Rs. 2,500 daily Security Guard: Rs. 1,600 daily Bulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Concrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Roller operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Steel fixer: Rs. 2,200 daily Iron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 daily Account clerk: Rs. 2,200 daily Carpenter: Rs. 1,700 daily Light duty driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Labour: Rs. 900 daily Para Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 daily Pipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 daily Storekeeper: Rs. 1,700 daily Office boy: Rs. 1,200 daily Excavator operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Shovel operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Computer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Security Supervisor: Rs.

RWR Advisory: Belt and Road at a Glance

This edition covers developments from March 12 - March 26..  Belt and Road at a Glance   Subscribe to the Belt and Road Monitor Top Developments China National Machinery Industry Corporation, commonly known as Sinomach, has agreed to  build  a $845 million, 255-mile railway across  Iran , building upon a sustained period of growth for Chinese investment in Iran that accelerated after Xi Jinping’s state visit to the country in January 2016. The railway will link the cities of Tehran, Hamedan and Sanandaj. China Civil Engineering Construction, a subsidiary of CRCC, is currently also  building  a 263-km railway line from Kermanshah to Khosravi. According to Chinese entrepreneur Lin Zuoru, who  owns  factories in Iran, “Iran is at the center of everything.”On March 23, China’s Ministry of Commerce announced that foreign direct investment by Chinese companies in 50 Belt and Road countries fell by 30.9% year-on-year. While the Ministry stated that this number covers investment across al